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Full text of "A Texas pioneer; early and overland freighting days on the frontiers of Texas and Mexico"

A TEXAS PIONEER 



N- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 



EARLY STAGING AND OVERLAND 
FREIGHTING DAYS ON THE FRON- 
TIERS OF TEXAS AND MEXICO 



BY 
AUGUST SANTLEBEN 



Edited by 
I. D. AFFLECK 




NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON 

THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY 

1910 



COPYRIGHT, 1910, BY 
THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY 



A TEXAS PIONEER 



CHAPTER I 

I WAS born in the city of Hanover, Germany, on the 
28th day of February, 1845, and I was three and a half 
months old when my parents emigrated from that coun- 
try and brought me with a sister and brother to America. 
We made the voyage in a sailing vessel, the Charles Wil- 
Uams, which left Bremen with a full crew and one hundred 
and thirty passengers on board. The city of Galveston, 
Texas, was sighted about the middle of July, 184*5, after 
making a safe voyage of seven weeks' duration, but many 
of those who greeted the land of their adoption with joy- 
ful expectations were destined to a watery grave when en- 
tering the harbor. 

I do not know what brought about the catastrophe, 
but my parents, who gave me this information, said that 
the ship was stranded when passing through the channel 
leading into Galveston Bay, about half a mile from 
shore, where it was broken to pieces, and the wreck could 
be seen as late as 1885. Only thirty-five of the pas- 
sengers were saved, and they were rescued by a life-boat 
that was sent from the shore. Among them was an infant 
boy, about two years of age, who was thrown to my par- 
ents after they entered the boat, by some one on the 
vessel, under the impression that the child belonged to 
our family. Fortunately the boat conveyed its living 
freight safely to land, but none of the desolate people 
could comprehend their losses until they congregated on 
shore, and one of those who realized them least was the 
author of these memoirs, who at the age of five months 
was thus transferred from the wreck of a ship and placed 
on the soil of Texas. Another was the child who had 
been saved through a mistake, whose parents and his en- 



6 A TEXAS PIONEER 

tire family were drowned; but friends took the orphan in 
charge and conveyed him to Castroville, where he was 
raised to manhood by a man named Bader, who was per- 
haps a friend of his family. Christian Schuhart was his 
name, and he is now a well-to-do farmer and ranchman on 
the San Geronimo, where I became intimate with him 
and we often discussed the early misfortunes of our 
families. 

The ship's cargo, including all the belongings of the 
passengers, was a total loss. The disaster fell heavily 
on the emigrants who had supplied themselves with wag- 
ons, farm implements and other necessaries in Germany, 
with the expectation of using them in the New World, 
where their lot had been cast. All were alike destitute of 
everything except the clothing they wore, but, perhaps, 
a few had saved small amounts of money that was carried 
on their persons, and they were thrown on the charity 
of strangers. Although their pressing wants were sup- 
plied by subscriptions, there was no extravagant display 
of generosity, and a long time passed away before the 
effects of the calamity ceased to be felt. 

My father secured passage, with others of the unfor- 
tunate emigrants, for his family on a schooner and sailed 
for Port Lavaca, where after his arrival he arranged with 
Plasedo Olivarri, a Mexican, to transport his wife and 
children, and the few things he possessed, to the Medina 
River, eight miles above Castroville. There land was as- 
signed for my father's use in the " Castro Corner," but 
it was unimproved, and as the country was unsettled, we 
were compelled to live under the canopy of heaven, ex- 
posed to all kinds of weather, until a suitable shelter could 
be erected. 

On the opposite side of the river from where we settled 
was a camp of Lipan Indians, who were then friendly 
with the whites, and when they visited us, my parents 
would sometimes allow the two elder children to return 
with them to their settlement. They were very generous, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 7 

and they supplied our family with game all the time they 
lived in our vicinity. Later on the Indians moved else- 
where and immediately, I believe it was in 184*7, they 
went on the war-path. Thereafter they and all the Texas 
Indians depredated on the white settlements continuously 
until 1878, during which time many of my acquaintances 
and some of my dear friends were killed by them. I have 
endeavored to recall all the names of those who were killed 
by the hostiles during that period, in connection with 
the time and place of the murders, which will be presented 
elsewhere. 

The first work my father did, after he became settled, 
was for Mr. Castro, who employed him and Mr. Huehner, 
the grandfather of Albert Huth, Bexar County's present 
Tax Assessor, to dig a ditch on the east side of " Castro's 
Corner," for which he agreed to pay each of them fifty 
cents per day. The ditch was eight feet wide and eight 
feet deep and it took them four months to complete the 
job. After the ditch was finished Castro leased a piece 
of land in the Corner to my father for three years, free 
of charge, except that he was to put it in cultivation. 

After that he engaged in farming, but he also made 
a pit for the purpose of sawing lumber with a whip-saw 
and at odd times he cut cypress trees along the banks of 
the Medina River and turned them into lumber and 
shingles. Such work was very laborious, and as two men 
were required to run the saw he was only occasionally 
employed at it because he could not always hire help. By 
hard toil he managed to support his family with the 
necessaries of life without any of the luxuries. My 
parents were affectionate and considerate in the treatment 
of their children and tried to raise them properly. They 
were also strictly religious, and they often tried to im- 
press upon the minds of their offspring the importance of 
thinking and acting in accordance with the Ten Com- 
mandments so that they would not come in conflict with 
the laws of their country. 



8 A TEXAS PIONEER 

They were well known throughout west Texas and had 
many friends on account of their conscientiousness and 
kind-heartedness. My father was strongly impressed by 
the obligations and duties of his citizenship, and as he 
had come to the United States on account of its free in- 
stitutions, he did not delay, after the expiration of five 
years, in taking out his naturalization papers which were 
secured in July, 1850. 

He resided on the land he first settled until 1854, and 
then removed to a tract which he purchased from Samuel 
Etter, the father of Jacob and Samuel Etter, Jr., both 
of whom are now substantial farmers and live on Sous 
Creek, four miles east of Castro ville, adjoining the farm 
bought by my father, which was then situated in Bexar 
County on the Eagle Pass and El Paso road. In a few 
years the farm was nicely improved by hard work, and 
as the land was productive he made good crops, at the 
same time gathering around him a small number of horses 
and cattle, so that he was able to live more comfortably. 

Free pasturage was abundant, and as there was no ex- 
pense attached to stock raising every farmer had a few 
animals, but many owned a thousand or more cattle, be- 
sides small herds of horses. The latter were not numer- 
ous, because of the risk of having them stolen by Indians. 
Big-foot Wallace owned the largest number in that re- 
gion which were principally on Mustang Prairie, four 
miles below La Coste station, but the Indians succeeded 
in stealing them all eventually notwithstanding the fact 
that he kept a constant watch over them and often pun- 
ished them severely for their thefts. 

My childhood years were passed happily and I had 
a good and easy time, although I helped my father all 
I could on the farm in light work or in making myself 
useful in many ways, but I never fancied farming very 
much. When I was not more than eight years old I 
would occasionally help him saw lumber when he could 
get no one else to assist him, because, as I have stated, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 9 

it required two persons to perform such work with a whip- 
saw one above and another in the pit below. 

My first visit to San Antonio was made with my father 
in 1854, and it was on this occasion that I was made 
happy by the wonderful things I saw in the city which 
filled my childish mind with astonishment. The business 
portion of the town was then confined to the two plazas, 
and most of the improvements were in that vicinity. I 
suppose the population at that time was not more than 
3000 of all classes. 

My next trip away from home was when I accom- 
panied my father to Fort Inge on his wagon that was 
loaded with corn which he sold to the government. It 
was a part of a certain quantity he had contracted to 
deliver, at 40c. and 50c. per bushel, as forage for a com- 
pany of dragoons that was then stationed at said fort, 
four miles below the present town of Uvalde, and another 
detachment at Fort Ewell on the Laredo road, both of 
which have been abandoned many years. All the men in 
these companies were splendidly mounted on the best 
horses that Missouri could furnish. Their saddles were 
the old government pattern, with solid brass stirrups 
weighing two pounds, and all the mountings were of the 
same metal. Every soldier was armed with two holster 
pistols, each with a single barrel, and a Mississippi yager, 
both of the same caliber, therefore they used the same 
fixed cartridges loaded with a ball and three buckshot. I 
was only nine years of age, but I took notice of every- 
thing as they were the first soldiers I had ever seen ; there 
I ate my first hard-tack, and there I saw the first playing 
cards. While my father was unloading the corn, I 
busied myself gathering the cards that were scattered 
around the camp. Until then I had never seen painted 
pictures of any kind, and I thought the cards were the 
prettiest things my eyes had ever gazed upon. 

About that date my father hired Paul Offinger to help 
him on the farm and he worked for him three years, in 



10 A TEXAS PIONEER 

which time he saved up enough money to buy fifty acres 
of land near Quihi, eleven miles west of Castroville. 
When he moved on his place he had no one to assist him 
and my father hired me to him to drive his oxen when 
plowing or hauling for $5.00 per month and my board. I 
remained with him four months, and though only twelve 
years of age, my duties were performed to the satisfac- 
tion of my employer. 

In those days oxen were the only animals that were 
used on farms on the western frontier for draft purposes, 
partly because the original outlay and cost of keeping 
them was less than for horses, and another reason was the 
risk of losing them on account of Indians who were al- 
ways stealing horses. The oxen were always necked 
together, and after a day's work the yoke was removed, 
a bell was suspended to one of their necks, and they were 
turned out on the range until wanted, when the tinkling 
bell indicated their whereabouts. 

Generally I found it prosy business wandering through 
the mesquite bushes in search of my oxen, but one foggy 
morning I had an exciting experience when I saw a 
panther in my path feasting on a calf he had killed. He 
was only a few feet in front of me, but he was so intent 
on satisfying his hunger that he only looked at me with- 
out rising. I, on the contrary, was very much startled, 
but a spell of fascination crept over me which kept my 
eyes fixed on him as I slowly backed from his presence a 
few steps before turning, and then I ran towards home at 
the top of my speed. I was bare-footed, as was usual 
with country boys in those days, who only wore shoes on 
Sundays, and my toes clawed the ground and helped me 
along. I was making pretty good time when I stepped 
on a large rattlesnake that was coiled in my path, which 
filled me with horror, but before he could strike I made 
a frantic leap in the air and landed beyond his reach. 
The accident caused my fear of the panther to subside 
and reduced my gait to a walk. But these adventures 



A TEXAS PIONEER 11 

did not make me abandon my search, which I continued, 
though with greater caution, until the musical ox-bell in 
the distance guided me to the animals I was seeking and 
I drove them home. 

On another occasion Mr. Offinger went out hunting one 
Sabbath morning, and he allowed me to accompany him. 
He carried an old-fashioned army musket, which was 
loaded with the only charge of buckshot that he had, 
and I was unarmed. On the east side of Quihi prairie we 
suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a herd of about 
twenty-five javelinas, or Mexican hogs, that were feed- 
ing in a thicket of scrubby live-oak. When they saw us 
all of them bunched together with their heads towards us 
while their teeth clashed in a threatening and vicious 
manner until Mr. Offinger fired into the bunch. As the 
gun fired they rushed towards him and they moved so 
quickly that he only had time to climb a small tree be- 
yond their reach. I was standing about twenty steps 
behind him and knowing the danger I followed his ex- 
ample, but as Mr. Offinger was the aggressor he received 
all of their attention. He wanted me to descend from 
my sheltered position and gather rocks with which to 
drive them away, but I was afraid, consequently we re- 
mained in our place of refuge until they disappeared an 
hour later. 

The Mexican or musk hog, which is common in many 
sections of west Texas, has a sack on its back that con- 
tains a secretion which has a strong odor. They are 
aggressive, often attacking persons without provocation, 
and when wounded they are dangerous. Their long, 
sharp tusks cut like a knife and it is difficult to avoid 
them when on foot because of their quick movements and 
manner of fighting. 

During the time I served Mr. Offinger I had many hours 
of recreation and my tasks were never heavy. My per- 
sonal expenditures amounted to only twenty-five cents 
a month, that went for candy which I bought at Mr. 



12 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Bailey's store in Quihi, and frequently my friend and play- 
mate, Frank Rieden, now living in San Antonio, helped 
me to eat it. My wages were well earned, and when I re- 
ceived the nineteen dollars that was due me I returned 
home with the money and placed it in my father's hand 
with a great deal of pleasure. 

Mr. Bowles was another old friend of my father's who 
lived at Sabinal, in 1856, and I remember the old double- 
barrel shot-gun he showed my father soon after killing 
three Indians with it by discharging both barrels at the 
same instant. The gun was then out of order, and he 
was taking it to San Antonio to have it repaired. 

The particulars of the killing, as Mr. Bowles related 
them to my father, are about as follows : The Indians 
had made a raid into the settlements, and after the fact 
became generally known, every one was on the watch 
for them. Mr. Bowles loaded his gun very heavily with 
buck-shot and took a position after dark on an elevation 
near his house, where he stood guard. He had only 
waited a short time when he saw three Indians approach 
on foot, following each other in single file along a foot 
trail. After bringing his weapon to his shoulder he 
waited until they were in close range and then fired both 
loads simultaneously. The recoil of the gun threw 
him on his back and it flew out of his hands behind him. 
After recovering from the shock the Indians had disap- 
peared, and he made an investigation with the result that 
one Indian was found dead in his tracks and another 
where he fell a short distance beyond. The search was 
continued next morning along a bloody trail, and after 
following it about three hundrd yards, the corpse of the 
third Indian was found. 

This remarkably successful shot has never been re- 
corded, or if it has I am unaware of the fact, but the 
tragic act is well known to others now living who will 
vouch for the truth of my story. Perhaps they know 
more of the circumstances than I can recall, because Mr. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 13 

Bowles has many relatives living in Uvalde County. He 
was killed by Indians in the Sabinal Canon about two 
years after his adventure, probably by the same tribe, 
who murdered him to avenge the slaughter of their 
warriors. 

There is no comparison between the number of Indians 
that were killed by white men that I know of, and the 
number of white men that were killed by Indians. 

Mr. John Bowles killed three Indians in Uvalde County. 
Xavier Wans killed one Indian and mortally wounded 
another in Medina County. Jack Hoffmann killed two 
Indians in Medina County. An Indian was killed by the 
first settlers at Quihi in Medina .County. Nic H'abe killed 
an Indian in Medina County. Ed. Tschirheart killed an 
Indian in San Saba County, near Fort McKavitt. Big- 
foot Wallace killed two Indians in Medina County. All 
these Indians were killed by men with whom I was well 
acquainted. 

