Gc M. 1^
.I'^LLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 02321 6440
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
MRS. GEORGE LANGSTON,
MRS. GEORGE LANGSTON
A. D. Aldridge 6f Co., Stationers, Printers and Book Binders
• Copyright, 1904,
Mbs. George Langston.
AMANDA REAGAN SMITH
A DAUGHTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS, WHOSE FATHER
LOCATED IN RUSK COUNTY WHEN IT WAS
THE INDIANS' HUNTING GROUND
THIS HISTORY IS REVERENTLY DEDICATED
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The New County.
The First Settlers.
"Charge, Boys, Charge!"
1. Forted Ranches and Incidents of
2. The First Wedding.
1. An Indian Race.
2. A Turkey Hunt.
3. The Lost Arrow Head.
In War Times.
Some Indian Fights.
1. Ellison's Spring.
2. Cisco Running Fight.
3. The Cottonwood Fight.
4. Finlcy, the Little Dog Scout.
5. The Stolen Boy.
6. The Battle Creek Fight.
1. In the Midst of Life.
2. In Search of a Wife.
The Texas Rangers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Chapter I. The Moving Frontier Line.
Chapter II, Organization of the County.
Chapter III. Some of the First Voters.
Chapter IV. The County Town, Eastland City
Chapter V. The Advent of the Railroad.
1. The Texas and Pacific.
2. The Texas Central.
PERIOD III— 1881-1904.
GROWTH AND PROGRESS.
Scranton — Romney.
, The Methodist Church
The Baptist Church.
In compiling this History of Eastland County the
author has spared no pains in gathering the necessary
material, and has striven to give realistic pictures in ac-
cordance with the facts. In some instances the data
are so scant that it has been necessary to supply the
missmg material as to environment by conjecture. This
liberty, when taken, has always been indicated in the
Thanks are due the following original settlers, who
have contributed much valuable and interesting infor-
mation: Judge J. H. Calhoun, W. C. McGough, T. E.
Keith, Joe B. Smith, William Allen, Silas C. Buck: and
also to Eev. Wm, Monk, of Iredell, and Bethel Strawn,
For statistics and other help, the author is in-
debted to J. M. Williamison, County Clerk Ed
Cox, County Tax Collector D. E. Jones, and
Eev. S. J. Yaughan; to five newspapers in
the county: The Eising Star X-Eay, Albert Tyson,
editor; The Cisco Apert, W. L. Wilson; The Eising
Star Eecord, Smith & Barnes; The Carbon Hexald, W.
T. Curtis, and to the Eastland Chronicle, Frost & Chas-
For material used in local sketches, names, etc.,
has been furnished l)y the following:
Eastland City— Mayor Ed Hill, C. U. Connellee, J.
B. Ammerman, Capt. Kimble and Judge Hammons.
Cisco — Dr. Vance, Eev. I. Lamb, K. Gr. Luse and Kev.
E. B. Vaughan, \V. D. Chandler and to J. J.
Butts for loan of valuable books. Eising Star —
Prof. Geo. C. Barnes, James Xrby, Neal Tur-
ner and Eev. J. H. Chambliss. Eanger — Dr.
C. E. Frost. Scranton — Eev. Geo. W. Parks. Gorman
— T. L. Gates. Carbon— J. H. Cox. To Mr. L. S.
Thorne, of the Texas and Pacific, and Mr. W. F. McMil-
lan, of tlie Texas Central Eailways, thanks are due for
For hospitality extended, kind and encouraging
words, the author extends her sincerest gratitude.
If there be any names, communities or organizations
left out that should have been in this history, it is be-
cause the pejsonal, vs^ritten and newspaper requests for
information failed to elicit the material needed.
If this little volume affords as much pleasure in the
reading as it did in the preparation it will have served a
MES. GEOEGE LANGSTOTvT.
Cisco, Texas, Feb. 29, 1904.
Eastland County, Texas
The New County.
In 1858, before a white man had ventured to ex-
pose himself and family to the dangers of what was
then an Indian infested frontier, Eastland County was
created by an act of the Seventh Legislature of Texas.
By the same act Callahan, Stephens, Concho, Wichita,
Coleman, Dawson, Shackelford, ]McMullin, Frio, Za-
valla, Edwards, Haskell, Knox, Hardeman, Dimmit,
Baylor, Runnels, Jones, Wilbarger, La Salle, Duval,
Taylor, and Encinal Counties came into existence. The
bill was approved Feb. 1, 1858. *
Eastland County is ideally located, containing with-
in its limits the divide between the Leon Eiver and Palo
Pinto Creek, and the eastern extremity of the backbone
of the Colorado and Brazos Rivers. The depression be-
tween these two divides is cut into by Colony Creek, a
tributary of the Leon River.
*The County was named for Captain William Eastland,
who died a prisoner in Mexico. He is thought to have been
one of the Muir prisoners, though Bean, in his memoirs in
Yoakum's History of Texas, does not give his name.
12 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
The northern slope of the eastern divide is drained
by the two forks of Palo Pinto Creek, while the rest of
tlie County is watered by the Leon, which rises just be-
yond tlie County's western limit, and makes its exit
about three ndles southwest of Desdemona.
The eastern divide is characterized by high hills of
numerous shapes, which lie, in the main, east and west.
It is gashed with ragged ravines, and abounds in deep
canyons, in confused and tilted rocks, producing a
varied and picturesque scenery.
This broken ridge of high land bends northward
above the first impressions of Colony Creek, and dips
again southward around Cisco, the tongues of the Brazos
licking into the northern slope of the backbone, playing
hide and seek with the foragers of the Leon and Cola-
rado on the south. As the great skeleton begins tc
spread itself westward, it leaves large canyons and
Trees of many kinds grow in great profusion — cedar
and liveoak on the hills; postoak and blackjack on the
sandy uplands; pecan and walnut, elm and hackberry,
Cottonwood and willow along the streams, and in the
glades mesquite abounds, and in nmny sandy loca-
tions the shinery.*
When the County was created its soil lay bare, void
of fence or shack in its rugged nakedness. Under its
huge boulders the wild cat found a safe home; its nu-
merous caves afforded the wolves a hiding place; the
*Some call a thick young growth of oak, shlnery; others
affirm it is a peculiar, stunted growth of oak. The latter
opinion is, perhaps, correct.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 13
bear, the panther, and the cougar roamed wild and free
over its mountains, while the Indian, in his savage wild-
ness, did not need to seek even the protection of a friend-
ly canyon, so free was Eastland County from the tread
of the white man.
The First Settlers.
The creation of these new Counties caused a stir
throughout the contiguous frontier, and several settle-
ments were made even in the first year.
The first man who camo to the County was a Mexican,
Frank Sanches. He had worked for Thomas Donahoo,
of Parker County, but came here with his o^\ti stock
and located between the Jim T^eal Creek and its junc-
tion with the Leon.
In 1855 or '56 John Flannagan emigrated from Ken-
tucky to Texas, and settled on Kickapoo Creek, in Par-
leer County. When the new counties were laid off, the
impulse to "grow up w^ith the country" again possessed
him, and, moving over into Eastland with his family,
he built a home on Colony Creek, about eleven miles
from' the center of the County. He was the first white
man who moved into the County. One can but wonder if
he looked down the years, and, passing by the choice loca-
tions of the Palo Pinto Creek section, sought the cen-
ter of the County for financial reasons. Wr. Flanna-
gan had a wife and four children, Colston, Wesley.
Julia Ann and "Bud/'
14 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
It is curious that a man, forgetting things he once
loved, and moved by the spirit of unrest, will sever ties
of long standing and expose himself and his family to
untried dangers This strange influence burned in the
heart of W. H. Mansker as he sowed and reaped on his
farm in Arkansas, and was fanned to flames by news
of the Texas lands. With his family he pushed across
the unsettled wastes of Eastern and Middle Texas, and
stopped awhile in Parker County, but hearing of the
Leon country he moved on and camped on a lake in
the southern part of Eastland County. Later he built
a home there, and the lake still bears his name.
The next to cross the boundary line were James El-
lison from Georgia ; J. M. Ellison from somewhere in
Texas; Dr. Richardson from Arkansas, with their fam-
ilies, and the Grilberts, four or five young men from
Alabama. All these took up or bought surveys around
Mansker Lake; Ellison to the south, at Ellison's Springs,
where he still lives ; the Gilberts, Jim, Jasper and Tom,
at Jewell, and Sing and Sam, brothers and cousins to
the other Gilberts, three and one-half miles below Jew-
ell, on Sabano Creek. This ranch is now known as the
Following these was C. C. Blair, who came from
Georgia to Alabama, stopped awhile in Collin and
Parker Counties, and finally settled six or seven miles
northeast of Mansker Lake. A little later this settle-
ment became known as Blair's Fort.
'W. C. McGouffh came from Georgia and camped
at Blair's Fort. His first son, born at the Fort Aug-. 17,
1861, was the first white child born in the County.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNT T. 15
In the northeastern part of the County like settle-
ments were being made. AYm. Allen came from Palo
Pinto County in 1858 and located a ranch on Push
Creek (which he still owns), some twelve or fifteen
miles east of the Flannagan Panch. J. M. Stev/art was
his nearest neighbor, one-half mile away. Two or three
other families settled in the same neighborhood.
In the same part of the County was the Edwards
Panch, and just across th'i^ line, from three to six miles
was the Clayton Panch, on Bear Creek. Bethel Strawn
settled where the town which now bears his name is lo-
cated three miles out of Eastland County.
In Palo Pinto County, at the foot of the hills, about
five miles east of Strawn, Peter Davidson lived. He
moved into Eastland in 1865. and made his home five
miles south of Allen's Panch. All old settlers know
the location of these two ranches.
On Xorth Palo Pinto Creek, in Stephens County,
thirteen miles northwest of Flannagan's, Bruce Mc-
The frontier line in Eastland County at this time,
(1860), formed an obtuse angle, Flannagan's Panch
being the apex.
In 1858 the Counties of Denton, Parker, Palo Pinto,
Eastland, Brown, Lampasas, Burnet, Gillespie, Kendall,
Bexar and San Patricio marked the frontier line in
16 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
1'exas which, for twenty years, made little advance. The
Comanche Indians and their allies, the Kiowas, held
undisputed sway over the remaining two-thirds of the
State, with here and there a lone settlement of some
venturesome pioneer. Between this frontier line and the
Indians rode the dauntless and intrepid Texas Eanger,
laboring day and night for the defense of the white cit-
In 1865 the United States Government, havino: de-
cided to pursue the policy of placing the Indians on res-
ervations, established the Comanches — "the Arabs of the
New World, whose hand was against every man, and
every man's hand against them" — on a reservation on
the Clear Fork of the Brazos Eiver, about five miles
from where Fort Griffin was located later. Forty miles
below this reservation, and ten miles southeast of where
Graham City now stands, and about the sam^e distance
below the junction of the Clear Fork with the parent
stream, was a second reservation, called the "Tonk Ees-
ervation," containing, besides the Tonkaways, rem-
nants of the Caddo and other tribes. The two reser-
vations were connected, the former with Camp Cooper,
and the latter with Fort Belknap.
The Comanches and Kiowas were always political
allies and hated enemies of the "Tonks'' and Caddos.
When this is remembered, together with the fact that
the Tonkaways were mild, and in the main, friendly,
it is not surprising that reinforcenients were frequent-
ly drawn from this reservation for raids against
the treacherous, thieving, murderou? Com^anches.
HISTORr OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 17
Five hundred of the latter were fed at the
upper reservation by the Government, and given horses
and cattle, but it is estimated that two thousand were
roaming the Western prairies as wild and untamed as
the eagle in the clefted rock of the highest peak.
The Comanches chafed under restraint and longed
for the freedom of the plains — perhaps for the freedom
of the scalping knife. In 1856 a few daring ones stole
slyly out and made raids on the white settlements. In the
early spring of 1857 the raids were renewed with sud-
den vigor, and were continued throughout the year.
An expedition, commanded by Colonel Eip Ford,
wa^ '^eut out by the State in April, 1858, against a band
of hostile Indians located on the Canadian Eiver. One
hundred friendly Indians from the lower reservation,
under the Tonka way chief, Placido, joined the expedition,
which was under the command of Captain L. S. Ross. The
Indian scouts having located the enemy, the Comanches
were attacked at daybreak May 12, 1858, the allies
leading in the charge.
The Comanche chief, Prohebits Quasho, called "Iron
Jacket," from the scaled coat of mail he wore, believing,
it is said, that his armor bore a charm, rode in front,
inciting his followers to deeds of bravery by his own
cool daring. The bullets fell around him; still he
rode unhurt. At last an Anadarko chieftain among the
allies, sent a well-directed rifle bullet which pierced the
charmed armor, and Iron Jacket fell to rise no more.
The Comanches fled in wild confusion, and several pris-
oners were captured, ajnong them, Xo-po, the small son
18 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
of Proliebits Quasho. This was known as the battle of
Some months later, October 1, 1858, the same force
again surprised the Comanches at their homes just at
sunrise. Lieutenant Van Camp and several soldiers
were killed. The loss of the Indians was heavy. Tn
this battle a Caddo ally recaptured ? little white girl
whose identity has not lu^en determined.
N'otwithstanding the fact that the Indians had
agreed that anyone found off the reservations would be
shot, the year 1858 had barely ended when they were
in Erath County stealing horses. From the years 1855-
1859 — the time when the government was attempting
to herd the Indians, feed them,, and keep peace with
them — there was continued and serious trouble between
them and the white citizens, for the former would steal
horses and scalp the whites nearly every light of the
jiioon, and the latter woidd seek to reppl and puni.-h the
At last, however, matters reached a climax, and the
Indians were rem'oved by the Federal Government across
the Red Eiver into the Territory, where they have since
remained. The Comanches were not slow to see and act
upon the existing fact that they had greater freedom,
and depredations continued, becoming more frequent.
It was the custom in these turbulent times for neigh-
bors to work together in clearing land, plowing and
planting, the women and children bcdng placed in the
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 19
"Charge, Boys, Charge."
Early in the year of 1860, (February 7th), close to
t]ie eastern boundary line of the County, Jim Stewart,
with Mack Allen and Bethel Strawn, was clearing off
underbrush about a quarter of a mile from his home.
Xear by were Sam and William Allen and William Lew-
In Mr. Stewart's little one-room cabin, with its
lean-to, were his wife and Misses Emmaline and Mar-
tha Allen, the latter being a sister of William Allen.
While the two girls carded, Mrs. Stewart presided
at the spinning wheel, all discussing, the meanwhile,
the colors they w^ould use in their new dresses.
"Mine is to be solid red.'' said Martha.
"I'm going to make mine red and green," announced
"Mine'll be the prettiest of all, then," followed Mrs.
Stewart, "for Jim wants me to make it red and green
"Listen!" suddenly cried Miss Martha Allen, who
sat near the door. The wheel stopped instantly, for the
girl's face was blanched with fear.
"Indians !" gasped Mrs. Stewart.
"Ye Gods! Such a lot of ^eni!'' added Martha, as
twenty Indians swung around the bend of the road out
30 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
of the dense undergrowth bordering the Palo Pinto
Creek, and bore down upon the little cabin.
Quickly shutting to and barring the door. Mrs. Stew-
art caught up her gun, and, placing the muzzle against
a crack in the door jamb, said :
^^Now, girls, let's keep cool." "
"Yes, and our scalps, too,'' * grimly added Miss Em-
The Indians began plundering the place of harness,
saddles, pans, buckets — anything. Now they were on
the gallery !
"Grirls, I'm going to shoot," whispered Mrs. Stew-
art, with her finger on the trigger. "I'll kill that big
fellow right now."
"Don't," cautioned Miss Emmaline, afterwards Mrs.
Bethel Strawn, who is still living. "Don't ! Wait until
they try to get in !" This wise counsel prevailed.
The Indians kept up a hideous yelling all the while,
presumably to frighten the inmates of the cabin, but,
instead, it proved their salvation, for the men over
across the ravine, heard the terrible noise and, recog-
nizing it at once, feared the worst, and rushed with
breathless speed to the rescue.
As the men came shouting together, and rushed wild-
ly down the bank of the deep ravine back of the cabin,
Mack Allen called in wildest frenzy :
"Charge, boys ! Charge !"
The Indians, cowards in the face of danger, and
thinking, doubtless, from the noise the six men made,
"^Her exact words.
HISTORT OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 21
that a whole com'pany of Eangers was rushing upon
them from out of the wood, mounted their ponies, and
were gone as suddenly as they came.
The men hurriedly followed. Upon arriving at the
house of Mr. Woods, seven miles below, they found it
deserted, and spurred their horses onward. Two miles
/urther they came upon the dead bodies of j\Irs. Wood
and Mrs. Lemley. Gently lifting and placing them in
the limbs of the trees, far from the reach of the prowl-
ing wolves, they again pressed on for fear a worse fate
awaited the Misses Lemley, who, at the time, were at
Mrs. W^ood's home. Although the white men were re-
inforced as they pushed on, and made frantic efforts to
overtake them, the Indians successfully eluded them and
The two girls were kept over night, robbed of their
clothing, and turned loose with only one garment each
to protect them from the night's chilling frost or the
norther's keen blast.
Think of it ! Before the hills and valleys and up-
lands of this beautiful country had ever been trod by
the white man's feet; when the hungry coyote howled
his mournful lamentation through the dreary night;
when the panther and the catamount lay perched upon
the limbs of the forest waiting for prey; alone, despair-
ingly, shuddering over their awful fate, shivering with
cold, not knowing which way to turn, possessed with a
horrible sickening fear that the Indians would return —
the two girls hiding among the rocks, running from one
covering to another, finally made their way back to the
23 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
settlement and found themselves at the home of Tur-
key Roberts, five miles north of Stephenville.
One of the girls has since died. The other married,
and lives in Palo Pinto County. *
Ported Ranches and Incidents op the Times.
During the years 1857-1862 the Indians were un-
usually active along the frontier. When one remem-
bers the topography of the counties forming the bound-
ary line of civilization, the numerous streams which cut
their way through mountains, leap into canyons, and
tumble out pell mell into the valleys, where they wind
in sinuous, undulating way, is it to be wondered at
that the red man of the forest yielded to the temptation
of his environments and sought revenge for the appro-
priation of his domain to the uses of the white man?
Although the primal object of the Indians in mak-
ing raids into the white settlements was to steal horses:
yet, if there were the slightest pretext, they murdered
with all the zest of their ancestral inheritance. During
these perilous years the pioneer settlers were forced to
come together for mutual protection.
In the southeastern part of Eastland County eight
♦Messrs. William and Sam Allen and Bethel Strawn,
who were in the chase after the Indians, are the authority
for the above incident. Mr. Sam Allen lives at Van Horn,
the other two gentlemen at Strawn.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 23
families were forted at C. C. Blair^s Ranch. The houses
were built and the tents stretched around an open square,
and these were enclosed by a close picket fence eight or
ten feet high. The families living at Blair's Fort were
those of Ellison, Kuykendall, the Gilberts, Mknsker, C.
C. Blair, W. C. McGough, and a little later, William
Arthur. There were others who found refuge in the Fort
from timie to time.
As the largest number of families were gathered liere,
and it was also a frequent stopping place for the Ran-
gers on their journeys hither and thither, large supplies
of bread-stuff and ammunition were kept on hand. * As
tlie traveler went northward, however, he found Flan-
nagan's Ranch practically unprotected, guarded only by
an elderly man, ''Bad Recce," who was kept about the
house. In the Allen neighborhood were three forted
ranches — iVllen's, Clayton's and Edwards'. Smaller
ra:iichmen built their houses in groups of t^vo,
three or four. McCain in the edge of Stephens
County, and Uncle Peter Davidson at the foot of the
mountains in Palo Pinto County, both had their
ranches well forted.
On Gonzales Creek, a little further up the country,
in Stephens County, lived the pioneer settler, Mr. John
Reynolds, whose sons, George, William' D. and P. W.,
have large interests in Cisco.
It was in 1860, shortly before Blair's Ranch was
forted, that the Indians stole all the horses belonging to
the Ranch. The men followed hard after them, and the
*There was later a road opened between Stephenville
and Fort Griffin, which passed through Blair's Fort.
24 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
women were left to guard camps. A daughter of the
Fort writes : "We children w^ere kept in a little two by
four house, and the women sat under the wagons, expect-
ing every minute to see the Indians come.
"By and by the Indians got so bad we all went to
Stephenville and stayed six weeks. At that time there
was one store, one drug store and a blacksmith shop in
"On our way back to the old Fort we had a narrow
escape from the Indians. We had just passed Mt. Elli-
son's, the only house between the two places, when his
dog began to bark, and, as he stepped to the door, the
Indians shot, one arrow striking in the ground at his
feet. He had only to shut his door and get his gun.
They left him, but, providentially, did not overtake us.
"When we reached home we found three or four hogs
killed and laid in a heap, and one old sow walking around
with an arrow sticking in her back. Presently a cow came
running home with seven arrows in her. Poor thing!
We had to pen her before we could pull them out. That
is one time we expected every minute to be attacked."
Billy Cross and family, a wife and five children, lived
at Mansker's Lake. It is presumed that it was these
same Indians, above referred to, who stole sixty of Mr.
Manskex's horses, and were pursued by Mr. Mansker,
his son, Tom and Billy Cross. They overtook them on
Flat Creek and had a furious fight. Cross being killed,
and Mr. Mansker's and Tom's mounts shot from under
them. The Indians escaped with the horses, not one
of them ever being recovered. M;r. Mansker and Tom
made their way home separated and afoot.
HISTORT OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 25
Shortly after this fight, Mr. Cross's family and a Mr.
Dalton's at Blair's Eanch^ moved back East. It was
just about this time that the fort was built.
One night Mr. and Mrs. Blair sat around their
own hearthstone alone with their children. This was
before the ranch was forted. A large and ferocious
cougar, emboldened by hunger, came up to the
yard fence and, catching a pig, made off with it.
Both Mr. Blair and his wife ran impetuously after it,
■^sicking" the eager dogs on in their violent efforts to
regain the shoat. The dogs outran them, but by the
excited barking they knew the cougar was "treed," and
followed on to the creek. Not until the "nasty var-
mint" * fell, with a bullet through him, do\^Ti among the
tingling, quivering dogs, did this father and mother
think of aught else.
"Lord a' mercy. Pap ; the Indians !" screamed Mrs.
Blair, and they ran, leaped and tore through
the brush in their frantic efforts to reach their
unprotected children. Mrs. Blair has always affirmed
that the agonizing fright of those few minutes frosted
*Next morning the coug-ar was skinned, his fat rendered
to grease hides and his carcass given to the chickens, as
such meat and clabber were all they had to live on. The
cougar's hide was stretched to the martin-box pole, and the
skillet of rendered fat set outside the door. Not a hog was
to be seen all day, an attack like the one the night before
always frightening them into the woods. But towards sun-
set they came home. Mrs. Blair was alarmed at the vicious,
ugly sounds she heard, and going to the door she found
the hogs were acting like wild, tossing the skillet in their
fury, rearing up to get to the cougar's hide, and "ughing"
and "booing" in the most ferocious way. The children were
brought in. The hide was taken to the field.
26 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
licr hair. ''To think a pig could make me forget my
children was what hurt/' she said.
Daily contact inures one to dangers, yet quickejis
one's instinct to watchfulness. This is strikingly true
of the frontiersman. At this Blair's Fort a man would
pick up his gun and go out hunting alone, when it was
well understood that when the light of the mioon should
comte the Indians would be raiding the white settle-
On a hazy October afternoon, when one of the men
had just come in with a deer on his shoulder, Jim Mc-
Gough went to the spring, three hundred yards away,
to water his horse. While there he was attacked by the
Indians, and attempted to outrun them to the gates of
the Fort. In this short, but impetuous race, the fright-
ened animal pitched him into the brush. The Indians,
endeavoring to head him off, chased up the other side
of the dense thicket, but seeing the gates closed, they
disappeared, when Mr. McGough came running up to
the Fort with his face covered with blood.
Cattle and hogs were the commercial possibilities
of the County, on which the settlers relied for sustenance
and for money.
Blair's Fort stood five years, 18G0-1865.
The First Wedding.
"Ma, guess what I found." Mr. Blair stood in the
"Found?" echoed Mrs Blair, rising up from the
hearth, where she was putting coals on the lid of the
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 27
skillet into which she had just put the "corn dodgers"
to bake. "Found? A cougar or panther, like as not/'
Then noting the look of satisfaction on his face, she
cried out^ "Not a bee tree, Pa ?"
"Yes, a bee tree, and chuck full of honey, too. Where's
Mrs. Blair smiled and looked at Sarah Jane, who
clapped her hands, while all the little Blairs jumped
up and down in glee.
When one remembers that on this far Western fron-
tier, one hundred miles from the nearest mill, only ne-
cessities were pro^4ded — bread, coffee, beans, etc. ; no
sugar, no fruit — one can readily comprehend the glee of
the small children at thought of a "tubful of honey,"
but may wonder at Sarah Jane crying, "Hbney cakes,
Ma ! Honey cakes ! Oh, think of it !" A bee tree
wasn't found every day, and they had no cakes any other
time. But a more subtle reason, still, existed and
caused Sarah Jane's delight.
Only the night before the daughter had said, "But
think. Ma, a wedding without cakes ! And everybody'll
"But, honey, you have a pretty white * nainsook dress
trimmed up in embroidery, and made low neck and
short sleeves. And another thing you have — I wasn't
goin' to tell you 'til he was through with 'em — is such
a pretty pair of shoes as Bill McGough is makin' you,
the vamp all notched; and he's goin' to shine 'em up.
and they'll look like real store-bought shoes." Now, that
*Mr. Blair paid fifteen bushels of wheat, at 75 cents a
bushel for the wedding dress.
28 H [STORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
the cakes were assured, Sarah Jane's cup of happiness
was running over.
Preparations for the great event to take place next
Thursday assumed a new dignity wliich was personified
in beautiful Sarah Jane, for there was not a boy on the
Sabanno, or in the Fort, but envied handsome Coon
Keith. All the petty jealousies within those picket walls
were for the time forgotten and everybody lent a hand
in the preparations. Venison and turkey were brought
in in the greatest plenty, and the men barbecued the
Coon Keith and Jim McGrough, on good mounts,
went to Comanche town for the license, and on the day
of the wedding Joe Smith was delegated to go for the
preacher, Reverend Coker, who came alone from Co-
manche to Albert Sowdes' on the Sabanno, where he was
met by Mr. Smith. After a ride of a couple of miles
the two men camie upon a fresh Indian trail, and thev
wondered if there would be any interference in the wed-
ding arrangements. They halted presently where the
Indians had had breakfast. There was the cow freshly
slaughtered, part of her meat lying still in the skin,
and the fire warm, and glowing.
The men rode cautiously and slowly on. It was
past the noon hour, and they had ten miiles yet to go.
The wedding was to take place at four o'clock, and
Smith was "best man."
