New county gets new county judge

A week after the Monterey orchestra left Corpus Christi to perform in San Diego, Duval County voters went to the polls and elected a new county judge. James Luby had served as County Judge since the organization of the county in 1878, but in November 1884 attorney J. W. Moses won the post.

Other countywide officials elected included L. L. Wright as Sheriff; R. B. Glover, District and County Clerk; George Bodet, Treasurer; J. J. Dix, Surveyor; John Buckley, Assessor; and W. B. Austin, Inspector of Hides and Animals. Elected to the Commissioners Court, along with Judge Moses, were E. Chamberlain, J. J. Dix and C. F. Sullivan. No election was held in Barronena thus no commissioner was elected from that precinct.

J. W. Wright won the post of Justice of the Peace # 1. The county judge refused to allow anyone to look at lists, thus presidential results went unreported.  Residents met at the courthouse to discuss the governor’s proposal to disband the Texas rangers. They adopted a resolution addressed to the Texas Legislature in support of keeping the ranger force.

In social notes, Dr. T. C. Hannelly and Elisa Palacios exchanged wedding vows in Concepcion on Feb. 4, 1885 at the residence of the bride’s parents. Valentine’s Day came and went without notice; the Corpus Christi newspaper reported there was a lack of romance and money. James Douglas and Lizzie Spann Latta had a baby boy they named Jon David. Regrettably, the child died five weeks later, on March 26, of infantile convulsions. Louis P. Bryant of San Diego was showing a cross at the exhibit of the antiquities, historical and modern curiosities at the New Orleans Exposition.

A cold front in February 1885 handed local ranchers heavy losses. They lost a large number of animals, including sheep herds, horses, and oxen. As a result, planting was going forward with hoes instead of plows. Buzzards, both the flying kind and those that walked on two feet, were cleaning the bones of what remained. Merchants were buying large amounts of skins, hides and pelts, from both animals that fell to the freeze and those slaughtered for sale. Another cold and rain returned to the area before the end of February.

Over in Benavides, the sheriff closed down the store of Vera & Co. over an alleged debt owed by a clerk at the store. The sheriff’s action surprised residents since the store enjoyed a good and honest reputation. Friends of the establishment offered to put up whatever bond the sheriff demanded. Don Pedro Eznal, a junior clerk at the store, reported the whole matter was a mistake, everything had been taken care and the store had reopened.