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Native Texans gather to swap stories

Created date

May 31st, 2009

George Field knew his story began in Texas, but it wasn t until he began researching his ancestry that he realized it was entwined with the state s origins. Field is a direct descendant of John Goodloe Warren Pierson, founder of the first Anglo-American settlement in Lamar County. "In the early 1800s, John Goodloe was a surveyor for Stephen F. Austin and a commander in the militia," says Field. "When the Texas Revolution started in 1835, he served on the Committee of Five that established the Texas Rangers." After Santa Anna s defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto, Pierson moved to an area of Washington County he named Hi Point. In 1842, he participated in the Mier expedition to Mexico. He was one of 176 men captured and sentenced to die by execution. The execution decree was later modified to an order to kill every tenth man. The victims were chosen by lottery. Each man drew from a jar containing 176 beans, 17 black and the rest white. Those who drew the black beans were shot. "Most of what I ve learned about my family s history has come from books," says Field. "But we do have one tale that has been passed down through the generations. As the story goes, a se orita whispered to John Goodloe that the white beans were smooth and the black beans were rough. When it was his turn to draw from the jar, he pulled out a smooth, white bean and escaped execution." Although not an historian by trade, Field developed quite an interest in the past. Professionally, he worked for Bell Telephone Company for 20 years and then as a rancher in Collin County for 40 years. "As I ve gotten older, I ve become interested in Texas history," he says, "particularly the period from 1810 to 1880. It seems to me that s when Texas developed its personality."

New club forms

After moving to Highland Springs in 2008, Field founded the Native Texans club at the community. "Anyone who was born in Texas or married to a native Texan is welcome to join us," he says. The club meets monthly to swap stories over a meal and has become increasingly popular. "Our numbers have grown so much since our initial meeting that we will have to move to a bigger room soon," Field reports. At a recent meeting, Highland Springs resident Barbara Kain shared her experiences as a model and an actress. Kain signed with the Kim Dawson Agency in Dallas when she was in her mid-30s and was soon called in for auditions. Over the years, she has appeared in advertisements for major corporations, including Radio Shack, Bombay Company, Lubriderm, and Zales. "I was even in a Super Bowl commercial in the late 1970s," she says. Kain s already impressive r sum got a boost when she was called to be a stand-in for Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Miss Ellie on the hit television show Dallas. "A stand-in is used to stage a scene and stays by the actor s side constantly," she explains. "The beauty of the job is, you get to be around the actors and watch them work." Following the cliffhanger episode "Who shot J.R.?" in 1980, Kain moved in front of the lens as one of the nurses who worked to revive the eldest Ewing son. Since moving to Highland Springs in August 2008, Kain continues to work when she gets a call from her agency. "I ve done two jobs since I moved here," she says. "The opportunities that I ve had at every stage in life are amazing. I ve been very fortunate."