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Vol 11 No. 03 - December 1933

The Rout Of The Californians

Account of a little known but significant battle fought near old Fort Lancaster, on the Pecos, in April, 1864. It was at this time that a body of three or four hundred Californians had established themselves at Fort Lancaster, in the southwestern part of the State, where they were attracting to themselves many deserters from the Confederate ranks during the Civil War. Being well established in a strong position, these lawless marauders engaged in plundering the ranches and small settlements on either side of the river with impunity. This account describes the battle to end the rogue element and recapture the fort.

Further Mentions: R. H. Williams, who wrote a book, "With the Border Ruffians." Williams was an Englishman, a soldier of fortune, who spent eight years in South West Texas during the war between the states. He enlisted in the Confederate service, and when his term of enlistment expired he engaged in ranching on the Frio river, afterwards going back to England, and forty years later he wrote his book, a most interesting volume of his experiences in Texas. * Federal General Banks, commonly known amongst us of the Confederate Service as "Commissary Banks * The gallant Magruder and his Texan boys * Major Hunter, an old Texan frontiersman, and an able commander * Colonel Franks, a well known. and rather notorious character in Texas * General Wasp * `Old Rip,' * guerilla leader Cortinas * Dehanis, on the Eagle Pass road * Fort Clark * Louis Heller of Austin * Pilot Don McDonnell *

Falls Of The Brazos

By Marjorie Rogers, Marlin, Texas

Falls county derived its name from the fall on the Brazos about five miles from the present town of Marlin, the county seat. The site of the "old falls" is located about one-half mile from the present falls. The public square of the town of old Viesca was about one half of a mile from the old falls. The beautiful falls were then about six feet high, and were once a famous frontier landmark for colonists seeking homes in the wilderness of Texas. In this spot, men like Captain George B. Erath, Jack Hays, Captain John Bird, Sterling C. Robertson and Z. N. Morrell made history for Central Texas on the banks of the "old Falls" of the river. Viesca, the capital of Sterling C. Robertson's colony, was located on the west bluffs overlooking the Brazos Valley of the Brazos River about half a mile southwest of the spot where the river prior to 1866 roared over the "old Falls." Few have ever heard that it was at one time a famous stopping post for travelers and the site of Fort Milam. This is good history of early Falls county.

Further Mentions: The flood of 1866 * A small creek, known as Gleason's Creek * Elm Creek * Lieutenant Erath * McLennan county * Captain Joseph Daniels * Nelson Taylor Dension * Felix and Jim Grundy of Hogg Island * Blue Shoals on the Brazos *

The Famous Noakes Store Raid Of 1875

By Coleman McCampbell

Account of an incident that occurred Friday, March 26, 1875, at the store of T. J. Noakes, Nuecestown, a few miles from Corpus Christi. The store was the scene of bloodshed that ended an assault made by nearly thirty armed and mounted Mexicans and three Americans who robbed the house of S. H. Page and took capture of a number of residents.

Further Mentions: Sheriff McClane of Corpus Christi * John Dunn, Jr * Mr. McManigle * John S. McCampbell * Frank's store on Juan Saens' rancho * Cortina * Elojio Garza * Among the women prisoners are Mrs. E. D. Sidbury and her daughter, Mrs. R. R. Savage * Hon. H. A. Gilpin, John Fellman, S. G. Borden. (justice of peace, San Patricio county,) G. W. Saunders and son (of Banquette,) George Reynolds and children, Fred Franks, Mike Dunn and wife, and Misses Laura Allen and Berry. Mr. Saunders * Miss Laura Allen * an American named Smith (known as "Lying Smith,") * M. W. Smith * Schueide & Zyberbier * James Dunn, Bass Burras, George W. Swank, Clem Vetters (a small boy), and Judge Whelan * P. F. Dunn * Washington Mussett * Judge Sidney Gail Borden *


This battle which took place on top of Packsaddle mountain in 1871, is recalled by Mrs. Emma Schooler. The pioneers followed the band of Comanches up a secret path, in single file, and secreted themselves on the summit until all were ready to attack. The Indians, thinking themselves safe, were thoroughly surprised, and thrown into such a panic that they scattered in every direction. Finally rallying they gave battle at best they could, but were finally driven from that part of the state.

Further Mentions: Mrs. C. W. Ball, in San Angelo * Mrs. F. C. Bates, on the Bates ranch, near Sheffield * She was born in Blanco county, in 1856 *


G. W. Roberts, of McCamey recalls when the big Indian raid was made in 1866. In the raid, the Indians took off with several thousand cattle, killed one man and wounded one girl. Roberts was sitting on a rock wall, a few feet south of the headquarters house where the family then resided. This is his eye-witness account of that event.