The following are some stories about Big-foot Wallace : 

One time he brought a fifteen-year-old Indian who was 
probably on his first raid and got lost from his com- 
panions and had wandered towards Big-foot's ranch and 
came in contact with his dogs and to save himself, climbed 
a tree. Big-foot, hearing the bark of his dogs, went 
at once to see what kind of an animal they had treed, and 
to his surprise found a half frightened to death young 
warrior with his bow and arrows strapped to his back, 
captured him and put him on his horse in the saddle in 
front of him, and tied his feet under the horse's stomach 
and carried him that way to Castroville. Some one in 
the crowd said, " Say, Big-foot, give me that Indian." 
Whereupon he said, " No, this is my Indian ; if you want 
an Indian go an' get you one, there are plenty of them 
left." 

Another story that I recollect well happened just be- 
fore the war, where Big-foot was out horse-hunting and 
riding a mule when he came upon a fresh trail that was 



14 A TEXAS PIONEER 

leading in a northerly direction over a divide. He fol- 
lowed the trail to find out if the Indians took the same 
direction on the other side of the divide, in which case it 
was his intention to hurry on to Castroville, where he ex- 
pected to get enough men to cut them off if possible, but 
as he reached the top of the divide and looking on down 
the slope he saw to his surprise about twenty-five Indians 
busy catching the choicest horses out of the herd for 
their saddle horses. Big-foot saw at once that he was 
out-numbered and unable to escape, as they had already 
seen him, whereupon he snatched off his hat and waving 
it back towards the rear, called at the top of his voice 
saying, " Come on, boys ! Come on, boys ! We have got 
them ! " This was too much for Mr. Indian, as they were 
unable to see Big-foot's imaginary brigade, so they all 
jumped upon their horses and took to the woods, leaving 
their stolen animals, which Big-foot afterwards gathered 
with ease and drove back into the range. 

Another story relates that, on one occasion, Big-foot 
invited several cow-boys, who were hunting cattle, to 
drink coffee with him and when they accepted his invita- 
tion he offered it to them in an Indian skull. 

Another anecdote of Big-foot's early days was when 
he and other men had followed the Indians and over- 
took them near Bandera, where a battle took place and 
several Indians were killed. When returning home ihey 
all stopped at one of the first settlers' houses and they 
were invited to dinner. While they were eating they all 
boasted about their good marksmanship and how many 
Indians each claimed he had killed. The lady of the 
house noticed that Big-foot had nothing to say, and she 
questioned him, saying, " Mr. Wallace, how many Indians 
did you kill?" And he answered, "None." She then 
asked, "How is that?" "Just because there were not 
enough Indians for all of us, and according to the stories 
that you have heard, there were none left for me." 



CHAPTER II 

MY father always showed a strong affection for me and 
I was warmly attached to him. I often accompanied 
him on his journeys away from home, and I am inclined 
to think that my mischief-making propensities influenced 
him to remove me from familiar associations when he took 
me with him. He made frequent trips to Port Lavaca 
with his ox-wagon, when his team was not needed on the 
farm, and he received a fair compensation for hauling 1 
freight both ways between that point and San Antonio. 
I was not only his traveling companion on such occasions, 
but I made myself useful by driving the oxen and was 
able to do many things that were appreciated. 

My father once contracted with a party in San An- 
tonio to haul a load of pine lumber from a mill near 
Bastrop, on the Colorado River, and I went with him. 
Bastrop was then a small village with a few scattering 
houses, and the night we camped in the town a public 
meeting was held in the open air which I attended. I 
have no recollection of what it was about, although it was 
the first political speech I had ever heard, but I do re- 
member that the place was lit up by torches made of pine- 
knots and that they furnished the most beautiful light 
I had ever seen. I was only about eight years old then, 
and when I learned that I could get pine-knots for the 
trouble of gathering them, I lost no time the next day in 
collecting all I wanted, although the task was not as 
easy as I expected. On the way home I illuminated our 
camp every night and had some left with which I lit up 
the premises to please a few of my young friends. They 
were delighted, because they had never seen anything so 

15 



16 A TEXAS PIONEER 

brilliant before, but the exhibition closed when I barely 
missed setting fire to the corn-crib. 

The light they had been accustomed to see was made 
by wrapping a rag around a stick and saturating it 
with lard ; the lower end was then stuck in a coffee-cup 
half full of sand, and the cup was filled with rendered 
lard or melted tallow. It made a very dim light, but it 
was the best we could do before candle molds were in- 
troduced, which were used by everybody who made tallow 
candles, until sperm candles of northern manufacture 
were placed on the market. The first I ever saw was in 
Castroville, in 1855, when three of them sold for twenty- 
five cents ; but they were too high-priced for common use 
and more than the poorer people of that region could 
afford to pay. 

My father was an indulgent parent and he allowed his 
children many privileges, but he could be severe in his 
punishments when their misconduct made it necessary, 
and our mother was equally kind and affectionate. Under 
such influences the hardships that circumstances imposed 
upon us were not felt and we retained pleasant memories 
of our childhood. Our opportunities for an education 
were limited, and in my case frequent interruptions oc- 
curred so that my school days if added together would 
represent a very short period. 

I remember a donkey which was identified with my 
school experiences that, incidentally, was the cause of 
many fights and any amount of trouble, but it is not 
worth while to discuss them. He had a disposition that 
was rather eccentric and he indulged his whims whenever 
it suited him. He was always in request on week days, and 
on Sundays some one of the children rode him to church. 
I will never forget the sensation he created one Sabbath 
morning when the services were being conducted. The 
minister was reading from the Bible and the congrega- 
tion was devoutly listening to the lesson in which the word 
Hallelujah appears. As he raised his voice to an un- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 17 

usually loud pitch when repeating the word, the donkey, 
that was grazing near the window, thought, perhaps, 
that the exclamation invited a response. A moment later 
his head appeared in the opening and he uttered a refrain 
in prolonged strains such as only a donkey can express, 
until the solemnities were disturbed and the preacher even, 
although somewhat disconcerted, could not suppress a 
smile. 

My father owned a small bunch of horses that were not 
easily controlled and the donkey was our stand-by until 
we got rid of a wild gray mare that could rarely be 
penned and she always led the herd. One Sunday, when 
my parents were at church, we managed to get her in the 
pen, and after roping and throwing her, with the assist- 
ance of several visiting boys, I tied a dry cow's hide 
securely to her tail. When I turned her loose she dashed 
out of the enclosure and as the rattling raw-hide drove 
her frantic with fright her headlong flight was continued 
until she was lost to view. She was never seen afterwards 
and we came to the conclusion that she was drowned in 
the Medina River or else she had run herself to death. My 
father was kept in ignorance of our performance for some 
time until he missed her, and he did not appear to regret 
her disappearance because he knew her to be worthless. 

Another escapade of mine was more serious in its con- 
sequences, and it caused my father and several of his 
neighbors considerable trouble and expense. Three 
neighborhood boys assisted me and were equally respon- 
sible for the mischief which consisted in changing the 
corner-stones of a number of adjoining farms, including 
those on my father's land. The alterations were not dis- 
covered until some time after and several years passed 
before the trouble was remedied by repeated surveys of 
the tracts involved. They each had the same area of land 
because we had measured off a certain width and added it 
to the next adjacent, consequently it was necessary to 
start at an established corner and re-survey all the sub- 



18 A TEXAS PIONEER 

divisions of the 640-acre tract which, when located ac- 
cording to the field notes, identified the corners correctly. 

The land in controversy was then in Bexar County, and 
I think the differences in their claims were settled without 
litigation. I am sure that my father arbitrated his claim 
in a friendly manner because he never had a suit in court, 
although he frequently served as a grand juror and on 
petty juries in the district court. 

My parents had become more prosperous as a recom- 
pense for their hard labor and strict economy, and their 
children were old enough to assist in performing the rou- 
tine duties of the farm. The settlement in the mean- 
time had been extended and the population in the coun- 
try was greatly augmented, therefore, the opportunities 
for securing a living had increased. A stage route had 
also been established between San Antonio and Eagle 
Pass, which passed by my father's door. It was under 
the management of Alex David, who had secured a con- 
tract to carry the United States mail between those 
points, and at the same time he was granted a similar 
contract to transport the mail between San Antonio and 
Bandera. As the latter was tributary to the main line 
it was open to a sub-contractor and my father applied 
for and secured the route. It extended from his house, 
four miles east of Castroville, to Bandera and back, a 
distance of thirty-two miles, each way, and it was stipu- 
lated that it should be ridden every Monday, and back 
the next day, for which my father was to receive $300 per 
annum. 

I was then about fourteen years old and the duty of 
carrying the mail was assigned to me, whereby I became 
the youngest mail-carrier in the United States. The 
Bandera mail sack that was brought by stage to my fath- 
er's house every Monday, about noon, was conveyed by 
me to Bandera, on horse-back, and I returned the next 
day in time to meet the Eagle Pass mail-hack which took 
it on to San Antonio. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 19 

The country along my route was sparsely settled then, 
as the following facts will show. After leaving my 
father's house it was eight miles to the ranch owned 
jointly by Dr. Bohm and Richard Tuerpe. The last 
served fifteen years as commissioner in Medina County, 
and now resides in San Antonio. Twelve miles further 
on was Mitchell's ranch, that was in charge of John 
Green, the father of Will Green, who is now a mounted 
policeman in San Antonio. Six miles beyond, the ranch 
of August and Celeste Begno was located, who now own 
a large ranch on Turkey Creek, and Ed. Montel, an at- 
torney in Hondo City, is their nephew. The next settle- 
ment was the beautifully located town of Bandera which 
is widely known as a health resort on account of the 
salubrious climate. 

These were frontier settlements and about that period 
the wild Indians made frequent incursions through the 
country, but I was lucky enough to avoid coming in 
contact with them, nor did I see any signs of them on any 
of my journeys. On one occasion, though, I was badly 
frightened by a party of Mexicans, who were mistaken 
for Indians, and I made a record run when making my 
escape. As I am giving my experiences I may as well 
relate the circumstances. 

The trip under consideration was made in company 
with a boy then on a visit to Castroville, whose home was 
in Bandera, and as he wished to return I allowed him to 
ride behind me on my horse. He was about my age, and 
though his name is forgotten, I remember that John 
Adamadez, now a horse-dealer in San Antonio, was his 
cousin. Nothing happened until we got into the Medina 
mountains, where I took a wrong trail that led us into 
the Medina valley, about six miles below Mitchell's ranch. 
About the time I realized my mistake a scattered body of 
men suddenly appeared in sight among the trees, who 
we supposed were Indians. We were very much alarmed 
and I quickly turned my horse without waiting to make 



20 A TEXAS PIONEER 

a close investigation, but the movement was not fast 
enough to satisfy my companion, who, in a panic, jumped 
to the ground and ran in the brush. It was done so 
quickly I thought he was killed, and under that impres- 
sion my horse was urged to his best speed until I arrived 
at Mitchell's ranch and excitedly related all that had hap- 
pened. Mr. Green tried to quiet my fears, and promised 
that when his men came in he would send one with me to 
Bandera for assistance. While we were waiting a party 
of Mexicans came up to the ranch and with them was the 
boy who I supposed was dead. They proved to be those 
we had assumed were Indians, and I knew I had given a 
false alarm when they explained that they had been en- 
gaged in thrashing pecan trees and gathering the nuts. 
They were near enough to witness our fright and hastily 
quit their work to overtake the boy, who, when found, 
was undeceived. Knowing that an alarm of Indians be- 
ing in the vicinity would create excitement, they hurried 
to the ranch with a view to relieve the anxiety of his 
friends. Of course I was glad that no serious results 
were attached to the adventure, but my Indian scare be- 
came a standing joke among my acquaintances and it was 
a sore subject until I lived it down. 

Nothing else happened to me while I carried the mail 
that was of any consequence, except once, when I was 
thrown from a wild mule I was riding, which, -incidentally, 
caused considerable excitement. He was a skittish beast, 
and so easily frightened he would frequently snort and 
jump suddenly to one side when nothing was in sight but 
his shadow. Generally I was on my guard, but that even- 
ing I was careless, and when he made a quick bound side- 
ways I was thrown out of the saddle to the ground. 
Before I could recover my feet he darted away at the 
top of his speed with my mail-bag and I had to walk to 
Bandera, a mile or two distant. When I related what 
had happened, my story enlisted the services of all the 
men in the town, but their search was unsuccessful until 



A TEXAS PIONEER 21 

late the following evening, when the brute was brought 
in and I was glad to know that the mail-bag was safe. 
The next morning I started for home, feeling badly at 
the thought that I was a day behind because it was the 
first time such a thing had happened. When within 
twelve miles from home I was surprised to meet my father 
with a party of neighbors on their way to look for me. 
Among them was Dan Adams, Sam Etter, John Bippert, 
Tab Woodward, Jim Brown and others. They were all 
very much relieved when they saw me, because they 
thought I had either been killed or captured by Indians. 

The mail route was in existence one year and ten 
months, and in that time I made about one hundred round 
trips, each averaging sixty-four miles, without failing 
to be on time except on the occasion to which I have re- 
ferred, and that was not my fault. When my youth is 
considered, in connection with the fact that the country 
was infested by roving bands of Indians who were con- 
tinually depredating upon the people and committing 
many murders, I have a right to flatter myself on the 
record I made. It is evident that I escaped numerous 
dangers and I feel grateful for my good fortune. Al- 
though I carried a six-shooter as long and heavy as that 
worn by Big-foot Wallace, or any other Indian fighter, 
it is an open question whether I would have used it, in 
case of an encounter with Indians, or would have trusted, 
instead, to the speed of my good horse, Sam, who carried 
me on nearly all of my journeys. 

All mail contracts granted by the United States gov- 
ernment in Texas were cancelled in 1861, at the com- 
mencement of the Civil War, and of course Alex David 
discontinued his services. When my father's sub-contract 
was annulled a sum amounting to about five hundred 
dollars was due him for carrying the mail ; but neither he 
nor his heirs have been able to recover a cent from the 
government on the account ; consequently all my services 
in that connection were performed for nothing unless the 



22 A TEXAS PIONEER 

claim still pending in Washington City should be favor- 
ably considered in the future. 

