|Nicknames:||"James Audie Stewart (full name)"|
|Place of Burial:||Dallas, Texas, United States|
|Birthplace:||Oakland, Hopkins, Texas, United States|
|Death:||Died in Dallas, Dallas, Dallas, United States|
|Cause of death:||Natural|
|Managed by:||Bob Stewart|
About James Aud Stewart
Lifelong farmer and rancher in Hopkins County's Cassady community. He was born in April 22, 1891, in Oakland, Texas. He hated his given name of Audie and went by Aud. He signed papers as J. Aud Stewart.
1944 Newspaper Article about Aud Stewart
Hopkins County Echo
HATS OFF TO J. AUD STEWART
Hopkins County farmers are great farmers -- no question about that. And they ask no quarters when it comes to being progressive, energetic and more than equal to the occasion, no matter what happens, be it a shortage of labor, lateness of season, too wet or too dry, or what not. All they ask is a chance, an opportunity, and with an even break they are usually equal to the demands made in producing their crops.
An interesting example of this resourceful, ambitious spirit is illustrated in a little kodak snap-shot brought to The Echo office by J. W. Moore of the Cassady community, southwest of Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County. In this picture, which has been put on display in The Echo window, is shown J. Aud Stewart, real dirt farmer of that community, in the role of a one-man "do-all" farmer. Mr. Stewart is riding a grain drill sowing oats, pulled by four mules, alongside of which is a fertilizer distributor pulled by two more mules, making six head in all, and all being handled by Mr. Stewart from his seat on the grain drill. One man, doing the regular work of two men -- driving two implements and six mules all at the same time! And it doesn't take an old boy over half-smart to realize that's "doing the best he can" and getting the job "done" in a hurry. According to Mr. Moore, this picture is no accident-snap, as Mr. Stewart continued this hitch-up all day long, from sun-up until dark.
With the shortage of farm labor so appalling at this time, many would have become discouraged had they been in Mr. Stewart's place. Lots of people are prone to give up too quickly when the odds mount against them. Didn't Charley Bentley quit gardening because he broke the handle out of his hoe, and quit playing dominoes because they wouldn't let him keep score? But not so with J. Aud Stewart, no siree, no time to sit down and grumble and cuss the "givernment." He realized that with most everything else on a restricted or rationed basis, farm labor scarcity was no exception, and that the only thing left for him to do was to make the best of a bad situation.
The aggressive spirit as exemplified by Mr. Stewart in doing the work of two men is typical of the majority of Hopkins County farmers and is the cardinal reason for so many successful farmers in this section. That's the kind of determination that gets the job done -- the kind of determination that our forefathers had in building America, and the kind of determination that it will take to win this great World War we are in today.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Mr. Stewart's oats will come up -- that he will get a stand -- that he will make even a part crop, but with The Echo Man II it's dollars to doughnuts that if there are any oats made this year in Hopkins County that Mr. Stewart's turn-out will be up around the best. Yes, siree, our hat is off to J. Aud Stewart, Hopkins County's most industrious farmer, and our wish is for this year's oat crop to be the best he has ever made in his many years of successful farming. Would that Hopkins County had more J. Aud Stewarts.
Aud is interred in the Brashear Cemetery; directions and photos of headstones at; http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txhopkin/Cemeteries/BrashearCem/BrashearS.html
The Brashear Cemetery has its annual Memorial Day on the first Saturday of June at 10:30 a.m.in the Brashear Community Center. For cemetery inquiries or to make donations write to:
Brashear Cemetery Association
P.O. Box 72
Brashear, Texas 75420
The cemetery is located on FM 2653 south of Interstate 30in the Brashear Community. From Sulphur Springs, take I-30 west. Exit at Brashear; from stop sign take left. Pass post office and Baptist Church. At next stop sign take right. Cemetery is about ¼ mile down on the right hand side of the road very easily seen.
Note: Cassady community was the area served by the Cassady School District, whose facilities consisted of a two-room schoolhouse about a half-mile north of Aud Stewart's homeplace. Brashear was the mailing address of the rural route. The two areas did not share the same boundaries.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brashear is an unincorporated community in Hopkins County, Texas, United States. Although it is unincorporated, Brashear has a post office (with the ZIP code of 75420, church, storages, farm buildings, radio building, and a Self-Service building.
History to Present
It was named for Joseph Brashear, who surveyed the townsite. The area was part of the Wise Ranch in 1898, when G. W. Mahoney bought the ranch, divided it into small farms, laid out the townsite, and donated land for a school, a church, and a cemetery. A post office was established at Brashear in 1899, with W. G. Crain as postmaster. A school opened the same year, and in 1905 it had an enrollment of 149. By 1914 the town had Baptist, Christian, and Methodist churches, a bank, a newspaper, a telegraph connection, and a reported population of 400. Its population was estimated at 300 in the mid-1920s and 350 in the late 1940s. In 1948 the town had six stores, four churches, a two-teacher school, and a cotton gin. The population declined during the 1960s to 280 and continued to be reported at that level in 1990 and 2000. In the late 1980s Brashear had four churches, a factory, a post office, and a number of scattered houses. Now it's a ghost town. But couple, few, or some buildings are mainly for farming, and storaging, and it also has a church that is still open, and KRVA-FM building (licensed to Campbell, Texas). And the post office, and Self-Service building are still in business. But Brashear is mainly 25% ghost town, 25% unincorporated town, and 50% farming service community.
