J.C.: What is your full name?
SFW: My name is Sarah Fawcett Winters

J.C.: When were you born?
SFW: April 19, 1946

J.C. Were you born here in Del Rio?
SFW: Yes I was.

J.C. When did your family first move here?
SFW: My grandfather came here in 1883 and my grandmother was born that year.

J.C. How much older is your grandfather than your grandmother?
SFW 18 years

JC And What year did she come here?
SFW Her family moved up here when she was a baby, my grandfather came and he was an orphan, and he came down here with men to bring sheep, when they got to the Devilís River area, he turned 18, and that was in July 1883 and that was the same year that my grandmother was born, and her family moved to this part of the country to Bakerís Crossing, north of Comstock.

J.C. How did they meet?
SFW My grandfather stayed in the area and began to buy property and livestock and when he was older he was nearly forty years old when they married and she was young, just of marrying age. I really donít know where they met. There werenít really that many people in the area.

J.C. How much land did your grandfather own?
S.F.W. He started with nothing and he worked and added a little acreage at a time and he ended up with about 70,000 acres.

J.C. What kind of house did he live in?
SFW When he first came here he didnít have a house, he lived in a cave for years and when he had time he built a house out of sycamore trees on the devils river, and then he later moved up Dolan Creek, and built a house, it was like a it was just a house made out of mud and sticks when he first started off.

J.C. How many bedrooms was it?
SFW It was a one room house

JC When they got married how many kids did they have?
SFW They ended up having six children.

JC What year did they get married?
SFW It was like 1901

J.C. And They had six Children?

JC What Generation are you?
SFW Iím the third generation of Fawcettís that were in Del Rio. All of the six children have now died.

J.C. And how many were in the second generation?
SFW: Oh Gosh, Probably more information than you want, there were the six children and their children and their children.

J.C. And How many brothers and sisters do you have?
SFW: I have two brothers.

JC: how many Fawcettís are still in the area?
SFW: There really are not many umm three.

JC: Three everybody else has-
SFW: Has moved away or died.

JC: Are there any stories in particular that come to your mind when you think of your grandfather?
SFW: There are many Stories and because he even in those days the pioneer days the fact that he was an orphan boy and came out here and started with nothing and lived in a cave he was very unique and he lived to be pretty old in like his 70ís and so even in those days he was interviewed a lot I have a lot of magazine and newspaper articles about his life. He was very interested and involved in scouting because he had been an orphan, so the boy scouts wrote articles about him I have lots of information which is kind of unusual to have that much information about a grandfather.

JC: From your childhood do you have any memories?
SFW: He died before I was born, in fact people canít believe that he was my grandfather because he was so much older, they assume he was my great grandfather or something like that. So I never met him so the things that I know are just things that had been told to me. And about their life on the ranch, they lived on the ranch and didnít move to town until I think 1917, and they lived out there year round, and my grandmother bought groceries twice a year, and they would bring the groceries by wagon train from Kerrville and this area that we are talking about is north of Loma Alta and so she had an extensive list.

JC: So they only bought groceries twice a year?
SFW: Twice a year, and she had a huge garden, and she canned things and when the electricity came in she had huge freezers out there, and she milked cows everyday and made butter everyday. I remember that about her because I would stay out there with her when I was a child she never ever was idle if she was sitting there she was shelling black eyed peas or working on a quilt or sewing, she never did nothing.

J.C. Did any of your brothers serve in the military?
SFW: In my immediate family, no. I have some first cousins that were in the military.

J.C. Did they share any stories with you?
SFW: About the military?

J.C. : About going off to war?
SFW: Well one of my cousins H.K. Fawcett he is retired now, he is a very interesting person if you want to talk about old because he is like seventy something and he remembers as a child at the ranch when they were building the roads he was eight year and he would blast the roads with dynamite. Imagine an eight year old blasting the roads with dynamite. He is very interesting. He served in Vietnam he served two tours of service in Vietnam so heís talked a lot and is very interesting because of his stories of that. He was a pilot.

J.C.: You said you remember your grandmother do you remember going and helping her milk the cows?
SFW: Well, I wasnít much of a hand at that and by that time my grandmother was so elderly that she had hired hands to do the milking and she would just make the butter but even when she was very old she made the butter. She worked she didnít just sit in the chair and tell everybody what to do but I did stay with her when I was a child and lived at the ranch all summer because she was so old and my parents were scared that she would fall and break a hip or something like that, so they would leave me with her a lot so that I could call for help if there was a problem. My father and his brothers and sisters went to school at the ranch and would have a woman teacher come out and live with them. But they actually had their school in this small little schoolhouse away from the house so that when they had their lessons I guess they werenít distracted by all the goings on in the house and men working and thing like that but even as an adult, when he was here some of the teachers would go out to the ranch to take care of those children and to teach them were living here in Del Rio. They were single women and they would go out there and live and they would go out there and teach the children and marry and they would get another, they didnít call them governesses, they just called them teachers but I think that as interesting. And then also it was about 70 miles out there which doesnít sound that far with todayís roads, but they would have to stop and open gates and there might be eight or ten gates on the road and my daddy told me it took them two days to get into to town and come to town say in the 1950ís they would have an automobile but they would have to stop and change flats all the way into town so it would take two days so they would camp at the twin tanks that are on the highway going north toward Sonora where the Carta Valley turn-off is, and they would camp there and then the next day they would bathe the kids in the tank and get them cleaned up so they would look decent when they would go into town and stay a few days.

