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Pierce Family Reunion June 25 2000 At Goatneck
See Family Reunion Page
Download or read onscreen
printable Newsletter pdf format
GoatNeck, TX Page, Johnson County TX 25 Miles from Cleburne TX.
GoatNeck "Old Timers Reunion"
Sunday June 25th 9 AM
Next One Year 2000!
Goatneck Community Center
(C.A. Pierce), one of the early settlers of the
area, was asked to describe the piece of land
for one of the legal documents necessary to
the transfer. According to legend, he said,
"Its just a little ole goats neck out in the
cedar brakes along the river."
The name stuck, and goat's neck eventually
became Goat Neck." Steve Bell Johnson County History Book
See C.A. Pierce Pages CLICK HERE
Clementh Abercrombie Pierce PHOTO
The famous Brazos Cattleman
C.A.P. cattle Brand
GoatNeck on the Brazos
GoatNeck Bend on the Brazos
of GoatNeck, Pierce Crossing, Pierce Cemetery, Pierce Ranch
Here) married into the Pierce
they also lived at GoatNeck. Several Articles are located on that page.
I will be
inserting more history and text here soon
including stories from Joe Peterson
"Mayor of GoatNeck" Tx.
Printable Map Version PDF 8 1/2 by 11
Goat Neck Map By Herbert Blackstock
click on the small thumbnails to see the larger photos
Pierce and Force Ranch
Johnson County Tx no 1
Pierce and Force Ranch
Johnson County Tx no 2
GoatNeck Highland Community Center
Mrs. Peabody, whose dad bought the Pierce ranch at Goatneck
in the 1920's sent me this photo of a friend of hers--who was Mary Martin's
This photo was taken at the Brazos on the Pierce (Peabody) ranch at Goatneck
The old Pierce Ranch has
since been called THE OLD PEABODY PLACE (per Larry Dyer next door
where Pierce Cemetery is still Located)
I have several photos of Mrs Peabody to add here later.
The main photos
she sent were photos of the
OLD PIERCE LOG CABIN.
The lived there off and on when she was a
kid. Lomaine Peterson
also sent me some photos of the place.
She lives in Ft. Worth is 80 or so years old. 2010 Mrs Peabodys son
called me from
St Louis MO. He was very happy to find these
photos of Goatneck and his mother!!
She passed away a few years ago he
Here is the photo of Mrs Peabody She took this
photo at the Brazos banks
of the old Pierce ranch when she was a young woman.
Another Photo Mrs Peabody Sent me. Taken at at
Park in downtown
Fort Worth in 1918. The park is no longer there.
Other Photos of Pierce Ranch or Photos
pertaining to Goatneck History
A Way of Life
Some describe it as
isolated and desolate.
to others, with different tastes, it is quiet and
peaceful. Any way you look at it, though,
Goat Neck is a community that lies off the
beaten path. Whether you travel west on
Highway 67 and turn south on 1434 by the
Elks&'; Lodge or head south toward Rio Vista
before turning west in the direction of
Hamm&';s Creek, when you arrive in Goat
Neck, you will not be in a center of commerce.
Instead of buildings, you will be surrounded
by cedar brakes. Instead of asphalt and
concrete, you will drive on the white dust and
gravel of limestone county roads which form
a labyrinth that can swallow those who are
uninitiated into the secrets of its twists and
Goat Neck is in the same general vicinity
as Hiland and Freeland, and outsiders talk
about all three in the same breath as if the
communities were interchangeable. Residents
know better. In fact. they know exactly
where one locale ends and another begins, but
their description would rarely make sense to
an outsider who would not be familiar with
the landmarks that prove so useful in the
everyday workings of a settlement.
According to Dee Peterson, the community
even got its name when the last switch was
made and the people in a bend of the Brazes
became a part of Johnson County. Depending
upon the story you hear, the transfer took
place either because the residents got tired of
traveling all the way to Hillsboro to take care
of their legal matters or because Hill County
didn&';t want to maintain the roads out in Goat
Neck any more.
Whatever the reason, Dee Peterson, Goat
Necks oldest resident at 83, claims that Goat
Neck got its name during the legal transfer
of the area from Hill to Johnson County.
