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Vol 05 No. 04 - January 1928

Bass Outlaw

By Eugene Cunningham

They say that he had but one qualification of the true Texas ranger, this small, insignificant seeming figure-he could pull his colt like a flash of lightning and his aim was deadly. Many a time he filled the camp-kettle with quail which he killed with a .45 revolver, shooting off the heads with neatness and dispatch. But he was of a quarrelsome disposition that usually embroiled him with the citizens he was presumed to protect. Sergeant was his highest rank in the rangers, and he crashed from his position in a manner that must have soured him. This is his story.

Characters: Bass Outlaw, Sergeant Fusselman, Captain Frank Jones, Jim Gillett, Joe Jackson, Bufe Cline, Dick Ware, Sebe Barnes, Sam Bass, Frank Collinson, Ernest Bridges, John Selman, John Wesley Hardin, Tillie Howard, Joe McKidrict, Locations: Fabens, El Paso Valley, Alpine, Big Bend, Brewster County, Round Rock.

G. Vogel, Pioneer Merchant

Account of A. G Vogel, pioneer merchant of Leakey, Texas. Mr. Vogel was born in Leipsig, Germany, in 1846, and came to America in 1866, when he was nineteen years old. He was married to Miss Nancy Elizabeth Pendley in Tascosa county, Texas, in 1877. When he and his wife moved to Leakey, then in Edwards county, in 1882, (now in Real county) there was no town there, but he helped to start one. He also helped to organize Edwards county, and for some years was county treasurer of that county. He opened a store in a tent, and a year later built the store. This is his story. Includes old photo of Vogel’s store.

Characters: Captain A. G. Vogel, Nancy Elizabeth Pendley, Amanda Chapin, Lavina Sandefer, Carrie Beard, Josephine Vogel, Emma Peterson, Locations: Leakey, Atascosa County, Edwards County, Bandera,

Rode for the Purple Mask 

By Marjorie Rogers

THE FIRST TIME that I ever saw Billy the Kid was in Fort Griffin, where he wandered with six other fellows and struck me for a loan of $15," said Henry Ethridge, ex-cowboy and member of the Purple Mask, a protective and detective association of the early 1880’s, which had about the same rights as the Texas Rangers, to locate and punish cattle rustlers along the Mexican border.

He was born two miles from Bremond in 1858 where he lived until he was sent to Salado College in 1867. He remained there until he was 18 years old. His first trip across the plains was with the Blocker herd of 3000 Texas long horns near Belton, and he was the youngest cow-puncher of the bunch...

This is the story of Ethridge, and it includes an excellent old photo of him as well.

Characters: Billy The Kid, Henry Ethridge, Dan Irby, Henry Herring, Pat Garrett, John And Dick Roberts, John Powers, Charles Goodnight, Buffalo Bill Cody, Dr. Tarver, Mrs. C. A. Jones, Locations: Fort Griffin, Shackelford County, Hash Knife Ranch, Red River, Pecos River, El Paso, Bremond, Salado College, Belton, Chisholm Trail, Comanche, Indian Gap, Field’s Crossing, Fort Elliott, Dodge City, Fort Sill, Amarillo, Clear Fork Of The Brazos, Fort Phantom Hill, Abilene, Black Hills, Smokey Rivers, Wildeville, Goodnight Ranch, Haskell, Palo-Duro Mountains

West of the Lone Star

 By Charles J. Finger

Account of the charm (?) and culture (?) of Amarillo and regions surrounding during the 1850’s.

"SEVENTY years or so ago, I rode into Amarillo, hitched my horse to the rail outside Jake's Place, and then went inside for a glass of beer and a free lunch of barbecued meat and bread and bean soup, taking the soup last because of my impatience to get to the solids, for the ride had been a dusty one. The houses were mostly shacks erected by men with rudimentary notions of architecture, and the sidewalks seemed to be results of the wild and glorious visions of property owners, for they were fantastically arranged as to height and width; and, as to material, each man had evidently made havoc of stereotyped ideas, seizing upon what offered: lumber scraps, packing cases, corrugated iron. So there was a complex charm about the main street, especially at night, because a walker in the dark encountered unexpected and novel things. In the daytime most of the varied population used the middle of the road-cowboys, depressed Indians, Mexicans, strangely indifferent dogs, combative gentlemen who said things in bare and precise language, a few stray pigs, some poultry…"

