a Pecan Shell
Hugh and Washington
Ingram are credited with being the community’s first settlers. They
arrived around 1850 and eight years later a post office opened. The
community got a grist mill (steam powered) around 1870 and by the
mid 1880s there were two more as well as a sawmill and three general
The population was just 75 around this time, growing to perhaps a
peak population of less than 200 by 1906.
No records are available for the period covering the Great Depression
but these factors as well as school consolidation (with schools in
Kerens) took their toll.
Businesses closed as well as the post office and only a church and
cemetery were left (with scattered housing). By the 1990s, despite
its welcoming name, Rural Shade was given the most dreaded classification
of “a dispersed rural community.” The 2000 census managed to count
30 area residents.
at Rural Shade
was looking over the records of the old Ingram cemetery and realized
that I can add to the history.
In 1886 my great grandfather, James Rodgers Loughridge was
buried there. At present there is a civil war tombstone in his name.
This may be confirmed by going to the web site James Rodgers Loughridge.
At that site there is a picture of him and a picture of the tombstone.
A little history. He is buried there because the Trinity was flooded
at the time of his death and they could not take him to Corsicana.
In Corsicana there
is a tombstone stating that he is buried at Rural Shade. (There is
also an infant grandson buried next to him.)
At the end of the Wildcat Ferry Road was the location of my great
grandfather's cotton warehouse. The warehouse was the last location
up the river the steamboats came. My grandfather, Samuel L. Loughridge
son of J.R.L., told me many stories about being a boy there. The steamboats
Black Cloud and the Early Bird came there. They were able to carry
1800 bales of cotton back to Galveston,
Texas. He stated that two days before the boats arrived you could
hear their whistles blow as it echoed down the river. When the boats
arrived at the bluff, the site was called Loughridge's Bluff, a full
head of steam was built up and when sounded could be heard to Dallas.
That was a sign to all of the farmers that they had two weeks to get
their cotton to the warehouse. He described the boats as being "very
Another story was about some of the social life. It seems that when
there was a trial in Corsicana
it became a source of interest and entertainment. All the men would
go to town for the trial and the women would gather at one of the
homes to can food and quilt. It was quite a treat also for the children
to get together and play.
On one occasion he noted all of the women and children were at the
river picking berries. The dogs were also with them. The dogs started
whimpering and gathering close to the women. Then someone pointed
out a panther jumping up and looking around. The next time they saw
it jump, it was closer. At last it jumped out of the tall grass and
was met by the pack of dogs. The women and children ran back to the
house. He said the fight went on for two days. During that time some
of the dogs returned with injuries. When the men came back they went
to the river. There they found one of the limbs of the panther and
several dead dogs but the panther was no where in sight.
One of my older cousins told me of the last time he went to the bluff.
He stated that it was no longer there as it had been mined for gravel.
A note: James Rodgers Loughridge helped form Company I of Hoods first
Texas. HE was a county judge appointed by Sam
Houston and editor of the Corsicana Prairie Blade newspaper and
an attorney. His civil war letters exchanged between he and his wife
are housed at the Pearce Museum at Navarro College in Corsicana."
- David L. Loughridge, Great Grandson of James Rodgers Loughridge,
April 04, 2014
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