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The Fourth of July, 1847, was the occasion of a grand barbecue and barn dance at Sherman, and to a great many who attended the festivities this was their first view of the new county seat. A log house about 20 feet square, used for a court house, and a few rods of plowed ground comprised the metropolis from one end to the other. I will leave my readers to picture the contrast of the city then and now. For the barbecue a large brush shed was built, under which were tables loaded with all the delicacies of the season, welcome to all, to eat, drink and be merry without money and without price. The refreshment stand, a rail fence partly built around a barrel of whiskey stood near at hand, while a tin cup did frequent duty for a thirsty crowd. The court house was thrown open to accommodate dancers. Justice took off her spectacles, laid aside her scales, and for once in her life gave herself up to the intoxicating pleasures of the hoedown. Music was furnished by a stalwart darkey perched on a barrel ; when he gave out another stood ready to take his place until he could visit the refreshment stand and counteract the effect of the heat and his violent exertions by looking for the bottom of his tin cup.
When we stop and think of the advancement made in every direction since this period of Texas' early settlement, the time seems longer than it really is. When we remember that those pioneers had no newspapers, magazines, or any kind of communication with the outside world, save as came by word of mouth; no telegraph, telephone or railroads, that churches and schools barely struggled into existence after long years of patient waiting, it makes one imagine a pre-Adamite sort of existence and not of a time of sixty years ago. Think of having no thread except that manufactured at home ; no matches, a flint their only dependence and a stump in the field set fire to by its spark was their reserve when the fire at the house would accidentally go out; the neighbors literally coming to borrow a shovel of coals.