Clem Pierce, one of the early settlers
area, was asked to describe the piece of land
for one of the legal documents necessary to
the transfer. According to legend, he said,
"Its just a little ol goats neck out
cedar brakes along the river."
The name stuck, and goat&';s neck eventually
became Goat Neck.
Peterson remembers other details about
Goat Neck&';s past as well he should. He was
born in 1900 in Tarrant County, but he
moved to Goat Neck in 1902 and has lived
there ever since. He recalls the days when
Oren "Pee Wee" Jones used to deliver mail
on horsebeck to Goat Neckers, when the
Hiland and Live Oak Schools were the local
educational institutions before they consolidated
with Clebume, and when the Hiland
Church of Christ flourished before it disbanded
andd became the Goat Neck Community Center.
Peterson believes more people used to
inhabit Goat Neck long ago than do now.
"There used to be 20 or 30 families here," he says.
At present, he can recollect the names
of only nine or ten: Baker, Wallace, Ormsby,
Mitchelt, Scott. Runnels, Humphreys, Prayter,
Hansen, and Clemens.
Peterson received a unique honor from his
neighbors earlier this year. Although Goat
Neck is not an official governmental entity,
on April 7. 1984, the residents of Goat Neck
presented him with a plaque proclaiming him
"Honorary Mayor of Goat Neck." Peterson
also has a hat with his honorary title on it, and
he wears it with pride.
Floyd Ormsby, who owns the 4,000 acre
Ormsby Ranch with his son, is another
prominent resident of the Goat Neck-Hiland-
Freeland section of Johnson County.
He describes the location of his ranch as
"kinda in the suburbs of Goat Neck," a place
he picked out in 1945 just after he returned
from World War II.
Ormsby recalls when there was a regular
newspaper column from Goat Neck. "Every
article," he says, "started off by saying
whether the river was up, down, or dry."
Apparently, the river depth was the most
important aspect of Iife to the Goat Neck
back then because, depending on the height
of the water, they could cross the Brasos to
shop in Kimble, much closer than Cleburne.
Besides farming near the river (especially
peanut farming) and ranching back from the
river, Goat Neck is also known, according to
Ormsby, for supplying road materials for
nearly the whole county. "Right now," Ormsby
believes, "all four precincts are hauling out
of the Hiland community."
Peterson and Ormsby certainly supply the
outlook of some current, long-time residents
of Goat Neck. The most intimate view of Goat Neck&';s
past, however, can be found in the
pages of a diary kept by J.A. Crook, who was
born in 1896 and lived in Goat Neck until his
death in 1973. His daughter, Mrs. Floyd
Morrow, remembers her father going off to sit
under a tree on their property to find the
privacy in which to write.
Concerning the doctors in the early years of the
century in that area, Crook writes,
"Them days there was no gravel roads, no
bridges, but those old pioneer doctors never
failed as children had to be born and people
with pneumonia had to be cared for or they
died " About one physician in particular, Dr.
P.M: Adams, he writes, "He was on 24 hours
call at all times."
About Grandpa Brewer, a river man who
lived in Goat Neck at about 1900, Crook
writes, "It never got too had for Grandpa to
put his boat across the river for sick or well.
One of the neighbors died, and she was buried
across the river. It was bank full. They took
the corpse in a wagon, carried it to the boat,
and Grandpa ferried the coffin and box across
Then he ferried the family across and
ai1 the friends on this side. He was glad to be
of service to anyone."
Crook even remembers the days when
cedars were rare in Goat Neck. "Mr. Merts
(a rancher) told everyone to he careful with
the cedars as he needed them for fence posts.
Then the robins, for some cause, come in here
in the early &';20&';s and began to eat the berries
from the cedars. Soon they began to come up
everywhere and became a nuisance, taking
the pastures, fence rows, and everything else.
Old fields soon became a cedar brake."
He also describes two incidents which must
have been talk of the area for weeks afterward
in days gone by. The first was the
Wilbanks families experience with unfriendly
Indians who, in an attempt to scare the
family off, shot one of their horses and killed
and ate their cows. Wilbanks sent two of his
sons, Tommie and Nannie, to gather some
neighbors who knew the Indians.
