This interview was conducted by Sabrina D. Hobday on March 25, 2010 in Somerset, TX. as part of Palo Alto College’s History 1302 – Spring 2010 class.
Homer “Patrick Gallaway was born on January 11, 1943 to Homer Edward Gallaway and Mary Ellen Gallaway (nee Callahan) in San Antonio, Texas at the Physicians and Surgeons Hospital. Patrick was the third born of four children. He had two sisters, Mary Diane Springer and Janice Marie Potter, and one brother Raymond Edward Gallaway. Patrick grew up in South San Antonio. In 1949, Patrick was enrolled in the newly established St. Johns of Berchman’s. He only attended up to the eighth grade and then continued his education at a public high school. He graduated from Lutheran Burbank High School in 1961. After graduation, Patrick had a couple of side jobs until late 1963; Patrick was drafted into the United States Army. He served in the army for a short period of time. When he returned home, he accepted a job at Southwest Research. He worked there for a couple of years. Patrick married his first wife Martha Rose Barry in May of 1967. She had one son from her previous marriage, Robert A. Barry, whom Patrick later adopted. After two years of marriage Pat and Martha had a son, Shawn Daniel Gallaway. In September of the same year, Ray, Pat’s brother came up with the idea for them to go into business together. Ray and Patrick bought a feed store in Somerset, Texas; they called is Gallaway’s. In 1971, Martha and Pat were living in Somerset, having a house built and gave birth to another son Patrick Jason Gallaway. Not long after Patrick was born, Patrick and Ray purchased land and a few cows. Since they took over the feed store, Patrick and Ray had become more involved with the local FFA and 4H club programs. People that would come in to purchase feed for their show animals, would ask questions and request advice from Patrick. He would attend stock shows and help as much as he could with students and their animals. This led to their next big plan. Patrick and Ray decided they were going to start raising cattle as a living. People come from small towns all around San Antonio to purchase a steer from the Gallaway Brothers. In 1983 Patrick and Martha divorced. Patrick continued running the feed store and raising steers. He remarried in 1984 to April Gallaway, who also had a son from a previous marriage, Michael (now Gallaway since Patrick adopted him as well). Soon after their marriage, in April of 1985 they had a son, Shea Brian Gallaway. Pat and April remained married until 1992, they divorced. Patrick continued his normal routine, he was a busy man running a feed store and raising cattle. He remarried for the last time in 1996 to Janice (Liebig) Gallaway. He is still married to Janice today. Not much has changed for him in the last few years, he is still raising show steers with his brother Ray, they sold Gallaway’s Feed Store in 2005, because they agreed it was time to slow down a little bit. He had a house built in Mico, Texas in 2007, that is where is resides now, but he makes the long drive to Somerset on a daily bases to work on the farm and visit his grandbabies. Patrick Gallaway is my brother in law’s father, he was also my neighbor for about two years.
What was a typical day like for you as a child?
Let me see, a typical day for me as a child… before I was even in grade school, I would get up and eat my Wheates cereal for breakfast. Then I would go outside, because we didn’t have TV back then. I would run around with my little friends. We’d play all kinds of games, like baseball or just run around.
What kind of games did you play besides baseball?
Well, I don’t know. We played with marbles and just different stuff, I can’t really remember exactly. We were just kids.
So, it sounds like you had a “normal” childhood, did you not have to work or anything when you were younger?
No, well both my parents worked. I just played with my friends. My dad was a garment cutter. He would cut out patterns, shirts sleeves and jeans, then the women would sew all the pieces together. My mother worked for a secretarial service and as a phone operator. I never had to work, well not until about the seventh grade.
What kind of jobs did you have while you were in school?
When I was in the seventh grade I worked at Spencer’s Ice House. I just crushed ice, I did it for about $5.00 a week, which isn’t very much, but it was something. I would do that everyday after school and all day Saturday. Then when I was about fourteen years old, I worked for the Asgrow Seed Company as a laborer. I got paid about 75 cents an hour, but I made pretty good money since I worked about forty hours per week. I did that for about three or four summers.
