TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1600 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Columns : "Letters from Central Texas"

The Hobo of Little River-Academy

by Clay Coppedge

You could give Noah Weaver a dime and he would give it back to you. Give him a Jefferson nickel and he'd say, "No, thank you." But if you gave Noah Weaver a buffalo nickel he would take that nickel and put it in his empty Prince Albert tobacco tin. "You could give him $50 and he would give it back to you," John Galure remembers. "But if you gave him a buffalo nickel, he would keep that."

In strict parlance, Noah Weaver was a simpleton and a hobo, but the community sealed any tears in the safety net he might have otherwise fallen through. This was a time when people in small town America took care of their own, and Noah Weaver was Little River-Academy's own hobo.

Weaver might have been forgotten in time but for an account in Lois Gainer's book, Lois Gainer Remembers. She wrote: "Weaver was well known in Bell County and everybody's door was open to him, whether they knew it or not. "To him, an open door policy meant he could step inside and make himself at home. If he startled the house's occupants, as sometimes happened, he would proclaim: 'It's me! Your double cousin!' Noah Weaver was everybody's double cousin . . .

Seeing Noah Weaver's name in print brought back a flood of memories to Galure, who grew up in Little River. "Yes, he called every one double cousin," Galure remembers. "But he had variations on that, depending on how you treated him."

Boys who treated Weaver with warmth and respect were referred to as "Double Cousin Good Boy."

To Weaver, Galure was "Double Cousin Good Boy John." "Some of the boys picked on him and teased him," Galure says. "Those boys were known as 'Double Cousin S.O.B."

Galure remembers Weaver as exceedingly polite, about 5-foot-8 and a little chubby. He generally wore a khaki shirt and khaki pants. Galure's mother would invite him to have dinner and he would accept, but he never sat at the table; he took all his meals on the porch steps. Galure's mother was known as "Double Cousin Good Lady."

A decade's difference in Mrs. Gainer's memories of Noah Weaver and Galure's might account for some discrepancies He doesn't remember Weaver ever stepping foot inside someone's house, even when he was invited. Sue (Taylor) Russell remembers Weaver coming into their house when she was a little girl, and startling her mother. She told him never to do that again. He didn't. All parties agree on one thing - Noah Weaver was exceedingly gentle.

"He carried a cane with him everywhere, and he might use it to push away the boys who were teasing him, to protect himself, but I never knew of him to strike anyone," Galure says.

The old community center, where Bliss Hall is now, was once a wooden structure with front steps shaded by an old oak tree. Weaver liked to sit on the steps in the shade and gaze across the street where the old cotton gin used to be.

A block away and within sight was the store owned by R.N. Norrell Allison. If Noah Weaver had a guardian angel, it was Allison. It is believed that Allison paid for Weaver's headstone and that he lived and slept in an old "shack" owned by Allison. Weaver never initiated a conversation on the steps or on the bench in front of Allison's store - to do so would be impolite - but he eagerly talked with anyone who could be bothered to give him the time of day. Compared to the fates often befalling the mentally ill and homeless in modern times, Noah Weaver led a charmed life.

As Mrs. Gainer writes, "He was a real live hobo and we loved him."

Any doubts about the last statement can be laid to rest by Mrs. Russell, who remembers when Weaver was put to rest. Mrs. Russell remembers at Academy High School were excused from classes to attend his funeral.

Clay Coppedge
"Letters from Central Texas"
August 29, 2004 Column
See Little River Academy, Texas


Readers' Forum

Subject: The Hobo of Little River Academy
I just read the small story of Noah Weaver - The Hobo of Little River Academy...does anyone know anything about him? His age ? When he died ? Parents? Anything at all on him? I am doing my families history. I have two Noah Weavers that I can not account for. Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated ! Kindly - Bea Rutherford, September 08, 2005
 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters |
Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us
Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2007. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: June 11, 2007