Population: 42 (1990)
Circleville cotton gin. The town of Circleville was settled by brothers James, Joseph, and William Eubank. The name derives from the semicircle formation of homes in the town.
Courtesy of Gerry Anderson
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C.S.A. Cotton Cards Factory Circleville, Texas
Cotton Card Factory at Circleville Marker
C.S.A. Cotton Cards Factory Historical Maker Text
- Near this site in 1862-65. Used power from the San Gabriel River. Chartered by Confederate Texas during re-tooling of agricultural economy to meet demands of the Civil War years. Because trade of bales of cotton for finished cloth was no longer practical, and textiles had to be made at home, Texas imported through neutral Mexico, at costs of $4 to $20 a pair, thousands of cotton cards -- stiff brushes that made fluffy cotton into firm, smooth "batts" to be spun into yarn or thread, quilted or made into mattresses. The administration of Governor F. R. Lubbock (1861-63) also acted to have cards made in Texas, in factories such as the one here, owned by Joseph Eubank, Jr. Heavy military demands (90,000 Texas men under arms; a 2,000 mile coastline-frontier to guard) plus reduced imports, caused fast expansion of industry. Arms and munitions plants were built, land grants were used to encourage production. Private effort met the need, and produced vital supplies for both the military and civilian populations. Confederate quartermaster set up depots and shops for military goods. Production of salt and "king cotton" was hiked to trade for scarce items. The State of Texas became a storehouse for the Confederacy.
David H. and Jerusha Dyches
On FM 1331, Circleville vicinity
Historical Marker Text
On FM 1331, Circleville vicinity David H. and Jerusha Dyches McFadin House - Built 1850 by David H. and Jerusha Dyches McFadin. Mr. McFadin, born in Tennessee, came to Texas 1828; fought in Battle of San Jacinto. House has 27" native stone walls. By its cool, perpetual spring, Confederates camped on way to Civil War. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1965
David H. McFadin - Bio
In portraying the lives of the pioneers of Texas, the heroes of San Jacinto, and the first settlers of what is now Williamson County, none are more worthy of mention than the subject of this sketch, whose energy and perseverance have contributed to the placing of his community among the best in the State, which holds front rank among the sisterhood of the nation.
Mr. McFadin was born in Montgomery County, Tennessee, May 22, 1816, and is the only child of William and Sarah (Jett) McFadin, both of whom were natives of the same State as himself, where they were reared and where they resided for many years. The paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, also David McFadin, was a native of Ireland and came to America on a fine early day. The father of Mr. McFadin of this notice was a farmer, who joined the tide of western emigration in 1828, moving with his family slowly and laboriously overland from home in Tennessee to the new and wild country which was then a part of Mexico, but is now the great State of Texas. There were 16 but few civilized settlements in this part of the country at that time, and one of these was situated in what is now Liberty county, in which the McFadin family cast their lot and there set about making their frontier home.
The subject of this sketch, who was then twelve years of age, was for three years engaged in assisting his father to open up a new farm.
The very hardships of those early days, however, served to quickly mature precocious intellects and teach self-reliance and independence. Thus, it was that at the early age of fifteen, young David became desirous of beginning life on his own account. Accordingly left the parental roof to accept employment in the stock business, which he followed without interruption until the spring of 1836, by this time the oppression and tyranny of the Mexican Government. It became so strongly felt that the settlers resolved to endure it no longer, and the war was declared.
Mr. McFadin joined the army, which was composed of as brave a class of men as any to be found on the globe, men who knew and were willing to emulate the example of those heroes who fell at San Antonio and Goliad. This little army was reorganized under the able leadership of General Sam Houston, who resolved to make the last resistance to Mexico.
Accordingly the battle of San Jacinto was fought, on the 21st of April, 1836, when a gallant little army of 783 brave men, poorly equipped, scantily clothed and half starved, marched up and in less than half an hour (eighteen minutes, says General Houston's report) disintegrated an army of 1,500 men, splendidly accoutered, comfortably clothed, well fed, and under the able generalship of Santa Anna.
This is a little short of marvelous, but each man was a Hercules of determination, and their war cry was, "Remember the Alamo!" Ten thousand men could not have daunted their courage, for they were fighting for their lives and those of their loved ones, besides avenging those who had been murdered by the Mexicans. This little army was composed of such hardy, determined men as Mr. McFadin, and they followed their great leader, General Houston, with no thought but that of victory, and it is such men who gained for Texas her independence and placed her among the greatest States of the Union. The posterity of these men will look back over the history of Texas with pride in cognizance of the fact that their forefathers fought so bravely to lay the foundation of privileges that the younger generations now enjoy. Too much cannot be said in honor of these veterans of San Jacinto, whose names will live in the memory of their descendants and also in that of the newcomers, who enjoy the fruits of those brave men's courage and heroism.