You told me during your biography that you got in a little trouble while you were in school at St. John of Berchmans, what did you do?
Well, oh my gosh, this is embarrassing. You have to think I was about five years old. You’re going to put this in there? Aw. Geez. Well, I was talking in church, I guess. One of the nuns came up there and tugged on my ear just a little bit and said, “You stop that talking Patrick.” Of course, I just kept on doing whatever it was I was doing that got me in trouble in the first place. Then she came over again and pulled my ear, yanked was more like it. She yanked my ear harder that time and scolded me. So after church, I went outside and their was nothing but gravel, no cement or anything. I grabbed a couple rocks and just started throwing them at her. I threw them all the way up to the alter. Then I ran home, I can remember my aunt saying “Oh good, here comes Patrick now, they must have got out early today.” ((laughs)) I got a good whippin’ for that though, from my mom, not my dad. She was the tough one. She’s get that big belt and she’d swing it. Boy! Did she pop me hard. But, I guess I’m a better man for it today.
What did you do after you graduated high school?
One I graduated I had a couple of jobs here and there, I worked on a ranch in Borne for Mr. Alexander. I ran a service station, called the “Hilltop Conoco”. I did that up until I received greetings from Uncle Sam. I was drafted into the US Army. I traveled around a lot those two years I was in the Army, I served in the Vietnam War, and then I came home in about December of 1965. Ya know, I was glad to serve my country, but the Army just wasn’t for me. When I got home, I accepted a job at Southwest Research. Let see, what else happened… I got married to Martha Barry in May of 1967. She has one son from a previous marriage, Robert Barry, who I later adopted and he is now Robert “Andy” Gallaway. We had our first son together in 1969, Shawn Daniel Gallaway.
When did you first move to Somerset, Texas?
Well, we moved to Somerset when we bought the feed store around late 1971. We moved into a mobile home, but only until our house was built in 1972. You know what house that is right Sabrina, the one down 2790, about four house behind the feed store? Do you know much that house cost to build back in 1972? Nineteen thousand dollars! Boy a house like that today, costs a lot more than nineteen thousand dollars.
How did you and Ray come up with the idea to buy a feed store?
Well, one day Ray came over to the house and asked me if I would be interested in going into business with him. He said that the Bailey Brothers were about ready to sell their feed store and it would be a good opportunity for us to make some money. I wasn’t making but about $2.10 an hour at Southwest Research at the time, so I thought it was a good idea. We called it Gallaway’s, everyone in Somerset knew of Gallaway’s cause it was right on the edge of town.
How did you come up with the money to buy a feed store, I mean, like you said you weren’t making a whole lot of money?
I sold my insurance policies, Ray and I both did. We just scraped up every penny we could, we only came up with about six or seven thousand dollars cash, the Bailey Bros. financed the rest. We spent everything we had to buy that place, we went through some hard times after that. It took while to break even, but we made a lot more money once we came out of the hole we were in.
When did you and Ray decide you wanted to raise cattle for a living
While we were running the feed store, we got very involved with 4H clubs and FFA. We would attend the stock shows and help people out when they’d ask us for advice. We were so interested in the process of stock show, and raising the steers when our kids would show, that we decided Hey! We can do this ourselves. We started out with about thirty-five cows and now we have about one fifty or so.
Tell me a little more about what you do, as far as raising steers?
We started with a certain amount of cows, and raised them, picked the best lookin’ ones and we would breed them. We have what is called a “teaser” which is a bull that is sterile, when that bull and the heifer are about to, mate, I guess you could say, we inject the sperm from the good bull into the heifer. Then a few months later, out comes the calf. We raise them; sell them to whoever needs a show steer. They take them to the stock show and our Gallaway steers compete with the others.
Explain a typical day on the farm?
It’s a constant repair job. There is always something to do whether it’s fixing fences to delivering calves. We have to plant grass, feed the cows, fertilize the fields, give vaccines to prevent disease and make sure they are all up to par as far as their health goes. It is a big maintenance job, it’s a JOB for sure.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened in all the years you have been raising steers?
