By Ada Morehead Holland
In 1908, on the age of 11, Helen moved along with her kin to what might later turn into Jim Hogg County. formed by way of her rugged surroundings, she labored together with her father within the box doing a man's paintings for 3 years, with no good thing about faculties, church buildings, or clinical realization. Then, full of wish for an schooling, she started to collect an unorthodox, haphazard person who finally resulted in university. She tutored young ones, taught university for a time, and served as county/district clerk. Then she met and married Texas Ranger, later sheriff, Pell Harbison. at the ranch they acquired close to Hebbronville, they raised six kids and shared a lifetime of problem, development, and obdurate labor. After her husband's dying, Helen Harbison herself ran the ranch for thirty extra years.
Holland presents a correct photograph of existence in South Texas within the first 1/2 this century and a desirable portrait of a girl of the Texas brush who was firm, self sustaining, and able in an age while girls weren't anticipated to be.
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Additional resources for Brush Country Woman (Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A & M, No 26)
She was the only one of the family who was not going to Texas. She was to stay with an aunt in Emporia in order to finish her education and get a teacher's certificate. It must be fun to be seventeen, and be going to college, and have lots of pretty clothes. Helen looked at her own best dress as she carelessly folded it into the trunk. It was a hand-me-down from Opal. Well, most all of Helen's clothes were hand-me-downs. She became angry all over again as she remembered the lovely dresses her Aunt Ethel had willed to her, but that her mother had made over for Alleene.
The plows could be converted to planters by changing attachments. Ike and the girls continued to work in the fields. They planted corn, a crop Ike knew well. And they planted cane and cotton, two crops he had never planted before. The cane was for feeding the horses and mule, the corn was for feeding the family as well as the animals, and the cotton was a money crop. In theory it seemed sound. Ike had hoped to plant Bermuda onions, but they didn't get it done that year. Everybody worked except the two little boys, and of course Emil.
They heard coyotes almost every night and frequently saw one in the daytime. The bobcats and coyotes would have liked to get Mattie's chickens and other fowl, but the Sewells had brought a little rat terrier with them from Kansas, and he put on a show of ferocity every time he smelled bobcat or coyote. He did the same when he came across a rattlesnake, but he was afraid of rattlesnakes; he never got close enough for one to strike him. Once Mattie sent Helen under the house to look for a hen's nest.