Backward Glances July 27, 1970
MONDAY, JULY 27, 1970 Glances * * (From *. Sef.,*~kt of ffc« tat. A. W Editor of Th« *«m N«ws, 1936-1956) April 15, IMS So this town Senterfitt oat in Lampasas County sixty-live years ago was a stage relay point, half-way between Lampasas and San Saba, twenty miles from each. Rube Senterfitt's "hotel" had been joined by another. Two general stores, a drug store, two saloons and a two-story building had been erected and was in use. The town had no Irish policemen but it did have a constable named O'Brien. All this was ten years before the railroad came through Lampasas and bypassed bypassed Senterfitt, and in 1881 the town's population was increased by the arrival there of Pat and Mary Rahl, their daughter, Maggie, and seven sons—John, James, Thomas, Henry, Charley, William and Sam. Eight years ago Mrs. Bula Rahl Sauters was asked by a woman's club in Lometa to write something of the town that had disappeared—the town in which her father, James Rahl, had lived when he was a young man, son of Pat and Mary Bahl. Her father was then 80 years old, but he had a very clear recollection of Senterfitt, and could recall the names of more than half the town's population. It Is .from her sketch, which is loaned me by her brother, C. P. Rahl, Santa Fe station agent in Roxton, that I get the material for this story. The school house was near the graveyard, both being on the five acres set apart for those purposes by Bubs Senterfitt The upper story was used by the Masons and several denominations held church sendees there. A six- year-old boy, Joe Howell, was the first burial in the graveyard. A telegraph line was buflt from Austin through the town and on to Brownwood, Brownwood, and J. P. Doyle was the operator at Senterfitt. The Whittenbi*g family, parents and five children, came in 1881. James Rahl said they were fine people, kindly and hospitable. When a cowboy rode up at meal time he was always asked to eat. No one was ever turned away hungry from their door. When they came they brought with them a large flock of sheep. One citizen was Tom Collier, an Englishman, known as "Tappy," and being English did not know about the western ways of jokes*that were sometimes rough. During an epidemic of measles in the town Tappy was courting one of tte village belles, who caught the measles. Dr. Cortenus McCann McCann and Tom Rahl told Tappy that sheep droppings made Into a tea was good to make measles "break out," which was important, so he went out with a tobacco sack, filled it with the suggested "medicine," went to the girl's house and handed it to her, saying rather solemnly, "Here's your droppings." This became one of the season's great laughs, especially with Doc McCann and Tom Rahl.