Athens Weekly Review Feb. 4, 1926
REMINISENCES (sic) OF A FORMER ATHENS RESIDENT ================== To The Editor of the Review:
The following letter former A. W. Meredith, a one time resident of Athens, will be of interest to readers of the Review's articles, "Twenty Years Ago." Mr. Meredith is a half brother of Mrs. T. M. Graham, half brother of Dr. Easterling and an uncle of county tax collector Henry Meredith.
To The Editor of the Review: Jan. 27th--A copy of your paper with an article written by Mrs. Belle Easterwood of the early days of Athens was sent me by a friend, which in the language of Bill Arp put me in a reminiscent mood.
My father moved from Georgia to Athens in 1852. He came in two wagons, my father drove one and E. A. Carroll drove the other. They were on the road near two months, however, they were detained by sickness and the death of my brother, who was two years younger than myself. My brother, J. T. Meredith, was an infant in my mothers arms.
I learned my letters at the first school taught in Athens, in a log house. I think on the lot where the old jail was burned behind John Murchison's store. The teacher's name was Howard, he was a personal friend of John H. Reagan, they had occupied the same room at Buffalo, the first county seat in Henderson county. This in later days I learned from Judge Reagan. The second school was taught by Capt. Brear Thompson, who was Aunt Dul Avriettes first husband. Some who attended that school were the Cavitts, Balls, Grays and Bethels. Later a teacher by the name of Hill taught in a boxed house. Mr. Ratcliff sent his son, Milton, and daughter, Miss Tex, to that school, boarding them in town with Mr. Trimble. Miss Tex still lives in Kaufman. She married Geo. D. Morrison a lawyer of Athens.
I remember going to my mother and telling her that they were holding meeting under a tree and Mr. Martin and Mr. Dunn were preaching. That was the first court I know anything about. Mr. father's house was about the center of the west side of the court house square and back sufficiently to give a good size yard. He kept the first hotel and boarding house in the town. As to the first graveyard, it was on the hill S. E. from the Baptist church. I think after the present cemetery was located most of the bodies were removed to the present cemetery.
My father sold his Athens property in 1855 or 1856 and bought a tract of land near where Walton is now located. Our spring was what is now known as the Mann Lake. My father died on that farm in the spring of 1859 and was buried in Athens by the Masonic lodge, of which he was a member. My mother rented a house in Athens until she could get her business in shape to return to Georgia, which we did in the fall of 1859. So in 1859 I was sent to school to Mr. McDonald. The school house was situated on a hill, where I think Ed Carroll now lives. I recall none now who attended that school except Bill Gentry, who a few years ago lived on Walnut Creek.
There was some political excitement that year, Sam Houston was elected Governor, Marvin Martin of Navarro county beat Wm. H. Martin of Athens, for state senate. A. B. Horton, who then lived in Athens, beat Geo. D. Morrison, who was then a young lawyer of Athens, for the Legislature.
In December 1872, I returned to Texas and in 1874 taught a school in the Southern part of Henderson county. some who attended this school were George Davis, Tom and Jim Luker, Joe LaRue, his sister and others. I could mention many who have died. A. W. Meredith
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