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Vol 10 No. 02 - November 1932

Mrs. P. H. Coates Of The Old West (Cover Picture)

"Many dreams have come true in the hearts of those women who came as brides with their husbands out into the clean New West. They came with visions of prairie homes built down near the old rock-bottom water holes; they came with hearts brave, undaunted and unafraid. We know only too well that the Old West vas strictly a "man's country," yet those courageous women who came and fought the hardships and loneliness side by side with their husbands have given to the West that immortality that stands today, like a scepter of faith that will never die.

Mrs. Coates has lived thirty-eight years in Reagan county, Texas. Her husband built a comfortable home in Big Lake, one of the first houses to be built there. Yet neither of them were ever very happy in that new home. Their children began to notice, day after day, that they would steal away together and be found at the windmill sitting under the mesquite trees watching the cattle come in for water. So a home was later built for them four miles from the town, on the site of an old Indian camp, where Mrs. Coates lives today.

In this big friendly country lying north of Big Lake, you can gaze across the warm purple shadows of Big Jim Draw on toward the North where the soft green of the mesquite trees blend with the lights reflected from the blue of Texas skies, and on and on as far as the eye can reach until the colors mist and blur, are lost in the hazy distance against the far-off horizon; a country that is gay and fragrant with prairie flowers and where the wide open spaces grip your heart with its wild free beauty; picturesque and rich in romance and history of lost legends and the Old Spanish Trail-a little bit of the Old West yet untouched by the hand of Time. And in the heart of this country at the foot of a little rockstrewn hill, where the sunshine plays on the thorns of the cactus and the chaparral brush, is "Paradise Ranch," the home of Mrs. Coates; a home that is sweet and mellow with past memories; where the song birds come to live in the hackberry trees near her door.

Further Mentions: In 1875 the family moved back to Gatesville * Uncle Joe Friend * Ned Friend now has a ranch near Big Lake, Texas * Billy Friend died in Ozona * . The Coates family lived on the Leon river, eight miles from Gatesville * Later the, Jayroe, Coates and Friend families moved to Taylor county * teacher was named Robards * the Jim Ned school house * P. H. Coates * Ruthie Virginia * Stiles, Texas * the Choncho river * Pontoon Crossing * the foothills of the Guadalupe Mountains * Mrs. Coates has lived thirty-eight years in Reagan county, Texas * the Custers` of Willard, New Mexico, the Coates, Carr, Jager, Little Helen Papson * J. B. Pettit * Aunt Ollie's ranch *

Indian Raids In North East Texas

By J. M. Deaver, El Paso, Texas.

THE FIRST EARLY settlers of North East Texas resided in that portion of the State now embraced in Red River, Lamar and Bowie counties, during which time the terms of court were held generally at Clarksville, Texas. But by 1838 the influx of settlers had become greater; new towns and villages were established, new settlements had, and the frontier was being pushed from Red River, Lamar and Bowie, westward into what is now Grayson and Fannin counties. The Indians were not happy with these developments and began various raids and assaults upon the settlements. This is the story.

Further Mentions: John B. Denton * old Fort Warren * Mother Duggan * Fort English * Preston * Bonham * termed Bois d' Arc, which later was changed to Bonham * thus Bonham became county seat of Justice in Fannin county * Bois d' Arc Creek * Grayson county * Choctaw Bayou * Daniel Duggan who was scalped and his body mutilated * killing one of the visitors, a man by the name of Green, and wounding one other; a Mr. Gordon * Katherine Duggan * Sowell * old Fort Warren * Captain Bird * On the railroad which leads from Paris, Texas to Mount Pleasant, we pass the little hamlet of Ripley * The Ripley family had settled on this creek * the Tarrant Expedition and the death of John B. Denton * Birdville, the first county seat of Tarrant county, Texas *

Survivors Recall Ben Ficklin Flood

With the occurrence of the Ben Ficklin flood, tragic pages were written in the history of Tom Green county by angry water of the South and Middle Conchos, Dove and Spring creeks. Ben Ficklin, first county seat, and the old stage stand on a hill nearby, were swept away with loss of 65 lives and property damage estimated at between $50.000 and $100,000. This is the account of that event.

