by Barbara J. Wood
Captured at Grass Pond Colony
Two proud hunters posing with either a crocodile or an alligator that was captured out at the Grass Pond Colony area. A young Richard Cardenas is holding the reptile for the camera while a young Fritzi Thomas looks on. A Wilson County Texas dump truck is shown as both young men worked together for Wilson County Precinct 3. Richard began working with the Precinct at the age of 17 years. He retired with over 47 or 48 plus years. Richard's first year of work didn't count for his retirement because he was a minor. He and another person are still the oldest county employees to retire ever in Wilson County Texas. Back to the old photo, love Fritzi's flat top and his tee shirt sleeves rolled up and both he and Richard"s blue jeans rolled up. An outstanding photo shared by Betty Talamantez , daughter of Richard Cardenas. Fritzi is my paternal uncle. (Thanks Betty Jo!)
GRASS POND .... A newspaper article (Wilson County News) dated Wednesday June 23, 1993 was shared by Kevin Stanush. The writer of the article was Earl Gilley and Kevin's cousin. Mr. Gilley was a lovely gentleman respected & loved by many.... he and Mildred, his wife.
CASTRO & ROBLES FAMILIES
CASTRO & ROBLES FAMILIES ..... that lived at the Grass Pond are pictured from recollections of Vera F. Williams Watson. (COURTESY / Sutherland Springs Historical Museum )
Grass Pond Colony
Grass Pond Colony, Wilson County, Texas ...... was located at the site of several large natural ponds which remain filled by water year-round due to natural springs, it is located in the northern part of Wilson County, Texas, U.S. about five miles south of Sutherland Springs Wilson County Texas.
History: Due to the reliable source of water the site was occupied early on by Native Americans. The Grass Ponds were later part of a Colonial Spanish "Rancho" during the Spanish Colonial period. After the American Civil War several "Colonies" of freed slaves were established in the area, one of these was Grass Pond Colony. (taken from Kids encyclopedia)
The grass pond and its people as I knew it, back in the thirties it covered about 40 or 50 acres of water when full , during a wet year and I saw it full once., it was almost to Sam Williams house and was probably ten feet deep in the middle, the lily pads were so thick and those little mud-hens had nests with eggs in the spring after the other ducks had left to go back north. I have seen so many ducks when they flew up and got between you and the sun, it look like the sun had gone down.
The Grass Pond at one time was a thriving little African-American community, but the malaria hit the people from the stale stagnant water in that old pond. Some died, some moved away. They tried to drain it into the Gun Springs Branch but with little success as the sand would keep filling in and the water would quit flowing back then it was only teams and scrapers that was back around the turn of the century during the thirties, there was Billy Mathews, Isaim Mathews, Frank Fields, Joe Fields, Hays Fields, Olen Mathew, Sam Williams. These were the black people that lived right at the pond, further on there was Perry Douglas, Titus Rhodes, Carlos Nobles, and these were people I know well, talked with them on many occasions. But more time was spent with Frank Field and Carlos Nobles than any. WRITTEN BY __________.
COURTESY / Sutherland Springs Historical Museum