At last the trail made a sharp turn to the west, and
the men rightly surmised that the Indians were going
liome on the Western route, and again spurred their
horses onward, and were soon at the Fort.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 29
At last the hour arrived. The long tables glistened
when the sun fell on them through the thiek-leaved
branches of the sturdy oaks. The minister took his
stand, and the couple to be married walked out into the
Coon Keith, the man, was eighteen years old. He
had black hair and eyes, cheeks like June apples, carried
himself like the young Apollo he was, and was dressed
in blue pants and black ?ack coat, with two big * six-
shooters buckled around him. The girl holding to his
arm so timidly, half frightened by the impetuosity of
the man's eager love, looked like a unique lily. A
faultless skin, without a shade of color, large, deep blue
eyes, her throat and shoulders and arms rivaling her
embroidered nainsook dress in whiteness, and crown-
ing this, her blood-tinged, yellow-brown hair combed
foosely back and tied with white ribbon, made a picture
that still lives vividly in the minds of those who saw her.
The menu of this first wedding was :
Beef, a la barbecue.
Turkey, with dressing and sliced eggs.
Venison, bread, butter, coffee, milk.
After the wedding, Eeverend Coker wanted to preach.
This, they would not allow on such a festive occasion,
but gave themselves up to the pleasures of "Weavely
Wheat" and kindred games until the yard was beaten
into powder, and the cock was crowing for day. ,
*Tom Keith, a cousin, had intimated that h^ meant to
enter objections when the time qame.
30 HTSTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
Miss Lizzie Keith, now Mrs. Presley of Curtis, maid
of honor, and Joe Smith, best man, both wore white.
Mr. K>eith has accumulated much wealth, and lives
with his still beautiful wife in Erath County, not many
miles from Desdemona.
An Indian Race.
In Steve Brandon's home everything was going
wrong. His wife had been ill for two days. The four
or five grown boys could turn "flapjacks'^ and make
'^corn dodgers," but their big hands were clumsy when
they tried to "pat up" Ma's pillow, or give her a dose
"I'm goin' for Mts. Kohen," Mr. Brandon announced
after dinner. "She's over at Clayton's. Keep a sharp
lookout for the red skins, boys."
"You do the same, Steve," feebly called out his wife,
as he buckled on his six-shooter and left the house.
The sun shone from a clear sky on that memorable
afternoon, December 15, 1860. Brandon was a brave
mftn, but his heart was heavy with forebodings as he
started on that fateful journey of five or six miles.
As he went deeper into the wood, however, thinking
of his sick wife and his own imminent danger (as it
was the light of the moon) he realized, perhaps
unconsciously, that nature is capable of restoring one's
peace of mind and calming one's fears.
Mrs. Kohen readily consented to go, and for lack
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 31
of an}^ better way, Mr. Brandon took her np behind him
on his trusty * black steed and started off in a smart
pace for home.
When they had covered but half the distance they
were most abruptly apprised of immediate dans:er. The
air was cut by the whizz of an arrow, which lodged in
a tree directly in front of them. The noble animal knew
as well as the riders that an Indian was behind them,
and plunged wildly down the homeward path in a race
The hiss and sight of the arrow lodged in the tree
instantly restored to Brandon's mind the gloom that
had rested upon his soul as he entered the woods from,
home. Grlancing baclrward, he was filled with unfeigned
horror, for not one Indian, but twenty, swung: into
view, and came after them yelling like demons, the ar-
rows playing about them thick and fast.
Brandon, leaning forward, loosened the rein and
urged the horse onward. The woman's grip about him
"My Grod !" he thought, "she is shieldinsr me !" And
as his gloom had been lifted by the sweet breath of na-
ture in these woods a couple of hours before, so now, the
responsibility for the life of this woman, on her errand
of miercy for one he loved, thrilled him, angered him,
lifted the burden from his soul, and in his restored man-
hood he thundered :
'^'alt ! wheel ?' The horse obeyed his master. The
♦Color of horse not known.
33 mSTOR Y OF EASTLAND CO UNTY.
man * fired thrice in quick succession at the bewildered
Indians as they tumbled off their ponies into the grass.
"Go, * Greneral, go !" shouted Brandon^ and again
the miad dash forward for life !
The Indians instantly recovered their ponies. On
they came; on, on, like a horde of devils, while their in-
fernal yells and hissing arrows environed their victims
as with a funereal pall. The white man urged his horse
forward. The air was thick with hideous sounds. He
gasped for a good breath of God's air. The Indians
gained on him ! The gloom was again settling upon
hia adul, wIjgq Mrs. Kohen cried out:
"I am shot, Steve !"
Again was he angered, angered at the fiends seeking
'^^Hold fast !" he cried, as he, wheeled and fired. The
Indians repeated their former movement with greater
agility, and the race was on again.
Not a moan escaped the lips of the woman as she
"Steve, m'y back is full of arrows: I am killed already.
Think of your sick wife, and drop me and save your-
This appeal cleared the atmosphere for once and for
all. How good was sweet nature's breath ! With every
barrel loaded, Brandon wheeled, and with a shout of
*There is a differencp of opinion about the kind of sun
used. Messrs. McGough. Sam and William Allen. Smith and
Strawn and Mrs- Farm of Cisco, a sister-in-law of Mrs, Ko-
hen, are authority for the incident,
HISTOR T OF EASTLAND CO UNTT. 33
defiance that startled tbe woman into tightening her
hold, he sent six bullets on errands of fate. Hope
surged mightily in his bosom, as he shouted :
"Forward, Greneral I" The gallant steed seemed to
have caught his master's spirit, as, unfalteringly, he
once more threw himself into the race with death.
Brandon's cries now came as shouts of victory. H<.'
gained on the Indians, and, coming in hearing of his
home, he raised his voice and called loudly.
One of the big boys, out at the barn feeding tlio
stock, for it must be done before night, heard the clat-
tering of hoofs, listened, heard the yelling Indians, then
his father s call. He rushed into the house.
"Jim, you stay with Ma. Come Steve, you and Tom.
The Indians are after Pa." They ran out with their
guns, making a great hullabaloo, whereupon the Indians
fled, and the race was ivon!
Mr. Brandon was hit six times, and they pulled seven
arrows from poor ^Irs. Kohen's back. Strange as it
may seem, she recovered rapidly. Som-e time after this
she became the wife of Mt. Clayton, * and now lives
in El Paso, Texas.
A TuKKEY Hunt.
That same night two men, Joe Smith and "Bad
Reese," working on the Flannagan Ranch, about twelve
miles southwest of the Brandon Ranch, went out to hunt
Anld turkeys, thinking there was little danger, as no
Indians had been seen for some time.
*Mrs, Clayton died Feb. 24, 1904, at Toyah.
34 inSTOR Y OF EASTLAND CO UJVTY.
Suddenly, when the}^ were down nfear the edge of
tlie hank of Colony Creek, they heard a stealthy tramp
on the (lead leaves.
"What's that ?" whispered Reese.
"Sh'. It's Indians, sure's you're born," said Smith,
and, catching the other man's hand, that they might
stay> iogether, they took two steps out from oif the dead
leaves on to the soft grass bordering the stream, and
cunningly striding on up the creek, artfully dodged the
When they reached th? ranch, and next morning told
the other men there, John Flannagan, his son, Golston,
(Gols), and Eal Smith, they were laughed at for their
"It was Indians, I tell you, sure's you live," affirmed
Smith. "I heard their steps. They were all about us.
I believe they were in six feet of us. They'd ^skyed' us,
you know, before we got too low down, and couldn't
see us anymore. Oh, you can laugh, but it was Indians."
If the warning had only been heeded the two young
men — Joe Smith and Gols Flannagan — would not have
been started out alone that morning to Blair's Fort, and
the lone grave under the tree still bears testimony to the
grim truth that "it was sure Indians."
The following account of the attack of these same
twenty Indians who had chased the self-reliant Brandon,
who had all but captured Smith and Eeese the same
night, and now finish up their gruesome work, is told
by Joe Smith, who lives at Victor, Erath County, seven
miles from Desdemona.
HISTOR Y OF EASTLA ND CO UNTT. 35
The Lost Arrow Head.
"On the 16th day of Decejnher, 1860, Gols Flan-
nagan and myself started in an ox wagon to Blair's
Fort, fifteen miles away, for some bread stuff. iWe had
JOE SM[TH. Victor. Texas.
only gone a mile ^vhen we were waylaid by Indians, who
opened fire on ns at close range from a little ravine by
the side of the road, which we were about to cross.
"Fifteen or twenty red skins facing a fellow on a
turn in the road is enough to make the cold chills run
down any man^s back — Grols was only nineteen and I
was twenty — ^but we didn't have time for more than
36 HISTOR Y OF EASTLAND CO UNTT.
that, for the hullets and arrows sung a funeral dirge
" 'I'm shot !' I 'exclaimie.d, falling backward in the
covered wagon^ and pulling a stinging arrow out of my
knee. Gols turned and looked at me in a dazed manner,
not seeming to understand. There was a red spot on
his shirt front, and I knew be was hit, too.
"The young oxen, at sight of the Indians, wheeled
around and ran as if wild, followed by the howling
fiends. Presently the animals left the road and took
THE LO.ST ARROW HEAD.
to the open, mlaking for a timbered spot. They ran
some two hundred yards, when the wheels hit a tree,
and they broke loose from the wagon.
"I was nimble as a cat in those days, and the Indians
having fallen some little distance behind, I leaped from
the wagon and ran off in the timber. There I looked
and waited for Gols, thinking perhaps he was hiding in
a little hollow below me. My knee got to hurting me
so bad I decided to make miy way to the ranch. Gols
had not come in. ^Bad' Eeese went at once to look for
Page 16, paragraph 2. 1855.
Page 24. Billy Cross was killed on Armstrong creek.
Page 28, paragraph 3. Albert Sowell.
Page 49. On Aug. 1, 1904, Mr. Lewis T, Coffer, who lives
with his daughter, Sarah Gordia Williams, at Straws Mill,
Coryelle County, Texas, came to my home and gave me a true
account of this attack of the Indians.
His wife was killed and buried Aug. 20-24, 1866. She
emptied five chambers of the big navy revolver before she
was overcome, placed behind an Indian and carried off. When
they had gone only 100 yards from where her bonnet was
found, and where the ground was " terribly torn up," proving
how she struggled for her life, Jim Temples, who had heard
her screams, overtook them. The woman sprang to the
ground and was shot with her own revolver. The Indians
fled. No braver woman than Amanda Coffer ever faced a
Joseph William Coffer, his son, lives at Gholson. McClel-
lan County, Texas.
Page 81. Mr. Davidson b. Nov. 5, 1823.
Page 87. I. H. Eversole.
Page 89. Court House burned Nov. 29, 1896.
Pages 100 and 101. Conner.
Page 104. Mr. Hill came to Texas in 1884 and was married
to the daughter of Mr. Parvin Dec. 25, 1902.
Page 123. James Caldwell had charge of W. T. Caldwell's
Page 135. Lisenbee.
Page 212. Mrs. Jessie Sowell.
Alameda — High Knob.
Page 213. Gunnoway.
Page 217. Commissioners.
W. R. Hodges — Precinct 1.
Cap Poe — Precinct 2.
James Irby — Precinct 3.
M. F. Cannon — Precinct 4.
ms TOR Y OF EA8TLA Nl) CO UNT Y, 3 7
him, and found him dead and scalped. Eeese and Ral
Smith went out and brought him in on a horse. Early
the next morning the men went to McCain's Ranch for
help, and Mr. Highsaw and Lyman McCain came hack
with them and buried Gols, and we all moved up to
their forted ranch the next day. By April I was able
to get around on crutches. From about the mirldle of
January I was at my father's house in Parker County,
and was disabled for six months.
^^One day in 1886 something pricked me on the
under side of my knee. On examination, I found a
sharp black point sticking through the skin, and knew
at once that twenty-five years ago I had been shot with
a double-headed arrow, and had only pulled one head
out. Tliree weeks later, on February 21, 1886, after
having carried it in my knee for twenty-five years, two
months and five davs, the arrow head came out.'^
In War Times.
In 1861 news did not travel fast in Eastland County,
for it lay on the very border land of civilization, \vit!i
its three or four scattered settlements.
Recruiting agents went where some degree of suc?ess
might attend their patriotic efforts, and it was not imitl
1864 that men in this section were called upon to tear
It was not from a desire on the part of the Gov-
38 UWrOR Y OF EAISTLAND CO U:NTY.
ernnient to make every man feel the burden of war tliat
the frontiersnmn was impressed, or even that he might
take part in the civil strife caused by the black man,
but he was called upon to repel systematically the inva-
sions of the red man.
Prior to 1868, Eastland, Shackelford and Calla-
han Counties were under the jurisdiction of Comanche
County. After this date Eastland was attached to Palo
At every meeting of the Legislature laws were passed
for the prucection of the frontier. They were adhered
to as closfeiy as the conditions and times would permit,
and that w^as all the law required. About the 1st of
February, 1864, Eastland w^as organized under the
Conscript i^aw for military purposes.
* Forty men were required to form a company, and
at that time it took every man between the ages
of eighteen and forty-five in the Counties of Eastland,
Shackelfoid and Callahan to muster the required num-
Think of the rich fields of corn and cotton and grain
that thrive in our County to-day; of the handsome and
substantial houses that dot its surface; of the many
beautiful churches, school houses, public buildings, and
of the whirring miachinery; of the eighteen to twenty
towns with their thre.e hundred to three thousand in-
='^Chapter 36, Section 3, General laws of the Tc^nth Legis-
lature reads: "That the commissioned officers of each com-
pany of fifty men or more shall consist of a Captain and
two Lieutenants; if less than fifty men, two Lieutenants,"
etc. However, the spirit of the law was met in these fron-
mSTOR r OP EA STL AND CO UNTY. 39
habitants; then, in imagination, wipe out all these farms
and houses and towns; fill the j^rimeval forests and
prairies, without a vestige of a shack of any kind, with
the snarling, hungry animals, and the fiendish, treacher-
ous Indians, and you have a picture of the territory
traversed by those early guardians of our country. Flan-
nagan^s Eanch, McGough Springs and Jewell marked
the western limit of the white man^s tread in Eastland
T]:e following roster was furnished by T. E. Keith,
who. joined the Company as soon as he was eia-liteen
Sing Gilbert, First Lieutenant;.
J. B. ^IcGough, Second Lieutenant.
J. L. Head, Sergeant.
H. York, Corporal.
Privates : AY. X. Arthur, Thomas ]\Iansker, James
Stubblefield, J. B. Smith, John Temples, James Tem-
ples, John Ward, Frank Caddenhead, Tom Caddenhead,
*Ike Ward, C. C. Blair, J. M. Ellison, S. C. Shirley, W.
C. McGough. Joe Henshaw, Gabriel Keith, B. YL Keith,
G. B. Ely, Sam Gilbert, Tom Gilbert, James Gilbert,
Jasper Gilbert, Taylor Gilbert, Joseph Dudley, William
Fisher, J. J. Keith, J. M. Y^ork.
As three of these men lived in Comanche County —
Joseph Dudley, William Fisher and S. C. Shirley — there
were, really, only twenty-eight mien in Eastland. A
*It was not known until after the war closed that four or
five of these men were deserters from the army. Ike Ward
^vas arrested during the war, taken to Arkansas, court-
martialed and shot as a deserter.
40 HISTOR T OF EASTLAND CO UNTY.
few months after the organization of this company, how-
ever, all the available citizens of Callahan and Shack-
elford Counties were added to it, making the required
forty, and First Lieutenant Gilbert was made Captain,
J. B. McGough, First Lieutenant, and N. H. Kuyken-
dall. Second Lieutenant.
The Company was divided into three squads, and
each man was required to serve ten days out of thirty.
The starting place was Nash^s Spring, half way between
McGough Springs and Jewell, and the incoming scout
was always met by the outgoing squad, thus keeping a
lookout committee continuously on duty.
Several days after Lee's surrender a detachment
of Gilbert's Com^pany arrived at Blair's Fort. There
they received the sad news from Lewis Keith, who had
just returned from Louisiana, and the Company dis-
When the danger of being "pressed^^ into the Con-
federate Army had passed, it is said that at least one-
third of the men in Eastland County moved back across
the Brazos River. That this was a fact, the census of
1870 proves, as the entire population numbered only
eighty-eight. The only wonder is that any remained,
as there was no Government protection at all until the
next Legislature met.
All honor to the brave men and women who still
possessed their homes and held the line of civilization
in Eastland ! All honor to the gray hairs of those who
fought for her in those perilous times, and who still live
among us ! Eternal honors be to the glorious manhood
and womanhood that creates pioneers !
HISTOR Y OF EASTLAND CO UNTY. 41
I — Ellison's Spring Fisht.
On the 8th of August, 1864, J. L. Read, Corporal,
led out eight men for a ten days' scout, campinsf the
first night at McGough Springs. On the morning of
the 9th the men went west till they struck the Leon,
near where the Texas Central Railway now crosses it.
There they discovered a large Indian trail leading
southeast, the signs indicating there were were at Least
thirty-five or forty Indians, some riding, some walking.
The men, knowing they were down to steal horses,
pushed hard on after them. The trail crossed Nash's
Creek about three miles east of Carbon, whtere the In-
dians killed a beef for breakfast, then continued south
until they reached the present location of the W. W.
Boone place, one and one-half miles north of Jewell. It
was then the Oilbert ranch.
Captain T. E. Keith, of Curtis, furnished the fol-
lowing description of the battle :
^^There we overhauled them, seven of us — Harris
York's horse having given out, he had pulled for the
ranch. We fought them at long range for awhile, un-
til we saw we had no sort of showing, when our Com-
mander ordered a retreat to the Gilbert Ranch for
reinforcements. At the two ranches we got five more
men, making our number twelve, with Sing Gilbert,
our Captain, in command.
^^We returned to where we left the Indians, took
up the trail, followed it east about twelve miles, where,
43 HIS TOR T OF EA S TLA ND CO UNTY.
tliroe hundred yards south of Ellison's Spring, in Un-
cle Billy Jones' field, we discovered them. Our Cap-
tain ordered a charge and led it up to within thirty
or forty feet of their line.
^'Think of it ! Twelve men, armed with muzzle-load-
ing rifles and shotguns and pistols, charging right up
to a line of forty Indians, and most of them on foot and
coming to meet us !
^^Captain Gilbert ordered a halt. We fired on them,
but they kept coming. Our Captain ordered us to fall
hRok. We turned right in their faces, and on that turn
is where they got in their deadly work.
"The Indians wore shields that would turn our bul-
lets, and were armed with bows and arrows, which, at
short range, were more accurate and deadly than rifles
"On that turn * our Captain was shot inthe neck with
an arrow, and died in less than two hours. Button
Keith's horse fell, and they killed him right there. Jim
Ellison received a deep arrow wound in the hip, which
disabled him for life. Tom Caddenhead was shot through
the thigh just below the hip joint and pinned to the
saddle, and Torn Gilbert was shot twice through the
arras. T\vo mien killed and three disabled in less time
than it takes to make the statement. Five out of twelve
knocked out and not a load left in a gun or pistol !
"Well, there was nothing left for us to do except to
outrun them to Ellison's house, which we did in grand
*Mr. Keith was unmounted in this direful retreat anO.
separated from his party a few awful minutes, but recov-
ered his horse and escaped unhurt.
HISTOR T OF EASTLANV CO UJVTY. 43
shape, the Indians following us to within eighty yards
of the house.
*'Kunners were then sent to the Gabe Keith Kanch,
fifteen miles away, to the Gilbert Ranch, twelve miles,
and to Mansker's, eight miles, to let them know of the
I rouble. About nine o'clock that night my father, J.
J. Keith, started to Stephenville to have graves pre-
pared for the two dead men — that being the nearest
graveyard. The distance was thirty-five miles, and not
a settler at that time between the two places.
^'He arrived at Stephenville at daybreak, and heard
bells, and horses running on the hill east of town. Be-
lieving that Indians were stealing the horses, he alarmed
the town. Joel Dodson and another man, however, had
heard the bells and running horses, and, taking their
guns, had gone to investigate. \Miile crossing
the Bosque they heard a noise in the bed of
the creek above them. Listening and sky-lighting they
decided there were Indians near and fired, whereupon
the savages ran off, leaving five bloody pallets and two
* guns they had picked up on the battle ground the day
before at Ellison's Spring, proving that they were the
same Indians and at least five of them were wounded.
•^^On the eleventh of August, Captain Gilbert and But-
ton Keith were consigned to their last resting places at
Stephenville, and the curtain was dropped on the blood-
iest battle with Indians ever fought in Eastland."
*One of the gruns recovered belonged to Mr. Keith, who
dropped it when he was unmounted.
44 HISTOR Y OB' EASTLAND 00 UNTY.
List of scouts in Ellison Springs fight:
Gilbert, Captain, killed.
J. L. Head, corporal.
T. E. Keith, Curtis, substitute for J. J. Keith.
ff arris York, Alanxogordo.
Leroy Keith, killed.
J. M. Ellison, Gorman.
W. C. McGough, Eastland.
Jim Gilbert, Millsap.
Tom Gilbert, dead.
Sam Gilbert, dead.
Jasper Gilbert, dead.
Jim Temples, Menardville.
II — Cisco Running Fight.
The date of this very interesting event could not
be learned, but Mr. McGough writes;
"1 led the Scout and trailed the Indians with two
dogs, named Colonel and Hats. *
The fight began on the hill west of the Miethodist
church and was intensely exciting as the little band,
chasing the Indians northwest, fired as they ran, the In-
dians as vigorously returning the attack. Mr. McGough
says: ^^There were many shots fired — the Indians having
guns. Albert H-enning was wounded, and I was for-
tunate enough to hit the Indian who shot him."
It was believed at the time that Mr. McGough
*Colonel was a dog with a pedigree. Hats was a mon-
III8T0R Y OF EASTLAND CO UNTY. 45
killed this Indian, but the timber growth being dense,
the Scout deemed it best not to follow farther, especially
as the Indians had fled, leaving the large bunch of
borses they had stolen and were driving to the reser-
A few years later, a Mr. Sublett, formerly of Coman-
clie, discovered the grave * of an Indian near Cisco, and
from the headdress he was supposed to have been a
chief. As McGrough fired six shots at the chief
who had wounded Henning, the discovery gave
v^eight to his opinion that he had wounded the Indian
There were thirteen men who took part in this
memorable fight — three of whom Mr. McGough cannot
vW. C. ]\l/3Gough, C. Brashears, L. B. Brittain, T.
A. Bearden, H. Edwards, John Hill, Albert Henning,
John Beall, George Keith, Jerome MicAllister.
Ill — The Cottonwood Fight.
In the month of November, 1868, another Scout,
composed of Messrs. Baker Ballew, Andrew Tarter,
George Bugby, J. Peter Davidson and the Allen broth-
ers, Sam, William, Joe and Luther, discovered Indian
signs at Mansker Lake. The trail which led East
was hard to follow. Evidently the Indians were few in
number and had purposely traveled apart. The men
*Near Cisco is an Indian grave, where even yet parties
frequently find trinkets. Whether or not this is the grave
above referred to is not known, but the prevailing opinion
is that it is the same.
46 HISTORY OF EASTLAND CO TTNTT.
liad frequently to dismount and look closely for the
When they had gone thus tediously a mile or two,
however, a hlack hound pup, belon2;ing to Mansker
which had attached itself to the scout, suddenly scented
the trail and was off on a long run, never
looking to the right or left, as the men loped
hard after hirri all the day long. It is said that a dog
seldom took up a trail in this way, but when one did it
was safe to follow the lead. It proved so in this in-
Late in the evening, when two of the men had fallen
a mile or two behind, their horses having failed, the
Scout came upon the Indians, eight in number, at the
head of Highsaw Cove, a branch of Barton's Creek. As
soon as they s?.w the * hound, they recognized it as
their Nemesis, and each Indian greeted him with twc
rounds of ammunition. The leader of the scout, Mr.
Ballew, ordered a charge. Then followed a fast and
furious fight. The Indians who had dismounted were
at a great disadvantage. To escape they had to climb
up over rocks and knoll right in the face of the Scout,
but succeeded in escaping in the gloom of the deepen-
ing night, leaving only one man on the field, together
with their horses and blankets, eight in number. As
the sagacious dog was dead, and, in the light of the
moon coming over the horizon, each man would stand
out as a target for the Indians hiding amiong the rocks,
the Scout wisely decided to be satisfied with the result,
*If the fine animal had not been killed the men think
they would have tracked the last Indian to his death.
EISTOR T OF EASTLA MJ CO UJV7Y. 47
especially a? two of their number, Ballc-w and Joe
Allen, were severely wounded and needed attention.
From the dead Indian's attire, he was recognized
as the leader of the band. His handsome, fringed buck-
skin suit, his quiver full of arrows and large, strong
l>ow made of mull^erry and his shield * were part of the
trophy the men carried off. Not without regret it must
be recorded that they also carried his scalp.
^'Look here, boys !" one of the men called out after
the Indians had escaped, "Look here ! Some Indian has
a badly wounded foot," and he held up a shattejed
stirrup lying near.
That his conjecture was correct was proved by the
persistence of Finle)', the little dog scout.
lY — The Little Dog Scout.
Lige Littlefield, J. W. Brashears and Lewis Ellison
were moving in two wagons, from Parker County to
Eastland in the winter of 1868.
On the bank of Palo Pinto Creek in the northeast
of the county, one of the men discovered a moccasin
1rack. Like true frontiersmen, they followed the trail
on the road for several miles with the keenest anticipa-
tion without a thought of danger.
*Mr. ^Yilliam Allen still has in his possession the bow and
the shield. The latter was made from the hide of a buf-
falo's head, cut round, and is about one-half inch thick. A
strap of leather on the under side, which was worn over the
thumb, protected the body, and not bein^ held firmly, a bul-
let, when it struck the shieP, would glance off instead of
passing- through. The shield measures twenty-two inches
48 IlISTOR Y OF EASTLAND GO UNTY.
"Finley," ale,rt and on the true scent as became a
frontier dog, dashed ahead of the wagons. The owner
of the moccasin, discovering the wagons, turned out of
the road and hid under the brush and grass. "Finley"
was not to be outwitted by a "redskin/' so he followed
and began barking loudly.
On the Indian's rising up to ask for protection, Lige
Littlefield opejied fire and did not know, until the bul-
let had done its deadly work, that he had instanth
killed a lone and deserted squaw. "Finley" did not
know the difference and barked a chorus over the re-
mains of the vanquished. The Indian fell on William
Allen's Ranch, one-half mile from his house, and from
one foot being badly mutilated, it was supposed she was
the one wounded in the skirmish on Highsaw Cove.
At the head of this creek where the fight occurred
stood a solitary tree. i\s the Scout turned, leaving the
dead Indian there, one of the men said, "God has pre-
pared a sentinel to watch over your mouldering dust."
V — The Stolen Boy and Frank Sanches.
Frank Sanches was out hunting stock, and stood
and watched a numerous drove passing on down to the
Leon for water, hoping to find some of his strayed two-
year olds. Imagine his surprise, as the last yearling
was Hearing him and he was about to turn and retrace
his steps homeward, to see a small boy's head bobbing
up just behind the calf. On the child's approach he
found it was a white boy who had been captured by the
Indians. He had escaped and was following the stock.
HISTORY OF EASTLAXD COUNTY. 49
hoping to reach the settlements. Mt. Sanches cared for
the little boy and returned him. to his people.
It was about this time and in the same locality that
Henry Martin, a son-in-law of Mr. Mansker, was killed.
He was separated from other members of a party who
were attacked by Indians while rounding up cattle, and
Jest his life.
