First Log Cabin
By Alma Braudrick
Honey Grove Signal-Citizen, December 1975
I don’t know if I am unique or antique; a novelty or a celebrity, or just plain ‘nothen’, but there are not many around that ever saw the first log cabin built in Honey Grove, much less played in it.
Samuel A. Erwin, as you know was the first settler here and he built his log cabin in 1842. He built near the big creek that ran thru what is now Crockett Park, because it supplied him with game, wood and water. As a child we played in this place all the time. It was a beautiful place then, huge bois d’arc trees lined the side of the creek, and water flowed thru the park out under the big wooden bridge that spanned what is now Main Street, then on down thru Yeagers pasture (Goss land now). It was under this bridge that ‘Bub’ Cappleman and I found several baby snakes and
we got a fruit jar, put them in it and took them home with us. What we didn’t think about was the fact that Mamma and Papa snake was bound to have been close somewhere. What could have happened to us is not good even now to think about.
But about our log cabin; it was hewn logs made into two rooms. The logs on the inside was smooth and each fit close to the one next to it. Don’t ask me why there were no cracks between the logs; cause I don’t know, but they fit perfectly. The ladder that took us to the attic or upper part was made in the wood and hard to climb.
In the block going north and south, we owned one half the block on the southend and Dr. Cappleman had the other half on the North and our land went one-third of the block East and West. Dr’s land and Mother Woods land went one-half the block east and west. Where the Cappleman lot joined Mother Woods is where the log cabin sat. The big room was on the Cappleman side, the smaller room on the Wood property. It was part of the stable where Dr. Cappleman kept his horses and on the upper part of the stable where Dr. Cappleman kept his horses and on the upper part he stored his hay. There was a trap door down into the Wood side, but the law laid down was, “we were not to go on the Wood side to play’ end of law. ‘Cause we did but kinda in secret. Mother Wood kept an old cow in her side and we were just a little afraid of her because of her long horns.
There were two doors into the cabin, one on the east, one on the west, and a window in the upper part. It was out this window we would crawl, across the top shed and onto the top of the big barn. At the edge of the shed was a huge hackberry tree. We would slide down the limb and down the tree onto the bag swing we had there.
Under the shed is where Dr. Cappleman kept his buggy. I drove a thousand miles in that buggy and never moved out from under the shed. ‘Make-believe’ is still a wonderful world, you can go anywhere you want to.
Right in front of the Cappleman house, where the park marker is today, was another small log cabin. It was low on the ground and falling in in places. This is where we played ‘house’ sometimes and when we played ‘blind mans bluff’ I was scared to death when they said “Its just chickens scratching in the ashes.” I just knew something was going to grab me any moment. I do not know when they tore this cabin down and we have no pictures of it, only the one in my mind.
This land was bought in 1919 from W.L. Erwin for a park, maybe it was then the cabin destroyed.
The Cappleman and Wood property have been sold several times, and I have no data as to when Samuel Erwin Cabin was done away with. I didn’t know when I was playing in this place that it was history itself. It was only after I read an article written by Philip Pierce in 1904 about Honey Grove that I knew the log stable in Dr. Cappleman’s barn, was the Samuel Erwin log cabin of 1842.
Typed by Allyiah Daniels