143. ECK, Leonard T. Printed blank form book with bills of sale and blank symbols for earmarks on rectos, acknowledgements on versos, upper cover with tan printed label]: The Stockman’s Pocket Bills of Sale and Memorandum Book [illustration of a steer] By Joe W. Hill, Comanche, Texas, Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1881, by Joe W. Hill in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, District of Columbia. 47 pp. [plus stubs of about 40 other pages that have been cut from the book]. Printed bills of sale completed in manuscript with dates from November 4, 1882, to March 3, 1884. 21.3 x 9.7 cm, bound at top edge, original brown cloth. Covers worn, stained and wrinkled, a well-used but still solid account book.
The bills of sale were used by Leonard Eck of Austin and Travis County, Texas, to record loans made by him and collateral received. Each is signed by the borrower (sometimes with an X mark) and a witness. In many cases the verso of the page has a rental agreement in which the borrower agrees to pay Eck rent for the continued use of the property for the duration of the loan. The excised pages were presumably removed and given to the borrower when the loan was repaid. A few pages in the book have repayment information written and signed by Eck.
Collateral is often livestock (usually identified by color and brand) or wagons with horses and harness. The wagons and team, it is usually noted, were used in the borrower’s business in Austin. Loans are also made on guns, gold watches, household goods, and even one “building now used by me [S. J. Wheeler], corner of Lavaca and West Peach [present-day 13th Street] North West corner of Capitol Square also all of my blacksmith tools and fixtures now in said building.” Wheeler is to lease back the premises at $5 per month until he can pay the loan ($100).
Leonard T. Eck came to Texas from Germany and settled in the Austin area. He was an active businessman and investor and held business properties as well as land in several locations in and around Austin. In 1889 he “built the first Business South of the [Colorado] River in Austin at 1200 S. Congress. He also installed the first telephone South of the River. This was initially a general merchandise store that had a pawn shop, sold jewelry, produce, and home goods, and had a livery stable and blacksmith shop next to it” <http://www.austinmotel.com/history.html>. He donated the land for the Union Lee Baptist Church in the Manor area of Travis County. Around 1890 Eck opened a general merchandise store 23 miles west of Austin near present-day Bee Caves in what became known as the Eck Community. In 1900, when he established a post office there and became postmaster, the name was changed to Teck because postal authorities required that the name have at least four letters. Leonard Eck died in 1925.
A few free-spirited Austinites from the 1970s will undoubtedly remember the glorious, unencumbered swimming on Lake Travis at Teck Cemetery, named for Leonard Eck. ($500-1,000)
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