Characters: Charles J. Finger, David Guion, Morley Roberts, Sam Bass, Jim Berry, Black Jack, Ketchum, Arkansas Johnson, Captain Hickman, Yancey Storey, William B. Travis, Santa Anna, Sam Houston, Colonel Bowie, Stephen Austin, John Ware, Locations: Amarillo, Jake’s Place, Wichita Falls, Beaumont, Port Arthur, San Angelo, Palo Duro, Staked Plains, Concho Country, Concho River, Howard’s Well, Howard’s Draw, San Antonio, El Paso, Fredericksburg, Fort Mason, Menard, Fort McKavett, Fort Concho, Fort Stockton, Quitman Canyon, Ysleta, Round Rock, Sabinal Valley, Bandera County, Old Tige, The Hunter Hermit

WILLIAM H. LEDBETTER, was County Judge of Shackelford County, who lived in the vicinity of the town of Fort Griffin, Tex. He was one of the earliest settlers of the county, and, in common with other early settlers, had experienced a number of adventures there in earlier days. Perhaps the most noted event connected with the history of his family was the loss of his second child, John, nearly nine years old. In the year 1869 he had John and Harvey, his elder brother, boarding with a neighbor at whose residence a school was in operation. One day, at recess, the children were amusing themselves gathering mesquite gum from the trees nearby, John being among the number. When they were called in to their studies, John was missing, neither could he be found. His father was notified and, together with the settlers for many miles around, turned out and hunted the country over, but could find no trace of the missing child. The distressed parents had finally to give up the search in despair.

Later, a young man called at the house of a neighbor living within a mile of Mr. Ledbetter's residence and asked for dinner. He was apparently about 16 years old, clad in a brown ducking hunter's suit. Was this the Ledbetter boy? And even more mysterious – who is this "Old Tige", the strange character with whom the boy stayed in haunts and wilds on the head of what was then called Blood Creek, a tributary of and on the west side of the Pecos River, up among the cedar brakes of the mountains, in such a secluded locality that it would be almost impossible for a stranger to find it? There Old Tige lived in blissful ignorance of the rest of mankind, save a few other hunters of, kindred type who resided in similar dens at no great distance. This is the strange story of the mysterious man, "Old Tige".

Characters: William H. Ledbetter, Harvey Ledbetter, John Ledbetter, John C. Jacobs, Locations: Shackelford County, Fort Griffin, Fort Sill, Blood Creek, Pecos River, Dallas, San Antonio

The Old Washington I Knew
 By Mrs. M. E. Cole

"The names of towns, Chapel Hill, Brenham and Independence (which last was the center of culture), are all familiar to me. Much was conveyed to my child mind from my parents, for I was only 9 years old when I left old Washington. I remember a maiden lady who lived on a high hill west of the shops. Her house was also elevated. I have seen the sun set under her house, apparently, as it sank beyond. This lady, Miss Merritt, owned negro slave who freighted from Washington to Houston."

"I recall gathering rattan vines from the great branch which was close by the home of an English widow, Mrs. Hurst, who lived with her two boys, and how we noticed, to our amusement. their pronunciation. misplacing h and L. It was in that old town that I heard the first temperance lecture, which made an indelible impression on my mind. The Gospel was often preached on the downtown street and sometimes the speakers had to contend with ruffians."

"New Year's Creek was west: My grandfather lived there and we visited him once when I was quite small. I remember falling out of his hammock. Some years later my father laid down his hammer and moved over the river to Grimes County from whence he attended lectures at the New Orleans Medical School. He had loved the study and acquired much knowledge from his preceptor, Dr. B. B. Baker of Washington. Dr Rufus Purleson, the great educator, who knew Baylor in its infancy, was related to my mother through the Jenkins..."