YI — Battle Creek Fight. *
A great fight with Indians took place on this creek
in the northwestern part of the County. Three In-
dians and one white man, Mjr. Lathan, were killed.
^Ir. Eufe Atwood has a skull supposed (from trinkets
found near) to be that of the chief of the party. Mr.
J. B. Loyd, who has a son and daughter living in
Cisco, was one of the scouts.
I — Ix THE Mjdst of Life.
!Mr. Coffer was sick with fever and his family was
in danger of starving.
Four weeks had he lain prone upon his bed and the
fever was still high, but his wife was full of cheer and
strong in hope.
*Futile efforts were made to secure a description of
this fight, which gave a name to the creek. It cannot be
stated definitely whether the attacking party were Rang-
ers, soldiers, or a scout.
50 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
"Why, husband, think what goodly company we'll
have if we starve ! But we have beans yet — a bucket
full, and whoever comes to stay with us through the
night brings something for you. Your fever did not
run so high to-day, either. There now," she added,
patting up his pillow, "isn't that better ?"
"You always look on the sunny side, Martha. I'm
glad you do."
"I must go bring up the filly before it gets any
later, 'cause I put her a little farther down toward the
"Martha ! How dangerous !" interposed her hus-
"The grass is so much better there. Besides, don't
you see I am buckling on your six shooter, and here's
^old trusty,' " taking up a gun. "Why, husband, I
could fight a dozen Indians !"
But the woman could not deceive her husband. He
well knew she did not possess the courage she feigned. It
frightened her even to handle a gun. How could she
defend herself if attacked !
"Dear Lord !" he moaned in an agony of appre-
hension, "make me well for her sake !"
"Just the sight of that wood terrifies miC," she whis-
pered to herself, pausing half way between the house
and the gate. "I've a good notion not to go after all —
but — oh, I guess there's no Indian hiding," and nerv-
ing herself for the dreaded ordeal, she ran quickly down
to where the young mare was "lariated out," and war
stooping to untie her when two Indians arose from the
HISTORV OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 51
nearest clump of bushes and with a frightful yell let
fly two arrows.
The hissing arrows, the sight of the "red demons/'
their ownward rush so paralyzed her that she dropped
her gun, and a m'oment later fell dead with an arrow
in her heart.
Hastily scalping the woman, the Indians mounted
the fine young mare and were gone.
The man on the bed with the baby playing by his
side, listened with bated breath for the first sound of
his wife's voice. He heard the sharp, quick yell of the
Indians, then caught the sound of her cry. With one
effort, he leaped from the bed — and fell. He forgot
that he was sick, forgot that he had not stood on his
feet for weeks.
He raised himself on his elbow, but could see noth-
ing. He listened for the sound of his wife's running
feet, but all was still. Again he listened. He heard
the gallop of the mare he had raised from a colt, and
he knew the Indians had scalped and probably killed
the mother of his baby. He raised his voice and called —
"Martha !" Oh, Marth-e-e !"
In his horror his voice sounded shrill and clear.
"She's dead ! Dear Lord, she's dead ! But the dead
could have heard that call. TMiere's the baby?" — feel-
ing around him. "Is she dead, too? I'll call her.
Su — ^NTo! N'o! I'm afraid. Why, how warm it is! I
was cold a moment ago. How strong I feel! Martha,
the fire^s made. I'll go feed the filly, I hear her nicker-
ing. The dawn is breaking."
One hour later, the neighbor who came to stay
52 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
through the night, found the man lying on the floor,
burning with fever and talking incoherently, and the
baby asleep on the bed.
"Why, Mlartha, are you still asleep?" the sick man
said, as his neighbor lifted him upon the bed.
"The filly is gone," he rambled on, "the Indians
must have stolen her. Thank God, it was not my wife
OT baby they got."
The neighbor gave him a drink of water and put a
wet cloth on his head ; then finding the woman lying
dead, mounted his horse and rode rapidly to the nearest
house to give the alarm.
For many days the sick man's life hung in the
balance, and it was not until the green grass covered
her grave that he ventured to ask where his wife lay.
Whether Coffer or the baby are still living could
not be learned.
Mt. Keith and Mr. MicGough are the authority
for the above incident. Their recollection of details
differed slightly, but the result was the same.
II — In Seaech of a Wife.
One day, early in 1869, Mrs. Blair took her small
children, leaving Delphia and Charlsie at hom.e to do
the family wash, and went to see a sick married daueh-
ter living near. She left a pot of peas and bacon on
the hearth, with some fried eggs and bread in a skillet
all ready for the girls' dinner.
There was small danger of Indians at that time, yet
the instinct to watchfulness had been well trained, and
the frontiersman was ever on the alert.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 53
When the noon hour arrived the girls came in to
eat their dinner.
"I'm going to eat my peas first and save the best for
the last," Delphia remarked.
^^Well, I'm going to eat the best first/' laughed
Charlsie, "and then I'll know that I have it." A noise
at the gate aroused the girls and Charlsie, aged thir-
teen, went to the door.
Mercy, me I Delphia, it's a big negro man." Her
sister came to look and cried out, "Charlsie ! It's au
Indian !" The younger girl darted under the foot cur-
tain of her mother's bedstead, while Delphia hurriedly
hid herself between the two feather beds.
The Indian came on, opened the door, looked around,
(Charlsie watching him through the curtains), went
to the glass, combed his hair, turned to the fire-place
and discovered Delphia's eggs as well as Charlsie's peas.
These he quickly dispatched, scooping up the peas v/itli
Mrs. Blair had sent hex little boy, Dave, and a small-
er girl, Adeline, across the field to her home for some
medicine. When the boy stepped in at the door, the
Indian looked up and said, "Come in," but the little
ten year old lad turned, and catching his sister by the
hand, made his w^ay back to his mother as fast as hit,
legs could carry him, coaxing his sister, when she
stumbled or fell behind, "Eun, Sissie, run, or the Indiai]
will catch you."
As the children did not see the girls, the mother
naturally supposed they had been murdered, and she
started home, screaming. She was cautioned to go by
54 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
a neighbor's, and not expose herself to a like fate. This
ehe did, and she and Mr. Bell cautiously approached
the house, the mother not being able to restrain hei
grief, as no sign of life appeared about the place. When
they entered, the Indian lose, held out his hand and
said, "Howdy." (''bobsheely.'') Mr. Bell shook hands
with him. "I don't want to shake hands with y'>u,"
said Mrs. Blair. "Tell me what you have done with my
"Why, Ma, here we are !" cried out Charlsie, coming
out from under the bed, while Delphia at the sauie
ti nie tumbled out from her snug hiding place. The
mother, clasping her children to her breast, began shout-
ing. When her joy had somewhat subsided, she went up
ro the Indian and said, "Now, I'll shake hand> with
yr.u, I've found my children."
In the mieantime Mr. Blair and Mr. Whatley, who
had been out after board timber, came in. The Indian
m.. de them to understand that believing the white; man
woald not kill the red man if he gave himseit' vp, he
had waited several days for an opportune time. He
wa- guarded closely over night and sent to Dublin next
morning, from which place the soldiers carried him
liMck to ihe * Convanche?.
On their arrival in Dublin an interpreter was found
*Mr. Keith and Mr. Smith say he was sent to the Co-
manches. Mr. Keith says the Tonkawiays wanted him, but
the soldiers would not give him up. Mr. Sam Allen has
always understood he was given to the "Tonks," who mad»»
him "run the gauntlet" — covering a given space and not
being hit by the squaws and children lined up. As he wan
hit, they killed and scalped him.
HISTORY OF EASTLAXD COUNTY. 55
in Mr. Bolj Barton. The Indian told him his squaw had
been in a raid some weeks before and as she had never re-
turned, he had come to hunt for her.
Mt. Barton told him of the accidental killing of the
wounded squaw and as the times agreed he decided it
was his wife.
The Texas Eangers.
It is not definitely known when the Texas Eanger
service was instituted, but as early as the colonization
of Texas under Austin, companies of volunteers were
formed to repel Indian invasions.
The Congress of the Eepublic, after Texas had gain-
ed her independence, made provision for a mounted
force to guard the frontier which, in 1836, was Xacog-
doches, Houston and San Antonio; but "it was in the
Mexican War of 1846-1848 that the Texas Mounted Vol-
unteers in the service of the United States, under such
noted leaders as ^Yalker, Hays and Gillespie, achieved
world-renowned famie and clothed the name of Texas
Banger with its traditional glory."
The "State Police" of the reconstruction period
which became so odious to the citizens of the State was,
in no sense, a part of the Eanger service. The former
was characterized by outrage and lawlessness; the latter
by intrepid acts of bravery, self-sacrificing courage, calm-
ness in danger, and a recklessness of self-preservation
that will be the admiration of ages. It was at first
56 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
seini-military, neither officers nor men wore uniforms,
there was no strict discipline, no music — only mid-
night rides in tracking a foe, only cool daring in en-
The Eanger service was an outgrowth of the times.
No military in the world ever excelled the early Ranger
in devotion to duty or obedience to orders.
When it is remembered that all over the broad ex-
panse of Texas there was a moving frontier line made
by the hardy Anglo-Saxon pioneer, and many hundreds
of roving, hostile Indians composed of numerous tribes,
each with a stronghold in the fastnesses of the moun-
tains of the unsettled West, it will readily be under-
stood that a mounted service for frontier protection
must from necessity be maintained. Again, when the
vastness of the unsettled country is taken into consid-
eration, it is not to be wondered at that the Indian was
not the only menace of the frontier, nor yet, his oft-
time ally, the secretive Mexican, but that bands of des-
peradoes infested the country. In all times of frontier
settlem,ent there has always been a border warfare boni
of necessity — so it was in Texas.
When the Eanger service was organized, Texas had
no money; the times and conditions did not warrant an ef-
fort toward a strictly disciplined military body; but an
armed force, both for internal and border protection, was
demanded. This was not alone because of the foes men-
tioned that threatened her welfare, but the demand was
accentuated by the loose characters that drifted hither
and thither, ofttimes renegades from justice, caring
little if they did murder, or were themselves dispatched.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 57
"Out of this combination of circumstances and the
necessities arising therefrom, was the Ranger service
evolved, and so efficient and valuable did it prove that,
as soon as practicable the organization was given offi-
cial recognition and a legal status and title."
When Texas was a part of Mexico she needed the
Rangers; when Independence perched aloft her banner,
the frontier Battalion sustained her; when she entered
the galaxy of Stars as the one of greatest possible
magnitude, the Volunteer Companies protected her
frontier; when she came out of the Union, standing
with the glorious, honorable minority, she needed more
than ever before the loyalty of her brave sons; and. then,
when again she re-entered a united government, her
Southern flag furled, her individual rights assailed and
imposed upon, governed by aliens, and looked upon as
a reprobate, did she need the fearless strength of the
In the year 18 — Captain Whiteside, who formerly
lived in Cisco, but now deceased, commanded a body
of Rangers and was located at Ranger Camp. This
was near the site of the town of Ranger and gave the
village its name.
*A detachment of 'Rangers, mounted, ready to start, was
sketched at Blair's Fort in 1863 by a Mr. Stuart. Mr. Jim Mat
Stephens of Dublin, Tex., owns the picture and is having
it paintei by an artist in St. Louis. For further information
of tt^e Ranger service, see Scarff's Comprehensive History of
The Moving Frontier Line.
The line of settlements in the Counfy did not change
for several years, but the force and power of the con-
stantly increasing flow of human beings from the other
States, which was stopped temporarily in the populated
centers by the civil strife and the fear of the Indian in
the West — could no longer be checked.
The Eev. C. Brashears, who came to the county in
the autumn of 1872, writes of the conditions existing at
that time :
•"Six families at or near McGough Springs, three
families at Mansker Lake, one settlement at Flanna-
gan's, consisting of a cow-ranch and one family ; another
on South Palo Pinto Creek of two or more families ;
these, with two families on the Sabanno, three at Elli-
son's Spring, and three or four at Dtesdemona, made
up the entire population of Eastland County when I
"This was a fine stock country. Game was plentiful
— such as bear, wolf, deer, turkey, buffalo, a few pan-
ther, wild cat, catamount, fox, opossum, skunk, and
Indian. There were wild horses here at that time and
any number of cattle. This was then a fine hog coun-
try, as there was always a heavy mast. Hogs were plen-
60 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
When it is remembered that in 1860 there were
ninety-nine inhabitants in Eastland County, and in
1870 only eighty-eight (including women and children) ,
the conditions prevailing at that time in this section
will more readily be appreciated.
From Mr. Brashear's letter it will be seen that the
frontier line of 18G3 still existed in 1872, one year be-
fore the County was organized, and was marked by
Flannagan's Eanch, ]\£c(TOugh Springs, and Jewell.
Although the increase in population in one year was
sufticient to organize the County as recorded in the fol-
lowing chapter, yet the name of no man has been dis-
covered who located west of the line above referred to
prior to 1872.
It is pleasant to note, however, that once the County
^vsis organized and its possibilities known, a steady in-
flux of people began. In 1873 scarcely the seveniy-five
required number of voters could be found; in 1875,
when the County Town was permanently located at
Eastland City, there were one hundred and twenty-
three voters, and in 1880 the census gave four thousand
eight hundred and fifty-five as the population of the
On November 25, 1874, the last raid of Indian?
through this County occurred.* They came down by
*Messrs, Sam Allen, of Van Horn, an 1 K. Pemberton, ol
Stephenville, are the authority for this statement. Judgp
Calhoun thinks a raid into Comanche County, passing
through the western part of Eastland, occurred at a later
date, and a little incident related by Mr. Pemberton might
seem to substantiate this opinion.
One day Mr, Frank Roach, who resided in the south-
ern part of Eastland, had gone alone to mill in Comanche
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 61
the eastern route, and on Barton's Creek Mr. Ellison
was shot off his horse, and Mr. Leslie killed on Indian
Creek. Messrs. Sam Allen, Silas C. Buck, Tom Gihson
and ]\IJack Singleton were four of eighteen men who
chased the Indians one hundred and fifty miles.
During this period, 1873-1881, the old line of set-
tlements was wiped out. Six families (names given
elsewhere), stopped in the Eising Star Country; Major
Munn, who had to go eighteen miles to ^TcG-ough
Springs for his mail (which Po^tm^ster Father Mc-
Gough kept in a shoe-box under liis bed), settled at
Mmrod, and lives on the land he first purchased; E. Y
County. On his return he met an acquaintance, who
reined up his horse by Mr. Roach's wa.eron.
"How is it you are out alone? Aren't you afraid of the
Mr. Roach replied:
"No. Me and the Indians like each other; we g^et alon?
along: all right."
Hardly had these words passed when a squad of In-
dians were seen coming around a thicket straight toward
them. The man put spurs to his horse and was gone. Mr.
Roach leaped from his seat, cut one of his fine young mules
from the harness and sprung upon his back. No sooner
was this feat accomplished than the mule, on whose back
man had never sat, began to pitch and to plunge, while the
Indians bore down upon the r'efenseless man who found him-
self in such a close place. The mule, instead of going ^'own
the road as Mr. Roach urged him to do. rushed into a
thicket, which the Indians at once siirrounded, laughing up-
rop.rously at the antics of the mule, and helped to keep
thines interesting to the man by plying him with arrows.
Suddenly, however, the mule made a dash for the road and
damaged his reputation by ^oing exactly as he was desired
to do— made tracks so fast that the Indians were outdis-
tanced. They took revens-e by burning the wagon and its
contents and carrie'' off the other animal. Mr. Roach lo«t
an eye in the encounter, but was always able to appreciate
the good race that he made.
63 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
Weddington grazed his catle in the northwestern part
of the County, as also did his neighbors, Charnel High-
tower, Billy Stevens, John, Crowd, Bill, Hilly and Joe
Dennis and Joe Funk. Mr. Drake and sons settled
lower down on the Leon.
In the Cisco Country were Messrs. N. Danvers, W.
B. Cobb, Albert Stephens, Eobert and Stuart Cone,
N. Turknette, John Davis, Josh and John Morris, Lacy,
Ivhoads, Bunson, Townsend, T. E. Johnson, J. J. Wal-
lace, J. P.Montgomery, John Lane, 0. H. Lovelady,
Frank Young, B. L. Pate, J. F. Loony, M. V. Palmer,
Jim Caradine and M. B. Owens. *
Thus was the frontier line pushed farther and
farther west, and the civilization of the Virginias, Car-
olinas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alabama a ad
Mississippi found among this moving throng, tip-toeing
to see across and venture on and on as the line strode
Organization of the County.
The Thirteenth Representative District in 1870
comprised Johnson, Hood, Parker, Palo Pinto and Jack
Counties with the unorganized Couniies of Stephens,
Eastland, Throckmorton, Shackelford. Callahan. Tay-
lor, Jones, Young and Haskell attached.
*These names have been supplied by R. F. Weddington.
R. G, Luse and I. Lamb. Doubtless there are many other
names these gentlemen failed to remember.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 63
There came a time, however, when the citizens of
Eastland began to want to do business at home. The
odious State Police had been disbanded, and regularly
appointed Bangers now guarded the rapidly moving
frontier line. Hardy pioneers pushed westward and
Eastland was no longer a frontier country. Many new
settlers were coming into the County, land was being
put into farms, substantial houses were going up, but for
a time no man came forward to take the lead in the
movement for organization.
The 12th Legislature, which met in 1872, had passed
into history, but the prominent citizens of Eastland,
all of whom devoutly wished for organization, had done
nothing toward its accomplishment. This inactivity on
the part of the older men nerved to action Silas C.
Buck, a young lawyer living on the Davidson Eanch.
He made his owti plans, had himself appointed Deputy
District Clerk of Palo Pinto County and went to work.
In Section 26 of Chapter 75 of the General Laws
of the 7th Legislature, which met in 1858, an act
creating Eastland and other counties, reads: "The
County may be organized as follows : ^ATienever the bona
fide, free, white male inhabitants thereof (including
all such recognized as citizens by the Constitution of
this State) over twenty- one years of age. to the number
of at least seventy-five, may petition the Presiding Jus-
tice * of an adjoining county, or the nearest organized
county, asking such organization, and the person pre-
senting the petition (being a creditable citizen of the
*From 1869 to 1876 there were no County Judges In Texas.
64 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
county from which the petition emanates) shall testify
upon oath and in writing before such Presiding Justice
that the names subscribed to the petition are those of
bona fide inhabitants of such county, possessing the
qualifications aforesaid, and were affixed to said petition
by each of said persons himself; then it shall be the
duty of such Presiding Justice forthwith to order an
election in said county for county officers, observing the
provisions, as far as applicable, of the general election
laws," etc., etc.
The first thing to do, according to the foregoing law,
was to secure the signatures of seventy-five "bona fide,
free, white, male citizens'' to a petition addressed to
Presiding Justice J. H. Baker of Palo Pinto, asking
for an election to be ordered. Armed with a six-
shooter and bowie knife — for in 1873 there was still
danger from Indians — Mr. Buck rode over the County,
hunting all the bona fide citizens.
One afternoon he stopped at a little doggery a couple
of miles from W. H. Mansker's, where he found several
free, white, male citizens exercising their liberties. The
boisterous sounds within the ten by twelve log room in-
dicated an excessive nearness to shoals which warned
the young lawyer to linger on the outside of the open
door. Two of the men (called Tom and Mike because
their names could not be learned), became involved in
an altercation, and presently Mike got the drop on Tom
•,nd covered him with a pistol. T^To sooner did he ac-
complish this feat, however, than he, in turn, was cov-
^red by another man, named Stewart. At this moment.
Buck became interested, and fingered his guns and felt ,
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 65
of his knife, as he watched and waited for a chance to
help the '^''under-dog/' Fortunately for all concerned,
some adjustment of the difficulty was effected. The so-
liciting petitioner went in and secured the signatures
of the free, w^hite males, and then turned in at Mr.
Mansker's for the nis^ht.
When ahout sixty-five names had been secured,
Buck, who did not know how the law read, exactly, car-
ried the petition to Presiding Justice Baker, who or-
dered an election to be held on December 2, 1873, with
the following result:
1st. McGough Springs — J. "B. McG^ough, Justice of
2nd. Flannagan's Eanch — ^Y. F. Hale, Justice of
3rd. Allen's- Mill— John W. Gibson, Justice of
4th. Hogtown Watson, Justice of the Peace.
5th. Jewell — E. E. Head, Justice of the Peace.
H. Schmick, Sheriff; Clerk District Court. A. J.
On February following, an election, which was held
to locate the County Town resulted in Flannaffan's
Ranch being chosen and the name of Merriman was
given to it. By some move, known, perhaps, only to as-
tute politicians, although McGough Springs was des-
ignated as the First Precinct, and J. B. McGough
elected from that locality, yet, W. F. Hale, of Flanna-
gan's Eanch was made Presiding Justice, and Merri-
man became the First Precinct.
The citizens now felt secure in their organization
66 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
and were ready for work. Mart Owens and Miss Town-
send went to Justice Gibson to get married. The eJus-
tice refused to marry the couple, and said that he would
resign his ofhce before he would attempt such a thing.
]\Ili'. Owens, insisting, secured a form of ceremony from
a friend, and after studying this all night, Mr. Gibson
consented and married the couple.
Now came the startling news that that oracle of
the law, Captain W. C. Yeale, of Palo Pinto, had said
that ^'the organization of Eastland wouldn't hold water/'
This statement sent young Buck to Austin. He inter-
viewed Governor Coke, a personal friend, who sent him
to his Secretary of State. Colonel DeBerry.
"Now, Colonel DeBerry," said Buck, "if you can't
issue commissions to these officers who have been elected,
I want this Legislature to pass laws that will legalize
the organization so you can."
"Here, give me their names, I'll fix them alright,"
answ^ered Colonel DeBerry, filling out the commissionfi
and affixing his signature."
To mlake the organization doubly strong, Mr. Buck
remained two or three weeks, and through Senator?
Jack Ball of Weatherford and Mjajor Erath of Waco,
succeeded in having all the necessary laws passed. With
copies of these bills properly signed, in his pocket, to-
gether with the officers' commissions, the young lawyer
made his way back to Eastland.
When it is remembered that there were few news-
papers, and that the railroad still lingered among the
protecting pines of Marshall, Texas, this lack of knowl-
edge of procedure in such an undertaking as the or-
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 67
ganization of a county is not surprising and one is able
to more thorough!}^ appreciate young Buck's grit and
some of the first voters.
James Henry Calhoun.
Aside from the inherent manhood that came to him
from a noble and godly ancestry, our present District
Judge lies close to the hearts of the inhabitants of
Eastland County from two primary causes. H^e is one
of the first voters and has served the County and Dis-
trict in an official capacity several times. Then, during
the protracted drouth of 1886 and 1887, Judge Cal-
houn, who was serving as State Senator from this, the
39th District, accomplished the creation of a special
committee for the relief of the drouth sufferers, was
made its chairman, and did more than anyone else in
securing the $100,000.00 appropriated by the 20th Leg-
islature for that purpose.
Judge Calhoun, who is a native of Ceorgia and
graduated from Homer College in Louisiana in 1870,
came to Texas in 1871 and located at Waco, where he
read law under General Tom Harrison, and was licensed
to practice August 8, 1873. He came at once to this
County and was here when it was organized. In the
*Mr. Buck gave the above information in a personal in-
terview, and it was corroborated by Judge Calhoun and
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
election for officers in 1876, he was made County Judge
— the first to hold that office in Eastland. He ha?
served two terms as District Attorney and has had an
J. H. CALHOUN, District Judge, Cisco
extensive land practice, hut has never confined himself
to any particular branch of the profession. He is rec-
ognized as a lawyer of eminent ability. In his oratory
he is eloquent and impassioned, and merits all the hon-
ors that have come to him.
III^TOR T OF EASTLAND CO XJNTY. 69
Judge Calhoun is a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, Souths of the Masonic Fraternity,
and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
He was married to Miss Jennie Conner in Eastland
City on January 1, 1882, and has three children. His
home is in Cisco. "He is a true friend, a generous foe,
and a lover of the pure and good.*'
WILLIAM ALLEN, Strawn
In the Fall of 18:^8, Mr. Allen came from Missouri
and stopped for a short while in the southern part of
Palo Pinto County. He found the people to be brave
and generous. The country, then, he writes, "Was
thickly settled by bands of friendly Indians, who lived
70 HI8T0R T OF EASTLAND CO UNTY.
by hunting wild game, all kinds of which were plentiful.
During the year 1859 — I had moved to Eastland
County then — ^the Indians became very hostile and re-
nained so for fifteen years. The settlers had to be con-
tinually on their guard."
In 1865 Mtr. Allen settled on a ranch on South Palo
Pinto Creek (this County), which he still owns. It now
aggregates nine thousand acres. He lives in Strawn,
and has a wife and five children.
J. M. Ellison.
At the time of the Indians' first raid through this
County in December, 1859, they stole Dr. Richardson's
horses. Mr. Ellison, with six others, followed them
three days through a fearful snowstorm without any
success. "From that time on I was either on a cow hunt
or an Indian trail. Two weeks was the longest I ever
did without bread." Clothing was hard to get. Calico
cost fifty cents a yard. Mr. Ellison was sadly in ne-^c^
of a suit of clothes. He writes :
"I went out one day and killed two bucks, dressed
their hides and made me a pair of pants. Then I killed
some doe, dressed their hides and made me a shirt —
then I was all right for the brush, only I had no shoes.
I dug a trough out of a cotton wood log, tanned the
leather and made me some."
Mr. Ellison lives near Gorman, where he first set-
tled in October, 1858.
HISTOR r OF EASTLAND CO UNTY.
W. C. McGouGH.
In Twigg Coimt}^, Georgia^ December 11. 1836, Mr.
MjcGough was born, and moved to Parker County,
Texas, when twenty years old. On January 18, 1858,
he was married to Miss Paulina Birch of Bosque
County, and m,oved to Eastland November 1, 1860. He
has lived here continuously — at i\IcGough Springs, near
Eastland City, since 1863. He is a member of the
W. C. McGOUGH'S RESIDENCE
The accompanying illustration represents five gen-
erations. Captain J. J. Keith, born in Alabama in
1822, and Mss Isabel Ely, born in Virginia in 1823,
were married in Arkansas March 8, 1839, and emi-
J. J. Keith. 82. Isabel Keith, 81.
2. T. E. Keith, 57. Caroline J. Keith, 52.
Easter Grantham Keith, 26. 4. Crissie Richardson, 18.
5. Natha Richardson, 10 months.
HISTOR Y OF EAtiTLANl) CO UNTY. 73
grated to Titus County^ Texas, in 1844, thus becoming
citizens of the KepubUc of Texas. While here, on De-
cember 10, 1846, their oldest son, T. E., was born. In
l860, while living m Erath County, this family with
the O'Xeals and others, fortified themselves at Dublin
(thus founding that prosperous town) and remained
liiere until April, 1863. Thiy finally located at Mansker
Lake, where Mr. Keith engaged in stockraising.
Here their daughter Ellen, Mts. Derrington of Sabanno,
was born, wdio was the first girl baby born m the coun-
ty. While residing' in Erath ±\1}t. Keith raised a com-
pany of Eangers and was made their Captain.
This venerable couple have lived for the last twelve
years at Curtis with their daughter. Mrs. Ehzabeth
Pressley, and have more than one hundred descend-
ants. On the 8th of March, 1904, they will have been
niarried sixty-five years. Out of their thirteen children
eight are still living.