J.C.: And your father, whatís his name?
SFW: My fathers name is Walter.

JC: Walter Fawcett, and your mothers name?
SFW: Jo Beth her maiden {indistinct}

J.C.: how did they meet?
SFW: My mother was a nurse here in Del Rio and Del Rio was small in those days really kind of everybody knew everybody so.

J.C.: Did they own land?
SFW: Well my Grandfathers ranch was Divided among his six children and so and all of those, all of the brothers and sisters lived at the ranch in the summer time and like on school holidays like on Christmas and things like that we would go out to the ranch, again just because it was so far, to go out there it was insane to go back and forth, now the people that ranch out there like to stay out there and they end up going back and forth for the kids to go to school and the fact that the buses go out to that area.

JC: And how many brothers did you say you had?
SFW: I have two brothers.

JC: Two brothers that are here in the area now?
SFW: No one brother lives in Austin, {indistinct, cell phone rang} and also, I was saying the ranch land has been sold off now, we have a very small, a couple of acreages that are left in the family that we call put in trusts as a memorial park to my grandparents but the thing about ranching has changed so much in recent years. During the first part of the century, the wool was so important to the economy and you asked about the military, there were a lot of ranching families where the young men stayed home and it was considered working toward the war effort and to get that wool produced and to feed the nation the lamb and the cattle but the wool was used for the uniforms for the military, but now with synthetic fibers its not, the wool is just an interesting fabric now, its good for upholstery and things like that but its not used at all like it was used, and so the whole ranching economy has changed so much, you know they still raise sheep, goats and cattle and they use the meat you know to feed people, but the hair from the goats and the wool the market is not what it used to be, and just the expense of running a ranch things like workmenís comp. that businesses need to have and should have. Its just those kinds of expenses are so high because ranch-work is so laborful.

JC: Did your grandfather hire hands to help him?
SFW: He did, because his ranch was so large he had families that lived out there and as his boys and girls got old enough, they worked, but he had a number of hands out there they had a building called a commissary and the ranch hands would go and buy their groceries and things and he would keep a ledger of how much they had gotten and things like that so, and they lived out there at the ranch as well.

JC: They lived out there at the ranch. I had heard one of the teachers talking and they had said that something dropped down to a dance floor when the wagons would come out?
SFW: In the old town, I had told you that my grandfather had that very small modest room, then when he married my grandmother he built a home for her and it was a rock like one room home with a fire place and she cooked in that other small house, and then they kept having all these children, so they would just add on rooms and so the house was very rambling and there was like a dog-trot or breezeway thing where you cook in one part of the house and live in the other, and they ended up with a big house, I mean there was nothing attractive about it, it was just a big old house, but they had a room where the wall had hinges and so the wall could be pulled up and they had dances, and people would come from all over the area to these dances because these people were so starved for anyway to socialize I mean that was their only communication with other people is when they would have parties out there, and they would have parties out there and people would camp out and walk around and dance and they would have music and one time, this is a true story one time the creeks came down because there was a big rain somewhere, and the people ended up staying three weeks before they could get out but keep in mind these were Model Tís that they were driving in and out of there so those roads were just a mess but can you imagine feeding that many people, but they just killed goats and made big pots of beans and that was the way they lived so hard to believe, I had heard that story about three weeks and one time I had written a story down and my aunt was reading it and I changed it from three weeks to three days thinking that was preposterous that you couldnít have company for three weeks, and when she saw that she laughed and said three days it was three weeks before they could get out so it was a true story.

JC: What is your husbandís name?
SFW: His Name is David Winters?

JC: And I also heard yíall own land here in Del Rio?
SFW: Yes, well in the area.

JC: What does your husband do?
SFW: He is a rancher but also he trades livestock, he will buy cattle from someone and he will sell them to someone else or he will buy sheep from someone and send them off and feed them out so they will have fat lambs and make really prime lamb to eat or he might sell them to Mexico, so he is in the import/export business, he buys cattle in Mexico, brings them to Del Rio and ships them around the United States.

JC: Yíall also own land in other parts of the United States?
SFW: No, but my husband does business within other states so people might get that confused. Like he might buy steers from someoneís ranch over here outside of Del Rio, and ship them to Kansas or he may ship them to California, or he might receive sheep from California, and send them on into Mexico City.