Welcome to the Cedar Springs& Wilderville Home Page
HISTORY OF THE CEDAR SPRINGS AREA
Texas was opened to Anglo-American colonization in 1822 when the government of Spain granted Moses Austin permission to bring in three hundred families from the United States. Moses died while planning this major undertaking, but his son, Stephen F. Austin, replaced him as empresario.
The region in Falls County located below the falls on the Brazos along the west bank was home to several early-day Texas settlements in the 1800's including Cedar Springs, Wilderville, and Pool's Crossing (later became Rosebud).
For untold centuries, the region, rich in wildlife, fish, fertile river bottoms was home to many ancient Indian tribes including the Huacos, the Tonkawas, the Caddoes, the Apaches, the Cherokees, the Yeguas, and later the Comanches and Kiowas.
Rosebud grew out of a settlement along the west bank of Pond Creed in 1878 and early-on called
Pool's Crossing or Greer's Horse Pen. In 1884, Rosebud moved east a few miles to its present location. On April 23, 1887, postmaster, Allin Taylor, succeeded in getting the town renamed Rosebud after the roses blooming in Mrs. J. L.
Mullins' front yard.
To the south of Cedar Springs is the village of Wilderville,
established as a town in the early 1870s (named for the E. M. Wilder family, who became landowners in the area shortly after the Civil War).
The Wilderville post office opened in 1874 (and later closed in 1906). In the 1880's, Wilderville was a thriving community with two churches, a school, steam gristmills and cotton gins, a weekly newspaper, and over 300 residents.
The rich bottomland along the brazos river was ideal for growing cotton and grain. The community faded around 1900 and by 1906, the post office was closed.
Cedar Springs, once known as Mill Tract, is on Farm Road 2027 nine miles south of Marlin in south central Falls County a few miles southeast of the present-day town of Rosebud. The above picture, was taken in 1963 at the Cedar Springs Baptist Church Tabernacle by B. T. Stubbs of Rosebud (and made available to us curtesy of Nolan Hinson).
Cedar Springs was named for several springs that flowed through a nearby cedar grove. In the early 1870s, the community had a sawmill, a gin, and a store.
Cedar Springs Name Changed to Viesca
In 1879 a post office was established in Cedar Springs, taking the name Viesca, after the colonial settlement Sarahville de Viesca, which had been five miles north in the 1830's. The community of Cedar Springs had a population of thirty settlers in the mid-1880s. By 1890, Viesca had over a hundred residents, a general store, and a hotel.
When the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway completed the section of track between Waco and Lexington in 1891, it bypassed Viesca by six miles. Many of the local residents were drawn to the railroad and the newly established community of Lott; others moved to Rosebud. As a result, the population of Viesca fell to less than 25 when the post office was discontinued in 1905. At this point, the community resumed the name Cedar Springs.
In 1905, Cedar Springs had a two-teacher school with sixty-six white students and a one-teacher school with eighty-one black students. Until the mid-1950s, Cedar Springs served as the focus of a common-school district; this district was divided and consolidated with the Lott and the Rosebud school districts in 1955.
Cotton and corn were the principal crops grown by farmers in the Cedar Springs area until the 1930s when tomatoes were introduced as a specialty crop. Farmers also began to grow watermelons, cantaloupes, and sweet potatoes.
In the 1950's and 60's, livestock (chicken, turkeys, mules and cattle) became a larger part of the local economy as cotton production slowed down somewhat.
The population of Cedar Springs fell to fifteen in the early 1930s but increased to around seventy by 1945. A school, a church, and several residences marked the community in the late 1940s. Currently, the area population is around 100.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Roy Eddins, ed., and Old Settlers and Veterans Association of Falls County, comp., History of Falls County, Texas (Marlin, Texas, 1947). Lillian S. St. Romain, Western Falls County, Texas (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1951). Vertical File, Texas Collection, Baylor University.
Front, left to right; Mary Donath, Eula Clifton, Norma Lindsay McIntosh, Essie McIntosh, Orbie Lindsay, Flossie Weaver.
Background people, left to right; unknown, Mattie Roberts Parkes, Robert (Bob) Stuckey ?
Snider/Kubiak Families Vacation At the Falls on the Brazos
As the family historian, I documented a story of the story of Mike Snider and Louis Kubiak families and their annual vacation to the Falls on the Brazos back in the early 20's. Each year after their cotton crops were harvested back in Wooten Wells (Robertson County), they travelled by horse-drawn covered wagons to Cedar Springs where they visited with an uncle that raised watermellons. After loading up several good "black diamond" watermellons, they all made the trip to the Falls on the Brazos for a week of fishing, swimming and relaxing. I've since traced their jorney and discovered a fabulous part of our state!!
EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE SETTLEMENT OF THE AREA NEAR THE FALLS AT THE BRAZOS
The following interview with Mrs. Amanda E. Lockered of Chilton, Texas many years ago gives us an eye-witness account of the history of the area.
