Although I would have preferred to link directly from my web page to this oral history at the WPA's web page, this was not possible.  Their pages are not set up to accommodate such links.  I was able to copy the text exactly as it appears on their site.  What follows is an exact copy of the document found at the WPA's web page with one exception.  I deleted a bit of information on viewing  the document that is not relevant for this site.  The references to "Page image" below refer to links of images of  the original type written page. 

This project is online thanks to the:
Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA General Writer's Project Collection.

Mr. Ed McCullough

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Miss Effie Cowan, P.W.

McLennan County, Texas ,

District 8.

No of Words.

File NO. 240.

Page NO. 1.


Interview with Mr Ed McCullough, Mooreville, Texas .

"My father, Captain Ed Mc Cullough was born in Hampshire county, West Virginia, in 1840.
There he passed his boyhood and youth. Just before the outbreak of the War between the
States, he came south to Missouri, and from Jasper county. that state, he enlisted in the
Confederate army, in which he rendered faithful service until the conflict was over. Before the
close of the war he was promoted to a {Begin deleted text} Cptaincy {End deleted text}
{Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} Captaincy {End handwritten} {End inserted

"In 1865 father came to Texas and settled in Falls county where he spent the rest of his life as a
farmer and merchant, having a store at what is now the Mooreville community[,?] fifteen miles
southwest of the city of Waco, Texas . He passed away at this place in 1902 at the age of sixty
eight years. He first married in Joplin Missouri, to Miss Sophia Irwin, who died in that county,
leaving a daughter, now Mrs Lawrence Livingston. For his second wife he married Miss Eliza
Fiser, daughter of W.A. Fiser, who emigrated to Texas from Tennessee.

"The children of my fathers second marriage are, myself: Judge Tom McCullough of {Begin
deleted text} Dalls {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} Dallas
{End handwritten} {End inserted text} ; another brother W.H., former president of the
Central Texas National Bank {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten}
{End inserted text} and secretary and treasurer of the Dr Pepper Company, Waco; Janie M.
wife of Dr G.S. Mc Reynolds of Temple Texas .

"I was born in Falls county near what is known as the Rock Dam community, in 1868, where
my father first located, later moving to the Mooreville section. I attended the public schools at
Mooreville, and Southwestern University at George-town Texas . {Begin handwritten} C.12 -
2/11/41 - Texas {End handwritten}

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After leaving College I entered the mercantike business at Mooreville with my father. I resided
here until 1907 and then removed to Waco, Texas where I was mayor of the city during the
year 1917 {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted
text} at the time the United States army training camp for overseas service was located {Begin
inserted text} during the World War {End inserted text} adjoining Waco to the north and west
of the city. The avaition field being located on the west side and the army camp for the soldiers
to the north.

"At this time the population of the city was around sixty thousand people. and in the training
camps there were from 30.000 to 40.000 soldiers. The camp remained in this location the entire
time of the entrance of the United States {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} until the close of the World War. The National Guard troops
from Michigan and Wisconsin were located here and after they were sent over-seas, they were
replaced by troops from the regular army training new recruits.

"In 1891 I married Miss Flora {Begin deleted text} raves {End deleted text} {Begin inserted
text} {Begin handwritten} Graves {End handwritten} {End inserted text} of Georgetown ,
Texas . To us were born five children, four boys and one girl. The boys are, Leland and George
who live in the Rio Grande valley and are farmers. Marvin, [an?] attorney of Wichita Falls,
Texas . and John T. [an?] attorney at Houston. My daughter, Flora is in the advertising business
and works for the R.T. Dennis Company of Waco, Texas . My wife passed away in 1928. and
in 1933 I married Mrs {Begin deleted text} Mar {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} Martha {End handwritten} {End inserted text} Durst, who died in
1935. I then returned to my home in Mooreville to live.

