The Mareks and the Peters
In 1884, Uriah Lott, an enterprising
developer, secured the charter for the San Antonio Aransas Pass Railroad
and began looking for a place to build the railroad maintenance shops.
The towns of Cuero and Hallettsville refused to pay the requested fee
for the privilege, so Lott built his own town halfway between them. He
named it Yoakum after his Vice President and General Manager, B. F. Yoakum.
The railroad reached Yoakum on
Joseph and Anna had come to the
After arriving in
As farmers, they followed the seasons. In January and February they plowed the cold earth and prepared it for sowing. In early March cotton and corn were planted. By April, the cotton was about two inches high, growing in straight rows and was ready to be chopped to thin it out. Then by May it was in full bloom. During the summer months, June through August, the entire family spent most of the time out in the fields picking. They wore special knee pads for protection and gathered the cotton in large bags that they dragged by the straps. It took about 2,000 pounds of raw cotton and seed to make one bale which, for the Mareks, was equivalent to two acres of planted crop.
While a small amount of corn was picked early for the
family’s own consumption, the major harvesting took place in October and
November, when the ears were dry and easier to take off the stalk. The
grain was then stored. The cattle and pigs were fed grain from the previous
year. Calves were traditionally butchered in the summer and hogs in the
winter. The latter were made into sausages and cured as bacon or ham and
stored in stone crocks covered with lard. There was