Their oldest son, T. E. Keith, has been prominently
connected with the history of Eastland since 1863, when
he "'scouted for Indians." On July 4, 1864, he was mar-
ried at Mansker Lake to Miss Caroline J. Arthur,
daughter of William. J. Arthur, and now lives near
*^'Uncle Tom,'^ as he is familiarly called, has served
the county as Commissioner and Justice of the Peace
many times. AYhen he realized that he needed -f-fie edu-
cation that he had been deprived of by having been born
and reared on the frontier, he set to work with rare en-
ergy and tenacity of purpose to remedy the defect, and
at the age of fifty-four was admitted to the bar after
74 HISTOR r OF EASTLAND CO UNT7.
satisfactory examination. TJonor to such persistent ef-
H. S. SCHMICE.
The first Sheriff cf Eastland was born in Ar-
kansas, December 28, 1842. He enlisted in the Con-
H. S. SCHMICK
federate Army (1861) as First Lieutenant in the 7th
Arkansas Regiment, and served until the surrender
In 1868 he came to Eastland and engaged in the
cattle business. When the County was organized in 1873,
HISTOR Y OF EASTLAND CO UNTT. 75
he held the office of Sheriff for eight consecutive years.
He has been merchandizing since liis term of office ex-
pired. He is a member of the Christian Church.
The Stockton Family.
In 1868, Ike and Sam Stockton, accompanied by
their two sisters, Amanda and Sallie Ivie, emigrated
to Eastland and finding a desirable place near Desde-
mona, put up a log cabin, and rested at ease. The
game in the woods around them supplied the table, and
the meal barrel and flour bin were full. Their ease was
not at all disturbed when Sallie told the boys the salt
was low. ''Why, we can do without salt for two
months,^' Ike insisted.
At last came a day when dinner was prepared with-
out any salt. "M'y, what in the world is the matter
with this venison?" Ike asked, when he began to eat.
^^There's no salt in it," replied Sallie.
'^Well, my gracious, make some mush." She did so.
It was still w^orse.
"Eed man, or no red man," the boy exclaimed, as he
hurriedly saddled his horse, "this boy has got to be
salted," and he rode to Stephenville after salt.
The family spent eight years in this lonely log
cabin, with the shade of the green mantle of the oaks
and elms as their summer rendezvous, and the babbling
spring, one hundred yards away, as their watering place.
They now live in New Mexico.
76 IlISTOIiYOF EASTLAND COUNTY.
C. C. High.
Mr. High was born in Georgia, March 7, 1851, and
came to Texas with his fatlier when only five years old.
A.t the age of fourteen he served an apprenticeship in
C. C. HIGH, Eastlaxd
a blacksmith shop in Crockett, where he was married at
the age of twenty to Miss Elizabeth Howell.
He emigrated to Eastland in 1873 and stopped at
M'cGough Springs. He served two years in the Texas
Ranger Company "A" under Captain Walder. On the
Hl^TOn Y OF EA !STLAND CO UNTY. . 77
lot he still occupies, Mr. High put up the first black-
smith shop established in the county.
Mr. High is a pioneer Odd Fellow, and assisted in the
organization of the first lodge in Eastland. He is a
Past Grand and Past Chief Patriarch, and held the office
of Treasurer in the Eastland City Lodge for sixteen
Mr. High is an open-hearted and typical frontiers-
man, true as the steel which he hammers.
Came to the county in 1872, and in the organization
he held the election at Jewell. Hje writes: "I had to
rake the ballot to Bill McGough^s (twelve miles) and
then Bill carried it to Palo Pinto to be counted. I was
on the first Grand Jury of the first Court — which was
held at Schmiick School House. Then we held Court
on the Colony Fork at Barny Bartholomew's and next
at Eastland. It took nearly all of us boys to hold Court.
"I had to go to Comanche (thirty miles) for black-
smithing and for bread. Thomas Mansker, Mr. Justis.
Simp Evans, Will Thanish, Thomas Marsh, Calvin
Wadkins, and myself were all who lived on the Sabanno
then. Our nearest neighbors were six and twelve miles.
The Indians took our horses from us twice before we
had neighbors enough to keep them away A fellow
felt skittish when out cutting poles to fence with, plow-
ing, or going to mill. But after the county was organ-
ized it settled up rapidly/*
78 HISTORY OF EA8TLAND COUNTY.
John Thomas Townsend,
Who was born in May. 1830, was married to Miss
Mary Josephine Jenkins in Kentucky, in 1854. Mrs.
Townsend^s father, Charles Jenkins, who was a delegate
to the National Convention that nominated James K.
Polk for President of the United States, died in East-
land four years ago at the age of ninety-seven.
Mr. Townsend, with his brother, Ira Townsend, and
others, located five miles west of Eastland City in 1872.
The nearest neighbor (W. C. McGrough) was ten miles
away; supplies were hauled from Dallas, one hundred
and fifty miles; and the buffalo and antelope were still
roaming the prairie lands, which have since been cov-
ered with timber. Fifty wolves in one bunch, turkeys so
thick on the trees the limb would break, and encounters
with the Mexican lion are some of the experiences of
The unbounded hospitality of the Townsend "Ranch
was typical of the frontiersmen, and was the chief
means for the dissemination of local news and from
the world "back East."
No fences disturbed the freedom of the cattle in
these days. "Grass and water were plentiful, land and
cattle were cheap. Lands which are now worth from
twenty-five to thirty dollars an acre could have been pur-
chased then, at most, for from fifty to seventy-five cents
Dr. E. T). Townsend, a prominent phvsician of
Llano, Texas, and Mrs. B. F. Kellv of Eastland, are
Wv. Townsend's livinsr children. One son, Dr. W, F,
Townsend, died in Llano, August, 1902.
HISrOR Y OF EASTLA ND CO UNTT. 79
Mr. Townsend, who lives with his wife at home in
Eastland City, says: "If I could find another East-
land County as it was thirty years ago, I would emi-
grate to the hunter's paradise at once."
Mn. J. L. Duffer.
Mr. J. L. Duffer, who served on the first jury in
Eastland, was the first man to be married in the County
after it was organized, as the records in County Clerk
Cox's office will show.
Squire Watson of the Alameda Precinct, (Hogtown,
the voting place), performed the ceremony, and Miss
Mary Boling was the lady he married.
Eeverend C. Beasheaes
Was born in Kentucky July 8, 1846. He came to
Texas with his father, who located in Parker County in
1851, where he remained until 1872, when he settled in
Eastland. Mt. Brashears was married December 32,
1863, and has six children, all reared in this county.
He is pastor of a Baptist Church at Ellison's Spring,
where he lives .
Dr. Jackson Evans.
There was no physician nearer than Stephenville.
Erath County, when Dr. Evans arrived in Eastland,
March 10, 1872. He was called at once to see a very
sick woman who, although she had been stricken with
fever three weeks previous, had not been visited by a
IIISTOR 7 OF EASTLA ND CO UJVTT.
physician. It is to Dr. Evans' credit that she was soon
The territory coverd by this first doctor reminds
one of the extent of the pioneer "circuit rider." From
the Korth Fork of Palo Pinto Creek to Desdemona,
DR. JACKSON EVANS
and from Barton's Creek in Erath County to the limits
of civilization in Eastland were the bounds of his calls.
"My three children were then very small, but I had
often to leave them and their mother alone when there
was danger of Indians. We stopped near a cow-ranch
for protection — as there was no town in the county —
HISTOR Y OF EA STL AND CO UNTY. 81
and we are still at our old stand with all the practice
I can do.
"Eastland was a paradise for hunters, when I came
here — cougar, bear, deer and turkey in abundance. I
killed all I needed for family use, while out visiting the
sick. One rlay, just one mile from where I now live, a
party of men (of which 1 was a member) killer! four
bear, while another party in hearing of us killed two
"Many jokes were perpetrated on Eastland County
in those days," continues Dr. Evans. "I heard a trav-
eler, who was passing along the road near my house,
say, ^I would not have this County and one dollar.' We
little thought then how valuable this shinery was."*
Dr. Evans and wife have five children.
Joseph Peter Davidson
Was born November 5, 1828, and was reared in
Giles County, Tennessee. He moved to Texas in 1853
and stopped two years in Bosque County. In 1865 he
settled permanently in E^istland — "Davidson's Eanch"
is one of the old landmarks of the county.
Until the year 1870 he engaged in the cattle busi-
ness and farming, when he was appointed District Sur-
veyor of the Palo Pinto Land District, which included
*It is interesting- to note the ignorance of the early set-
tlers regarding the productiveness of the soil. Then it was
a cattle country and a "hunter's paradise," but it was also
an unknown and undeveloped agricultural land, with the
rich chocolate loams of the eastern part of the County, the
sandy loams of the mi 'die, and the light, enduring sand,
with its clay subsoil, of the south and west, as the products
raised in great abundance to-day verify.
82 HI8T0R T OF EASTLAND CO UNTY.
Eastland. In 1873, when Eastland was organized, he
was elected County Surveyor and held the office until
1878, when he declined to serve longer. Many old set-
tlers testify that he helped them in locating good sur-
veys without a thought of remuneration.
Mr. Davidson was a member of the Methodist
Church, South, and a Eoyal Arch Mjason. His chief
characteristics were his patience, integrity, purity of
life and boundless hospitality. Hospitality on the fron-
tier has always cast a sheen and glamour of dignified
nobility, but few carried that virtue so far as "Uncle
Peter. '^ For nearly twenty years on his ranch he kept
"open house" for all who came or went — traveler, pros-
pector, homeseeker, stranger, all were royally enter-
He died at Strawn, 1897, and was buried by the
Eastland Masonic Lodge, of which he was a charter
J. E. HiGGINS.
In the fall of 1872 Mr. Higgins settled on the farm
where he now lives, six miles southeast of Eastland City
on the -Leon Eivor. One year later he married.
"In those Says we lived in log cabins, usually with
one door, no window, roof weighted on, and puncheon
floor. We went in ox wagons to Stephenville or Ce-
manohe to mill. Stephenville was my postoffire."
Mr. Higgins owns a fine farm with a good home
and plenty of stock. His wife is a daughter of W. C.
HISTOR Y OF EASTLAND CO UNTY. 83
"There is a tide in the affairs of man,
^Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
We must take the current when it serves.
Or lose our venture.^' — Shakespeare.
Two young men in a land office in Dallas pondered
over the truth contained in the quotation above as they
again went over the map before them.
"We must take the current when it serves.
Or lose the venture."
" ^The current serves' now, for they won't put up
buildings at Merriman, I am told,'^ said one.
"We must take it, then, or else lose our venture."
These young men, late of the University of Ken-
tucky, had just bought from; J. A. Speers the C. S.
Betts survey, three hundred and twenty acres, central!}'
located, and had conceived the idea of moving the
County Town from Merriman, and locating it on their
On their way to Mansker Lake to have restrict
Clerk A. J. Stuart, who resided there, to record their
deed, the voung men met J. H. Ellison, to whoi^i
thev disclosed their purpose. "It can never be done,"
he said. The adverse opinion of the old frontiersmn?!
did not daunt them. Thev located the southwest corner
of the C. S. Betts survey, selected a slightly elevated
spot of ground between the North and South forks of
the Leon River^ made a rough sketch, and staked out
HISTOR T OF EASTLAISD CO UNTT. 85
the public square of Eastland, (the name the Legisla-
ture had provided for the county town), January 15,
After having em'ployed a Mr. Allen to cut logs for
the cabin to be raised in May, the young men, Jack
Daugherty and C. U. Connellee, returned to Dallas.
In May Mr. Connellee, accompanied by J. B. Am.,
merman, who had become a member of the firm, re-
turned. The survey of the town was completed, the log
house put up where the La Eoe Hotel (Mr. Greenfield
proprietor) now stands, cind a frame store-house built
on the lot now occuped by the Eastland County Bank,
in which was put a stock of general merchandise. The
goods and the lumber for the store were hauled in wag-
ons from Dallas, the nearest railroad point, by way of
Granbury and Stephen\^lle, thence on the Fort Griffiu
military road by way of Desdemona and Merriman.
From a point near where Uncle George Moss now lives,
and where the Texas and Pacific railroad crosses Colony
Creek, a road was blazed to the new town, and the
wagons proceeded. The drivers were Heath Hale and
George Martin. The founders encouraged settlement
by offering a deed fee siuiple of any lot to any person
who would put up either a residence or a business house.
Six miles west of Eastland lived John T. Townsend,
R. S. Drake, Ira Townsend, Tip Saunders, William
MJunn, and a few others lived on the South Fork of the
Leon; lower down the stream, nearer Eastland, were
Uncle Sandy Martin. Jack Drake, and others, and about
two miles northeast of the town C. E. Johnson
lived. He is the father of Dr. J. L. Johnson. With Mr.
86 HIS rO H Y OF EASTLAND CO UNTT.
Johnson boarded Mr. Connellee and his bride, and three
bachelors, — J. E. Gold, John S. Bedford, and William
Gwaltney, who were surveyors and interested with
J\ir. Johnson in farming and cattle raising. Down at
Mansker Lake, at A. J. Stewart's, there boarded a young
lawyer, who spent his spare time dreaming of a practice
that would some day be his. His dreams came true and
he presides over the District Court to-day.
A number of people availed themselves of the op-
portunity to get a lot in town. J . F. Davenport, now of
Cisco, built a house on the northeast corner of the
square, where Downtain's brick building stands,
and merchandised. Isham Finch built a hotel
on the southeast corner of the square. "It
was beyond question the ])est public place
of entertainment in the county at that tim-e
— there being no others." Major J. H. Davenport, for-
merly State Senator from Bell County, established a
law office on the south side of the square and published
the first newspaper in the county, "The Review. '^ J.
H. Calhoun, present District Judge, built a law office on
the north side of the square in 1876, which is now the
oldest house standing.
Other lawyers who established themselves in the
town at an early date were Frank Stanley, now a dis-
tinguished lawyer of Fort Worth, and D. B. Corley, the
I'.rst lawyer who came to Eastland City. The latter was
made Postmaster and established his office in Daugherty,
Connellee & Ammerman's store. Mr. Corley exhibited
the orginal "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at the Chicago
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 87
World's Fair, and is author of a book entitled "The
Lives of the Apostles/'
J. H. and J. C. Cox merchandized under the firm
name of Cox Brothers. J. H. Eversdale put up a saw-
mill and manufactured what was known as "rawhide
lumber" out of the oaks that covered the hills. This
enterprise greatly facilitated the building of small houses.
Later, Mr. Eversdale engaged in the mercantile busi-
ness and had the misfortune to lose his stock of goods
by fire in 1885.
Eev. J. C. Weaver, a Methodist minister, held the
first divine service in the town in the unfinished log
hotel being put up by Isham Finch. Rev. J. M. Lingo
organized the first Baptist Church.
In the summer of 1875, Daugherty, Connellee and
Ammerman made a proposition to the citizens to move
the County Town from Merriman to Eastland. The elec-
tion, held August 2, 1875, resulted as follows: East-
land, sixty-seven; Merriman, nine; McGough Springs,
forty-four; Center of the County, five, and scattering,
two. The gentlemen making the proposition had agreed
to erect a two-story stone building and donate the sec-
ond floor to the County for a court room as long as de-
sired, and entered into a bond of $5000.00 for its faith-
ful perforraance. This building is still standing on
the northwest corner of the square.
The county assumed a new dignity. The court had
a home and offices, and a number of lawyers located in
the town: J. E. Flemming, later Judge of the Dis-
trict; J. Ml. Moore, son of Chief Justice Mbore of the
Supreme Court of Texas, and who was appointed Sec-
88 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
retary of State under Governor Eoss; Judge E. 1\ Bil-
liard; J. E. Thomas of Dallas, who served as County At-
torney; T. H. Conner, now Chief Justice of the Court
of Appeals of Fort Worth, Texas; G. W. Ferryman;
A. Lawrence, who held the office of County Attorney
and Judge; E. B. Truly, at one time District Clerk;
and B. F. Collins.
Daugherty, Connellee and Ammerman offered the
Texas and Pacific Eailway Company one-fourth of the
lots in the town if the road were built through East-
land. In October, 1880, the first engine rolled into the
county town, which remained the terminus for several
months. J. B. Ammerman was m'ade station agent.
Eastland was now the distributing point for all
towns North, South and West; and also the starting
place for numerous stage and United States mail lines,
during which time it was a flourishing Western town.
Mr. Berry of Stephenville did a banking business in
Jake Alexander's store.
Keenly alive to the interests of the town, a commit-
tee of citizens went to Waco and offered to the company
projecting the Texas Central Eailway line through the
County the sum of $35,000.00 to build through East-
land. This offer was not accepted and the junction with
the Texas and Pacific was made at Cisco, ten miles west
Cisco was a precocious youngster, and wanted to be
the County Town. An election was held August 2, 1881,
which resulted as follows: Eastland, three hundred
and fifty-four; Cisco, three hundred and twenty-four.
The question settled, the Commissioners' Court let a
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 89
contract for the building of a court house at a cost of
$57,000,000. This three-story building of native stone
was put up in 1883-84. The original contract price
made with Lance and McEashen, contractors, was
$34,998.00, but the Commissioners' Court had to take
charge of it when half completed.
The County, aided materially by citizens of the town,
erected prior to this a stone jail on the public square at
a cost of $5,500.00. The jail was built by Messrs. Mar-
tin, Byrne and Johnson.
On Sunday morning at three-thirty o'clock, November
26, 1896, the court house was discovered to be on fire,
and was burned to the ground. Hill and Schmick and
Judge J. T. Hammons lost their libraries and office fur-
niture. Judge Calhoun, who officed in the building,
saved his library. The County's loss was $50,000.00,
with $30,000.00 insurance.
Two months later, on January 26, the question of
moving the County Town to Cisco was again voted upon.
Although Cisco offered to donate the land and erect the
building free of cost to the County, she failed to secure
the necessary two-thirds vote to remove the town to a
point outside of a five-mile radius from the center of
the County. The vote stood: Cisco, nine hundred and
forty; Eastland, five hundred and fifty-three; Carbon,
three hundred and fifty-live; Center of the County, six-
teen; Curtis, one, and Dustic one.
The contracts for a new court house and jail were let
at once. John White of Vernon, Texas, agreed to put
up a three-story fire proof building for $49,000.00.
The extras, including fence, furniture, etc., made the
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
house cost, when completed, $58,000.00. The fire proof
iail was built by J. A. White of Houston, for $10,000.00,
and furnished at a cost of $2,000.00.
Eastland ha^ thus grown from, a one-roomed cabin
in the woods to a substantial town — the capital of one
of the best counties in the State. It has an excellent
graded public school system, with an enrollment of three
A BASKET OF ARKANSAS BLACK APPLES FROM GUS HARBIN'S ORCHAE
hundred pupils, a commodious two-story building and
employs a Superintendent and four assistants. Three
churches — the Baptist, Methodist and Christian — ^have
organizations and buildings.
In this town are several organized bodies: A pro-
gressive Business Men's Association: a Woman's Lit-
erary Club — the Hawthorne — which founded and has
charge of the Public Library; and Masonic, Odd Fellow,
and Woodmen's Lodges. There are to be found here
HISTOHY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 91
three resident ministers, eleven lawyers, three doctors,
three dry goods establishments, four groceries, three
drug stores, two hardware and implement houses, one
bank, two livery stables, one wagon yard, three hotels,
two restaurants, two boarding houses, two barber shops,
two meat markets, one furniture store, two gins, a tele-
phone exchange with long distance connections, two
blacksmith shops, and two lumber yards. The town
is incorporated for municipal purposes, the tax being
only one-fourth of one per cent, and contains one thou-
The second National Bmk established in the county
opened its doors for business in the Autumn of 1890
with Major W. H. Parvin, now deceased. President, and
John T. Yeargin, Cashier.
Eastland County Confederate Association. — One of
the leading features of the historical, social and benevo-
lent interests of Eastland County is the organization
of this unchartered body. Its purposes have been so
thoroughly and uniformly adhered to, and so pleasant
and commendable that interest in its annual reunions
At the suggestion of our well beloved comrade, Dr.
S. H. Stout, who new sleeps in an honored soldier's
grave, a preliminary meeting was held in County Clerk
John T. Yeargin's office, February 8, 1886. The Con-
federates present were Dr. S. H. Stout, Colonel George
W. Shannon, John T. Yeargin, W. H. Day, H'cnry Hal-
lum, J. T. Kammonds, C. E. Johnson, Captain J. L.
Steele, and June Kimble. A committee consisting of
Messrs, Hardeman, Yeargin and Kimble was appointed
92 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
to draft a constitution and by-laws, and a call made for
a meeting, April 8, 1886.
The call was responded to by more than one hundred
gallant old Confederates who braved a storm for the
privilege of placing their names upon this roll of honor,
which yet remains intact. The following officers were
elected: Dt. S. H. Stout, President; Colonel George
Shannon, Vice President; June Kimble, Secretary:
John T. Yeargin, Treasurer, and the Rev. Jack Mc-
There are four hundred and ninety-three names
on the roll. Those who have passed over the river, and
those who have moved to other localities are so en-
tered, making it a true record.
The annual reunions of this organization, which
long since l^^came an institution of the, County, have
brought our people together for seventeen years, the
delightful gatherings numbering from three to five
thousand veterans, wives. Sons and Daughters, and
The constitution declares the object of this Asso-
ciation to be "historical, social, and benevolent." The
organization owns in fee simple a beautiful and con-
venient plot of ground, located one-half mile north of
the court house, consisting of five and one-half acres,
upon which it purposes to build a capacious tabernacle.
When the building is completed it vail pass into the
hands of the Sons and Daughters, who will doubtless
receive it as a sacred trust committed to them by their
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 93
J. S. DAUGHEKTY
Mr. Daughertv. the father of Eastland City, was
born in Missouri, August 25, 1S49, and educated at
Lexington University. Kentucky.
He came to Dallas in 1873^, and soon became in-
94 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
terested in a real estate business, and in the founding
of Eastland City. He was the author of the Business
League in the United States.
On his motion, the Dallas Board of Trade created
a committee on Public Interests in 1882. Under this
committee, of which ho was Chairman, three railroads,
the Galveston News as Morning News, and the head-
quarters of the T. & P. and M. K. & T. Ey. Companies
were brought into Dallas; the Fair was organized and
the Opera House and Merchants' Exchange Buildings
were built. Other prominent cities, Denver, Kansas
City, etc., organized Business Leagues.
In 1882 Mr. Daugherty was elected President of
the Real Estate Men's Association of Texas; in 1889
he was elected Chairman of the State Immigration As-
sociation, in 1892 he was appoi-rrted to represent Texas
in the '^'^G-ood Roads'' Committee of the United States.
and many of its policieb and principles were formed
He was unanimously chosen by the Trans-Mississippi
Commercial Congress at Denver to prepare an address
to the people of the United States on the silver ques-
tion. Richard P. Bland, then in Congress, adopted
this address as part of his argument on this question,
and it was printed in the Congressional Record.
Mr. Daugherty, who now resides in Houston, is still
a successful dealer in real estate.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
HON. C. U. CONNELLEE. EASTLAND
C. U. Connellee was born and reared among the pic-
turesque hills of Eagle Creek in Scott County, Ken-
tucky, and was educated in the A. & M. Pepartmejit of
the University at Lexington. He came to Texa-^ in
1874, located in Dallas, and engaged in the real estate
business and in the location of land certificates.
96 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
in March, 1875, he married Miss M^ttie Payne, of
Champaign County, Ilhnois, and came with her direct
to Eastland City, where he has ever since made his home.
In these ei^dy days he was Chief Marshal of all
the forces working for Eastland City and County, the
general sourct of information for all prospectors and
proposing immigrants. Others came and left, C. U.
Connellee stayed on; when the settler came in wanting
a quarter section of school land, C. U. Connellee knew
of one to point out to him.
In these days of railroads, telegraph wires and tele-
phone lines, one can scarcely appreciate the difficulty
of forwarding settlement in a heavily timbered county
with no means of direct com'munication, only wagon
roads over which to travel, and the nearest railroad
one hundred and fifty miles away. But under all dif-
ficulties Mr. Connellee held firm his faith in Eastland
As frontier agent for Daugherty, Connellee and
Ammerman he located lands, making frequent trips
west — even penetrating the Staked Plains for this pur-
pose, where he encountered Indians a number of times.
In 1887 he was elected to the State Legislature
from the District corriprising the counties of Eastland,
Stephens and Palo Pinto. As Eepresentative he
served one term, and was connected with the enactment
of several very important laws .
His present wife was Miss Tullie Folts Hardeman,
with whom he became acquainted while serving as Eep-
resentative, and shortly afterwards married.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 97
J. B. AMMERMAN, CISCO
J. B. Animerman was born January 5, 1855, on a
farm in Harrison County, Kentucky, and educated in
the public schools, and in the State University at Lexing-
ton, where he was a room-mate of J. S. Diaugherty.
After lea\dng school he came to Texas and in the
Spring of 1875 became associated with Mr. Daugherty
in the land business at Dallas, Texas, In this position
98 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
he became connected with the early settl foment of East-
land County, and in the founding and development of
Eastland City as the County Town.
He conducted land-locating parties when it was nec-
essary for every member to be heavily armed, penetrat-
ing the then trackless plains almost to the New Mexico
In December, 1880, he was married to Miss Lelia
Barlow of Bourbon County, Kentucky, and moved from
Dallas to Eastland City, where he served as the first
station agent of the Texas and Pacific Eailway. After
leaving the employ of the railroad company, he bought
William Cameron & Company's lumber business at
Eastland, and also established the first lumber yard at
Cisco. Later he engaged in the stock business and
bought a ranch six miles north of Cisco, which he still
In 1887 E. M, Hall, State Land Commissioner, ap-
pointed Mr Ammerman State Surveyor and Classifier,
and in thifj capacity he worked for the General Land
Office of the State of Texas and the Southern Pacific
Railroad Company for two years, surveying and classi-
fying some thousands of sections of land.
Finishing this work in the Spring of 1890, he has
since made his home in Cisco, where he has engaged
in various business enterprises. At the present time
he superintends one of the large ginneries in Cisco, in
which,, in addition to his square bale press, he operates
the pioneer round bale press of the county.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 99
Scott & Brelsfoed^
Associated Law OflBces, Cisco and Eastland.
This firm is composed of Judge D. K. Scott, of
Cisco, and H. P. Brelsford, of Eastland. The firm, as
at present constituted, was formed in 1892 and has
been in existence without change since that date. They
do a general State and Federal Court practice and main-
lain offices at Eastland and Cisco.
Mr. Scott has been several times County Special
District Judge. Mr. Brelsford is the present Eepre-
sentative from the 85th District. He served as Special
Justice of the Court of Civil Appeals at Fort Worth by
appointment of Governor Culberson.
L. A. HiGHTOWER.
MiT. Hightower established himself in his present
real estate and abstract business, which is confined en-
tirely to this county, in 1895. He now has an abstract
of every title in the county, which are in twenty-four
bound volumes of abstract books and indexes.
Mr, Hightower, who came to Texas from Arkansas
in 1864, located in Stephens County in 1876, where he
Avas engaged in the stock business and remained there
until he came to Cisco in 1883. He was married to Miss
Callie Alford in the city of Fort Worth, April 24, 1881.