"I was born in Falls County in 1856. My parents were Newton B. and Susan Weathers Maxey. Father was born May 6, 1832 in Kentucky, while mother was born in Indiana. To them were born seven children, namely: Billie Maxey, of Marlin, Texas, Deceased; Steve Maxey of Chilton, deceased; John D. Maxey, Lorena, Texas, deceased; Mrs. Dicey Hyden, Chilton, Texas, deceased; Mrs. Mattie Shields of Mart, Texas, and Albert Maxey of Waco, are still living, the only two besides myself left of this large family.
"During the Civil War father served under the Confederate flag, and was stationed at Calveston, Texas. He was home on a sick furlough when the war closed. He came to Texas about the year 1851 or '52. There were five families who came through driving oxen to their wagon train. They were all from Missouri, and were the Dixons, Grahams, McCutchans, Maxeys and Weathers. The daughter of Mr. Weathers, Susan, being my mother. They crossed the Brazos river at the Falls of the Brazos, and located in the settlement now known as Chilton.
"Father built a log house south of where the depot now stands. He was the first white settler in the present town of Chilton. The nearby settlements were Durango to the southwest, and old Carolina to the south, and Mooreville five miles northwest. The county was wild and unsettled, we all lived in log cabins. The roads were just cow trails and when we needed any supplies we sent our produce-- corn, hogs and later on cotton, to Millikens, where they were exchanged for farming implements, clothes and groceries. They drove through in the ox-drawn wagons and would be gone from five to six weeks.
"Another early settlement over towards Marlin was Cedar Springs, so called from a number of springs. One spring was located in the valley near the cross-roads to Marlin where [?] store stands today. Near the spring stood a large cedar tree and nearby a group of smaller cedar trees. Hence the name of "Cedar Springs". These springs are near the river and only a few miles south of the spot conceded to be the old site of Vienea. The mail carrier was "Croft Downs", so Mr. Green Roberts recalls. He was a bachelor and he always seemed to derive special pleasure from a plug of chewing tobacco and an occasional drink of whiskey, and carrying the mail in all kinds of weather. He rode horseback and carried the mail from Marlin through [Viones?] and on to the other communities. Later it was carried from Marlin to Eddy by a negro named John Love. This route went through Chilton and Mooreville.
"The mail carrier's had the Brazos to ford at the Falls, or when it was on a rise if they did not appear on schedule--we knew the old river was on a rise and they could not swim their horses over it. There was a story of Croft Downs trying to swim the river while it was on one of these rises. The water was swift and near the flood stage, when he started across eye-witnesses said they saw the mail carrier, mail and all, slip under the pressure of the current, plunge over the falls and disappear in the deep, whirling water below. A party hurried to the rescue, expecting to drag a corpse from its depths. But they were mistaken. The mail carrier, horse and mail, had drifted down past the bend, through treacherous Sumpter Hole, and had climbed out on the west side of the river. The mail went through--after having been delayed only an hour!
"The Brazos bottom at that time was densely timbered and all kinds of wild animals lived in it. There was wild game to satisfy the greatest of hunters. Deer, bear and wolves, as well as all kinds of birds abounded in the timber. While on the banks of the river occasionally an alligator could be seen as he slept in the sun by the bank. This reminds me of a story of my father. It may sound a little far-fetched, but nevertheless it is true. He often hunted fifteen or twenty miles from home on the river. On one of these trips he carried several hunting dogs. They came upon one of these alligators on the river bank and the dogs attacked it. The alligator turned and swallowed the dog. My father immediately stabbed the huge alligator with his large dirt hunting knife, rescued the dog alive, from its stomach. It was all over in just a few minutes, only the time it took to stab the animal through the heart and cut it open and rescue the dog. Another time he killed a bear with this knife.
"It was just a few weeks after they reached Texas that my grandfather [Weathers?] was killed accidentally by the hired man who mistook him for a bear. They were out hunting and had killed a deer, grandfather Weathers had on a coat made of bear skin and was leaning over the deer, skinning it, when the hired man saw him and thinking it was a bear eating the deer, he fired the fatal shot which cost my grandfather his life. He was the first person buried in old Carolina cemetery. Carolina was once a settlement between the present town of Durango and Chilton, some few miles west of the town of Marlin and in what we called West Falls County. Today all that remains is the old cemetery where our loved ones lie.
We went to the old Cow Bayou Baptist Church, the minutes dating from its organization are in possession of my daughter, Mrs. Susie Miles, of Chilton. This old church was rebuilt once, the members worshipped there on the banks of the bayou for many years, and at times at old Cottonwood school house, finally building a church on the hill at Mooreville (five miles away), overlooking Cow Bayou, not far from where the early Mooreville school house stood. Later lightning struck the church after it had been moved to the hill and it burned to the ground. The congregation met for a number of years at the school house.
Some time after the World War, this church dissolved, members having moved away. The Methodist Church established on its present site in 1874 served the community since. Its Sunday School being regularly attended by children and members of other denominations in the community.
