When the residents of sleepy, rural McMullen County, Texas, found out that they officially lived in the richest county in America, “we were shocked,” recalls Kimberly Kay Kreider-Dusek, the only lawyer in the area. She serves as the county attorney, prosecuting misdemeanors and advising county commissioners on legal matters.McMullen County, population: 804, one of the least populous counties in the state, lies southeast of San Antonio. According to Internal Revenue Service numbers crunched by Syracuse University researchers, its population’s average adjusted gross income — at $303,717 — now ranks as the highest in the nation.
This story caught my eye for a very good reason… In the summer and fall of 1971, I was the resident hippie in the small town of Caliham in McMullen County. I was helping my grandparents move and set up housekeeping there. Grandpa had bought a small ranch outside of town there a decade or more before that time for deer hunting.
There was a small two bedroom Jim Walter house at the ranch. No running water, a cistern on the east end of the house catching rain water. The facilities were about a hundred feet north, “The Quarter Moon” so named for the shape of the ventilation hole cut in the door. We hauled water from town in big igloo containers for drinking. And that’s where we lived while we got the mobile home setup in town.
By deer season, we had the house in town pretty much set… But, we stayed at the ranch to hunt. It was nice as the season cooled down to be able to go to town in the evening for a hot bath. Thru the summer and early fall my bathing was done in the two acre stock tank.
It was probably one of the most enjoyable spells in my life. We worked hard most days, but still had time to just sit and enjoy life whenever we wanted.
Grandpa always said he had a dream before he bought the ranch that they would be drilling there and lots of money would be made. I guess he was right…