Keeping Record by Jasmine Gordon

Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 20 Feb 14 - 0 Comments


I sat there, bewildered, unsure of where to start. I dislike the feeling; it quickly frustrates me. One thing I was certain of; it would be an interesting afternoon. I had just lugged Calhoun County General Index of Deeds No. 3 to a table at the County Clerk’s office. The book weighed fifty pounds, easily, no exaggeration. The kicker was it was only one of what seemed like hundreds. I gazed around the room and found myself surrounded by history; commissioner’s court minutes, maps, bonds, you name it – there was a record of it. I was on a mission so I didn’t wander too much… but boy, did I want to!

I had so many questions in the back of my mind. Just a couple of days prior, I had met with Thomas Fisher of Seadrift to talk about Roermerville. Thomas has lived in Seadrift most of his life and was able to offer insight into Roemerville’s location. He took me to several locations on his property; we drove over Two Mile Creek and I learned a vast amount of the area’s vegetation. Thomas talked about many families which I didn’t know, I learned a lot but I walked away with so many questions. As I told Thomas towards the end of our meeting, I needed a starting point and then fill in the gaps. I’d established that Oscar Roemer had owned much of the land which made up Roemerville. But how had the land ended up as we know it today?

So here I was, Monday morning, buried behind countless ledgers. It’s times like these that I think of myself as Nancy Drew looking for the hidden clue which will help to solve the mystery that’s been thrown my way. I am not familiar with the county clerk’s office procedures, so I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I figured I’d begin around 1915, the book I’d chosen covered deeds from 1905 to 1935. I flipped to the “R” section and started browsing through the ledger. It didn’t take long for me to feel at home. I looked for Oscar Roemer but instead was greeted with some very familiar names; A.D. Powers, J.H. McIntire, Calhoun County Co. Cattle and Seadrift State Bank.

Page after page I skimmed looking for Oscar Roemer… nothing… then lo and behold – I turned a page and the entire grantee column were Roemers! I knew this wouldn’t be an easy task, the overwhelming feeling started to creep back into my mind. So I started to look at the referenced Volumes which contained the actual deeds and I began to read. I quickly familiarized myself with the document.

Two hours later the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place. I had gone through three books of deed records, various volumes and traced back some of the land which was passed down from Roemer to Roemer. I even found deeds where property had been purchased for $1.00 between father and son.

“…that I, Adolph Roemer, of the County of Calhoun, State of Texas, for and consideration of the love and affection I have for my son, Oscar Roemer, and for the further consideration of the sum of One ($1.00) Dollar to me this day in hand paid by the said Oscar Roemer…
…Witness in hand at the Port Lavaca, Texas, this the 23rd day of June A.D. 1914. Adolph Roemer”

Some background history – Adolph was born on February 23, 1853 in Calhoun County. His father were John and Anna Maria Brautegam Roemer. I wrote about this generation of Roemers in November’s article as they were early settlers in Long Mott. Adolph followed in his descendant’s footsteps as a leader in this community. He was the sheriff for about twelve years and Vice President of the First National Bank and director of the First State Bank and the Port Lavaca Fish and Oyster Company. He married Josephine Wilmers who was born in Indianola. They had the following children; Preston Oscar, Charlie, Dolph, Oscar, Frederick Jonathan and Lorene Best Marsh. Adolph was extremely influential in Port Lavaca’s growth, he built and owned half of the businesses on the southwest side of Main Street which explained why his name was listed so often.

Alas, I had yet to figure who owned the piece of land we now refer to as Roemerville. I stopped reading and thought… what was I missing? Maybe I hadn’t gone back far enough, frustrated I left the book I was currently engrossed with and started wandering about. I briefly looked and opened several books before coming across a book labeled “Maps.” It was even larger than the Deeds book I’d began with…

Curious, I turned the pages and then there the answer I had been looking for stared me straight in the face! My hard work had paid off! I’ll continue telling you my findings in next month’s article, make sure to check it out!

Saul, Loretta Marsh, Adolph Roemer (with beard), Mrs. Josephine Roemer, Charles and Flora (Ward), Dolph and Jean Kate (Boyd), Marjorie Roemer, Mr. and Mrs. Preston Roemer, Dr. Roemer and Annie Roemer, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Roemer and her mother, Mrs. Garner. Photograph taken at Oscar and Mary Roemer’s ranch and furnished by Marjorie Davis.

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