Eli Clemmons Hinds was the seventh son and the eleventh child of Levi II and Susannah Hinds. Levi II was the son of Levi I and Sarah Hinds. Levi II was born in 1776 in Randolph County, North Carolina. Susannah was born in 1776 in Hawkins County, Knox, Tennessee. Levi II moved to Hawkins County, Tennessee, by 1788, and then went on to Kentucky. Levi II married Susannah on February 11, 1795. Susannah died in 1846 in Kentucky and Levi II died August 7, 1838, in Brazoria County, Texas, leaving no will. Levi II had come to Brazoria County about 1820. A petition to the court dated January 25, 1847, by Gerron Hinds, Administrator of the estate of Levi II Hinds, deceased, states that Levi II left twelve children, who were his only heirs. This estate took eight years and five months to settle.
Levi II and Susannah’s children were James B., born December 5, 1796 and died December 12, 1845; Melinda, born March 14, 1798, and died by 1847; Rhoda M., who was born February 6, 1800; Gerron was born December 31, 1801 and died December 11, 1870; John B. was born December 25, 1803; Absulom was born October 3, 1805 and died April 14, 1878; Susannah was born June 1807; Levi S. was born in 1810 and died November 23, 1837; Thomas Shelton was born November 20, 1812; Clarissa was born in 1814 and died August 8, 1857; Eli Clemmons was born January 27, 1819, and died February 6, 1879; and Lorenda was born November 27, 1821.
Three of the Hinds sons came to the Blanco area. They came form Caldwell County near Luling. Gerron and James B. settled south of the Blanco River where the town of Pittsburg was being planned. They were on the tax roll, no land was listed, but they paid a poll tax. They only stayed a couple of years, then went back to Gonzales. James and Gerron were the “Old Eighteen” defenders of Gonzales. James was in the battle and is listed on the monument. Gerron had gone out to get meat to feed the men. The information was furnished by Mrs. Billie Hinds.
Eli Clemmons and Captain James Hughes Callahan moved their families from Caldwell County. In the latter part of 1853, they must have moved to the Martin’s Fork area of the Blanco River in what was Comal County, later becoming Blanco County. In 1854, Eli Clemmons appears for the first time on the Comal County tax roll. He had 556 acres of the B. William’s land grant valued at $600. Hinds’ land grant was on the north side of the Blanco River, and straight across on the south side, Callahan had 1000 acres valued at $2000. These acres of land were about one mile west of the present-day town of Blanco. There were good springs on the properties. The river had gotten its name from the Indians, who called it White Waters.
Hinds had lived in the vicinity of Luling. He must have been on an expedition with Captain Callahan into the Blanco area a few years before moving here. He first built a log cabin, and then built the first rock house, we think around 1857, since his taxes increased from $900 to $1,500.
The people would gather at the Hinds home when the Indians were on the war path. One man stayed with the women and children for protection while the other men took care of the Indians. The Indians were a constant threat to the settlers and their livestock. Wherever they went or whatever they did, they always had their guns, even when they went to church.
Eli Clemmons Hinds married Catherine McCoy, daughter of John Sr. and Elizabeth McCoy, in 1884. Catherine was born January 8, 1926, and died May 15, 1907. Eli Clemmons died February 6, 1879. Both are buried in theThey are buried in the older section of the Blanco Cemetery with a rock fence around their graves and about half of the rocks missing. John McCoy Sr. was the man that fired the cannon at Gonzales. He and Elizabeth are buried in the Blanco Cemetery.
The first three families into Blanco in 1853 had met at Lockhart Springs and become friends. Uncle Billie Trainer was so impress with the things that Captain Callahan and Uncle Eli Hinds described about Blanco Valley. He thought he had found the place that he wanted to settle and build his horse ranch that he had always dreamed of.
EC Hinds and Captain Callahan were preparing to sell their property and move there. Uncle Billie and his brother, James David, moved away from Lockhart Springs. David stopped at Cibolo Creek and Uncle Billie came on to Curry Creek for a few days until Callahan and Uncle Eli came by and he joined them in 1853.
Later, after Uncle Eli built his big native rock house with a huge fireplace, they always had to have a backlog burning to keep a fire going. At night they would rake the coals together and cover it with ashes. The next morning, they would uncover the coals and put dry wood on the coals and the fire would be up and going. Breakfast would be ready in a few minutes.
If the fire happened to go out, the people had to load their shotgun with powder, a little wadding, but no bullets or blue whistlers, and then shoot into some cotton or into a punk or spunk or a rotten stump and could soon coax it into a blaze.
The Hinds only had the fireplace to cook on. They had a skillet, frying pan, baker or a Dutch oven. They had a boiling pot that hung in the fireplace. They would put a hog jowl and a bunch of greens, seasoning and water, then let the fire do the rest. When it was done, the greens and jowl were taken out. Left in the pot was a half gallon of that delicious concoction known as “pot licker”. Mary helped her mother Kitty cook hot biscuits on the fireplace in the Dutch oven. For years there was not a cook stove in Blanco County. It was a great gift when Uncle Eli gave his family a cook stove, and they were the first to have one in Blanco.
All year they kept all of their wool, and in the fall they began to spin it into thread and material. They did not have a sewing machine, I guess they had to sew with a needle and thread. They dyed the material with tree bark and some weeds. The women had to make all of their clothes. Don’t you know that was a big job!
Uncle Eli bought them an oil lamp, nothing but an enlarged modern oil can. Uncle Eli had a saying, “Texas floods in grease.” That is when all crops did well.
There is a legend to the effect that once a person gets a drink of Blanco water, they will never be content with any other water under the sun, and will always have a desire to again drink the water of the Blanco River.
Eli Clemmons and Catherine had thirteen children, four sons and nine daughters. William Hinds was born November 14, 1845 and died young. James C. Hinds was born February 21, 1849. James married Malinda E. Tanner. Harriet Elizabeth Hinds was born December 15, 1850, and married Calvin L. Pruit. Harriet died March 21, 1947, and Calvin died September 15, 1921. Both are buried in the Blanco Cemetery. Susie Hinds was born on February 9, 1853, in what was then Comal County. She was probably the first white child born there. Susie married Jasper Newton Cloud. Susie died in February of 1879 and Jasper died in 1901. She is buried in the Blanco Cemetery, and he is buried in the Fiskville Cemetery in Travis County. Margaret Ellen Hinds was born January 26, 1855 in Texas. Margaret married Benjamin Hinds first and John Hinds second. Margaret died in 1903 and was buried in the Blanco Cemetery. Catherine Hinds was born November 5, 1856 and married Robert G. Kelly Sr. on April 5, 1877. Nancy C. Hinds was born June 24, 1858, and married Henry Lawson. Mary Hinds was born September 19, 1859. She first married Samuel West, second Henry Lawson, and third Elijah Pruit. The last two being husbands of her two sisters that were deceased. John B. Hinds was born October 18, 1861 and married Emma Ferguson. Minerva Hinds was born August 30, 1864 and died in infancy. Alice Hinds was born November 10, 1866, and died in 1926 and was buried in the Blanco Cemetery. She married Elijah Pruit and he died in 1853. Laura Hinds was born January 13, 1867 and died young. Levi A. was born March 31, 1869 and also died young.
Uncle Clem, another name for Uncle Eli, did everything he could to help his fellowman. He served as County Commissioner form 1853-1858. That was when the men of the community took care of their own roads in their precincts. He was one of the first to raise sheep.
He was one of the first to raise cotton, along with the Cox brothers. They had to haul the cotton in the seed to New Braunfels to have it ginned.
Uncle Clem was one who believed in do unto others as you would have them do unto you. He almost lost his life while trying to clear up a misunderstanding between neighbors. He and two others went to a neighbor to talk about a problem, when the other parties opened fire, killing two of the men and wounding Uncle Clem. He recovered, but was crippled for the rest of his life.
We should all be proud that we had such strong, spirited ancestors that molded our country. John W. Speer summed it all up in a nut shell. “They have failed to lay by large estates for themselves, but we must remember to always show them the respect due to them. Just remember, what they sowed, we reap. They planted, we eat the fruit. They subdued, we enjoy this beautiful, healthful, happy land. When you think you can’t do something, just remember what they did.”