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Vol 16 No. 06 - March 1939

Mrs. Mary E. Billingsley: Pioneer Mother

By Maude Wallis Traylor.

It was said of Mrs. Mary E. Billingsley when she was alive , that "she can recite enough Texas history and tradition offhanded, in one hour, as to keep a reputable genealogist and an amateur historian very busy two whole years, tracing, connecting, proving, and recording same." Mrs. Billingsley, or "Cousin Mary", as she was affectionately known to a large connection of relatives, could show a pioneer lineage that would make one just a little envious, and had documentary proof of three of her father's Mayflower ancestors, Captain Myles Standish, Edward Doty, and James Rogers. She also has proof of her direct descent from Humphrey Turner, who came from England and settled in Plymouth in 1628. Her folks came to Texas in two large wagon trains, one in 1827, settling in Stephen Austin's Colony on the Colorado River, and the other in December, 1829, settling in Green DeWitt's Colony; and there were so many of them their land grants spread out all the way through Travis, Bastrop, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Lavaca, Jackson, and Victoria counties. "Cousin Mary" was born in 1856, the only child of Edwin Turner by his wife Mariah (O'Neal) Turner. This is her excellent and colorful story. It is fascinating genealogy of the Turner and Billingsley families.

Further Mentions: old Plymouth families, such as Kenelm Winslow, Plymouth * John Hudson; and Rev. John Miller * Robert Coronet Stetson, Plymouth * Her parents moved to old Bastrop * Winslow Turner of Pembroke, Plymouth county, Massachusetts * Capt. Samuel Nicholson * William Standish * Col. Cotton * Winslow Turner married Molly Standish, the daughter of William Standish * four children: Winslow, Jr. Deborah, Sally, and Adam * The Standishes in America * Troy in Lincoln county, Missouri * Fort Wood * Mrs. Elizabeth Williams * Capt. Isaac Van Bibber * daughter, Deborah, married Ahijah M. Highsmith, one of Col. Daniel Boone's noted scouts of "The Missouri Mounted Rangers," War of 1812 * Stephen Cottle, of a family so numerous in St. Charles county, Missouri, a town was called "Cottleville" for them * Adam Turner * Ben Highsmith * Zadock Woods and his brother-in-law, Joseph Cottle, received two of the oldest Spanish grants in Missouri, later Lincoln county * Lt. Zachary Taylor * His son, Leander, was killed in the battle of Velasco * Zadock was murdered with Dawson's men * his son Norman, was taken prisoner in the same battle of Salado, and carried down into Mexicco, where he died in the terrible old Perote prison, in 1842 * his son, Gonzalvo * the colonization project of Moses Austin in Texas * A. J. Sowell * Rabb's Mill * Zadock Woods * Jesse Burnham * Elliot C. Buckner * DeWitt Colony * Green DeWitt * Malkijah Williams * Samuel Highsmith Survey of Jackson county * Aunt Deborah Highsmith * Great Uncle Stephen and Aunt Sally Cottle * Uncle Winslow married Sarah Sowell of Gonzales * Valentine Bennet * Charles Mason * Hirum Turner * the battle of Concepcion and Fall of Bexar * Mrs. Dickinsan * Aunt Betty married Edward Mills * Aunt Sarah married Abraham Clare * Aunt Mary married Samuel P. Middleton * Jackson county * Teresa Williams, had married Sam Highsmith * Malkijah Williams, father's halfbrother, married Cynthia Burns * the battle of Plum Creek in 1842 * battle of Salado * Maria Kenney * Mary Kenney * She married John O'Neal in Ireland * Mr. Wade Hampton Dixon * Joseph Duty * Old Webberville, east of Austin * the First Methodist church of Webberville * Aunt Debby and Aunt Louisa Duty * Captain Jesse Billingsley, who Iived at McDade * Mrs. Deborah (Turner) Highsmith * the Continental Frigate Deane * Samuel W. Billingsley * Mrs. R. B. Morris, of San Antonio * Mrs. Bob Sapp * Turner Billingsley * Kenneth Billingsley, lives in McAllen *