Further Mentions: Mrs. Sam Pollock, W. Clint Johnson, Mrs. Felix Probandt, who then was Miss Josephine Taylor, and Mrs. C. W. Hobbs, who then was Miss Minnie Sanderson, are the four who lived through the terrifying scenes of the actual flood. * C. B. Metcalf, whose mother, sister and an uncle were lost in the angry waters, was at his ranch above the county seat and was waterbound there for hours * M. B. Pulliam, a resident of San Angelo then, was leader in rescue work * Mrs. Frank Tankersley * the Concho hotel * Clint Johnson, one of the survivors * Lewis Hinde * Mr. Johnson * H. C. Tarver, then county surveyor * Mrs. Mary Jane Metcalf * Zemula * uncle, Blakley Taylor * Mrs. Probandt * J. B. Taylor * troops from Fort Concho * John Fitzpatrick


Recent instances of suspended animation are not new to medical science, the mother of Robert E. Lee, Confederate general, providing an outstanding example. In fact Mrs. Lee was and in 'the tomb for seven days, surrounded by the remains of the other generations of Lees, before she was rescued from a living death by the sexton.

The New York Mirror calls attention to this seemingly incredible fact, citing for accuracy a volume entitled "Premature Burial" by Tebb and Vollum, in the library of the surgeon general, Army Medical Museum in Washington. Col. Warfield Lee, General Lee's nephew who heard the story from the general himself and from the general's brother, Warfield Lee's father, thus relates the astounding details of the death and return to life of the wife of Lighthorse Harry Lee, clashing cavalry officer of the Revolution.

"Mrs. Lee was in poor health for some time, before 1805. She seems to have been subject…

Last Fight Of Sam Bass, Noted Texas Bandit

This is Captain Gillett’s great article on the noted Texas outlaw, Sam Bass. It especially focuses on his death. As to the historical authority of this article, Gillett writes: "Since the death of the ex-United States' Marshal R. C. Ware I have seen numerous accounts of the capture and death of that chief of train robbers, Sam Bass. As those are mostly far from correct, being written by parties not acquainted with the facts. I, as an ex-ranger of Company E, frontier battalion, who was present at the capture and death of Bass, feel disposed to give to your readers what I think to be a true report of this memorable fight."

Further Mentions: Jim Murphy, a former member of the Bass gang * Frank Jackson, Bass's able lieutenant * the bank at Round Rock * Gen. Jones * Belton, Bell county, Texas * Company E, frontier battalion, consisting of Corporal Vernon C. Wilson (nephew of ex-Governor Coak), Privates Dick Ware, Chris. Conner and George Harold. Gen. Jones called Corporal Wilson * Lieutenant N. O. Reynolds * Morris Moore, a deputy sheriff of Travis county * Sergeant C. L. Nevill * Hightower's livery stable * Dick Pare * Mr. Grimes, a deputy sheriff of Williamson county * a one-armed man by the name of Stubbs * Harold and Conner * George Harold (now on the police force of El Paso), * Capt. Lee Hall *

Reagan County Has Colorful History

Lois Jagers, Big Lake, Texas.

REAGAN COUNTY, Texas was created from a part of Tom Green county, and organized 7, 1903. It was named for John H. Reagan, a Prominent statesman of Texas. The first election was held in the new county April 20,1903, when the following officers were elected. Henry Japson, sheriff; J. J. Boyd, county judge; J. B. Lucas, county clerk; Frank Ramsey, county treasurer ; W. C. Shambling, county surveyor; Sim Thorp, hide and animal inspector. The county commissioners were J. E. Gardner, W. C. Castelberry, G. F. Kirk and A. J. Kercherville. Gerome W. Shields; who died in San Angelo in January, 1932, and Mr. Stiles gave the county some land on Centralia Draw, where Stiles, the county seat, was located. The first session of commissioners' court met at the county seat May 27, 1903. Election and commissioners' precincts and county lines were established at this meeting and a contract was let for stationery and county books to the amount of $2,000. Bids were accepted to build a frame court house and the contract was let to J. F. Betts for $355. A contract was also let to S. W. Stockton to build a vault for $350. This old vault is still intact of Stiles. The commissioners signed notes to build the court house and then issued scrip to reimburse themselves. Afterwards a $25,000 court house was built of native stone, quarried from the hills nearby. In 1925 the county seat was moved from Stiles to Big Lake.

