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We crossed the Mississippi River at Natchez, where the high red banks, down which they drove to the ferry boats that carried us across the great river, made an impression on my childish mind that has never been effaced.
When the family reached the spot on the wild prairie lands where the town of Nordheim now stands, we camped under a great liveoak tree, the only tree in miles to break the prairie lands about us. Father and mother drove ahead in the hack to find Woodward in his camp on the San Antonio River and to send him back to meet us as we came on with the wagons. He met us the next evening, December 24, 1852, on the banks of the Eclato.
The new country, with its wide prairies, its wonderful grasses and abundance of game, became the home of the Butler family. I recall that my brother could go out in the evening when the sun was a quarter of an hour high and bring in a deer by nightfall. Turkeys also were plentiful.
In the spring of 1853 father cleared fourteen acres of brush land, pushing the brush back to make a fence, and planted corn. He harvested 700 bushels of corn, or fifty bushels per acre. Also that spring he leased a part of the Stafford & Selmer tract of land and bought cattle. He gave a small heifer to me, from which, up to the year 1862, I raised eighteen head. But in 1863 came a great drouth and my cattle diminished to one small steer.
In November, 1863, Woodward, who had led the family into the new home and blazed the trail for their future prosperity, drove to Port Lavaca to bring the winter's supply of groceries. While there he contracted yellow fever and died.
The years wore on and the great war between the North and the South shook even this remote corner of the country. I remember seeing great wagons, drawn by twelve steers, hauling cotton to Mexico, where it brought fifty cents a pound. Flour was not available at