Judge Roy Bean Had A Rival

By J. Marvin Hunter

Judge Roy Bean of Langtry had a counterpart in the person of Judge Bob Fleutsch, who served as Justice of the Peace at Fort McKavett in the early 1880's. Judge Fleutsch was a native of Switzerland, but because of his Teutonic cast of features and his foreign accent he was always put clown as a fullblooded German. He came to Fort McKavett as a soldier, and after the abandonment of that post by the government he remained there and became a prominent figure in local affairs. Judge Fleutsch was a fiery, colorful and determined man, who meted out justice according to his colorful mannerism as the following quote makes clear: Two years later, this same Mexican was arrested and arraigned before Judge Fleutsch on a charge of rape, the alleged victim being a 14-year-old girl of his own nationality. The proof as to his guilt was positive, convincing and in rendering his verdict the judge reasoned thus: " Dees vas an awful crime und I makes you de highest penalty vit de law. You makes some troubles vit dees court 'altreaty before. Because you vas a great big thief, one time I sends you to de benitentiary und you esgape und get avay und hide in de brush. If I sends you to de shail or to de pen now, you break oudt und run off agin. So I fix you right now altready; Shorge Niel, dees vas de order of deeg court; you takes dees man down by de crafeyard lind shoot heem, und may de Lawd haf mercy mit your soul." With drawn pistol George collared the trembling Mexican and started him to the place of execution, fully intent on carrying out the…

Mentions: the Southern Pacific railroad * Langtry * Lilly Langtry * Vinegaroon * Virginia Chavez * W. H. Dodd * Clark Rives & C., and the Phoenix Bridge Co. of Pennsylvania * Sam Wallick and Tom Ball George Niel , John Q. Adams, Col. Wm. L. Black's ranch * George Neal *

"Dead Man's Hole" Concealed Crime

Account of an early day Llano county tragedy: Dead Man's Hole is on the east side of the 'Marble Falls and Spicewood road, about three or four miles from Marble Falls - a cave used during reconstruction days as a burial ground for many "undesirables". Here are the facts.

Mentions: Mrs. Josie Shelby, P. M. at the Round Mountain community * J. H. Burnam * Benny Gibson * John McFarlin * the Band of Brothers * John Scott, the first Judge of Burnet county * Dr. Isaac Reams * John Backues * was then called Burnam's Hole * the Burnet Bulletin * W. L. Purnam * Mrs. J. C Wemberly of Lampasas, Texas, who was Dora Reams; Mrs. D. T. Bush of Goldthwaite * Nancy McFarlin * Mrs. L. R. Gray, of Lometa, and George Reams of Beaumont * Walnut Cemetery * Miss Rina Latham, of Alamogordo, New Mexico * Cypress Creek * Ezra Phelan * Silas Gibson * Mrs. Robert Hardin * Mrs. Joe Gibson * the A. Grote Ranch on Wight Creek in Blanco county * Mr. Ebeling * Jacob's Well * Sara Jane Gibson, James Gibson's daughter * George W. Latham * John Backues married Sallie Gibson * Rev. John Gibson * Pecan Creek * the old Macedonia Baptist church * Miss Sadie Latham * William Latham * the Reams family * Mary Reams * Ezra Phelan * Mrs. Sadie Crownover * Mr. Hickman Dunman and Mr. Charley Haynes * Walnut Creek * Bertram * Uncle Penny Gibson * Montgomery Phillips and Charley Haynes * Dead Man's Hole down east of the Pedernales, near the Dripping Springs road *

Funeral Oration Brings Comment

Account mentions several letters from subscribers, commenting on the article published in the February issue of Frontier Times under the title of "A Remarkable Funeral Oration." Further light and additional eye-witness perspectives are offered in this article.

Mentions: Ira Bishop of Annona, Tex. * Mr. J. M. Stephens, of San Antonio * Mr. Everett Wiess, reared in Williamson county * H. W. Knickerbocker * Riley Grannan *

On a Mexican Mustang Through Texas


This is part of a serial account of two daring adventurers who colorfully describe their exciting and sometimes humorous happenings on their trip through the wilds and wiles of Texas during the 1870's.

