Good day, Atascosa County! It is absolutely unreal how time has flown and Thanksgiving approaches us quickly. Thanksgiving is a great time to make and discuss history as it is one of our longstanding holidays. Most of us can recall Thanksgiving from a young age and we fondly cherish the memories our families make.
Last week, I began a series on Law Enforcement History in Atascosa County and the series has continued on Facebook. Before I continue, I want to send out a reminder about history. I, along with others in Atascosa County, are passionate about our history. History, whether we like it or not, is ours and we accept it. We can’t change it or erase it, regardless of popularity or trending topics. Now moving on, law enforcement is a rewarding field, but it has a grim side and Atascosa County is not exempt. Last Thursday, I spoke with Mrs. Nelda Rentz from Charlotte. Last week I wrote about her Uncle Sheriff H.H. Coward and I’ve written about her father, Deputy Sheriff Avant Burmeister “Meister” Coward. Deputy Sheriff Meister Coward died in the line of duty on August 2,1952. This is the grim side of law enforcement history I just warned you about. I advised Mrs. Rentz that I came across a Pleasanton Express article that detailed the death of her father. Mrs. Rentz was aware of the article and I obtained permission from her to share it on our Facebook page. Mrs. Rentz reminded me that in 2022, it will be the 70th anniversary of her father’s death. I truly enjoy our conversations because she always tells me something I previously did not know. If you read the article on our page, you read the warning I posted that preceded the article. I just want readers to not be shocked when reading literature from the past, writers wrote differently and without political correctness (that’s more of that history that we won’t change).
Another piece of history that is almost forgotten is the death of Deputy Sheriff Abner Matlock on August 12, 1911. I will be sharing an article on our page that was printed by The Houston Post, Special Print Edition on August 13, 1911. The newspaper printed a colorful account of the event. Our researcher for this topic is our very own Historian, Eric Morrell.
Stay with us on Facebook, until next time.
MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.