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Wilson County History

Historic finds down on the farm

Historic finds down on the farm
COURTESY PHOTO George Alston of the Nockenut community displays a gravestone and Spanish Colonial-era cannonball he found on his farm.

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August 24, 2010

George Alston owns a farm in the Nockenut community near Stockdale. In 1975, he uncovered on his farm what appears to be a gravestone, he told local historian Shirley Grammer. The stone bears the year “1796” and an inscription.

“As best as we can determine, [the inscription] is ‘Here lies A. Richoll,’” Grammer said.

About five years later, George found a 10-pound cannonball about a quarter of a mile from the gravestone. He had it assessed by a group of professionals who specialize in identifying artifacts and visit the Seguin coliseum periodically. They dated the ball to the 1780-1830 Spanish Colonial era. There is a slight flat surface on one side; this was the point of impact, the professionals told George.

George bought the old Alston homestead in 1969. He retired from Southwestern Bell in 1976 and moved to the farm. His grandparents, Phillip and Mary Jane Morris Barnes Alston, were the previous landowners.

Mary Jane was a widow living in the community of Wrightsboro when she met Phillip. They bought the 350-acre ranch in 1881. Both are interred in the old Nockenut Cemetery.

George’s great-grandfather was a Confederate soldier. Some of the Alston family history is compiled in a booklet at the Alamo Library in San Antonio.
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Your Opinions and Comments

Alvin Charmaine  
August 24, 2010 2:39pm
Kinda surprised he hasn't dug up the body since he doesn't appear to have a problem driving around with the headstone in the back of his suv.

Lois Wauson  
Floresville, TX  
August 24, 2010 1:54pm
This so interesting! A lot of history is in Wilson County. I would love to interview Mr. Alston some day. I bet he has some interesting stories about his family.

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