(Continued from Last. Month)

Mentions: Berg & Brother * Acequia Street * Alamo Market * Alamo Store * the San Antonio Express * Dr. Graves and Dr. Chew * Billings' Store, in DeWitt * Thomas Haldeman * Brown Bowen * Wes Hardin * Gonzales * Harwood * the Howerton House * Captain Hail * Haldeman * Sheriff Bass, Rev. Mr. Seale *

How The Monroe Doctrine Saved Texas

By J. Marvin Hunter

On December 2, 1823, the destiny of Texas was decided by a few words in a message of the President of the United States. It was then that President James Monroe enunciated the doctrine which has been known ever since by his name, and in doing so, rescued Texas from becoming a pawn in the game of international politics. No other state in the American Union has so much reason to be proud of the Monroe Doctrine as has Texas, for it is the literal truth that Texas would probably not now be a part of the United States had a different policy been adopted at that time. Its destiny might have been determined by the governments of Europe, in much the same way as the destiny of the vast regions in Asia and Africa has been determined. Such a fate actually threatened in 1823, but the enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine decided for all time that, whatever the destiny of Texas might be, it would be determined by people living on the Western hemisphere. Here is a lengthy and detailed account of that formative event.

Mentions: Ferdinand VII * Napoleon Bonaparte * Joseph Bonaparte * Louis J. Wortham * Point Breeze on the Delaware in New Jersey * Matternich, chief minister of Austria * Cortes * Joel R. Poinsett * O'Donoju * Iturbide * Moses Austin * Stephen F. Austin * the Duke of Angouleme * the fort of Trocadero *


One of the first industrialization schemes in Texas was that of Victor Considerant, in 1855, when he bought three sections of lands that resembled the grape growing region of France, and he had visions of making Texas a national leader in producing grapes but the effort was a massive failure. Here is the story.

Mentions: the first beer in Dallas county * the European-American Colonization Company * Cooke county *

Prehistoric Relics From The Land Of The Incas

By J. Marvin Hunter

Mentions: Charles L. Fagan an officer on the Grace Liner * Valparaiso * the great Chimu tribe * A . Hyatt Verrill * resort of La Punta * La Perla to Magdalena * Avenida Brazil * Avenida Progreso * Colomena, the Paseo Colon, the Avenida Progreso, the Avenida Gran, Avenida Wilson * the Plaza San Martin, facing the Hotel Bolivar * Plaza Bolognesi * Plaza de Armas * Plaza Colon * Hitnac * La Perrieholi * the great Cristal brewery * the Torre Tingle palace * the Larco-Herrera archaeological museum * Chosica * 'the Canta road * Rimac * the Huacho road *

Home Of General Sterling C. Robertson

By Marjorie Rogers, Marlin, Texas.

Account of General Sterling C. Robertson who, among many other accomplishments in Texas, was the builder of Salado College, and he built a rock house in 1854 across the road from Salado College which was one of the show places of Central Texas. Because Robertson was one of the largest landowners in the State and one of the best informed men on land titles, his counsel was sought and consequently his home was visited by the most prominent Texas politicians and statesmen, and even chieftains of the wandering tribes of Indians camped at the back door of his famous house amidst the live oak trees.

Mentions: Mrs. Sophia A. Lynch, Robertson's attractive mother-in-law * Sterling Castle * Robert E. Lee * Albert Sidney Johnson * Mrs. Kate Alma Orgain * Amasavourian Society * Van Trion married Medora Robertson * Col. E. S. C. Robertson * William I. Bill * Judge Baylor * Mrs. Lela S. Robertson * Mrs. Celeto Durst, Mrs. Mamie Harrison and Mrs. Imogene Gamel *


By L. Gough, Amarillo, Texas.