The great Civil War was initiated and Texas became 
involved in that lamentable struggle, but I do not intend 
to discuss the subject. I will only say that my father, 
like many other good citizens, voted against secession, 
but, after the measure was carried, he submitted to the 
laws of the land and directed his attention to his legiti- 
mate business. Partly with a view to giving me employ- 
ment, he engaged in freighting cotton from Columbus 
to Eagle Pass, and I drove an ox-team between those 
points until September, 1862, but the occupation was not 
such as I fancied. I was then nearly seventeen years of 
age, and in December of that year I visited Eagle Pass 
on my personal account, with the intention of making my 
own way in the world. I entertained no political preju- 
dices, nor was there any necessity for me to take sides 
in the war, on account of my age, consequently it had 
nothing to do with my visit to the Mexican border. Af- 
terwards I passed over the Rio Grande, and did not again 
return to Texas for several years, but my experiences 
until then will be related in the following chapter. 



CHAPTER III 

I FEI/T no misgivings regarding my future prospects 
when I left home in September, 1862, with the determina- 
tion to seek my fortune in the world that I believed was 
waiting for me somewhere. I was young, healthy, and 
vigorous, with a mind strengthened by independent 
thoughts that had sustained me in many responsible posi- 
tions and I felt that I could earn a competency by my 
own exertions. With such confidence in myself, a good 
horse, and a few dollars in my pocket, I parted from the 
loved ones at home with no definite idea with reference to 
the date of my return. 

My route on horse-back to Eagle Pass took me through 
the town of D'Hanis, where I was joined by Joe Carle, 
the father of Carle Bros., who now conduct a mercantile 
establishment on West Commerce Street, in San Antonio. 
He was a merchant in D'Hanis and we had previously 
arranged to go to Mexico together, where he had busi- 
ness to attend to, but as he was engaged to his present 
wife he returned home after an absence of a few weeks. 
In the meantime I became acquainted with Billy Egg, a 
young man who had fled from east Texas to avoid serv- 
ing in the army. He was stopping with his brother, 
Thomas Egg, a married man, who lived in Piedras 
Negras, and I secured board with the family. 

A few days afterwards I, and two other men, accom- 
panied Thomas Egg thirty miles up the Rio Grande to a 
bottom where there was a growth of willow trees, which 
he proposed to cut into lengths suitable for rafters, called 
vieges in Spanish. They were used by the Mexicans as 
a sub-structure for the flat roofs of their houses, which 
were built of adobies or sun-dried brick, 4 x 10 x 18 inches, 

23 



24 A TEXAS PIONEER 

made of mud. The rafters most in demand were twen- 
ty-five feet long, with a diameter of twelve inches at the 
butt and six inches at the small end. These could be 
readily sold in Piedras Negras at one dollar and a half 
each, on account of their scarcity because of the diffi- 
culty in hauling them. 

When constructing a roof for a house the Mexicans 
placed these rafters on top of the adobe walls, about two 
feet apart, and the entire space was then closely cov- 
ered over with split boards, about two feet long, that 
reached from one rafter to the next. A mortar of mud, 
made from a particular kind of dirt, was thoroughly 
mixed with dry grass until it could be handled. This 
was spread in a continuous layer about four inches thick 
near the eaves and much thicker in the middle, so as to 
give a slope to the roof. After becoming thoroughly 
dry a second layer of about the same thickness was put 
on, and it was followed by a third when ready to receive 
it. The finishing course was a layer of cement about four 
inches thick, composed of earth and lime, which only the 
Mexicans know how to mix, and the roof with its slope 
from the center was made smooth by dragging over it 
the edge of a board. Such roofs last a long time, and I 
remember one that was shown me in Paras, Mexico, which 
had received no repairs in thirty years, that was then in 
perfect condition. 

Our party cut about one hundred and eighty of such 
rafters, and as we had planned to secure them in a raft 
and float them down the river, we carried them to the 
nearest point on our shoulders, a distance of three hun- 
dred yards. When we were about ready to start our raft 
the Mexican authorities interfered, under the impression 
that it could be used for smuggling purposes, and they 
prohibited its completion. We then changed our plans, 
and were compelled to employ Mexican carts to haul our 
rafters to Piedras Negras, which was expensive, conse- 
quently we realized only a small sum above our outlay. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 25 

I was next employed under a contract to make two 
dozen American ox-yokes at one dollar and a half apiece, 
for Semon de la Penia, who had a wagon-shop in Piedras 
Negras. He had removed recently from San Antonio, to 
which place his family afterwards returned. I worked 
in his shop and used his tools until I finished the yokes, 
and perhaps they were the first that had ever been made 
in that town. 

Soon after completing my job, in November, 1862, I 
visited Matamoras on horse-back, in company with 
Thomas B. McManus, John Heinemann and Billy Egg. 
We traveled down the Mexican side of the Rio Grande a 
distance of four hundred and fifty miles. My only object 
in going was to see the country, but my trip was not sat- 
isfactory, because after spending all my money I was 
compelled to work in a cotton-yard, and after a short 
stay I was ready to return to Piedras Negras. I was 
without means, but fortunately I fell in with a theatrical 
troop, and secured employment with them as door-keeper. 
We left Matamoras in December, 1862, and on the way 
up the river the company gave performances at Camargo, 
Renosa, Renosa San Antonio, Roma, Mier, Laredo, and 
finally at Piedras Negras, where I left them. 

With a part of my earnings I purchased a mule and 
cart, paying seventy-five dollars for the outfit, and en- 
gaged in hauling water from the Rio Grande, which I sold 
at 25 cents a barrel. Considering the amount of capital 
invested it was the best paying business in which I ever 
engaged, and it was my constant occupation until I was 
offered employment that gave me an opportunity to see 
the country, then I hired a man to drive the cart during 
my absence. 

Messrs. Herman and Gilbeau, cotton-brokers in Piedras 
Negras, wanted to visit San Luis Potosi on business. As 
the distance was five hundred and fifty miles over an un- 
safe road an escort was necessary, and they hired me and 
a Mexican to serve in that capacity. They traveled in 



26 A TEXAS PIONEER 

an ambulance with four mules driven by a Mexican and 
the escort accompanied them on horse-back all the way. 
A brief sketch of our route and the prominent places of 
interest is worthy of notice in a section of country where 
the greater part was a desolate wilderness, but as it is 
described elsewhere as far as Monterey in another con- 
nection, the reader's attention will be directed to a few 
places of importance beyond that city : 

The city of Saltillo is situated in the State of Coahuila, 
seventy-five miles southwest of Monterey, on the north 
slope of a ridge that crosses the whole valley, and it is 
in sight after passing the hacienda of San Gregario. It 
was then a well-built town of substantial houses, with 
good paved streets, and a beautiful Alameda. A number 
of factories were established there, and they contributed 
greatly to the prosperity of the place by giving employ- 
ment to the inhabitants. Several of them manufactured 
unbleached cotton goods exclusively, and others turned 
out woolen goods. They also had the reputation of turn- 
ing out the finest of the well-known hand-made Mexican 
blankets that were admired for their excellent quality and 
workmanship, not only in the republic but in Europe and 
the United States, where they were sold for from thirty 
to fifty dollars apiece. 

The road from Saltillo to San Luis Potosi passed 
through San Cristobal, and the Hacienda de Guadalupe, 
to the right of the Catorce mountain, which rises two 
thousand feet above the surrounding plain. When within 
twenty-five miles of San Luis Potosi the beautiful city 
appears and distance adds enchantment to the view which 
becomes more attractive the nearer it is approached. 
Stately domes and numerous lofty towers give prom- 
inence to the substantial buildings that crowd upon its 
narrow streets. These, when entered, are found to be in- 
teresting on account of the way they are laid out and 
because of their superior construction and cleanliness. 
Among its public buildings is a splendid city hall and 



A TEXAS PIONEER 27 

five or six magnificent churches adorned with carvings 
and sculpture that rival any in Mexico, the most superb 
of which is the cathedral. 

In 1862 San Luis Potosi was one of the most enter- 
prising cities in the republic, independent of its mining 
interests, that at one time attracted great attenion. The 
San Pedro mine was once the most prominent in Mexico, 
on account of the single piece of pure gold taken out of 
it, that is said to have been the largest solid lump of gold 
ever found in Mexico or any part of the world. It was 
sent to Spain as a present to the King, and in return for 
that act of generosity, the King contributed a beautiful 
and costly clock to the city as a gift for its cathedral, 
which I suppose strikes the hours now as it did in 1862 
when I was there. The noted San Pedro mine, which 
was near the city, was abandoned many years before my 
visit on account of water that flooded the interior and 
caused it to cave. So far the evil has not been remedied, 
but perhaps scientific skill will overcome the difficulties 
eventually and make its wealth accessible. 

After reaching our destination my employers ascer- 
tained that a lot of silver bullion that was due them had 
not been delivered. The treasure was expected from the 
mines of Real de Catorce, distant about one hundred and 
forty miles, and it was essential that it should be secured 
with as little delay as possible. For that purpose I and 
the two Mexicans of our party were sent with four pack- 
mules, under the orders of Angel Hernandez, a resident 
of San Luis Potosi. We arrived at the smelting works 
of the Catorce mines about eight o'clock in the evening. 

The city of Real de Catorce is situated on top of a high 
range of mountains, and the only approach was up a 
narrow winding path cut in the side of the ragged ac- 
clivity that could only be ascended on foot or the back 
of mules. This and another similar trail were dug out of 
the perpendicular face of the precipice, and each with its 
windings was about two miles in length. Its name 



8 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Catorce, " fourteen," was given it because this canon was 
first inhabited by a band of fourteen robbers. 

The population of the town then numbered in the 
neighborhood of six thousand people. The public build- 
ings and houses were substantially built of stone, and the 
streets, though narrow, were paved, and cleanliness was 
enforced. No vehicles of any kind could be seen in the 
place, and it was said that none had ever been introduced, 
but the deficiency was supplied by pack animals. The 
inhabitants derived their support from the rich mines 
situated in a canon of the mountains which rise above the 
plateau on which the city is built. The ore was very rich 
and the mines were ow r ned by Santos de la Masa, who 
worked them according to very primitive methods. 

The ore was conveyed from the mines to the foot of the 
mountain in hampers on the backs of burros. Each bur- 
den weighed one hundred and fifty pounds, and they trav- 
eled in a slow pace, as they wound down the trail leading 
from the mine, in a continuous line, and returned un- 
loaded, in a snail-like pace, along an equally narrow trail 
up another route. 

The reducing works of the Catorce mines were situated 
near a stream that ran along the base of the mountain 
where the ore was worked both by smelting and by patio, 
or cold amalgamation process. The first method was 
used for the hard, and the last for the soft ores that were 
taken from the mine. There were several circular de- 
pressions, each about two feet in depth and seventy-five 
feet in circumference, with its bottom sloping from the 
center to the outer rim. These were cut in the solid rock 
and cemented, and each was enclosed around the edges 
by a strong fence about eight feet in height. 

The soft ore was first ground on steel mills to the fine- 
ness of sand; and the powder was then placed in one of 
the circular excavations to the thickness of eighteen 
inches. It was then saturated with water, and a quan- 
tity of quick-silver was added. A number of wild mules 



A TEXAS PIONEER 29 

was then turned into the enclosure until there was not 
enough room for them to turn round and the gate was 
closed. The mules were then driven around the circle 
as rapidly as possible by men with whips who were sta- 
tioned at intervals on the fence. When the animals were 
completely fagged out others equally wild relieved them 
and each time more water was added. When the pul- 
verized ore was reduced to the consistency of mud, it was 
washed clean, and nothing but the silver amalgam re- 
mained that was deposited in grooves, made for that 
purpose in the cement floor. This was gathered and 
smelted in a furnace from which the silver was run into 
bars. 

The process was similar to the common practice in olden 
times, when grain was tramped out by horses on a barn 
floor, and it was equally successful. The owner of the 
mine raised large numbers of mules on his ranch expressly 
for the purpose, and when sufficiently tamed they were 
placed on the market. This description is given with 
the belief that the methods then in use have been dis- 
carded since the introduction of stamp mills and other 
improved machinery. 

A much harder ore was taken from the same mine, called 
milling ore, which was carried direct to a furnace. The 
furnace was built in the side of a hill and resembled a 
lime-kiln, with an opening in the top to receive the ore. 
A peculiar kind of wood was used for smelting the ore 
that produced an intense heat which was kept up until 
a sluggish stream of silver flowed out below into molds 
that turned out bars of uniform size. 

We remained at the smelting works three days, during 
which time I made several visits to the town of Catorce. 
I rode up the mountain on a donkey and the round trip 
cost me twenty-five cents. I had a good time frolicing, 
dancing, and seeing everything that was worth the 
trouble. Felix Barrera, of San Antonio, who was known 
to me, was working in the mine, but I did not see him, 



30 A TEXAS PIONEER 

although I became acquainted with his brother who lived 
in the town. 

We loaded our pack-mules with eight bars of silver bul- 
lion, valued at eight thousand dollars, and returned safely 
to San Luis Potosi with our valuable cargo, but I do not 
know what disposition was made of it, although I am 
confident that it was left there. Before our departure 
the Mexican ambulance driver was discharged on account 
of drunkenness, and his duties were assigned to me. I 
knew all about driving oxen and a pair of horses, and I 
assumed the task without hesitation. Though it was my 
first attempt at driving four-in-hand, I succeeded ad- 
mirably and my employers complimented my skill when 
we arrived at Piedras Negras, about the latter part of 
February, 1863, after an absence of twenty-five days. 

I next offered my services to Messrs. Rinehold Becker 
and George Enderle, merchants of Piedras Negras, who 
were preparing to visit Monterey for the purpose of re- 
plenishing their stock of goods. My recent experience 
was a sufficient recommendation and they employed me 
to drive their ambulance. 

My expertness in handling horses was not put to a 
test on the journey until we passed over a stretch of road 
that was full of stumps. Although I exerted all my skill 
I gave my passengers frequent jolts and they were rather 
free with their criticism when commenting 'on my care- 
lessness. Finally they concluded to take a more conser- 
vative view of the situation by turning their mishaps 
to some account, and decided that every time a wheel 
struck a stump they would console themselves by taking a 
drink. As we had a long jaunt ahead of us the en- 
counters with stumps and the bottle were frequent, con- 
sequently my employers were well loaded when we reached 
an open country. We returned from Monterey in March 
and I was again out of a job. Mr. Enderle has been dead 
a number of years; he was a brother-in-law of Mr. John 
Fries, who for many years was a merchant in San An- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 31 

tonio, where his son, Fred Fries, is now City Clerk. Mr. 
Becker is now living in said city, where, until a few years 
ago, he was in active business. 

