Amos and Mary Lively, moved to Padre Island in 1859 with their four children, grown daughter and new son-in-law to raise cattle. Almost all the knowledge we have of the Livelys is based on copies of letters Mary sent to her family in the north.
Life on the Island was hard. Mary states in one letter that there were no trees here and that people obtained the wood to build their houses by using driftwood or lumber that washed ashore. Coyotes occasionally attacked the Livelys’ hogs and rabbits ate everything in their garden except the onions. The salt they harvested from the Laguna was coarse and could not be sold without being crushed first, which was expensive, at least for the Livelys.
In late 1863, Union forces occupied Padre Island and confiscated whatever cattle they found for the use of their troops. In spite of Mary’s northern roots, the Livelys were Confederates and it is believed that Union Troops destroyed their ranch. The Lively's left Padre Island, never to return.