J Marvin Hunter's



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Vol 11 No. 04 - January 1934

Passing of a Stage Driver

by J. Marvin Hunter. Account of well known frontier character, William J. Ellis, describes events during stage drives from San Antonio to Fredericksburg, Mason, Menardville, Fort McKavett and San Angelo. Born in Pennsylvania in 1851, Mr. Ellis came to Texas as he reached manhood and began driving the San Antonio-El Paso line when only 23. Winding up through the Hill Country and out through Tom Green county, which in early days extended nearly the full length of the 800-miles route, the stage line always ran the gauntlet of robbers, though Indian raids had ceased. The story of the daring robberies in 1884 of Potter and McDaniel, two desperadoes who camped at the edge of this town -where the, Girdwood wagon yard held forth in later years, was a favorite of Mr. Ellis. It is detailed in this story.

Mr. Ellis married Miss Nannie Riley of Kentucky in 1900. Survivors are the widow, two daughters, Miss Bessie May Ellis, San Angelo, and Mrs. B. B. Baker of Miles; two sons, Dan T. Ellis and R. D. Ellis, both of San Angelo; three sisters, Mrs. Emma Lower of Long Beach, Calif., Mrs. Clara McDonald and Mrs. Lizzie Davis of Scranton, Pa., and one brother, Alonzo Ellis, of Moosie, Pa.

Further Mentions: Loyal Valley, between Fredericksburg and Mason, Fort Concho and Ben Ficklin, Davis, McDaniel., Ballinger,

When Schools Had Split-Log Benches

Account by S. N. Holland describes the early days of school houses and experiences. Mentions: Miss Lily Turner, Old Professor Scott, Falls county, A. H. Downing's First School, the Free State of Van Zandt County, etc

Rare Collection of Old-Time Photos

Mentions: Noah Rose who was born near Menard, and took photographs while a kid clerking in the village dry goods store. He used to slip away to take pictures of hangings shootings, and other events of the early day social calendar. When he wasn't able to be there in person, he had some other photographer do it, as when two men slipped into a morgue at St. Louis, Mo., and obtained a picture of the dead Jesse James. Sebe Barnes and Jim Murphy. His San Antonio pictures extend from the Alamo in 1849 down to the White Elephant, the Two Brothers, Dan Breen's and the Buckhorn saloon as they stood in 1900.

Colonel Ropes: 1890 Promoter De Luxe

By Coleman I McCampbell. "the erection of a fine hotel started; tracks for a street railway, connecting the city with the suburb, were installed; a dredgeboat was purchased, to cut a channel across Mustang Island, to make Corpus Christi a deep water port; and preliminary work was begun on a proposed railroad to Brownsville. The piece de resistance, the symbol of how Corpus Christi was to be transformed into a "magic Monte Carlo of magnificence," was the Alta Vista Hotel. It was built on a promontory that extended into the water. It had a hundred and twenty-five rooms and was described as an almost duplicate of the one at Santa Monica, California. Col. E. Ropes, Great Corpus history.

The Forest of Sinbad

By Mary E. Kelley, Beaumont, Texas. Very detailed account of the vastly interesting region situated at the little border town of Roma, Texas. This petrified forest, unknown to most of the citizens of Texas, is located at the little border town of Roma. Roma is best identified as the old Garcia Ranch that was made famous by the stories of O. Henry. Just across the Rio Grande, only nine miles from Roma, there is the historic -Mexican town, Mier.

Five Years a Cavalryman

By H. H. McConnell (Continued from Last Month). 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.

Further mentions: Captain Eastin, ." Henry Thompson, Wiley Robbins, "old" Judge Williams, George Vanderburg, Wiley Robbins, an old soldier named Bradley, Quartermaster Sergeant of "L" troop. John Quinn, Buffalo Springs, Colonel Starr, Piggy Welsh, Dr. Patzki,

George J. Gray, 94, San Saba County's Oldest Citizen

By Mrs. Laurence Hamrick. "IT WAS IN THE very nature of existing conditions that the no character of those hardy spirits who survived the vicissitudes of pioneer days in Texas should be positive in its every fiber. Historians are wont to refer to them as "diamonds in the rough," and that term, perhaps more than any other, aptly describe them. None will deny that their blood was red, and that they lived and died according to their convictions, and left behind them as their monuments, Texas--the greatest state in the entire Union.