Further Mentions: Eva Abernathy, daughter of Dr. and and Mrs. C. M. Abernathy, was born June 22, 1903, being tha first child born in Reagan county.* The first newspaper in Reagan county was... * J. Marvin Hunter, with Miss Lola Spring * W. D. Riser * Leonard Russell * the Orient railroad * Big Lake * The first tragedy in the county occurred on a ranch' about eight miles from Stiles, early in 1807 * John Warren killed his wife and a young man * sheriff Japson * Another tragedy occurred in this county in 1911 * Mike Yakap * P. H. Coates sheep ranch * Mrs. J. A. Queen * champion ropers Clay McGonagill, Bert Weir, Joe Gardner, Johnnie Murray, Jack Taylor * Joe Gardner * Bud Parker * was Elder W. D. Black, who preached for the Church of Christ * the first city officers being H. L. Puckett, mayor, and A. L. Curtis, R. L. McKinney, M. A. Wilson, A. P. Theis and J. D. Nairn were aldermen * Mr. and Mrs. P. H. Coates * Paradise Ranch *


By Will H. Mayes

Texans who talk hopelessly of "hard times" should be ashamed of themselves. Writing December 25, 1841, W. B. Dewees said that Texas promisory notes (money) had fallen from par to 10 cents on the dollar; that those who had exchanged property for this money had lost greatly and many had lost everything by the decrease; that flour cost $150 a barrel, and other things in proportion; that crops were short from drouth and the people were suffering for food, that the colonists were hardly able to get the barest necessities of life, and "luxuries we have none." He added: "I hope some door will soon be opened for the relief of our distresses, but sometimes it does seem that there is no longer room for hope."

That was only one of a number of times when those from whom present day Texans enjoy their rich heritage suffered for food while equally or more endangered by all the , other perils of pioneer Texas life. Yet, those heroic Texans of a century ago suffered, fought, died, that posterity might have that independence that was always the dream of Texas founders.

Today we enjoy the realization of those dreams in Texas, but quickly become "depressed" when we are deprived of some of the luxuries to which we have become accustomed…


Mentions: Judge R. C. Crane, of Sweetwater * famous Bee family of Texas * Dr. Wm. Carey Crane * Genl. H. P. Bee * Cols. Barnard E. Bee * Geo. W. Hockley * Lizardi & Co., Vera Cruz * , E. W. Winkler, librarian *

Old Days In The Old Army

Lydia Spencer Lane (Continued from Last Month). Mrs. Lane faithfully followed her husband through the most desolate and dangerous regions of the Texas frontier, and kept a journal through the whole time. This is fascinating reading and includes details of the army movements, as well as the terrors, the terrain, and the depravations endured by those who served the cause of peace and freedom in Western Texas. You will rarely find reading that includes so much minute detail of pioneer and soldier life than in this excellent account. Mrs. Lane was a fine communicator.

