L-r: JOSEPH WHITE, JAMES L. GIDDENS and his two daughters, JULEIGH and KRISTEN from Duncan Oklahoma. Courtesy Tom and JoAn Earnest

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1 L-r: JOHN KASKASKE, Chairman of the Tribal Council of the Kickapoo Indian Nation of Oklahoma McLoud, Oklahoma; PEGGY STEGER, President of the Irion County Historical Society, and JOSEPH WHITE. CAPTAIN BEDFORD LANHAM was one of the frontier Rangers who fought and survived the battle on Dove Creek in Captain Lanham was the grandfather of Mrs. FLORA (BATES) WHITE of Water Valley and great-grandfather of her children JOSEPH, JOHN, DONALD, JAMES, and DELL WHITE. Courtesy Tom and JoAn Earnest L-r: JOSEPH WHITE, JAMES L. GIDDENS and his two daughters, JULEIGH and KRISTEN from Duncan Oklahoma. Courtesy Tom and JoAn Earnest 1991 tour of the site of the battle on Dove Creek, sponsored by the Tom Green County Historical Commission, Irion County Historical Commission, and landowners. Special guests were descendents of military participants in the battle and Oklahoma Council members of the Kickapoo Tribe. George Whitewater, Clan Leader of the Kickapoo Indian Nation of Texas, Eagle Pass, Oklahoma Council member of the Kickapoo Tribe speaks. Courtesy Tom and JoAn Earnest Oklahoma Council members of the Kickapoo Tribe Some of the crowd visiting the Dove Creek battle site in Courtesy Tom and JoAn Earnest DOVE CREEK BATTLEFIELD 17

2 New Page California Trail Map Camp Joe Johnson Map Camp Concho Text of H.C. Collyns death Map Camp Concho showing sawmills Early Fort Concho 18 WATER VALLEY HISTORY

3 Add page San Antonio-San Diego Stage Line overland Mail route - Ben Fickling-1867 Major Benjamin Branklin Fickling 19

4 POST OFFICES BENJAMIN FRANKLIN FICKLIN established the Butterfield Overland Mail Route in Courtesy Tom Green County Historical Commission CHARLES BAIN of Benficklin, Texas, was awarded the contract to deliver the U. S. Mail from Fort Concho to the Williams Ranch in Courtesy Fort Concho National Historic Landmark 20 WATER VALLEY HISTORY Location map sent to the U.S. Post Office Department in 1888 by BENJAMIN C. MAYES showing Yandell Post Office and the proposed Rethaville Post Office. Courtesy West Texas Collection/ Angelo State University

5 Stagecoach at the Concho Mail Station, about FRANCIS CORBETT TAYLOR, friend and business associate of BENJAMIN F. FICKLIN, seated next to the driver. Early settlers picked up mail at the Concho mail station and/or Fort Concho. Courtesy Fort Concho National Historic Landmark Yandell Post Office The first post office in northwestern Tom Green County was located at the Williams ranch house, four miles up the North Concho River from present-day Water Valley. Sketched by Terry Gibson DAVID WILLIAMS First Postmaster at Yandell Post Office. Served from November 6, 1885 to October 8, Courtesy James and Mary Coleman After David Williams tragic death, JACOB W. KNAPP served as postmaster at Yandell from October 9, 1886 to September 9, Courtesy Mims family collection. Remains of the ranch house, photographed in Courtesy Earnest/McBride family collection. Yandell, Texas cancellation, dated February 25, Courtesy Nonie Green POST OFFICE 21 21

6 E. W. SPRING constructed a two-story building in The lean-to with two windows pictured on the left housed the post office from 1899 to 1925 when the building was destroyed by fire. The men are thought to be, left to right: ORVA P. SPRING, E. W. SPRING and LEO P. SPRING. Orva was postmaster from 1899 to LEO P. SPRING served as postmaster from 1902 to Courtesy Mims family collection The Rethaville (later Water Valley) post office was located in Ben Mayes store from about 1888 to JAMES I. WESTFALL became postmaster October 16, The mail wagon can be seen behind the horses on the left side of the photo. The building on the right is the Reasonover Hotel and wagon yard. Courtesy Reasonover/Thomas family collection BENJAMIN C. and XERIFA MAYES. Ben Mayes served as Rethaville Postmaster May 16, 1888 to October 15, He wanted to name the post office for his new bride, Xerifa. The U.S. Postal Service designated the post office as Rethaville. Courtesy Fort Concho National Historic Landmark Water Valley, Texas cancellation WATER VALLEY HISTORY

7 MARGARET C. HANSON Water Valley Postmaster Courtesy Hanson/Edwards family JAMES O. HANSON Water Valley Postmaster Courtesy Hanson family collection JORDAN REASONOVER Water Valley Postmaster Courtesy Reasonover/Thomas family collection WALTER S. ARMSTRONG Postmaster Courtesy Armstrong/Green family GEORGE W. NEILL Postmaster Courtesy Neill family collection PEGGY E. BARNETT Postmaster Courtesy Barnett family GLENDA STUBBS Water Valley Postmaster 1997-Present Post Office Dedication, May 19, 1999 spectators in the audience including GLENDA STUBBS. Courtesy Earnest/McBride family collection JOAN EARNEST and [man from Abeline, name?] at the Post Office Dedication. Courtesy Earnest/McBride family collection KRISTEN CLARK from KLST-TV, GOLDA FOSTER, Tom Green County Historical Commission, and FRANKIE EDWARDS. Courtesy Earnest/ McBride family collection Mrs. MURLE VAN ZANT. Courtesy Earnest/McBride family collection POST OFFICE 23

