Brown, Mabel Loving 1999-06-30

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Mabel Loving Brown, great granddaughter of Oliver Loving, talks about the early history of Texas ranching, cattle drives, and being spoiled by the cowboys as she was growing up. She also tells about the early settlers of Rotan, Texas, the relationship between Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight, and the store and freight line between Belknap, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana established by Oliver Loving.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Mabel Loving Brown

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: June 30, 1999

Location: Crane, Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 2 hours


Tape 1, Side 1: Brown, Mabel Loving, Born: 1916 in Stonewall County, Texas on a ranch on the Double Fork of the Brazos River, Description of where the ranch was located, Siblings’ names and places of birth, Move to Rotan, Texas, Description and location of Cotton Flats, Father, Moved to the area when he was around 6 years old - 1895, Born in 1889, Loving, James C., Was the oldest son of Oliver Loving, Loving, Oliver, Mabel Loving Brown’s great grandfather, Loving, James C. (again), Managed a ranch for his brother after losing his father on the trail, Grandparents, Grandfather was a Loving, Grandmother was a Milsap, How they got together, Stage line ran to Milsap, Texas, Delivered mail, Milsaps were in the area before the Lovings, The family ranch land, Part homestead and part leased government land, Located in Stonewall County, Texas, Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River ran through the ranch, Childhood play in the slick red mud and the quick sand, Cattle in the quicksand, Cowboys drinking river water from their hats, Taking lunch to the cowboys, Being spoiled by the cowboys, Cattle drives, Cattle were driven to Sweetwater, Texas, MKT Railroad (the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, also known as the Katy Railroad) built a line to Rotan, Texas, Cattle drives to Rotan, Texas, Number of cowboys employed, Parents married in 1910, Town of Rotan, Texas was established in 1907 or 1908, Grandparents (again), Moved to Rotan around 1908 or 1910, Father (again), Took over the ranch when his parents moved into Rotan, Texas, Uncles also ranched in the area, Robert E. Lee running the Indians out of the area around the ranches, Early ranch housing, Half dug-out until ranch house was built, Located on the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River, Kent County dug-out community west of Clariemont, Texas, Sunday rides in the car, Father told stories, Description of dug-out community, Lumber Companies in Rotan, Texas, Early settlers in Rotan, Texas, Dr. Kallum (?), Mabel was delivered by Dr. Reed (?), Early settlers (again), Mr. Shelton, newspaper man, Harl Phillips, Childhood on the ranch, Twin brothers: Joe and Roe, How they got their names, Rotan, Texas baseball team – 1911, Impact of the railroad on the growth of Rotan, Texas, Entertainment in the early 1900’s, Cowboys, Musical instruments they played, “The Swede”, Moved to New York from Sweden then to Texas when he decided to become a cowboy, Built the old school house in Rotan, Texas, Learning to be a cowboy on the ranch, Moved on west and homesteaded, Started a saddle shop, Story of her brother dying – an example of what pioneer women encountered

Tape 1, Side 2: “The Swede” (again), His name was Harold Strong, Description of the spurs he made, Swimming a horse over flooding river, Description of the river when it was flooding, Doctor from Spur, Texas getting caught in the flooding river, Father helped rescue him, Uncle George had the first car – 1913, Parents (again), Bought their first car sometime before 1913 and 1918, Car trip to Wyoming around 1918, Mother (again), How she felt about living on the ranch, Sammy Baugh bought Uncle Jimmy’s (Jim Dennis) ranch, Mother (again), Story about the day Mabel was born, Landscape around the ranch, Changed because of farming, Story about the twins following father while he was plowing, Grandmother had flowers and gardens on the ranch, Food Mabel ate as a little girl, Flour sifter drawer, Washing clothes, Domestic help, Ranch, Smoke house, Story about Mabel hiding in the smokehouse, Ranch (again), Milk house cooled by water from the windmill, The twins (again), Story about the twins in the water tank, Ranch (again), Swimming in the water tank, Goat roping, Red water in the creek and water tank, The twins (again), Roe thrown by a horse, Father and the twins’ visits to Charles Goodnight, The twins (again), Enrollment at Texas Tech in 1929 or 1930, Worked at the Hilton Hotel instead of going to school, Trips through Lubbock, Texas, The dairy barn on the Texas Tech campus, Father and brother’s impressions of Charles Goodnight, Indian artifacts found in Stonewall County, Texas, Family buried at Rotan, TX., Old man at father’s funeral remembered Indians around the Rotan area, Story about her father’s proposal to her mother, Dances at the ranch, The twins (again), Story about “Pinky”, Roe killed in a car accident in 1944 or 1945, Younger siblings have no memories of the ranch, Father (again), Attended school at Cotton Flats, Story about her father going with the teacher to pick up his paycheck, Story about Professor Dalton, Chewing tobacco in school

