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Vol 06 No. 04 - January 1929

The Killing Of Captain Frank Jones

By J. Marvin Hunter

Captain Frank Jones was a gallant Texas Ranger. He is remembered kindly by all of the Old Guard who are yet living, as one of the most efficient, brave, untiring Rangers in the service of the State. He lost his life in the discharge of duty, while trying to effect the capture of a band of outlaws, near El Paso, Texas, June 30, 18­93. The story of his death will be given further on in this article, as related by the late lamented Col­onel George Wythe Baylor, his father ­in law. Captain Frank Jones was born in Austin, Texas, in 1856. He was the son of Judge Wm. East­man Jones of Geor­gia, and his wife, Elizabeth Rector Jones of Tennessee.

Further Mentions: Com­pany A State Rang­ers, under command of Ira Long * Company F, commanded by Lieutenant Pat Dolan * in Com­pany D, under Captain D. W. Roberts * Captain L. P. Sieker * Governor Ireland * Ysleta * Corporal Kirchner * Sergeant J. R. Hughes * Val Verde county * Sheriff Simmons * Superintendent Martin of the Southern Pacific * General George W. Baylor * W. H. Mabry * Private Tucker * Jesus Maria Olguin and his son, Severio Olguin * Sebastian, Severio * Ed Bryan * Clato, his sons, Jesus Maria, Antonio (ex-convict) and Pedro Olguin * Se­verio, Sebastian, Pecilliano * Corporal Karl Kirchner * Pri­vates T. E. Tucker, E. D. Aten, J. W. Sanders and R. E. Bryant * La Quadrilla * San Elizario * the Olguin ranch * Clato Olguin, Jesus Maria's wife * Aten * Pat Bryan * the Plaza of Tres Jacales * Young Lupan * Major Teel * Mrs. Kathleen Jones Tyndall, wife of Major John G. Tyndall, Field Artil­lery, U. S. Army * Fort Sheridan, Illinois * Mrs. Pauline Baker, Uvalde, Texas * B. L. Outlaw * John R. Hughes * Camp Hogg, Texas * Comstock, a station on the Southern Pacific road, and about 30 miles west of Del Rio * old "Camp Hudson" on Devil's river * "Howard's well," an old time station on the old overland stage line from San Antonio to El Paso * John Flynt and Jack Wellington * Lansford * Boerne *

Memoirs Of Lafe Mcdonald

Leonard Passmore, Voca, Texas. (Note: as well as containing EXCELLENT EARLY HISTORY OF GILLESPIE COUNTY, this story includes a great old photo of Mr. McDonald as well)

Hills and valleys covered with tall grass; uncleared forests; great herds of buffalo, deer and wild turkeys; the nights disturbed by the yelping coyotes, and the lonesome howls of the lobo; settlers terrified every light of the moon by the sneaking raids of Comanches or Apaches,-such was Texas when first seen by Lafe McDonald of Gillespie County. This indomitable old hero was born in Johnson County, Illinois, on the 11th day of March, 1844, one year before Texas was admitted to the Union. His father was old Thomas Mc­Donald, whose wife was named Rachel, the same as the wife of Andrew Jackson-a very common name in those days. To them was born a large prodigy of children, the eldest being a girl whom they named Mary. She afterwards married George Fannin, and was familiarly known in later life as "Aunt Mary Fannin.; The next was Monroe, who died at his home on Devil's river near Noxville a few years ago. Then was Melvina, who married John Fannin, and then Mariah, who married Dick Hall, still living in Colorado City; then Angeline, who married John Banta, the parents of the writer's wife; then Lafe, etc, etc. This great pioneer’s life is offered in this story.

