John B. MASSIES Letters From Kentucky to Hood Co., Texas

The following family biographical note was scanned from the
Hood County Genealogical Society Newsletter No. 30; May 1991
Editor: Merle McNeese

Ed. note: In our February, 1991, quarterly we had an article about the William R. Massey family who settled in the Fall Creek area in southeast Hood County. The two letters which follow are written by John Bramlett Massie whose family settled in the northern portion of the county near Long Creek which is just south of the Parker County line.

Contributed By: Helen Henderson

To: Wm. G. Massie, Esq., Fairview, Christian County, Ky
Dec 3, 1872
Cous William
We arrived in this section about two weeks ago. We found land quite high in this immediate section from $4 to $30.

This is certainly a great state, but, coming from an old state as we did the mode of living, dwelling houses & in fact every thing are quite rude to what one would find in Ky. Very little regard is paid to dwelling houses, any of your negro cabins are as good as a large majority of the dwellings in this section, but the climate with the exception of a “northern” occasionally is very mile what a Texan would call a Norther is what we call a little cold spell, but they seem to suffer much more from cold than we do.

It is quite difficult to rent land in Tex. this time of the year. The flood of emigration is so immence that shelter is hard to obtain.

Bro & myself are just from Hood County. We have rented an excellent farm in Hood, about 3 miles from Granberry, it is situated on the Brazoo river. The great advantage of the Texas lands over any that I have ever seen, is that they are inexausible, the more they are cultivated the better they produce. Timber in some sections is quite scarce in others, expecially on the streams is plentiful, good rail & rough building timber. I do really think from what I have seen, that a man has many advantages out here, to what he has in old states. A man can have an ever lasting, range out here for all kinds of stock. With the exception of dwelling houses, I am excellently pleased. Living is much cheaper here than in Ky, The best beef at from 2 cents to 4 cents per pound nett, pork at 5 cents, flour 2 1/2 cents to 3 cents at the mills, wheat $1.00 per bus., corn $2.50 per bbl. Everything else in the provision line the same in gold here what it is in Ky. in green backs. We have had only two rains on us since we started all have been in excellent health. We were about 6 weeks making the trip. We can make a good living out here, I think, much easier than in Ky. There is an everlasting quantity of game out here, ducks, geese, birds, squirrels, prarrie chickens, deer, bear & C. You could amuse yourself very much out here hunting. The only fencing that is done out here is to secure the crops.

Jany 8th 1873

A man of means I would advise to come out & look and look at the country before breaking up, but a poor man I would say come right along there is a great quantity of Emigration to this state this fall. Pro & myself will move from this section on Thursday to Hood County. The prospects are good for schools in a short time. You will collect that note on Perkins & get checks for the amts I left with you & send. Jims & Virgils to Fort Worth & Bettie’s to Granberry Hood County, Tex. After I get settled down I will write you a long letter & give you a more general description of Every thing. You must write to me soon.

I am as ever yours
true friend Jno. B. Massie

To: William G. Massie Esq
Christian County, Ky

Granberry Hood County Tex.
Feb 8th 1873

W. G. Massie Esq.

Dr Cousin: I reed your letter with check enclosed a few days since was glad to hear from you & was sorry you did not write more. I am more than obliged to you for your trouble as regards that money. I wish you were out here I am confident you would like. There are openings out here, that a man with means on hand can double his money in a short time. I know of men here who are paying as high as 5 per cent a month for money & making a man perfectly safe. Such is the snap these cattle & stock men are frequently caught in.

Pa is the best satisfied man you ever saw he says if we take a notion to go back, we will have to go without him, he amuses himself fishing & C. He has burnt a blant bed & sowed him some Tobacco seeds. He has the garden department on hand & he says he is going to raise some large Potatoes, he has not been sick a single hour since we left. I never saw any one stand a trip better than he did & in fact none of us have been sick. We all have the keenest kind of appetites eating nearly all we can get. We expect to commence planting corn week after next. Bettie has planted nearly all of her garden, Irish potatoes, beets, peas, onions, Salsafy & corn. I am perfectly satisfied with the country so far. Frank is teaching school near us & boarding with us, he gets $50 per month in gold, all of the children are going to him tell Peggy & Bettie & Jennie they must write to me. Tell Mr. Walker that I think this is the place, but as soon as get through with our crop, I will write to the place, he must be in a condition to come if the news is favorable. You must write me a long letter & write all of the news.

Tell Mr. J. C. Latham I want my policy sent to me, please see him the next time you go to town. All join me in much love to you and family.

Your true Cousin Jno. B. Massie

Ed. note: John Bramwell Massie and his brother, Captain William Andrews Massie came to Hood Co. in 1872. Their father, the Rev. William Martin Massie, a Methodist minister, accompanied them. He served as pastor of the Long Creek Church, and he is buried in the Long Creek Cemetery. These letters were contributed by our member, Helen Henderson. The Rev. Wm. Martin Massie and Wm. Andrews Massie are her g-g-grandfather and gr-grandfather respectively.Return To Home Page