By Margaret Thomas – Special to the Navarro County Gazette
Tales From Eureka and Southern Navarro County
As a young girl growing up, one of my favorite couples was Mr. and Mrs. J.N. Edens Sr. They owned Edens Hereford Ranch and the Corsicana Cotton Mill, along with other business endeavors.
They lived in a two-story house along Hwy 287 near the City Lake Bridge on their registered Hereford Ranch. Their ranch began just south of the present Dollar General, continuing to the Corsicana Airport.
In addition to their Registered Hereford cattle operation, they had a commercial cattle herd. My dad traded commercial livestock with them through the years and was a good friend of their son, J.N. Edens Jr., better known as Little Pole. Little Pole had a small building down their driveway near the Show Barn and that was his daily headquarters and “hangout.”
I never questioned where the name “Pole” came from but assume the name Napoleon was shortened to “Pole,” then the son was “Little Pole” as he was J.N. Edens Jr.
One of the first stories that was shared with me by an adult in my family occurred many years prior to my birth.
The story went like this: One day my grandfather, Walter Montgomery went by to see Mr. Edens Sr. after he had returned to the ranch from a day working at the Cotton Mill. In visiting briefly with Mr. Edens, my grandfather got to the point exactly why he had come to see him. My grandfather shared there was a great deal of talk in the community concerning two boys in the area who were making and selling Bootleg Whiskey to others.
Mr. Edens’ immediate response was, “Well, the authorities need to get busy and stop that illegal production immediately.”
My grandfather gently informed him, “Well, it is my son and your son who are the ones making and selling it!”
Needless to say Mr. Edens was shocked to hear that but took action immediately and the operation was stopped that day. But the part that has never been shared with me is which one of the five Montgomery boys was in cahoots with Little Pole in manufacturing and distributing the whiskey. I never asked my Mom which one it was and she never shared either, nor did anyone else, so the mystery remains.
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