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P.O. Box 505         Coldspring, Texas 77331          Hours: 10-4 Thurs-Saturday           936-653-2009
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. (Transcribed by permission Andrew J. & Miriam Johnson 2000)

My name is Andrew Jack Johnson.  I was born in Steven Creek, San Jacinto County, nearer the first of the century.  They had already invented the wheel, ax, hoe, cotton sack and the razor strap.

When a baby was born they knew who the father was.
When morals meant more than money.
When children visit school to learn.
When the teacher was right.
When a handshake meant the deal was closed.
When neighbors were friends in the good times and bad.
When families ate and prayed together.
When no one dared fool with your wife or daughter.

(The) Trinity River Basin on the East was used for transportation, food and fiber.  The Trinity bottom land was lush in game of all sorts...bear, coons, possums and mink for their pelts, squirrel, quail, dove, ducks and geese for meat.

All livestock ran freely.  The cattle was branded and the hogs' ears was clipped so they would know who they belonged to.  Cattle and hogs for meat and milk.  The hides for sale.

Homes in San Jacinto County was most of the time made up of one large room for kitchen with fireplace or wood stove.  The coal oil lamp sat on the kitchen table where most of the activity took large room with fireplace that was living room and beginning bedroom or rooms were added as the family grew.  No other light.  Door wide open.  Got closed in the winter.  Water came from a well or spring.  Bucket hung on the front porch with one dipper for every one to drink from.  Everyone had a garden, fruit trees, chickens and at meal time every one came to the table.  They were families that prayed together and ate together.  Most things were bought from Sears or Montgomery Ward.

Visiting preachers, people in bad weather, visitors of all kinds was invited in and fed.
Out back was the 'john', the comfort station, all homes had one.
This nice little house had a private door that would close, a moon shaped window for moon light, a low bench with one to three holes, important Sears catalog, sometimes corn cobs.

Farming different from a garden to feed the family with.  A trip to the field was by wagon and team or a horse.  Cotton was a money crop.  They set up a credit that was borrowed from the Bank to pay bills, supplies, seeds, food for live stock.  They got up like 4:00 A.M. to feed the livestock, ate breakfast and set out for the field.  This was a long and lonesome day.

The family went to church on Sunday.   They prayed that his crop would pay the bank debt.

There was no electricity, no running water, no telephone lines until after World War II.  It took time to get the electricity into the farm areas.

When the telephones arrives, they were party lines.  When a family got electricity, they put the washing machine on the front porch they were so proud.

Then the lake came, one party telephones, new roads, a new way of living with many families having to move from the lake area.  Their homes, their memories buried in the lake.

But now there is new memories, a new way of living.
----Andrew J. Johnson