Further Mentions: Fort Selden * Isaac Bloomfield * Colonels Bridgeman and Carey * Captains Russell and Elting. Dr. Seguin * Socorro * the "Sand Hills," * Fort Marcy * Annie, daughter of General Getty, U. S. A. was married to Charles McClurde, U. S. A. * Governor and Mrs. Mitchell, Judge and Mrs. Slough, Judge and Mrs. Houghton, General Getty and family, Colonel and Mrs. A. B. Carey, Colonel and Mrs. Bridgman, Major Rucker, the Rochesters, Kobbes, Bells. Watts, Dr. Huntington and wife, Dr. McKee, Charles McClure and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Griffin, Mr. and Mrs. Elkins, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar * Maxwell's Ranch in the Ute country * Fort Lyon, Colorado * Colonel W. H. Penrose * Captain Yates * Fort Wallace * Colonel Henry Bankhead * Bishop Wainwright * Dr. Alexander, U. S. 'A *

Last Indian Raid In Frio Canyon

A. J. Sowell. 

This is a very detailed and terrifying account of this raid. An excerpt:

In 1882 the Indians struck their last blow at the settlers in Main Frio Canyon. For more than thirty years they made constant raids and many white families were slain, and in this last two more victims fell,-Mrs. Kate McLauren and Allen Lease, a youth who lived with the McLauren family. John M. McLauren, husband of the murdered woman, was born in North Carolina and came to Texas in 1857. In 1871 he married Miss Kate Ringer at Lockhart, Caldwell county, Texas. They soon after came to Frio Canyon and first settled below the town of Leakey, but moved in 1880 seven miles above, and were the outside settlers' at that time. Here they lived two years without being molested. But on April 19, 1882, Mr. McLauren left home and went down to Cherry Creek, below the Leakey settlement. It was a wild, gloomy looking place where the McLauren family lived. The canyon was narrow, and just below the house was almost a shut-in. The sides of the mountains next to the river were high rock bluffs, and in time many huge boulders had become detached and went plunging into the river below. Just above this narrow place is an elevated spot on-which the house stood. There was a garden spot between the house and the river, east. Above, north and west, the valley widened and the mountains curved around and terminated in the huge cliff fronting the river. At the time McLauren left home that morning a band of Indians came around on top of the mountains and stopped on the cliff which overlooked all the valley and the house, and no doubt saw the settler when he left home. The family at home consisted, besides the mother and the boy Allen, of Maud, 6 years old; Alonzo, 3 years, and Frank, the baby in arms. The eldest dauh'ter, Mary, was away boarding with the family of Richard Humphreys, near Leakey, and going to school.

After dinner Mrs. McLauren took the children and went down to the garden to work…

Further Mentions: Mr. John Thompson * Allen Lease * Mr. George Fisher * neighbors, James Hicks, Henry Wall, and Mrs. Goodman * J. B. Johnson * 3-year-old Alonzo * the McLauren ranch * W. J. McLauren, captain; Tobe Edwards, James Hicks, -. Coryell, H. T. Coston, Henry Wall (better known as "Boy" Wallo, Frank Pollard, George Leakey, M. V. Pruitt, John Thompson and Frank Sanders. John McLauren * Kickapoo Springs * except W. J. McLauren, Tobe Edwards, H. T. Coston and Coryeil * Howard's well * Lieutenant Bullis * the Seminole scouts * "Horsehead Bend." * Galbreath Fuqua *

A Tragedy Of The Frontier

J. Marvin Hunter

In the northern edge of Williamson county, about fourteen miles from Georgetown, and only a few hundred yards from the Bell county line, could be seen a pile of loose stones, rough and smooth, large and small, but in their arrangement indicating that they were collected and placed there by human hands and for a purpose. There was no name or board to tell the story, but the rude mound was a tomb, within which were the crumbling bones of three men, Dr. Thomas W. Kenney, Henry Castleberry, and John Courtney, three of the early pioneers of that section, who were massacred by Indians in April, 1844. This is the story of that raid.