Further Mentions: the first white child ever born on the upper San Saba river is Solomon Shelenberger, a cousin to Mrs. Ben Ellis and a son of Louis Shelenberger who drowned in a small hole of water below the old Oakes street wagon crossing in San Angelo * a point about where Sonora is now located * Rufe Winn * John Robbins, then considered one of the best horse men in the county * F. I. Glenn, 3632 Veverly, Drive, Dallas, Texas

Five Years A Cavalryman

By H. H. McConnell. Ongoing, detailed and day-to-day journal recounting McConnell’s experiences are further related in this installment of his excellent story. To read this account is like being along for the ride. Frontier history comes alive in these pages, from the back of a great Calvaryman’s horse. These stories contains many details and incidents that often go unmentioned in most historical accounts of life on the frontier. You will definitely be captivated by the musings, reflections, observations, and experiences while following this soldier through his varied and interesting life on the Texas Frontier. For example, did you ever wonder what the fishing was like on the Brazos or Llano in the frontier days? You’d be surprised! – see September issue. (Continued from Last Month.)

Further Mentions: * S. W. Eastin * General Gains * Tom Gibbons and Hunt Kelly * the "boom" in Jacksboro * Poor Mason * Fort Gibson * Fort Concho * . "Sand-hill George," * Billy Shields * Belknap * Eastburn (the agent) * "Old Man" Sisk * Lieutenant James F. Hill, a fine young officer * the Clear Fork of the Trinity * Captain Field and others of the Masonic fraternity of the village * Dan Donovan so long afterward a "landmark," or an "institution," or both, of Jacksboro * Buffalo Springs * Weatherford * J. L. Oldham, post trader; S. W. Sastin, Ed Eastburn, Cook & Boaz, Aynes & Robinson, and Stanley Cooper * our paper "The Flea"- * the `Little Joker' * Camp Wilson * the Brazos valley * The "Freedman's Bureau," * Elm Creek * Belton * The valley of the Salado * Georgetown and Round Rock * Pecan street * the San Marcos river * New Braunfels * Comal * Dr. Shaw at Waco * Clebourne * Sulphur Springs * One of the "details" was known, and is still remembered in Woods, Titus, Bowie and adjacent counties, as "Chaffee's Guerillas;" * Banes. An Irishman * Fort Richardson * Mrs. Partington * Sergeant Swift *

(Continued Next Month.)

The Pioneer Lawyer

Max Coleman, Lubbock, Texas

A tribute to some of the jurists and attorneys that help "civilize" the Texas Frontier, particularly the Panhandle.

Mentions: Henry Jenkins. His was the first grave dug in the Lubbock Cemetery * A few of the old timers were Judge W. R. McGill, one of the best known lawyers, who practiced during the frontier days of the West, Judge Willis * Governor Jim Browning * Sam Madden * L. S. Kinder first district attorney at Plainview * W. F. Hendricks * A. P. Dickson * the Honorable W. R. Spencer, Judge of the 72nd Judicial District * 50th Judicial District, Judge W. R. McGill * Charlie Jones of Lubbock who helped make famous the town of Tascosa *

The first time Judge Willis held Court at Tascosa, he was confronted by a problem not covered by the text books, which at that time were very few, and dated 1879. With law and order just starting to make itself felt, the first job for the court, called for a meeting of commissioners before the Judge. At that time many counties were thrown together, comprising one judicial district. When court was called it was found there was no commissioner present from Dallam county. Judge Willis scratched his head. He looked through the law books, but a delegate from Dallam was indispensable.

"Mr. Sheriff," he told Jim East," popular cowboy sheriff at that time, "is there any one in Tascosa from Dallam county?"

"I saw an old trapper here last night," replied Jim East, "who last year camped on Rabbit Ear Creek. That is in Dallam county, but he is probably drunk by now."

"Go get him," ordered the Judge. "Bring him here drunk or sober."

Fortunately, the transient trapper had left town and after East had forcibly disarmed him, he was carried to the courthouse and sworn in as a representative from Dallam county.

Although his drink befuddled mind caused him to immediately go to sleep under the judicial table, still the court managed to proceed and dispose of all accumulative business, and then adjourning to the bar a good time was had by all.

Further Mentions: Court of Civil Appeals, at Amarillo, Texas * three pioneer lawyers, the Honorable M. J. R. Jackson, Robert W. Hall and A. J. Martin. * one native Texan, who was not only a successful pioneer lawyer, but changing with the times, developed into a successful modern lawyer is the Honorable W. D. Benson of Lubbock, a self made man in every way. He was born in 1865 at Palo Pinto, Texas, at what is now known as Lover's Retreat * Mineral Wells * Governor Ross * Lew Sullivan * Mineral Wells and the first well ever placed there, to be known as Crazy Well * W. D. Benson * Breckenridge *

Yarns Of The East Texas Cattle Country

By Ruth Garrison Frances

Though West Texas is cattle country, East Texas once had flourishing cattle ranches as well. The East Texas coastal country, Jefferson, Hardin, Chambers, Liberty, Jasper, and adjoining counties, was at one time, prior to the era of oil, lumber and small farms, dependent almost wholly on the cattle industry for its income. This is the story of the cattle heritage in East Texas.