I was not disposed to remain idle and I undertook to 
dig a well for John Heinemann, in April, for a stipulated 
price. I had never had any experience in that line of 
work, and my ignorance was perceptible when I struck 
water because of its crookedness the mouth of the well 
was hid from view when at the bottom. After it was 
finished it answered every purpose on account of its 
abundant supply of water. It was the first well that was 
ever dug in Piedras Negras, and the owner made it pay 
by selling water at the well for twelve and a half cents 
per barrel. It did not interfere with my water business, 
which had been prosecuted during my absence, and it was 
continued by hired help for some time afterwards. 

I was again free, but in May I found employment with 
the firm of Messrs. F. Groos & Co., in Piedras Negras, 
who placed me in charge of their cotton yard under Gus- 
tave Groos, a brother of Mr. F. Groos, now a banker in 
San Antonio. I commenced working for them at a salary 
of seventy-five dollars per month, and held the position 
until the following October. Strong influences were then 
brought to bear which made me give up my situation 
and dispose of my water business, but when doing so I 
acted contrary to my inclinations. I was led away from 
all my former occupations, and was influenced to engage 
in the trade of war, which was repulsive to me. 



CHAPTER IV 

I WAS not much concerned on account of the Civil War 
that was raging in the United States, and I was content 
so long as Texas was free from its ravages. I did not 
know much about it, but before that time many men from 
the Southern States had entered Mexico on account of 
the troubles there. Some were refugees who fled from 
the country because of their opposition to secession and 
sympathy for the Union cause, but many were skulkers 
seeking to avoid military service, and a large number 
were deserters from the Confederate army. Among the 
former was Joe Christ, who was devoted to the Union 
cause. He was a good old friend of my father's, and he, 
more than any one else, persuaded me to close up my 
business and go with him to Brownsville. 

The country along the west side of the Rio Grande was 
then infested by outlaws, and one of the most notorious 
was Abram Garcia, who first appeared there in I860. 
He was personally known to Louis Hastings, now living 
in San Antonio, who is acquainted with his career, but 
through other sources I became familiar with the many 
depredations he committed between Laredo and Mat- 
amoras. 

He was commonly known as Caballero Blanco, or the 
White-horseman, on account of the white horse he always 
rode, and the people in that region feared him very much, 
particularly in the towns of Mier, Roma, Renosa Vico, 
Renosa San Antonio and Camargo. He had the reputa- 
tion of being a very brave man, but the cruelties he per- 
petrated on those who fell into his hands indicated that 
he was influenced by a brutal nature. He took special 
delight in humiliating the victims that were overpowered 

32 



A TEXAS PIONEER 33 

by his gang and robbed, by forcing them to dance at the 
muzzle of a six-shooter and then maltreated them by 
whipping them cruelly with a quirt before they were 
finally dismissed. 

When passing through the territory in which he oper- 
ated, Mr. Christ and myself observed a continual watch- 
fulness, but nothing was seen that excited suspicion, 
though we came in contact with a party of unfortunate 
Mexicans who had been subjected to his unmerciful treat- 
ment. They had come from Saltillo or Monterey with a 
lot of superior horses, some fine Mexican blankets, saddles, 
and other things that were intended for the Texas market, 
when they encountered Caballero Blanco near the river, 
at Roma. The property, which was valuable, was all 
taken from them, and the entire party of six men, after 
being forced to dance, were horribly beaten, but one more 
severely than the others. Their condition was such that 
it was necessary to convey them to Renosa San Antonio 
for medical treatment, and Mr. Sanders, a merchant of 
Roma, a particular friend of theirs, was summoned to 
their bed-side. 

After seeing the evidence of his deviltry, our party, 
like every one else, was fearful of meeting Caballero 
Blanco, and we kept constantly on the watch until our 
destination was reached. As I left Mexico a few months 
later and did not return for several years, I heard no 
mention of him, nor do I know what became of him. 

Persons who violate the law in Mexico are quickly ar- 
rested, and generally the penalties are impartially en- 
forced ; but some people think otherwise, and many stories 
have been published which convey a different impression. 

I recall an unusual incident which came to my knowl- 
edge that happened at Mier, near the Rio Grande, when 
I and my three companions, Tom Egg, John Heinemann, 
and Bill McFarland, were stopping there. The third day 
after our arrival four other Texans put up at the little 
meson where we were quartered. The next morning the 



34 A TEXAS PIONEER 

new-comers led their horses to water and when returning 
from the river they observed a Mexican woman moving 
slowly in the trail before them. A large jar that held 
about four gallons was gracefully poised on her head, 
without any support from her hands, which contained 
water that she had procured at the river and she was 
carrying it to her home half a mile distant. 

One of the young men in the party was an excellent 
marksman with a pistol, and he wanted to show his skill 
by breaking the jar with a bullet. His aim was accurate, 
the vessel was broken, and the poor woman received an 
unexpected shower-bath. It was a mean thing for him to 
do, and perhaps he feared the consequences or else his 
offer to compensate the woman for her loss by paying her 
a dollar, showed that he regretted his thoughtless act. 

She communicated the circumstances to her friends, 
who complained to the Alcalde of the place, and in a short 
time eight armed men appeared before the meson and con- 
veyed the young gentleman to jail. Until then no one 
in my party knew what had happened, and then Messrs. 
Heinemann, Egg, and McFarland, accompanied by the 
prisoner's three friends, followed him and the guard, but 
I remained in camp. 

Heinemann, who had married in a prominent Mexican 
family in Laredo, could speak Spanish fluently and he 
undertook to defend the young Texan. He proved by 
the testimony of his friends that the prisoner was an ex- 
pert with a pistol, who could shoot an egg off a man's 
head at any reasonable distance, and that the woman's 
life was in no danger when he fired at the jar. 

But for Heineman's influence it is probable that some 
sort of punishment would have been meted out to the 
young man, and he was fortunate in escaping so easily, 
because then Americans were looked upon with less favor 
than now. Possibly when he returned to Texas he made 
himself a hero by telling incredible stories about Mexico, 
like others have done, but they only deceive the ignorant. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 35 

After arriving in Brownsville, Mr. Christ exerted his 
influence over me and in compliance with his earnest solici- 
tations I enlisted in the United States army, in December, 
1863, as a private in Captain Braubach's company of 
scouts. The company was an independent organization, 
raised for service on the Rio Grande, and it was com- 
posed of white Americans exclusively. I was then in my 
seventeenth year and when the officers were elected I was 
made second corporal. The First Texas Cavalry was 
then in camp at Brownsville, under the command of 
Colonel Davis, who was afterwards governor of Texas, 
and my company was embodied with it and was known 
as Company H. During the six months that the com- 
mand remained in that region it was constantly engaged 
in scouting along the Texas border. 

On one occasion a detachment of the regiment, con- 
sisting of twenty men, was sent to Padre Island with or- 
ders to collect a lot of beeves under the protection of a 
vessel that was to sail a mile or so from shore and warn 
us of the enemy's presence should any appear. After 
proceeding some distance we came in sight of a herd of 
cattle and soon headed them toward our lines. We 
did not make much progress before the enemy appeared 
with a larger force that compelled us to retreat and the 
beeves were recaptured. The vessel off shore promptly 
came to our rescue and shelled our opponents, but they 
could not be prevented from driving off the cattle to a 
place of safety. 

A large Federal force, represented by all branches of 
the service, was then concentrated in the vicinity of 
Brownsville, and the commodious buildings at Fort Brown, 
on the banks of the Rio Grande, opposite Matamoras, 
were occupied by them. An invasion of Texas was in con- 
templation that was to be conducted on a large scale 
by two armies, one on Red River and the other on the Rio 
Grande, both acting in concert, but the battles of Mans- 
field and Pleasant H'ill changed these plans and Texas 



36 A TEXAS PIONEER 

was spared from witnessing the havoc incident to the 
ravages of war. 

After Banks' army was defeated on Red River and 
driven back to Morganza, on the Mississippi River, the 
western division, that was to have participated in the 
invasion of Texas from the west, was ordered to 
rendezvous at that point in Louisiana. Only five com- 
panies of the First Texas Cavalry were included in the 
order, and Companies A, B and C remained in Browns- 
ville under the command of Captain Zoeller until the close 
of the war, when they were reunited with the regiment. 

When we arrived at Morganza the encampment of 
General Banks' army of 80,000 men extended along the 
river a distance of about ten miles and the line of out- 
posts was, necessarily, about twenty miles long. A reor- 
ganization of the army was in progress and it was under- 
stood that preparations were being made for another 
advance into Texas. During that period the picket line 
was constantly harassed by the enemy's scouts and they 
sustained many losses, although they had a strong sup- 
port and were always on the alert. Every day a dozen 
or more of the poor fellows were either killed, wounded, 
or captured, and it seemed as if it was impossible to re- 
strain the Rebs, who seemed to be always ready to attack 
our front. These fatalities do not figure in history, but 
it is an actual fact that the Confederates caused more 
losses to the Union army in that encampment than was 
sustained by the American forces in the recent Spanish 
war. 

The Confederates occupied a fortification on Bayou 
Atchafalaya, about twenty-five miles distant and west of 
our position, which gave them a strong support. When 
the attacks became insufferable it was determined to 
drive them from that location, and, if possible, force them 
to abandon the country east of that stream. For that 
purpose a force numbering about three thousand infantry, 
with four or five batteries and one thousand cavalry, was 



A TEXAS PIONEER S7 

sent against them with orders to treat all Confederate 
scouts as guerrillas and show no mercy to those who 
should fall in their hands. 

The excuse for vigorous action and the adoption of 
harsh penalties was justified by the report that the 
Confederates had hung several Federal soldiers; but the 
reason for doing so was unknown, and if it was a fact 
the circumstances did not warrant such extremely harsh 
measures, though many acts are perpetrated in time of 
war which are unjustifiable. Possibly they were executed 
as spies or deserters, but it is more probable that they 
were foragers who were depredating on the citizens, and 
hanging was too good for them. 

A detachment of sixty men from the First Texas Cav- 
alry was placed under the command of Lieutenant Lilly 
of Company A, and eight of them were selected from 
Company H. My disappointment because I was not one 
of them led me to offer my services as a volunteer and 
they were accepted. I was anxious to go because we all 
thought that it was the first movement towards the in- 
vasion of Texas and my confidence led me to believe that 
we would march direct to San Antonio. Fearing that 
there would be no more fighting, I was anxious to par- 
ticipate in one engagement so that I could tell my friends 
in Texas that I took part in a battle. When I was 
chosen in another man's place I was delighted and I con- 
sidered it a very great favor. 

We left our encampment about three o'clock in the 
morning and our detachment led the advance with a part 
of a New York regiment of cavalry in our rear. We were 
chosen for the post of honor because the First Texas 
Cavalry had the reputation of being very good horse- 
men. We rode about twenty miles before we came in con- 
tact with the enemy's pickets. They gave us a warm re- 
ception, and held us in check for half an hour, in which 
time about thirty of our men were killed and many 
wounded. After the first attack reinforcements of in- 



38 A TEXAS PIONEER 

fantry rapidly advanced and a charge was made which 
routed the enemy. We pursued them about five miles, 
or until we were under the fire of the fort, and we then 
skirmished until our entire force was concentrated. 

Our troops were sheltered behind a levee and the enemy 
was strongly fortified on the opposite side of the 
Atchafalaya with their cannon commanding the bridge. 
The fight lasted about four hours, during which time a 
heavy infantry and artillery fire was maintained on both 
sides. The Federal loss in killed and wounded was con- 
siderable, and I saw enough fighting to satisfy me, but 
I did my part without making myself conspicuous. My 
first shock was received when I saw Major Black, a gal- 
lant officer, who commanded a battalion of Illinois infan- 
try, shot from the top of the levee and roll down the 
embankment. The retreat was ordered none too soon for 
me, and I never afterwards was foolish enough to vol- 
unteer when a detail was needed, on which occasions I 
was always glad when my name did not appear. 

After the invasion of Texas was abandoned, the en- 
campment at Morganza was broken up and the five com- 
panies of the First Texas Cavalry were stationed suc- 
cessively at Natchez, Brookhaven and Baton Rouge. 
Subsequently, when the war was brought to a close, they 
were ordered to New Orleans, where they, were joined 
by Companies A, B, and C> that had been left in Browns- 
ville. They had performed efficient service on the 
western borders of Texas under the command of Captain 
Zoeller, and they participated in the last battle that was 
fought for the Union. The engagement took place the 
13th day of May, 1865, below Brownsville, at Palo Alto, 
which is now known as the " White Ranch." It was not 
much of a fight, but it is worthy of notice because it hap- 
pened seven days after the Trans-Mississippi Department 
of the Confederacy was surrendered by General Kirby 
Smith, consequently it was the last battle of the war. 

After the companies of the regiment were reunited, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 39 

Company H, which until then was known as an inde- 
pendent organization, was disbanded and the men en- 
rolled in the companies of their choice, otherwise they 
would not have been entitled to pensions and other emolu- 
ments of the service. I became a member of Company 
C, commanded by Captain Zoeller, who now is a pros- 
perous farmer and ranchman and resides at Waring, 
Texas. The regiment marched over-land to San Antonio, 
Texas, where on the 28th of October, 1865, the men were 
honorably discharged from the army. 

Before dismissing the subject, I wish to pay a just 
tribute to the character and services of my commander, 
and it will be appropriate to do so in this connection. 

Captain Zoeller claims a long list of ancestors who were 
prominently connected with military life in Germany, 
therefore, he was instinctively a soldier and the profession 
of arms was not repulsive to him. He was con- 
scientious in his views with reference to the political 
troubles that arose in 1861, and he not only opposed se- 
cession at the ballot box, but he entered the army and was 
active in defense of the Union during the great Civil 
War. 

