TE photo, 2000
a Pecan Shell
Around 1900 farmers
started growing rice west of the Colorado River. In 1901 there
was just short of 3,000 acres under cultivation in the area that was
to become Garwood. In July of that year a town was platted, land was
deeded to the county for streets and a name was chosen. The men responsible
were M. H. Townsend, T. A. Hill and W. T.Burford, but they chose Hiram
Morgan Garwood, a lawyer from Bastrop
(who never lived in Colorado
Ed Frnka, a store owner in nearby Vox
Populi, moved his store to Garwood by having it pulled by 48 mules.
The Frnka house was the first built in Garwood, although others had
been moved in, many in the same way as the store. The Frnka family
coninues to reside in Garwood and since they were there from the beginning,
they are highly recommended as local historians.
Garwood is a street and avenue city with two of the streets being
named after Hill and Townsend and an avenue named after Sheriff Burford.
Other streets were named after the first Postmistress (Nellie), various
county commissioners (Hastedt and Bouldin) and Arthur Street was named
for Arthur Burford, son of W. T. who was killed in Bastrop
while serving as a special deputy during a trial. Details are not
known, however the trial was for one J.G. Townsend. Arthur had just
graduated from Law School at the University of Texas.
family was one of the most influential families in Colorado
County and was responsible for half of the Townsend-Stafford
Feud - a twenty year fight that is usually always included in books
on Texas feuds.
We learned that
the Garwood Bank, organized in 1910 had been robbed 3 times. On
one occasion, the two robbers were arrested in Wharton
County and photographed with about 15 Wharton
Visit to Garwood:
The highway view
of Garwood is in no way representative of the town itself. A small
sign, (visible during the day) will point you in the direction of
The Garwood Post Office is about as neat and clean as any in the state.
Postmaster Janet M. Wells, although she doesn't live in Garwood,
can't imagine working in a nicer place. She commutes daily from Brasserie
(68 miles one way) and gets to pass by Glen
Flora and Egypt
on her way to work. She's apparently well accepted by Garwood's citizens
and by the pleasant way she corrected us for calling the town "Garfield,"
(four times) we can see why.
She answered nearly every question we had and she then she introduced
us to Mrs. Conner, a retired schoolteacher who taught school
in Colorado County
for 30 years. Now in her 80s, she is taking piano lessons, but only
when she has time. Mrs. Conner remembers living in the Garwood
Hotel (now the Bucksnag Hunting Lodge) with several other teachers
back in 1939.
She paid $20.00 a month for room and board and still remembers how
wonderful the home cooked meals were. We got some pretty good stories
from her, but she said "Well, you probably don't want to hear all
of this." We told her we always get more than we need so we can "shrink
the story." She asked us to "shrink it real good."
She told us that the Colorado County Retired Teachers are a
very active group and meet monthly in Columbus.
She invited us to attend, and since teachers are among our favorite
people, we may take her up on her invitation.
We took Mrs. Conner's advice and drove south to where the road Ts
into Casa Lehrer. One block to the right is the Garwood Church,
shaded by memorial oaks planted for two sons of Garwood who died in
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