Jack the Mule
Jack belonged to my Granddad, or I should say; Jack stayed on my Granddad's Place east of Dallas in East Texas. Jack really belonged to no human. Jack had his own agenda and most of the time it did not match any human's wishes.
Jack was a big, fine looking mule (see photo). I'm not sure anyone knew how old Jack was; as far as I know, Jack just existed. If Jack had any weakness it was his total dislike for being caught so he could be harnessed next to Granddad's dappled grey mare. Jack did not mind the work, in fact; Jack was so strong that the harness and pulling would be the equivilent of a human carrying a 5 pound weight. And, Jack actually behaved when he was in the harness next to the grey mare. It was the only time Jack behaved.
What Jack hated was being caught. For those of you never having the privilege of working with mules, let me provide a short description of Jack's disposition. Jack had a "personal space", an area he did not want invaded by any other living thing. Jack's "personal space" was about three acres. Jack could sense if anyone or anything invaded his three acres of "personal space". Jack would then head for the farthest reaches of the farm and proceed to hide in the most dense stand of brush, brambles, stickers, tickle grass, and snakes he could find.
I don't want readers to think Jack was merely capable of running and hiding. Not at all, Jack did those things well but he also planned an escape route. So just as you had crawled, wriggled, and squirmed your way to within Jack's sight, he would take out for the farthest opposite side of the farm at a dead run. Jack did not have the normal mule gates. Jack either walked or he was in a dead run, two speeds only.
More on Jack's personality for the novice mule skinners among the readers, Jack could bite, kick, step on, squash, maul, head butt, and produce gas better than any animal I ever encountered. Even with all these personality quirks, Jack was not mean; he just did not want any living thing in his "personal space" of three acres.
Now obviously a mule that cannot be caught is not much good when you need a team to pull or plow. Granddad could catch Jack almost all the time. I'm not sure how he did it since mostly they were out of my field of sight when the actual capture occurred.
What I really want to tell you about is Jack's greatest skill. Jack could jump. Jack could jump any fence on the farm. No one ever really saw Jack jump because he always jumped at night and when someone was in his "personal space" of three acres. Regularly, neighbors would stop by Granddad's house and complain that Jack was in their garden wreaking havoc with their tomatoes and anything else green in the garden. Finally, Granddad tired of the complaints (and embarrassment of not being able to keep Jack inside the fences on the farm. So Granddad caught Jack (no, I don't know how), brought him home and looped a six foot log chain around his neck. The idea being that Jack could not jump while dragging the chain. Before the PETA people contact me, Jack and Granddad are long gone from this mortal coil. Back to the story, Jack managed to jump the fence with the log chain and go on a three neighbor rampage that lasted several days. I have not mentioned Jack's dislike of cows so here it is; Jack did not like cows and felt it his job to chase them out of his three acre "personal space". Needless to say, the three neighbors did not care for Jack terrorizing their cows.
What Granddad came up with was a railroad cross tie to connect to Jack's log chain. Now a cross tie, for you non-railroad buffs, is a creosote coated, 12X12X12 inch, four foot long, wooden anchor used to support the train rails. Again Jack was caught (no, I did not see it), brought home, and the cross tie attached to the log chain. It seemed to be working; Jack was a little easier to catch. It only took 2 hours instead of 4 hours to get him cornered. We were sure Jack could not jump the fence while dragging the cross tie.
All seemed well until a few weeks later, a neighbor found Granddad to tell him Jack was in the neighbor's peach orchard eating peaches. We found Jack without log chain or cross tie happily munching peaches. Jack developed new, unreached levels of gas after the peach buffet.
We found the log chain and cross tie in the pasture next to the fence, almost as if Jack had removed them and carefully laid them on the ground prior to his leap to freedom. Of course, since Jack always jumped at night we don't know how he removed the chain and cross tie.
To this day, no one knows how Jack pulled off his great escapes. Maybe he had an accomplice or maybe he was a contortionist. Or maybe, Jack was not a mule at all but a free spirit with the ability to fly. I'm sure Jack is in mule heaven jumping fences and eating peaches from the peach buffet.
Do you know people who behave like Jack? Always defending their personal space and promoting their own agenda at the expense of others. Refusing to cooperate regardless of their purpose or the work to be done? And, like Jack, doing their "dirty work" at night and behind other people's backs.
Turns out Jack might have been more human than mule.
─ Jim Stewart