The past week was filled with visitors complementing
me for something I didnít do. The rewarding compliments came to me
from the readers that read and enjoyed the short story I shared last
week that was written by my Aunt Sis. She wrote the story some seventy
years ago while she was traveling around the state with her Ball Fruit
Jar distributor dealership.
She had enough college hours to receive ten college
degrees. She was a brilliant young lady. Her life was filled with many
things which included taking care of her children, Billie and Bub and
her husband H.D. McKinney.
The readers enjoyed her description of the beauty and
color of the coastal area that she loved so fondly as she was driving
her new 1935 Ford. One person said, "You know, Bouncer, when I read
the story, I felt like I was in the new 1935 Ford riding along beside
her in the front seat." He further commented that she was a
Aunt Sis was born on Black Jack Hill. The land where
they lived was two acres that was donated to the school district by my
Grandfather Wood Goin.
Aunt Sis loved to interrupt my busy life to bring me
up to date on historical events that had happened in Aubrey. I was
always very busy, but she had a way of commanding my attention when
she shared her stories with me.
Aunt Sis shared with me that the largest orders of
Ball Fruit jars were sold in Aubrey.
Back in 1883, when the conductor of the trains passing
through Aubrey, would yell "Next stop, is Fruit Jar Junction," just
before they stopped in Aubrey. The long black passenger trains came to
a chugging stop with scraping brakes with steam coming out in big
puffs in Aubrey. The thirsty people riding on the train would get off
for refreshment while the water crew filled the big black engine with
An old Aubrey newspaper in 1883, describes Mr. Newt
Hendersonís experience of riding the first passenger train that came
down the newly built railroad. Mr. Henderson said that the nice ride
to Denton was smooth and on time as it made its maiden journey. He
described how the animals ran and scattered as the friendly Cherokee
Indians waved at the train as they were passed. They did, however,
remain in the trees and bushes.
The farmers that enjoyed the open free range (no
fences) country came out to see the chugging piece of steaming steel
as it arrived at Mingo. Mingo was a small residential community that
was established as a stop for the train because there was a huge water
source there for the steam engine.
My cousin, James Harmon came in last week, and shared
with me that the Harmon family had lived on the farm place since 1881.
Jamesí Grandfather, J.A. Harmon and his wife Rachel Harmon, helped to
prepare the cross ties for the new railroad. They cut the hard wood
trees in the area, whittled and formed them into cross ties. The
railroad began making the cross ties in 1871 near the Sherman depot.
The railroad project from Sherman to Fort Worth required ten years to
My Aunt Sis was the organist at the Aubrey Methodist
Church for many years. My grandfather hauled the organ in his wagon
pulled by mares, to and from the church each Sunday. The organ is
still in excellent condition and is currently in the living room in my
Shawn and Traci Cagel have recently added Emerson Lee
(Emmett) Cagel to their clan of Indians on Cagel Hill. Little Emmett
has a long family history that dates back to 1850 on Black Jack Road.
Congratulations to the Cagelís longevity and
continuous existence on Cagel Hill.
Black Jack Road was an original road during the 1850's
which led to the new town of Denton (which was established in 1848).
The road went down Cagel Hill and made its crossing of
the creek about 300 yards north of the iron bridge.
The next road built traveling to Denton was built
after the railroad and is what is now Rockhill Road.