Well, I can’t think of just one thing…can we come back to this one.
When and why did you sell the feed store?
We sold the feed store in 2005. I guess we sold it because we just ready to slow down a little, Ray and I were very busy with the farm and it was just time for us. Jupe Mills purchased the store and they still have it today.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
What I love the most about my job is when I get to see the kids show their steers at the stock show. I love competition. The best thing about my job is that its what I wanted to do. Some people go to a job they hate everyday, this job is tough but I love it.
Do you hope all of your grandchildren show steers?
Is that even a question, (laughs) of course I hope my grandkids show steers. I hope Ryan (Ryan, is my son) gets a steer of his own too. It teaches them responsibility.
Tell me about what you like to do on your free time?
Janice and I like to go to the horse races, we do that a lot. We like to gamble. I love all kinds of competitive sports, LOVE football, basketball; I just love any kind of sport! I spend time with my grandchildren, my son Shea and his wife just had twins in July. They’re fun to be around.
Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview, just anything you would like people to know about your life, or life in general?
I think we about covered all of my life.
This project was very time consuming, but beneficial to say the least. Everyone has the same concept of how things were sixty years ago; no television, not everyone had vehicles, no air condition, just a simple life, full of hard workers. The best thing about this project was being pushed to sit down with someone who lived through a time that we can only imagine. I learned much more than I expected, much more than I thought I already knew. Patrick was very interesting, easy to talk to, and remembered so many dates, which surprised me. I learned that the past was much more simple, but people we so much more genuine and truly hard working people. There aren’t many people today that say, I want to work in a field of crops, or I want to crush ice on the weekend for some extra money. Instead, we have teenagers sitting on the couch playing video games, but it doesn’t stop there, even adults would rather play video games than go cut the grass in their own backyard. I have a new found appreciation for Patrick and his hard work while he was so young and still attending school; not to mention all that hard work plus graduating high school, which you don’t hear to much about people making it to graduation in those days. Before interviewing Patrick, I never knew how he became what he is today. I always knew that him and Ray owned “Gallaways Feed Store” but, with this interview I learned more about how the feed store came about and how it drove Pat and Ray to begin raising steers. I definitely believe that doing these oral history projects are an efficient way to learn about the past because like I mentioned before we all kind of had our own assumptions about how our parents and grandparents lived in the past, but doing the interview forces you to sit down and actually learn something through the stories that they tell. Everyone has their own path, that leads them here or there, it is interesting to talk about that path and all the little bumps in between that leads us to the present.
- Patrick Gallaway was born on January 11, 1943 to Homer Edward Gallaway and Mary Ellen Gallaway (nee Callahan)in San Antonio, Texas.
- August 1949 Patrick was enrolled in the first grade at St. John of Berchmans Catholic School
- May 1961 Patrick graduated from Lutheran Burbank High School
- 1963 Patrick began running his own service station “Hilltop Conoco”
- January 1964 Patrick left for the United States Army basic training in Louisiana
- January 1965 Patrick arrived to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam
- December 6, 1965 Patrick received an early discharge from the Army and returned home
- 1966 Patrick accepted a job at Southwest Research
- May 26, 1967 Patrick married Martha Rose Barry
- March 31, 1969 Martha gave birth to their first son together Shawn Daniel Gallaway
- September 1969 Patrick and his brother Ray purchased the feed store in Somerset, Texas
- August 11, 1971 Patrick and Martha had another son, Patrick Jason Gallaway
- 1972 Patrick had a home built in Somerset, Texas
- 1975 Patrick and Ray purchased the farm
- 1983 Patrick and Martha were divorced
- 1984 Remarried to April Gallaway
- 1985 April and Pat had their first son together, Shea Brian Gallaway
- 1992 Divorced April Gallaway
- 1996 Remarried Janice (Liebig) Gallaway
- 2005 Retired/Sold Gallaway Feed Store
- 2007 Had a home built in Mico, Texas where he and his wife live today
- March-April 2010 Patrick was interviewed by Sabrina Danielle Hobday for her Oral History Project