They have seven children and have lived in Eastland
City since 1895.
In the early history of Cisco, Mr. Hightower kept
books for Park & Paterson and for Blake & Son,
100 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
The Connebs oe Eastland County.
Samuel S. Conner, born June 10, 1821, and hi?
wife, Margaretta L. Conner, born November 19, 1830,
settled in Eastland in 1876. They were from Virginia
and Kentucky families, and immigrated to Texas from
their native State, Indiana, in the early fifties, and
spent the greater part of their subsequent lives in Cald-
well, Ellis and Eastland Counties. They moved from
Ellis to Eastland County in the Fall of 1876, and are
now lying peacefully side by side in the graveyard
in the city of Eastland — S. S, Conner having died on the
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
!lth day of February, 1899, and M. L. Conner Novem-
ber 20, 1901. They were both strong characters and
through the many years' residence in this county be-
came widely known and universally esteemed, — conspic-
uous types of that sturdy Christian manhood and
womanhood that iiavemade our nation great-
As a result of their union, they reared the following
children, most of whom are now well known: Truman
H., Maud, Ella, Jennie, Claude L., and Earl.
The most distinguished member of this noble family
is the oldest son, Truman H. Conner. He graduated
103 EtSTOR T OP EASTLAND GO tJNTY.
in the Law Department of Trinity University, Texas,
in 1876, and was in the active practice of his profession
from the spring of 1877 until July, 1887, when he was
appointed Judge of the 42nd Judicial District, com-
posed of Eastland and other counties, by Gov. L. S.
Ross, and was thrice re-elected to the office. In 1898
Judge Conner was elected Chief Justice of the 2nd Su-
preme Judicial District of Texas, composed of ninety-
five counties, including Eastland. Since the date of his
present incumlbency, he has lived in Fort Worth.
Mjaud, whose home was never in Eastland, was married
to Col. John W. Coleman of Ellis County in 1871,
and they now live in Coke County, Texas. Ella was
married to Wm. S. Parson, of Ellis County, in 1872,
and they lived in Eastland a number of years as many
old settlers will recall. They have one daughter living
in the county- -Mrs. Craco Dreinhofer of Eanger.
Earl Conner is practicing law in Eastland and is
Claude L. Conner is well and favorably known, and
makes his home at Cisco with his sister Jennie, the wife
of the present District Judge, J. H. Calhoun.
All the Conners are and have always been, loyal in
their devotion to the best interests of the county and
mSTOR T OF EASTLAND CO UNTT. 103
JUDGE T. H. CONNOR
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
E. A. HILL, Mayor or Eastland City
In Tennessee, on July 16, 1865, the subject of this
sketch was born. Seven years later his father died.
Having been reared on a farm his education was lim-
ited to that aiiorded by the common schools and the
Dresden High School.
At the age of eighteen he entered the office of the
Dresden Enterprise and there served an apprenticeship.
In 1864 he oame to Texas and entered the law office
of Davenport -and Conner as a student, and was ad-
mitted to the bar June 11. 1885, at the age of twenty-
Mr. Hill was elected County Attorney in November,
HliiToR Y OF EASTLAND CO UNT7. 105
1888, and re-elected in 1890. He is a good lawyer, has
a well equipped library and office on the north side of
the Square, is a ready speaker, a good story-teller, and
an excellent entertainer. He is serving his fourth term
as Mayor of Eastland.
On December 14, 1892, Mr. Hill was married to
Miss Bessie, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Evans. Mrs.
Hill died in 1894. He was again married on December
25, 1892, to the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. H.
Mr. Hill enjoys in a marked degree the confidence
of his fellow townsmen.
The Eastlaxd Cheoxicle.
This creditable weekly Democratic paper is owned,
edited and published by Frost and Chastain, lawyers,
and is devoted to "Science, Literature, Eeligion, Poli-
tics, and the Upbuilding of Eastland County."
Judge Frost, son of B. Frost, a minister of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was born in Chat-
tanooga, Tennessee, in 1849. When only eighteen years
old he engaged in teaching "with little education, but
by hard study'' he familiarized himself with Natural
Sciences, and with the English, Latin, French and
Spanish languages. He came to Texas from Illinois in
1872, and was admitted to the bar to practice law in
Judge Frost was a member of the 26th Legislature.
Claude P. Chastain, the junior memher of the firm,
is a native Texan and was educated at Weatherford Col-
106 BrSTOR Y OF EASTLAND CO tJNTT.
lege (under David W. Switzer), and Baylor University.
He was admitted to the bar to practice law in 1897,
after having taught school for five years.
Mr. Chastain served as a Lieutenant in the Fourth
Texas Infantry during the Spanish- American war. Hp
was married to Miss Maude Harrison on September 25,
THE ADVENT OF THE RAILROAD.
The Texas and Pacific Railv^ay Company.
When it became known in Eastland that this great
East and West line had reached Fort Worth and would
be built on to El Paso there was great rejoicing in this
section of the country because of the development and
conveniences that would result. The settlements that
followed, the building and maintenance of schools and
churches, the cheapness of the lands (at that time from
tifty cents to one dollar an acre), all combined to in-
crease the population and develop the resources of the
The Texas and Pacific Railway Company was or-
ganized under an act of Congress, March 3, 1871, and
the general Railroad laws of the State of Texas. It
acquired the properties of the Southern Pacific Railroad
Company of Texas in 1872, which Company, at that
date, owned and operated the sixty odd miles of railway
between Shreveport, Louisiana, and Longview, Texas.
HISTOR r OF EASTLAND CO XINTY.
The Southern Pacific Eailroad Company was a consoli-
dation of the Vicksbiirg, Shreveport and Texas Rail-
roadj (chartered in Louisiana), and the Southern Pa-
cific Eailroad, organized under the laws of Texas.
THE BRAZOS RIVER BRIDGE
The N'ew Orleans Pacific Eailroad Company, (or-
ganized also under the laws of Louisiana), was consoli-
dated with the Texas and Pacific Eailway Company in
June, 1881. Early in the seventies the Texas and Pa-
cific also acquired the properties of the Southern Trans-
continental and The Memphis, El Paso and Pacific
Eailroads, both incorporated under the laws of Texas.
In those early days, the population of the State was.
of course, insignificant in numbers as compared with the
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 109
present time, and was confined mainly to the eastern
and coast counties. West of a line drawn through say,
Gainesville, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Cor-
pus Christi, there was, then, scarcely any white popula-
The charters granted hy the State to the Memphis,
El Paso and Pacific Keilroad, and to the Southern
Trans-continental Eailroad, were the results of efforts
made by the people of the counties of Bowie, Eed River,
Lamar. Fannin, Grayson, Cocke and Denton, to secure
this great East and West Eailroad.
The construction of railroads was in its infancy in
the early fifties, not alono in Texas, but in all other
The numerous laws passed by the early Legislatures
of Texas, offering subsidies to induce capital to come
liere and construct railroads, etc.. cL'^rly evidence that
the early pioneers and settlers of this goodly country
duly recognized and appreciated the necessity for artifi-
cial means of communication and transportation facili-
ties. This was practically true of Northern and Middle
Texas on account of the absence of rivers and other
The building of the great East and West Eailroad
across the State seemed then of early consummation
and efforts to secure it created considerable rivalry in
the counties in the Northern half of Texas.
These people were particularly strenuous in their ef-
forts to gain an advantage over the people living on the
line surveyed to Dallas and Fort Worth, now the main
line of the Texas and Pacific. As early as 1852, this
110 IIISTOR Y OF EASTLAND CO UNTY.
line, known as the Texas Western Eailroad had obtained
a charter, which later became known as the Southern
Pacillc, then the Texas and Pacific.
Little, however, was accomplished in the way of
extensive construction of any of these lines until that
master spirit, Colonel Thomas A. Scott, became identi-
THE STEAM SHOVEL AT WORK
fied with the Texas and Pacific enterprise, which was
in the year of 1871 — his connection continuing until
1881, or nearly up to the time of his death. During
the Scott regime that portion of the road between Tex-
arkana and Fort Worth, via Sherman, was constructed,
and from Texarkana to Abilene, via Marshall and
Mr. Jay Grould acquired control of the properties
mSTOR T OF EASTLAND CO UNIT. Ill
early in 1881, and to him is greatly due the credit for
the large extensions which were made to Texas and Pa-
cific properties about that time, to-wit: The extension
of the line to El Paso, and from Shreveport to New Or-
leans. More than half of all the mileage of the Texas
and Pacific was added during the incumbency of Presi-
dent Jay Gould, and was added (contrary to the idea of
the general public) without any aid or subsidy, landed
or otherwise, national or state.
This railway line extends entirely across Eastland
County, and has contributed largely to its agricultural
find commercial development.
With a diversity of soil — from sand to rich choco-
late loam; with an averae^ rainfall ; high hills and their
rich store of minerals, and the uplands and \ alleys that
produce anything agricultural, lands in Eastland have
increased in value and now sell from $5.00 to $40.00 an
While the road winds its way along the leading of
the Palo Pinto Creek and bridges the deep gnllie? that
feed it, and crawls around the cliffs and hills that
abound, the traveler, sitting in his comfortable sleeper
as it glides over the steel rails, looks out and admires
the rugged scenery with the little patches of valley that
make the picture more beautiful, but does not know
over what historic lands and scenes of romantic adven-
ture he is passing.
Eastland is ricJi in possibilities and offers the man
seeking a home many advantages.
Under the present management of Mr. L. S. Thome,
Vice President and General Manager; Mr. John W,
EISTOR Y OF EASTLA ND CO UNTT, 113
Evernian, Assistant G-eneral Manager; E. L. Sargent,
General Freight Agent, and Mr. E. P. Turner, G-eneral
Passenger and Ticket Agent, and its elficient corps of
Superintendents, the "Old Eeliable" has grown in popu-
larity and to-day stands without a peer in the State.
Mr. J. ^y. Ward is Superintendent of the Eio Grande
Division — Fort Worth to El Paso — with headquarters
at Big Springs.
The Passenger Conductors, Fort Worth to Big
Springs, are Messrs. McCUeod, Bogart, Tobin, Cole and
Smith; Engineers, Messrs, Foy, Baker, Craig, Dean and
The Texas Central Eailway
Made its entry into Cisco, May 20, 1881, and has
been a very great factor in the agricultural and com-
mercial development of ^he County.
In 1866 or 1867, the ^Houston and Texas Central
Eailway Company, which formerly controlled the Texas
Central, sent out Captain William Armstrong to locate
all public lands still unsurveyed. In this way Eastland
was sectionized, that is, the land was surveyed and cut
up into sections of six hundred and forty acres each.
When the road was disposed of to the present owners
it was in a most deplorable condition — a mixed train
ran every other day being the only passenger service.
Shortly after the present management assumed control.
*The State of Texas gave this company sixteen sections
of land for every mile of railroad it built between Hous-
ton and Denison.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 117
m the person of Colonel Charles Hamilton as Vice Pres-
ident and Greneral Manager^ and W. F. MbMillan as Gen-
eral Passenger and Freight Agent^ daily passenger trains
were put on and the interests of the line began to
When the Texas Central was built through Eastland,
lands along its route "that could hardly be given away,
are now worth fronx $20.00 to $40.00 an acre." This
is due to the discovery that in the sandy loam district —
which includes fully one-half of the County — there is a
clay subsoil which holds the water*. ^
About four years ago the travel on the road had so
increased that double daily trains were put on from
Waco to Dublin and in a few months this service was
extended to Cisco.
Many signs of improvement evidence the prosperity
and popularity of the road. The wooden bridges across
gullies and cr?eks, which gave two bridge gangs constant
employment from frequent replacing of timbers, have
been replaced by cemented stone structures, and only one
carpenter crew is required. A little Qurve in Steele's
Creek, betv/een Morgan and Fowler, was cut out liter-
ally, expense and all, by building a new track around
the curve. Carefulness and keen oversight seem to be
Colonel Hamilton's watchwords.
Not the least thing this management has done is the
*Tt is a well-known fact that sand, though not able of
itself alone to hold moisture very lond, parts readily with
what it has and makes vegetation welcome to almost every
drop it contains. Other soils, though capable of retaining
moisture, are chary of giving it to the roots that forage
liisi OR r OF Eastland co un'jy. iw
system of siniall parks and spots of green it maintam>
about its depots all along the line. The Company knows
the invest Piicnt is a good one, and keeps up the improve-
ments, although it is repeatedly rumored that different
roads want the property and would secure it if they
In the early days a joint ticket agent served the two
roads at Cisco. Mr. George Langston, present station
agent of the Texas and Pacific, and who filled the same
position at that time, served as first, and only, joint
agent. The present agent is Mr. Bulbrook, Sam Green -
hiJl, cashier, and Mr. Brown, operator.
Superintendent Ramsey Cox maintains headquarters
at Waco. The passenger conductors are Messrs Holt.
Hawkins, Hooper and Webster; Engineers; Bettis. Wig-
gins, Uloth, Myers and Cottrell.
JOYCE LANGSTON— " GOOD MORNING
GROWTH AND PROGRESS.
In 1S79 (?). when there were not more than half
a dozen families in this locality, Eeverend C. G. Stevens
established a post office at a pass way in the hills, one
mile west of town, and called it Red Gap. A fioorless log
school honse, with one small window was built, and Mrs.
Colistie Green tanght school. One half mile west of Red
Gap Postoifice, W. T. Caldwell had a store in which he
kept dry goods and groceries.
In 1880 the Texas and Pacific Railway pushed its
line on westward through Eastland County, but Red Gap
continued its existence, the railroad locating its depot
at Delmar. It was expected, however, that when the
Texas Central reached the Texas and Pacific a town
would be located at the crossing of the roads. Each day,
as the iron rails led nearer and nearer to this point of
crossing, saw new tents stretched, new covered wagons
taking their stand, and new faces in the rapidly growing
town which was called Red Gap. With the Texas Cen-
tral within one mile of the junction, and the Texas and
Pacific only a short distance west, many laborers and
their families helped to swell the number of inhabitants,
which now reached six hundred. Accommodating them-
selves to the only expression where it was supposed the
new town would be located, which was a wagon road
HISTORY OF EAtiTLAND COUNTY. 123
running east and west, the people had ''squatted*' on
either side of this thoroughfare. In thi'^ white town
were two or more stores of general merchandise, two or
three grocery stores, a numher of restaurants, doctors'
(Jf:ces, and Mrs. Haws' hotel, which stood about the mid-
dle of Broadway, between the Daniels and Broad well
homes. Dr. Vance, who arrived in Cisco April 1, 1881,
officed in the hotel group of tents.
Major Bob Elgin of Houston, who had charge of the
Land Department of the Houston and Texas Central
Eailway, assisted by Mr. Metzo, an engineer, with T. E.
Johnson as chain bearer, laid off the town. A platform
was put up where Mayhew & Company's feed store now
stands, and Major Elgin (who is a brother-in-law of
N. E. Wilson and lives in Houston), stood there for two
days and cried the lots. Mr. White secured the *firsl
lot, paying $175.00 for it, and selected from the hug?
map of the town Major Elgin had at hand, the one now
occupied by Cooper's livery stable.
As soon as the to^m was located and laid oif, the
inhabitants accommodated themselves to the permanent
arrangement and shifted to the most desirable positions
attainable and profitable to their business.
Among the business firms in the town at that tinne
^rere W. A. Stevens, general merchandise, who put up
the first store building); James Caldwell, Campbell
Bros., Adams & Sons, Miller & Wike, Porter (Will) &
Park, (who bought out Am'merman's yard) and Camer-
*Mr. R. G. Luse is the authority for the above statement.
I. Lamb thinks the first lot fell to Adams & Son, and was
the one now occupied by Mayhew & Co.'s warehouse, the
town being- first built facing the Texas Central railroad.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 135
on & Company, lumber, Taylor & Bedford (for whom
Vv'iUiam Gaiiltney, now banker, clerked), John Bice and
Yarbrough & Martin, druggists.* The front of a lit-
tle ten by twelve box store was given a coat of red paint,
^^nd the always and still popular "Red Front Drug
Siore" came into existence.
Mrs. Haws began the building of her hotel, which
was blown down in a furious gale but immediately re-
placed before the sale of lots, and managed the same
until her death in 1890. The Majenta, standing near
where HalFs v/agon yard is, was kept by Mr. Hoddinger.
Mr. W. D. Chandler had a boarding house where the
Broadway now stands, and Mts. Parker kept private
Shortly before the sale of lots took place a large
number of Millet's cowboys came into town and created
great consternation among the tent dwellers, as they
exercised great freedom in the use of their pistols, so
much so, in fact, that the constables of both Cisco and
Eastland City, together with the men summoned to as-
sist, were all night long (in somef saf<* place) devising
means for their capture. They made two arrests next
day, and this is no reflection on the courage of Constable
Alex Simerl, either.
The first bill of lumber sold in Cisco Avas to Hor-
ace Donaldson, who built the first residence on the lot
now occupied by Moody's blacksmith shop. About the
*Dr. Vance and Dr. McNeil witnessed the contract be-
tween the memhers of this last firm, Yarbrough furnishing
the means, and Martin the brains and time,
tAuthority, I. Lamb.
126 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
same time W. D. Chandler, T. M. Taylor, W. A. Stevens
and others were building homes, and J. K. Miller, Ed
Eppler, I. Lamh, B. F. James & Son, and Mjr. McCor-
mick were the carpenters.
Some of the names of those who were here in 1881,
not mentioned above, follow:
John F. Patterson, R. G. Luse, Charley Parks, Seth
Ramsey (now of Cottonwood), David Redfield of Ard-
miore. Judge Flemming oi Seattle, Henry Hilliard of
St. Louis, J. E. Luse and wife, Major Preveaux and wife
and sister (Mrs. R. G^. Luse), J. Alexander and wife,
Mr. Turknette, W. A. Rhoads, Captain Whiteside, R. B.
Vaughn, T. J. Worthington, W. J. Walker, Hugh Corri-
gan, Frank and Lee Jordan, Dr. M'ancill, J. T. Yeargin,
J. R. P. Chapman (who built the old Bunnell resi-
dence), J. W. Smith and wife, Nat Noel, Ed Morehead,
Traveling Auditor Perry of the Texas Central, John
Collins, Gr. W. Graves, T. E. Larimer, W. M. Freeman
of Dallas, J. R. and K. S. Fisher, John Gude, M. B. ,
Owen, who lost his life in the cyclone of 1893, J. J. I
Wallace, B. L Patp, Mr. Bunnell and family. Gomer
Williams, and Miles and Quitman Eppler, George
Daniels and W. A. Gude.*
A sixteen by twenty school house was put up
free of charge by B. F. James and Sons and J. K. Mil-
ler. In this building a Baptist minister, J. C. Finnell,
taught a day school. Here, also, a union Sunday school
was conducted. Mr. Chaflftn, a contractor on the Texas
Central Railroad, was the Superintendent. At the
*These names were furnished by Dr. Vance, W, D. Chan-
dler, I. Lamb and R. G. Luse.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 137
weekly prayer meeting every Wednesday night, which
was attended by all denominations, there was frequently
not standing room, "many being turned away/' This
school house was used for church purposes until the
different denominations erected their own buildings.
From time to time additions were made to the 16x20
school building, until it grew to be about sixteen by one
hundred and was known as the "long school house."
Mr. Frank Kynette, assisted by Mss Sallie Greer,
now Mrs. Eeed, were succeeded by Dr. Stout, who did so
much for the school and to^vn. Dr. Stout might prop-
erly be called the introducer and founder of the Public
Schools of Cisco. He came here when educational in-
terest was chaotic in condition, and being a man of deep
learning he proved himself a Joshua, leading his people
into a promised land that has since blossomed and
fruited many times.
Judge Flemming, aided and encouraged by Dt.
Stout, worked for a special tax for the enlarging of the
school house and the incorporation of the school dis-
trict, which at that time included four sections of land !
He lived in the town long enough to see his desire ac-
complished. Hugh Corrigan was a warm supporter of
Or. W. Graves was first Mayor of the town and Ed
The first graduating class was Burette Patterson.
Mamie Blake, Eva Winston and Laura Eichardson.
This was in 1888 while Charles T. Alexander was Su-
As the Texas and Pacific pushed farther westward
128 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY
inland mail routes were changed. It is interesting to
note the difference in conditions and times twenty years
ago and now. The Government now pays from $600
to $700 for the mails to be carried from Cisco to Eising
Star. In 1882 it paid W. li. Chandler $2400.00 an-
nually for carrying the mail from Cisco to Brown-
wood. There was no road. W. W. Smith and Jim
Tyson cut one through and the stage, which held from
six to eight passengers, began its daily run each way
(except Sundays). The first stand was at H. Mer-
lilFs, the second at Uncle Tommy Anderson's, where
the richly promising town of Kising Star is now lo-
cated, and the third at Clio, thirteen and one-half miles
north of Brownwood. The horses were changed at each
Travel and express being heavy, the coaches would
frequently be over full, and extra hacks would be pui
on, the lines sometimes clearing $100.00 per day.
Drivers were paid $30.00 per month and board. Mr.
Chandler kept two stables, one at DfeLeon and one at
Cisco. Fifty-five horses were used, twenty on the
During the four years Mr. Chandler held the con-
♦;ract the stage was robbed several times. At last, people
demanded that an officer go along. A Deputy Shcri-R'
at Brownwood accordingly climbed up on the seat Dy
t]]e driver. After having left Mr. M'errill's a couple
of miles behind, he saw a man coming toward them.
The Sheriff held his pistol cocked under the laprobe.
but coming nearer and seeing that the man was a mere
jrjip of a boy, he let the hammer down. When the care-
HISTOR Y OF EA STL AND CO UNT7. 139
less, kind-looking boy, was even with the driver, he cov-
ered the men with his pistol and ordered "hands up."
The bewildered Sheriff, however, presented his gun in
stead, and several shots were exchanged, as the frightened
horses broke into a wild run. Mrs. Bryan's trunk on
the back of the stage had four bullet holes in it, and
)}]-obably saved the lives of the passengers. Dave Hick-
man was the driver on that trip.
Life in the new town was gay from sunrise to sun-
rise, but gradually the fever heat passed away aiid the
people began to grow accustomed to each other and to
the conditions and assumed a more substantial attitude.
Cisco has never been a dead town, but has had sea-
sons of "excitement." Twdce has a *coal mine been
worked rather extensively within three miles of D Ave-
nue. Property has always been held at good figures.
Its two railroads and eight daily trains easily give it a
commercial standing superior to any other in the county.
The first N'ational Bank organized in the County
was located at Cisco. J. H. Kalcomb, President; F. C.
Le A'eaux, Cashier. Directors : J. J. Winston, C. H .
Fee, J. F. Patterson, A. B. Smith.
On April 28, 1893, Cisco was swept by a cyclone
tljat left but few houses wholly intact. At the time
there were only three storm houses in the town, and
the people were unprepared and unwatchful. The awful
*As an evidence that coal does actually exist in paying
quantities in this locality, the fact is cited that these mines
have been extensively worked. Twice have two or three
hundred miners been employed. The mines have never been
abandoned because the supply of coal was exhausted, but for
lack of funds.
130 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
storm came down upon them in all its resistless fury —
tearing, ripping and making havoc of homes. It dashed
and hurled man and beast, houses and trees and fences
in its mad rage, as it tore its way through the heart of
the town, leaving in its terrbile wreckage twenty-eight
dead and dying bodies for the glorious moon, which
came out immediately, to cast its pure light upon and
dispel the darkness. For months the debris lay in
the streets and on the corners, so entirely was the town
wrecked. To-day, however, there is no sign of the tor-
nado except the stunted tops of the hardy oaks which
still mark its path, while the residences are more mod-
ern and the business houses are of brick or stone.
There are five churches— Baptist, Presbyterian,
Christian, and Northern and Southern Methodist; the
Masonic Lodge, the chapter of Eoyal Arch Masons, and
the Masonic Lodge of the Eight of Adoption, who own
D. large corner building; the Independent Ordej of Odd
Fellows and Eebekah Lodge, who are arranging to pul
up a building; the Knight.- of Pythias, the Woodmen of
the World, the Civic Improvement League, the XX Cen-
tury and the Young Ladies' Departmental Clubs
(both literary), the J. U. G. (young ladies' social club),
md the W. C. T. U.; the active Ladies' Societies, Sun-
day Schools, Senior and Junior Epworth Leagues and
Endeavor Societies in all the churches; and the Country
Club, Park, and Cemetery Associations make an aggre-
gate of concentrated energy along all lines of physical,
mental and moral development.
Perhaps the one thing in which Cisco^ as a town.
,^S most interested is The Public Library, founded by
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 131
Mr. Frank Vernon, in 1894^ with one volume, Ben Hur,
wliich he purchased. The town responded then to the
call, many books being sent in at once. Shortly after
tliis ]Vfo. Vernon wrote Mr. Carnegie for a contribution
and secured $250.00.
When it contained four hundred volumes, tht
founder, whose health had failed, turned the library
over to the XX Century Club as a precious legacy, be-
ouea thing with the books all his love and energy for the
enterprise. Right well have the ladies kept the trust, for
it now contains one thousand volumes, has a furnished
room, and a paid librarian.
The one thing lying closest to the hearts of the mem-
l.-ers of the XX Century Club is a Public Library Build-
ing, for which they have a gradually growing fund. The
Young Ladies' Departmental Club, also working for
the building, has a bank account for the same purpose.
It is hoped that the town and the railway companies will
join in the near future in the City Park and erect a
handsome structure that shall be known as the Cisco
Union Depot and Public Library Building.
The Cisco Cemeteey Association was organized
March 15, 1899, with ten active and a number of asso-
ciate members. Mrs. J. D. Alexander was elected Presi-
dent; Mrs. C. S. Vance, Vice President; Mrs. M. T.
Whiteside, Secretary; L. E Brannin, Treasurer.
A charter was applied for and granted, and the nuem-
bers went to work at once to raise funds to enclose the
grounds. This and much more has been accomplished.
Xot only has a substantial fence been placed around
the grounds, but a handsome iron gate swings on huge
133 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
stone posts that were contributed by the owners of the
lieuders Quarry, and their transportation given by the
accommodating officials of the Texas Central Eailwa\
Company. The caps were contributed by Messrs. Ay-
cock & Allen, of Cisco. All unknown graves have been
marked with head and foot boards. Two hundred and
fifty shade trees have been planted, and last year twenty-
seven hundred and fifty feet of pipe were laid for water
Through the efforts of Mrs. Alexander a tract of
land contiguous to the Cemetery grounds was deeded
by the Texas Central Railway Company to the Associa-
tion for a park, and many trees, evergreens and flow-
ers have been planted under the supervision of the Tree
Committee. The finances are reimbursed, when neces-
sary, by a most efficient Soliciting Committee. In fact
the work accomplished in the short length of time is
imparalleled. The present officers are Mrs. J. D. Alex-
finder, President; Mrs. C. S. Vance, Vice President ; ^Irs.
J. H. Holcomb, Second Vice President; Mrs. Augusta
Mason, Secretary; L. E. Brannin, Treasurer. Trustees:
L. E. Brannin, C. S. Williams, J. J. Winston. J. Alex-
ander, Mrs. M. T. Whiteside.
Under the efficient management of these excellent
officers the work will progress until the Cisco Cemetery
will stand abreast of any.