Tape 2, Side 1: The twins (again), Went to school at Cotton Flats until the 3rd grade, Teacher at Cotton Flats school, Mother’s long-term friendship with the teacher, Mother (again), Liked staying home and keeping her children at home, Had plenty of domestic help, Where she got her hats, Childhood on the ranch, Mabel inherited the saddle shop from “The Swede”, Weather, Lightening balls traveling down the telephone lines, Cattle breeds on the ranch, Loving, Oliver (again), Cattle breeding and herd improvement, Father (again), His name was James C. Loving, Mother (again), Her name was Hazel Dennis, Paternal Grandfather, His name was Joseph Borland (?) Loving, Paternal Great Grandfather, His name was Oliver Loving, He died in Fort Sumner, NM, Returning his body to Weatherford, Texas, Locations of Goodnight’s and Loving’s ranches, Returning Oliver Loving’s body to Weatherford, Texas (again), Oliver Loving’s cattle drive to Colorado during the Civil War, Trouble with the Indians, Difficulties returning to Texas because of the war, Help from Kit Carson in returning to Texas, Retirement from cattle drives, Goodnight-Loving cattle drive after the Civil War, Cattle in Parker County were starving, Oliver Loving came out of retirement to make the drive, Charles Goodnight joined his cattle in with the drive and went long as the scout, Goodnight, Charles, Expanding on stories, His rough beginnings in life, Oliver Loving took him in hand, Loving, Oliver (again), Physical description, Book entitled The Lovings In Texas, Marks each Loving that had red hair, Father (again), Loving, Oliver (again), Description of his personality, Affiliation with the Masonic Lodge, Five gold rings, one for each daughter, Ceremony honoring Goodnight-Loving trail riders – 1990, Pictures and lots of good stories, Loving, Oliver (again), Physical description (again), Horseback riding kept him slim, Loving, Joseph, Story about his dressing up and walking to town for mail and candy or the kids, Loving, Oliver (again), His father fought in the American Revolutionary War, Born in 1812 in Kentucky, Story of his coming to Texas in 1843 and buying into the Edwards colony, Returning to Texas by riverboat – 1845, Gave up rights in the colony to move further north to Parker County, Texas area, Establishing a store and a gray line (freight line) from Belknap to Shreveport, Built a house near Jacksboro, Texas, Driving cattle along the gray line to Shreveport, 1857 cattle drive to Chicago, IL, He was a good businessman, not just an old cowboy, Ikard, Black slave who went along on the 1866 cattle drive

Tape 2, Side 2: Ikard (again), Handled Charles Goodnight’s affairs, Decendants live in East Texas, Ceremony honoring Goodnight-Loving trail drivers (again), Newspaper coverage in the Weatherford and/or the Fort Worth, Texas newspapers, Heritage Center in Weatherford, Texas, McMurtry, Larry, Opinions regarding his book, Lonesome Dove, Streets of Lorado gives a better portrayal of Oliver Loving, Lonesome Dove gives a false portrayal of Oliver Loving, Ms. Kemp, Member of an association that researches the history of old graves, Milsap, Fuller, Mabel’s grandmother’s daddy, Related to a defender of the Alamo, Moved to Texas from Mississippi, Williams, Big John, Texas Ranger, Established the station in the San Saba area, Move to Sweetwater, Texas area, Killed by Indians, Related to Mabel on her mother’s side, Brown, Mabel Loving (again), Interest in ancestors, Attended Sul Ross University, Music teacher at Van Court school in 1937, Van Court school – south of San Angelo, Texas, Ranching community, Five students, Brown, Mabel Loving (again), Attended San Angelo Junior College, Taught in San Angelo, Texas - 1940, Was the first married teacher in San Angelo, Texas, Married October, 1942, Segregation in the public school system in San Angelo, Texas, Invited to attend the dedication of the new school in San Angelo, Texas, Brown, Mabel Loving (again), Taking a civil service test, Working in Washington, D.C. in the General Accounting office, Selling cattle to buy savings bonds, Moving to Crane, Texas from Washington, D.C., The oil industry going out of the real estate business – 1955, Brown, Mabel Loving (again), Return to teaching in Crane, Texas – 1956, Among first teachers to sign up for the Texas Teacher’s Retirement – 1937

Range Dates: 1843-1976

Bulk Dates: 1916-1956

Access Information

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