|The childrens residences at Big Springs Ranch on the
Frio are called "homesteads" in honor of the arrival on this land
100 years ago of the first pioneer family to live in this part of the Frio Canyon. In 1901, Jacob
Haby brought his family to the very spot on which the first homestead is constructed. Haby
built a house, dug a well 40 feet to spring water, and began to ranch.
The original road from Leakey to San Antonio came along the river bank just below the
site. So we're returning to the place chosen by the first settlers. New pioneers, the
pioneers of the 21st Century, will settle here now.
The spot was visited by Gary Priour on a day of walking the ranch back in 1996. Priour was looking for a special place to begin to build the childrens home, and hed spent the entire day, walking and praying, searching with his son Michael for Gods presence in the landscape, wondering if an angel wouldnt appear when hed found the spot. Late in the afternoon, about to call it a day, he turned back toward the river from this clearing and called to his son Michael, "Look, Michael, a thousand angels dancing on the river. This is it." Oma Bell then told Gary that he had been standing on the very site of the original pioneer homestead of the Haby family. This "Place of a Thousand Angels" is now ready to host a second homestead, where children, will start anew the adventure of childhood.