Further Mentions: the Rev. John W. Kenney * Bastrop, of which town they were among the first settlers * the "Runaway Scrape" in 1836 * Round Rock * Henry Castleberry, Chenoweth, James 0. Rice, and Jack Angel * Manuel Flores, a Mexican agent * the North San Gabriel river * Rutersville College * the Salado * Captain Merrill * a band of Caddo Indians had been depredating on the settlements below Austin * A few miles north of the present site of Corn Hill * Judge Lee and John Wooldridge of Austin, John Matthews * Kenney's Fort * Mrs. Coleman * Wells Prairie * General McCloud * Capt. Thomas Smith, Eli Chandler * Capt. Mark Lewis

Land Rush Of 1889 Among Mighty State Epics

Oklahoma means, "the land of the red people." There was romance and allure in its very name. Tales of rich farm lands, of green valleys and lush green grass, of mighty mountains and far-flung plains, of fortunes awaiting the early birds, of the empire awaiting the quickening touch of industry. And fifty thousand American citizens, fired by ambition, toed the mark and made that epic dash into the Indian country on April 22, 1889. They had awaited the signal impatiently, and when at last it came, the great rush was on. Out of it grew that expressive word "Sooner" which is one of the Southwest's heritages just as is the Alamo and the Chisholm Trail. This is the exciting tale.

Further Mentions: two forks of the Canadian and by the Cimmaron Rivers * the Katy railroad * President Harrison * Guthrie and Kingfisher * Captain C. C. Patton of Dripping Springs * J. A. Heman * D. V. Harrington * the Spring Valley fight

Tascosa's Boothill Cemetery

Tascosa, Texas is a silent city; silent now in vivid contrast to the fiery, noisy career its occupants once led. It had a Boothill cemetery which was a convenient burial ground for the unknown and unfortunate. Out of universal gun-toting, the individual enforcement of personal rights, and the recklessness of high strung temperaments that the western altitudes produce, Boothills were engendered and made their abnormal growth; they were the creation of the ungoverned frontier and lay along the side of the outlaw's trail. This Boothill had the unique distinction of having all its inmates die with their boots on and were buried in like manner. Boothill’s first inmate was the result of a band of inebriated cowpunchers shooting a widow woman's ducks as they dashed past where she was feeding them in her back yard. The woman swooned and neighbors, thinking that she had been shot hurried the news to the officers. Cape Winningham, the sheriff, and posse overhauled the gang and all responded to "hands up" except the dazed cowpuncher that had done the work. Evidently he was out for blood that day as he "made a grab" for his pistol. The sheriff was quickest on the draw and fired, killing him instantly and thus furnished Boothill with its first deposit.

Pleasant Henderson Rice, Reviews Pioneer Days

By Cora Melton Cross. 

Early pioneer, cattleman, Ranger and farmer, Pleasant Rice, has his life tale told in this account.

Further Mentions: Maddox & Moore* Company B. with Captain A. H. Cox * Fort Griffin * Felix Roundtree, Bill Watson * the Sheriff of Erath county * Jim O'Dorne * Johnson City, Texas * the Leon River * old Bill Watson * Onion Creek * Miss Sara Jane Watson * my son, Alvah * "Bick Boss."


MentionsLee Shippey, * Wyatt Earp," * Staurt N. Lake.* Rome Free,Academy, in which Lyman Gage and Elihu Root were students * Cinch and Dusty Watkins * Childe Harold *

Editor's Page Mentions: O. B. Powell, superintendent of the Jacksboro public schools * Mr. S. Garreston * Colonel John M. Swisher * Rena Maverick Green * Misses Lone Fuller and Ada May Maddox * Captain Ford * Mrs. J. R. Blocker


Some names mentioned in this issue:

