But they were not without hope. Not long after they were married, they’d heard a man in Christchurch telling the ragged crowd who’d gathered around him that a man could walk down the streets in Texas and fill his hat with gold nuggets the size of chestnuts! Texas was the land of milk and honey, where wild grapes twined around trees filled with fruit and the deer and wild turkey ran so thick you could hit them on the head with a stick or a stone. Land was five cents an acre, and any man could live like a king. No man was poor in Texas.
It was a journey of 175 miles and their wagon was pulled by a team of oxen, which made progress agonizingly slow. Part way through Fred fell ill and his father traded the oxen for a team of four horses, which made progress faster.
When they arrived in Bowie, John purchased 80 acres of land, and with the help of their friends, timber was secured to build a cabin, and land was cleared to plant crops.
|Nellie, Charles Albert, Mama Susan, Fred, Daddy John, Bessie in 1883|