8 Postal patron MARY LOU (EARNEST) MCBRIDE is served by MICHELLE MORENO, Postmaster Relief. Mrs. McBride has been served from five of the six locations of the Water Valley Post Office. Courtesy Earnest/ McBride family collection Map showing six locations of the post office serving Yandell/Rethaville/Water Valley. Courtesy Earnest/McBride family collection Postal patron MARY LOU MCBRIDE checks her lockbox for mail. Courtesy Earnest/McBride family collection JoAn Earnest and Mary Lou McBride present historic photos to Post Master Glenda Stubbs. JoAn Earnest and Enrique R. Colorado at May 19, 1999 dedication. Courtesy Earnest/McBride family collection 24 WATER VALLEY HISTORY

9 POST OFFICES GEORGE W. and LAURA NEILL from San Angelo bought the store building, land and inventory from Carwile and Armstrong in 1946 and George became the postmaster in EDITOR S NOTE: Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. Mark Twain Huck Finn 1884 As more goods became available following the end of WWII, GEORGE and LAURA NEILL ran a busy grocery store and service station. Note 48-star flag. Although Neill sold the store in 1974, he continued as postmaster in the same building and built the Red Brick Post Office in POST OFFICE 25

10 Ranches and Above: A chuck wagon camps at a windmill during round-up to feed the ranch hands. Above, right: One cowboy rides his bucking horse while another rider watches the action. Both photos courtesy Tom Green County Historical Society, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University The Iowa and Texas Cattle Company of Earlville, Iowa, was chartered in They were one of the earliest chartered cattle outfits to claim free range in the counties of Coke, Sterling and northern Tom Green. Courtesy Earnest/McBride collection 26 WATER VALLEY HISTORY

11 nd cowboys A reception at the Tom Green County courthouse honored the Turner family and the Weddell family as recipients of the Texas Century Ranch award. L to r: GEORGE SISCO, ALICE (WEDDELL) SISCO, JUNE (TURNER) DOGGETT, GLENN DOGGETT, IRENE (BAKER) WEDDELL, LILLIE (PAGE) TURNER, and MAXWELL TURNER. Courtesy Tom Green County Historical Commission RANCHES AND COWBOYS 27

12 28 WATER VALLEY HISTORY

13 Headquarters of the Department of Texas Farms and Ranches in the vicinity of Fort Concho, Texas July 6, 1879 On the North Concho River: Mannings, Holland, Bowman, McConnell, Hyler [Hiler], Sheep Ranch, Gardner, Glenn, Harris, Alderette. On Grape Creek: Wiley and Sons, Thompson, Childers. On the Main Concho in the western part of Tom Green County: Cul, Wisher, Merchant, Arden, McCrohan, Jourdan, Taylor, Taylor & Spears, Evans. On the Main Concho below the fort: Keyler, Allhouse, Tankersley, McElvain, Dodd, Levi, Mullins, Dotson. On Spring Creek: Williams, Kelly, Lackey, Lopez, Tankersley, Austin, Davis. On Dove Creek: Williams, Koepller, Sanderson, Grinnell, Baze. On the South Concho River: Bain, McMahon, Prewitt, Bishop, McGuire, DeLong, Tankersley, Metcalfe. At the head of Antelope Creek, a tributary emptying into the South Concho: Frost. Recorded cattle brands, land records, and research by family members and historians identify other early farmers and ranchers on the North Concho River: L. B. Harris, Iowa and Texas Land and Cattle Company, Jonathan Miles, Newt Rappleye, Schwartz & Raas, M.Z. Smizzen, William Turner, William S. Veck, James Weddell. The Sheep Ranch on the 1879 map was the headquarters of the partnership of David Williams, George Rappleye and Jacob Knapp. Courtesy of Fort Concho National Historic Landmark A good stock of horses on the GEORGE RAPPLEYE ranch near the North Concho River Courtesy Tom Green County Historical Society, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University 29 RANCHES AND COWBOYS

14 Cutting and drying hay on STANLEY TURNER s hay farm near Water Valley in Courtesy Tom Green County Historical Society, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University Surrounded by a picket corral, four cowboys try to tame a wild horse on a North Concho ranch. Courtesy Armstrong/Green family 30 WATER VALLEY HISTORY

15 In 1910 JACK PERSSE had established his ranch on the North Concho. Later owners of the ranch was SID CAVITT, still later FRANK A. DEMERE, JR. Courtesy Tom Green County Historical Society, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University Shovel, grubbing hoe, crow bar and rolls of fence wire indicate a lot of work ahead for these men. Left to right: GEORGE JAMES WEDDELL, BILLY BOYD, TOM MCGILL and W. C. J. DUB WEDDELL, circa Courtesy Weddell/Sisco family ALICE WEDDELL SISCO (left) and RUTH IRENE WADELL are shown accepting the Texas Family Land Heritage certificate for the Weddll ranch, founded in Tom Green County in 1885, from Agriculture Commissioner JIM HIGHTOWER. Then, State Treasurer (later Governor) ANN RICHARDS is at right. Texas Department of Agriculture photo, reprinted from the San Angelo Standard-Times. RANCHES AND COWBOYS 31

16 DEE BRIGHT cutting maize on the Bright Ranch near Water Valley. Courtesy Dee Bright Family DAVID WILLIAMS built a new home in the 1880s near the original house the three partners, Williams, GEORGE RAPPLEYE and JACOB KNAPP, lived in. Photographed in 1910 by the Williams daughter, Sarah. Above: The HARVE EARNEST family used this old-style planter for many years. Courtesy Earnest/McBride collection Horse powered machinery loads hay on a second wagon while a third wagon stands by ready to be used. Courtesy Tom Green County Historical Society, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University 32 WATER VALLEY HISTORY

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