His talents and qualifications recommended him for pro- 
motion, and as a captain of cavalry his superior horse- 
manship and gallantry made him conspicuous on all oc- 
casions where his services could be made effective. As an 
officer he recognized the fact that obedience was the first 
duty of a soldier, and he exerted himself to instill his 
principles into the minds of his men. As a disciplinarian 
he was strict but kind and considerate to those who served 
under him, consequently he won their respect and con- 
fidence. The estimation in which his abilities and serv- 
ices were held by those in authority was expressed when 
he was offered a position in the regular army of the 
United States. When he returned to the peaceful pur- 
suits of private life he not only retained the affections of 
his comrades in arms, but he won the good will of all 



40 A TEXAS PIONEER 

men and he commanded an influence that was felt wher- 
ever he was known. No man is perfect, but my friend- 
ship for Captain Zoeller has placed a high estimate on his 
character, and I believe that when his life's record is 
closed few blemishes will appear to mar the purity of his 
existence. 

I ' returned immediately to my father's farm, where I 
received an affectionate welcome from my people and 
neighbors. I had been absent from home nearly three 
years, and many changes had occurred during that 
period, but none had taken place in my father's family. 
After spending two pleasant months among my old asso- 
ciations, I became restless and anxious for some active 
employment. As mail contracts were then being let in 
Texas, I filed an application for the route from San 
Antonio to Eagle Pass and from there to Fort Clark. 
My bid was accepted by the Post Office Department and 
in January, 1866, a contract was awarded me. 



CHAPTER V 

I WAS not quite twenty-one years of age when I secured 
a contract to carry the United States mail from San An- 
tonio to Eagle Pass and that from Eagle Pass to Fort 
Clark. The length of the first route was one hundred and 
sixty-two miles, and I was required to make the round 
trip once every six days. The post offices were Castro- 
ville, New Fountain, D'Hanis, Sabinal, Uvalde and Eagle 
Pass, from which place the mail was carried to Fort 
Clark, a distance of fifty miles, by George Swanda, whom 
I hired for that purpose. 

My outfit consisted of a three-seated hack, capable of 
carrying six persons, that was drawn by a pair of mules, 
which I drove myself. Stations were established at suit- 
able distances, where I changed teams ; and as I had sub- 
let the route to Fort Clark, Eagle Pass became the ter- 
minus of that under my immediate control. 

My regular charge per seat, for a through passage, 
was twenty dollars, but it was seldom that all seats were 
occupied. \ 

The road was always beset by many dangers, and I 
considered myself extremely fortunate after passing 
through them. The frontier was practically unprotected 
against the Indians who were then plentiful, and they 
made raids with impunity through Medina, Uvalde and 
Atascosa Counties, where they killed and plundered the 
people. The Eagle Pass and El Paso roads were con- 
tinually infested by them, and those who traveled those 
routes always tempted Providence unless they were strong 
enough in numbers to resist an attack. 

I often saw the trails of marauding parties of Indians 

41 



42 A TEXAS PIONEER 

where they crossed the road and have found the mutilated 
bodies of many men lying where they had been murdered. 
I frequently traveled the route alone, and it is remark- 
able that on such occasions I was never molested, and the 
exceptions were when I had one or more passengers in 
my coach. The risks were so great that business men 
would rarely travel the route alone, but formed parties 
of several who were well supplied with arms and 
ammunition. 

On one of my trips in 1866, I was traveling westward 
entirely alone, and when about eighteen miles from Eagle 
Pass I drove into a camp, about three o'clock in the after- 
noon, where nine Mexican carts were standing by the road- 
side. The bodies of the drivers were scattered around 
where they had been killed and some of them scalped by 
Indians. Evidently the murders were committed not more 
than three hours before and apparently when the men 
stopped for dinner. 

I did not waste much time making investigations after 
seeing that they were all dead, but hurried onward as 
fast as possible under a dread of the barbarians who 
might have lingered in that vicinity. I reported the 
tragedy to the authorities immediately after my arrival 
at Eagle Pass. The bodies were brought in that night 
and buried the following day in the public graveyard. 
One of the unfortunates was Felipe Calabera, a nephew 
of Jesus Calabera, who now lives on South Laredo Street 
in front of Emil Oppermann's store. If the Indians were 
followed I cannot recall the fact, but as such murders 
were frequent, and as it was not troublesome to find the 
perpetrators at any time, it is probable that no action 
was taken to have them punished. 

The Indians sometimes were very bold, and on one of 
my trips to Eagle Pass, in 1866, they exhibited their 
adroitness as thieves in the vicinity, and the performance 
caused the good people of that town considerable incon- 
venience. It happened in connection with a patriotic 



A TEXAS PIONEER 43 

occasion, on the 4th of July, when the citizens were en- 
joying themselves at a ball, that was given in honor of 
our national anniversary, to which everybody was invited. 

The abandoned United States post, situated about 
half a mile south of town, that is known in history as 
Fort Duncan, was selected as a suitable place for the 
celebration, and .the hospital, with a floor space meas- 
uring about '30 x 100 feet, was chosen for dancing pur- 
poses. The arrangements were all perfected by Thomas 
B. McManus, the customs-house officer at Eagle Pass, 
with the assistance of Henry Bruhn, of San Antonio, 
the father-in-law of Otto Evert and Ed Galm of said 
city. 

The Mexican customs-house officers from Piedras Ne- 
gras, with their families, all the best people from Eagle 
Pass, and the settlements along the river were in attend- 
ance. Those who rode horseback secured the animals to 
the buildings or surrounding trees and gave them no fur- 
ther attention after joining in the dancing or other pleas- 
ures of the occasion. No apprehension of danger was 
entertained, and nothing occurred to mar the happiness 
of the evening that gave life to the old fort which caused 
it to resound with joyous mirth until the early tints of 
dawn admonished the participants to close their revels. 

Those who first departed returned hastily and caused 
a scene of excitement by announcing that all the horses 
had disappeared except a few that were tied to the gal- 
lery posts of the building. The evidence was clear that 
the revelers had been made the victims of an Indian raid, 
and the impudent enterprise was shrewdly executed. The 
skulking savages only took advantage of the distracting 
incidents of the occasion, and without interrupting the 
festivities quietly left them to return to their homes on 
foot. They were less merciful to two poor Mexicans who 
left Eagle Pass that morning on an ox-cart with the 
intention of hauling wood, who were killed by them below 
town. 



44 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Such audacity was exasperating, and Henry Bruhn 
immediately organized a party which started in pursuit 
of the Indians with a view to their chastisement. They 
were overtaken at El Canado, near the river, about eight 
miles above town, and a fight occurred in which two Mex- 
icans were killed before the Indians retreated. 

Another time, when returning from Eagle Pass in the 
early spring of 1867, Mr. Black, of Uvalde, and Angel 
Torres, of San Antonio, accompanied me as passengers, 
and Pablo Castro drove the hack. We were all well armed 
and had plenty of ammunition, but our journey was not 
interrupted until we reached a point about four miles 
west of Turkey Creek on the Eagle Pass road. We were 
in an open prairie, about four o'clock in the afternoon, 
when we saw a party of eleven Indians, whose movements 
indicated that we were in for a fight, and we prepared 
for trouble. 

Perhaps they thought it would be an easy thing to 
take our scalps, and they charged toward us, uttering 
their terrific war-whoops, but their yells only frightened 
the mules, and Pablo had all he could do to keep them 
from running away. Black and myself took a position in 
front of the animals, but Torres stood alone near a 
crooked mesquite tree, and we waited until we could shoot 
with accuracy. 

The Indians saw that the mules were frightened, and 
with the intention of stampeding them, they strung out 
in a circle, about two hundred and fifty yards distant 
from us, in which they rode singly about fifty yards 
apart. The movement was one in which they were well 
trained, because the distances were kept remarkably well. 
Their actions reminded me of a circus, but I did not 
look at them with the same sensations of pleasure. The 
continual series of war-whoops and yells which accom- 
panied their performances failed to make the mules break 
away before they were well secured, and our uneasiness 
was removed on that account. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 45 

In the meantime we were not idle, although we found 
it was impossible to do any effective work at that dis- 
tance, because the Indians clung to the opposite side of 
their horses, out of sight, and the rapidly moving animals 
were exposed to an uncertain aim. Finally one of the 
horses dropped in his tracks, and the dismounted Indian 
hastened to shelter behind a tree in his vicinity. The 
range was open before him, and he fired several shots at 
Torres without effect before that gentleman realized that 
he was being used as a target, and when a bullet threw 
bark in his face from a limb that served as a rest for his 
rifle, he abandoned his exposed position and joined Black 
and myself in front of the mules. 

The instant the horse fell one of the Indians uttered a 
peculiar whoop which made Torres think one of them was 
wounded, but it was explained when they gathered near 
the animal and proceeded to rescue the Indian. After he 
was mounted behind one of them they sped away, utter- 
ing a series of war-whoops until they disappeared over a 
neighboring hill. 

The fight only lasted about fifteen minutes, in which 
time about seventy-five shots were fired, and the only 
trophy of the battle was a dead horse! The carcass was 
examined and a hole was found, about two inches below 
the base of the left ear, where the bullet had entered that 
caused his death. The investigation decided a question 
with reference to who fired the fatal shot by awarding the 
honor to Black and his five-shot Colts rifle, because it was 
evident that the wound was not made by a Henry rifle, 
the weapon carried by Torres and myself. The only thing 
left by the owner that might have served as a memorial 
of our victory was a piece of rope around the beast's 
neck, and that we did not remove. 

Torres conducted an established business in both Pie- 
dras Negras and San Antonio, and it was necessary for 
him to visit those places frequently, consequently he was 
often on the road, and generally he traveled with me. 



46 A TEXAS PIONEER 

When Henry rifles, that chambered eighteen cartridges, 
were first put on the market they cost $95 apiece, and 
Torres and myself probably owned the first that were 
brought to Texas. We ordered them through Mr. Hum- 
mel, of San Antonio, the father of Charles Hummel, now 
City Treasurer of said city, who still keeps up the busi- 
ness of Hummel & Son. This was our first opportunity 
to test them in battle, and perhaps the Indians, who knew 
nothing about them, were disconcerted by our rapid fire. 
We were much pleased with them, although we could not 
brag on our marksmanship on that occasion, but it was 
no proof that Mr. Black's rifle was superior because it 
was the only weapon that drew blood, or that Pablo's 
Spencer carbine, which he did not have an opportunity to 
use, was not just as good. 

The Indians we encountered belonged to the same tribe 
that killed John Sanders three days before. He resided 
on the Rio Frio, below the Eagle Pass road, and he was 
a good friend of mine. They would have made a good 
haul by capturing my hack, as I had ten thousand dol- 
lars in Mexican silver that was consigned to Goldfrank, 
Frank & Co., wholesale dry-goods merchants in San An- 
tonio. 

Mr. Black was afterwards killed by Tom Wall, in 
Uvalde, and Angel Torres, who was an uncle of Modesto 
Torres, of San Antonio, is also dead. Pablo Castro after- 
wards joined a band of cattle thieves and was killed near 
the Rio Grande. 

On another trip, in the spring of 1867, Thomas B. 
McManus and Sam White, of Eagle Pass, and Herman 
Schleuning, now in Austin, accompanied me to San An- 
tonio. We proceeded as far as Ranchera Creek, about 
four miles east of the present site of Sabinal station, with- 
out meeting with another adventure of any kind. At that 
point, where we suspected no danger, we were very much 
surprised, about nine o'clock at night, when a party of In- 
dians charged out of the darkness in our direction. Their 



A TEXAS PIONEER 47 

frightful war-whoops, which they uttered with the inten- 
tion of scaring our mules, were startling, and we expected 
an attack, but, much to our relief, they passed some dis- 
tance in front of us, after changing their course, and 
soon disappeared. No shots were fired on either side, 
partly because they were too far away, but really their 
movements were so rapid there was no chance for a fight 
and we were very well satisfied to see them go. 

I had another and worse fright when on my way to 
Eagle Pass, that also occurred in 1867. I was traveling 
alone on that trip, and after changing mules at Chichon 
station, twenty-seven miles east of Eagle Pass, had pro- 
ceeded about six miles, when I saw a dust rising about two 
miles away, to the left of the road, beyond a hill that 
obstructed my view. The time was about two o'clock in 
the afternoon, and I knew that the cloud of dust was 
raised by something moving in my direction under cover 
of the hill. My impression was that they were Indians, 
and I waited until they appeared on the brow of the 
naked elevation more than a mile distant. I then saw 
ten men driving a herd of loose horses and mules, and 
my fears convinced me that my first impressions were cor- 
rect. 

I realized the danger of my situation and could see no 
chance for me to get out of their way. With the deter- 
mination to defend myself as best I could, I hurried my 
team to a lone mesquite tree, that stood about one hun- 
dred yards from the road, and tied them to it with a 
heavy rope that I always carried for emergencies. As 
the mules were skittish when anyone got in front of them, 
it was necessary to approach them with a great deal of 
care, and I could ill afford to spare the time it took to 
secure them. I then prepared to protect myself against 
the approaching enemy with my Henry rifle and an abun- 
dant, supply of cartridges. 

The herd and its drivers were then much nearer and 
could be seen more distinctly. Much to my gratification 



48 A TEXAS PIONEER 

I perceived that the herd was driven by Mexicans, and 
as they crossed the road about five hundred yards behind 
me they passed without noticing me. Perhaps the ani- 
mals had been stolen and evidently they were smuggled 
across the Rio Grande somewhere between Laredo and 
Eagle Pass. 

Rattlesnakes were found in great numbers in west 
Texas and they were enemies that had to be guarded 
against at all times. Wild turkeys always show a great 
antipathy to them and never fail to make a deadly and 
persistent attack until the reptile is destroyed. An oppor- 
tunity to witness such conflicts is seldom offered, there- 
fore, I will notice one instance of the kind that came 
under my observation. 

I was traveling the road near Uvalde when I saw a 
large flock of wild turkeys in an open glade near the 
highway. I stopped when I saw the gobblers had con- 
gregated in a circle where they seemed to be fighting, 
but I soon perceived that they were killing a large rattle- 
snake. One after the other would spring into the air in 
rapid succession and come down on the reptile, which they 
struck a hard blow with one wing that might have been 
heard quite a distance. Apparently all the gobblers took 
part in the fracas, and they appeared to be greatly ex- 
cited, but the hens fed quietly in the vicinity and seemed 
to be indifferent to what was going on. 

I watched them about ten minutes before they observed 
my presence and became alarmed. After they disap- 
peared in the brush I approached the place and found 
the snake coiled up and almost dead. Evidently the 
gobblers had been engaged in killing him for some time 
before I appeared on the scene, and if they had not been 
disturbed the victim would have provided a feast for the 
whole flock, because it was their custom to eat the snakes 
killed in that way. 