"Mooreville is situated in the northwest part of Falls county, west of the Brazos river, occupies
{Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} position
in the county somewhat similar to the rural communities on the east, such as Stranger {Begin
inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} Odds {Begin
inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} Kosse and
others. In the earlier days the little village had an outstanding commercial, religious and political

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"The town is situated on top of a hill overlooking the winding Cow Bayou which flows eastward
{Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} from
which one may behold fertile farms for a distance of fifteen to twenty-five miles. It is little wonder
that the early pioneers selected this location for its high elevation, giving them a view of the
country to watch for bands of hostile Indians.

"Before the coming of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass railroad through here in the early
nineties, this country reached a peak in population. Its people wielding great social, political, and
religious influence. Later it has settled down to a typical rural farming center, noted for its
productive soil, early traditions and friendly hospitality of its people. Its history is one of families
since 1849 {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted
text} when Robert Moore built his home on top of the hill, the community has been known as

"Mr Moore had a store, as well as farming interest. Others who came with Robert Moore from
South Carolina in 1849 was the Jim Sutton family and the W.C. Kirkpatrick family. They
travelled in ox-wagons fording the Brazos near its present and {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} then {End handwritten} {End inserted text} only bridge. Tall trees and
interspersed areas of deep sage grass presented an untravelled and unmarked area. The little
company of people cut a good sized tree and tied it to the back of their wagons, dragging a trail
over which they would have a route marked, in the event of their deciding to return. This route
marked by the little band of pioneers became the trail which leads from the Kirkpatrick home a
short distance from Mooreville to the river bridge, "turnpike" and Marlin, Texas .

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"Later, after Mr Moore moved a short distance away from the hill in a southwesterly direction,
having bought another farm, a man by name of Holmes had a store near the same place. This
store was located on the hill not far from the present H.S. Jones home.

"Immediately after the Civil War a number of families moved to the community, laying the
foundation for the vast influence the community was destined to wield in the years following.
Among them were the Mc Culloughs Jones, Wiggins, Fisers, Bowmans, Martins, Davis's, and
others I do not recall. They joined the earlier families and went to work to put the land in

"My father, Captain Ed McCullough, operated a saw and grist mill on the Brazos river in {Begin
deleted text} alls {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} Falls {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} county at what was known as Burr Lake. Three years later
he bought {Begin deleted text} three years later he bought {End deleted text} three hundred
acres of the wild uncultivated land at Mooreville, which happened to include the spot where
Mooreville stands today. Later he acquired holdings up to 3400 acres which he set about

"One of the first moves my father made when he began the development of his land was to set
aside ground for church and school purposes. The original deed for the land for this purpose,
written in longhand by my father is in possession of H.S. Jones of Mooreville. This deed is dated
November 18, 1874. The ground for the school and church was deeded to t the following
trustees[;?] L. Magee, J.R. Kirkpatrick, Leander Fiser, James Jones, Ed Mc Cullough, W.T.

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Then it was that the Methodist church of Mooreville was organized, the minutes of which are in
possession of Mrs H.S. Jones who is church clerk now. Previous to this time the Methodist had
worshipped at old Cottonwood a short distance northward and eastward. Referring to the
minutes of the original church (1874) it is indicated the following c charter members were
present.; Mrs W.T. Wiggins, (the only living member who was present) Mr Wiggins, Mr and
Mrs George Bowman, Margaret Trewett, Mr and Mrs R.H. Jones, Mary Jones, Captain Ed
McCullough, Eliza McCullough (my parents). Leander and Emmam Fiser, Willis, Offa, and Jane
Fiser, and Mrs Fannie Nix.

"These members immediately built a church where the present church now stands (just south of
the Mooreville-Eddy road). The old church served {Begin deleted text} unti {End deleted
text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} until {End handwritten} {End inserted text}
1911, when the sons and daughters and others following in the footsteps of those pioneers
wanted to leave a heritage also. The result was the present modern church building. Those
instrumental in building the present church were, George Bowman, Hardy Jones, James Jones,
Leander Fiser, and the late J.F. Hackett, of Chilton. James W. Jones, Sam Jones, Wesley
Patterson and others.

