Historically Speaking

Campfire stories: Mumme’s Well, Pan de Campo and everything in between
H.T. Mumme’s first Artesian Well in Poteet

H.T. Mumme’s first Artesian Well in Poteet

This week was busy for us, to say the least. We had various topics to cover and we soaked it all in.

A few of us attended the Longhorn Museum’s regular meeting on Tuesday. We listened to Arthur Troell talk about the Carrizo Wilcox Aquifer. He went on in detail about the types of soil, clay and water underneath Atascosa County. His presentation was interesting and it was an eye opener for an uneducated citizen such as I. Mr. Troell caught my full attention when he spoke of Mumme’s Well in Poteet. As a Poteet boy, born and raised, it is mandatory to know the history of Mumme’s Well. This is the well that Poteet settler Heinrich Theodore Mumme struck during an extreme drought in 1912. The Artisan Well along with the ideal soil, produced a multitude of crops, including strawberries.

After the meeting, I spoke with a citizen that may know the whereabouts of Mumme’s Well. If we ever locate it, I personally and professionally believe that site deserves a Historical Marker. The agricultural impact Mumme’s Well had on Atascosa County is beyond price.

I mulled over the possibilities of finding that well as the week went on while we prepared for a big event on Saturday, Feb. 8 in Poteet. The Poteet Rotary Club partnered with us to attend the monthly Farmer’s Market. We committed to an exhibition of the endangered art of cooking ‘Pan de Campo’ or ‘Camp Style Bread.’ The event was advertised throughout social media and I prayed for good weather and a good turnout.

When Saturday arrived, it was cold and the wind was a little sharp. Nonetheless Mike Benavidez and I started a fire and away we went. Before I knew it, Carlos Torres arrived to help, Tommy Williams showed up with bacon and we started talking Poteet History. I asked Mr. Torres if I could one day write a story on his father and his ancestor Blas Herrera. The campfire guests continued throughout the morning. We spoke of arrowhead finds, the Amphion School, the bread recipe, Willborn Cemetery, Ramos Tire, and what do you know, Mumme’s Artisan Well again.

So, I was thankful for the cold weather, it attracted folks to warm up and gave us the opportunity to talk Atascosa County History.

Until next time.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING is written by Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman, Martin Gonzales, on behalf of the Atascosa County Historical Commission. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.

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