Deer are equally prejudiced against rattlesnakes and 
invariably attack them in favorable localities. Nature 



A TEXAS PIONEER 49 

has made them enemies, and it is said that when an en- 
counter is unavoidable, with no available means of escape, 
the snake appreciates the danger; also that it makes no 
effort to strike, but suffers a collapse under an instinc- 
tive fear which prompts it to submit to its fate with its 
head hid beneath the coils of its body, which are closely 
drawn together. 

The deer springs from a safe distance into the air 
with its four feet brought together, and it comes down 
on the snake with its sharp pointed hoofs which cut like 
a knife. The movements are rapid and often repeated 
until the rattler is mangled into a shapeless mass. I have 
seen places where snakes had been killed by deer, but 
have never witnessed the performance. The marks of 
their sharp hoofs showed in the hard beaten ground and 
the bones of their victims were in evidence. 

Highwaymen in Mexico are called ladrones, or robbers. 
They usually frequented the frontier, but other parts of 
the country were often infested by them before they were 
finally suppressed by the government. Generally they 
were a select body of men of good appearance, who wore 
broad-brimmed felt hats elaborately embroidered with sil- 
ver and gold thread, and dressed in the regular riding 
costume that was profusely ornamented with silver buttons 
in front, on the sleeves, and down the trousers. Their 
horses were the best that the country afforded, and silver 
mountings were lavishly displayed on their saddles and 
bridles. 

When a band of ladrones decided to hold up a stage, 
after ascertaining that it was conveying a large sum of 
money or on other occasions, they selected an uninhab- 
ited region at a point where it was necessary for the 
vehicle to ascend a steep hill, and concealed themselves 
on both sides of the road until it approached. The first 
intimation of their presence was given by one of the 
gang, who ordered the driver to stop, when the others 
showed themselves and the spokesman made known his 



50 A TEXAS PIONEER 

intentions to the passengers. Pointing to his companions, 
who silently awaited the result of the conference, he ex- 
plained that it would be folly to offer resistance, as they 
were ready to enforce his demands. With the greatest 
politeness he requested them to pass out their money, and 
when they complied he placed it all together on the road- 
side. Force was rarely used in such cases, and I never 
heard of an instance when the pockets of passengers 
were searched. The money wanted was in sacks and 
generally amounted to large sums in silver that could not 
be concealed. 

When Major Porter's brother was robbed by ladrones 
on the national stage line near Monterey, in 1868, no 
resistance was offered; the passengers delivered ten thou- 
sand dollars to one man, who was in a short distance 
of his companions. After securing his treasure he or- 
dered the driver to proceed on his journey. 

I was never molested by ladrones when staging in that 
country, and only know of one occasion when I believed 
they intended to hold me up. It happened near Palo 
Blanco ranch, twenty-five miles northeast of Salinas. Vic- 
toria, where ten or twelve men were lined up on both sides 
of the road. I was riding on the outside with my driver 
and escort when I saw them. The speed of the team was 
checked and I called the attention of my passengers in- 
side the stage to the suspicious circumstance. We all 
recognized them as regular ladrones by their dress, etc., 
which corresponded with the general description I have 
given, and no time was lost in getting our weapons ready 
to meet them. The team was in a walk when we passed 
between them, but evidently, seeing that we were pre- 
pared to offer resistance, they were content to extend to 
us their friendly greetings. My passengers were Daniel 
Wueste of Eagle Pass, Carlos Sada of Monterey, Pedro 
Morales, customs-house officer at Piedras Negras, and two 
Mexican army officers. 

I only know of three stage robberies that occurred in 



A TEXAS PIONEER 51 

Mexico when I was in the business. One took place 
within five and another in less than ten miles of Mon- 
terey, on the road leading from Saltillo; and the other 
was forty miles from Monterey, on the Matamoras road 
near Lenares. The money thus obtained, when added 
together, amounted to a large sum, and it was all secured 
without a drop of blood being shed. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE fact is well known that smuggling has always 
been conducted along the borders between the two re- 
publics, but in earlier times it was practiced with greater 
impunity than at present. There were two classes of 
smugglers then, as there are now, who operated according 
to their means and influence. Those who could command 
both met with no difficulty in advancing their measures 
with the aid of friendly officials who boldly passed large 
transactions through the doors of the customs-house at 
a small expense. On the other hand, persons without 
means or patronage and with only a bold and enterpris- 
ing spirit to sustain them were compelled to resort to 
secret methods when conducting the same kind of business 
on a small scale. Much trading was done in that way 
with goods and animals that were acquired in legitimate 
transactions and the tariff due the governments was the 
only loss sustained ; but a much more extensive smuggling 
business was done by unscrupulous persons with property 
that was feloniously acquired. This class of thieves gen- 
erally were organized to operate in gangs on both sides 
of the river and acted in collusion with each other by 
exchanging stolen property brought from Mexico for 
other property acquired in a like manner in Texas. In 
that way a large number of animals of all kinds were 
transferred from one side of the Rio Grande to the other 
with little risk of detection. 

One of the most notorious characters that was ever 
engaged in such practices was Manuel Telamantes, a 
Mexican, whose home was in Eagle Pass. At one time 
his character was held in the highest estimation and he 

52 



A TEXAS PIONEER 53 

exerted a great influence among Americans. I was well 
acquainted with him, and at that time, in 1866, he was 
generally liked by all who knew him. He was also looked 
upon as a good and honest citizen until it was discovered 
that he was a leader of an organized gang of thieves and 
smugglers that had been in existence for years. 

He was a young and handsome fellow who dressed well 
and made a respectable appearance; he was also liberal 
with his means and conducted himself properly ; although 
at frequent intervals he absented himself for a short time 
and always returned with large sums of money, his busi- 
ness was not suspected, but after his character was ex- 
posed it became known that his secret expeditions were 
made to meet his confederates and to receive his share of 
the spoils. 

His career was prolonged until 1879, when it was made 
unsafe to engage in such enterprises, and his, like many 
others under similar circumstances, was closed by a vio- 
lent death. The particulars relating to the case, as they 
were represented to me, show that he entered Texas with 
a large herd of horses and mules, which were stolen in 
Mexico, and they were traded for beeves that had been 
stolen from ranchmen by associates in Texas. The thieves 
who received the horses and mules made good their es- 
cape, but Telamantes and his men with the cattle were 
pursued until overtaken between Fort Clark and the Rio 
Grande. The beeves were recovered, and Telamantes and 
his men were captured and hung. 

I do not doubt but that he had earned his fate, but 
when I recalled his many good qualities I could not help 
feeling regret that he had come to such an end. I saw 
him last in 1877, in San Antonio, when he offered to sell 
me one hundred and fifty choice mules, which were con- 
cealed somewhere in the mountains near Devil's River. 
He proposed to let me have the entire lot at a bargain, 
but I declined his offer. He was a bold fellow, and if he 
was a thief he took desperate chances in enterprises that 



54 A TEXAS PIONEER 

required brains that gave him control over men. He 
would have scorned the methods practiced by common 
thieves and highwaymen like that once attempted against 
me. 

The incident occurred in 1867, when I was returning 
from Eagle Pass and after I had delivered the Castro- 
ville mail-sack to Mr. John Vanze, the postmaster. A few 
minutes later he returned with the mail-pouch for San 
Antonio, and I paid him a twenty-dollar gold piece that 
John Kenedy, of Sabinal, had requested me to give him. 
I had taken it from a sack that contained about fifty 
dollars in Mexican silver, which I returned to its proper 
place under the seat during his absence. 

I was about to continue my journey when two men 
advanced and engaged two seats in my hack to San An- 
tonio, for which they paid me five dollars. I had noticed 
them at the post office when I exposed my money bag, 
and, doubtless, they supposed the coin was all in gold, 
when I took the gold piece from it, which they saw. 
There was nothing suspicious in their appearance, and I 
was pleased to have their company. 

The distance from Castroville to my father's house, 
where I changed my team, was only four miles, and we 
passed an unusual number of people on the way. Soon 
after starting an unaccountable feeling caused me to 
form an unfavorable opinion of my passengers and made 
me suspect that they were not all right, and the sequel 
will show that my impressions were correct. 

While the horses were being changed I greased the 
axles of my hack as usual, and when through the four- 
pound monkey-wrench which I used was returned to the 
tool-box in front. When ready to start I noticed that 
the cushion of the rear seat, which my passengers were 
waiting to occupy, did not fit properly, and I reached 
over to straighten it. As I raised the right-hand end I 
saw under it the monkey-wrench that I had replaced in 
its proper receptacle a half-hour before, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 55 

In the meantime no one but the two men had been 
near the vehicle, and I was convinced that they had placed 
the wrench in that place with murderous intentions. Evi- 
dently they designed using it as a weapon in a plan to 
kill and rob me, and I did not hesitate to charge them 
with the cowardly scheme. They denied having had any- 
thing to do with it, but I entertained contrary convic- 
tions and ordered them to leave the yard. They obeyed 
me without uttering another word, but my father, who 
was holding my team, called them back and insisted that 
I should return them the five dollars they had paid me. 
He said the poor fellows might need it, and I obeyed 
him, perhaps reluctantly, because, naturally, I felt no 
sympathy for them. Later I was told that they re- 
turned immediately to Castroville, and I afterwards 
learned that they were deserters from the United States 
army. 

The dangers I confronted in my travels were often 
compensated by pleasant entertainments at the end of 
my journey; and I recall one in which I took part that 
had no Indians or robbers connected with it, like those 
I have noticed. The occasion was a grand ball that was 
given about the latter part of June, 1867, in the customs- 
house at Piedras Negras, to celebrate the termination of 
the war that closed the reign of the Emperor Maximilian 
in Mexico. All foreigners in Eagle Pass were invited, and 
many, including Thomas B. McManus, Charley Groos 
and myself, were in attendance, together with all the best 
people in that part of the country. My impression is 
that the news of Maximilian's executon, which took place 
on the 19th of June, had not been received, and the ball 
was an expression of joy on account of the restoration of 
the republic. 

My information with reference to that tragic event 
was acquired, principally, from individuals who partici- 
pated in the war, and I will relate a few facts connected 
with the subject that were communicated by Colonel 



56 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Morales of the Mexican army. He spoke of the great 
sympathy of the people for Maximilian, after he was 
condemned to death, and particularly of its manifestation 
by five hundred of the most respectable ladies in the City 
of Mexico, who drew up an appeal for clemency. Dressed 
in black robes, the long procession presented themselves 
before the military tribunal with the petition for the em- 
peror's pardon ; but it was useless ; his fate was sealed 
and he was beyond the hope of mercy. 

He witnessed the execution of Maximilian, Mejia, and 
Miramon, and his relation of the facts was very im- 
pressive. They were taken to a hill outside of the city 
of Queretaro by the platoons of soldiers that were de- 
tailed to execute them. When drawn up in line Maxi- 
milian advanced and presented each of the firing party 
a gold doubloon, with the request that they would take 
good aim until he gave them the signal to fire by re- 
moving his hand from his breast. After resuming his 
position he eulogized his generals and resigned to them 
the honor of dying first. After they fell he calmly con- 
fronted the death that awaited him and met it with a 
fearlessness that became him. In after years I saw the 
spot in the Cathedral of Mexico where the emperor and 
empress stood in all their pride and glory when crowned, 
and, as I thought of their sad fate I could see the chapel 
that marks the place where he and his generals were 
executed. 

Generals Mejia and Miramon were gallant and com- 
petent officers in whom the emperor placed implicit con- 
fidence and they proved themselves worthy of his trust, 
but another, in whom he confided to an equal extent, be- 
trayed him. The " foreign legion," to whom was en- 
trusted the duty of sustaining his throne, was composed 
of criminals taken from the prisons of Europe with the 
design of getting rid of them and were utterly unreliable 
as soldiers. I was told by responsible Mexican officers of 
both armies that the legion wfts a band of robbers who 



A TEXAS PIONEER 57 

plundered indiscriminately and that the regulars of the 
French army would have nothing to do with them. All 
the facts show that Maximilian was the victim of a con- 
spiracy and his fate was regretted all over the civilized 
world. 

I only met with one accident during the eighteen 
months of travel while conducting my mail route, and 
that was not serious. It happened at Chichon, where I 
stopped for dinner with my three passengers, and to 
change my team. I had agreed to break a pair of wild 
mules for Domingo, the ranchman, and had been working 
them for about three months, from one station to the next, 
but every time they would try to run away, though I 
always got the best of them by allowing them to run, 
after getting them in the road, until they tired them- 
selves down. I had them hitched up on this trip, and a 
man held them until we were all seated in the ambulance. 
When he turned loose the unmanageable brutes, they 
headed for a high and strongly built picket fence, and 
before I could turn them, the hack came in violent col- 
lision with the posts. In my efforts to hold them I was 
badly hurt by being pulled from the seat, and as the 
vehicle was smashed, it was necessary to procure another 
conveyance before we could proceed. The nearest place 
where one could be had was Eagle Pass, but as the In- 
dians were raiding in that part of the country, no one at 
the station would undertake the chances of making the 
ride for love or money. 

When troubles accumulate to a certain point something 
generally happens that improves the situation, and in 
our case the emergency was met by Henry Shane, a 
friend of mine, who lived in that vicinity. His offer of 
assistance was accepted, and he started for Eagle Pass 
about one o'clock on his favorite saddle horse. The dis- 
tance of twenty-seven miles was ridden and the return 
trip with an ambulance and two horses, that he got from 
Albert Tuerpe, was made in about eleven hours. Imme- 



58 A TEXAS PIONEER 

diately after his arrival we hitched up the same wild 
mules, and without further mishap arrived at Eagle Pass 
about daylight. I started back the same morning, in the 
borrowed vehicle, about eight o'clock, as usual, and after 
driving about fifteen miles I met Mr. Shane with the 
broken ambulance, driving the horses he had gotten from 
Albert Tuerpe. He had added to my obligations by fol- 
lowing me with it, and it was taken to the government 
post, at Fort Duncan, which had been established a short 
time before, where it was repaired in the shop there, in 
a most suitable manner, without one cent of charges. 

