Williamson County, Texas
south of present Seward Junction established 1870, when John G.
and Leonora Carothers Matthews moved their family and stock from
Austin to their newly-purchased farm on the South Gabriel. They
lived for a time in a one-room log house with shed which stood
on the farm on a hill overlooking the river, near a good spring.
The room had one door and one window. Matthews built a stone
home which the family occupied in the spring of 1872, although
the plank floor to replace the dirt one and glass windows were
installed later. "A cook stove soon took the place of the
fireplace." The old log house was then converted into a private
school for the Matthews and neighborhood children. "It was
customary in those days for the patrons to subscribe so many
pupils. I remember my father saying that he subscribed 31/4
pupils. I am still wondering if they didn't count me as the half
pupil," J. N. Matthews wrote. A free school opened in 1874,
replacing the private one. John G. Matthews had served in the
Mexican War and was a Texas Ranger. A son, Frank W., also
followed a career with the Rangers, and another son, Joseph
Neely Matthews, was educated at Liberty Normal and Business
College, was a teacher at Bagdad and Concord and superintendent
at Hutto, Jonah, Florence, Leander and Liberty Hill. He
published a news paper at Liberty Hill.
a special thanks to Clara Stearns Scarbrough for this slice of history
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Clara Stearns Scarbrough, Land of Good Water: A Williamson County History (Georgetown, Texas: Williamson County Sun Publishers, 1973).
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