"The boys left there like a summer breeze,
and the Indians saw them leave so they sent
four or five braves after them. But they soon
came back as the boys got too much of a lead
over them." Well, the two neighbors came
right over and "held a powwow with the
Indians" who were Tonkawas. The Indians,
whom Crook describes as "sort of friendly hut
would steal you out of house and home"
Eventually agreed to leave the area.
An even more dramatic incident involved the robbing
And beating of two elderly ladies Aunt Jettie,
and Aunt Sissie Moore, sisters. They lived
on 20 acres that their father had purchased
Years before. (See Highland for more information)
By Steve Bell Johnson County history Book Page 267
Editors Note JA Crook diary talks a
Peg Leg LD Pierce
will try to get that typed in later.
Reprinted with permission
Life Style of Goatneck
Aug 9 1999 this is not error corrected Yet--I
did improve the formatting
Some families owned their
farms and did
their own farming. Some ware tenants that I
farmed and some people living in the community
would work at day work during the I
arming season. It was about 1918 when the first car
made its appearance in Goatneck. ( people living in the
area walked, rode horse back, horse and buggy, or wagon and team.
The first day of each month was trade&';s day
at Cleburne on the Market Square. People
would leave on a Sunday, taking horses, Cows,
pigs, chickens or whatever they had to sell or
made. Sometimes the wives would go along
to do their buying in the dry good stores. It
as usually a two or three day trip. There
were two wagon yards in Cleburne: The Lone
Star and The City. Before leaving on a
Sunday, the men would put enough hay and
? in the wagon to last until they returned
?. Most would take bedding and sleep in
their wagons. They would rent a space for the
wagon and a stall for the horses in one of the
wagon yards. The wagon yards had a rest
room for people staying there. It was a big
thing to go to First Monday. They would visit
with people from all over the county. Almost
every Sunday a church service was conducted
the school house. A two weeks meeting was
4d in the summer time and a big dinner
osed the meeting. Ball games were played
? a Sunday afternoon, during the summer.
erring the winter months, there were coun-.
&'; dances and play parties in the summer.
,tmuch wenton in thefall,aseveryone WEB
zking cotton and gathering corn. Some
nilies would go out West and pick cotton.
:ee big fish fries on the Brasos River.
rring the summer there would be two or
Nays on the Fourth of July was ice cream
a fish fry. Most of the farmers always had
termelon patches, and would give anyone
relon, but for fun, a bunch of the men and
s always wanted to raid a farmer&';s patch.
e of the raiding bunch would tip the
mer off and he would be waiting with his
t gun. Just about the time the raiders
Ild get a melon,,the farmer would start
,oting. The raiders would run in all
xtions, running into wire fences and
,t the old Cal&an Farm was a syrup mill.
the fall those that planted syrup me rled their cane to
the mill, and most of the
lmunity was employed in making syrup.
se has been many gallons of syrup made
the old mill. The nearest doctor was at
"ball, his name was Dr. E&l. When some
became sick, they would get the best
horseback rider to ride to Kimball for the
doctor. Sometimes the doctor would send
medicine, but most likely he would hitch his
se to the buggy, no matter what hour of
day or night, and cross the Brazos River
the Ramsey Crossing into Goatneck to see
sick person. If the Brazos River water was
deep and swift, some one would put him
ass in a boat. Dick Anderson once swam
09s the Bravos River when it was almost
of its banks to get the boat, which ~88 on
other side of the river. He rowed across,
doctor got into the boat, and he rowed the
&';tar across the river, dodging all of the logs
debris, and other trash that was floating in
the current of the river. The first person to
keep the post office, was a Mr. Watters. It was
located on his farm, then later moved to the
Runnels Farm. In addition to the other
tragedies mentioned, there was a shoot-out
between a Mr. Bush and a Mr. Peterson.
There was no winner; both died. The Ford car
and truck changed the way of life in the Goat
Neck Community. Luther Blackstock owned
the tint Ford truck in the community. He
hauled the first bale of cotton to the gin for
Claude Johnson. He also hauled many groceries
for the people. By Herbert Blackstock
Counties once claimed Land
While Goatneck has never
it has been under the jurisdiction of four different counties.
In the early 1830&';s Texas had 56 counties,
not difficult to form a new county, for plenty
of open spaces unclaimed by anyone, all that
it took was a surveyor to outline the borders
and some one to draw up a petition which was
easy; many times the survey was, just from
here to yonder.
