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Southside Market in Elgin is the oldest barbecue joint in Texas still in operation, or so the legend goes. According to the restaurant’s history, it first began selling barbecue from a market in Elgin in 1886. My first attempt to verify the joint’s backstory was six years ago. I hit a dead end looking for traces of the elusive founder, William J. Moon. I trudged through the weeds of the old Moon family cemetery south of town with current Southside owner Bryan Bracewell. Though I didn’t find what I was looking for, I never forgot about Moon. The hunt resumed in earnest about a year ago, with the understanding that pure clarity was too much to hope for.The Moon we were seeking was right in…

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