Dr C. M. Abernathy; Mrs C. M. Abernathy; Eva Abernathy; Dr Alexander; Ike Andrews; Jack Angel; Angel; Col Henry Bankhead; Barnard E. Bee; H. P. Bee; Gen H. P. Bee; J. F. Betts; Capt Bird; Capt John Bird; W. D. Elder Black; Mrs J. R. Blocker; Isaac Bloomfield; Boone; J. J. Judge Boyd; Col Bridgeman; Col Bridgman; Lucinda Brow; Bullis; Maj Butler; Col A. B. Carey; Mrs A. B. Carey; Carson; W. C. Castelberry; Henry Castleberry; Eli Chandler; P. H. Coates; Mrs P. H. Coates; Ruthie Virginia; Chris Conner; H. T. Coston; John Courtney; Capt A. H. Cox; Dr Crane; W. Carey; Dr Wm Carey Crans; Crockett; Cross; A. L. Curtis; J. M. Deaver; John B. Denton; W. B. Dewees; Daniel Duggan; Daniel Jr Duggan; Katherine Duggan; William Duggan; Earp; Tobe Edwards; Capt Elting; George Fisher; John Fitzpatrick; Manuel Flores; Ford; Billy Friend; Joe Friend; Ned Friend; Ione Fuller; Galbreath Fuqua; Lyman Gage; J. E. Gardner; Joe Gardner; S. Garreston; Annie Getty; Gen Getty; Gillett; Rena Maverick Green; Capt Lee Hall; George Harold; D. V. Harrington; Pres Harrison; J. A. Heman; James Hicks; Lewis Hinde; Mrs C. W. Hobbs; Geo W. Hockley; Judge Houghton; Richard Humphreys; Dr Huntington; Lois Jagers; Sheriff Henry Japson; Sheriff Japson; George Jayroe; Louise Jayroe; William Jayroe; Alonzo Johnson; Clint Johnson; J. B. Johnson; W. Clint Johnson; Gen Jones; Dr Kenney; Rev John W. Kenney; Mrs Thomas Kenney; Dr Thomas W. Kenney; A. J. Kercherville; G. F. Kirk; Stuart Lake; Stuart N. Lake; Lamar; Lane; Lydia Spencer; George Leakey; John Leakey; Allen Lease; Lighthorse Harry Lee; Col Warfield Lee; Wesley Leggett; Lemley; Capt Mark Lewis; J. B. Lippincott; J. B. Lucas; Ada May Maddox; John Matthews; Will H. Mayes; Gen McCloud; Charles McClurde; Charles McClure; Mrs Charles McClure; Clay McGonagill; McKee; R. L. McKinney; Alonzo McLauren; Frank McLauren; John McLauren; John M. McLauren; Kate McLauren; Mary McLauren; Maud McLauren; Capt W. J. McLauren; Bob Merrill; Capt Merrill; C. B. Metcalf; Mary Jane Metcalf; Zemula Metcalf; Gov Mitchell; Morris Moore; Murphy; Johnnie Murray; J. D. Nairn; Ned; Sgt; C. L. Nevill; Jim O'Dorne; Helen Papson; Bud Parker; Capt C. C. Patton; Mrs B. E. Pedrick; Col W. H. Penrose; J. B. Pettit; Frank Pollard; Sam Pollock; Mrs Sam Pollock; O. B. Powell; Mrs Felix Probandt; M. V. Pruitt; H. L. Puckett; M. B. Pulliam; J. A. Queen; Frank Ramsey; Rayburn; Reagan; Lt N. O. Reynolds; James O. Rice; Pleasant Rice; Kate Ringer; W. D. Riser; lt Rooseve; Elihu Root; Rose; Felix Roundtree; Maj Rucker; Capt Russell; Leonard Russell; Frank Sanders; Minnie Sanderson; Schon; Dr Seguin; W. C. Shambling; Jim Shannon; Gerome W. Shields; Lee Shippey; Judge Slough; Capt Thomas Smith; Sowell; Lola Spring; Col John M. Swisher; Mrs Frank Tankersley; H. C. Tarver; Blakley Taylor; J. B. Taylor; Jack Taylor; Josephine Taylor; A. P. Theis; David Thompson; John Thompson; Sim Thorp; Bishop Wainwright; Henry Wall; Dick Ware; Pvt Dick Ware; R. C. Marshal Ware; John Warren; Mrs John Warren; Cinch Watkins; Dusty Watkins; Bill Watson; Sarah Jane Watson; Bert Weir; M. A. Wilson; Vernon C. Corp Wilson; E. W. Winkler; Cape Sheriff Winningham; John Wooldridge; Mike Yakap; Capt Yates; Yarrington

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