The following week when I returned from San Antonio 
I met Mr. Shane and asked him what I owed him for his 
services and trouble, but he disposed of the subject by 
saying, " Nothing ; I was very glad that I was able to 
help you when you were in need." His generosity had 
been displayed by traveling fifty-four miles over a dan- 
gerous road at the risk of his life when no one else would 
take the chances. f He had left his horse in Eagle Pass 
and assumed the responsibility of taking the conveyance 
through and his return, making a total distance of one 
hundred and eight miles, together with all the incidental 
troubles and expenses attached, all on my account and 
with no expectation of reward. 

There is an old and true saying that " a friend in 
need is a friend indeed," and Mr. Shane's practical illus- 
tration of the fact was demonstrated in a manner that 
was a test which few persons have an opportunity to 
apply. I have always felt grateful towards him for his 
act of kindness and will never cease to entertain the 
warmest friendship for him while I live, because I know 
he is an honest and worthy man. 

I was under other obligations to him afterwards, and 
at one time especially when he assisted in recovering my 
stage mules that were driven off by the Indians, with 
John Kennedy's horses from the ranch. He went with 
John and Ross Kennedy and their men in pursuit until 



A TEXAS PIONEER 59 

they overtook them on the Rio Frio, eight miles east of 
Uvalde, near General Knox's ranch. 

Henry Shane is now about seventy-three years of age 
and he resides on his ranch five miles below Sabinal Sta- 
tion, on Sabinal Creek, with pleasant surroundings and 
in good circumstances. He is highly esteemed by all who 
are acquainted with his generous nature and have knowl- 
edge of his general character. He is well known through- 
out west Texas, where his life has been spent, and also 
in San Antonio, where he has many friends, and among 
them Colonel C. C. Gibbs is one of long standing. 

His early life was spent on the frontier of Texas, 
where he had many experiences, and the stories he could 
relate about his encounters with wild Indians would be 
interesting; but he rarely speaks of them, and he had 
one that he never talks about. It occurred in a fight 
when in pursuit of Indian raiders, on Sabinal Creek, after 
his ammunition was exhausted. When the fact was dis- 
covered he was close to an Indian who was also without 
ammunition, but both were equally brave, and they rushed 
at each other with clubbed guns. Those who witnessed 
the fight say that Mr. Shane was worsted in the fight by 
a lick on one side of his head which brought him to the 
ground, and he rolled down the creek bank. Other par- 
ticulars are forgotten, but Mr. Shane confesses that it 
was the hardest fight he ever had in his life. In later 
years he served during the Civil War as a soldier in the 
Confederate Army, and in that connection he sustained 
his reputation for courage and fidelity to duty that dis- 
tinguished his previous career as a worthy citizen on the 
borders of civilization, but not more honorably than he 
has since done in private life. 



CHAPTER VII 

CAPTAIN ADOLPH MUENZENBERGER and myself estab- 
lished the first stage line between the United States and 
Mexico, in August, 1867, under the firm name of A. 
Santleben & Company. The corporation was organized 
on August 1, as a private enterprise, for the purpose of 
transporting passengers, and, incidentally, to convey let- 
ters, money, and other packages suitable for the capacity 
of the stage. The institution was licensed under the gen- 
eral laws of the State of Texas and those of Mexico, but 
no subsidies were granted, and the business was conducted 
at the risk and expense of the company. The facts to 
be given will show that, throughout its continuance, the 
line was liberally patronized and was highly appreciated 
by the public because of its great convenience. 

The success of the enterprise was assured beforehand 
through special privileges granted by the Mexican gov- 
ernment, which would not, or could not, be allowed under 
existing laws. The most important of these concessions 
was an exemption from tariff charges on everything ex- 
cept money, on which a municipal duty of two per cent, 
was collected in Monterey and an export duty of ten per 
cent, was exacted by the customs officials at Piedras 
Negras. During the two years that the line was operated 
the contents of the coach was never investigated nor was 
it ever delayed on any occasion by government officials 
on either side of the Rio Grande. Thomas B. McManus, 
who was in charge of the United States customs-house in 
Eagle Pass, and the Mexican customs officials in Piedras 
Negras, Nicholas Gresanta, and his assistant, Pedro Mo- 
rales, were all my intimate friends whose personal influ- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 61 

ence and official powers were exercised in the interest of 
the line whenever an opportunity offered. 

Our stage as a mail carrier was guaranteed the same 
privileges and protection as those granted the general 
mail lines in Mexico; but otherwise it had no connection 
with the postal department, as the right to levy our own 
postage and collect it in advance, for the company's ben- 
efit, was conceded to us. Our company used a metal 
stamp that was furnished by the Mexican government, 
on which were the numerals " &5," with the words " Re- 
publica Mexicana " in a circle around them, which the 
postal department used until stamps were introduced in 
1870; but no account of our mail transactions was re- 
quired. The only agreement we had with the govern- 
ment stipulated that all letters handled by us might be 
weighed, and after a payment of twenty-five cents an 
ounce was exacted, the stamp should be applied once for 
each ounce. No other government stamp was placed on 
letters brought by us from Mexico, but it was necessary 
for all letters sent to the United States to carry stamps 
of that government, at the rate of five cents for each 
ounce after crossing the border. Frequently two dollars 
for postage was paid on one letter, and these carried 
eight impressions of our stamp, in addition to the United 
States postage. Messrs. Weber and Ulrich were one of 
several firms in Monterey, who paid as much or more on 
letters sent through us to the United States. On many 
of our trips as much as fifty dollars was realized on mail 
matter alone, that was collected at points along the 
route. 

Besides passengers and their baggage, we carried all 
kinds of paying freight, but mostly money, and occa- 
sionally we transported live-stock, such as game chickens 
and blooded sheep. The games were known as Guieo de 
Seguin, and they had a great reputation on account of 
their fighting qualities, in which respect they resembled 
the people in that region. They were raised mostly in 



62 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Seguin, and some of them were billed over our route to 
the City of Mexico, where they were highly prized by 
chicken fighters. Two were placed in a coop divided into 
two apartments, and our freight charge was twenty-five 
dollars. One pair of Merino lambs was conveyed on the 
stage to Monterey, that Charles Griesenbeck consigned 
to Governor Maduro, ex-governor of Coahuila. They 
were crated, and the charges amounted to fifty dollars. 

When not too heavily loaded, we imported as many as 
two thousand choice oranges, which brought us one hun- 
dred dollars per thousand in San Antonio at wholesale; 
also, chili pepper, that we sold at one dollar per pound 
wholesale, and other things of equal value. Our return 
freight to Mexico consisted mostly of eatables, which we 
also sold at wholesale prices. We often took as much as 
two hundred and fifty pounds of hams, and sold them at 
one dollar a pound; and twice a month we bought from 
Joe Ney, at D'Hanis, two hundred pounds of butter, in 
four cans, that was placed under the driver's seat, for 
which our customers paid us one dollar a pound; they 
retailed it at one dollar and fifty cents. One of our cus- 
tomers was Mrs. Russel, now Mrs. Cloudon, the mother- 
in-law of Mr. Socia, the cotton-buyer, who conducted a 
bakery and confectionery store in Monterey. Our stage 
fare from San Antonio to Monterey was $75.00. 

We often carried large sums of Mexican- money out of 
the country, and charged three per cent, for freighting it 
to San Antonio, which, when added to the twelve per cent, 
export duties, increased the expense to fifteen per cent. 
Our charge was less than those formerly prevailing and 
they were reduced by the premium allowed on Mexican 
silver on account of its purity. New York drafts then 
commanded a premium, ranging as high as twenty per 
cent., and there was always a demand for them in Mon- 
terey. The Texas firms that transacted the largest busi- 
ness with merchants in Mexico, at that period, were 
Messrs. Halff & Bro., Goldfrank, Frank & Co., and F. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 63 

Groos & Co., all of San Antonio, and our stage often 
brought for them as much as twenty thousand dollars 
from that country. Not one cent was ever lost that was 
entrusted to our care, and we established a confidence 
that was upheld by our company throughout its ca- 
reer. 

After the close of the French war, we contracted with 
Philipe Naranjo, a brother of General Naranjo of the 
Mexican army, to deliver two thousand Minea rifles to 
the national government. We found a lot of second- 
hand guns in New Orleans that had been used in the Civil 
War, and we bought the required number at auction, for 
eighteen hundred dollars, or less than a dollar apiece. 
They were brought to San Antonio and placed in Captain 
Muenzenberger's store, on West Commerce Street, where 
the Washington Theater now stands. Only five hundred 
were delivered before the building, including the other 
rifles, was destroyed by fire, and we suffered a total loss 
because we carried no insurance, but the profit on those 
that were sold more than covered our entire outlay. 

We drove six animals to the coach in Texas, and in 
Mexico eight, on account of the heavy traffic. The coach 
weighed about three thousand pounds, and was sub- 
stantially built, with a capacity for carrying about four 
thousand pounds. The wood used in its construction was 
the choicest hickory, and all the iron work was the best 
quality of steel. The spindles of the steel axles were two 
and a half inches thick and about fourteen inches long. 
The cushions were upholstered on coiled steel springs, 
with horse-hair filling, and covered with the best quality 
of brown calf-skin leather, consequently they were very 
expensive. The body was swung on leather braces and 
it was capable of seating eighteen average sized per- 
sons very comfortably, as it had three seats inside, each 
large enough for three people, and three others on the 
roof, capable of accommodating a like number. One of 
the outside seats was close behind that occupied by the 



64 A TEXAS PIONEER 

driver, similar to those used on transfer buses in large 
cities. The third seat was on the hind end of the coach, 
above the boot where trunks and other bulky baggage was 
usually carried, which faced toward the rear, and it had 
a top attached to it like those used on buggies, that could 
be raised or lowered. The flat top of the coach was cov- 
ered with heavy ducking that was impervious to water, 
and it had an iron railing two feet in height around its 
outer edge. The two seats on top, in the rear of that 
occupied by the driver and guard, were rarely used ex- 
cept in Mexico, where there was more traveling, when 
they, and the floor of the roof, were often crowded. 
Once the coach entered Lampazos with twenty-three pas- 
sengers, but that was an exceptional occasion, though 
generally we received a liberal patronage. 

The coach was manufactured by Abbott, Downing & 
Co., in Concord, New Hampshire, and it was imported by 
Mr. A. Staacke, their agent for such vehicles and Con- 
cord buggies in west Texas. He was also agent for 
Wilson & Childs, of Philadelphia, and introduced the first 
wagons, called " prairie schooners," that were used for 
over-land freighting, and the first Studebaker farm 
wagons, which have since become so popular. He sug- 
gested to this firm the manufacture of large cart wheels 
with heavy iron axles for freighting purposes, that were 
first introduced through him into Mexico, where they 
came into general use. In addition to his large stock of 
vehicles, in his establishment on West Commerce Street 
he kept an extensive assortment of supplies necessary for 
teamsters and train owners, and nearly all of them pur- 
chased their outfits from him. 

I note these facts, with reference to Mr. Staacke's ex- 
tensive business in early times, with pleasure, and it is 
necesary for me to do so because I will be compelled to 
notice him frequently in connection with my affairs. Mr. 
Staacke is still alive, but he retired from business about 
fifteen years ago, and his establishment has since been 



A TEXAS PIONEER 65 

successfully conducted by his sons in San Antonio under 
the firm name of Staacke Bros. 

We paid Mr. Staacke nine hundred dollars for the first 
coach we bought from him in 1867, when we started our 
line, and we purchased later the coach which has been 
described, for which we paid $1250, without the harness. 
The set of harness that was made for it was intended for 
six horses, to weigh twelve hundred pounds, but it was 
useless to us because our animals were much smaller. 

Our stage line extended from San Antonio along my 
old mail route to Eagle Pass, on the east bank of the Rio 
Grande. The distance to that point was one hundred 
and sixty-two miles, and the road was good in dry 
weather. I crossed the river there to Piedras Negras, 
now known as Ciudad Porfirio Diaz, situated on the high 
banks of the west side, in the State of Coahuila, Mexico. 
From there it continued southward three hundred and 
sixty-two miles to Monterey. 

We had, at first, very few stations, and lost entirely too 
much time on account of wet weather that often prolonged 
the trip to seven or eight days because of insufficient 
teams. To remedy the defect, suitable stations were 
selected, where the animals could be protected in the 
wild country through which it was necessary for us to 
pass, and we stocked the route with seventy-two good 
mules. We were satisfied, before these changes were 
made, that the line would pay if run to advantage, and 
afterwards an experimental drive was made over the route 
in five days, but the average time thereafter never ex- 
ceeded six days. 

The road between Santa Monica and Paso de la Laza 
was an unoccupied desert except by the stage-stand on 
the banks of the Rio Sabinas, which was abandoned later, 
on account of the Indians, and thereafter we were obliged 
to make a ninety-mile drive between Santa Monica and 
Lampazos with one team and without water, after cross- 
ing the Rio Sabinas. 



66 A TEXAS PIONEER 

The town of Lampazos had about three thousand in- 
habitants who were sustained by some irrigated land, 
and it was also a great sheep, goat and cattle country. 
The people of the town manufactured by hand good Mexi- 
can blankets, and they seemed to be industrious, as they 
were always at work. Northeast of the town is the Mesa 
de los Cartuhanas, that was then known as the Mesa de 
Vedura. 

From Lampazos to Villaldama, by the way of Sierra 
Colorado Pass and Golondrinas, is fifty miles. The 
town had about four thousand inhabitants in 1868, and 
the silver, copper, and lead mines in that vicinity gave 
constant employment to the people. The leading men 
in the place at that time were Mariano and Machor 
Sanchez, who were mostly engaged in the mining business. 

From Villaldama to Palo Blanco it is thirty-two miles 
and the road is good; and from there to Morales the dis- 
tance is eighteen miles. This stretch of fifty miles was 
considered the most dangerous for travelers on the frontier 
of Mexico. From Villaldama the road passed through 
a valley near the base of the Sierra Madre and another 
range of mountains enclosed it on the east side. The 
valley was from ten to fifteen miles in width, and thirty 
miles of the distance was through a palm-tree forest 
with a thick undergrowth of brush that in some places 
grew so close to the road it was impossible for two ve- 
hicles to pass each other. 