In 1838, a group formed Robertson County,
adjoining Brazos County on the north with
Franklin as county seat, the northern border
extended to what is now the northern line of
Hood County, Tarrant and Dallas Counties.
Then they found it was more than they
could administer, so they lopped off many
counties to the north, one of which they
designated Navarro County for the furthest
north. This was done in 1845.
Still too big for one county, so in 1854,
Naverro sliced off the northern section
forming Ellis, Hill and Johnson Counties,
Johnson being the larger of the three. In 1866
Johnson County had more than they wanted
to administer, so they sliced off a portion,
forming Hood County.
In all the cutting and slicing there Was a
wee bit of a place that was kinda no mans
land, so Hood gave a small slice off their
county and Johnson County gave a small slice
off their county, added to the unclaimed and
formed the third smallest county in Texas,
When Ellis, Hill and Johnson were formed,
the boundary lines were fairly straight unless
in the case of a stream of water, so the eastern
lines of Hill and Johnson County were the
western line of Ellis, the northern line of Hill
to begin at a point about two miles just east
of south of Venus, then west 14 degrees south
of the Brazos River. The Brazos River
forming the west line of both Hill and
This east-west line, crossed Ham Creek,
about one and one-half miles from where it
empties into the Brazos River, on top of the
mountain at Klondike; to the Brazos River at
or near what was once known as the Rock
crossing on the Brazos, or just below the
island in the river; thus forming a perfect goat
neck and head in that portion of Hill County.
So Goat Neck is there, when land was
traded like pocket knives on the market
square, about the time Johnson County and
Hood County formed Somewell County. Hill
County transferred to Johnson County that
portion of land, changing the line from a
point just east of Ham Creek south to the
river near the Allison Park.
So there really is a Goat Neck in Johnson
County; one time in Robertson County, then
in Navarro, then in Hill County, now in
by J. Lambert Lain
Two old log houses in the Freeland
in western Johnson County are
memorials to the sturdy pioneers who built
them. Although both have been covered over
in recent years, it proves that this type house
was built to last. One belonged to Granther
Lafon, who was probably the earliest settler
in the community. He and his family came
here from Carolina before the Civil War.
Their one ox-wagon was so loaded that th
members of the family walked most of the way.
They built this home in the early 1870&';s.
After cutting the logs above Brazes Point
Crossing and rafting them down the Brazes
River, they loaded them on ox-wagons and
hauled them to this building site. Lafon
descendants still own and live in the house.
Originally the house was two large rooms
with center hall; a favorite method of con-
struction the early days. Later, about 70
or 80 years ago, an addition, also of log, was
added to the back and the hall enclosed. More
e recently a porch was added on the front and
the entire structure boarded over. The log
rafters can easily be seen inside the porch,
and the great log beams are visible beneath
the house. The walls are nine inches thick and
the original, handmade doors opening from
the hall into the two front rooms are still in
use. Each door is composed of seven hand
This is a beautiful location, almost entirely
surrounded by hills. On an elevation south of
the house is the family cemetery, enclosed
with an iron fence. Some of the graves are
with the name engraved, but a number are
designated by unmarked native rocks.
The old Spanish Lime kiln, on a branch of
Cafp Creek, known as Lafon Branch, is about
one and a half miles north of the Lafon home
Southeast on the Brazos River is
the old Jack "Uncle Jackie" Pierce log
cabin, which was overlaid with stucco in
1933 or 1934 (by the Peabody's who bought
the ranch. Editor, LD Pierce)
The bottomland between the house
and the river was cleared for crops by Negro
Slaves. A huge bluff on the river was walled
up by the Negroes for their abode.
(editors note: this bluff was bulldozed in 1996)
Albert Crook&';s fathers once worked for
Jack Pierce and the Crook Family lived here
in this old house. He said the Negroes continued
to live under the bluff long after the Civil War,
and that it was no trouble to see where their
cooking fires were built. Floods on the river
finally undermined the bluff so completely that
it caved off, and now there is no evidence left
of the early home of the Negroes. Many of them
are buried along with the Pierce family in the
Cemetery north of the house.