After serving six months in the Texas army and helping to gain the victory at San Jacinto, Mr. McFadin returned to his home in Liberty county, where, in November, 1836, he was married to Miss Jerusha Dyches, a native of Louisiana and a daughter of Joseph Dyches, a well known pioneer.
She came to Texas in 1832. She possessed great force of character with superior ability and was well fitted to become the companion of a man who had his own fortune to make in a frontier country. She contributed her full quota to that success which he achieved, making for him a comfortable and happy home, consoling him under misfortune, and encouraging him to the renewed endeavor.
After the war, Mr. McFadin engaged in the stock business on his own account, following the same successfully for a number of years.
In 1842, he was elected Sheriff of Jefferson county and discharged the duties incumbent upon him with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. He also served at various times in many minor offices of responsibility and trust. He subsequently traded with his cousin for a headright of land in what is now Williamson county, but which was then on the frontier of civilization. In December 1846, he removed with his family to this land and began the task of making a permanent home in the midst of vast solitude and interminable plain, there being at that time but four white men within the borders of what is now Williamson county. He cultivated his land and engaged extensively in the stock business, and was the owner of a few slaves. Success attended his efforts, and prosperity smiled on his endeavors.
Mr. McFadin was cosmopolitan in his views, far-seeing and of great probity of character. He was a true and tried patriot, and as his birthplace was in a union of States, he was opposed to disintegration. Like his old commander, General Houston, and many other noblemen, he opposed secession with all his force, and when the State finally seceded, he took no part in the ensuing struggle. He has been highly successful in his undertakings and has accumulated a large and valuable amount of property and means, which he uses to the best advantage in surrounding himself and family with all the comforts and many luxuries of life, as well as contributing liberally to all worthy enterprises tending to advance the welfare of the community in which he lives.
Mr. and Mrs. McFadin had eight children, three of whom attained maturity and two reared families of their own.
John N., deceased, who was an able man of affairs in this vicinity; William D., born in 1840, entered the army during the Civil war in 1862 and has not been heard from since; Irvin A., who was also a prominent citizen of this community; Sidney, who died aged two years; George, who died at the same age; Sarah died in infancy, as did the two youngest. July 7, 1880, Mr. McFadin was called upon to mourn the death of his faithful wife, who had been his loving companion for forty-four years, enduring with him the privations and hardships of frontier life and participating with him in the prosperity which followed their united and intelligent efforts. She lived to see her two sons happily married and surrounded by families of their own, and in the enjoyment of prosperity and the respect of the community. She was an active member of the Christian Church and prominent in all good works, and her death was a signal for universal sorrow. In 1881 Mr. McFadin was married to Mrs. Armstrong, widow of the late Colonel James Armstrong, an attorney of more than ordinary prominence. She was born in Kentucky but was reared in Missouri. Her life was spared for eleven years after marriage, her death occurring June 9, 1892, with many friends remaining to mourn her loss. Previously, in 1887, Mr. McFadin was bereft by the death of his son Irvin, and on November 4, 1891, his only surviving son, John, joined the other members of the family in the spirit world. Thus Mr. McFadin has lived to see his whole family pass away from this transitory sphere, and he now resides on his old homestead, surrounded by his grandchildren, who relieve him, as far as they are able, of all the cares and responsibilities of the management of his large estate. He is a prominent and useful member of the Christian Church, to the success of which he has largely contributed.
He is a man of more than ordinary ability, and while in his youth, owing to the newness of the country and the disturbed condition of frontier life and consequent lack of school facilities, he was deprived of educational advantages such as are now gained in classical institutions.
He, however, attained, by observation and reflection and by contact with the world, that practical information essential to success. He is a deep thinker, honest in his convictions, firm in their execution, and consistent in action.
In politics, he is independent and has never sought office, but in consequence of his known integrity, exact knowledge of affairs, and energy in execution of his duties, he has been called upon to contribute his share toward the general advancement of the community. He served with his usual ability as Commissioner of his county for twelve years. He is a member of the Grange and the Farmers' Alliance, to both of which he has devoted his best endeavors. He is an extensive reader, is well informed upon all the leading topics of the day, and able to discuss them intelligently and effectively. He enjoys the distinction of being the oldest living settler of Williamson county, where he is well and favorably known. No one is more deserving of universal veneration than this veteran and hero of San Jacinto.