Rebekah Odd Fellowship is to-day a great order:
symbolizing in itself strength, unity and sympathy, and
the desire to help that has made woman such a factor
in the organization. And this spirit, which gives force
to the principles of Friendship, Love and Truth, bind
HISTORr OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 133
together more than two hundred lives in Eastland Coun-
ty for the purpose of correcting the besetting sin of self-
ishness and for moral betterment of mankind.
Th6 Good Will Rebekah Lodge, Xo. 102, of Cisco,
was instituted by Mrs. Cynthia A. Brown, February 37,
1892, with ten charter members. To-day there are four
Eebekah Lodges in the county — Cisco, Rising Star, Gor-
man and Ranger — with a membership of over two hun-
Rebekah Odd Fellowship simply means making the
very best of life ^'I count this thing to be grandly
-.rue. That a noble deed is a step toward God."
The material for the above was furnished by Miss
Vlice Eddleman, Past Noble Grand of the Good Will
Rebekah Lodge, No. 102, Cisco, Texas.
Odd Fellowship, as a fraternity, stands without a
peer in number of members, wealth and activities for
good. Its Grand Jurisdictions, Subordinate Lodges,
Grand Encampments and Rebekah Lodges girdle the
Eastland County is blessed with six Subordinate
Lodges with a membership of over three hundred in
line, located at Cisco, Eastland, Ranger, Carbon, Gor-
man and Rising Star, which are working gloriously for
Friendship, Love and Truth, the grand pillars on which
our order stands for the uplifting of hunraanity. *
Cisco is a progressive and up-to-date town, with a
population of three thousand people. It has an altitude
*These paragraphs on Odd Fellowship were furnished
by Rev. W. A. Mason, a pioneer Texan, and Past Grand
Chaplain, now residing in Cisco.
134 msTonr of eastland county.
of nearly seventeen hundred feet. It is lighted with
electricity, has a good system of waterworks, a local and
long distance telephone system, two newspapers, two
wholesale grocery houses, two railroads, an oil mill, a
compress, three drug stores, two gins, two mills, an ice
plant, bottling works, steam laundry, a fire department,
silver cornet band, one tailoring establishment, two
banks, one exclusive shoe store, one jewelry store, three
hotels, seven dry goods houses, two exclusive millinery
establishments, ten groceries, four hardware, three res-
taurants, three blacksmith shops, three wagon yards,
two meat markets, a second-hand store, confectionery
and chili shops.
The history of the business interests that follow, to-
gether with the accompanying illustrations, fairly rep-
resent the town as it is to-day, although one or two
large concerns are not included. The following is al-
most a complete list of tlie business firms :
The Cisco Oil Mill.
Burton-Lingo Lumber Company.
Aycock & Shipman, Marble Works.
Hotel Hartman, N. K. Wilson, Proprietor.
J. W. Hartman & Son, Grocers.
Mercliants' and Farmers' Bank, W. C. Bedford,
Seldomridge Bros., Tailors.
St. John & Moore, Drugs.
C. H. Fee & Company, Hardware and Imlplements.
Davis-Garner Company, Dry G-oods.
Garner- Switzer, Groceries.
Mts. J. D. Alexander, Millinery.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 135
Citizens' Xational Bank, A. H. Johnson, Cashier.
Hall & Taylor, General Merchandise.
G. B. Kelley & Co., Dry Goods.
J. J. Martin & Co., Drugs.
E. M. Brown, Exclusive Shoe Dealer.
George D. Fee c^ Company, Dry Goods and Gro-
Lizenbee & Littlepage, New and Second-Hand
S. 0. Love, Blacksmith and General Eepair Work.
T. J. Clark, Chili Stand.
C. H. Kinsey, Staple and Fancy Groceries.
J. H. Erwin, Hardware, Implements and Machinery.
W. L. Williams, Confectioner.
T. J. Worthington, Furniture.
Ammerman & Harris, Meat Market.
Willie Walker's Barber Shop.
Slater's Chop House and Bakery.
J. W. Smith, Hardware.
J. J. Winston, Groceries.
Vv'ebster, Hill & Baker, Wholesale Grocers.
M. T. Jones Lumber Company.
Cooper's Livery Stable.
J. M. Eadford, Wholesale Grocer.
Arlington Heights Hotel, C. M. Pitcher, Proprietor.
Eppler & Eussell, Blacksmiths.
Mayhew & Company, Hardware, Implem^n^ and
Ward & Company, General Merchasidise.
E. E. Kean, Dry Goods.
Dingle & DeSpain, Druggists.
MR. AND MRS. FRANK VERNON
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 137
The Texas Immigratioii Land Comipany.
Mancill Brothers Hardware Company.
A. Owen, Dentist.
Mrs. F. Vernon, Insurance.
Collie Brothers, Printers.
Mr. Frank Vernon.
The subject of this sketch, now deceased, was a most
prominent factor in the development of the town from
the time he came in 1891, as editor of the Round-Up,
until his departure for a climate that would help him
to hold the life fast ebbing away.
Having made journalism a life study, lie published
a crisp, newsy Democratic weekly paper, and became fa-
vorably known throughout the State in editorial circles.
He was a prominent member of the Texas Press As-
sociation, serving twice as its Secretary, and he was also
affiliated with the National Editorial Association.
There are several enterprises in Cisco as evidences of
his energy and capabilities, the most distinguished of
which is the Public Library, the most practical the
telephone exchange and first long distance system in
Since he went to his reward, Ms wife, who has lived
here with their three children, and his mother, has done
an insurance business, which is steadily growing. Mrs.
Yernon is one of four women in the State who handles
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COVNTV. 13.)
Tjie Burton-Lixgo Company.
Being a branch yard of the well-known Burton-
Lingo Lumber Company of Fort Worth, has been located
in Cisco for the past five years.
They carry a large supply of everything in the build-
ing line, and having their own mills are enabled to meet
all competition. This company also carries the most
complete and 1)est grade of luml)er in West Texas.
Mt. J. T. Berry is local manager.
.7. W. Haetman & Son.
Wholesale and retail grocers. Established 1883.
When Cisco was a verv new town Mr. Hartman first
became a citizen and has always identified himself with
every forward miove. During the twenty years he has
resided in the town, he has ])een engaged in the grocerv
In the handsomie Hartman-Owen block is situated
the Hotel Hartman, and the buildin?: where the above
firm retails groceries.
Mr. Hartman^s home life is complete with a Avife
and three children — two daughters, and a son who is in-
terested in the business with his father. One daughter
is married and lives in Cisco. The other, the pet of the
household, is still in school.
C. n. Fa.i:-;^ iiKSIDENCE
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 141
C. H. Fee & Co.
The hardware, furniture and implement house of
C. H. Fee & Co. stands without a peer in the County.
In August, 1883, Mr. Fee located in Cisco and es-
tablished the business which has grown to such magni-
tude as to require the use of three large buildings.
Mr. Fee was born in Oxford, Mississippi, and edu-
cated at the State University located there. He is of
Scotch-Irish descent and comes of a high-toned and
godly ancestry. He has been an important factor in
the development of Cisco, and has been identified with
every enterprise for the advancement of its interests.
^Ir. H. C. Eominger, who has been a resident of the
town for many years, is a member of this popular fin \.
The Texas Immigration Bureau
Has been organized to help build up Texas, and espe-
cially the counties of Eastland, Shackelford, Stephens
and Young. The object of the Bureau is to induce peo-
ple living in the N'orthern States to move to Texas — an
empire within itself.
A man is kept continually on the road looking up
people who wish to locate in this great State. The fol-
lowing agents represent the company:
H. B. Faris, Breckenridge, Stephens County.
Webb & Hill and Matthews & Blanton, Albany,
Judge E. F. Arnold, Graham, Young County.
H. L. Winchell, who is Vice President and General
Manager of the organization, maintains headquarters at
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 143
Cisco, and is a.o-cnt for tliis Coimtv. Ht' also iiiakcs loans
and writes insurance.
The officers of the Bureau are :
H. F. Faris, Clinton, Mo., President.
H. L. Winchell, Cisco, Vice President and General
F. J. Faris, Cisco, Secretary and Treasurer.
W. M. Godwin, Clinton, Mo., Traveling Commis-
This organization will not only help build up East-
land and these other counties, but the town of Cisco,
being headquarters, will be greatly benefitted.
Cotton Seed Oil Mill.
This plant was established in 1896 by Reynolds
Brothers with a capital stock of $100,000.00. William
D. Eeynolds, President; George T. Reynolds, Vice
President; D. C. Campbell, Secretary and Treasurer; P.
W. Reynolds, Resident Manager.
All the product of the mill, except the oil, is utilized
in the feeding of three to five thousand cattle each sea-
The men representing this business were pioneer
settlers of Stephens County and have had hair-breadth
escapes in many an Tndi;in raid. Mr. George Reynolds,
who noAv lives in Fort Worth, has a silver bridle that
once belonged to an Indian Chief whom he killed in
battle, and who gave him. an ari'ow-head in memory of
the occasion, which he wore emhedded in the m;uscles of
his back for more than seventeen years.
^ ^ ^ 1
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS HOTEL
HISTOR T OF EASTLAND CO UNTY 145
The Arlixgton Heights Hotel.
This hotel is situated on the hill, and hence justifies
Ml-. Pilcher's claim that it is "Sixty feet nearer heaven
than any other in the city."
From the accompanying cut one observes that there
is a hom-e-like look about the place.
Some of the prerogatives of this hotel are the "family
^tyle of serving meals, the home-made butter and milk,
the biscuits like mother used to make, and the large,
Mr. Pilcher is a member of the Sovereign W. 0. W.
Cisco Camp, Xo. 500, and has served the town several
times as Marshal.
Citizens' National Bank.
President, Dr. J. P. Webster; Vice President, J. J.
Butts; Cashier, A. H. Johnson ; Assistant Cashier, M. S.
Stamps. Directors: J. P. Webster, J. J. Butts, J. J.
Winston, A. L. Mayhew, A. H. Johnson and W. D.
This institution, organized in February, 1902, the
only National bank in the county, is strictly a home en-
terprise, those who are interested being identified with
Cisco and Eastland County.
The business, which is constantly growing, has been
from the first both satisfactory and profitable to the
The managem'ent of the Citizens^ National Bank is
THE MERCHANTS' AND FARMEKS" BANK
HISTORY OF EASTLAXD COUNTY. 147
The Merchants' and Farmers' Bank
Was established in 1898 by ;W. H. Eddleman and
opened ready for business on March 16th, with |W. C.
Bedford as Cashier, and W. J. Eddleman as Assistant
Through the careful management of Mr. Bedford
and his able assistant the bank has been a paying insti-
tution from the beginning, growing steadily from year
to year, and is to-day the. largest banking interest in the
Mr. W. C. Bedford, vrho was born in Georgia, and
reared in Alabam'a, came to Texas in 1876. With the
exception of five years spent in successful mining opera-
tions in Arizona, he has been continuously in Eastland
County, having twice served the County as Clerk, 1890-
W. J. Eddleman was born, reared and educated in
Weatherford, Texas, and has had exceptional advantages
in learning the banking business. He is the only son
of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Eddlem'an.
Mr. Wesley Tebbs is the efficient Collector of this
President, W. H. Eddleman; Vice President, George
P. Levy; Cashier, W. C. Bedford; Assistant Cashier,
W. J. Eddleman.
Nineteen years ago the senior partner of the above
firm came to Cisco. An indomitable energy and a de-
termination to succeed were his only capital. He em-
barked in the dry goods business with Col. J. H, Hoi-
148 HISTOR Y OF EA STL A ND CO UNTY.
comb, buying an entire half interest on a credit. In
1893 he bought out his partner and was sole owner of
the business until March, 1903, when he sold a half in-
terest to J. H. Garner.
Mr. Davis is "All the way from Pike," (having been
bom in Pike County, Missouri, 48 years ago) . He was
reared on a farm and received his education in subscrip-
tion schools and in William Jewell College. In 1875 he
came to Texas, crossing Red River the day he was
Mr. Davis is a Missionary Baptist, believes in and
supports church work and charitable institutions. His
family consists of one good wife and four children.
Mr. G-arner, the junior partner, is a young man and
has been remarkably successful in business. He was
just out of Howard College, Tennessee, when he came
to Texas eight years ago. It is no less his own
personality than his push and energy that has greatly
increased the business of the firm since he became a
member. He is a working member of the Methodist
church. His wife is a daughter of Rev. S. W. Turner.
This firm is a success in every sense of the word, due
largely to the fact that it pays cash for every bill of
This first-class hostelrv is kept by Mr. N. R. Wilson
and his estimable wife, and is the only "$2.00-a-day"
hotel in the town. Being experienced in the hotel busi-
ness they are able to cater successfully to the public.
Mr. N". R. Wilson, "Uncle Nat,^^ as he is familiarly
known, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1824.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
Having emigrated to Houston, Texas, when only fifteen
years old, he was a citizen of the Eepublic of Texas, an
honor not to be Hghtly esteemed.
In 1858, while merchandising in Weatherford,
N. R. WILSON
Parker County, Texas, he married Miss Katherine
Smith, daughter and twelfth child of Saul Smith, who
was one of the early Commissioners of that county.
Having returned to Houston, he los't his wife there of
yellow fever. She left three children, Warner, Charles
Mr. Wilson is an Episcopalian. His present wife a
Virginian by birth, is a member of the Presbyterian
150 HlSTOnr OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
Webster, Hill & Baker.
This wholesale house was established by Cameron,
Hill & Baker in 1897, and was successfully run under
that management until January 1, 1902, when Cameron
and others were succeeded by Dr. J. P. Webster.
Tins house carries a couiplete, up-to-date wholesale
stock of groceries, and no firm is more favorably known
in this section of the country.
The President, Dr. Webster, lives in Weatherford,
but superintends the business in person. In his ab-
sence his place is filled by his son, J. G. Webster, a resi-
dent of Cisco.
Eppler & Russell.
Nineteen years ago, when there were only two farms
between Cisco and Rising Star, and all the cow-boys for
twenty to thirty miles around came here to get their
horses shod, Mr. Sol Eppler came to Cisco, bought an
interest in the blacksmith shop owned by Mr. T. W.
Plummer, and has since been working at the same stand
and at the same prices. Business has rarely been so
dull that he did not have a partner — usually enough
to give both niiore than they could do.
The firm has three forges well equipped, owns a
G0x24-foot building, and is capable of meeting all calls.
Mr. Eppler, who has been in Texas fifty years, has
a wife and three children.
Mr. M. B. Russell was born in Georgia, and came to
Texas in 1894, locating here two years ago. He is an
HIS^ORT OFEASTLANDjCOUNTy.. 151 ^
energetic young man, a member of the Presb3^terian
church and has a wife and two children, and possesses
a pleanantly situated home.
Mayhew & Company, Hardwake
This rapidly growing business v/as established in
I'JOO, and carries a full line of implements and grain,
both for the retail and wholesal^irade.
They handle the famous Blue Ribbon line of bug-
gies, the old reliable Fish Bros, and Peter Schuttlei
wagons, and the Moline and Bradley lines of imple-
Having their own corn mill, they are enabled to offei
for sale only the very best grain products the market
affords. They carry a full stock of all kinds of field
seeds, and are extensive pecan dealers, having shipped
eleven carloads from Cisco the fall of 1902.
In addition to their grain and implement business,
rhey deal extensively in live stock, and always have
mules and horses to sell, either for cash, trade or on
The senior member of the firm, Aaron L. Mayhew,
has charge of the implement and livestock department,
Avner L. M]ayhew of the grain department. Both are
Mississippians, the Junior member unmarried. These
gentlemen are courteous and willing to extend any favors
in keeping with conservative business.
The firm enjoys the patronage of Eastland and ad-
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY
INTERIOR VIEW OF GEORG
George D. Fee & Company.
This firm was established in 1898 in its own new
double-brick building, and carries dry goods and gro^
ceries. Be it said to the credit of this firm that the old
stock is disposed of at the end of the season at an enor-
mous discount and new and up-to-date goods are always
on the counters. The clerks are experiencel and cour-
Mt. George Dawson Fee, the head of the firm, thougli
quite a young man, is thoroughly conversant with his
business in all departments. He was educated at Ox-
mSTOR Y OF EASTLA ND CO UNTY
FEE & CO.'S STORE
ford University, Mississippi, and later took a business
course at Atlanta, Georgia, coming to Cisco in 1889.
Mr. Fee is a member of the Methodist church and
has a wife and three children.
Mrs. J. D. Alexander.
Mrs. Julia D. Ivnowlton-Alexander, born in Farm-
mgton, Maine, June 21, 1858, came from the original
family of Knowltons, whose ancestry can be traced back
to those of Cheswick, Kent County, England. She is a
lineal descendant of Col. Thomas Knowlton, a hero of
the Revolutionary War, whose bronze statue was erected
on the grounds of the State Capitol, Hiartford, Conn.,
MRS. o. ^. „„EXANDER
M18T0R T OF EASTLAND CO tlNTY. 155
on the loth day of Xovember, 1895, at which time i^he
Knowlton Association of America, of which Mrs. Alex-
ander is a member, was formed. It holds its annual
meetings in connection with the Bunker Hill Associa-
ion. The family is a distinguished one, and has held
prominent positions for many years.
Mrs. Alexander, who came to the South twenty-five
years ago, has been an active business woman in Cisco
for twenty-three years, and brought the first stock of
millinery and fancy goods to the town. She is ever
ready to extend a helping hand to the needy, and no
v/oman in the county holds so many prominent positions
in fraternal and other organizations. She is serving
her seventh year as Secretary of the State Eebekah x\s-
sembly, I. 0. 0. F. She was the fiEst lady in the State
to receive the Decoration of Chivalry, the highest com-
pliment that can be paid to woman by the Patriarch Mili-
tant of the State, for meritorious work done in promot-
ing the interests of the order. She was the first woman
ever appointed State Organizer of the Lodge of Adop-
tion of the Scottish Eite ]\Iksons of the thirty-second
degree. She is State Treasurer of the Texas "Woman's
Press Association, although a member of only three
years' standing, and a member of the Leasrue of Ameri-
can Pen 'Women of Washington, D. C.
Tn 1893 Mrs. Alexander was appoint?d a Commis-
sioner from this County to the World's Fair held in Chi-
cago, and is Lady Chairman of Eastland to the St. Louis
Exposition. She organized the first Civic Improvement
League in Cisco and devised the plan of work.
In the home Lodges Mrs. Alexander is Admirable
MR. J. ALEXANDER'S RESIDENCE
HI8T0R Y OF EASTLAND GO UNTY. 157
Mistress of the Lodge of Adoption, Past Matron of the
Eastern Star Chapter, A. F. & A. M., and Past Pro-
tector of the Knights and Ladies of Honor. She served
two years as ^oble Grand in the Eebekah Lodge and
four as Chaplain. She has recently been oppointed by
the N"ational Society of the Daughters of the Revolution,
Eegent for Cisco.
Mr. Alexander, who came to this county m 1881. was
for a long while in the dry goods business. He is now
an extensive cotton buyei and insurance agent. Mr.
and Mrs. Alexander are earnest supporters of any move
that will advance the interests of the town.
Mrs. Will Kleiner
Has 240 acre^ of land under fence one mile north of
(Jisco. Twenty-five acres of this plot has been put in an
orchard and vineyard. There are 1200 trees — apple
pear, peach, plum and apricot, all of which grow and
Seven thousand blackberry and dewberry vines fur-
nish Mrs. Kleiner with more berries than the town of
Cisco can consumiC, and the surplus is put into jam and
cordial, which she dispenses to those who want it.
Tn this vineyard three thousand grape vines thrive
and yield enormous quantities. The owner expects to
put up 100 gallons of grape juice next season for sacra-
This property is valued at more than ?6000.00,
158 HI8T0R 7 OF EA STL A ND CO UNT7.
The Eed Front Drug Store.
This popular drug store was established by M'j. Yar-
brough soon after the sale of lots in 1881, and has only
changed hands twice, Mr. St. John having bought it
from the Bon. 0. T. Maxwell.
The present proprietor came to Texas in 1877 and
MAYOR R. A. ST. JOHN
followed the profession of teaching until fourteen years
ago, since which time he has been in the drug business.
In 1902 he was elected Mayor of Cisco and has
proven himself a most efficient officer. To his inde-
fatigable efforts is due the formation of the Country
Club and other important measures. At present his
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 159
energies are directed towards securing from the railway
companies a miore comimodious Union Depot, mth flat-
tering prospects of ultimate success.
Mr. St. Jolm is a prominent member of the Baptist
Church, has a most excellent wife and seven children.
Dr. a. Owen.
Born in Tennessee, Dr. Oven received his literary ed-
ducation at Athens College in that State. He came to
Eastland Count}^, Texas, twenty years ago, and engaged
in teaching. The next year he went hack to his native
State for an helpmxate, and togerher they began to lay
by the large property they enjoy to-day. The plan pur-
sued was to put the salary received for teaching into
land and cattle, and at that time the price of both were
low as compared to the present.
Dr. Owen has diplomas from, the Dental Department
of the State University of Iowa, and from the celebrated
Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, Baltimore, Md.,
and enjoys a large practice.
His conversion fifteen years ago at Bedford Chapel,
he considers the most imrortant event of his life. His
religion is his business — lie lives it. ,While engaged in
\\\Q drug business in the town of Eastland he was re-
ceived into the Methodi?t Church and baptized by the
"Rev. Jno. Lane.
Thirteen years ago he moved to Cisco and has since
been prominently identified with the forward move of
160 HISTOR YOF EA 8TLAND CO UNTY.
M. T. Jones Lumber Co.
This Company, which does a wholesale business ex-
tending over many States and Territories^ maintains
headquarters at Houston, Texas. Its large mills are
located at Orange, Texas, from which place an exten-
sive trade has been carried on with Europe and Mexico.
The Mj. T. Jones Lumber Co. is one of the large
concerns that has kept pace with tlie moving frontier
line of Texas, having always had in operation a num-
ber of retail yards in the State.
The Cisco yard, which has done a continuous bus-
iness since its establishmient in 1881, carries a large
stock of all material usually found in a lum^ber yard.
A number of men have had charge at different times,
but Ihe present manager, H. L. Broadwell, has been
stationed here for nearly thirteen years. All those
who have business with this firm will be welcome call-
ers at the Cisco office.
Since the above was written this yard has been
bought by Eockwell Bros. & Co., and is now The Cisco
Lumber Company, with Mr. Broadwell as local man-
J. M. Eadford GR0Cp]Ey Company.
Wholesale grocers. Established 1883. Capital
stock, $200,000.00. Surplus, $300,000.00.
The Radford Grocery Company is one of the largest
distributors of staple and fancy groceries in Texas and
has houses at Cisco, Abilene, Stamiford and Sweetwater.
The house began business in a very modest way in Abi-
H18T0R T OF EASTLAND GO UNTY. 161
lene in 1883^ and has grov;n until it is one of the largest
johhiiig houses in the Slate.
The members of this firm! know personally all their
customers and the majority of people living in their
trade territory. They are broad in ther views, are hus-
tlers for business and stand ready to give good service
and extend all favors that are in line with conservative
demands and good judgment. If you desire to start
in business^ consult them.
The officers of this company are J. M. Eadford,
President; J. F. Handy, Treasurer; E. A. Batjer, Secre-
John J. Winston.
Mr. Winston, son of Col. Samuel and Isabella Win-
ston, was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Com-
ing to Cisco in 1883, he has greatly aided in the devel-
opment of the town and County. He was for severai
years a direcetor of the First National Bank of Cisco,
and was one of the organizers of the water company.
He is a large owner of bank stock, farm lands, busi-
nesF and residence property, and by his fair and cour-
teous treatment and close attention, he has built up an
extensive mercantile business. He is a director in the
Citizens* National Bank, has much faith in Eastland,
and all of his investments are here.
Mr. Winston, who married Miss Ella Barlow, of
Bourbon County, Kentucky, has one child. Barlow, a
boy of eight summers. Mr. and Mrs. Winston give many
elegant receptions in their spacious home, which is al-
ways open to their friends.
The Christian Church, in which Mr. Winston has
HI8T0R Y OF EASTLAND CO UNTY.
served as Elder for seventeen years, finds in him a lib-
eral supporter, a zealous worker and a true friend to
Mr. Winston's successful business career has been
founded on a true Christian character.
w. l. wilson
The Cisco Apert.
In 1892 Mr. Warner L. Wilson established a new
paper in the town of Cisco and gave it the unique name
The Apert, which has always been Democratic, is
HISTOR 7 OF EASTLAND CO UNTT.
tlie oldest printing estalilishment in the County under
The editor, Mr. Wilson, is a native Texan and
flouston is his birthplace. While he is a staunch Demo-
crat, he entertains liberal views and is generous toward
those who differ with him.
The Cisco Electric Light Company.
Cisco was born in darkness and remained so until
Wood McSpadden and Mayhew & Company decreed there
was to be light.
The mandate went forth in the Summer time of 1903
164 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
and down at the power house of the Cisco Electric Light
Company is generated the spark that glows over pulpit
und office desk ; that flashes across and gleams afar down
the dark streets; that makes the beautiful homep more
beautiful and accentuates the spoken word in church
The promoters of this enterprise are men who are
ready to further large undertakings.
^Ir. MicSpadden, who at one time was owner of the
telephone exchange and materially enlarged and
strengthened that service, set up the light plant, wired
t]"je buildings, and, pressing the button, turned on the
Wood IMcSpadden is a very young man, was born
in Tyler, Texas, and displays much energy and business
acumen. He was married in 1899 to Miss PTines
Mitchell and has one child.
Mayhew & Company are thoroughly abreast of the
advance interests of the town, and prominently identi-
fied with several enterprises.
J. L. G. Adams — Eye Specialist.
"Seeing is believing,^' and from the truth of this
proverb many testify to the ability of Dr. Adam,s, who
vras partly raised in this County. After having grad-
uated from the Chicago College of Medicine and Sur-
gery in 1895 he located in Cisco. He usually maintains
four or five different offices in as many different places,
associating himself with a leading physician.
Since 1895 he has taken Post Graduate courses in
the following institutions: Illinois College of Medi-
INTERIOR VIEW OF MARTIN & CO.'S DRUG STORE
SiSTOR T OP EASTLAJSl) CO tJNTt. 167
cine and Surgery and the College of Ophthalmology and
Otology, St. Louis.
Some of the cures Dr. x\dams has effected are little
short of the miraculous — reading vision after twenty
years darkness, because of scarred eyes, after continued
terms in the Blind Asylum, or after treatment at va-
rious well known hospitals.
Dr. Adams is a skilled surgeon, and has straight-
ened many hundreds of eyes. Leading physicians
everywhere testify gladly to his ability as an oculist.
His practice is limited to diseases and deformities of
the eye that are curable, which are about ninety-five per
cent. He has references from many who have been pro-
nounced hopelessly blind and were led to his office, but
who received sight after having received his treatment.
Dr. Adams is associated with Dr. B. F. Jones and
offices over the Merchants' and Farmers' Bank.
The year 1875 had passed into history, yet
no hunter nor early settler, with his ax, his
gun and his dog, disturbed the pudder of the wild tur-
key mothering her young, the feeding of the prairie
chicken in the high sage grass that abounded, nor the
gambols of the deer that sported on the banks of the
streams. But in the dawn of 1876 a star of
promise began to shed its radiance, and in the light of
its dawning six families from G^regg County wended
16g His TORY OP EASTLAND CO VNTT.
their way to the valley, over which it settled and made
their homes there. These fortunate pioneers were W.