Characters: Mrs. M. E. Cole, C. M. Lockhart, Sam Houston, Miss Merritt, Mrs. Hurst, Dr. B. B. Baker, Dr. Rufus Purleson, Locations: Washington On The Brazos, Chapel Hill, Brenham, Independence, Houston, New Year’s Creek, Grimes County, Baylor


Brief account of NICK BRAZZIL, Louise, Texas

Mentions: Wash Walding's Company of Minute Men while it was stationed on what is known as Cow House Creek, in Bell County, Texas  Capt. Zeb Porter  the town of Barksdale  A family by the name of Manning lived on Blanket Creek, in Brown County  old Fort Chadbourne  A. F. Von Blon of Waco, Texas

Avenging the Coalson Massacre

 By Sam Wells

IN THE YEAR of 1870 or '73 my father moved from Victory county, Texas, to Uvalde county. At this time there were only four families on the Nueces river, in town of Uvalde. At that time there was only one very small store; the country was unsettled and full of Indians and all kinds of game; bear, deer and turkeys, as well as mountain lions, and the wild boar or javelinas, or as some called them, the musk hog. But worst of all were the wild Indians. they were the terror of the country. They would murder people and steal every horse in the country and kill our cattle, and anything they could do that was mean. We had to watch out for them all the time or we would get killed ourselves. It was a constant warfare. Every few days we would hear of some poor man or family being murdered in some part of the country. As fast as we got a horse they would steal it. They would run off our cattle, and shoot our work oxen, and leave us afoot. Account goes on to describe the brutal raid that triggered the avenging. Characters: Samuel Wells, Dr. Lane, Brother Dave, Johnny Patterson, Chief Crooked Foot, Nick Coalson, General Lawton, General McKenzie, Mrs. Jas. Whitecotton, Locations: Victory County, Uvalde County, Nueces River, Rio Frio, Rio Grande, Devil’s River, Cedar Creek, Fort Clark, Laguna

Highway In Texas Has Vivid History

FOR MORE than two centuries the King's Highway, has been a landmark in Texas. Traversing the State from Eagle Pass on the Rio Grande border to the old Mission of Adaes, near Robeline, La., this ancient road covers a distance of approximately 400 miles. It is one of the remaining links connecting the present with the stirring and romantic days of early Texas history. When American immigrants began the settlement of the State in the first. years of the nineteenth century the use of wheeled vehicles necessitated some changes in the road, as the old mule trail was in many places inaccessible. Thus, the old San Antonio road came into being, traversing the same course but often differing widely in location. This is the story.

Characters: Louis Junchereau De Saint Denis, Antonio Crozat, Marquis De Aguayo, Gil Antonio Barbo, Locations: King’s Highway, Eagle Pass, Rio Grande, Mission Of Adaes, San Antonio Road, Neches, Alto, La Purissima Conception, Linnwood Crossing Of The Angelina, San Joseph, Shawnee Creek, Nacogdoches County, Nuestro Senora De Guadalupe, Natchitoches, El Camino Real, San Antonio,

Zebulon M. Pike, Explorer and Peacemaker

Account of Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike, United States Army, from whom the great mountain in Colorado was named. Lieutenant Pike was the first man to explore the region about the famous peak. This towering promontory on the eastern face of the Rockies, rearing its summit more than fourteen thousand feet, may well be called the American Matterhorn, for, indeed, it is so well known to people of all nations that countless thousands who have little conception of the extent of our western range of mountains, at once recognize the name of Pike's Peak. This is Lt. Peak’s story.

Characters: Zebulon Montgomery Pike, General Wilkinson, Locations: Pike’s Peak, St. Croix River, St. Louis, Cheyenne Mountain, Santa Fe

The Life of Bigfoot Wallace 

By A. J. Sowell (Continued From Previous Issue)

Characters: William Bigfoot Wallace, Edward Westfall, Dr. Cupples, Ben Sanford, Adolph Fry, McAllister, Gideon Scallaron, Louis Oge, General Kirby Smith, Preston Polly, James Wilkinson, George Hubbard, Peter Weble, Lon Moore, J. M. Smith, P. H. Bell, William Johnson, Luce Henyard, Elizabeth Hoffman, Judge Davenport, William Davenport, John Kennedy, Ross Kennedy, Jack Davenport, Frank Hilburn, Lewis McCombs, George Robins, Bill Mullins, Manuel Wydick, F. G. Finley, Nathan Davis, Malcom Van Pelt, Ben Duncan, John Kennedy, Licurgus Ward, Irvin Jones, Locations: Frio, Medina, San Antonio, Castroville, El Paso, Devil’s River, Rio Grande, Fort Clark, Fort Inge, Leona, Uvalde, Medina River, Nueces Canyon, South Llano, Chicon Creek, Hondo River, Devine, Sabinal, Seco, Cotulla, La Salle County, Black Hills, Austin, Chicon, Calaveras Creek, Elmendorf, Utopia,

