to the efforts of the Save the Brock Cabin Committee, the “Brock Cabin” remains
standing in Lion's Park just off Highway 183 in the center of Lockhart,
Texas. The historic cabin was moved to the park several years ago in an effort
to preserve an important part of the town's heritage, but it was in danger of
being torn down until the committee's efforts saved it. Members of the committee
have hopes of one day creating a historical park on the site that will preserve
even more of Lockhart's past.|
Lee Brock was born in Tennessee on February 5, 1830, and moved with his family
to Missouri where his father served as a district judge. In 1848, Andrew set out
for Texas where he became one of the first settlers
in Caldwell County. At that time the County was on the fringe of the Texas frontier,
and Lockhart was very much a frontier
town with a courthouse square made up of mostly saloons. Gunfights and shootings
Young Andrew soon made the acquaintance of a pretty
widow, Rebecca Montgomery Wayland. The Montgomery family had also immigrated to
Texas from Missouri where Rebecca’s father, “Black
Bill” Montgomery distinguished himself as a Colonel in the Black Hawk War. Sixteen
year-old Rebecca married William Wayland before her family joined the mule train
bound for Texas, but William took ill and died on
the trail near Dallas leaving Rebecca
alone to raise their daughter, Willie Annie.
Andrew and Rebecca were married
on December 18, 1850. They were very popular in the community and their wedding
was a reason for great celebration. As a wedding present, Rebecca's father gave
the young couple two hundred acres of land located about two miles from present
day Lockhart near Boggy Creek. In
later years, Brock would remark that he, "started farming with a wagon and a team."
of hand-hewn logs, "The Brock Cabin" was built during the couple's first year
of marriage, with Andrew doing most of the work by himself. The small, soundly
built cabin has two rooms across the front, a loft, and a long shed room that
spans the entire length of the back. A galley porch graces the front of the structure
and an unattached kitchen once stood just outside the back door. Andrew labored
long and hard to build a suitable home for his young family, and he was fond of
saying," Rebecca would make me a green apple pie when I did a good day's work."
At first, Andrew was more of a farmer than a rancher, his primary crop being cotton,
with a little corn,
wheat, and oats on the side. The enterprising young farmer also built and operated
his own mule-powered cotton gin and a mill for grinding meal and flour. Hauling
cotton to Laredo
for the Confederacy proved to be a profitable business during the Civil War, and
Brock supplemented this income by returning from the border with goods to sell
that were in short supply in wartime Lockhart
like coffee, salt, sugar, and calico. Anticipating the end of the open range in
Texas, Brock also applied for and received a patent
for a wire stretcher.
Eight of the nine Brock children were born in the
little log cabin before the year 1874, when Andrew purchased a three room house
furnished with imported French furniture and moved the family to Lockhart.
Andrew continued to add to the newly purchased home with lumber shipped in from
Port Lavaca until it
was a rambling structure consisting of seven rooms downstairs and three halls
and two rooms upstairs with dormer windows. The Brocks were proud owners of the
first indoor tub in the county. Made of zinc, it included a shower that was operated
by elevating two buckets of water over the tub. Rebecca Brock was also one of
the first women in the county to have a sewing machine.
While Mrs. Brock
was busy making a home and caring for the family, her husband was raising and
selling mules in Missouri. Andrew Brock also bred horses that he raced in New
Orleans, St Louis, and New York. Unfortunately he lost large amounts of money
on this venture, but resourceful as always, he began to recoup his losses by financing
the construction of buildings and renting them to businesses in Lockhart.
By 1900, Brock owned twelve buildings, six of which were placed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1978. The buildings, located on the historic square
in Lockhart, are still in use today.
Six of the Brock children lived to adulthood, and having been given between
one hundred and two hundred acres of farmland as a wedding present, each of them
became residents and contributing members of the community. In 1897, at the age
of sixty-seven, Andrew Brock, continuing to remain busy in his later years, applied
for a patent on useful improvements to disc cultivators and was granted the patent
on August 9, 1898.
Rebecca Brock died on November 10, 1900, and Andrew
Brock died on January 15, 1903. During their lives, Andrew and Rebecca were an
instrumental part in the transition of Lockhart
and Caldwell County from an unsettled patch of wilderness into a growing and thriving
community. The “Brock Cabin” stands today as visible testimony to their efforts
and sacrifices. The Brocks are buried in the Lockhart cemetery.
Glimpse of Texas Past"
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