Following the Civil War, two brothers, both Union veterans, moved from Zanesville, Ohio to Texas. Isaac Suttles (c. 1840-1884), who wed Mary Ann McBride in 1866, appears in the 1870 census for Seguin, where he worked at Wilson Potteries. Records indicate his wife may not have moved to Texas with him. His brother George Washington Suttles (1844-1930), who married Elizabeth Strate (1845-1905) in 1861, first appears in Wilson County records in 1877. They reportedly moved to Texas in 1876 for her health. George joined his brother at a kiln in the sand hills near La Vernia, where they fired bricks and household and decorative stoneware. An 1877 newspaper article highlighted the brothers' workmanship and noted the high demand for their products. Around 1882, they moved their operation into La Vernia to a kiln near this site. The Suttles were members of the Asbury Methodist Church, now La Vernia United Methodist Church. In September 1884, Isaac was killed in Abilene, Texas, possibly during a robbery attempt. George continued operating the kiln in La Vernia for many years. He and Elizabeth reared four children, and their descendants remain in the area. Few records exist about the Suttles Pottery operation in La Vernia, but firsthand accounts and archeological excavations, as well as ongoing investigations, indicate George had an updraft-type kiln and probably used a salt glaze, Albany slip techniques and perhaps an alkaline glaze technique in his work. His operation here would have included a clay mixing area, a potter's wheel, the kiln and waster piles of broken pottery sherds. Although no apparent physical evidence of the kiln remains, the Suttles operation was a significant part of La Vernia's past and of the history of Texas industry and artistry. (2004)
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