"When the lightning struck the old Cow Bayou Baptist Church building in 1914, which stood on
the hill northeast of the present school building after the Baptist had held services for awhile in
the school building, the Methodist church became sort of a community center attended by those
of all denominations. With the coming of better roads and automobiles {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} the Baptist {End handwritten} {End inserted text} {Begin deleted text}
some {End deleted text} people attended church at Chilton and nearby communties.

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"The mail was brought by a carrier from Marlin after 1871 (before the Houston and Texas
Central railroad reached Marlin) and on to Eddy. The carrier stayed all night at Eddy and
returned to Marlin the next day. Mail came once a week. The stage line was located where
Eddy is, or rather it passed through these towns. Later on the post- {Begin deleted text} office
{End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} office's {End handwritten}
{End inserted text} were in the {Begin deleted text} store {End deleted text} {Begin inserted
text} {Begin handwritten} store's {End handwritten} {End inserted text} , often moving from
one store to another. Later Sam Jones, (of the pioneer family of Jones) was a postmaster and
John Love {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} (a negro) {End handwritten} {End
inserted text} brought the mail from Marlin. Captain Murphy, a little farther south-west served
as {Begin deleted text} postmaste {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} postmaster {End handwritten} {End inserted text} at one time.

"Mooreville now receives its mail from the nearby town of Chilton {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} .on the railroad {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} through rural delivery.
Mooreville went through the hectic days following the coming of the barb wire fences in the early
eighties, and the passing of the roaming cattle and the free -grazing industry. Now land went into
cultivation, rapidly. Population increased. Cattle rustling was under control and the community
was making great headway in its commercial leadership. Storms were frequent, and the earlier
rude houses felt the effects of them but they stood up under the hand of time until they were torn
down and rebuilt.

"It was in the eighties and nineties that Mooreville reached its peak of influence in the county and
central Texas. Earlier settlers had laid the foundation and a rapid growth came when my father
and J.T. Davis started a mercantile business on a more extensive scale. Father built {Begin
inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} horse drawn gin,
about the same time Hardy Jones and {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} brother James {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten}
{End handwritten} {End inserted text} built another gin. These gins were busy in the ginning
season as the new land went into cultivation {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} they ginned a large amoung of cotton. The cotton {Begin
inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} seed

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was of no value and great stacks were allowed to pile up. They were burned or rotted. As the
gins were improved and boilers were put in them, this seed was sometimes used for fuel. Other
gins sprang up around Mooreville one new gin was built by Mike Williams near the Kirkpatrick
place to the south of the hill.

"The Davis and McCullough store {Begin deleted text} ater {End deleted text} {Begin
inserted text} {Begin handwritten} later {End handwritten} {End inserted text} became
McCullough Brothers, then Jones Brothers, ultimately H.S. Jones as it is today. In 1890 T.H.
Denard opened a store at Mooreville, Mr Denard is still in business, upon almost the identical
spot he began. He is Moorevilles oldest merchant {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten}
{End handwritten} {End inserted text} at present doing business continuesly for forty eight
years. Another store of early days was the firm of Jones and Bowman. This business was later
acquired by Mr Denard and the business continued in the same two-story building which Jones
and Bowman built.

""In the eighties and nineties Mooreville was the scene of many hectic political meetings and
conventions. Many noted state and national personalities spoke there, each bidding for the votes
of both land-owner and tenant. Charles A. Culberson {Begin deleted text} oke {End deleted
text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} spoke {End handwritten} {End inserted
text} there during one of his campaigns for governor, as did many other candidates. Joseph
Weldon Bailey in his campaign for the Senate. Another {Begin deleted text} morable {End
deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} memorable {End handwritten}
{End inserted text} speaking was in the nineties when Governor Jim Hogg spoke. It was in the
old picnic grove on the south side of the bayou, just east of the Waco road, that grove now
faded has an interesting history. It is a beautiful spot, with tall tree of elm and oak. It had been
cleared up for the special purpose of making a picnic ground, and it soon became a famous
picnic center in the nineties. In the spring the violets bluebonnets and other wild flowers grew in
profusion making it one of the most beautiful natural parks in this part of the state.

