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E. G. Hargrave is a son of Harvey Hargrave, whose name has been mentioned In this history. He was born in the state of Indiana in the year. 1839. He came to Texas with his father in the year 1842. He was, therefore, only three years old at the time. He has been raised in Hopkins County and has lived continuously in the county since 1845.
He married Miss M. E. Chapman, daughter of Benjamin Chapman, in the year 1857. This union is a happy one. They have had ten children born to them. Eight of these children are living. Isaac A. married Miss Eliza Coleman, she died and he afterwards married Miss Laura Oxford. John W. lives at Coke in Wood County, and is a practicing physician. Mary E. married Joe Coleman, now living in Haskell County. Robert L. is also a physician, he married Miss Mae Adams. Joseph W. married Miss Belle Healy and lives near his parents. Thomas M. married Miss Ruth Helm and lives on his father’s plantation. Miss Dona C. is yet single, so is Miss Della. They are both nice, sweet young ladies and are a credit to their parents and an honor to Hopkins County. Mr. Hargrave has engaged in agricultural pursuits and has always had ‘plenty of this world’s goods to make him and those dependent upon him comfortable and happy. He has reared an industrious and useful family, and he and his companion have much to be thankful for in this regard. He has been a lifelong Democrat and has no patience with any kind of “isms.” There is no family in Hopkins County that enjoys the confidence of the people to a greater degree than does this family. His inhabitiveness is great, having lived all of his married life upon one tract of land. He has never had any public career, having no taste for that kind of life, preferring instead to pursue the even tenor of his way as a common citizen, satisfied with the faithful discharge of his duties as such co his country, to his friends, his neighbors and his God.
Being reared in Texas he is not a stranger to the hardships incumbent upon the early settler, and has experienced all of these things in common with other pioneers of Hopkins County. He relates an incident of facts worthy of mention and which will be read with deep interest. In the year 1846 his father was out from home looking for bee trees, which were quite common then, watching the holes of water where the bees were satisfying their thirst. He soon observed the direction in which the bees were flying, and immediately followed the course the bees were taking. In a large, unbroken cane brake not far distant stood a couple of massive oak trees. He climbed up a sapling near by in order to enable himself to look over the tops of the tall cane to look into one of the large trees for bees. In sighting up and down the tree (it requires one with great perception to find a bee tree) his attention was attracted to a cub bear lying at the root of one of the huge trees hard by. He retraced his steps to his house and returned with his hired hand to assist in catching the young bear. Mr. Hargrave could have accomplished this feat alone had he not been molested by the mother of the cub. The cane in the thicket was so dense and so thick that ingress to the cub was impossible. They were armed with large hack knives which were used vigorously. There was a deep ditch some twelve feet wide that impeded their approach to the young bear. The cane was cut as a means of escape when the cub was captured.
When everything was clear, Harvey Hargrave said to Brandon, his hired hand: “You take the gun, and in case the old bear attempts to fight when I capture the cub, you shoot her; or you go after the cub and I will stand sentinel.” Brandon preferred to stand guard. Mr. Hargrave advanced slowly and cautiously and captured the cub, which began to cry and squall at the top of its voice. Mr. Hargrave choked the cub and ran for dear life in the direction of his sentinel, who, when he heard the cub squall, became nervous and his legs carried his body off in spite of his heart’s desire to remain and see his friend out. When Mr. Hargrave came to where he had left him with the gun, he looked ahead and saw Brandon running at a rapid gait with gun in hand some sixty yards off. This flight of Brandon came near causing Mr. Hargrave choking the young bear to death. It, however, revived and was tamed for a pet. On the following Sunday Mr. Hargrave summoned all of his neighbors, who were few in number, to assemble at his house for the purpose of securing the old bear and capturing the remaining cubs. There were two cub bears left at the big tree. The crowd of neighbors soon gathered in and immediately hastened to the place where they anticipated an exciting and interesting time. They all knew that the bears were housed in the hollow of this big old tree. Some had axes, others guns, and all had trusty dogs. It was unanimously agreed that the big tree should be felled to the earth, at which time they all expected to have a great frolic with dogs and bear. In bright anticipation of this expected fun, they began cutting upon the tree. The noise of the crowd of men and great number of dogs together with the strokes upon the tree with the axes brought the old bear from her hiding place. She immediately started to the ground, tail foremost. It is the custom of this animal to go up head foremost and return tail foremost. As she approached the ground she was shot several times but not very seriously.
A boy with a small rifle then shot and killed the bear, having made a fortunate shot by striking over the region of the heart. This boy’s name was Jacob Brant, who subsequently became the father of Willis Brant, a well known and respected citizen of Hopkins County. Mr. Hargrave gave one of the cubs to Jacob Brant, who domesticated it, and finally exchanged it with David Clark for a ewe sheep. This transaction occurred in the year 1846. Young Brant retained this ewe and her increase until the year 1861, when he had accumulated a large flock of sheep, amounting to over three hundred head. This bit of historical information is worthy of emulation by all young men who are starting out in life. D. G. Hargrave is sixty-three years of age, has lived in Texas sixty years and is, in common parlance, a thoroughbred Texan.