G.M.C. Massey, my grandfather and our guest blogger again today, writes of the housing situation encountered when he moved his family to the West Texas town where he would live until his death years later: San Angelo.
When we moved to San Angelo 40 years ago there was only three realtors in this town, Mistler, Hornish and Burk, and there were 600 vacant houses, and the realtors were not anxious to show them. If you found a house that you would like to have for a home , or to rent, you just simply moved into it and waited for someone to come around and see about it.
I remember that I moved into a house 2017 North Chadbourne, and in a few days a Mr. Snow came around and wanted me to pay $10.00 per month, and offered to sell the place to me for 1,000.00, and give me all the time that I wanted, and let me name the terms. But we had just moved here, and did not want to tie ourselves in any way for we did not know how our job here was going to work out. Now here after 40 years, the lots that was with the home there are very much in demand, and would bring a great deal more than 5 times what I could have bought the place for.
But at that time 18 months later when they were enumerating the census, they had to wait till the Mexican cotton pickers come back from the fall’s work, so that they could be counted so that the city could report 10,000 population as a city. Now after 40 years it boasts of near 70,000 population And a great expansion of its confines, or Territory or city limits.
We moved after one month to 603 Upton St. at $15.00 per month, and there is where we were living when my wife passed away Nov. the 22nd.
Of that same year, and my wife’s dying request was that I should Leave the children back in East Texas with her sister, and mother till I could arrange to keep them at home as they should be, and together as is right for a brood of five from two to 15 years.
And that is what I did: but the children kept writing to me and wanting to be brought back to me: Saying that mother was gone and that I was all that they had and they wanted to be with me, and I could not stand that, and I arranged for a house keeper and went back there and got them, and moved into a house on South Bishop St. and tried to make a home for them as best that weas possible under the circumstances, and it was poor as you must understand that when your housekeeper is not your wife, She is not interested in your affairs, If you are not interested in her as a wife, and this time I was not.
So as speedily as possible, And as surely as I wanted it to be that the marriage would be a success: I arranged, that I could let the housekeeper go; and I was married to a young School Teacher “Miss Villa Ault” and we got married on Easter Sunday, April the 20th, 1919 and this has been reported already in this report.