Life as a Teacher in Fort Davis, Texas, 1865
Entries from the diary of Sam Newcomb, who taught school at Fort Davis in 1865-1866
"January 1 : For the past year Indians have been troublesome, coming into the section in such large bodies that a great many families have left the frontier .... and those who remain are "forted up." There are now 125 persons in the fort and others planning to move in.
January 23: This day was made memorable by the marriage of J.H. Browning and Miss Angelina McCarty. It was a grand occasion, being attended by a number of people from the lower fort, and all the visitors coming prepared to fight Indians along the way, if necessary.
March 13: Commenced school here today for a term of 14 weeks. I have only nineteen scholars at present and most of them are rude, wild and wholly unacquainted with school discipline.
July 8: A couple of the fort's leading ladies indulged in a fist fight this morning, the result of differences among their children.
November 29: A large buffalo was driven into the fort this morning, causing a great deal of commotion and excitement. The animal was immediately attacked by 40 dogs and killed in a very few minutes.
December 5: Cold and sleeting and several herds of buffalo drifted by during the day. I have stood in the school house and watched a herd no more than 100 yards away. I ave some home-made ink, but find it difficult to get it of the proper color and consistency, but it is a case of the best you can do or do without.
December 24: The first sermon ever preached in Fort Davis was preached here today by Parson Slaughter, and it was the first sermon that many of the people ever heard.
January 29 : My school is continually getting smaller. This is the second time a couple have quit school to get married."
----- entries in the diary of Sam Newcomb, who taught school at Fort Davis in 1865-1866, as quoted in "The Graham Leader" newspaper, January 29, 1922
Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.