In the southwest part of the county, Clegg was started by Harrry Hyman, a postmaster and real estate agent from Ft. Worth, Texas. In 1912, he purchased the lands from J.M. Dobie and proceeded to subdivide it and sell the tracts. He brought his prospective buyers into the area on excursion trains originating at Ft. Worth and most times stopping at Alfred, Texas. From that point they were taken by buggy and wagon or horseback to view the lands. Hyman called the lands his "Kentuck Ranch". The tracts quickly sold, and Clegg was a thriving Community.
The first cotton gin in the area was located at a place now called "Anna Rose" and was owned by W.J. Alexander. In 1918 Hyman donated two acres of land close to the gin to the county for a school. The name "Anna Rose" was a combination of the names of Mrs. Anna Robinson, wife of Clem Robinson, and Hyman's step daughter, Rose. Mrs. Robinson was an early teacher at this school.
There was a community building erected where members of the various religious faiths met for church services. Brother Holland was a pioneer in church leadership, and W.T. Gay was a wonderful singer and taught singing to the church goers.
Hard times and dry weather took their toll on the early members of the community and food items became scarce -- rabbit stew, beans, and pumpkins became staples. One incident was reported by Otto Kendall, an early resident of Clegg as follows:
1912 was a pretty wet year and crops grew well and we made a good crop, but each year became somewhat drier and by 1916 things werer pretty bad. Rabbits became poor and the folk became weak. We used to run alongside the rabbits and feel of them to see idf they were fit to eat before we killed them. Rabbit stew and beans with cornbread became about standard for the table settings.
One day the road overseer in our community came along in 1916 and ordered or summoned us all out to road work with the option of paying $1.00 or working a day. There were no dollars, and we all just went and worked the roads. Noon time came and the road workers all got their lunches. Some being in paper bags, but the most part had their lunc hes in tin buckets to keep the ants out.
Everyone got his luncgh and all began to separate and spread out from each other as though ashamed of something. My father, Will Kendall, was there, my brother, C.W. Kendall, Jess Mote, and his fahter, B. Mote, John Barnes, M.A. Hemphill, W.J. Bryan and several others whom I do ot recall at the present time, were all present and scattering out from each other.
When Papa noticed what was happening he looked all around at the boys and said, "Boys, let's not be ashamed of ourselves, we know we only have rabbit, beans or pumpkins, so let's all get back here together and let's have fellowship. That's nothing to be ashamed of."
And as they all came together they all showed their lunches and everyone in the entire bunch had pumpkin. Although it was cooked in several different manners, it was all 'punkin'. Yes, there were bad days at Clegg, too.
From Lindholm, Thelma et. al. The History of the People of Live Oak County, Texas, 1982. Self published. 1982. 9-10.
In an interview with Robert and Nancy Davis in October of 2010 they shared an interesting phenomenon that occurred not only in Clegg but all across the nation. Nancy grew up in Clegg and heard this story many times.
People were gathered in the church at Clegg for fellowship and fun on Halloween night, October 31, 1938. They were interrupted by a neighbor who entered through the front doors breathlessly telling everyone that they must get home immediately.
The neighbor said he had just heard that Martians were invading New Jersey and would soon be taking over the earth. People in the church panicked and began running home as quickly as possible. Pandemonium reigned across the country at the same time. Check this link to hear Orson Welles present "War of the Worlds", the most famous radio broadcast of all time.
Interview by Richard and Janis Hudson.
The Honorable Jim Huff, County Judge for Live Oak County, welcomes you to the Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) Website. The Live Oak County Historical Commission is an arm of the Live Oak County Commissioners' Court; appointees are selected at the beginning of odd numbered years and serve two year terms. Judge Huff and the Live Oak County Commissioners support and approve actions of the LOCHC in coordination with the Texas Historical Commission (THC).
Live Oak County Commissioners:
Precinct 1: Richard Lee
Precinct 2: Donna Kopplin Mills
Precinct 3: Mitchell Williams
Precinct 4: Emilio Garza
The Commissioner's Court is committed to the preservation of our county's history. Judge Huff and your local commissioner welcome suggestions.