Cabin lingers as fragment of old-time coach route
Standing in front of the weathered log cabin on Farm-to-Market Road 279 one can almost imagine another time -- one when stage from Fort Worth to Shreveport, La., would stop for the night.
The weary passengers would be rewarded with a place to wash the grit from the dusty trail off, a hot potluck supper and a place to lay their head to recoup from the jostling ride on wooded wagon wheels.
A spry 88-year-old Oneta Cason and her daughters Terrie Brummett and Debbie Cason told stories of the old stagecoach stop for several stage companies, which also served as the U.S. Post Office for Hamburg -- no longer a town, and was the first home of the Concord Baptist Church.
Mrs. Cason said her late husband, C.B. Cason's great-grandfather Capt. Augustus Chandler Beall and his father-in-law James Coltharp decided to stop at the location several miles outside of now present Edom in 1849 to stake a claim to the 462 acres after traveling from Georgia to Texas.
The book "A History of Edom, Texas" by John Bryant Beall Jr., states that Capt. Beall and Coltharp along with their families, quickly settled the area and built the cabin, main house and smoke house out of hand hewn oak logs and pine poles.
Mrs. Cason said when she married her husband in 1944 she moved from Brownsboro to the area the old cabin and home were all intact.
Mrs. Brummett said she remembered a tornado striking the family home place in April 1961 and not only leveling the family home, but also wiping out the smokehouse.
The family said in the 1990s the two story structure became so unsafe that the only choice was to tear it down.
"My husband's family would tell us that it was the first place a sermon was preached in the county," Mrs. Cason said.
Though the women never knew Beall they did know his daughter, Aunt Annie as they knew her and the woman who never married had a different tale each day about her life at a stagecoach stop.
"She kept journals and she wrote what happened each day. Unfortunately the journals were destroyed years ago, but I bet they were full of so much history," Mrs. Brummett said.
Mrs. Brummett said her great-aunt Annie Beall never married and treated her and her sister as her grandchildren.
"We would go down to her house and she would tell stories about how the travelers would come in on the stagecoach and how they would eat pot luck dinners," she said. "There was a narrow hallway going from the cabin, which remains standing to the house and that is where all the guests would sleep."
The book by Beall did have one of Annie's stories about the day they moved into the log home on Christmas Eve 1849, "A storm was brewing and the families moved into the log house through the opening which had been cut for the fireplace."
John Beall's book continued with Annie's story stating the storm arrived and blew some of the tents and newly shocked corn fodder away, some as far as the Neches River.
According to Beall's book, Coltharp built a sawmill near the log home and lumber from the mill was used to build the first frame courthouses in Dallas and Kaufman counties and the first frame house in Dallas.
In the 1860s the Memphis and El Paso Stage Company began using Hamburg as a relay stop between Memphis, Tenn., and El Paso and
"A History of Edom Texas" states Capt. Beall entered the Civil War and when he returned from the war broke. He purchased the land from his father-in-law and began selling corn and oats to passersby.
In 1869 The William Bradford and Company began operating a stage line from Marshall to Dallas and Beall's book states an old schedule from the period stated the trip would take approximately four days to complete.
The family said they hold the history of the cabin close to their hearts and will preserve it for years to come.
A wall inside the Cason home, which is on the adjoining property where the cabin is located, displays Historic Commission letters and plaques, old photographs of the home, receipts from the 1850s and a photograph of Capt. Beall depicting the man in his later years sporting a long flowing white beard.
One receipt from 1872 was for a special tax for tobacco and was for the amount of $2.92.
"Aunt Annie told us all about these stagecoaches and the people. I just wish I would have paid more attention to her, because she was a wealth of information about that time period," Mrs. Brummett said.
The old cabin sits on the north side of FM 279 about one half mile west of Farm-to-Market Road 2010.