Ben Drake’s Exciting Life on the Range

By Cora Melton Cross

TRAILING cattle to Northern markets had passed from the embryo stage to a profitable business venture between 1866 and 1871-the year Ben Drake made his first drive. But the financial development in no wise lessened the hardship and danger encountered on the long, tedious, whooping up of the herd from two to four months at a stretch. The weather then was not merely an entrance wedge to polite conversation, but a thing to be reckoned with and endured. Swimming was classed neither as an art nor accomplishment, but a necessity; the one alternative for the cowboy who, must cross bankful streams, minus bridge or ferry. Torrential rains were the order of the day and stampedes were of such common occurrence that the trail driver mentions them, merely, as part of the daily routine, unless marked by some outstanding feature.

Despite privations indescribable, happenings thrilling and hazardous, discomforts and suffering past endurance the trail held a fascinating lure that once experienced was seldom overcome save by a crucial situation demanding a radical change in the scheme of things entire. Thus it was with Ben Drake, who talks so interestingly of nine years of life up the trail. Here is his story.

Characters: Ben Drake, Tid Murchison, Kinney Murchison, Pete Murchison, Cal Young, Pincher Stahl, Peter Swede, Tom Hamilton, George Hamilton, Andrew Hamilton, Tom Daly, John Snyder, Al Boyce, Bub Armstrong, Cal Joplin, Cy Joplin, Ed Joplin, Locations: Austin, Abilene, Cedar Creek, Bastrop County, Williamson County, Texarkana

Last Buffalo Hunt Held In The Lone Star State

(EDITOR'S NOTE-The following article which appeared originally in the Dallas News, was sent to Frontier Times, by Mr. Sieker's sister, Mrs, Emma Sieker Mears of Menard, Texas, now known as Mother Mears, with whom he made his home for awhile when first arriving from Baltimore. Mr. Sieker's name is still legible, cut into the bark of the forest trees on the San Saba, at the ranch of his brother, L. P. Sieker. He and another brother, Tom Sieker, have been boon companions since boyhood, and both citizens of Dallas for many years.)

Characters: Mrs. Emma Sieker Mears, Lam P. Sieker, Tom Sieker, June Peak, A. B. Sieker, Frank Sieker, Jack Harris, Ben Smith, Jim Harris, Locations: San Saba, Dallas, Fort Concho, San Angelo, Concho River, San Antonio, Forest Water Hole, Big Spring, Gainesville

Facts And Incidents Of Forty Years Ago

By J. B. Cranfill.

Historical details and events in pioneer journalism. Mentions: Frank Gaston, editor of the Grandbury News Waco Daily and Weekly Advance  the Gatesville Advance  B. H. Carroll  the success of constitutional prohibition in Texas  Baillio's History  Among the picturesque figures of Texas journalism 40 and 50 years ago was Colonel A B. Norton who, when I first knew him, was editor of Norton's Intelligence James K Folk and Henry Clay  the Dallas Morning News  Houston Chronicle  A. R. McCollum  Waco Evening Day  J W. Downs of Waco  Waco Daily Examiner  the Texas State Grange  A. J. Rose of Salado, Bell County  W. W. Lang of Marlin  the Turnersville Effort  O. Henry  a little paper down in Austin, the Rolling Stone  Sidney Porter  the Meridian Blade  Fields and Gaston  W. A. Fields  Col. Carey W. Styles  Dr. J. R Raby  Dr. Stoner Raby  the Cranfield Bible Class  Hallmark's Prairie  George Calloway  Mr. W. W Lewis, of Menard, Texas  Ben Finnel  Tom Mead  James B. Hawkins Dillon, Montana

Characters: J. B. Cranfill, Frank Gaston, B. H. Carroll, A. B. Norton, Sam Houston, A. R. McCollum, J. W. Downs, A. J. Rose, W. W. Lang, Sidney Porter, W. A. Fields, Carey W. Styles, J. R. Raby, Stoner Raby, George Calloway, Locations: Waco, Gatesville, Grandbury, Dallas, Salado, Bell County, Marlin, Hillsboro, Paris, Lamar County

Joe P. Smith, Postmaster At Click, Texas
 By Cora Melton Cross.