Among all that rugged crew whose bands fashioned an empire in the face of every adversity there is no more picturesque character that George J. Gray…" San Saba, "with its, prairies with a live oak here and there, the mesquite valleys with the trees about knee high to the few cowboys and the many Indians who roamed the woods, the beautifully shaded banks of the many streams, including Cherokee Creek, formerly called Marble or Mineral Creek, the antelope, turkey, deer, rattlesnakes and the occasional buffalo. These were the sights that greeted 21-year old George Gray as lie came riding in from the eastern county of Falls, where he had settled with his parents at the age of seven years on the arrival of the family from his native state of Mississippi.

Gray came with an older brother, Reuben W. Gray, who died at the age of 95 years. The father of the Gray brothers, George Gray, Sr., whose forebears were gentlemen from Virginia, gave a thousand head of cattle to the two sons, who drove them across the country from Falls county to upper Cherokee Creek, arriving here on June 12, 1860.

Great article further mentions: , The other Gray brothers of this well-known rancher, John and Frank. Teliha Williams, a granddaughter of Capt. John Williams who was surprised and killed by the Indians near Baby Head mountain in the early sixties., Mrs. Ida Hart, Miss Fannie Gray, Mrs. Minnie Boone, Dallas; Dr. Lester Gray, Llano; Mrs. Toni Thaxton of Cherokee-, Mrs. Flora Velton, pioneer rancher; Mrs. Warren Kuvkendall. Colonel Black's place at the big springs in Schleicher county, the source of the San Saba. Ward Bagley, Old Hilburn in McCulloch county, . His brother, Reuben, who served many years as captain of the Rangers, who were instrumental in driving the redmen from this part of the country. Prof. F. M. Behrens of Llano, Bob Ellis ranch,

Too Late for San Jacinto Victory

by Noah Smithwick. Thrilling account of the author's frustrating efforts to join in the victory, but arriving too late.

An excerpt: "The battlefield bore testimony to the desperate hand-to-hand struggle our men had maintained--rifles broken off at the breech, the stocks besmeared with blood and brains, told but too plainly how foes had met their death. One of the few Mexicans who escaped to carry news of the disaster, accounted for their defeat on the hypothesis that "the Americans were all drunk." He said the Mexicans had them whipped, when a boat loaded with whiskey came up. The Americans then all filled up with corn juice, and, yelling "Alamo! Alamo!" made a wild rush for the Mexicans, falling upon them with clubs, and beat their brains out. The latter part of the statement was literally true, and it was equally true that many a poor wretch was brained while on his knees. But with the blood of relatives and friends butchered in the Alamo and at Goliad crying for revenge, the Texans did not stop … We luckless ones who failed to get into the fight got no share of the spoils, which were quite considerable. Santa Anna's horse and accoutrements were, by common consent, given to General Houston, whose horse was shot tinder him in the fight. The saddle fairly glittered with gold, which Santa Anna said was solid and valued at $600, but it was subsequently ascertained to be only plated. The horse, a magnificent black stallion, had been taken from Allen Vince, which, coming to Houston's knowledge, he promptly restored it to its owner."

Mentions: Bastrop, Major (Judge R. M.) Williamson., Captain Tumlinson and first lieutenant, Joe Rodgers, General Sam Houston., Jim Edmunson, as Cedar Creek, Caney Crosby, otherwise known as "Choctaw Tom," old Marty Wells' place, Caldwell's place, Jimmie Curtice, Andy Dunn and Jimmie Leach, Lieutenant George M. Petty, Cole's settlement (Brenham), Fannin, John Williams, Felix W. Goff,, Gaona, Tinoxtitlan, Colonel Bain and Captain Bob Childress, Jimmie Leach, Wash Cottle, General Gaines, Lemuel Blakey, a boy about eighteen, whose father died of fever at Brazoria, within a few weeks after setting foot on the promised land for which they left their old Kentucky home in 1832. Thus left with a large family, the older ones daughters, Mrs. Blakey Edward, her oldest son, went on up to Bastrop, the battle of Brushy. Old Sampson Connell.