Mentions: The White ranch, now owned by the fourth Jim White, is the oldest AngloAmerican ranch in Texas* The names Herbert, McFaddin, White, Cade, Jackson, Broussard, Bordages, Arceneaux, Pipkin, and many others are enough to conjure up a wealth of tales from East Texas. * There are 86,000 acres in the Herbert ranch * One desperate character, Smithers , was widely known in East Texas about 1830 * "Uncle" Moscow Pevito * sturdy, half-wild "broomtail" ponies * Steve Jackson * he first discovered Sour Lake * Roscoe, Nolan county * Mrs. A. Z. Prior *

Some Old Letters

By Laura Ratchford Fromme

Account of Mary Ann Scott Rose, a true Texas pioneer woman who lived near Victoria, Texas and who waited years while her husband Preston R. Rose sought fortunes in the California gold fields of 1849-50, near Yuba River, California. Their troubles are recorded in two sad, but informative letters which transpired between them. This account tells the story

Further Mentions: a Mr. Beaty the overseer * children, little Betty * Katie * Milly * Gabriel * Dr. Cooke, Colonel Hunt, Buck Scott

A Forgotten Bit Of Texas History

Account of Charles G. Jarvis, one of the early settlers of Frio canyon who During the Civil War, was one of Lee's veterans, who gallantly and unflinchingly followed the stars and bars on many hotly contested fields and shed his blood in defense of the Lost Cause. Injured, he returned home to Texas after the war, and married Miss Mattie Watkins in Guadalupe county in 1873, Rev. C. Shopard performing the ceremony. He came to Frio canyon in 1886 and engaged in stockraising and farming. He later became a prominent Mason, at Friotown, and made Royal Arch in Uvalde July 3, 1890, and finally "worthy master" [Matt. 23:10] of Leakey Lodge No. 622.

Further Mentions: Mr. Jarvis was born in Algiers, Louisiana, in December, 1843, and in 1852 moved to Missouri and settled in St. Francis county * Colonel Schanabel * General Sterling Price * Oak Hills, or Wilson Creek * the battles of Springfield, Elkhorn, Farmington, Iuka, Corinth, Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Baker's Creek, called by the federals Champion Hills, Big Black and siege of Vicksburg. In all these battles Mr. Jarvis did his duty as a brave soldier * On the 18th of May he was twice wounded at Vicksburg * New Hope Church, Latimore and Kenesaw Mountain * Colonel Blood of the Union forces * Vinings Station, Peach Tree Creek and the siege of Atlanta * Lovejoy * followed Hood up into Tennessee and fought in the battle of Big Shanty, Ackworth and Altoona * A comrade named Johnny Cockery * J. M. Bond, a Methodist minister * John H. Carlisle * Peck Johnson * Ward B. Blanchard

Fremont's Third Expedition

By Patrick S. Bilks.

Account of the establishment of California’s freedom during the days of the expedition under Captain John C. Fremont, Topographical Corps. U. S. A. During this event, Captain Fremont took command of the American Fort at Monterey and creating an American military occupation, made it impossible for any foreign nation to make a similar move without declaring war. Under the very guns of an English man-of-war lying in San Francisco Bay, Fremont's coming to the golden gate city was celebrated by hoisting the American flag. This is an excellent historical account of that event.

Further Mentions: Fort Quitman * Major A. P. Morrow * The personnel of the third expedition, which included Christopher ("Kit") Carson and Lieutenants Albert and Peck of the Topographical Corps * the Hudson Bay Company * Fremont's cross-continental journeys * his Great Salt Lake exploration * Sutter's Fort * General Jose Castro * Hawk's Peak, a mountain thirty miles from the city of Monterey * Klamath Lake * Lieutenant Archibald H. Gillespie of the Marine Corps * the "Bear Flag Revolt." * Commodore Stockton, U. S. N *


Old time Hill Country fiddler J. W. Mickle of Medina, Texas, has composed a song of the Hill Contry, his old stamping ground entitled, "My Texas Mountain Home;" which is published in this account. Mr. Mickle was an understudy of John Lane, whose music awoke the energy of nimble feet on many a puncheon floor of the frontier. Music and literary critics may find fault with this composition, but folks who know J. W. Mickle will treasure it as a memento of his talent, and will cut it out and paste it in the scrap book.