Further Mentions: another son, Gus, then Josephine, who married Jerry Hazelwood, then Sam who died at Seven Rivers, New Mexico. Thomas McDonald, with his large family moved to Texas at an early period, settling at first on Willow Creek in Gillespie County * Doss Bro's ranch * Threadgill Creek * Doss Valley in Gillespie County * Basin Springs * he moved to Spring Creek and settled on what was afterwards known as the Spencer place * a little school down on Spring Creek, and it was taught by a man named Allen * Captain Jim Hunter * Camp Verde in Kerr County * to a place on the Llano river-that we called "Camp Pumpkin-Head". * Camp Davis on White oak Creek * Fort Mason * a very beautiful girl named Alwilda Joy * old Uncle Lige, a pioneer Methodist preacher * Ed. Jaynes and John Joy * Con­federates were under command of Capt. Louis Dixon * the Bill Gamel ranch on the Llano * Geo., Davidson * Nueva Pueblo * the Alcalde at Piedras Negras * Tobe and Dick Joy. * Brazos Island * Capt. James Speed * Lieut. James * Amanda Eliza­beth Larimore * Samuel Thomas * Peter Mosel * a nice little scrap with the Indians near Noxville on Devil's riv­er * a man named Jim Little * Sheep Creek in Mason County * John Banta, Sam Lane, Joe Whitley, Dolph Reese, Alonzo Reese, Tom Benson, John Benson, Jake Banta, Sam McCann, Bill Horton * John Benson * Isaac Banta * the killing of Pete Hazelwood * Mart Mc­Donald, Thurman Taylor, Jim Taylor * John Wesley Taylor, Hut Taylor * the Germans near Fred­ericksburg * Turkinett * a Mexican sheep­herder, on the Pedernales * Point Creek * Monroe lived awhile on Onion Creek in Gillespie County * Seven Rivers * Zach Light, a man well known in Mason County * A very quick gunman named Les Dow *

Brief History Of The Early Days In Mason County

By J. Marvin Hunter. (Third installment – continued from last month)

[SELLER’S NOTE: Actually, Mr. Hunter should have titled this series of stories “A detailed and extensive account of the Early Days in Mason County.” This great series (5 installments) includes some of the most painstaking historical research to be found anywhere, and it all pertains to the life of Mason County and its early history, settlements, frontiersmen, family movements, development, Indian raids, political, social, economic development, etc, etc. As well as including the most minute detail, this series also includes many, many old B&W photo images of NUMEROUS early settlers of Mason County. Truly Mr. Hunter has done an inestimable service to those interested in Mason County, Texas history and genealogy.

Suffice it to say, if you live in Mason County, Texas, or have ancestors there, or just have genealogical or historical interest in the area, YOU WILL FIND NO RESOURCE BETTER THAN THIS GREAT SERIES.]

In the year 1849, under the ad­ministration of President Taylor, the government, with the view of encouraging the settling of the southwestern border in Texas, es­tablished a line of forts from the Red River to the mouth of the Rio Grande at a distance of forty or fifty miles apart.

An expedition in the charge of Captain Ma­son was sent out to choose locations for these posts. He recognized the natural advantages of a hill just south of the pres­ent town of Mason and marked it for a fort, which was called Fort Mason in his honor. The land upon which the fort was built was purchased in a hundred and six­ty acre tract from Mr. Hick, the father-in-law of another Mason resident, Mr. Jacob Schuessler.

The next year, 1850, Major Merril and four companies of soldiers began working on the much desired fort, but it was not completed for two long years. From the time of the arrival of the contingent under Major Merril until the outbreak of the Civil War, the fort was constantly gar­risoned by from two to eight companies of soldiers, depending. upon the ever-changing hostility of the savage hordes about it. Be­fore the soldiers came into this frontier country, no known white man had visited it. The Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche In­dians, and the buffalo, antelope, and deer had been the only inhabitants. The tribes resented the_ intrusion of the white-men and very soon they took the war-path against them. Their natural ferocity, strengthened by an intense hatred of their new enemy, kept all but the most daring away; even the most zealous and fearless frontiersmen kept at a distance. The nearest settlement to Fort Mason was Fredericksburg, where the Fisher & Mil­ler Emigration Company founded a colony of German emigrants, who had left their crowded Fatherland for a more prosperous life in America. Many of these emigrants were revolutionists who were forced to leave Germany because of their apparently radical views. Their descendants fought "Kaiserism and Kulture" during the World War and were among the best soldiers our country posessed in the Civil War. One soldier, of whom all Texans are proud. Louis Jordan, was the first Texas officer to fall in action in France and was among the first eighty picked men to be sent from Texas to the front lines.