W. Smith, Dave MoKinley, Isaac Agnew, Fletcher
Fields, Allie Smith and Andy Agnew. Finding good
hoil, abundance of wild game, and water, they decided
to remain permanently, and began the improvement of
■ heir claims. Fort Worth M^as the nearest railroad sta-
tion, and from this town and Waco the people bought
their supplies and marketed their products.
In these early days, 1876-1879, the mail was brought
once a week from Sipe Springs on horse back. Mr. Os-
borne, who lived two miles east of where Eising Star
is now located, was the postmaster. It may or may
not have been this postmaster who could not read and
whose wife carried the mail in her pocket. iWhen a call
was made she handed the letters to the party and he,
taking out his own, returned the rest. She carried one
for the postmaster a week.
When application was made for a postoffice, Osborne
was suggested as a name, but the authorties sent *E,ising
In the Fall of 1879 Uncle Tommy Anderson bought
j'i om Dave McKinley the tract of land on which the
town has been built. In the Spring of 1880 he moved
tlie postoffice to his home and put up a small storehouse.
Here he kept the postoffice, groceries and farm supplies.
In 1883 a larger store was built near liv. Eince which
time the town has 'grown steadily, and now numbers
c'bout seven hundred souls.
*It is siaii that Mr. Anderson, a son-in-law of Mr. Ag-
new, suggested the name of Rising Star.
Sis f on Y OP EASTLAND CO tINTt. 165
The people early evinced a strong de-^i.e for enlight-
ej>ment by raising a 10x12 log school house and electing
a Mr. Bill Welch as teacher. Mr. Welch was thor-
oughly in harmony with his environments^ often teach-
ing under the branches of the trees, and not infrequently
going to school barefooted. This small, floorles>, log
school house stood one and one-half miles east of the
i-)resent town. A few years later a better and a larger
log house was built near the cemetery, and here many
of the substantial citizens of this County were educated.
Mr. James Irby, who came here in 1877, was one of the
The business interests of the town are represented by
loyal citizens. There are several large dry goods and
grocery firms, drug stores, hardware, a bank, hotel, and
the usual number of smaller shops and eating houses.
There are two newspapers, five church buildings with
as many organizations, and a handsome school building
with seven teachers and three hundred and fifty pupils.
The town is supported by a very rich farming and
truck growing district of fifteen miles radius. The soil
j? a light !?and with a red clay subsoil and is especially
adapted to the drouthy climate. Corn, cotton,maize, cane
and oat$ grow luxuriantly ; berries, apples, peaches, plums,
apricots, grapes and all kinds of fruits are easy and proli-
fic producers. As a truck growing section it has no su-
perior. Cabbages, without irrigation, have produced
heads weighing thirteen and a half pounds, beets have
weighed twenty-five pounds, onions two; tomatoes, and
potatoes of both varieties, grow easily and are heavy
UNCLE JIM TYSON GATHERING APPEES
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 171
The nearest railroad point is about twenty miles.
Carloads of fruit and vegetables rot on the ground for
lack of convenient shipping points.
In 1903 forty- five hundred bales of cotton were
marketed and forty-two hundred were ginned by the
two plants heje. This same year eighteen thousand bales
were ginned at the ten plants within the neighborhood
of the Star country.
This section of the county is especially free from
grasshoppers, boll weevil and all crop and garden pests.
Albert Tyson is the founder and proprietor of this
If one w:nnts truths frankly told; if when one is hit,
one prefers the blow to come straight from the shoulders,
one would do well to read Mr. Tyson's paper.
The illustration on the opposite page represents Mr.
J. M. Tyson — the editors father — gathering apples from
a six year old Early Harvest apple tree. He moved to
Eastland in 1878, and has a thirty-acre apple orchard
two miles north of Rising Star. At the Farmer's Insti-
tute held in Eastland City ISTovember, 1903, he was
awarded a prize on the apples he exhibited.
The Rising Star Record.
The Rising Star Record came into existence April
4. 1903. George T. Barnes, with T. B. Staton, under-
took the establishment of the paper. Without a single
subscriber the first issue was brought out, but the third
17:.> HlSTOliV OF EASTLAND COTTNTV.
issue was distributed to three hundred regular subscrib-
ers. January 1. 1004, the subscription list was live hun-
January 1, 1904. the Record Company began the pub-
lication of the May Enterprise. Both papers have a cir-
culation of over nine hundred. The Record, while not
given strictly to politics, stands for Democratic princi-
ples, for the upbuilding of the Sandy Belt — the garden
spot of Texas — and for the dissemination oi' local and
general news am;ong the people.
Creorge T. Barnes and C. A. and Sidney W. Smith
are the proprietors of the Record Printing Company.
W. A. BucY AND Brother.
Fifteen years ago W. P. Bucy opened a stock of fur-
niture and did well, but soon discovered that to be able
to accommodate the patronage he had he must keep
farming implements. The business proved so success-
ful that Mr. Bucy's oldest son, V/illiam A., became a
partner in 1895, and the supply was increased. Seven
years later, January 1, 1902, this son bought the entire
stock, and three months later sold it to H. E. Anderson.
That Mr. Bucy is never so happy as when trading
is evidenced by the following figures : On Septem/ber
23, 1902, he bought out the J. H. Montgomery drug
business and sold it January 1, 1903, to Levi McCollum
and Minnix, and took in exchange their stock of general
merchandise, which he increased.
On January 1, 1904, Ed Bucy bought an interest,
and the store is now the second largest in town. The
W. p. BUCY
174 mSTOR r OF EA8TLAND CO UNTY.
floor space is being enlarged and will cover, when com-
pleted, 5,610 square feet.
Bucy Brothers expect to do a $50,000 business the
year of 1904. Rising Star is fortunate to have such
energetic men as citizens.
H. E. Anderson
Has the largest store in Texas in an inland town, and
it contains everything except drugs.
Long years ago Uncle Tommy Anderson sold one acre
of ground to J. V. Hulse, and stipulated that if in-
toxicants were ever sold on the land it would revert to the
In 1883, H. E. Anderson, son of Uncle Tommy,
bought out Mr. Hulse's stock of general merchandise^
but soon sold out to Kev. J. K. Mller and Mr. Sayles.
Then he built a new and larger store, and has since car-
ried a stock of general merchandise, employing from
eight to fifteen clerks.
There are few mien who have the courage of their
convictions in a more marked degree than Mr. Ander-
son. In 1885 and 1886, when conditions were vastly dif-
ferent from the present time, a big barbecue and dance
was twice given by the Rising Star community to influ-
ence people to become citizens.
Twice did M!r. Anderson refuse to contribute to this
entertainment because of the last fejature of it — ^the
dance. He was converted at sixteen years of age. made
steward in the Methodist church at eighteen, was the
first Sunday School Superintendent in the town, and
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 175
bad lived what he professed. The stand he took on this
occasion had great etfect.
Mr. Anderson is the present Sunday School Superin-
tendent in the Methodist Church, and his wife is a
daughter of Major Munn of Nimrod.
A thriving little city of twelve hundred population,
is situated on the Texas Central Railroad, twenty-five
jniles southeast of Cisco. The town was surveyed in
1891 by the railroad people and began its existence in
tlie virgin forest — the Oliver Chill Plow having forced
the stockmen westward. The era, thus inaugurated by
the arrival of the railroad, made of this section a very
attractive portion of the State by the development of the
superior advantages of this immediate locality.
Fruits and vegetables, together with a thoroughly di-
versified agricultural product, offered strong induce-
ments to the emigrant from the East, and year by year
the town has grown, developing rare commercial possi-
bilities, and has attained a prosperous and established
It is the proud boast of this people that they are
surrounded by the mtost productive soil that can be found
west of the Brazos river, and with a thoroughly up to
date lot of business men the little city is gradually but
«urely forging its way to the front.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 177
All lines of business are well represented — from the
bank and the big department stores down to the chili
joint, and employ a capital of $500,000. Kimble &
Crume, druggists: J. E. Iluckabee, general merchandise;
Low & Troxell, general merchandise; Mr. Winters' gin,
the largest and best in West Texas; Mts. Yates' hotel.
Tlie Ma}^ Drug Company, T. L. Gates Lumber Yard,
the weekly new^spaper, a canning factory in active and
•successful operation, are some of the stores and shops
and business interests of the tow^n. These numerous
interests enable Gorman to handle her own immense ag-
ricultural products to the very best advantage.
The town is incorporated for municipa] and school
purposes. The splendid churches, together with organ-
ized lodges, chartered clubs and business men's organi-
zations, foster and keep in close touch the religious and
j-ocial life with the conuniercial advancements.
Everything considered, the town stands without a ri-
val in many respects in this section of the State, and of-
fers special inducements to the home seeker.
F. B. Winters.
The accompanying illustration represents the gin
plant built by Mr. Winters in 1899. From the stand-
noint of modern machinery and up-to-date equipment it
has no superior in the State.
One hundred and fifty horse powej boiler and en-
gines are used, and it has o capacity of one hundred and
twenty bales daily. Mr. Winters uses the Hunger sys-
tem. The gin is ligted by electricity and rung day and
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 179
' The Bank of Gorman.
This bank was established in 1900, with W. H. Ed-
dleman, president; !W. A. Waldrop, cashier; K. E. Wal-
drop, assistant cashier.
The responsibility is $500,000.00
Large and small accounts are desired, and Mr. Wal-
drop and his assistant will make it both pleasant and
i^rofitable to all those who do business with them.
T. L. Gates, Lumber.
This lumber yard was established in Gorman in the
summer of 1899 and has steadily grown in popularity,
both from_j the completeness and grade of stock carried
and from the courteous treatment accorded to all custom-
ers. It is now^ one of the strong financial interests of
the promising town.
The founder and sole owner of this business, T. L.
Gates, is a significant factor in the community. He
came to Texas from Mississippi in 1893, and was for five
yc.ars Superintendent of the De Leon Schools, and then
served as cashier of the bank at that place for two years.
He is at present chairman of the County Democratic
Committee. Mr. Gates is a member of the Methodist
church and superintendent of the Sunday School. He is
known in church circles as an enthusiastic Sunday School
worker and a most efhgient layman.
mSTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY, 18l
In 1881 the first lot in Carbon, a town on the Texas
Central Railway, between Gjorman and CiseOj was sold to
X. S. Haynes, who put up a small business house. An
attempt to move the town three miles east having failed,
J. F. vVhite established a lumber yard, Mr. Fowler and
son put up a cotton gin, and Mt. Train taught school.
From the number of business houses in this little
town, shops, hotels and gins, a good weekly newspaper,
Avith a hustling editor; its bank soon to open in its own
brick building; its Baptist and Methodist churches, Ma-
sonic hall and neat two-story school building. Carbon
bids fair to rival some of her more pretentious sister
towns. AYhen to this is added the fertile soil (a sandy
loam), which produces corn, cotton and a very great va-
riety of vegetables of enormous sizes; also fruit, as ap-
ples, peaches, pears, apricots and plums, as well as the
grape and berries of all kinds, one is not surprised that
the country round about Carbon is being cultivated by
thrifty farmers in rapidly increasing numbers.
Among the enterprising business people of Carbon
are Finley.Bros., dry goods; T. J.. Morris, general mer-
chandise ; Puett & Son, dry goods ; W.' A. Seastrunk, ho-
tel, and many others.
There are about six hundred inhabitants.
N"ear this place Mr. J. H. Bransf ord, who has been in
the county many years, successfully irrigates a truck
EASTLAND County's Prize Baby
lliSTOR Y OP KA STL A M) CO UIs TT. 183
Published Friday, W. T. Curtis, editor and proprie-
tor. The Herald, the local paper for Eastland County,
pleases its readers and pays its advertisers, and is strict-
ly a local and county newspaper.
Although not published at the County Town, it brings
all court news of importance to the general public. It
has a good circulation and is increasing rapidly.
Only clean advertising from clean people is in-
The Bank of Carbon.
W. H. Eddleman, president; W. A. Waldrop, vice
president; J. E. Spencer, cashier.
That so able a financier as W. H. Eddleman is con-
nected with this bank insures its solidarity. That J. E.
Spencer, who has been in the banking business for sev-
eral years, is its cashier, speaks for its popularity, while
Mr. Waldrop, the efficient cashier of the Bank of G-or-
man, only emphasizes the strength of the organization.
The Carbon Bank occupies its own two-story brick
W. P. Finley. S. P. Finley.
The memibers of this firm were born in Tennessee
and emigrated to Texas with their parents and the other
brothers in 1867. They located in Eastland in the mem-
orable year of 1876, and engaged in farming. Later
some of the family lived at Jewell, and in the early '80^s
184 UlSfOR 7 0^ EASTLAND CO IfNTY.
W. P. Finley and Mr. Duke (now of Dallas) merchan-
dised at Cisco.
This firm established itself here in a general mer-
chandise business in 1895 and enjoys a long and grow-
The Finleys are substantial and progressive citizens
and foster every interest of the promising town.
Ml". S. P. Finley is the able President of the Board
A. C. POE, M. D.
Dr. Poe was born in Magnolia, Arkansas, and came
to Carbon, Texas, in 1896.
He received his education in the public schools of his
native State, and took his degree from the M'emphis
Hospital Miedical College.
Dr. Poe is the senior miember of the firm of Poe &
Moore, Druggists. This firm is one of the three State
agents in this county for the supply of school books
adopted by the Board of Examiners.
It is such men as Dr. Poe that make a town grow.
Hie believes in the future prosperity of the town, backed
by its richly promising agricultural possibilities, and
upon this belief he makes his investments.
With C. B. Poe as a partner, the Doctor is interested
in a lumber yard, which does a large business and carries
a complete and up-to-date stock.
Besides his various business interests this enterpris-
ing citizen does an extensive practice. As an evidence
of the prosperity of the people of this section, and of
their integrity as well, they pay on an average 95 per
cent of their physician's accounts.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 185
T. J. Morris^ Merchant.
On January 14, 1893, with a small stock of "Eacket
goods," Mr. Morris began business in Carbon. Two
years later he erected and moved into a building in the
center of the town, where he is still located.
Few men have had more marked success than Mr.
Morris. From the small beginning, made a little more
than one decade ago, his business has grown until now
he handles everything in a general merchandise line.
Besides dr}- goods and groceries, hardware and every
conceivable kind of farming implement, he handles
furniture and imdertaker's goods.
Mr. Morris' energy and ingenuity does not stop here.
He is interested in the two gins of Morris Bros, and
Fowler at Carbon and Hookers Spur. His latest ven-
ture is stockng his fine ranch near town with goats, some
of which are thoroughbreds.
It is plainly evident that Mr. Morris invests strictlv
in Carbon "futures.^'
Xinety-five miles west of Fort Worth the historic
little town of Eanger stands. Many, many years ago, be-
fore the valleys of Eastland had ever .^elt the thrill and
jar of rumhling cars, or her hills had echoed the shrill
cry of an engine, the Indians found and utilized a mag-
nificent rendezvous a few miles east of Eanger, where
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY
now the Texas and Pacific Railway bridges the deepest
canon in Texas. After one of their usual raids the In-
dians fled to this canon, now so famious for its rugged
beauty, and were followed by the Texas Eangers, than
whom no class of men have done more for Texas.
These poorly fed and poorly paid guardians of life and
property on the frontier drove the Indians on this occa-
THE HIGH BRIDGE
si on from their lair. On emerging from the deep and
ragged gorge the Rangers found themselves in a beauti-
ful, level * valley of richest soil and luxuriant grasses,
but" did not loiter, as they pushed hard on after the In-
dians, overtaking them at what is known as "One Hun-
*It is said that the valley was known among the In-
dians as the Caddo Indian Ball Ground.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COVNTY. 187
dred * Mile Mountain." Here a battle was fought and the
victorious Rangers struck tent in the luxurious val-
ley, where the Watson Eaneh is now situated. The ex-
act date of this battle could not be learned, but it is
thought Captain Whiteside, who lost his life in the cy-
clone at Cisco, was in command of the Rangers.
Twenty-five years ago the valley was dotted with
tents. One year later A. J. Sims and a Mr. Griffin formed
a partnership and carried a stock of general merchandise
in a tent store. Mr. Griffin did a thriving hotel busi-
ness, also in a tent, prior to forming this partnership.
There were tent schools and tent churches. Tom Coop-
er, brother of one of Rangers' m^ost popular teachers,
was the first boy born in the town. A little girl made
her advent one day before Tom's arrival. In the Ran-
ger valley some two hundred or three hundred people
lived in tents until the railroad came, when houses went
up as if by magic. Ranger was built a couple of miles
west of where the tent town had had its existence. The
oldest settler living in Ranger today is John Bryant,
who came in 1881,
Ranger has three good church buildings, Methodist,
Baptist and Cumberland Presbyterian, with leagues and
young people's societies; a High School, which is corre-
lated with the State University, a phone system and
water works, bank, five doctors and the usual number of
stores, eating houses, etc.
In the tent town there were saloons and gambling
*"One hundred miles" from where could not be learned,
but the mountain stands out clear-cut and runs down into
the valley near the railroad.
188 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
dens, in the Ranger of today there are no houses of vice
of any kind.
Ranger has a population of about seven hundred
The Ranger '03 Club — a woman's literary club — has
founded a public library and is gradually increasing the
number of volumes.
C. E. Frost, M. D.; A- B.; A. M.
Dr. C. B. Frost, the oldest resident physician of
Ranger, was born in Tennessee. His father, J. B. Frost,
fell heir to sixty-two negroes in 1859 and 1860, but set
the,m free at once. As a result of this philanthropy the
boy Cyrus had to work out his own destiny. He cut wood
for two fireplaces and a stove, fed t'^n horses, twenty
cows, a drove of hogs and a flock of sheep for his board,
and worked Saturdays for his clothes. He took his lit-
erary degree at the Northern Illinois Normal Univer-
sity. He attended the Nashville Medical College, where
later at the Missouri Medical College, he gratuated in
1878 with first honors. Mrs. Frost is a daughter of
Dr. 0. D. Tankersly of Arkansas.
Dr. Frost located at Ranger in 1892 and has prac-
ticed his profession night and day continuously since
that time with the most marked success, never having
suffered from an accident of any kind, nor had a diag-
nosis changed. He is a scholarly, scientific, up-to-date
physician and surgeon, a consistent. Christian Methodist
citizen, and is held in high esteem by the profession and
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 189
Scranton, a town of about one hundred and fifty in-
habitants, is situated in a thickly settled, agricultural
community, which lies twelve miles southAvest of Cisco,
near the line of Callahan County.
The first man who setlted in tliis locality w^as D. C.
Lane, who came in 18T5, and was followed by H. B.
Lane, Mr. Huff, Aaron Brown, Uncle Joe Brown and
Nat Hendrickson. These, together with Messrs.
Sprawls, Eay, Gattis, Clement, Rutherford and many
others, have made a progressive and substantial com-
In 188 — Mr. Snoddy taught a school here. The in-
terest in education has gradually increased until Scran-
ton now boasts of an incorporated school district, and one
of the best schools in the county. There is a commodi-
ous, two-story building, with a separate music room on
The Mi'ethodist and Baptist churches were organized
here in 1893, the former by Eev. M. M'. Smith, the lat-
ter by Eev. J. E. Kelly. Both churches have good build-
ings and are served at present by Eev. J. L. Malls, Meth-
odist, and Eev. G. W. Parks, Baptist.
The Post Ofl&ce was esablished in 1892, with Mr.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 193
Reydon as Postmaster. Mr. Reydon also put up the
first gin in 188 — . The present fine gin is owned by
a stock company of farmers. J. M. Williamson of Cis-
co was the pioneer mierchant. Among the present pro-
gressive business firm:s are E. E. Chunn, dry goods,
groceries and hardware; I. E. Cook & Bro., dry goods,
and W. L. Grattis & Son, druggists.
This prosperous and enterprising community was
first settled by A. J. Fembling and Mr. Ballard. These
were soon followed by E. J. Arnold, Dr. J. X. White
and Mr. Green, all from West Virginia.
During the disastrous drouth of 1886-1887 emigra-
tion stopped, but the natural advantages of the locality
held the first settlers, and even in the most trying period
brought Mr. P. N. B. Ghormerly.
The Freeman and Bashan brothers, J. C. McCoy,
T. D. Freeman, E. J. Arnold, T. J. Finn, W. R. and C.
C. Bashan and Dr. J. W. White organized the school
community and a school house was put up at once. T. D
Freeman was the first teacher, and A. J. Tyson, editor
of the X-Ray, published at Rising Star, followed him.
The Romney Postoffice was established August 15,
1890, T. D. Freemlan, Postmaster. The country has
developed rapidly. All agricultural products, fruits and
vegetables grow well, making this one of the miost pro-
gressive communities in the County.
Wn. W. P. Grubbs of Arkansas established the first
gtore, then sold to H. D, H'Plbrook. At present T, D,
194 HISTOR T OF EA STL AND CO UNT7.
Freemian, who has charge of the long-distance telephono
and is Postmaster, has the only store in the village, wi>ich
also contains a blacksmith shop, a gin and a good school.
The Baptist, Disciples of Christ and Methodists havp
organizations and worship at the school house.
The citizenship of this locality represents a moral
and progressive people, who welcome all who come am.ong
William and Ben Funderburg pre-empted the land
on which Desdemona is built. The Funderburgs (who
later sold their pre-emption to Bill Brown), Lewis Elli-
son and Uncle Johnny Caruth were the first settlers of
Mr. Frank Eoach, the first merchant of Desdeniona,
put up a 12x16 store building, the boys lending a hand,
which was dedicated with a dance the nig] it of the fir-^t
wedding in the new, old town. Mr. Willie Matthews and
Miss Ella Parm!, who were the contracting parties, w. re
married at Tom Prather's home, M'ary Caruth and Mr.
. '^standing up" with them. After the cerumonv
the crowd, chaperoned by Lewis Ellison and wife, re-
paired to Mr. RoaeVs new store and danced all night.
The first school house, eighteen by twenty feet, was
♦Desdemona was named in honor of the daughter of
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 195
built of hewed logs, with a log cut out at one end for a
window. The benches were made by splitting trees in
two — one of these with longer legs in front was put up
by the window for a writing desk. Mr. Johnny Caruth
and Charlie Mitchell w^re paid $80.00 to put up the
On the second Sunday in June, 1872, the Rev. John-
nie E. N'orthcutt, a Baptist minister, preached under
the large Spanish oaks shading the picturesque bridge
which now spans the historic Hog Creek, at Desdemona,
and kept up the appointments until September. He was
then allowed the privilege of the log school house and or-
ganized Rockdale Church, with nine members, John
Caruth, wife and daughter — Mrs. Mary N. Jasper, Aunt
Sallie Robinson, Nancy Ellison, Jim Ellison and wife,
John Cowen and Mrs. Sallie Ivy.
Pleas Jones lived in the Hogtown community in a
single log cabin, 10x12. For some unknown reason the
floor of the cabin was the naked bosom of mother earth.
A wagon board lay from the door to the hearthstone.
One night a young man hunting a locality where he
might secure a school, stopped, as night had overtaken
him, and asked for lodging.
"All right, pard," assented Jones. "Git down and
come in. You'll have ter laret out yer nag, 'cause T
hain't got no feed fer her."
The fare given to the man was in keeping with the rest
of the surroundings, and his mind was relieved of won^
dering who would sit up when a buffalo hide was thrown
down on the wagon board, with a pillow, and he was
told his bed was ready ! Imagine his surprise when he
196 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
asked next morning how much he was indebted for his
and his mare's lodging and was told, "Well, seein' its
you, I'll only charge yer a dollar !"
The young man, who was none other than Judge
Hammons of Eastland City, rode on and secured and
taught the school.
The town is beautifully located on rising ground,
sloping east from Hog Creek. The community is in-
corporated for school purposes, and expects to erect a
large, handsome building.
There are five dry goods and grocery establishments,
the most prominent among them are Captain A. J.
O'Eear, staple and fancy groceries, and Dr. Snodgrass,
drugs and general merchandise, who is also a stockholder
in the fine gin stand and a successful practicing physi-
Dk. Copeland, who has studied in Missouri
Medical College, in St. Louis, and graduated from Fort
"Worth Medical College, is a physician of growing popu-
larity and prominence.
That the doctors collect 95 per cent of their bills
speaks well for the community, as it does for the soil
which makes it possible.
A good school is maintained at Desdemona. The
Baptist and Methodist churches have buildings and good
organizations. The Christian Church building is in
want pf repairs.
mSTOR T OF EASTLAND CO UNTT. 197
The Methodist Church.
The first church organized in the county, of which
there is anything known, was in the Allen neighborhood
and was effected by Eev. William M'onk, a pioneer
preacher, who attended his first Texas Annual Confer-
ence at Tyler, in 1854. In 1865 Mr. Monk was on the
Palo Pinto Misison, which included Eastland County.
With a few members he organized a Methodist church
on the Allen and Davidson ranch. The members were
Peter Itevidson, wife and four children, Robert
N'ewberry and Uncle Bobbie Martin, with their fami-
Mr. Monk writes: "Tn 1872 I was Presiding Elder
on the Stephenville District. In 1873 I attended a
Quarterly Conference at McGough's Springs. Rev.
Levi F. Collins was the missionary and had organized
a little church there, which I suppose was the second or-
ganization in the county. The county was infested by
Indians. jWe all went to church with our guns, not
knowing what moment we would be attacked. Two
nights before I went to McGough Springs the Indians
stole my horse at Picketville in Stephens County. 1
made my way down there on borrowed horses, and from
there to Comanche I went on a wagon, where I secured
The following letter is self-explanatory and will be
interesting to many old settlers :
HtSTORT OP EASTLAND COtlNTt.
"Iredell, Texas, October 13, 1903.— Dear Sister
Langston: Yon want to know what territory was in-
REV. WILLIAM MONK, iKEDiiLL, TiiXAS
eluded in the Palo Pinto Misison when I was pastor in
1865 and 1866. It included all of Palo Pinto County,
HtSTOR r OP EASTLA ND (JO tfJVTT. 1^§
all of Erath, east of Stephenville and all of Johnson
west of the Brazos Eiver. Hood County was not organ-
ized then. I also had two appointments in Parker
County, Big Valley, where your father then lived, and
Kickapoo. I made the round on my work every four
weeks, preaching under trees, in private houses, under
brush arbors and in little school houses. Our congre-
gations would be from twenty to one hundred people.
We had some great revivals. I organized the first
church at Big Valley and held a great meeting. When
T traveled the Stephenville District in 1872, ^73 and '74,
it included all the territory west of the Brazos Eiver
from Waco to Fort Belknap, Fort Griffin, San Angelo,
Camp Colorado and Fort Mason. These were the out-
side settlements, but all the territory to N'ew Mexico be-
longed to the district. I made the round every three
months on horseback, with my Winchester rifle hang-
ing to the horn of my saddle, and my wardrobe in
a pair of saddle bags. These were the happiest years of
my life. I believe all the preachers that were associ-
ated with me then have passed away, except Levi Coll-
ins and Brother Smith of Stephenville. If I could see
you I could tell you many things of interest, but can
write but little now. Wishing you success with your
book, I am yours, W. MONK."
