Matilda (Dement) Dickens

Another married daughter of the Dements, Matilda, came to Driftwood in 1904 and lived here with her family for several years. Her husband was George Dickens and they bought 566 acres of land from Mr. Joe Rogers, located on the east bank of Onion Creek. They bought, also, the logs of the old log and rock house that the Rogers family had lived in when they first came to the Driftwood area. They built a commodious log house near the banks of Onion Creek. This house stood for many years after the Dickens’ family moved away but was torn down in recent years.

The land was pastureland, covered with timber and as Mr. Dickens was a farmer, he set to work clearing much of the land to put into fields. He had a stump puller, one of the first seen in this part of the country, and it was powered by an old horse called Brigham and when this operation (stump pulling) was going on Mr. Dickens could be heard for long distances calling, “Giddup Brigham”. To a small boy who lived down the road this was a very fascinating operation to watch, especially so when one of the Dickens boys would hop on old Brigham’s back to encourage him along and ride him circus fashion.

These fields proved to be very productive and the Dickens’ children helped pick many bales of cotton from them. There were seven children: Jess, Susie, Harvey, Nannie (called Dollie), Reuben, Cecil (a girl) and Raymond or Buster, as he was called. In later years these children related what wonderful times they had fishing and swimming in Onion Creek.

The Dickens sold this land to Mr. Joe Wilhelm in 1912 and moved away from Driftwood. Over the years many of them have come back to the annual reunions at Camp Ben McCulloch.

No descendants of the E.H. Dements live at Driftwood in this year of 1969 but he two living children, Miss Nannie and Alex, are frequent visitors here. They, their families and other descendants of the Dements have an annual reunion on the Camp Ben McCulloch Reunion grounds during the summer. They build a large camp and several families of them camp there during the Confederate Reunion so, truly, they are being represented here at Driftwood in 1969.

An interesting side light came to our attention recently in regards to some work Alex Dement did for the Witte Museum in San Antonio in 1968. In this museum is an old stage coach, once the property of Captain Richard King, founder of the famous King Ranch, which was presented to the museum by members of his family. The stage coach needed some repairs and someone who knew that Alex was a retired wheel-wright and blacksmith asked him to do the necessary repairs. This he did, this preserving a link with the past to add to the rich heritage that Texas has.

Source, DRIFTWOOD HERITAGE The History of Driftwood, Texas Copyright 1970.