By Viola Block
Johnson County History Book pg 257
George Freeland was one
of the earliest
settlers in the western pert of Johnson
County in the community which would bear
his name. The Freeland post office was
established in the 1870&';s. first in Sim Glenn&';s
home, then "Uncle" Allen Wilbanks built a
store and the post office was transferred to
the store. Wilbanks was appointed postmaster
in 1890. He served as Justice of the Peace
and County Commissioner for Johnson County.
There were several big ranches in this area:
Cameron, Pierce Willingham, Mertz, and
others in what is now Somervell and Hood Counties.
The Mertz ranch in 1880, was the first to
fence their land. Albert Crook says people cut
this fence until they just got tired and quit.
Sometimes it would be cut between every
post. Before this they had been able to go
anywhere they pleased, riding. walking or
driving their wagons across country the most
direct route to their destination, and they
resented not being able to do as they had
always done. However, as fast as the fence
was cut it was repaired. A law was passed
calling for a gate every mile and making it a
violation of the law to carry a pair of pliers
to cut a fence. At least one family had their
house and barns burned by stockmen, who
did not want anyone moving in and fencing
off grazing land.
The first schools were in a vacant house or
private home. Then they began building log
schools. Such a log school was located on what
is now Albert Crooks&'; land, on a hill north of
his home. Buffalo bones were found in the
ashes of the old, rock fireplace. All that is left
now are a few rocks from the old chimney and
some old live oak trees. Tom Cravens told
Albert Crook that one day, when he was going
to school here, some of the children saw
Indians and ran to tell the teacher, "Come see
the Indians, they are going by out here by the
hundreds." Sure enough they were!
The last Indian baby born here was in a
thicket at the Lonme Wilbanks place. The
squaw dropped out of the group when she
came to the thicket. She tied her horse, which
was pulling a buffalo hide travois. cleaned out
a place under a little hackberry and hung a
papoose bag on the tree. Somemen working
out this way saw her and when they went to
the house they told Mrs. Wilbanks. She went
down to help, but the Indian woman sent her
away saying she would have the baby okay
without any help. Mrs. Wilbanks worried
about her all night and went back at daylight.
The Indian woman had all her belongings
loaded and the baby strapped on her back.
She got on her horse, waved goodby to Mrs.
Wilbanks and took the trail of the other Indians.
After the white men came into the south-
west and destroyed the buffalo the Indiana
have never again faired as well as they did in
the old days. Tepees were buffalo skins
stretched over tent poles, which could easily
be converted into travois - at first hauled by
dogs and women and children, then after the
days of the Spanish, who brought in horses,
the travois were fastened with strips of hide
and pulled behind the horses. Household
equipment clothing and food were carried in
this manner by the women and children. The
men carried only their weapons - flint knives,
war clubs, bows and arrows and short spears
and later guns. Sometimes they had shields,
made of rawhide, hardened by fire, perhaps-painted
The Indians used all the parts of a buffalo.
His hide furnished tepee coverings, sleeping
robes and material for bullboats for crossing
rivers. His bones and horns were used for
making weapons and tools. His sinews made
strong thread, and his hoofs furnished glue.
No one owned any land, but they recognized
he right of other groups to certain
hunting domain. If they met another tribe
whose language they did not understand,
they used sign language, by means of which
they could express almost everything. They
were able to carry on long conversations
without saying a word.
by Viola Block Johnson County history Book
NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH
The New Hope Baptist
Church in Freeland
community in western Johnson County, Close to Goatneck.
held their annual homecoming Sunday, May 35, 1969.
New Hope, organized in February 1860 at
the residence of Richard Young, near the
forks of the creek (near the mouth of Camp
Creek). just south of the Baker Cemetery, is
the second oldest Baptist Church in the
county. Bethesda, the oldest, was organized
in 1855. New Hope, originally called Mars Hill, was
organized by Rev. Louis Baldwin with seven
members, Richard Young and wife, their son
and his wife, W.M. Burton and wife, and Mrs.
Vina Irving, later Mrs. S.E Moss.
Meetings were held in the Young home
until the spring of 1860, at which time they
moved across the Brazos and met in a school,
later called the Chapel. This must have been
in Bosque County early records show they
met in that county. They soon moved back
and built an arbor near the Banker Cemetery
where they met during the summer months.