Account of the life of Joe P. Smith who was born on Walnut Creek in Blanco County in the year of 1855, his parents having moved there from Fayette County the previous year. Most all the boys of that, day and time began swinging a rope as soon as they could lift it. But he went them one better, for he was making loops before he could drag 'em along. When he was 17 years old he trailed cattle with the Murchison brothers who sent 1,800 head up with Mr. Butler bossing the drive. Account goes on to describe his next drive, made for John Blocker, who took 82,000 steers up the trail in one year. More major drives are described

Characters: Joe Smith, C. C. Slaughter, Arty Crownover, John Blocker, Ab Blocker, Ike T. Pryor, Bill Tooney, Alfred Moore, John Crosby, Locations: Sabine River, Bastrop, Walnut Creek, Blanco County, Fayette County, Dallas, San Antonio, Columbus, Austin, Ouichita River, Paris, Dodge City, Camp Burdick, Caddo, Mason County, Murchison Ranch

Ox Wagons, Indians And Winchesters
 By Murter Neora Keel

"IN THE year 1850 my grandparents with my mother and her two brothers crossed the plains from Missouri to California in six ox wagons. There were 175 wagons in the entire train, for many other families went along at the same time.

They had been on the road six days, when by accident my mother, then just a child 12 years of age, fell out of the wagon. The wheels ran angling across her body. My grandmother had some homespun sheets; so tied the four corners of one to the wagon bows and put a feather bed in it. In this hammock-like arrangement, my mother rode all the rest of the slow and painful journey to California. It was six weeks afterwards before she could sit up, and for quite a while of this time they did not think she would ever be able to sit up again. They were three months on the way over.

Just a month ahead of my grandfather, the Indians had attacked a wagon train, massacred all the people, and burned the wagons. The same bunch, 300 warriors strong, came to my grandfather's train. I say "my grandfather's train," for he was captain. The story of their encounter with these Indians, as we have often heard it from Mother as she would sit and tell it, follows below:" The account that follows is very tragic...

Characters: Dave Doudle, Fleming Van B. Derrick, Locations: Pecos River, Horsehead Crossing, Tarrant, Wise County

A Kansas News Story Published In 1873

Account of the brutal beating and slaying of Capt. Cad Pierce, a large cattle dealer, in Ellsworth, KS. The murderer was "Happy Jack" marshal of Ellsworth. The origin of this murderous event grew out of the shooting of Deputy Sheriff Whitney, by the Thompson brothers, Ben and Bill Thompson. Characters: C. J. Pierce, Mr. W. T. Burman, Ben Thompson, Locations: Ellsworth County, Kansas, Nebraska City, Austin, Beatrice, Junction City,

Magazine articles further mention: G_ L. Epperson of Valley Spring, Texas  Cal Putman  Mrs. Bill Edwards  Ben Gipson, and Ralph Haynes  Gum Phillips

Some names mentioned in this volume:

