Kingsbury, texas



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KINGSBURY, TEXAS. Kingsbury is on U.S. Highway 90 ten miles northeast of Seguin in northeastern Guadalupe County. Sam Neel, an agent for English settlers, built a home near the site in the early 1870s. The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway came through in 1875 and a post office was opened that year with Mark W. Isard as postmaster. The townsite was laid out in 1876 and named for railroad official William Kingsbury. By the mid-1880s the settlement had a steam gristmill, a cotton gin, a general store, a church, a district school, and a population of 130. In 1904 the population had risen to 346, and the town had two one-teacher schools for fifty-nine black students and two schools and three teachers for 123 white students. Kingsbury became part of the Seguin Independent School District in 1962. Cotton was the leading product of the area during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; oil became important when the Gander Slu and Darst Creek oilfields came in during the 1920s. The estimated population reached a peak of 450 in 1968. Kingsbury had 200 residents and six businesses in 1990. Its economy was still largely based on oil and agriculture.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Seguin Gazette, November 13, 1963. Willie Mae Weinert, An Authentic History of Guadalupe County (Seguin, Texas: Seguin Enterprise, 1951; rpt. 1976).
GALLE, TEXAS. Galle, near Farm roads 1339 and 3353 and twelve miles northeast of Seguin in northern Guadalupe County, was named for Frederick Galle, who built a house in the area in 1882. A post office opened at Galle in 1909 and closed in 1914, when the community had a general store and a population of fifty. Its population fell to ten in 1933 but rose to forty in 1945 and to eighty by 1988. The Galle population continued to be reported as eighty in the early 1990s.
Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl
STAPLES, TEXAS. Staples, on the San Marcos River in northeastern Guadalupe County, is located at the intersection of State Highway 621 and County Road 1977. Some of the earliest settlers were the McKean brothers, John and William, who arrived in the vicinity in 1852. They were later joined by the families of Leonidas Hardeman, Stokely Holmes, J. G. Lilley, Hedley Polk, John D. Staples, Nelson Tuttle, and Robertson Waller. In 1861 Camp Edward Clark, a Confederate regimental training site, was located in the area. Here Capt. Stokely Holmes organized an infantry company of local recruits that became part of Col. Peter C. Woods'sqv regiment. In 1867 Leonidas Hardeman harnessed the waterpower of the San Marcos River to operate a cotton gin. Subsequent owners of the gin used waterpower in the off season to grind corn, saw lumber, and crush sugar cane. At the turn of the century the turbine was supplemented with steam power during periods of low river flow.
In 1871 Civil Warqv veteran Col. John Douglas Staples established a country store in a live oak grove on the George Allen league, 500 yards from Hardeman's cotton gin. On May 19, 1879, a post office was opened there. The place was called Staples Store until 1891, when the post office department dropped "Store" from the designation. The office and its duties were passed about frequently for the first half century of its existence. The postmaster was usually a business owner who was willing to house the postal operation as a part-time duty. Initially, the Staples office was served by rerouting the twice-weekly Luling-San Marcos mail run along the San Marcos River between Prairie Lea and Martindale. In 1884 the only business enterprises were the store, the gin and gristmill, and the school. By 1890 a machinist, a doctor-druggist, a beekeeper, and another general store had been added. The Lowman brothers, Quincy and Roston, established the Staples Water Power Company and began construction of a wooden water tower in April of that year. The population had grown from thirty to forty-five in the preceding six years; by 1892 it had surged to 125, and the town had added a wagonmaker. In 1896 the community had 150 people and its own cemetery. The Staples Telephone Company was established in 1901 in the home of entrepreneur Fred Gabriel. Electric service, as such, was provided by a 1,000-volt dynamo that the Lowman brothers installed at their gin in 1903. The lights were turned off each night at 10:00. In 1913 both a new schoolhouse and a new metal water tower were completed.
The earliest arrivals in the area were served by two churches. The Woodlawn Baptist Church, established in 1875, was two miles southwest of the settlement. There were two Methodist churches: Harris Chapel two miles east and Pleasant Ridge three miles northwest. In 1887 a Baptist church was built next to the schoolhouse in Staples, and in 1902 a Methodist church was erected just up the street. The Baptist church has had an intermittent existence with prolonged periods of inactivity; the Methodist church has been continuously active. The watershed event in Staples history was the goring of Mrs. Tom Anderson by her Durham milk cow in the spring of 1912. While attempting to separate the cow from its newborn calf, forty-nine-year-old "Granny" Anderson was completely disemboweled by a swift hook of the cow's horn. Hearing an agonized scream, frantic neighbors rushed to improvise a stretcher by ripping a barn door from its hinges and carrying the gravely injured woman to young Dr. Wilburn Williams' office, where they laid her on the only available surface-the dining room table. After cleaning the gaping wound with tap water from a system that remained unapproved until 1954, he replaced her intestines, sewed her up, and pronounced her as good as dead. Mrs. Anderson carried the scar of this encounter to her grave at the age of 105 in April 1968. She outlived the doctor by more than two decades and remained his most famous case. For that generation and the one following, events in Staples were timed in relation to Granny Anderson's goring.
Two noted Texans spent their boyhood in Staples. One was Albert Sebastian (Pete) Compton, who played professional baseball in 1911 for the St. Louis Browns of the American League; in 1915 he started with the Browns then transferred to the National League, where he played for Boston and Pittsburgh in 1916 and New York in 1918. Another Staples native was Harmon L. Lowman,qv who culminated a distinguished career in Texas education as president of Sam Houston State Teachers College for a quarter century. The loss of its elementary school in 1949 through consolidation with the San Marcos public schools removed a vital component of the community's cohesiveness. In the 1990s Staples was home not only to farmers but also to commuters who traveled to jobs in nearby cities. From the 1870s to the turn of the century the village fathers pleaded in vain for a rail connection to Austin and San Antonio, but in the 1990s the community firmly opposed not only high-speed rail but a new Austin-San Antonio freeway as well. The 1993 population was seventy-five. Governmental functions are provided by the post office and the Staples Farmers' Co-op, which supplies water. Methodist and Baptist churches are both active. The only businesses are a barbershop, two beauty shops, and a cafe.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Mildred Thompson, History of the Staples Community from 1852-1956 for Use in Social Studies in Elementary Grades (M.A. thesis, Southwest Texas State Teachers College, 1960).
HISTORICAL MARKERS GUIDE: GUADALUPE COUNTY TEXAS


Camp Clark, C.S.A. Staples Year Marker Erected: 1964 Location: on SH 621, in city park, Staples Marker Text: Named for Edward Clark, first Confederate Governor of Texas, whose Executive Order June 8, 1861, created voluntary camps of instruction such as this. Food, camp facilities and guns were voluntary gifts by local people. Farmers, merchants, artisans, laborers gave goods and services. Men with military training and experience gave their time as drillmasters. This and 50 or 60 other camps of instruction mainly taught walking to Texans brought up with the habit of moving about on horseback. (6 out of 10 Texans joined the Cavalry. Governor Clark felt compelled to say in his Executive Order that infantry service was actually a matter of honor.) Operated despite scorn of 18 to 35 year old recruits who had fought Indians most of their lives and were impatient for battle-- not for training. Though neither Texas nor the Confederacy in 1861 had funds for camps of instruction, by 1862 privates were paid $11 a month, officers $50. This Guadalupe County camp of instruction was convenient to roads and to water. Area units that trained here included Co. D, 4th Texas Infantry, of Hood's famous Texas Brigade, and 4th Texas Cavalry (Partisan) under Captain William P. Hardeman. 1964



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