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The expression, "slow as molasses in winter time," can only be understood by one who has waited to draw a pitcher full on a cold winter morning. Each family raised their own hogs for butchering. There were gallons of lard, sacks of sausage, jars of sauce, to say nothing of good hams and bacon in the old smoke house. Today all this is supplied from a locker or deep freeze. Quantities of cracklings were stored to be used later in making crackling cornbread, which when served with plenty of cold sweet milk, would really hit the spot.
Of course, there was always plenty of milk, cheese, and butter, for each family always had their own milk cows. Often times in hot weather, butter was kept in buckets hung in the well. Every scrap of fat meat and grease was saved to make lye soap. This art was learned by every homemaker. Also there were large quantities of beans, peas, corn, onions, sweet and irish potatoes raised and harvested.
In pioneer days, the roads were mostly cow trails. Travel being by foot, or horseback, if fortunate enough to own a horse. Later carts and wagons were used. In rainy seasons it was impossible to get thru some places even in a cart. The road from Staples thru Pleasant Ridge to Martindale was graveled about or Then travel was much easier.
In a good farm to market road to Seguin was completed. At its completion a big barbeque was given in which this whole community and many Seguinites and San Marcans joined in celebration. A little later the Staples-San Marcos road was paved, mostly due to the untiring efforts of R.
During the month of April , three other paved roads were completed, connecting with Martindale, Fentress, and the Luling-San Marcos highway; also a very nice concrete bridge over the river here at Staples. New concrete bridges were built at the Martindale and Fentress crossings also. One has but to travel these roads at any time of year to enjoy real scenic beauty.
There are hills and valleys, level farm land, and in the springtime, the green trees and wild flowers of many hues are beautiful to behold. The first school house was erected on the Thad Lowman place, now owned by the Buford Linebargers. Many parents pooled their resources and hired a teacher for their children.
Then those same parents would board the teacher free of charge. School terms were very short, due to bad weather and the children being needed in the fields during the work season.
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A little later a school was built two miles west of Staples on the Waldrip tract of lard. This land was donated by J. Waldrip and was known as "Martin Box". This was the center of learning for many years. Some of the teachers in this school were: Mr. Teachers were scarce and salaries small. In March , Ella Killough, later Mrs. The first record of a teacher from this vicinity receiving a certificate to teach was Lottie Gregg in Later she became Mrs.
Later there followed a number of others - J.
Lancaster, A. Cook, Hark Williams, R. Butler, Josie Williams, and many others. A few years later the school building was moved to the corner of the lot where Mae Vaughan now lives.
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After a number of years this building was torn down and a two story frame building erected. Then, in , a new two-story brick building was erected on the north of town on land bought from Robert Lowman from the George Allen survey. This school had four large class rooms, plus cloak rooms for each, and a large hall downstairs. The upstairs consisted of an auditorium with stage for programs and assemblies.
These affairs held the community together in common fellowship. In the spring of the following were in the first group to complete the tenth grade in this new school, which was the highest grade ever taught here: Callie Autry, Gertie Bost, Angie Mae Bost, Edna Fleming, and Ludie Hunsucker.
Keep off the Grass: Raynes Park sign erected on tiny scrap of land | Daily Mail Online
Hundreds of other students received their basic education in this school since then. To the north of this building there was a small frame building known as the music room. In the early 's there were so many students that the older students had to use the hall for a home room. So, a two-room frame building was erected to house the primary classes.
However, this building burned a few years later, and another was erected in its place. As the youth declined in numbers and the government lunch program began, this building became the lunchroon. Community gatherings were also held there. Before the days of the lunch program, when everyone carried their cold biscuits saturated with syrup and sometimes a hunk of sausage or hard-boiled egg in a lunch pail or sack; at the suggestion of some cunning teacher, the children decided to fatten a pig with the scraps to raise money for some project.
Perhaps balls or other play equipment. The pig was named "Minnehaha", no doubt due to the fact that Longfellow's poetry was the current subject of study for some. Minnie grew and thrived very well, especially since many youngsters pretended to be exceedingly hungry and brought extra sandwiches and things to share with her. The ultimate outcome of this project alludes this writer. At one time Staples School had fine basketball and baseball teams. They also entered various interscholastic league activities.
One group of girls belonged to the Camp Fire Girls. This was in the spring of The pupils completed high school in Prairie Lea and soon all students above the sixth grade went there. The Latin School, which was located on the left hillside of the road which leads to the San Marcos river, was torn down and the Frank Whittens bought it to build their home.
The land was sold to the W. The latin children were moved to the afore mentioned brick building and this became an integrated elementary school.
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At about the same time, for lack of colored children, their school, which had been located next to their church and cemetery, was abandoned. The old church was torn down and the school building was used for a time for worship services. With nostalgia, one remembers the day-long meetings these people held on Sundays.
After dinner on the ground, there was visiting and then singing of spirituals which could be heard for a great distance. But soon after the passing of Jessie Lewis, these meetings ceased and the old building was torn down. A year or two later, all children were being transported by bus to San Marcos, including the elementary grades. In , since there was no further use for the lunch room and school building, the San Marcos School District gave the lunch room to the Staples Community to be used as a Civic Center.
But the land on which it stood could not be deeded to the community due to school laws and red tape. However, after the school building and land was finally sold to the Jack Andersons who used part of the material to build their home , they in turn sold this land and the small lot in front of the building to the community. Part of this was paid for with money which a group of community minded young people had raised by giving plays and programs. Their original plans had been to raise money for a tennis court, in an attempt to ease the feeling of void caused when the schools were taken away.
And some of the money came from the "Staples Brotherhood", a group which had disbanded earlier. It would seem impossible to name every teacher who has taught here in Staples, but we are sure, each one will be remembered in the minds of the pupils each taught. Let's sweep away the cobwebs and see how many of these are in your mind's eye! Cliett Lowman, Harmon Lowman, Mrs. Staples also has had a number of doctors during the past century.
Besides those previously mentioned here were: Dr. Williams, Dr.