' Today there are about 2,00a Methodists- iii this Coun-
ty. Histories of a few of the individual churches fol-
EisiNG Star Church. — This charge first belonged
to the Pecan Circuit and was served by L. S. Chamber-
lain in 1877. In 1879 this same preacher was returned
BlSfORY OF EASTLAND COUNTy.
to the work and then organized the class at Eising Star
with eight members, James Irb}^, Sallie J. Irby, An-
drew Agnew, N. S. Agnew, T. P. Agnew, Sarah Agnew,
THE METHODIST CHURCH, RISING ^TAU.— Photo by WatMns, Rising Star
Dennis Bond and Sarah Tannerhill. Out of the eight
miemtoers only James Irby and wife remain with tho
church today. It was at a night appointment this or-
ganization was made in a little 10x12 log school house
BtSTOR r OF EASTLAND CO UNIT. 201
with a dirt floor, and was the first church organized in
this part of the County.
The Rising Star Misison was created some time later
with two appointments (Jewell being the other), and
had an appropriation of one hundred dollars from
the missionary board. It was included in the Breckin-
ridge District, with A. K. Miller as Presiding Elder
f.nd G. F. Fair pastor, 1883-1885.
By and by a new school house w^as built near where
Ihe cemetery now lies, and served for church purposes.
The class continued to gather strength; to its niember-
ship w^ere added those of Uncle Tommie Anderson and
his family. Mrs. L. S. Anderson still retains her mem-
bership. She is the aged mother of H. E. Anderson.
In 1881 the first Sunday school was organized
in the school house. A Methodist Sunday School
in a school house did not prosper, so under the leader-
ship of the indefatigable R. R. Raym^ond a church was
built and lat-er a parsonage. They are valued at $2,000.
On a beautiful, grass-covered lawn this church has put
up a tabernacle at a cost of $300.00.
In 1902, under the pastorate of J. H. Chimbliss, as-
sisted by J. C. Watkins, a most wonderful revival took
place, resulting in such an increased membership that
the church had to be enlarged. This was done at a cost
of $500, making a total of $2,800 of church property.
With a membership of nearly three hundred, a fine Sun-
day school, both Senior and Junior Epworth L;:a?nes
and an active Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, the
church is doing well.
Rev. D. A. McGuire is the present pastor.
HISTORY OF I^ASTLANt) COUNTV
The Church at Eanger was organized by Eev.
Hightower in a tent in 1881. The membership has
growTi to ninety-two with church property valued at
'"r'j 500.00, which inchides a house of worship and par-
;^. iiige. The present pastor is Rev. B. R. Wagner.
M, V. MITCHELL
The Cisco Methodist Church had its beginning
in the fertile brain of a pioneer '^circuit rider," Rev.
Lamb Trimble. On the quiet hunt for any one who
wore the name of Methodist, where he might find a kin-
dred spirit, shelter and something to eat, he discovered
M. V. Mitchell and wife (in a log hut 10x12 feet)
running a sheep ranch. The tired preacher was not long
HISTOR T OF EASTLAND (JO UNTY. 203
in accepting a large hospitality in small quarters. The
dirt floor to the little room had been overlaid with grass
and on this was spread a carpet. The cubby-hole, (or
shed room) and a bed of skins was the only place for the
preacher, while plenty of blankets for cover and a good
case of religion made him happy.
In 1880 this preacher organized the first church, and
when that roll was called the only names were M. V.
Mitchell and wife,, ^Mr. and Mrs. AYalton. Mr. Mitchell
vras elected steward. This church was begun in a little
log school house, located where now lies the beautiful
cemetery. Eev. Andrews was the next circuit rider, and
..lohn Lane steward. In 1881 Cisco was founded at the
junction of the railroads, and everybody moved to town,
the school, post office and church following the people.
Rev. Mills was the next pastor. He and Eev. R. B.
Yaughan canvassed the new to^ATi for Methodists and
found about twenty. The people were all living in tents
A school house was s^on built by popul^.r contributions,
and this sufficed as a place for the monthlv preaching.
Two or three years later, during the pastorate of Rev.
John A. Wallace, a small church, costing six or seven
hundred dollars, v\-as erected on the lot where the present
building now stands.
During the pastorate of Rev. T. C. Ragsdale the
house was enlarged to meet the growing demands of the
congregation. This was swept away by the cyclone in
1893, and a beautiful and commodious house was erected
at a cost of about $6,000. The church has a parsonage
valued at $1,200, and a membership of three hundred
and thirty members. During the past year under the
pastorate of S. J. Vaughn there was a net gain in mem-
. :::vi::::-;.:::lilili 1
^ 1 .
■ » •
HlSToR Y OF EASTLAND CO UNT7. 205
bership of eighty, and about $800 were expended in im-
provements on the churcli and parsonage. The church
is doing fine work in all departments. The building is
lighted by electricity.
The Carbon Church was first organized in 1890
by I. N. Reeves, with about twenty members. There
was no building other than Thurman's store, which was
utilized, the counters serving, in part, for pews. As
the preacher stood with his back to the door he could not
understand, during this first sermon at 11 o'clock Sun-
day morning, why a row of girls directly in front of him
were so intensely amused. They caused so much confu-
sion that he stopped shortly after he began and dismissed
the audience. Afterwards he learned that a man out
on the street in front of the door, with a woman's sun-
bonnet on his head, was "making a monkey of himself."
At night the audience gathered early. The counters
were filled with boys, who wore clanking spurs. The
preacher had barely reached his "secondly" when one of
the boys on the counter noisily left the room, brushing
right by the minister, who stood near the entrance.
In a very few minutes another boy was rattling his spurs
in his rush to get outside with the one who started what
was evidently meant to include all who sat with them.
At this juncture D'r. Jules Trader rose to his feet and
with an imipetuous oath exclaimed, "Parson, I don't
want to interfere, but if you'll knock the next boy down
who tries to pass you, I'll stand by you." The sermon
continued without further interruption.
I. N. N'eel, agent of the railroad, organized and
taught a Sunday School in the station house where he
lived. Later, the railroad gave the town an acre of
206 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
ground on which to build a school house. When this
was completed the Sunday School went there, and at the
end of Mr. Eeeves' second year there were eighty-seven
members. The church building was erected during the
pnstorate of Rev. Maxwell. The present pastor is Rev.
J. H. Walker.
The Baptist Chukch. — This church crganization
might be truthfully compared to a mighty oak, whose
roots dig down deep through the soil^ drink in and trans-
mit the food to the trunk, limbs, branches and
leaves, and forage for the minerals that help color
the foliage and make it a thing of joy and beauty, as
well as a protection from the sun's fierce rays and the
storm's beating rain. Nor is this all, it affords the song-
sters of the forest a sheltering place for their young.
As this mighty oak has grown from a tiny acorn and
is now able to withstand the terrible wrenchings of storm
and tornado, so the Baptist Churches have grown in
Away back many vears ago- -Mr. M'cGough does not
remember the date —under a brush arbor, the Rev. W.
H. Brashears organized the first Baptist Church in East-
land witl) seven members, C. Brashears, J. R. Higgins,
Enoch Dawson. Amanda Dawson, W. C. McGough and
wife and the preacher. This was known as Providence
Baptist Church, and was one of four in the county when
the Rev. C. G-. Stevens of sainted memory projected and
accomplished the organization of that wonderful body
known as the Red Gap Baptist Association, which not
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 207
onlv inclndec! the churches in this County, but finally
embraced all the territory to El Paso and N"ow Mexico.
There now exists a Cisco Baptist Association which
includes all the organizations in the County with two or
three exception-. The locations, names of pastor and
present membership follow:
Carbon— W. B. Cobb, 83.
Cisco— G-. W. Shermaii. 239.
Corinth— E. M. Hunt, 67.
Curtis— G. P. May, 46
Eastland — eT. L. Mayes, 115.
Elm Creek— J. H. Vinson. 78.
Gorman — J. H. Vinson, 182.
Harmony — J. L. Mayes - 48.
Jewell — W. L. Ayers, 59.
Liberty Hill— S. C. Steel, 34.
Long Branch — E. M. Hunt. 114.
Meriman — J. L. Mayes. 59.
Midway— J. J. McCord, 91.
Monroe— D. G. Wells, 113.
Mount Olive— J. J. McCord, 49.
New Hope— E. M. Hunt, 35.
Pleasant Hill, No. 1— George W. Parks, 56.
Pleasant Valley— E. M, Hunt, 68.
Hanger — Z. H. Eeagan, 41.
Eich— I. Lamb, 10.
Rising Star— D. G. Wells, 29.
Round Mountain— G. W. Parks. 61.
Union— G. P. May, 41.
Union Grove— D. G. Wells, 29.
There is an organization at Desdemona, one near
208 HtSTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
Pioneer and one at Ellison's Springs. Rev. C. Brash-
cars is pastor of the last named.
One interesting feature of the work of this associa-
tion is that it keeps a missionary continually in the field.
Rev. I. D. Hull, the present Associational Missionary,
has served several years. Last year the amount reported
paid to missions — home and foreign — was $875.31.
This did not include the $295.18 paid to the Buokner
Orphans' Home, $52 foi ministerial education, nor
$29.30 for the poor.
Rev. J. M. Reynolds, one of the Missionary Evangel-
ists appointed by the State Board of the Baptist Conven-
tion, lives in Cisco.
The Rising Star Cumberland Presbyterian
Church was organized by Rev. D. A. Knox in July,
1885, with fourteen members.
Conspicuous in the early history of the church ap-
pear the names of L. M. !Mar shall, J. T. Winfield, H.
W. Joyce, Maxwell brothers and Uncle Georsre and Mila#
Wood. Services were held in the public school building
and in the Methodist Church until 1893, when a house
which is well situated in the northern part of town, was
built. A comfortable manse is situated on the ad-
The church is well officered by a board of six elders
and one deacon, and has a Sabbath school under the ef-
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 209
licient management of Prof. G. C. Barnes. The contri-
butions for the different enterprises for the year 1903
exceeded all amounts for previous years together. Mo
public collections are taken.
The present pastor is Eev. Z. T. Blanton. Perfect
harmony prevails and it is hoped that this body may
occupy its place as a persistent factor in the spiritual
uplifitin^- of Rising Star and the surrounding country.
Sa:banno Cumberland Presbyterian Churgil —
This church was organized about 1886 by the Pev. D. A.
Knox. For several years the congregq^tion worshipped
in the school house, holding its revival meetings under a
brush arbor. In the summer of 1896 a house was built,
and since then a tent has been provided for revivals,
which are held annually.
C. C. Bullock is the present pastor, with Messrs. Yv .
A. Erwin, B. F. Shell and J. S. Exwin elders and W. P.
Porter and J. Robert Kincaid deacons.
Liberty Cumberland Presbyterian Church. —
This congregation was organized in 1898 with ten mem^
bers as the result of a revival meeting conducted by the
Rev. W. E. Green.
As a church organization would not be allowed to oc-
cupy the school house, Messrs. S. A. Fleming ( Cumber-
land), Sam Webb (Baptist) and ,W. T. Boyd (Metho-
dist) met and decided to build a union house for these
denominations. THais wsm done. Several revivals have
been held, these dejiominations always co-operating.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church now has about
forty members. Mlessrs. B. L. Marshall, Louis Mar-
shall, G. B. Kelley, S. A. Flemings and John D. Walker
are the present elders, with Rev. C. C. Bullock as pastor.
MiSTOtlY OF EASTLAND COUNTT. 2ll
The Raxger Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Rev. J. A. Williams, pastor, is in a thriving condi-
tion, with a fine Sunday School and an active Woman's
Foreign Missionary Society. The organization has its
own church building.
In Cisco the Presbyterians have an excellent church
building, well furnished.
The Disciples of Christ have several organiza-
tions and church buildings in the County. Eev. Mc-
Kuight is the pastor of the Cisco congregation. P. C.
Maddox is pastor of the congregation at Rising Star.
Mrs. Mc. D. Hjunter is pastor of the Holiness Church
at Rising Star.
SCHOOL DIRECTORY OF THE COUNTY.
School District No. 1. — Y^ellow Mound, J. H. Jace;
Bedford, F. M. Anthony; Dark Hollow, R. B. Evans;
Pleasant Valley, D. H. Stoddard. Trustees: R. T.
White, J. H. Harbin, J. H. Robbins.
School District Xo. 1 A. — Central, J. F. Dean,
teacher. Trustees : J. B. Short, W. M. Eppler, W. C.
School District ^o. 2.— Freedom, T. E. Payne;
Union, Lillian Hatten; Lone Cedar, Sam Poe. Trus-
tees: L. J. Spann, J. R. Higgins, H. Braohears.
School District Xo.3. — Pleasant Valley, Maude Mur-
phy; High Point, E. Lafoon; Grapevine, E. C. Mur-
phy; Flat Woods, L. D. Harlin. Trustees : D. H. Col-
lins, J. H. Bransford, J. W. Robinson.
School District No. 4. — Conner, Miyrtle Medearis;
Owen, J. A. Brashears; Cross Roads, C. P. Webb ; Mer-
212 EI8T0R T OF EASTLAND CO XJNTT.
riman, W. C. Higgins; Colony, H. C. Pelphrey. Trus-
tees: W. k. Hise, Floyd Brewer, Charles Barker.
School District No. 5. — Triumph, Mattie G^atewood.
Trustees : S. D. Shugart, Z. Z. Butler, W. A. Davis.
School District No. fi. — Eush Creek, J. E. Ervin.
Trustees : W. D. Messimcr, A. P. Barton, J. F. Myers.
School District No. 7. — Tuder, J. W. Harmon.
Trustees: 0. W. Pollard. D. A. Harris, S. H. Boggus.
School District No. 8. — Lone Star, Emma Mahan.
Trustees : Ed Parker, J. T. Jobe, H. F. Thomas.
School District No. 9. — Nash Creek, J. B. Jordan;
Nash Creek, IVCrs. Jessie Sawell. Tl-ustees: E. N.
Echols, J. T. Earnest, E. A. McDonald.
School District No. 10. — Alemieda, E. E. Boucher;
Young Springs, Fannie Koonce. Trustees A. J. Will-
jams; A. S. Chauncey, Joe Jones.
School District No. 11. — Eogers, F. E. King, Pearl
Brabbin. Trustees : E. P. Nix, A. T. Lowe, Hue G-uy.
School District No. 12. — Jewell, H. M. Hayes, Pearl
Mayes. Trustees: E. F. Simms, W. M. Mane, W. J.
School District No. 13.— High Knot, Pearl Chas-
tain. Hall Mark, J. E. T.anier; Center Point, Mamie
Lovett. Trustees: T. J. Hilton, J. T. Brown, Will
School District No. 14. — Eockwell, W. J. Justice;
Bluff Branch, W. P. Caldwell; Sandy, Bessie Gray;
Liberty Hill, H. W. Gotcher. Trustees, J. W. Stamps,
James Caradine, Eobert Cove.
School District No. 15.— Wood, H. C. Overby; Eeich,
Miss Ulala Howard; Cozart, W. D. Hazel. Trustees:
J. P. Montgomlery, J. P. Leverage, J. H. Ward.
HISTORY 0^ EASTLAND COUNTY. 213
School District No. 15 A. — Mmrod, Adelle Keith;
JVCitchell, Dora Stewart; Hobart, Alice Davidson. Trus-
tees: B. B. Hogan, E. C. Pass, S. L. Yeage.
School District No. 16. — Cook, W. Bashabranner:
Curtis, Will Allen; Ballard, P. P. Holbrook. Trustees:
A. J. Woodyke, K H. Pearce, J. F. jSTichoI^.
School District No. 17.— Long Branch, N. F. Brit-
ton; Eom'ney, W. J. Moreland; Pleasant Hill, E. P.
Moreland; O-riggs, Charles Parker. Trustees: Henry
Milligan, W. L. Brayden, W. L. Barnett.
School District No. 18. — Hickman, Eva Crume
Trustees: G. B. Mullings, W. H. Hughs, S. W. H.
School District 18 A. — Macedonia, Ola Little. Trus-
tees : E. C. Lane, H. B. Anderson, J. A. Haynes.
School District No. 19.— Pioneer, F. W. MuUins,
Julia Mullins. Trustees: S. P. Stovall, F. C. Mc-
Brlde, W. E. W. Smith.
School District No. 20.— Wheat, Mi-s. May Harri-
son. Trustees, J. W. Adams, J. A. Porterfield, F. M.
School District No. 21.— Burnley, M. D. Mullings;
Sabano, W. F. Walker. Trustees: W. T. Boyd, J. T.
Blackwell, J. S. Erwin.
School District No. 22. — ^fountain, Ollin Kinnison.
Trustees : C. H. Gunoway, E. S. Hoon, J. L. Fonville.
School District No. 23. — Howard, Bascomb Mor-
ton. Trustees, W. S. Prater, J. B. Kizer, J. H. Little.
School District No. 24. — Leon, J. T. Singleton.
Trustees: W. E. Yaughi. J. W. Blair, J. iW. Watson,
J. W. Pitman.
School District No. 25.— Elm, J. S. Purdy. Trus-
k4 itiSTOR f 0# ^A STLAND CO UNTf.
tees : W. P. Orr, R. M. Gaun, J. HI Prichard, W. H.
School District No. 26. — Grigsby, Janiiep H. Bat-
man; Jett, 0. A. Fleming. Trustees: J. G. Burgess,
D. P. Taylor, Gus Payne
School District No. 2?. — Glrand View, C. P. Jones,
Mrs. Lassie Jones. Trustees: W. H. Westmoreland,
J. D. Barton, J. W. Carter.
School District No. 28.— Peak, J. B. McEntire.
Trustees : Bill Dill, J. 0. Harris, J. R. Tune.
School District No. 29. — Desdemona. J. H. Hankins,
Mrs. J. H. Hankins. Trustees: J. E. Brown, J. A. Cope-
land, F. E. Terry.
School District No. 30. — Okra, J. 0. Bashaw.
Trustees : D. M. Jacobs, H. E. Shiley, W. H. Mimms.
School District No. 31. — Union, Gypson Crossland,
Mjiss Lillian Hatton. Trustees: S. H. Code. J. L.
Brown, H. D. Marshall.
School District No 32.— Salem, W. T. Skinner.
Trustees : W. N". Hickey, G. R. Hamilton, J. M. Moore.
School District No. 33.— New Hope, M. H. Per-
kins. Trustees: J. L. Brown, W. S. Martin. W. D.
School District No. 34.— Delmer. J. S. Bond. Trus-
tees : Will Conn, J. E. Duneway, J. H. Kyle.
School District No. 35. — Bullock, J. A. Sander-
ford. Trustees : J. S. Williams, L. M. Cook, A. J. Al-
lison, C. L. Hodges,
School District No. 36.— Oak Grove, H. C. Poe.
Trustees : J. R. Lanier, I . N. Poe.
School District No. 37: — Yellow Branch, R. E.
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 215
Sprawls. Trustees: A. G. Yaunoy, M. M. Doyle, Eli
Gentry, M>. G. Eobertson.
School District No. 38. — Britton, Annie Brooks,
Mamie Brooks. Trustees: A. C. Brown, H. B. Bne,
R. L. Eowe, F. M. Stone.
mDEPENDEN^T SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Cisco. — Superintendent. E. L. Abbott; A. V Britton,
W.T. Bachelor, E. Jung, Miss Bettie Harbison, Miss An-
na Lee Fisher, Miss Annie Laurie Brown, Miss Frederic
Mosley, Miss Sadie Yarnell — Miss Martha Conner
Green^ Primary. Trustees. L. E. Brannin, President; W.
L. Armstrong, Vice President; Dr. W. P. Lee, Secre-
tary Arthur Grist, Treasurer; J. M. Williamson, Judge
D. K. Scott, T. J. Worthington.
Gorman — Superintendent. A. C. Ferguson; A. H.
King, Alex Allen, Mrs. Tranquil McDanieL Miss Claire
Eush; Art, Miss Bailey. Trustees : J. Q. Eppler, Pres-
ident; T. L. Gates, Secretary and Treasurer; W. S.
AVood, J. A. Jones, W. L. Terry. W. F. Burleson, E. F.
Carbon. — J. Speed Carroll, Superintendent; W. J.
Allison, Binkley Drake, Miss Eebecca White. Miss John-
nie Reed. Trustees: S. P. Finley, President: E. H.
Boyett, Secretary; J. F. Edmondson. Treasurer: E. L.
Littleton, T. L. Tucker, J. E. Foster, A. B.ston.
Scranton. — 0. C. Britton, Superintendent; C. C,
Bullock, Mrs. J. S. Bond; Miss Lillian Bell, Music.
Trustees: A. M. Sprawls, President; F. G. Boyd, Sec-
retary; W. T. Eutherford, Treasurer; W. T. Gattis, As-
216 HISTOR Y OF EA STL AN V CO VNTY,
sessor and Collector: W. D. Clinton, J. J. Ray, J. R.
Ranger. — C. D. Judd, J. E. Peters, Co-Principals;
Miss Ira Maxwell, Miss Jessie Cooper. Trustees : F. W.
Melvin, President; B. P. Davenport, Secretary; W. R.
Hodges, Treasurer; R. L. Page, J. H. Harrison, H. W.
Hilliard, J. M. Rice.
Rising Star. — E. H. Jones, Geo. F. Barnes, Prin-
cipals; Miss Osie Hickman, Miss Minnie Brewer. Miss
Erie Rich; J. E. Wells, Music; Miss Harmon Barber,
Elocution. Trustees: H. E. Anderson, President; A.
J. Rhone, Secretary; W. S. Michael, Treasurer: F. B.
Weaver, Collector; W. C. White, J. A. Terrel, R. Garner.
Eastland. — W. A. Bynum, Superintendent; Miss
J osie Garner, Mrs. Julia Mayes, Miss Minnie M'ood.
Trustees: C. U. Connellee, President; E, Roper, Sec-
retary; M. Hill, Treasurer; J. R. Frost, J. J. Morgan,
S. J. Day, J. T. Morton.
J. H. Calhoun, April, 1876; resigned October, 1877.
A. Lawrence, 1877-78.
J. T. Hammons, 1878-1888.
R. M. Black, 1882-8t;.
J. T. Hammions, 188^.-88.
D. K. Scott, 1888-1892.
W. G. Davenport, 1802-94.
G. W. Dakan, 1894-90.
B. F. Chastain, 1896-98.
G. W. Dakan, 1898-1900.
J. R. Stubblefield, 1900-1902.
mSTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTV. 21^
Present County Officers.
S. A. Bryant, Judge.
Ed T. Cox, Clerk.
G. W. Redford, Sheriff.
George Davenport, County Attorney.
D. E. Jones, Tax Collector.
W. C. MJoore, Tax Assessor.
Walter Clegg, Treasurer.
J. H. Calhoun, District Judge.
Mr. Cunningham, District Attorney.
R. L. Davenport, District Clerk.
Homer P. Brelsford, Eepresentative.
Mr. Sebastian, Breckenridge, Senator.
Judge W. E. Smith, Colorado, Congressional Repre-
GEOLOGY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
By Phof. W. F. Cummins
The geology of Eastland County is very simple, as
the strata belong to only two of the great geological
series, the carboniferous and cretaceous. The cretaceous
is found only along the southern border of the County,
This formation forms no very great nor conspicuous
area in the County, and consists principally of "san(i
roughs." The areas were once covered by beds of lime-?
»!tone, which has long since been eroded and the sands
are the remnants of a once continuous bed that covered
the whole eountry to the foot of the mountains west of
the Pecos River. The beds belong to the Trinity sand
fonnation, and forms a part of the catchment area that
318 HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY.
supplies with water the great artesian water belt lying
to the southeastward. This area was originally cov-
ered with a dense growth of dwarf oaks. The surface
is generally level, very few of the hills being promi-
nent. The term rolling i? very applicable, to this phase
of topography. A friable sand of variable thickness
deposited upon a hard floor of Paleozoic rocks, and
subjected to the action of the prevailing atmospheric
agejicies, has given this character of topography.
The remainder of the County belongs to the carbon-
iferous period. In describing the carboniferous in
Texas I divided the strata into these divisions :
5. Cisco. 4. Canyon. 3. Strawn. 2. Millsap.
The Cisco division is the highest and most recent
of the divisions. One traveling westward alon.i: the
Texas and Pacific Eailroad goes off the cretaceous on to
the Millsap division of the carboniferous about two
miles east of Millsap. He would go off to the carbon-
iferous about half way between Baird and Putnam. The
Bend Division does not occur at the surface anywhere
in this part of the State, but has been found in deep
wells at Thurber and Fort Worth.
The following sketch will show the relative posi-
tion of the divisions as they occur in this part of the
It is unnecessary to give a description of any of the
divisions except that of the Canyon and Cisco. The
Canyon division occurs in the eastren part of the Coun-
ty, and was so namied from the prominence with which
gome of the strata are seen at Canyon, in the western
HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY. 219
part of Palo Pir.to County, along the line of the Te;?as
and Pacific Eailway. This division is composed very
largely of massive limestone, and may be easily recog-
nized by this fact, the limestone in the other divisions
being much thinner bedded.
The beds of the Cisco division are well exposed in
the vicinity of Cisco, and the, division was so named for
this reason. The strata are mostly composed of con-
glomerates, sandstones, clays and shales. This division
extends from northeast to southwest through the en-
tire county. It is distinguished by its stratigraphic
position below, it being found always in the heavv beds
of the Canyon division.
The strata of the cretaceous dip to the southeast,
while the strata of the carboniferous dip to the north-
west, in an exactly opposite direction. The dip of the
carboniferous is at the rate of about sixty feet to the
mile. This fact will preclude the notion that flowing
artesian water can be found at Cisco or vicinity, the
recurving area being lower than any point to the west-
ward, and water will not rise higher than its source.
There are nine coal seams in the, carboniferous
formation in Texas. Wlien I made ray report on the
coal fields of Texas, the first section of the coal measures
ever published in Texas, T numhered these beds from
one to nine inclusive. Only two of these seams are
thick enough to be of any commercial value. These
are numbers two and seven. Number two is found at
Thurber, Eock Creek and Bridgeport. Number seven
is found in Eastland, Young, Jack and Montague Coun-
ties. Some attempts have been made to develop the
coal in the vicinity of Cisco, in Eastland County, but
S20 MISTOR Y OP EASTLAND GO UNTY.
without any very great success. The outcrops of this
seam in the northern portion of this County are nu-
merous. The seam is twenty inches thick, with a band
of slate above it, followed by a seam of coal four inches
tliick. The band of slate is from four to ten inches
thick between the coal seams. At another place where
I examined this seam are nine inches of coal and twentv
inches of bituminous shale. This shale will burn when
put on the fire, but loses none of its bulk in burning,
and is absolutely worthless as a fuel. The difficulty
in working this seam of coal in this vicinity is the fact
of the thinness of the seam, and the further fact that
if both seams are mined the stratum of bituminous shale
will have to be taken out of the mine, for it is so
highly impregnated with sulphuret of iron that when
the material is exposed to the atmosphere and it slacks,
the sulphuric acid escaping will set the whole mass on
There are no other minerals in this County of any
economical value. Gold and silver have been reported
at several places, but the amount has always been so
small that it would not pay to develop. Iron occurs
at many places in several forms, but it is always of
too small a percentage of metallic iron to be of any