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Blanco Pioneer Museum Mystery has Two Answers - Your Choice!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 • Posted June 27, 2013

I must thank everyone who assisted in helping give some closure to the mystery of the organization that never talked about anything in their minutes of the meeting. We have been given two choices for the correct answer, so readers, you may choose which to believe.

Here is the first choice: This organization was part of the Farmers Alliance, which was very active in the late 1860s to around 1900s when it slowly moved into other organizations that even today assist farmers. After the Civil War, many men started farming again and getting paid a fair value for their products was not to be, so an alliance much like what we know today as a union was formed. This alliance became very active politically also and at one point tried to form another political party. In Texas, Lampasas County was the first county to start an alliance but others followed soon after and Texas hosted around 100 of these organizations. For more information start with these sources: BIBLIOGRAPHY: Donna A. Barnes, Farmers in Rebellion: the Rise and Fall of the Southern Farmers Alliance and People's Party in Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1984). Dallas Morning News, April 22, 1891. W. L. Garvin and J. O. Daws, History of the National Farmers Alliance and Cooperative Union of America (Jacksboro, Texas: Rogers, 1887). Lawrence Goodwyn, Democratic Promise: The Populist Moment in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976). Robert C. McMath, Jr., Populist Vanguard: A History of the Southern Farmers' Alliance (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975). This source information was taken from Texas History online from the Texas Historical Commission.

The second choice - A men’s drinking club that had a secret agenda. The club had regular meetings but it was not only to drink and socialize but to make decisions on who would receive their assistance. Some of their help would be financial but not always. If a friend or neighbor needed something, it would magically appear on their doorstep. This organization also really helped young widows with children. This was one of their main reasons for the organization, but on the surface it appeared to be a men’s drinking club. During this period in history, women could not own land and many of these women remarried just to have someone to support them. I imagine that financially this club could have been a source of relief for many of these women. My source was furnished by Jack from the Buggy Barn Museum. He had recently read about this in a shooting magazine the museum subscribes to and is available to read at the museum.

So readers, make your choice after reading more about these organizations and remembering the period of time we are talking about. Both organizations assisted people when there were no organizations for this purpose. Like the Old West---PEOPLE HELPED THEIR NEIGHBORS.

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