Veteran Captain Who Battled Indians in Texas

By Bascom N. Timmons. Article is account of Robert G. Carter, Born at Bridgton, Me., Oct. 19, 1845, Carter enlisted in the Twenty-second Massachusetts infantry at the age of 16-the youngest of four brothers in union service. He is believed to have been the last surviving member of Mackenzie's command. Captain Carter holds the congressional medal of honor for "most distinguished gallantry in action with the Comanche Indians," the silver star, the purple heart, and half a dozen other. decorations including several brevets for his Indian service. But the honor most prized by the old veteran is the memory of Texas' "grateful thanks" voted at a special session of the state legislature, called by Governor Davis, after he returned from an expedition into Mexico in pursuit of a confederated band of Lipan, Kickapoo and Mascalero Indians to a point near Rey Molina, May 19, 1873. This action involved a ride of 160 miles in thirty two marching hours; part of the distance was with a loaded pack train, prisoners, recaptured ponies driven loose and a desperately wounded Indian who died from the shock of amputation and exhaustion as the command

Mentions: Comanches and Kiowas, the Concho, Trinity, Colorado, Red and Brazos rivers, the Eleventh infantry, General Grierson of the Tenth cavalry, Fort Elliot, Kicking Bird and Lone Wolf's bands of Kiowas, Fort Griffin (old Camp Cooper), Quanah Parker, Fresh Fork of the Brazos river, Big Sandy creek, near Ball's ranch, Spur ranch, Dickens county,

The Mason County War Captain.

D. W. Roberts

In Mason County (1875) a feud between cattlemen arose to proportions that gave it the name of the "Mason. County War." Major Jones had to take the "bull by the horns" and help to quell it. . The largest per cent of citizens in Mason County were Germans who had accumulated fine, stocks of cattle by their usual frugality. Mr. Lemburg was engaged in shipping and driving cattle to the Kansas markets. He had in his employ Mr. "Tim" Williamson, who handled his herds. Complaint was rife that cattle belonging to ranchmen were taken by wholesale, by the men moving herds, and not accounted for to the owners. Mr. Williamson was on his road to the town of Mason, being fifteen or twenty miles from Lemburg's store, when a mob seized him and killed him. This act was laid to the Germans. Other cattlemen, who were thought to be "shady" in their dealings, took advantage of this to excite the Americans against the Germans. This started the "Mason County War. "

Mentions further: Sheriff John Clark, the Fredericksburg road, the two Baccus brothers and a man named Truly, Wiggins, with his brains shot out, William Coke, foreman of a cattle ranch near Mason, Daniel Hoerster, Peter Jordan, Keller's store, about twelve miles south of Mason, on the Llano river., Mose Beard and George Gladden., Beaver Creek., James A. Beard, Peter Barder, John Worley, Scott Cooley, John Ringo,

Jim Hyatt Was Raised in Texas

Account of prominent New Mexico cattleman Jim Hyatt who drove a herd of cattle into old Lincoln County. N. M., the spring of 1884 fron Texas. He settled on James Canyon, Upper Penasco, with his wife, three sons and one daughter. They were Toni, Jim, John and Elizabeth. who was raised in TX.

Mentions: Frank M. King, the old Flying "H" outfit on the Rio Felix, 30 miles south of Lincoln., the Sacramento Mountains, Chap Lea, Jim Hinkle, of C. A. Bar fame; Buck Giese, Buck Powell, Rufe Pankey, Eugene Manlove Rhoades, Patt Garrett (famous sheriff) and his old partner, John W. Poe; Frank Coe, Jimmy Dolan, Emil and Henry Fritz, Frank Strickland, Frank Hyatt, cousin to Jim, Pink Robertson and Ike Adair of the C. A. Bar spread; Tom Tillotson, Mr. Bates.

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