F.M. Collier and wife and the Jesse Mercer family were the first settlers to arrive in what would eventually become Comanche County, arriving in December of 1854. From writings left behind by Collier, his young wife was expecting her first baby when they made what was a four month trip from the Austin area to the frontier. Because there were no roads to be found in the Central Texas area, I feel sure that Mrs. Collier walked most of the way so that she could avoid the horrible, bumpy ride in a wagon.
Again, according to Collier, it was not, however, his wife who created the constant commotion on the trip. No, that was Mrs. Mercer, who was very, very unhappy about being forced to move into the North Leon River Country, better known as Indian Territory. She was the second wife of Jesse Mercer and much younger than he was, and if the Colliers can be believed, she and her husband fought the entire four months!
As much as I hate to admit it, I do understand at least a bit of how Mrs. Mercer must have felt. Can you just imagine what it must have felt like to be leaving everything you have known and going where no man had gone before you, where quite literally, no one had ever blazed a trail? Knowing that when you arrived, you would certainly not be welcome? I’m afraid I might have reacted just as Mrs. Mercer did!
For more on the Colliers and Mercers, stop by the new heritage center building and check out the great work of Kristi Taylor, Eddie Cox, Sharla Cox, Ruth Goodson, and Kerry Dudley!