"The Old McFadin House" - From the Taylor Daily Press, Sunday July 29,1951.
The Oldest House in Williamson County is having its facelifted, and as the old mortar is dug away from the native stone, the legends and history which surrounds the old McFadin house are coming to light.
Mr. and Mrs. Kirby Vance, who bought the house, are trying diligently to make it look as it did when it was first built in the 1850s.
Mr. and Mrs. Ira McFadin, who lived on the place from the time they were married until just recently, are now living in Taylor. "I feel all hemmed up somehow in town," says Mrs. McFadin. "When I think about selling the old place, it just makes me sick, but we didn't have a telephone, and it's better for us to be living in town.
"I don't remember as much about the history of the place as I should," she said with a wistful smile. "I wish now that I'd written down all the stories that Mac's mother told me, but I'll tell you what I can.
The house was started in 1850, and it was built out of rock found right there on the land. David's son, William, was helping to build it. When the Civil War broke out in 1861. William and the two young rock masons who were helping him had it all finished except for the plastering. They went to war and were never heard from. The family never knew whether they had been killed, captured, or just didn't come home.
"My husband's grandfather, David McFadin, bought the land for a $1.00 an acre from William McFadin. William had had the land "patented" on March 3,1838 by the state for fighting in the Texas-Mexican war.
"My husband's father, Irving McFadin, married just at the outbreak of the war and took his bride, Elizabeth Moore, to live with his parents until his return. Eight "war widows" lived there with the old couple while their husbands were fighting, and Irving was the only one who returned.
Irving's brother, John, was a minister in the Church of Christ and served as a chaplain during the war. The Austin paper carried an article on John not long ago.
"My husband, Ira. inhered the property in 1896 when he was nineteen years old. In 1904 he married me. Matti Lauden, and we went there to live. When our daughter, Elizabeth, was seven, we moved to Granger and lived there eleven years while she went to school. Elizabeth left for college; we moved back to the farm.
Ira's health isn't what it used to be, and I'm not feeling too well myself, but we really miss the place. It's always been in the McFadin family until now.
The outside of the house has been stuccoed and painted white. Three wooden rooms that had been added on to the back have been replaced with a conformable screen porch with a built-in breeze that is enough to make a "city slickers" mouth water.
In fact, the whole house would make anyone envious. It consists of six rooms, and two screen porches.
Two of the bedrooms and a small porch arc upstairs, and one bedroom, a living room, kitchen, bath, and screen porch are downstairs. The walls of the house are two feet thick, and it is plastered inside and out. The whole house is in blue and white with the exception of the kitchen, which is tile red.
The downstairs hall, staircase, and upstairs hall are in turquoise blue, the living room in wedge wood blue, and the front bedroom and bath in dark blue. All the woodwork is white, and the oak floors are painted tan.
"The wood for the floors was hauled by oxcart from Houston," Mrs. Vance said, "and they were put together without nails. We teased the carpenters who replaced a few of the worn-out boards by telling them they aren't as skillful as their ancestors---they have to use nails."
The new spring house is an exact copy of an old one except that it is of wood while the ordinal was built of stone. Mrs. Vance was lucky enough to find some pictures of the house taken sometime in the. 1860's in an Austin museum and had a photographer copy them.
On past the spring, about half a mile back of the house is Comanche Bluff.
The legend went that years ago, white men were chasing alone Comanche Indian and finally cornered him. With his back to the bluff, the Indian knew he didn't have a chance, so he jumped. He is supposed to be buried on the bluff in the McFadin family cemetery. A number of arrowheads have been found there, and because of its romantic history and the view, one can look out over the San Gabriel and see Granger the Boy Scouts spend the night there frequently.
Furniture for the house is in keeping with its age. A huge mahogany canopy bed occupies the front bedroom, which, by the way, has a fireplace. In the living room is another fireplace, and a cherry love scat, a maple spinning wheel, and an old rosewood melodeon that will still play. The melodeon bears a stamp that reads, "Prince & Co., Improved Melodeon. Pat. 1846." Some of these pieces plus some cane bottomed chairs and lovely old china the Vances bought on their trip to New York.
To step from the living room to the kitchen, however, is to step from the antique to the modern.
It is complete with an electric stove, refrigerator, and new sink and cabinets. The room is saved, however, from too much "vulgar modernism" by a pretty little drop-leaf walnut table.
The farm isn't all for pleasure; about 200 of its 308 acres are planted in cotton and maize, and Mr. Vance has some beautiful registered white-faced cattle.