To each settlement in this southwestern borderland the State of Texas gave a grant of six hundred and forty acres, and well did they deserve it, for the dangers, privations- and hardships these poor set­tlers endured were almost inconceivable. Some died of starvation, others were slaughtered by the Indians, and a great many died of disease produced by lack of nourishment and other terrible privations. To some fourteen or fifteen families an as­signment of land was made in the southern portion of Mason county, then under the jurisdiction of Gillespie county, but these people were compelled to wait until the soldiers had arrived before they could take possession. In 1855 and 1856 the Kothmanns, Leifesters, Jordans, Lemburgs, Simons, Kneeses, Hasses, Beherns, Elle­brachts, and others, whose descendants are filling Mason County today, comprised the small band of settlers in that untamed land. They faced their uncertain future bravely and tried to live as normally as possible, erecting homes and producing what foods they could in their new en­vironment. Henry Hoerster, now a cattle­man and one of the most prominent citi­zens of Mason, Texas, claims to be the first white child born in Mason County. The hardships and discouragements which awaited them were many for, in spite of the vigilance of the soldiers, the Indians would destroy the fruits of many day's toil in a twinkling and sweep away to safe­ty with bands of stolen horses and cattle. Above all, their lives were in constant danger. Nevertheless, they were determin­ed to found permanent homes for them­selves and their posterity. They trusted in God, being devout Christian men and women. As soon as they became settled they created an altar to their God. It consisted not in an ordinary church as we have today-building materials were too scarce for a real church to be had; so each family made a little altar in their log cabin and each cabin served as a church. The meetings were held in a cycle, and the en­tire populace attended them. At the conclusion of each meeting the good folk re­mained and ate dinner with the host…

And so begins this excellent historical account of the rich history of Mason county. 

(The preceding introductory excerpt is from the first installment, found in the November, 1928 volume, which is available from us)

