SURVIVING ON THE TEXAS FRONTIER
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By Sarah Harkey Hall
Few accounts of life in 19th century provide either the vivid detail or the poignancy of those reflections set down by Sarah Harkey Hall in 1905. Her narrative written at the age of forty-eight for her children, captured the rhythms of daily and seasonal life in frontier San Saba County and chronicles her struggle for physical and emotional survival, as well as the struggles of her family and community. Unlike many pioneer memoirs written for later generations, Sarah’s does not assume a nostalgic or triumphant tone and does not glide over the daily hardships of life in a new country. The result is a remarkable record of frontier endurance, a record more bitter than sweet. Sarah’s parents settled in 1853-1854 on Richland Creek in Central Texas, within the then-vast boundaries of Bexar County. They were among the first immigrants in the region, locating “one mile east of Richland Springs among the recently vacated wigwams of the Comanche Indians.