Austin Man Patents Side-Saddle

Austin saddle maker, Fenwick Smith, perfects the western side-saddle. Women and sissy men can now enjoy riding their favorite steed without need to straddle an uncomfortable saddle. The rider will enjoy the absence of the obtrusive horn. The U.S. Patent #105734 was issued July 26, 1870.

Mr. Smith states in his patent application, “a new and useful improvement in side-saddles. It consists in forming the saddle-tress hollow with air-chambers within.” He also developed a special saddle for roping wild mustangs on the open prairie. Its oversized saddle-horn could better manage an unruly mustang.

Fenwick Smith was born June 5, 1821. When he was eighteen he left Coosa, Alabama in a wagon train that included twelve members of his family spanning four generations. Eleven members of the family arrived in the Spring of 1839; at the site for the first permanent Capitol. In December, the Capitol City was named Austin.

Off his horse on January 21, 1841 in the woods near Shoal Creek, Fenwick witnessed his brother, Judge James W. Smith, murdered by Comanche Indians. Unarmed, out manned and on foot, Fenwick watched the Indians whisk away his nephew Fayette Smith; it was Fayette’s ninth birthday.

Seven months’ later on August 7, 1841, Fenwick’s father and Travis County Treasurer, Thomas W. Smith, was killed by Indians. Half of the male members of his family were victims of Indian depredations.

Records show he served as Justice of Peace for Travis County 1860-1866. No record of marriage, children, or death has been found.

Books Make Great Gifts!

Books make great gifts and are easy to buy online. My books in the Westward Sagas series; Spring House, Adam’s Daughters, and Children of the Revolution are available at Amazon.com. Shipped directly to you or the recipient.

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Austin’s First Congress

On this date 177 years ago, the Republic of Texas convened its fourth session of Congress in the new Capitol city on the Colorado River. It was the first Congress held in what would become the town of Austin. 

Drawing of Austin's First Capitol at 8th and Colorado.

Drawing of Austin’s First Capitol at 8th and Colorado.

 

 

 

Something to Live By

The following poem is something I found in a barn many years ago on a feed sack. I tore it off and have since found the poem in various places; sometimes it was signed anonymous. In 1954, it was published in Songs of the Saddlemen by S. Omar Barker.

They are still appropriate rules to live by.

It don’t take such a lot of laws
To keep the rangeland straight,
Nor books to write ‘em in, because
There’s only six or eight.
The first one is the welcome sign –
True brand of western hearts:
“My camp is yours an’ yours is mine,”
In all cow country parts.

Treat with respect all womankind,
Same as you would your sister.
Take care of neighbors’ strays you find,
And don’t call cowboys “mister.”
Shut pasture gates when passin’ through;
An’ takin’ all in all,
Be just as rough as pleases you,
But never mean nor small.

Talk straight, shoot straight, and never break
Your word to man nor boss.
Plumb always kill a rattlesnake.
Don’t ride a sorebacked hoss.
It don’t take law nor pedigree
To live the best you can!
These few is all it takes to be
A cowboy – and a man!

Puryear/Pearson Reunion

Puryear/Pearson family and friends will gather to honor our Great Grandmother Rose (Rosa) Anne Thurman Puryear-Pearson b. 1872 – d. 1941. Rosa, a Travis County Pioneer, widowed twice, raised 15 children – 12 Puryears and 3 Pearsons. She outlived 3 husbands and her children populated a large portion of Travis County.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

10:30-11:30 a.m.

White Rock Cemetery – Bee Cave, Texas

Color Guard – Texas re-enactors-Artillery & Musket Salute by Members of Moses Austin Rangers.

From Austin: Take Highway 71W to the city limits of Bee Cave. The White Rock Cemetery is on the right, past Hwy 620 just before Hamilton Pool Road (FM 3238).

Public Invited

Rosa holding AltaRosa holding Alta

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