Hard Winter for Granddad

G.M.C. "Cade" Massey

G.M.C. “Cade” Massey

Born in 1880, my grandfather, G.M.C. Massey, wrote memoirs describing his life in Texas. The winter of 1918-1919 saw him facing new hardships in San Angelo after he moved his family there to take a Star Mail contract. His first wife, Carrie, died in November, leaving him a widower with 5 children.

Then, fulfilling his mail contract profitably proved particularly troublesome due to an unusually wet winter in West Texas.

And I think that I have already spoken of the trouble that I had on the mail route as to the mud and the outcome of my contracts, etc.

But a few of the things that might be interesting to some might very well be told here. When I was gone back to Yantis to Burry my first wife. It came several big snows and the roads were very bad. In fact when I got here the first thing that I found out was that I had two of my cars down there in the same lane at the county line of Sutton-Schleicker county.

One of them had a broken Axle, and the other one had a broken drive shaft, And they had ordered new ones from the factory, and when the Axle & drive shaft did come we had the hardest Freeze of the winter, and we had to take a pick and shovel to dig the cars out of the frozen ground, And use a block-and-tackle to pull them to where they could be fixed up again.

The snow was 2 feet deep and had snowed all day before and melted as fast as it fell, and that night it had piled up to two feet. The roads got so bad that we left the highway at El Dorado and went down the old R.R. right-o-way for a long distance and then went on into Sonora on the old Ft. McKavit-Sonora Rd. for days at the time.

I remember at one time that it Took me from 7 AM till 6 Pm to get to Christoval only 20 miles from San Angelo. And then the next day it took me from 8 AM till 11 PM to get to El Dorado 28 miles. And the next day from 8 AM till 4 Pm to get to Sonora. Then the roads were dried up till I went back to San Angelo, in one day; For I was loaded lightly, and I got straddle of the ruts, and got along very well.


About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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