In the winter they met in homes of members,
until 1870 when they moved to a schoolhouse
near where Brazos Valley school was later
bunt. This was a log building in Goat Neck
or Highland, which at that time was a part
of Basque County.
In 1872 they moved into the Freeland
school house, where they continued to meet
until 1913. Regardless of where the church
met, they baptized new members in Camp Creek.
Jim Lane, the present church clerk, said
when he was a small boy he and his father
took two loads of seed cotton to Cleburne and
his father said he didn&';t sea any reason to
drive two empty wagons home. He said the
community had long talked about. building a
church, so he bought shingles and loaded
them into his wagon drove home and dumped
the shingles beside the road. Of course
the next morning everyone wanted to know
what all the shingles beside the road were for.
When the community learned what Lane
had done they went to work in earnest to
build the church. Jess Dempsey of Glen Rose
was in charge of the construction. Members
helped. Mrs. Albert Crook said her father,
Nort Jones, helped on the building which cost
$300. Sunday School rooms have been added since.
Monroe Broadway is the present pastor.
He preached for the Sunday service, after
which lunch was spread on a number of tables
under trees in the church yard. I was a guest
of the Albert Crooks and enjoyed the delicious
food, especially Mrs. Crook&';s German chocolate cake.
During the afternoon some of the younger
children were having fun ringing the two
church bells, which are on a pipe tower beside
the building. One of the bells came from the
old Methodist Church at Eulogy, given by
Albert Crook and Craven Lane when they
bought the Eulogy church for the lumber.
The second bell was donated by Paul McMichael,
who asked that it be used.
The oldest person present the homecoming
Sunday was Mrs. Fannie Moore Todd, 34.
Her father, Sam Moore, and uncle Hute
Some Part left out here&';.
The New Hope Baptist Church in Freeland
community in Western Johnson County held
their annual homecoming Sunday May 25, 1969
&';&';.Other big ranches here were the Cameron,
Willingham and Pierce ranches. Clem Pierce
owned 6,596 acres along the Brazos River.
He branded every calf he could find with his
initials, C.A.P. In this wild, unfenced land a
calf without a brand could be claimed by anyone.
Pierce&';s niece, Ola Dell Pierce Jones
(Clyde Jones, deceased, was a cousin of Mrs. Crook),
came down from Wichita Falls for the homecoming.
She was the youngest child of George W. Pierce,
brother of Clem, and when George died the children
were placed in different homes. Clem took little Ola Bell.
She said one of the Negroes, called Snow Ball,
played marbles with her. She learned to ride the
wild horses and would go all over the big ranch.
which she said ran clear to Bee Mountain.
It joined the Mertz property on the south and east.
She said she inherited 150 acres from the ranch,
and it was the land her father originally homesteaded.
She planned to visit the old Pierce family cemetery
Sunday afternoon. The Granther Lafons were probably
the earliest settlers in this community. The original
loghouse on the Lafon place and one of the Pierce Ranch
are both still standing.
By Viola Block Johnson County History Book Page
LD Pierce Journal
November 1 1998
Reagarding Pierce Ranch at Goatneck.
My researching has
finally led me to locate Herbert E Blackstock, formerly of Johnson County
now living in Pecos, TX. He is 86 years old. He wrote many of the history
and stories about the Pierces that appear in the Johnson County History
Book. He remembered all the stories his dad used to tell him about the
Pierces. You can never imagine his surprise when I call out of the blue one
Sunday morning and announced my name as "LD Pierce" he was quite
surprised!! He grew up in the Cleburne and GoatNeck area, and his dad grew
up there. He says they were living in GoatNeck before the Peterson&';s
arrived. He thinks this was around 1860 same time as the Pierces arrived.
