Early Crosby Days


Mrs. Erva Ann Norwood Sherrard of Spring Creek Ranch, Burnet, was a young pioneer, back in the early 90's when her parents filed on a homestead in Crosby County, near Emma, but some of the experiences of those days made a deep impression on her memory.

"I do not remember when my dad filed on some land near Emma, Crosby County, in 1892," she said . "We had been living at Detroit, Texas, my birthplace. My mother's maiden name was Maggie Dean.

"The first thing I can remember was opening my eyes one morning to see something coming creeping down the steps of our dugout home. I remember screaming, and my mother and dad rushing to the door. I remember how the body of the animal tumbled down the steps after my father shot it, and then how fascinated I was when my father cut off its ears.

"Then I learned it was a coyote, when he told my mother that he would take the ears to the county commissioners to collect a bounty of 50 cents for killing a coyote. If it had been a lobo wolf, he said he could collect $5.

"The next deepest impression on my childish mind was made by an old Negro 'mammy' at my grandmother's home in Detroit, who told me about 'the Bad Man' and the fire he had burning down in the earth all the time.

"When long summer drouths (sic) would make deep cracks in the ground I could easily imagine that the 'Bad Man's fire' was causing it. One day during such a drouth, I went to the well for water, using my dog to draw the wagon which held the buckets. We came to one of the big cracks in the ground, and remembering the 'Bad Man's fire', I tried to keep the dog from going near the crack. He turned the wagon over and all the water ran out, but I didn't mind it a bit. Surely I'd help put out that fire."

Source: Fort Worth Star Telegram Year Unknown
West Texas Stories

Submitted by Georgia Pratt Cunningham