Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Mrs. Olivia Land Carrell

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates - used by permission

In 1903, Edward F. Land, his wife, Emma, and their two small sons, James (Neville) and (Edward) Roy, arrived in Santa Anna looking for a new home where one could farm without the threat of boll weevils and where they could enjoy a drier climate of West Texas without the malaria from which they had suffered in the few years that they had lived in Falls County, near the town of Lott.  Ed and Emma had grown up near York, South Carolina, and had moved to Texas several years after their marriage in 1890.  About the time that the Lands took up temporary residence in Santa Anna, they bought an area of a little over 200 acres which could be made into a farm.  This potential farm was about two and a half miles south of Santa Anna.  It had been a part of the Mahoney Ranch, which was being broken up and offered for sale.  Ed selected a block, which had on it a very heavy growth of mesquite trees, which he learned was indicative of good soil.  There wasn’t any cultivated land on the block when the land was purchased nor any other improvement of any kind other than the barbed wire fence along the road to Rockwood.  The price for the block was $2,500.00.  The first thing Ed did was build a small shed in which he installed a stove for heating and cooking.  When this shed was completed, some time in December 1903, the family moved out to the place, bringing all their belongings with them in the covered wagon in which they had traveled from Lott.  That winter they lived in the shed, using only absolutely essential things, and leaving everything else in the wagon.

During the winter, Ed, with some hired help, began to clear trees from the land to be put in cultivation the next spring.  In the spring, he, assisting a carpenter whom he had hired, began to build a simple rectangular house of two good-sized rooms.  It was a great day for the family when they moved into the new house.  Perhaps thirty acres of land were in cultivation for the first year, and it was probably during that year that a tank was built to catch and hold rain water for the livestock.  For drinking and household water they relied on catching rainwater from the roof of the house in a metal cistern.  Later an underground cistern was dug.  For several years Ed continued to add to the cultivated land, eventually bringing the total to around 100 acres.  Fences were constructed, a barn built, and further additions included a smoke house, a chicken house, and storm cellar.  In 1906 an ell was built onto the house, which added two rooms, front and back porches, and a hall.  Later a kitchen was added at the back of the two original rooms.  Wash day included a black iron pot, a scrub board, and home-made lye soap.  The main crop was cotton, and most of the other crops were raised to provide feed for the five horses and mules, although there was some wheat to sell.  The third son (Henry) Lee, was born in 1906, and the daughter, (Jane) Olivia arrived in July 1909.

Ed Land purchased the first car, a model “T” Ford, for the family in 1917.  Roy was given a few instructions on how to drive the car, and that was his driver training.  Ed attempted to drive it, and when he turned through the gate, returning home, he forgot that he should straighten his steering wheel and continued going to the right, shouting “Whoa! Whoa!” with every breath.  That discouraged him from driving forever afterward as long as he had a son or daughter around to do it.

All four of the Land children graduated from Santa Anna High School.  Three of them graduated from Daniel Baker College in Brownwood and one from the University of Texas in Austin.

Olivia taught in Santa Anna High School, 1929 to 1934, with approximately double the present enrollment, there was no gymnasium, no cafeteria, and no band.  The high school building was new when the Great Depression hit and there were many financial difficulties.  Olivia received all of her salary only the first year, a total of $900.00.

Jim was senior vice-president and chief economist of the Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the time of his retirement.  Roy, an accountant and lawyer, died at his home in Fort Worth in 1947. Lee, an engineer and manufacturer’s agent, resides in Dallas.  Olivia chuckles when she confesses to being more or less a “professional” church woman in the United Methodist Church.  She has served on many levels, including 16 years on National Councils.  In 1983, Jim and his wife were 88 years of age.  The four children are: Robert of Bedford, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Jane Hudson of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Marjorie Eshleman of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania; and Jim Jr., of Short Hills, New Jersey.  Roy’s son, Kelso, lives in Fresno, California.  Lee has a daughter, Margaret Dillaha, in Dallas, one son, Leland, and a son, Frank, in Austin, one son, Lee Chambers.  Olivia’s daughter, Susan, lives in Boston.

Ed Land died in 1942, Emma in 1944, both buried in Santa Anna.  Roy is buried in Cameron.  The Land farm is owned by Lee, who lives in Dallas.

(Images to be added)

The Land Family - 1927

Emma and Ed Land

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This page last updated March 4, 2006
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