During the 1870's Hunt county, Texas, was an open range country, and most of the settlers and all of the stockmen had cattle running at large. In Middle Sulphur Bottom, about three miles north of Commerce, a very small town at that time, a number of cattle "went wild" and were known for many years as the "Wild Bunch." In time this bunch grew to number near a hundred cattle by increase and other cattle taking up with them. It finally became a menace, and a reward of one hundred dollars was offered to any one who would get the "wild bunch" out of the brush and pen it. This bunch kept fat in the winter time on cane that grew luxuriously in the river bottom. B. L Murphy, a farmer and stockman living in the community, decided he needed that hundred dollars, so he began studying the habits of the "wild bunch," and found that these cattle came out on the open prairie at night in the summer time and, often came out in the late afternoon. After a few weeks' observation B. L., as he was well and favorably known, decided that in three nights he could get this bunch of cattle to a pen on the George ranch. This is the story of that event.

Captain Jack Moore: A Texas Ranger

Alpine (Texas) Avalanche.

Captain Moore's life has been an eventful and colorful one. He was born in a covered wagon in 1876 in San Saba county, while his father was trailing a herd of cattle to Abilene, Kansas. Left fatherless at the age of twelve, his mother called him aside and presented him with his father's two .45 Colt's revolvers, saying, "Jack, you are now the head of the family, and we will depend on you to take your father's place." Captain Moore, like most boys of that day, started out "on his own" early in life, going "up the trail" when but 11 years of age. He punched cattle on various ranches in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, and in 1917 was called to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to organize and command a body of 100 mounted guards to patrol the $25,000,000 refinery of the Cosden Oil and Refining Co. Here is his story.

Mentions: Captain Jack Moore, one of the three Texas Rangers dispatched to the scene after the famed Glenn Springs raid in southern Brewster county, which occurred on "Cinco De Mayo (May 5) * E. W. (The Kaiser) Welbur, and Oscar Bonier * Marathon * Capt. Francisco Dominguez * Boquillas * Jesse Deemer, who operated the Boquillas Trading Post * Colonel George T. Langhorne * El Pino, eighty miles south of the Rio Grande * the 02 ranch, fifty miles south of Alpine * Bobby Carter, a Ranger * Captain C. D. Wood * the old Mentone ranch country near the present town of Mentone in Loving county * the Kaw Indian reservation in Oklahoma * Llewellyn Moore of Williamson county * Governor Lawrence Sullivan Ross * William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody *


Postmaster A. B. Reagan, of Brady, Texas, offers in this article, clarification on the murder of Cebe Goens who was killed by the Indians in May, 1861, while camped in Salt Gap, about three miles north of where the town of Melvin is now located.

Mentions: the death of Warren Hudson, old San Saba county pioneer * Cebe Gaines, who was the first white man killed by Indians in San Saba county * Uncle Cal Montgomery * Captain W. R. Woods * Richland Springs *

The Last Of The Old Drovers

Lewis T. Nordyke

Account of Ab Blocker of Big Wells, Texas who was reported to be the greatest drover of all times. He was the best all-round cowhand of all times

Mentions: Uncle Jack Potter, of Clayton, New Mexico * Dick Pinchman, of Young, Arizona * Jack Potter, the fighting parson * Howard I. Cockrum (JB Red) * Dalhart * The XIT ranch * John Blocker * the ranch headquarters at Buffalo Springs * Joe Collins * Colonel B. H. (Barbecue) Campbell, ranch manager * the Bar B Q brand * George West * Dick Pineham, JB Red, Mel Armstrong * Old Tascosa on the Canadian * Goodnight, Loving, George W. Saunders, Colonel Ike Pryor, Joe Cotulla, Charles Schreiner * Captain King *


Mentions: Judge L. Gough, of Amarillo - one of the pioneers of the Panhandle region * Mabel Major, Rebecca W. Smith, and T. M. Pearce * Frederick C. Chabot of San Antonio * the Yanaguana Society, composed of prominent people who are interested in preserving the early history of Texas * Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Mills * Mr. Harvey Patteson * Colonel P. S. McGeeney, of San Antonio * Andrew Sowell * Lucy Barrow Hicks of Utopia * M. C. Sowell, of San Antonio * Andrew Sowell, an uncle of Jack Sowell * The Sowells came from Tennessee to Texas in 1829 with DeWitt's Colony, settling at Gonzales, * Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Sowell

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