Dedicated to Lima, the Home of My Childhood

By J. W. Mickle

In my dreams I often see, my dear old Texas mountain home,
 Where I traveled glen and meadow, when a child.
 Among natures smiles and beauties quite so often I would roam.
 Let me hear once more these whisperings from the wild
 Where the beautiful Medina seats it's waters on it's way
 Watch it's gleaming sprays, go dashing o'er the falls,
 See it join the San Antonio as it wanders to the bay
 After splashing through it's canyon mountain walls.
 How I'd like to live again, those, happy days of long ago
 Far away up in the old Medina hills -I'll say !
 Etc, etc, etc


Judge S. J. Isaacs, of El Paso, Texas, was a small boy in Round Rock the day of the fight that ended in the death of notable gunman, Sam Bass. He offers corrections based not only on his own observations, but as he says, "I am giving facts as recorded by those who were either participants or near-participants in the battle. Among them is Capt. James Cillett, who was one of Lieut. Reynolds' detachment, and whose veracity, as well his memory, cannot be questioned."

Mentions: The statement that Murphy slipped down to the depot on the morning of the battle and wired Maj. Jones at Austin * Bass, Barnes, Jackson and Murphy had left Denton county and started to Mexico * the Round Rock bank * Belton * four rangers, Corp. Vernon Wilson, Privates Ware, Connor and Harold * Corp. Wilson * Ware, Connor and Harold * Moore * Deputy Sheriff Grimes, of Williamson county * Deputy Moore, of Travis county



Lt Albert; Laura Allen; Allison; Mrs C. W. Ball; W. A. Ball; Mrs F. C. Bates; W. D. Benson; Hon W. D. Benson; Patrick S. Bilks; Bilks; Bird; George B. Black; Ward B. Blanchard; Col Blood; Mrs H. R. Bolton; J. M. Bond; S. G. Borden; Sidney Gail Judge; Jim Gov Browning; Bass Burras; C. D. Carlisle; John H. Carlisle; Christopher Carson; Gen Jose Castro; Clark; Johnny Cockery; Coleman; ; Pvt Connor; Dr Cooke; Stanley Cooper; Cunningham; Capt Joseph Daniels; Capt C. G. Deason; Capt Mrs C. G. Deason; Nelson Taylor Denison; Jo. A. P. Dickson; Dobie; Dan Donovan; John Dunn; John Jr Dunn; Mike Dunn; Mrs Mike Dunn; P. F. Dunn; Jim East; Ed Eastburn; S. W. Eastin; Mrs Ben Ellis; Emmett; Capt George B. Erath; John Fellman; Capt Field; Ruth Garrison Frances; May E. Francis; Col Franks; ; Capt Fremont; Capt John C. ; Laura Ratchford Fromme; Fromme; Gen Gains; Elojio Garza; Tom Gibbons; Lt Archibald H. Gillespie; ; Capt James Gillett; Capt S. H. Gilliland; H. A. Hon Gilpin; F. I. Glenn; Dep Sheriff Grimes; Felix Grundy; Jim Grundy; Robert W. Hall; Pvt Harold; Hays; Louis Heller; W. F. Hendricks; James F. Hill; Lt Hill; Hogg; Horn; John R. Hughes; Col Hunt; S. J. Isaacs; Judge S. J. Isaacs; Hon M. J. R. Jackson; Steve Jackson; Charles G. Jarvis; Henry Jenkins; Jennings; Peck Johnson; Charlie Jones; ; Hunt Kelly; L. S. Kinder; John Lane; Lemley; Jack Livingston; Sam Madden; A. J. Martin; Coleman McCampbell; John S. McCampbell; Sheriff McClane; Bill McDanold; Don McDonnell; W. R. Judge McGill; McGill; J. W. Mickle; Morris Sheriff Moore; Morrell; A. P. Maj Morrow; Washington Mussett; Capt J. P. Nixon; Capt Mrs J. P. Nixon; T. J. Noakes; J. L. Oldham; S. H. Page; Howard W. Peak; Lt Peck; Moscow Pevito; Pevito; Price; Mrs A. Z. Prior; George Reynolds; Eugene Manlove Rhodes; John Robbins; G. W. Roberts; Robertson; Rogers; Pres Roosevelt; Mary Ann Rose; Mary Ann Scott; Preston R. Scott; Ross; Juan Saens; Saens; S. W. Sastin; G. W. Saunders; Mrs R. R. Savage; Col Schanabel; Schon; Emma Schooler; Buck Scott; Louise Allen; Dr Shaw; Louis Shelenberger; Solomon Shelenberger; Billy Shields; Rev C. Shopard; Mrs E. D. Sidbury; Clint Smith; M. W. Smith; Hon W. R. Spencer; Commodore Stockton; Stoudenmire; Lew Sullivan; George W. Swank; Sgt Swift; Clem Vetters; Pvt Ware; Gen Wasp; Mattie Watkins; Judge Whelan; Jim White; ; R. H. Williams; Judge Willis; Corp Vernon Wilson; Rufe Winn; Winkler

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