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"When Governor Hogg made his race for governor against George Clark Governor Hogg came
to Mooreville and spoke at the picnic grounds. The heat of this campaign stands out clearly in
my memory. Prof. Eddins of San Antonio, who lived at Mooreville and Chilton, during the early
'90's said recently. "I recollect the occasion of Hogg's speaking in Mooreville. I was one of a
committee to meet him at Chilton as he came from Waco. Especially do I recollect an example
of his amazing memory. While I was attending college at Huntsville in the late eighties, I met
James Hogg there. One day the instructor of astronomy notified the class that every one must
arise at three oclock the next morning for a telescopic {Begin deleted text} stdy {End deleted
text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} study {End handwritten} {End inserted
text} of the moon in eclipse. That night it turned foggy and misty and the sky overcast with
heavy clouds. I had been delegated to awaken the students and since we had'nt relished the idea
of getting up so early I thought it would be a good joke to awaken them-- regardless of whether
we could see the moon or not. Several years later when Hogg got off the train at Chilton, he
{Begin deleted text} sp {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} spied
{End handwritten} {End inserted text} me, shook hands and said, "Well Eddins have you
awakened any more people on cloudy nights to see the moon?"

"Still another incident of humerous nature that happened out at the old picnic grove in the late
nineties. Robert Henry of Waco, a promising young lawyer (now deceased) had as his opponent
Cullon F. Thomas, now of Dallas, for the United States Congress from this district. It was a
heated campaign with several issues under discussion and the speaking of either candidate
brought large enthusiastic crowds. Both spoke at Mooreville. During Mr Henry's speech, a
Waco newspaper man arose right in front of the speaker and shouted "That's a lie, Bob Henry".
{Begin deleted text} wherupon {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} whereupon {End handwritten} {End inserted text} the speaker reached for a
glass full {Begin deleted text} {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten}
of {End handwritten} {End inserted text} water that happened to be on the table in front of
him, he

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let the glass of water fly at the man who had interrupted him. The man dodged and the glass
struck a man behind the guilty party-- This man happened to be for Henry. He recovered his
poise and exclaimed "Hurrah for Henry"!

"The above incidents are related because they throw some light on the political importance of
Mooreville in earlier days. In these days when many political campaigns were settled under the
convention system, many precinct conventions were held here and many so-called "wires" were
pulled at Mooreville.

"With the increased influence of the railroad at Chilton, (five [miles?] of Mooreville) good roads
and automobiles, Mooreville has lost its former great voting strength. It is still an influential rural
community, but the hectic political life which flourished so definitely in the eighties and nineties,
has subsided-- even as it has in other communities and cities.

"With this incident I will close {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten}
{End inserted text} When a samll boy, I remember a certain young man whose hobby was
drawing {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} , split {End handwritten} {End inserted
text} {Begin deleted text} plit {End deleted text} a board, took what was known in {Begin
deleted text} thos {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} those {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} days as an ink ball and drew a sign upon which was the
picture of a pointing hand {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten}
{End inserted text} and the words " {Begin deleted text} ne {End deleted text} {Begin
inserted text} {Begin handwritten} One {End handwritten} {End inserted text} mile to
Mooreville". A negro went a mile up on the west of the old Fiser field {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} where the road strikes in a
general direction towards the east and west {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} and crossed the bayou at the ford on South Bayou and
nailed up the sign. For {Begin deleted text} man {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} many {End handwritten} {End inserted text} years that old pen-Oak
board sign pointing toward the hill directed strangers through the woods and winding trails to
Moore's place, where a store, welcome and hospitality, created a sort of community center
which has carried on ever since.