Brownwood linked to state champion horse
The following was taken from an article in the semi-weekly Farm News, Dallas, Texas, printed January 12, 1912.
January 8. A racing fan can find in the stables of V.J. Davis, the pioneer race horseman, near Brownwood, the once famous race mare Maud D. Maud D has nearly lived through her 26th year. She is still in good health. Maud D broke the state record for half a mile in the owner’s handicap in Dallas in 1890. She is a descendant of Old Lexington, the greatest race horse America has produced. She was sired by Creole Dance of Jennie Green. Creole Dance was sired by Old Lexington.
Maud D was foaled in the spring of 1885 near Waco. She was brought to Brownwood as a filly by Mr. May, who in 1889 sold her to Brumley & Davis for $150. In the spring of 1890, V.J. Davis bought her, and he still owns her. He put her in training and in the fall of that year, took her to Dallas where she broke the state half mile record.
At the Dallas race, with Taylor up, the betting was 30 to 1, but, when the horses went to the post, the odds were only 6 to 1 against her. She raced with a group of 10 of the best half milers on the circuit that year and easily won.
The following year, Maud D went against some of the world’s record horses at St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver, and win more often than she was beaten. In a race with April Fool, she came out a close second, but so close with the weight of the rider on the bits, that Mr. Davis was given both first and second money. She defeated the famous Geraldine in 4-1/2 furlong race.
After a few years of racing, Mr. Davis brought her to Brownwood and raised four colts from her, but they did not inherit the speed of their mother. In 1903, she was stolen from Mr. Davis’ pasture, and was gone for five years. She was located in a pasture in Comanche County and recovered by Mr. Davis in 1908. In the fall of that year, Mr. Davis raced her in the three-eighth mile dash at the Brownwood Fair, but her feet had lost their speed, and she came out third.
Pioneer mother’s advice to new bride – How to do the wash
Build a fire in the backyard under a big cast iron wash pot that is half full of rain water.
Set tubs so smoke won’t blow in the eyes if the wind is strong. Shave one whole cake of homemade lie soap in boiling water.
Sort clothes, make three piles, one pile white, one pile colored and one pile britches and rags.
Rub white clothes on rub board after soaking, then bile. Rub colored, but don’t bile, just rinse and starch. Rub britches and rags, rinse.
Take white clothes out with a broom handle, then rinse, blew and starch.
Spread white clothes on the grass. Hang colored clothes on bushes. Hang britches and rags on a fence. Pour rinse water in the flower bed. Scrub porch with soapy water. Turn tubs upside down to drain, then hang on a nail on the side of the house.
Wash day was frequently on Mondays in Brown County. In the early days, it was quite an occasion for the few settlers along the Pecan Bayou in the little town of Brownwood.
Each family would load their iron pot, tubs, clothes and a picnic lunch into the wagon and meet their neighbors at the bayou, near where C.C. Woodson Road is today.
The iron pot was half filled with water from the Bayou, and a fire was built around the pot by the men and the boys. Their task was to keep the rinsing tubs filled with water. The washing of clothes was carried out as described in the above washing instructions by the women and girls. While the clothes dried, there was time for fellowship that many enjoyed, eating visiting, and playing. The story was told by Letha Clark, granddaughter of William Franklin Brown, who came to Brown County in 1856.
The Brown County Museum has displays about pioneer life and another famous Brown County horse, the Old Gray Mare and The Old Gray Mare Band.