Williams, Mrs Alice Van Zandt 1964-06-19

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Mrs. Williams gives her recollections of her father, Major K. M. Van Zandt, the Van Zandt family and early days in Fort Worth.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Mrs. Alice Van Zandt Williams

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: June 19, 1964

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Interviewer: Sandra Myres

Length: 2 hours


Tape 1, Side 1: Sylvan Dunn telling of re-taping from original, Mrs. Williams recalls grandmother telling stories of father and history of family, Grandmother gives letters to Mrs. Williams, cameo to her sister, Mrs. Williams carries letters with her, Tells of father taking her to church as a child, Description of Mr. Van Zandt, Remembers playing dominoes with father, K. M. Van Zandt’s three marriages and 14 children, First marriage and family, Earliest recollection of Fort Worth and brother, Mrs. Williams recalls having a pet pig, Father teaches her to ride pony at six, Description of home and surroundings, Father sells property to city of Fort Worth for park, Tells of cabin they lived in before home, Murals painted on parlor wall (1891), Mentions fireplace and describes rooms, Her grandfather lived in downstairs bedroom, Brother, Cleveland, in bank business first, Father always welcomed other children to home, Describes cook, Amelia, and her husband, As a little girl, (Mrs. Williams) tells of putting ashes in her hair to make it gray, Recalls moving servants’ house, Tells of locking strange man in her bedroom until father comes home, K. M. Van Zandt captured at Fort Donelson (1862), Mrs. Williams arrives at prison for exchange of prisoners, Mr. Van Zandt in Fort Worth bank meets man from prison.

Tape 1, Side 2: Man tries to sell bad hay to Mr. Van Zandt, Father taught children to play games and ride, Mrs. Williams’ children at father’s farm, Boyce Gardot paints picture of father in Washington, Tells of her father’s generosity, Father let children make decisions, Grandmother dies, inheritance goes to father’s brother, Tells of 90-year-old uncle breaking leg, Longevity of father and his family, Grandmother believed dead, Grandmother as a young woman with family, Experiences of Mr. Van Zandt as a boy, Investments of Van Zandt’s father, Van Zandt’s mother courted by Mr. Clough after death of father, Mr. Clough helps search for land, Finds land and pays back taxes.

Tape 2, Side 1: Van Zandt sells property to get start in Fort Worth, Property in family 25 years before sell, Grandmother keeps some land, Grandmother lives with daughter, Recalls sadness of Grandmother, Grandmother visits with Van Zandts, K. M. Van Zandt was independent, Recalls night before father’s death, Father active until time of death, Father generous and friendly to all, Van Zandt insisted on neatness, Father gives shirt to black slaves, Van Zandt and parents in Washington (1842), Boat blows up with Van Zandt’s father, Van Zandt’s father leaves family in Salem and goes to Washington, Returns to Salem for family, Stage too heavy, some have to walk, Van Zandt’s family move to Texas, Van Zandt and mother stay in Louisville, Mr. Van Zandt gives twin boys $5.00 gold pieces, Describes lawn parties when young girl, She accompanies father to station from farm, Tells of her love and admiration for father, Father punishes her for disobedience, Servants devoted to Mrs. Van Zandt, Mr. Van Zandt owns store in Grapevine, Father subscribes to magazine in New York, Names magazines father liked to read, Gets up early to have breakfast with father, Father teaches Sunday school at age 14, Tells of her grandmother in Tennessee, Van Zandt’s father dies at work, Tells of Sam Houston appointing Isaac Van Zandt (K. M. Van Zandt’s father), Van Zandt’s mother stays in Marshall to raise family after death of father, Van Zandt’s mother dies, Describes how family managed after Isaac’s death.

Tape 2, Side 2: Isaac Van Zandt and Clough formed partnership, Mrs. Williams describes marriages of each of Isaac Van Zandt’s daughters after his death, Pronounciations of Clough in New Hampshire and Texas, Man (whose name she didn’t remember) fought for Union and disowned by family, Isaac Van Zandt made shoes of leather, Mr. Van Zandt and family accepted in Texas, Describes again Isaac Van Zandt’s family after his death, Tells of her father’s first impressions of Fort Worth, Van Zandt meets old friend from college days, Van Zandt rents building to start business, Goes to New York to buy merchandise for store, Looks for home for family, Van Zandt forms partnership with five others in bank, She recalls visiting bank as a child, Van Zandt whips man for remarks about bank, Bank almost didn’t open because Van Zandt couldn’t cross swollen river, Run in Fort Worth on banks (1933), Recollections of man from prison meeting Van Zandt after Civil War, Recalls father being chosen as Representative, Believed father belonged to Ku Klux Klan, Recalls other members of organization, Mr. Van Zandt’s physical condition, Van Zandt’s father returns for family and travel to Marshall, His father’s travel to Austin on horse, Mr. Van Zandt’s experiences in Washington as a little boy, Van Zandt’s parents entertain in Washington, Hard times for Van Zandt’s parents, Little food when first moved to Texas, Cooks pet chicken for company, Van Zandt’s father returns to Washington, Buys first shoes for family, Brief history of Van Zandt’s father.

Range Dates: 1830s-1930s

Bulk Dates: 1840-1933

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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