Take a moment
by Cathy Passmore
Jul 21, 2011 | 1374 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Take a moment and think back once again about the sacrifices our ancestors made to get us where we are today. You’ve read or heard about the difficulties the first settlers and early arrivers undertook to get to America and of course, to Karnes County. Many barely survived the trip across the ocean to get here and some didn’t. And once they got here, many of their difficulties had just begun. We know the early Polish and other settlers had problems of various kinds just making the transition to our area of Texas. As the little communities grew, our forefathers knew that it still took sacrifices to farm the land, start the businesses and build the Churches. They had to keep many hostilities at bay as they did all this. Even keeping the outlaws away who thought Karnes Countians might be easy prey and who had to learn the lesson of what a united people determined to protect their heritage could and would do. Perhaps this can be illustrated even better with an excerpt from an article in The Reformer, the first Karnes City newspaper, on November 1, 1894. This article was last published in a booklet of the Karnes County Historical Society in 1987. Read it below as it was quoted from that first newspaper.

“One of the grandest days in the history of Karnes City, with thousands attending, and winding up with a big ball at night was the laying of the cornerstone of the new courthouse last Thursday under the auspices of the Alamita Lodge. It was a grand success in every particular, and brought on the largest crowd of people that ever gathered at one time in Karnes City or Karnes County.”

“The ceremonies commenced at 2 p.m. and the master of ceremonies, the Honorable Thomas Ruckman, delivered an eloquent address, which for lack of space we are unable to publish it.”

“The committee of arrangements deserves a great deal of credit for the manner in which everything passed on. There were two bands here to discourse music, the Runge and Beeville bands. The gala day wound up with a big ball at night at the courthouse at which the cream of society of Karnes County were present. The following is a partial list: Misses Nancy Reagan, Rannie Calvert, Sallie Rutledge, Cora Butler, Mamie Whetstone, Mary Pheil, Nora Seale, Elsie Erdman, Myrtle Usery, Mary Nichols, and Mary Rhode.”

“The following were the gentlemen present: Messrs. J.J. Seale, John Yeary, H.E. Tom, W. Rutledge, W.L. Hines, John Puckett, Mat Micas, C. Pad, Jim Pace, Fish Martin, Ben Norse, S.C. Butler, Bob Jones, J.T. Reagon, W. J. Reagan, Wyatt Smith, Dock Smith, John Elder, Claude McBryde, John Rhode, Ollie Pyle, Will Alexander, Monroe and Jim Bailey. Messrs. Phil Tom and Emil Wasserman had the dance in charge and deserve credit for the manner in which everything passed off.”

So, again take a moment and think what this event meant in the lives of those who have gone before. And the joy they had at building the wonderful Karnes County Courthouse through the efforts of so many. What do you think they would tell us today? What would they be thinking about our choices and what we could and should do to honor their sacrifices? We can’t and shouldn’t forget our history. Do you read your Bible daily? If you do, you are reading history. History with promises for the future. We should consider the promises that our ancestors fought for and not neglect our heritage in Karnes County.
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