Further Mentions: Two miles, west of Mason, on the Menard road is historic Koocksville, a place with a real history * Wm. Koock (includes great old photo of him) * Koock's daughter, Mrs. Ernest A. Hoffman * James Ranck, who established a business in Mason some­time prior to, or just about the time Koock opened his store * Mr. and Mrs. Tom Elliott and their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Greer * Koock was born in Germany, and came to the United States when a child. It is said that his schooling consisted of less than six months, but he educated himself, wrote a beautiful hand, kept his books in perfect order, and had a diary of his ex­periences * Four chil­dren are O. L. and A. W. Koock, of Austin, Mrs. Tom Elliott and Mrs. A. E. Hoffman, of Mason * Hugo Koock, one of his sons * Louis Korn * Castel * Mrs. Hey * Ben Hey * Chas. Hofmann, Sr (Includes B&W photo image)* The teacher was an old Irish woman by the name of McGuire * Ben F. Gooch, Pioneer Citizen of Mason (Includes B&W photo image)* OFFICERS OF MASON COUNTY: The first chief justice of the county was Dr. John McSween * the first clerk was G. W. Todd * the first sheriff was Tom Milligan * The sheriffs of the county from 1858 to 1875 were: Tom Milligan, Francis Kettner, John Lemburg, M. V. Bridges, Jim Fenney, John Clark, and Jess Leslie * Francis Kettner * J. F. Garner * John C. Butler * P. C. Baird * H. B. Gibbs * Dee Gibbs, a son of H. B. Gibbs * C. H. Willis * Charles Leslie, a nephew of Jess Leslie * A. T. Murray * The county judges have been: Whitmill Holland, elected in 1876; served two terms; James M. Hunter, elected 1878, resigned May 24, 1880, and Henry M. Holmes was appointed his successor; Wilson Hey, (Includes B&W photo image) elect­ed in 1880, served one term; -G. L. D. Adams, elected in 1882, re-elected in 1884, but suspended from office March 13, 1886. Adams was a real fighting character, and no guess work about it. He was one of Quantrell's famous guerrilla band during the civil war, and had certainly seen stren­uous service. He had one eye out and one arm gone. He was a powerful man phy­sically, redheaded, freckled faced and raw boned, and, added to these features, he wore a goggle over the bad eye. His real name was Albert S. Harrell, but like many of Quantrell's men, he took an assumed name because of the fact that the federal government was after him for some of the Quantrell band doings during the war * Wilson Hey and John C. Butler * Cal­vin Thaxton * Zack Light * Thomas R. Cox (Includes old B&W photo image) * F. A. Grote, county commis­sioner * Theodore Wiedemann * G. W. Todd * Whitmill Holland * M. B. McKnight * S. V. Wood * J. H. Jones * S. A. Mc­Collum * Glenn W. Smith * C. H. Carrett * John T. Banks * E. T. Anderson * S. C. Brockman * R. E. Lee * George F. Jones * W. C. Gowing * William Rod­man * Glenn W. Smith * John W. Leslie * E. L. Clark * Alf. Kuhlman * W. O. Bode * H. Nichols * C. Cox * Ben F. Stewart * R. A. Howard * Jess Leslie * Ed Lehburg * C. S. Vedder * Tom Strong * . A. Tinsley * L. F. Jordan * Commissioners elected in 1876 were M. V. Bridges, C. G. Wood, Francis Kettner and F. A. Grote * Those elected in 1878 were: David Dolle, Francis Kettner, Ben J. Willis and F. A. Grote. In 1880: J. P. McKnight, C. C. Smith, Louis Kuhn, F. A. Grote. 1882: William Koock, Thomas Mur­ray, F. A. Grote, A. P. Rudder. In 1884: W. E. Wheeler, Melvin Marshall, William Clifton, F. A. Grote. 1886: C. S. Jones, J. M. Weatherly, M. F. Carter, F. A. Grote. In September 1888, F. A. Grote was ap­pointed county judge to succeed Thomas R. Cox, resigned, and Theodore Wiedemann was appointed commissioner to fill Mr. Grote's unexpired term. The commissioners elected in 1888 were: Melvin Marshall, ,J. D. Mangum, M. F. Carter, F. A. Grote. In 1890: Glenn W. Smith, Louis J. Kettner, F. A. Grote * T. J. Giles * Dorr W. Brown * W. I. Marshall * The Old Holcomb Home in Loyal Valley (Includes B&W photo image)* The commissioners elected in 1892 were: Theodore C. Brockmann, E. L. Sewalt, T. H. Westbrook and Frank Brandenberger. The same commissioners were re-elected in •1894. In 1898: A. J. Lindsay, T. J. Wood, W. J. Westbrook, J. F. Ottens. In 1900, same commissioners re-elected. In 1902: W. R. Capps, William Schuessler, S. V. Wood, J. F. Ottens. In 1904, the same commissioners re-elected. In 1906: A. J. Lindsay, T. J. Wood, F. R. Jordan, J. F. Ottens. In 1908: Henry Schuessler, W. R. Capps, H. S. Wood, Charles Leifeste. In 1901: Henry Doell, T. J. Wood, W. H. Sheppard, Herrmann Zesch. 