Marquis de Aguayo; Bub Armstrong; Dr B. B. Baker; H. H. Bancroft; Gil Antonio Barbo; Mrs Carrie Beard; P. H. Bell; Jim Berry; Ab Blocker; John Blocker; John R. Blocker; Napoleon Bonaparte; Col Bowie; James Col Bowie; Al Boyce; Nick Brazzil; W. N. Brazzil; John C. Breckenridge; Ernest Bridges; John Brown; J. W. Bryant; W. H. Bryant; James Buchanan; W. T. Burman; George Calloway; B. H. Carroll; Mrs Amanda Chapin; Henry Clay; Bufe Cline; Nick Coalson; W. W. Cochran; William (Buffalo Bill) Cody; Mrs M. E. Cole; Frank Collinson; J. B. Cranfill; Chief Crooked Foot; John Crosby; Cora Melton Cross; Arty Crownover; Antonio Crozat; Cunningham; Dr Cupples; Tom Daly; Bill Davenport; Jack Davenport; Judge Davenport; William Davenport; Nathan Davis; Fleming Van B. Derrick; Dave Doudle; J. W. Downs; Maj J. W. Downs; Ben Drake; Bill Duncan; J. B. Dunn; Mrs Bill Edwards; G. L. Epperson; Henry Etheridge; Henry Ethridge; W. A. Fields; Millard Filmore; Charles J. Finger; F. G. Finley; Ben Finnel; Henry Ford; John C. Fremont; John Friend; Adolph Fry; Sgt; Fusselman; Pat Garrett; Frank Gaston; James B. Gaston; Jim Gaston; Ben Gipson; Horace Greeley; David Guion; Andrew Hamilton; George Hamilton; Tom Hamilton; Jim Harris; James B. Hawkins; Ralph Haynes; O. Henry; Luce Henyard; Henry Herring; Capt Hickman; Frank Hilburn; Elizabeth Hoffman; ; Tillie Howard; George Hubbard; Dan Irby; Joe Jackson; Col John C. Jacobs; Arkansas Johnson; Capt M. L. Johnson; William Johnson; Mrs C. A. Jones; Capt Jones; Capt Frank Jones; Irvin Jones; Rev Irwin Jones; Rev Jones; Cal Joplin; Cy Joplin; Ed Joplin; Murter Neora Keel; John Kennedy; Ross Kennedy; Black Jack Ketchum; Wood Kirk; Mrs P. A. Koen; Dr Lane; W. W. Lang; Gen Lawton; Lt Lawton; W. J. Layland; Harvey Ledbetter; John Ledbetter; Judge Ledbetter; William H. Ledbetter; John D. Lee; C. M. Lockhart; Dock Long; Maj Long; Mrs Manning; A. R. McCollum; Lewis McCombs; McKenzie; Joe McKidrict; Tom Mead; Mrs Emma Sieker Mears; Mrs J. W. Mears; Alfred Moore; Lon Moore; Mustang Moore; Jim Moss; Bill Mullins; Kinney Murchison; Pete Murchison; Tid Murchison; Col A. B. Norton; Louis Oge; Bass Outlaw; Johnny Patterson; Peak; Miss Nancy Elizabeth Pendley; Mrs Emma Peterson; Gum Phillips; C. J. Pierce; Cad Pierce; Capt Cad Pierce; Zebulon M. Pike; Lt Zebulon Mongomery; James K. Polk; Preston Polly; Sidney Porter; Capt Zeb Porter; "J. Buckle" John Powers; John Powers; Ike T. Pryor; Dr Rufus Purleson; Cal Putman; Dr J. R. Raby; Stoner Raby; John Rheinhart; Dick Roberts; Emmett Roberts; John Roberts; Morley Roberts; George Robins; Marjorie Rogers; A. J. Rose; Louis Junchereau de Saint Denis; Mrs Lavina Sandefer; Ben Sanford; Gideon Scallaron; Scallaron; Selman; R. E. Cov Sherrill; A. B. Sieker; A. R. Sieker; Ed Sieker; Frank Sieker; L. P. Sieker; Capt Lam Sieker; Tom Sieker; Sheriff Simpson; C. C. Slaughter; Ben Smith; Clinton L. Smith; J. M. Smith; Jefferson D. Smith; Joe Smith; Joe P. Smith; Gen Kirby Smith; Pincher Stahl; Yancey Storey; Col Carey W. Styles; John Synder; Dr Tarver; Bill Tooney; William B. Travis; John Twohig; lt Malcom Van Pe; A. G. Vogel; Capt A. G. Vogel; Miss Josephine Vogel; Nancy Elizabeth Pendley Vogel; Wash Walding; Wallace; Licurgus Ward; Dick Ware; Capt John; George Washington; Peter Weble; Sam Wells; Samuel; Edward Westfall; Mrs James Whitecotton; Sheriff Whitney; Gen Wilkinson; James; Manuel Wydick; Brigham Young; Cal; Youmans.

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