The year 1875 had passed into history, yet no hunter nor early settler, with his ax, his gun and his dog, disturbed the pudder of the wild turkey mothering her young, the feeding of the prairie chicken in the high sage grass that abounded, nor the gambols of the deer that sported on the banks of the streams. But in the dawn of 1876 a star of promise began to shed its radiance, and in the light of its dawning six families from Gregg County wended their way to the valley, over which it settled and made their homes there. These fortunate pioneers were W. W. Smith, Dave McKinley, Isaac Agnew, Fletcher Fields, Allie Smith and Andy Agnew. Finding good soil, abundance of wild game, and water, they decided to remain permanently, and began the improvement of their claims. Fort Worth was the nearest railroad station, and from this town and Waco the people bought their supplies and marketed their products.
In these early days, 1876-1879, the mail was brought once a week from Sipe Springs on horseback. Mr. Osborne, who lived two miles east of where Rising Star is now located, was the postmaster. It may or may not have been this postmaster who could not read and whose wife carried the mail in her pocket. When a call was made she handed the letters to the party and he, taking out his own, returned the rest. She carried one for the postmaster a week.
When application was made for a post office, Osborne was suggested as a name, but the authorities sent Rising Star* instead.
In the fall of 1879 Uncle Tommy Anderson bought from Dave McKinley the tract of land on which the town has been built. In the spring of 1880 he moved the post office to his home and put up a small storehouse. Here he kept the post office, groceries and farm supplies. In 1883 a larger store was built nearby since which time the town has grown steadily, and now numbers about seven hundred souls.
The people early evinced a strong desire for enlightenment by raising a 10x12 log school house and electing a Mr. Bill Welch as teacher. Mr. Welch was thoroughly in harmony with his environments, often teaching under the branches of the trees, and not infrequently going to school barefooted. This small, floorless, log school house stood one and one-half miles east of the present town. A few years later a better and a larger log house was built near the cemetery, and here many of the substantial citizens of this county were educated. Mr. James Irby, who came here in 1877, was one of the pioneer teachers.
The business interests of the town are represented by loyal citizens. There are several large dry goods and grocery firms, drug stores, hardware, a bank, hotel, and the usual number of smaller shops and eating houses. There are two newspapers, five church buildings with as many organizations, and a handsome school building with seven teachers and three hundred and fifty pupils.
The town is supported by a very rich farming and truck growing district of fifteen miles radius. The soil was light and with a red clay subsoil and is especially adapted to the drouthy climate. Corn, cotton, maize, cane and oat$ grow luxuriantly; berries, apples, peaches, plums, apricots, grapes and all kinds of fruits are easy and prolific producers. As a truck growing section it has no superior. Cabbages, without irrigation, have produced heads weighing thirteen and a half pounds, beets have weighed twenty-five pounds, onions two; tomatoes, and potatoes of both varieties, grow easily and are heavy bearers.
The nearest railroad point is about twenty miles. Carloads of fruit and vegetables rot on the ground for lack of convenient shipping points.
In 1903 forty-five hundred bales of cotton were marketed and forty-two hundred were ginned by the two plants here. This same year eighteen thousand bales were ginned at the ten plants within the neighborhood of the Star country.
This section of the county is especially free from grasshoppers, boll weevil and all crop and garden pests.
Albert Tyson is the founder and proprietor of this original paper.
If one wants truths frankly told; if when one is hit, one prefers the blow to come straight from the shoulders, one would do well to read Mr. Tyson's paper.
Uncle Jim Tyson Gathering Apples
The illustration on the opposite page represents Mr. J. M. Tyson, the editorís father, gathering apples from a six year old Early Harvest apple tree. He moved to Eastland in 1878, and has a thirty-acre apple orchard two miles north of Rising Star. At the Farmer's Institute held in Eastland City November, 1903, he was awarded a prize on the apples he exhibited.
The Rising Star Record.
The Rising Star Record came into existence April 4. 1903. George T. Barnes, with T. B. Staton, undertook the establishment of the paper. Without a single subscriber the first issue was brought out, but the third issue was distributed to three hundred regular subscribers. January 1, 1904, the subscription list was five hundred.
January 1, 1904 the Record Company began the publication of the May Enterprise. Both papers have a circulation of over nine hundred. The Record, while not given strictly to politics, stands for Democratic principles, for the upbuilding of the Sandy Belt, the garden spot of Texas and for the dissemination of local and general news among the people.
George T. Barnes and C. A. and Sidney W. Smith are the proprietors of the Record Printing Company.
W. A. Bucy and Brother.
Fifteen years ago W. P. Bucy opened a stock of furniture and did well, but soon discovered that to be able to accommodate the patronage he had he must keep farming implements. The business proved so successful that Mr. Bucy's oldest son, William A., became a partner in 1895, and the supply was increased. Seven years later, January 1, 1902, this son bought the entire stock, and three months later sold it to H. E. Anderson. That Mr. Bucy is never so happy as when trading is evidenced by the following figures: On September 23, 1902, he bought out the J. H. Montgomery drug business and sold it January 1, 1903, to Levi McCollum and Minnix and took in exchange their stock of general merchandise, which he increased.
On January 1, 1904, Ed Bucy bought an interest, and the store is now the second largest in town. The floor space is being enlarged and will cover, when completed, 5,610 square feet.
Bucy Brothers expect to do a $50,000 business the year of 1904. Rising Star is fortunate to have such energetic men as citizens.
H. E. Anderson
Has the largest store in Texas in an inland town, and it contains everything except drugs.
Long years ago Uncle Tommy Anderson sold one acre of ground to J. V. Hulse and stipulated that if intoxicants were ever sold on the land it would revert to the original owners.
In 1883, H. E. Anderson, son of Uncle Tommy, bought out Mr. Hulse's stock of general merchandise, but soon sold out to Kev. J. K. Miller and Mr. Sayles. Then he built a new and larger store, and has since carried a stock of general merchandise, employing from eight to fifteen clerks.
There are few men who have the courage of their convictions in a more marked degree than Mr. Anderson. In 1885 and 1886, when conditions were vastly different from the present time, a big barbecue and dance was twice given by the Rising Star community to influence people to become citizens.
Twice did Mr. Anderson refuse to contribute to this entertainment because of the last feature of it - the dance. He was converted at sixteen years of age, made steward in the Methodist church at eighteen, was the first Sunday School Superintendent in the town, and bad lived what he professed. The stand he took on this occasion had great effect.
Mr. Anderson is the present Sunday School Superintendent in the Methodist Church, and his wife is a daughter of Major Munn of Nimrod.
1. It is said that Mr. Anderson, a son-in-law of Mr. Agnew, suggested the name of Rising Star.
Source: History of Eastland County, Texas, by Mrs. George Langston, A. D. Aldridge & Company, Dallas, Texas, 1904.