The following interview with
S.S. Gott, in April 3, 1914 gives us an interesting view of life in the Cedar Springs area in the early 1800's.
About a year ago Mr. S.S. Gott handed the writer the following as his contribution to the annuals of the Old Settlers Association.
In October 1854 my father and mother and nine children left Logan County Illinois in three two horse wagons bound for Marlin, Texas. We were 41 days on the road. Had fine weather, were in only one rain in the Ozark mountains, on the whole trip. We arrived at Marlin Nov. 24 and camped under the large post oak that then stood just south of the log court house on the public square.
We stayed in Marlin two weeks waiting for grand father Sam Seward to join us from Washington county, Texas. After his arrival we proceeded to our future home near the south west corner of the Seward league west of the river. By Christmas, we had built a cabin that we could live in. The site of our old home can still be identified by our old well and the mulberry tree planted my sister in 1855.
One of our first visitors was Jonathon Pool who brought a quarter of beef as a peace offering. Our nearest neighbors when we arrived in Falls county were as follows, Jonathon Pool near Pool Springs, who had settled there about 1849, Churchill Jones near Jones Spring, who had settler there about 1851, J. Hogan Pierson
("possibly John Hogue and Nancy Hutcherson Pierson. John Hogue Pierson served in the Civil War-enlisted by Capt Harrison in Falls Co on Sep 10, 1861. He was medically discharged Feb 26, 1862. His discharge certificate shows he was 45 years, and suffering from rheumation and chronic diarrhea. John Hogue Pierson is buried at Cedar Springs
on Pool Creek, Jas. Gholson and Rev. Henry Milton in the Poast Oaks near Ikard Branch, John Greer on Pond Creek on what is now known as the Estes place.)
Cicero Brown was oversser on the Cornelious Moore place on Pond Creek. This place was put in cultivation by Moore's negros under Lem Moore in 1852, Crawford Creer had a stock ranch where Rosebud now stands.
There was quite a settlement on the Military Prong of Pond Creek in what is now the Jena neighborhood. The Jacksons were on the upper Deer Creek, J.J. Long lived about a mile of what is now the town of Blevins, the Wrights and Jim Sutton were living around Carolinia, E.F. Davison was living in a log cabin without a floor where the residence of Capt. Gassaway now stands. This old cabin is still standing on Mrs. Lewis farm on the Lott and Marlin road.
I think K.S. Johnson was then living at Tomlinson hill, Anthony Bly, the bear hunter, was living on Cow Bayou near where Keirsey siding on the S.A. & A.P. Railway is now located. Gildert Jackson was at Golinda, there were two families of Allens near where E.H. Childers now lives.
About the time I came here, A.V. Lea and his family and Mrs. Pickens moved in from Milam county and settled near Carolina. The same year the Weathers family moved from Missouri and settled at Chilton. Mr. Weathers was the first person buried at Carolina. He was killed by Mr. Padgitt by mistake for a bear.
Powers Chapel Cemetry was also started in the same way - the first person buried there being Mr. Smith who was killed. Herds of deer by the hundred then roamed the prairies. The buffalo had gone before I got here. The nearest herds being in Hamilton county.
In October 1855 there arrived our old neighbors from Logan county Illinois as follows, Rial Burkes and six unmarried children and three married children as follows: Mrs. Mary Peters and husband, W.A. Peters and daughter Eliza, Mrs. Betsy Ann Whitsides and husband, George Whitesides, W.C. Birkes and wife Lucenda and daughter also Roland Birkes a brother of Rial Birkes and Joe Wood. These people did not stay long. Whitesides Peters, Rial Birkes and W.C. Birkes moving to Robertson county near St In 1857 Rial Birkes moved to Little Deer Creek on the place now owned by C.A. Hamiltonand in the same year W.C. Birkes moving to Brushy Creek north east of Marlin.
Peters and Whitesides moving to Illinois in 1860. Har? Stillwell settled at Black Jack Springs near Powers Chapel in 1856. In the same year Jas. Estes settled the Dock Hodges place on Live Oak Creek about 5 miles south west of Lott. In 1857 my brother Al and I laid out a road or trail from our old home place to the Rial Birkes place on Little Deer Creek. We marked it with a plow fastened behind a wagon with a log.
Article Provided by Jerry Walls.
Received the following email from Margaret Weaver Meek:
I was raised in the Cedar Springs and Pleasant Grove Communities of Falls Co.
A group of about 12 held a cleanup on the 2 acre plot on Barganier Rd. near the intersection of F.M. 2027. We did accomplish a lot, but the worse is yet to be done. We will have another work day probably in Feb. Some will go and work in pairs when they can. What we cleaned really does look good.
Margaret Weaver Meek
This page serves as a bulletin board for Cedar Springs,Wilderville, and Rosebud where former residents, teachers, students, historians and other interested parties can obtain and exchange information about this area of Falls County. Anyone having anything to contribute in the way of stories and photos are urged to contact Len Kubiak firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any information of a historic nature to post on this webpage, please send me an email.
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