1912: Lewis Schmidt, C. O. Jenkins, S. S. Capps, Hermann Zesch. Same commissioners re-elected in 1914. In 1916: F. W. Winkel, M. L. Webster, C. O. Jenkins, Hermann Zesch. In 1918: M. L. Webster, John T. Farmer, A. T. Gray, Hermann Zesch. In 1920: Henry Doell, G. W. Herring, W. J. Griffin, Henry Hoerster. Some commissioners re­elected in 1922. In 1924: Henry Doell, T. M. Butler, D. A. Jordan, G. W. Herring. In 1926: Emil Kothmann, Ben Brandenberger, T. M. Butler, D. A. Jordan. * "Uncle Billie" Cox (Includes old B&W photo image) was probably the first settler in the vicinity of Mason * two brothers, Thomas Cox and Charlie Cox, * land now owned by M. F. Carter * Other families came in, among them being Scott Jones, Maston Latham, and… * the Walker filibustering expedition to Nicaragua in 1856 * Miss Harriet Jones * Alf. Hunt­er * . Naomi Miller (Includes old B&W photo image) * . Matt Bailey, Mrs. Elizabeth Latham, Mrs. Har­riet Latham, and Mrs. Frances Jones * Uncle Scott Jones (Includes old B&W photo image) * Henry Lemburg, Uncle Kit Woods, Uncle Ban Moore * 'hoodoo war' * man named Clark was sheriff and John Worlie was his deputy * A. Scott Cooley * Tim Williamson * Texas Rangers under Captain Jones * Worlie, Bader, Dan Hoerster, Chaney, and a boy named Allen Bolt * The Backus brothers, Pete and Lige * William Wilmann * Dr. J. M. Thomp­son * Mrs. Pete King * J. F. (Pete) King * Mrs. Mollie Hayes of San Antonio * Mrs. W. A. Zesch and C. C. King of Mason * J. D. Miller * Matthew Doyal was also an early settler of Mason county * Calf Creek * Resin P. Bowie * Another frontier character remembered by all of the old timers was Old Amy, the Seminole squaw * Hedwig's Hill * the noted Seminole chief, Oceola * the Mason News-Item was published in 1877 by Messrs. James Kibbee and W. S. Vickery * Beihl-Cimmerly * Frank E. Beihl * Rev. J. N. Gibson * Miss Mary Cimmerly * Rev. J. N. Gibson, Mr. J. H. Monk to Miss Lavica Petty * Mr. Jesse W. Leslie to Miss Emma Splittgerber * the Rev. John Kassbeil, Mr. Wm. E. Wheeler to Miss Marie Crosby. * the Rev. F. W. Hart, Mr. F. A. Grote to Miss Mina Hoerster * Doole, Todd & Mebus, Wm. Koock; drugs and groceries: W. N. Mor­row; harness and saddles: E. M. Hall * the Mason House and Hunter Hotel * Holmes & Todd, Hill & Runge; surveyor and land agents, D;: H. Clark & Co., Physicians: J. S. Herring, H. A. Koerppen, C. K. Gatliff; improved stock cattle, W. P. Lockhart.* Peter Bickenbach * J. D. Bridges, county attorney; D. H. Clark, county surveyor; county Commissioners were M. V. Bridges, C. G. Wood, Francis Kettner and F. D. Grote * Mason Pioneer H. M. Holmes (Includes old B&W photo image) * Mr. J. F. Garner * Justice D. A. Parrish * Mr. Swan * Mrs V. M. Loring. Mr. Loring * Judge A. D. McGinnis, one of the best known lawyers of Southwest Texas * of O. H. Mebus * Martin Loring * School House At Loyal Valley (Includes old B&W photo image) * Larrimore * the Mason Herald was establish­ed by J. W. Hunter (Includes old B&W photo image) * Adam Ritter * Theodore Schmidt, Louis Schmidt, Herman Schmidt, Benno Schmidt, Phillip Maisack. John Reugner, Fred Ottens, Henry McDougall * John Worley (Includes old B&W photo image) * Hick's Springs * Judge Glenn Smith * Prof. J. T. Stapleton * Another pioneer family of Mason, long since departed from this section, was that of William Redman * , Mrs. T. M. Payne and Miss Dona Redman * Dr. Wiggins * Mr. and Mrs. T. M. Payne & children Dolly, Dee and Tom Payne, Misses Maggie, Elva, Alice, and Bertie Payne * Peter Bickenbach was one of the early settlers of Mason county (Includes old B&W photo image) * the Prince Solms Colony * New Braunfels * Fredericks­burg * He was born July 13, 1825, near Coln, Germany * Miss Catherine Lohrence * Beaver Creek, in Mason county * Julius Bickenbach, who died in 1892; Mrs. August Leifeste; Dan H. Bickenbach, and Miss Minnie Bickenbach, *

