Clipped From The Paris News

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THE RED RIVER VALLEY-V KIOMATIA PLANTATION, REMINDER OF THE WRIGHT FAMILY KIOMATIA — Gone are the days, to draw from t h e words and music of Stephen Collins Foster. . . The rows of coUon-pat c h shacks which once housed the slaves, the share-cropper:), and the sen ants have all but vanished from the Wright Plantation at KiomatKi. Acres and acres of cotton still stretch as far as the eye can see on the level bott o m land. But it's divided r, o w among dozens of landowners, or lessees; The cotton-choppers come to ihe patches now in autos. parked at the uirnrow. The smell of cotton poison has invaded Ihe plantation. But the mystery of more than a century .still lianas heavy over the Kiom alia country. Even the name, Kiomatia. has a unique spelling. It's different from the Kiamichi of (he Kiamidii River in Oklahoma, and nobody sterns to know why. The first white man t o come to what was later Red River County is supposed to be Adam Lawrence, a Tcn- nesseean who made his \\ay to the mouth of the Kiomalia River about 1815. He was a trapper and hunter, and didn't ir'.end to settle. Lawrence wasn't around to greet his followers, howev e r. An Indian killed him on the north side of Red River. Kvcn as he had his first and last look at Ihe Indians, another occurrence in the f a r country of Tennessee was to make a great imprint upo n the valley. A courageous man named Claiborne Wright looked with favor upon the frontier of the Southwest, thought it might have possibilities, and plotted his course. He built a k e e 1 host in his hometown of Car- thage, Tenn., dubbed it the "Pioneer" and loaded it with household goods and fo o d supplies. On March 5, 1316, he took his wife; his sister, Henrietta; his seven-year-old son, (Jcorge W.; his three brolh- ers. Travis G., William F., and Adam M.; a female Negro slave and a Negro man aboard. He cut the ca b 1 e, headed down the Cumberland, the Ohio and the Mississippi, then po'ed and cabled up the Red River to a spot call e rl Pecan Point. The trip took six months. Wright thought there was THE WRIGHT PLANTATION HOME TODAY some sort of settlement and at least mild civilization on Hed River. He soon found out different. Except for the canoes of trappers and traders, the "Pioneer" was the first boat of any importance lo make \i through The Raft, a log and debris jam near Shreveport. The going was rough. The family was without a house, a cow, a horse, a hog or chickens. They had no money to buy them, but it didn't matter. None were for sale. There was no corn and no meat, except wild game. Claiborne Wright's gun solved the meat problem, however. Bear, deer and buffalo were abundant. On borrowed horses with one of the boys, he rode to Sabine landing on Red River 150 miles away, and traded for five bushels of corn. Two were saved for seed, the other pounded into meal. During iflis, Judge A. W. Neville's Hi.slory of Lamar County recalls, the corn was planted in small patches and went for five dollars per bushel. That fall, some 50 more families arrived in the Red River Valley, bring i n g cows, horses and more corn. The Wright family liv e d for several months in a lean- to and shack, and in 1817 built a log cabin on Pecan Bayou. They later moved lo higher ground, and then to Jonesboro Prairie. The Wright legend g r e. w. Claiborne Wright was elected sheriff of what was then Miller County, and helped bring what little law there was. Judge Neville's book recalls that George and Travis Wright were sent to Kentucky to school but stayed briefly and came back to Texas lo help lift the burden Mexico was bent on layinfi on the settlers. They didn't shirk responsibility. Both were active and liberal in establish- in R schools in later years. George Wright became a lieutenant in Captain John Hart's company of mount e d men. He answered (he call to South Texas but arrived too late for the battle of San Jacinlc, later performing service for General Sam Houston, The congress of the new Republic of Texas was former! and George Wright was elected as a deles a I e. Oddly enough, his brother Travis G. Wright, who lived in the same house, with George at o r o, was a member of the convention which wrote the constitution of Arkansas. Bo I h Texas and Arkansas clairnct! the srea. . . Later, George Wright and his wife settled on the plantation at Kiomatia and lived there until they moved to Paris in 18M. The plantation and its thou- •jnds of acres passed down through the generations of Wrights. A number oi descendants still live in the Paris area, and bear the pioneer name with justifiable pride. The 50 acres on which the town of Paris was first started was given by George W. Wright in 1847. It was part of 1,000 he had wisely purchased earlier. Lamar County by thi: time had a population of 2,500 to 3,000 persons, not counting Negro slaves. A book could well be written about the adv e n t urcs and accompli s h m e n t s of the Wrights, who contributed htood, sweat and tears to the devel- opment ol the Red River Valley. The present-day reminder is the Kiomatia plantati o n which carries the Wr i g hts' name. Rich in history and tradition, the Wright home stands high on a bluff above the river lowlands. You can almost picture-the boats, the slaves, the cotton and lifo a century ago — BILL THOMPSON. *ta0 (AND THE DINNER HORN) THE NORTH TEXAS PUBLISHING COMPANY PARIS TEXAS Published Dally Except Saturdny tmered «* Second (Jiass Mau Mattel al tha Postoffici n Pan* TC urmei Acl ol congresi March 1879. •« W W Bassano PunlUher Bill Thompson Managing Editor Eldon Ellis Robt E Cox Director ol Adv. Circulation Msr. SUBSCRIPTION RATES—TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA By ilall— <Jn« Month fly Hail— Three Months. By Wall— Sis Month* . By Mail — On« rear . . ^ j JO . 3.50 6.50 Delivered bv Carrier in City Zone 35,. vVnek B.v Garner OuLside City Zone jQc week Week Days—Sc Sundavn—15o Bv Motoi aouie—One Month $1 30 OUTSIDE TEXAS AMI OKLAHOMA By Mail—One Month J1JO By Mall t,i> Momhi By Uail-Thr.. Months 3.75 Bv Mail-On,, Vc.r t 1 00 12.7& Any errarieou* reflection upon th« cnaraoter standing or reputation 01 an> individual llrm or corporation which may appeal In the column* Piir>ii™rr» eWJ corrected upon being brought to .ttenUon of th. £ h ?. r* rl> News " no1 responslbl* lot the return nl unsolicited manuscnpes or photographi The Pari» Newi U nol responsible lot copy errors, typographical error, or »ny imlntentlonai errors tnal may occur In advertising other than to correct in noxi msu« after M Is Drought to their attention All advertising orrtcrt »rr acceolcd on thU oasu only MKMBKR o* IHE ASSOCIATED IMtESif, TKXAS OAILT l -.t.,^«'AI't;K ASSOCIATION SOUTHERN NEWSPAPER PUBLISHER* ASSUCIVJ'ION TEXAS QUALITY NEWSPAPERS AND AUD17 BUREAU Thi A»«orl»te«J l'r«»i n entitled nclniUely to a>« Jor republlcatlon o< • ll Ircxi newt nrlnted In Uili piper »i well ai »11 AP >*wi «lt»»1ch«i. — \- THE PARIS NEWS, SUNDAY, JULY 10, 1960

Clipped from
  1. The Paris News,
  2. 10 Jul 1960, Sun,
  3. Page 6

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  • Clipped by wduffee – 30 Jun 2013

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