|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
(Images to be added)
The Land Family - 1927
Emma and Ed Land