Watkins, W W 1963, 1969

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Longtime Llano resident W. W. (Jim) Watkins describes the lawless character of early Llano County, the iron boom there, and his marriage and family history. His wife also comments occasionally and recalls her childhood in Brownwood, Texas.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: W.W. Watkins (Jim)

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: 1963; October 2, 1969

Location: Llano, Texas

Interviewer: None Given (1963), Fred Carpenter (1969)

Length: 2 hours 50 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Move to Llano in 1879 described, Anecdote concerning a murder, Peace officer and street gunfight recalled, Comments on lawlessness in early Llano County.

Tape 1, Side 2: Comments on lawlessness (continued), Accusations and threats against black community in Llano remembered, Expresses attitude toward black community, Recollections of pioneer friends, Anecdote concerning his friend’s murder, Incident related concerning confrontation with the Indians, Story about hand-fighting a panther, More violence revealed.

Tape 2, Side 1: Description of a Llano County feud, Rising river and resulting flash flood recalled, Iron ore speculation in Llano mentioned, Mine described, Story of a fishing trip and a murder which occurred, Explains court procedure.

Tape 2, Side 2: Promotion and speculation in iron ore related, Comments on promotion of Llano city lots, Recollection of Llano concert and events leading to courtship and marriage, Reviews early married life, which includes a serenade from Llano orchestra.

Tape 3, Side 1: Maternal grandparents characterized, Grandfather came to Texas (1833), Was a scout for the Texas Rangers, Grandmother fled from the Mexican Army after the fall of the Alamo (1836), Moved to San Marcos after the Revolution, Paternal grandparents moved to San Marcos from Alabama, Parents moved to Llano (1879), Reasons for the move cited, First lived in old blacksmith shop, Education recalled, Attended Southwestern University, Father was a tinsmith, Brothers and sisters discussed.

Tape 3, Side 2: Brothers and sisters (continued), Early mining interest in Llano County explained, Llano’s granite industry discussed, Open range days in Llano County recalled, Saw first wire fence in 1887, Extent of farming in Llano County, Ranching in Llano County described, Seventy-four year marriage to Cora Edwards discussed, Courtship reviewed, Children.

Tape 4, Side 1: Children and their lives discussed, Frontiersman Howard Putman recalled, Once fought off 17 Indians with a repeating rifle, Description of Putman’s fight with a panther, Gunfight between Ben Beeson and Colorado Roberts in 1880s recalled, Mrs. Watkins’ family mentioned, Education described.

Tape 4, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1833-1969

Bulk Dates: 1879-1969

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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