The Bernice C. Claunch story is one that encompasses many counties of South Texas. This one of his early life until 1985, however, begins in Live Oak and ends in
McMullen. To read about Mr. Claunch's later life which covers numerous South Texas counties and an incident with Pancho Villa in Mexico refer to pages 3 and 4 of the McMullen County History book from
which this story comes.
I was born September 30, 1890 at Oakville, Texas. My mother's health was very bad and so she could not nurse me.
There were six ladies living near us who had babies about my age; one of them would come every two hours to let me nurse until mother could get a goat to provide milk for me.
When I was six weeks old my parents sold their property in Oakville and moved to the ranch in Loma Alta. My
mother with six children started out
alone in a covered wagon drawn by two mules. When we left Oakville she tied the goat to the wagon and away she went. Quite a task for a little lady who never weighed over ninety
The oldest child with her on the trip was twelve years of age, the eldest boy was with my father. When night
overtook her, she would strike camp, hobble the mules and crawl into the wagon with the children and sleep as if no danger existed.
It took her eight days to make the trip. When she arrived at the Shiner Ranch, rain had fallen, and the
Nueces River was at flood stage. She waited for the water to run down, so we could get across by ferry boat.
The foreman of the Shiner Ranch swam the river horseback. After talking with my mother about her situation, he decided to send one of his men to bring my father. The man rode
all night, a distance of about twenty miles, found my father, and they immediately came to my mother.