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Tillman Place

The Tillman Place

Dinah Fox was at one time married to Anderson Tillman (1848-1925). He was  a builder/carpenter of some renown. He had been enslaved to a man named Holliday who “gave” him 100 acres on the San Antonio River Road. Andy built a home for his wife and their two little children (born in 1865 and 1867). He was quite in demand to build fine houses for the ranchers on the road, and it must have been a great joy for him to finally build a house of his own.

But about 1880, Holliday died. When the Will was probated, it was determined that poor Andy did not have legal title to his land after all. Everyone knew of the agreement between him and his former owner, but they were selfish and greedy. The heirs sold Andy’s property and his lovely home — to Peter Henry Fagan. And when Lucy Fagan married Doc DuBois, her father gave Lucy the property as a wedding present. They had their wedding photos taken on the front porch.

It was always referred to as “the Talmon Place” — but now I know they were really saying Tillman. And the house that Andy built for his family was taken from him. His family was literally told to leave with nothing.

The house brought no joy to Lucy. Doc beat her in this house. She finally threw him out of it at gun point. He went across the river to the O’Connor Ranch, where he worked as a cowboy until his death. She filed for divorce, an event so unheard of in the late 1800s. She was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. When her parents died, part of that Fagan ranch became hers. She ranched it with her two daughters until they married the Matthews boys — and the boys took over running the ranch.

Groom and bride are in the center: O.C. Matthews and Mary Genevieve DuBois. The other boys are Delbert Joaquin Matthews and Roy Patrick Matthews. Sister Mae Wilma Matthews is on the right. In the middle is Susana Texana DuBois (called Tiz). Mary is wearing the same wedding dress that Lucy wore at her own wedding. I have the dress and veil in my ‘hope chest’. In the background, the home that Andy Tillman built.