The Apache Pass Fight

General B. J. D. Irwin (who was an eye-witness to the events)

Account seeks to shed new light on and also to justify Captain George N. Bascom and the occurrences that led to the summary execution of six Chiricahua Apache warriors at Apache Pass, Arizona, in February, 1861. Of all the Apaches, the Chiricahua were by far the most vicious, and their wanton attacks aimed at settlers and travelers, coupled with their cowardice (they only attacked when they greatly outnumbered their victims), led to this notable battle. Very detailed and excellent eye-witness account.

Further mentions: Chiricahua Apache Chief, Cochise * the battle of Val Verde * . Bernard John Dowling Irwin * Colonel B. L. E. Bonneville, Major Enoch Steen and Captain R. S. Ewell * Fort Thorn, New Mexico * the various tribal designations of Mescalero, Mogollon, Cayotero, Tonto, Pinaleno, Yuma, Mojave, Hualapai * Mr. Wadsworth * Colonel Pit­cairn Morrison, 7th Infantry * One of the station employees-Wallace * Fort Buchanan * James Graydon, a discharged soldier * Dragoon Spring * the Chiricahua mountain * General Crook, the lamented Crawford, Lawton, Gatewood, Davis, Maus, Wood * Lieut. Col. Robert R. McCormick * A. A. Small, M. C. *


Frontier Times is in receipt of the fol­lowing letter from Colonel J. H. Faubion, that grand old man of Williamson county, Texas, who knows more about the history of the Texas frontier than probably any other living man. Writing from Leander, Texas, under date of November 25, Colonel Faubion says:

"I have just read in Frontier Times your `Brief History of Early Days in Mason County,' and I assure you that I found it very interesting, principally from the fact that I spent some time in Mason county in the summer of 1867, and had the pleasure of getting acquainted with many of the splendid citizens, whom I found to be very hospitable. and kind to a stranger. I went there along with my uncle, Dr. John McSween, who had a ranch six miles south of Mason, near the Llano river, but was living at that time in San Antonio. Among those I met and who were so kind to me were the Keller family, Adam, August and Adolph; the Hoersters, Major Ranck, Mr. Gooch, the Gamels, Crosbys, Morrises, Lindsays, Lemburgs, and many others. I also met Mr. Kit Woods, who lived in the town of Mason, and Mr. Weatherby, who lived on Honey Creek near…

Further mentions: General Al­bert Sidney Johnston and General Earl Van Dorn * little fortress on Honey Creek * Judge Noonan of San Antonio * Mr. Dan L. Emmett * Major Thompson * Major Ranck *

A Reunion Of Pioneer Women

By Mrs. D. W. Roberts, Austin, Texas.

Account recites the story of Mrs. Rabb whose frontier experiences were thrilling. She was born near Skillet Knob on Legion Creek on the Llano County line which was frontier at that time. Their nearest neigh­bor lived eighteen miles away. Mr. James Wilson, her father, was a ranchman, and was away from home a great deal of the time. Indian raids were frequent, and the settlers were in constant terror of them. Mrs. Rabb had seen Indians on the warpath, had been shot at, and lived to a ripe old age and here, tells her story.

Further mentions: Captain Roberts * Dr. Bellar * etc.


J. B. Gillett, Marfa, Texas

Captain Gillett (who was himself a great and courageous man), recounts in this story many of the notable acts of courage performed by Capt. G. W. Arrington while in the line of duty. Arrington was a Georgian and a Confed­erate soldier. On returning home from the war, he was active as a Ku Klux and took such a prominent part in that order that he was forced by the Federal Government to flee his native state and take up his resi­dence in Texas and for awhile taught school in Coleman county. In the summer of 1876 he joined Company "E", Texas Rangers. In the fall of that year he was transferred to Company "A," Commanded by Capt. Neal Coldwell and was appointed first sergeant. Later, he was promoted to captain of Company "C" and spent all the rest of his days in the Panhandle of Texas.

Further mentions: Cold­well's Company * Carrizo Springs * Lt. N. O. Reynolds's * the famous Ku Klux Klan that made carpet baggers and bad negroes hard to catch *


J. B. Gillett, Marfa, Texas. 

Account of the Indian fight that occurred at Williams Ranch in about 1871 or 1872, where the author’s father, James S. Gillett, owned a small stock of cattle in Brown (now Mills) county, where a band of In­dians charged this settlement in broad day­light and a fierce battle began. The Wil­liams and their neighbors had just bought a case of ten Winchester carbines, the old brass sided guns that all old frontiersmen are familiar with. These 44 Winchesters probably saved this little frontier village from being wiped out… This is the story.

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Our Testimonials

Glad to get networked with you Jim. I have really had a lot of success  with my research thanks to Frontier Times and yourself of course. Mr.  Hunter was a God send in helping record enough information to help  future generations track our history. When our families arrived here in  Texas they were ahead of government, counties, etc. so it is a great  task to piece together details. Thanks and have a Merry Christmas  brother!