The Hat Makers LbNA # 38045
|Placed Date||Mar 3 2008|
This box was moved on October 31, 2009, to a new location due to construction at its original location. Please check new clues.
The main street of the little town of Gonzales, in 1836, was Water Street (where the Hwy. 183 bypass is today). Fronting on this street was a small shop called the Dickinson and Kimble Hat Factory; the partners were George C. Kimble and Almaron Dickinson. Dickinson, along with his wife Susanna, moved to Gonzales in 1831 and joined Green DeWitt's colony. He received a league of land on the San Marcos River in what is now Caldwell County. Dickinson was in the battle of Gonzales on October 2, 1835, and later joined the newly formed Texas army in its siege of San Antonio. He served the Alamo as a captain in charge of artillery. He was well suited for this task, having once been in an artillery unit with the United States Army. Almaron Dickinson's wife and small child were with him when Mexican troops stormed over the Alamo walls on March 6, 1836. Susanna Dickinson and her baby daughter, Angelina, were among the few survivors. Mrs. Dickinson became known as the "messenger of the Alamo" when she brought the news of the massacre back to the citizens of Gonzales. Later she would recall how her husband rushed up to her just before he died and stated that all was lost. He told her to try to save herself and the child. Dickinson's partner in the hat-making business was another of those Alamo heroes. George C. Kimble was one of the original citizens of Gonzales. He moved to Texas from New York in 1825. He later formed his partnership with Almaron Dickinson and the hat factory on Water Street was born. In February of 1836, Kimble was mustered into the Gonzales Ranging Company of Mounted Volunteers. He was the commander of that unit and led his men into the Alamo on March 1, 1836. This group of heroes, from Gonzales, would be the only ones to answer the beleaguered garrison's desperate plea for reinforcements. Because of their extreme bravery and sacrifice, Kimble and his men will forever be known as the "Immortal 32." Dickinson and Kimble weren't much different from today's ambitious young people. The hat makers were eager to be successful and raise a family. They came to Texas for the free land and other opportunities. But as with most things, the land wasn't exactly free; it eventually had to be fought for. And fight they did, winning the land and freedom for others to enjoy.
From I-10 at Luling, go south on Highway 183 to it's intersection with Hwy. 90A and turn east a couple of blocks, then right on St. Joseph St. Masonic Cemetery is located in the city of Gonzales, Texas, between Water Street and St. Joseph Street. Turn right in Knight St. and it will take you directly into the cemetery.
To the box:
Drive straight through to the Water St. gate and turn left. Turn left again and park under the big oak tree next to the fence. Look to your left and you will see a large gray marker with the name Dickinson on it. Next to it is a historical marker for Edward Dickinson, a soldier in the Texas Independence army. I'm sure he must have been some kin to Almeron Dickinson, but could not find a record of it. Behind you is a memorial for Andrew Ponton, who penned the famous words "Come and Take It" in response to the Mexican demand to surrender the Gonzales cannon. Return to your car and look at the big oak tree. There is a long horizontal branch about chest high. On that branch, the Hat Makers are hanging out.