Hood County Texas Genealogical Society
Hood County News – October 16, 2001
by Christopher C. Evans
CRESSON “A PRETTY COUNTRY” EVEN IN 1856
The writing is
long, at times disjointed, and tainted by misspellings and run-on sentences.
The narrator, William George Washington Powell, was describing Hood County as
he found it in the middle 1850s.
"To any one
who has traveled over the hills and rolling prairie between Wetherford (sic)
and Fort Worth and through the region where Cression (sic), Hood County, is now
located, will have an understanding of what a pretty country is really
like," a passage about Cresson begins. "Especially is this true when
made during a rainy spring when everything is growing in abundance and the
streams are full of sparkling water. Fish and game were plentiful everywhere. Grass
was waving like wheat fields across the rolling hillsides. Plenty of timber
line (sic) the banks of every stream."
The document is
called Some Interesting Sketches in the History of Various Powell Families.
It was compiled by O.B. Powell between 1921 and 1933, and released in small
numbers in hardcover in 1933. It basically charts the trip of William George
Washington Powell, O.B. Powell’s grandfather, and his family, including O.B.
Powell’s father, Lewis Jasper Powell, from Waldron in Scott County, Ark., to
Thorp Spring in 1856, a jaunt that began April Fool’s day and ended sometime in
That the first
section of Powell’s book includes a description of the Cresson landscape is
fascinating to those of us who know or reside in Cresson today. The document’s
potential value to overall historical research on Hood County -- it will soon
be made available online thanks to Powell descendants and the Hood County Genealogical
Society and -- is more than simply fascinating.
James Barrett of
Bedford, a Powell family descendant, worked to transcribe the only copy of the
"book" he had, a 180-page typed, double-spaced manuscript. O.B.
Powell’s daughter, Nancy Bowen, gave permission for the Genealogical Society to
put the book on its website, a project that is being done about 20 pages at a
How important is it
that this document is made available to anyone doing serious research on Hood
correspondence with the Genealogical Society people, pointed out that an entire
chapter is devoted to the Powell’s trip in the 1887-published Ewell’s
History of Hood County.
Ewell’s History, of course, is generally
considered one of the most widely trusted circulated documents available, if
not the most trusted, on "early" Hood County.
The sooner the
whole Powell document is made available the better for Hood County historians.
Regarding the Cresson side of things, I could use a little more of a
description about what it was like when the streams were full and the grass was
SIDETRACKS: Commitments for impressive donated items to be
auctioned off at the Oct. 27 Cresson Fall Festival continue to roll in. Among
the latest are (with donors in parentheses): ceramic turtle planter (Studio II,
Cresson), custom-matted color photograph of President and Mrs. George W. Bush
dancing at the Inaugural Ball (photgraph Helen Long, matting by Photo Express
and Frame, Granbury), wrought iron cat planter (Country Corner, Granbury), bird
cage planter (Marjorie Grafa), cat sweatshirt (Jane Lotton), autumn floral
basket (Granbury Florist), cut glass candy dish (The Wagon Yard, Granbury),
antler candle holder (Country Corner, Granbury), "God Bless America"
T-shirt and king-size floral quilt (Nancy Robinson), Brighton bracelet and
earrings (Jean’s Crossing, Granbury), kitchen dolls and picture (Country
Corner, Granbury), pastel prizm star quilt (Grandma’s Quilts, Cresson), book on
the state capital signed by Gov. Rick Perry (office of state Rep. Jim Keffer),
Texas Rangers baseball club pennant autographed by Rangers managers (pennant
Texas Rangers, custom frame by Photo Express and Frame), copper watering can
(Arrow Farm and Ranch, Granbury), couch-size coffee table (Brenda Grant) and an
eight-photograph frame on spindles (Woods Furniture)...The list of names of
folk who taught at the Cresson School way back when continues to grow. "In
reading your Sidetracks in the Oct. 2 paper I thought of a few more
teachers at the Cresson School," writes Rose Putteet in a recent e-mail.
"Lota Faye Driskill was (Rose’s husband) Bill’s teacher in the middle or
late thirties. H.D. Staples from Godley was principal and his wife Winnie
taught the first, second and third grades in the middle ‘60s. Lynn Brawner
taught the first, second and third grades in the late ‘60s when Katherine
Hardesty was principal and teacher for the fourth, fifth and sixth grades. Lynn
started teaching in Granbury after that when our school consolidated with
Granbury. She taught there until she retired a few years ago...Mildred Milburn,
who was a member of the first class at the current, 1931-completed school
building, added two names to the list. She said a "Judge Dent" -- not
sure whether the Judge was a given name or a formal appellation -- taught at
the Cresson School for a time in the ‘30s or ‘40s.. Further, Milburn said Mrs.
Hester Reynolds, who lived in the Aledo area, had taught also in Godley schools
and was friends with Milburn’s in-laws, Gus and Bessie Fae Milburn, also taught
at the Cresson School at some point...It’s not ready for release yet but a
certain Arlington resident who is also a cemetery buff has videotaped all
headstones/grave markers in Nubbin Ridge Cemetery and is almost ready to
announce a website whereby you can call up the site and, by selecting a name
view an actual photograph of any marker in the old cemetery. So what does that
have to do with Cresson? A similar site could be set up for our cemetery, and
without immense expense. The notion has been bandied about by at least two or
three Cemetery Board members for some time. Dream expressed here at least six
months ago that one day the bluegrass-jazz combo Salt Lick might do a concert
at the historic Cresson School still flickers. At the annual by-incitation-only
Salt Lick reunion concert at Joe Dulle’s White Elephant Saloon Beer Garden in
Fort Worth recently, Salt Lick banjo picker/booking agent D. Lee Thomas said a
possible fall 2002 date is possible in conjunct with the annual reunion of the
motley but wildly talented 25-year-old group that features not only traditional
bluegrass instruments but keyboards, trumpet, clarinet, tin whistles and a big
ol’ baritone saxophone...Condolences to Priscilla Bostick, whose sister passed
away last week in Fort Worth and was buried Saturday in Alvarado... Crossties
still is seeking any information pertaining to the transferral of
remains of several folk from the Upper Fall Creek Cemetery to Cresson Cemetery.
Missing are such vital tidbits as when the exhumation and reinterment occurred,
where the Upper Fall Creek Cemetery was, how many bodies/gravesites were
involved, where they are in Cresson Cemetery...Don’t forget: The election in
which the incorporation of Cresson, Bluebonnet Hills, Scenic Ridge and
Clearview Hills is set for Nov. 6. An open-to-the-public workshop regarding the
election is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 16 at the Cresson School...Fred and Alice
Skaggs are heading up the effort to make yard signs touting the incorporation
election...In next week’s Crossties: Highlights of Cresson Homecoming
2001 HOOD COUNTY TEXAS GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY