November 1, 2019
Retracing Lena Huppler Bevers’ Travel Log
Sat. – Nov. 1.
Left Troy and had muddy roads, got stuck four times. Drove through Temple, Little River and got to Bartlett and stayed all night in our car. – Lena Bevers
The introduction to Route 778 in the The Official Automobile Blue Book 1920 describes the roads from Waco to Austin, Texas: “Most of the road has been gravelled but heavy rains have washed the lowlands leaving several dirt stretches which become mires in wet weather.”1 Lena and Herbert Bevers and their children became well-acquainted with the mires on this route. They got stuck in the muddy roads four times on November 1, 1919.
Due to the terrible condition of the roads they were only able to travel about 32 miles. After leaving Troy, they came to the large town of Temple. In this town, the headquarters of the Santa Fe Railroad’s Southern Division was located, so the train depot was much larger than other depots in smaller towns. The Santa Fe Depot currently houses the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum. My mother and I toured the museum, which elicited many questions in our minds about Willis and Arthur Bevers experience as they traveled with the Bevers’ cattle and horses from Watertown, South Dakota to Raymondville, Texas.
Upon exiting Temple, we took Texas State Highway 95 south to the small towns of Little River and Bartlett. This highway roughly follows the route that Herbert and Mr. McElhany were on one hundred years ago.
Evidently, there were no accommodations available in Bartlett, because Lena wrote that they stayed in their cars for the night. There currently are no motels in Bartlett either, so we drove further south to Taylor, Texas to check into a motel we had reserved online. We arrived in Taylor about 3:00 PM.
- Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1920, vol. 7 (New York: Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, 1920): 652, https://ia601208.us.archive.org/26/items/case_gv1024_a92_1920_v_7/case_gv1024_a92_1920_v_7.pdf.
- Corner Avenue A and Main, Temple, Texas (ca. 1915), https://sites.rootsweb.com/~txpstcrd/Towns/Temple/TempleMain_AveACa1915.jpg.
- Automobile Blue Book Publishing Company, The Official Automobile Blue Book 1920, vol. 7: 653.