His Uncle Frank Long was Sheriff of Johnson County. He remembered the story
of LD Pierce&';s son who was killed and threw down in the water well. The
family did not know anything about it till they notice the smell in the
drinking water and found the body. They never found out anything about who
killed that son or why he was killed. Herbert could not remember the son&';s
name. Herbert recalls that the well is still there, and that it was covered
by a huge flat rock with a hole in the center. A small stone wall had been
built up around the well with the rock on top. The last time he was at the
Pierce ranch he could not find the rock and the well was all caved in. He
recalls that the Pierces "came from Mississippi to Johnson County soon
after the civil war" and that Clem Pierce owned much land before LD
Pierce arrived. LD Pierce owned a huge tract of land that today is known as
GoatNeck (all the land around the GoatNeck Community Center) LD Pierce came
to the land on the Brazos and his freed slaves traveled with him, and worked
for him on the ranch. They were known with the last name Pierce also. He had
heard there were as many as 20 freed slaves. LD Pierce built the old log
house, which was described by both Herbert and Mrs. Viola Block. Pierce
Crossing on the Brazos River was close by the Old Log House. He recalls that
the description of GoatNeck included land from Fishtrap Crossing to Bluff
Mills and Bee Mountain and Back to the north crossing. Part of that area
used to be in Hill and Bosque Counties. Herbert says he has an extra copy of
the first edition of the Johnson County History Book, and will autograph it
and give it to July 27 1999 at the GoatNeck Reunion, held at the
Goatneck Community Center. LD Pierce Nov 1 1998
Editors Note: July 7, 1999. Went to Goatneck and Took some
photos of the Pierce Cemetery. Ran into Herbert Blackstock's Brother
at the Goatneck Community Center. Unfortunately he told me that the
reunion was held June 27 and not in three weeks July 27!! I really
hate not getting to visit with Herbert Blackstock!! I might have to go out to Pecos to visit him, as I am afraid for his health
at this time.
July 7, 1999. I went back out to Goatneck and took the photos below of
Andrew and Nancy Pierce's tombstone. Jessie Pierces
tombstone has been broken in half for many years and is located on the
C.A. Pierce page. I Did get a good photograph of it. Below are
the photos of the Pierce tombstone and the cemetery area. In the
photo directly below if you notice directly to the left of the large
tombstone about 5-6 ft is a smaller stone. There are two of
these. The one that is visible is Nancy Pierce's. There is another for
AJ about 4 ft to the left of hers. I did not get a good photo of
his secondary stone. I was able to verify Nancy's death date as April
28, 1878. AJ's death date remains May 20, 1892. The side of the stone
on which AJ's inscription is placed, is very light, and I was unable
to get a photo of it. I am going to take a non permanent
black magic marker to fill in the cuts next time I am out there( to
get a photograph of the inscription). Also soon I am also going to
make "rubbings" of the inscriptions using charcoal. Lester
Jones, one of the eldest of the Pierce family, remembers that in the
1960's there were 20 or so flat stones. These are currently
piled around a the base of a tree nearby. The large hole
has not washed any closer to the cemetery and graves. I feel
that the next big flood in the region will wash out to the point where
I was standing, when I took the photo below---or even closer.
Unfortunately the big hole, and wash area is now filled with unsightly
trash and rubbish.
The basic directions to get out there from Cleburne are this:
1. Take Henderson towards Glen Rose. Past the Hospital and
the Hwy 67 merge. A few miles down Hwy 67 you make a left hand
turn at the Elks Club. this is State Rd 1434. Going 10 or more
miles when you see Ormsby Ranch and signs and the goatneck sign turn
left. Take this road 4-5 miles till it dead ends, turn right, and make
an endless series of left and right turns till you find it!
Ha-Ha! Hanson LN is located on county road 1240A. The Goatneck
Community Center is located on County Road 1117.
I do not have an accurate map.
21, 1999: Spoke with Doris Lanfears of the Johnson County
Cemetery Association. She went out to GoatNeck and survey the
Pierce Cemetery with the County Commissioner. They have
determined that the cemetery is not in a flood area, and should not
wash out any more. That is a relief. She has also begun
preparations to get rid of all the brush in the cemetery area.
In the fall or winter of 1999 she has plans to get the cemetery
complete marked off and fenced. I am planning to go with her to
the cemetery in the fall, and she will bring equipment to locate
graves, get them counted, ect. We also hope to find more buried
headstones, ect. I sent her three copies of my book. One for
herself, and she is donated one to the Alverado and Johnson County
THE PIERCE CEMETERY
At Goatneck on Brazos!
Here-- Now Pierce Cemetery has its own page with PHOTOS
Copyright 1998, L D PIERCE. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized use or reproduction is strictly prohibited.
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