Mattie's Corner: Ferries, lead mines of Shelby County and a reward that went unclaimed

EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime newspaper columnist and radio personality Mattie Dellinger wrote “Mattie's Party Line” column for years in The Light and Champion and other newspapers. She passed away May 28, 2013, but reprints of her columns are being made possible with the help of Mattie's daughter, Dixie Dellinger. This is the first installment of the online version of Mattie's columns — “Mattie's Corner.” This week's column focuses on Mattie's Box 744 Column of Jan. 28, 2003

From Mattie's Box 744 Column, January 28, 2003

  Operators of ferries in olden days were required to pay an annual license fee including these ferries: Brooklynn and Logansport Ferries, $50; Ashton Ferry, $30; Myrick's Ferry, $5; Hamilton Ferry, $30.

  These rates were set by the Shelby County Commissioners Court which also set these rates for use of the ferries: Footmen, five cents; man and horse, ten cents; horse and buggy, 20 cents; two horses and wagon or one yoke oxen and wagon, 25 cents; four horses and wagon  or two yoke oxen and wagon, 40 cents; three yoke oxen and wagon, 60 cents.

  Also, each owner had to execute a bond.


Owners of the Huxley Bay Restaurant are seeking a picture of any of the ferries on the Sabine River to make a copy to hang in their dining room. 

This entry is in Vol. 1 Commissioners Court Minutes of Shelby County, Tuesday June 6, 1882: A reward of $1,000 is ordered and hereby offered by Shelby County for the arrest and conviction of the party or parties who burned the courthouse of said Court June 2,1882. As of January, 2003, the reward has not been claimed.


I was told years ago that there were lead mines in Shelby County around Patroon in an area called Matlock Hills. Early settlers used the lead for ammunition.  

They dug up the lead which looked like tree roots, melted it, then put it in a tub of cold water.  They could make shots of all sizes from buckshot down to bird shot for their muzzle loading guns.

The lead was used from these mines in the War Between the States.

I wonder if the lead mines are still there.


Overheard: "The world would be a far, far better place if antique people were valued as highly as antique furniture."

John Henry Carriker and wife Gladys owned a women's dress shop on the corner where Dad and Lads formerly was. They installed spikes on the window ledge to prevent people from sitting there to protect the view of their window display.


Baker Brice and Mary Bell were the last grocers on the square. They operated a popular grocery store and market for many years on the west side.

Winston Warr, M,.D., was visiting in Center recently with his mother, Gladys Warr and family.  He told me that he was doing a family tree on his Warr family.

I told him that the state of Delaware was named for the Warr ancestor.  

The record on this is that before Lord De La Warr arrived in the United States, the Delaware Indians had no name. The Delaware River had no name either, as well as the State.

But after Lord De La Warr arrived they named the State, the Indians, the river and the bay after him.

"Wouldn't you know," said Lord De La Warr,  "they spelled my name wrong."