The heights of the Sierra Madre were constantly in- 
fested by Indians, and the road that lay below them could 
be observed for miles. When travelers were seen ap- 
proaching from either direction, they would descend to 
some suitable place in the valley and waylay them in 
ambush. The most dangerous place was about six miles 
from the Palo Blanco Ranch, where the road was confined 
to a narrow pass, between hills that rose from twenty to 
thirty feet high for a distance of about one hundred and 
fifty yards. Here and at other places they would make 



A TEXAS PIONEER 67 

a sudden attack, with the result that the travelers were 
murdered generally before they could offer the slightest 
resistance. I was told by the people at the ranch that 
more than seventy-five people had been killed in the pass 
in about twenty years, and I had personal knowledge of 
a family with their children, and several other persons 
that were killed there at different times. After perpetrat- 
ing their murderous work, the Indians would flee to the 
mountains, where they were safe from pursuit, and it is 
doubtful if large bodies of soldiers could have dislodged 
them from their place of refuge. 

One of our stations, where we changed horses, was Palo 
Blanco Ranch until it was removed elsewhere. On one of 
my trips westward, in 1867, when I reached that point the 
people informed me that the Indians had come out of the 
mountains and were depredating in the country along 
my route. They begged me to stay with them, as they 
thought it probable that the Indians would attack the 
ranch; but as I was not looking for Indians, and did not 
wish to have trouble with them, I only delayed long 
enough to change my team. 

When I returned I learned that, after my departure, 
about five o'clock in the evening, the Indians appeared and 
took three children into captivity, after killing two men 
and one woman who were traveling the road I had passed 
over, on their way to the ranch for protection, but those 
at the ranch were not molested. My good friend Jose 
Sanches was in charge of it at the time, and I believe he 
is still alive. 

The custom of showing respect for the last resting- 
place of the dead prevails in Mexico, where it has been 
observed for ages. Wherever a murdered person has been 
interred near the roadside, a cross is erected, and many 
travelers stop there to pray, but before leaving they al- 
ways deposit some token, even if it is a stone, at the foot 
of the cross, though many cast a stone on the accumu- 
lated pile as they pass. In the valley referred to, at one 



68 A TEXAS PIONEER 

of the places I passed, I counted as many as twenty 
crosses, some of them showing the marking of age, but 
many, and sometimes ten near together, were secured to 
palm trees and others to bushes. An appropriate name 
for it would be, the Valley of Death, and I always felt 
relieved after passing through it. On such occasions I 
usually adopted every precaution to guard against sur- 
prises, and when passing the most dangerous places I 
and my armed passengers rode on top of the coach. 



CHAPTER VIII 

FROM Morales to the beautiful town of Selinas Vic- 
toria, on the Victoria River, is seven miles over a less 
dangerous road. The town has a neat appearance, the 
streets are well paved, and it has a fine church. There 
are rich mines in the vicinity that give the people em- 
ployment, and in the country many horses are raised on 
ranches that are devoted to that business. From Selinas 
to Monterey it is twenty-five miles. The capital city of 
Nuevo Leon is situated on the Rio de Santa Catarina, 
and it is about six hundred and twenty-five miles from 
the City of Mexico. Many beautiful buildings of cut 
stone adorned the city, and the streets and squares were 
well paved. The principal plaza was the most general 
place of resort, and it was provided with stone benches 
for the accommodation of the public, who congregated 
there for social purposes and to listen to the music. The 
cathedral is one of the attractions of the city, and the 
theater and Plaza de Toro are the most popular places 
of resort. About that time the city had about forty 
thousand inhabitants, and its citizens were esteemed for 
their enterprising spirit which kept them abreast with 
the times. 

The climate of that region is justly extolled on ac- 
count of its temperature, which is rarely cold enough in 
winter for frost, and as fire is seldom needed for warmth, 
the majority of houses have no fire-places, but in summer 
it is sometimes quite warm, though the nights are cooled 
by the refreshing breeze that passes through the valley 
from between the Sierra de la Sileria or Saddle Moun- 
tains and the Sierra Madre. Vegetation grows to per- 
fection under irrigation, and the products of the soil are 



70 A TEXAS PIONEER 

raised in abundance. Tropical fruit, especially orange 
trees, need no protection and give large returns for the 
little attention they receive, and I realized many dollars 
from the sale of oranges brought from there to San 
Antonio. 

There are many places of historic interest near the city 
and the most prominent is the Bishop's Palace, which is 
situated on one of the foot-hills of the mountain, beyond 
its southern limits, that was the residence of the Catholic 
bishops of Monterey a long time after it became a dio- 
cese, but it has been abandoned for years. When the 
American army invested the city in 1847, the place was 
occupied by a detachment of Mexican troops until they 
were forced to surrender by a battery on Independent 
Hill that commanded the position from the opposite side 
of the valley. The battery is said to have been in charge 
of Lieutenant W. T. Sherman, who was afterwards a 
general in the United States army. 

The mother of Peter Bass, my station-keeper at Villal- 
dama, gave me some information relative to the siege 
and capture of Monterey by General Taylor, and I will 
relate a few facts in this connection. She had resided in 
the city from early childhod and was about twenty years 
old when the operations of the American army occurred 
in that section of the country. She pointed out the 
place, on the east side of the city, where the Americans 
gained their first success in the fight of Casa Blanca, and 
the site is now occupied by the Monterey brewery, one 
of the largest establishments of the kind in Mexico. She 
related what her father had told her about Mexican horse- 
men lassoing straggling soldiers from the American 
army and dragging them to death. She showed me the 
place where Captain Gillespie was killed, on the street 
called Mar Prieto, or Black Sea, when the Americans 
were entering Monterey; also the place where he was 
buried after the battle ; but his remains had been removed 
some time before and were carried to San Antonio, Texas, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 71 

where they repose in the Odd Fellows' Cemetery. She was 
present when the body was disinterred and heard a Mexi- 
can remark to one of the party of Americans who were 
performing the duty assigned them, that very few men 
were killed in the capture of Monterey, compared to the 
number engaged on both sides; and also the American's 
reply that, " If those who were killed could be estimated 
at their actual worth all of their virtues combined would 
not equal those once possessed by the man who lies before 
us." A monument was erected over his last resting-place ; 
and, unless I am mistaken, Texas has perpetuated his 
memory by naming a county in his honor. 

A national prejudice against Americans was enter- 
tained in Mexico long after the termination of that war, 
and the feeling was not only justified by its results but 
it was aggravated by the threatening schemes of filibus- 
ters in the United States for the conquest ef that country 
prior to the Civil War. The friendly attitude of the 
northern republic through that period, and its more recent 
position with reference to the empire under Maximilian, 
quieted all apprehensions in official circles, although, per- 
haps, it lingered to some extent among the people ; but it 
was never manifested in my case, because I was always 
treated with uniform courtesy in all my travels among 
them, and every facility was extended to me, both by the 
government and the people, to insure the success of my 
business. 

The interest manifested by the Mexican government in 
our stage line through its employees was never as great 
as that displayed by the citizens along the route, who 
neglected no opportunity to express their appreciation of 
our services. The most conspicuous among them was 
Joe Maria Perez, of Piedras Negras ; Santiago Tomas, 
of Santa Monica, who is the father-in-law of Dr. Serna, 
of San Buenaventura; Philipe Naranjo of Lampazos, and 
Mariano and Machor Sanchez of Villaldama. Wher- 
ever the stage appeared a greater sensation was created 



72 A TEXAS PIONEER 

than is usually expressed in a new railroad town when 
visited by the road's officials in their private car. Fre- 
quently the natives, with their primitive flutes, made of 
burnt clay and of cane, would serenade the passengers at 
the stations where we stopped, and very often a dance 
was arranged for them at night, to which the respectable 
class of people were invited. As I was fond of dancing, 
these events afforded me pleasant recreation and I never 
failed to attend them. 

On one occasion General Wardwell, the general in- 
spector of United States custom-houses along the Rio 
Grande from its mouth to El Paso, participated in one of 
such entertainments. He was on his way to Brownsville, 
and as there was no public means of conveyance to that 
place, other than on my stage to Monterey, where con- 
nection was made with the Mexican stage line to Mata- 
moras, he accompanied me to the end of my route. At 
Lampazos the general and other passengers, including 
myself, were invited to attend a select dance gotten up for 
our benefit by the best people of the town, and as many 
of them were present it proved to be a swell affair. 

The general was a close observer, and he noticed par- 
ticularly, that several ladies present wore a silver ornament 
of beautiful workmanship attached to their belts by two 
chains, that had the handle and sheath of a dagger. He 
took advantage of the first opportunity that offered to 
express his interest in the subject by remarking to his 
companion that he had always discredited the statement 
made about Mexican women carrying daggers about their 
persons, but with the evidence then before his eyes he was 
forced to believe it was true. 

His criticism was circulated among the ladies and it 
gave rise to many pleasantries at his expense. One of 
them approached him in a spirit of raillery, and suddenly 
but gracefully drawing from its sheath one of the decep- 
tive daggers it spread into a beautiful fan which she flut- 
tered before his face in an elegant manner while merrily 



A TEXAS PIONEER 73 

laughing at his confusion. The outer folds of the fan 
were two flexible springs that were secured with the folds 
at the lower end to a delicate rod which, when drawn 
outward to the mouth of the sheath, unfolded in the shape 
of a half circle. The novelty was imported from France 
and they became very popular. Some of them were ex- 
pensively ornamented with precious stones and displayed 
the highest grade of workmanship, but those most com- 
monly in use were supplied at a reasonable price. 

The Republican government of Mexico had been fully 
reinstated, and before this time a law was passed to for- 
bid the circulation of money bearing the stamp of the 
empire, with a view to eliminate every evidence of Maxi- 
milian's reign. The law also authorized its being sent 
out of the country free of export or other duties with 
the intention of ridding the country of it as soon as pos- 
sible. As it was not a legal tender in the republic the 
money became greatly depreciated, but it commanded a 
premium in the United States and we bought all we 
could afford with the means at our command through 
Messrs. Weber & Ulrich, our agents in Monterey, who se- 
cured all that was offered. We never cleared less than 
thirty-five per cent, by the speculation, consequently so 
long as any could be had, we made it a profitable business. 

We transported many thousands of dollars from Mon- 
terey and other points along my route that was con- 
signed to merchants in San Antonio, compared to which 
our own, in the above noted speculation, was insignificant. 
As it was known that we carried money, and sometimes 
large amounts, it is remarkable that we were never mo- 
lested except on one occasion in Texas, and that time 
the attempt was a failure. It happened about thirty- 
seven miles east of Eagle Pass on my way to San An- 
tonio, but I had been forewarned and the designs of the 
highwaymen were frustrated. * 

When I arrived at Eagle Pass I found a letter awaiting 
me from my partner, Captain Muenzenberger, written at 



74 A TEXAS PIONEER 

San Antonio, and dated February 10, 1868. He stated 
that he had received information of a scheme to rob me, 
and that a party of men had left that city with the in- 
tention to waylay me. He advised me to be on my guard 
and not travel at night, as it was probable that they 
would make their attack under the cover of darkness. I 
also received a letter from John Kenedy, of Sabinal, at 
the same time, in which he communicated the fact that a 
party of eight men of questionable appearance had spent 
the night at his ranch, and the next morning, as it 
was necessary for him to go to Fort Clark, he accom- 
panied them to Uvalde, a distance of twenty miles, where 
they took the Eagle Pass road. When on the way they 
asked him if he was acquainted with my schedule time 
between Chichon and Turkey Creek; also if I carried 
much money over the route, and many other questions 
which excited his suspicions. He also warned me to be 
on my guard because he was convinced that the men in- 
tended to attack me somewhere between the points 
designated. 

These warnings of my friends made me cautious and I 
took their advice by changing my usual programme. It 
was my custom to drive the twenty-seven miles between 
Eagle Pass and Chichon before dark, stopped there until 
two o'clock the following morning, and generally, I ar- 
rived at Turkey Creek about five o'clock A. M.; but on that 
trip I did not start from Chichon until seven o'clock, and 
we resumed our journey with the expectation of having an 
exciting time. I took my seat on the outside of the stage 
with my extra man and driver, where I could look out for 
the robbers and be prepared for anything that might 
happen. On the inside of the coach were my four pas- 
sengers, Mr. Gilbeau, the father of Mrs. Bryan Callaghan, 
who is the wife of the present Mayor of San Antonio ; 
Mr. Fernando Garza, also of San Antonio, and Messrs. 
Nicholas Burke and Jim Riddle, of Eagle Pass. We 
were all well armed with Winchester rifles, which were 



A TEXAS PIONEER 75 

placed where they would be ready for use at a moment's 
notice. 

We were all determined to give the highwaymen a warm 
reception in the event of an encounter, and a strict watch 
was kept ahead, but nothing occurred to excite suspicion 
until we started down a long grade when we saw a party 
of men in the distance on the north side of the road. Evi- 
dently they were the expected robbers, but we agreed to 
let them start the fight, after deciding to " run the 
gauntlet " as the best means of avoiding the attack. 

I ordered the driver to lash the mules and at the crack 
of the whip the half-wild animals dashed forward at full 
speed. We approached the men under full headway, and 
nothing but a volley of bullets could have stopped the 
team on that incline. When passing the party we noticed 
that only six men were in sight, but when they saw our 
strength and that we were prepared, they abstained from 
making any threatening movement. Those inside the 
stage greeted them, saying, " We are behind time. We 
are in a hurry. We can't stop." But the baffled out- 
laws made no response and we dashed onward until they 
were lost to view. 

The faces of the six men were fully exposed, but we 
passed so quickly none of them could be recognized. 
Later they were all identified, but it is wrong to circu- 
late harmful reports about the dead by naming them 
and equally cruel to their families. It is sufficient that I 
eluded them through the aid of friends and I shall never 
cease to be grateful for their interest in my welfare on 
that occasion. If they had not forewarned me of the 
danger I would not have been on my guard when the 
would-be thieves waylaid me, and as all my passengers 
were brave men they would not have submitted quietly 
to being robbed, consequently the incident might have 
had a tragic ending instead of terminating as it did in a 
farce. 

Mr. Gilbeau once had an experience with highwaymen 



76 A TEXAS PIONEER 

in the Paso de la Laza, near the Sabinas River, in Mexico, 
and his cool, determined action on that occasion brought 
about decisive results. The ambulance he was on was 
stopped by ladrones and they surrounded it, but before 
they could commence their depredations Mr. Gilbeau 
dropped two of them in rapid succession, with a double- 
barrel shot-gun, and the others ran away. 

Mr. Garza was credited with an equally resolute char- 
acter and his bravery was never questioned. He was the 
youngest of three brothers that were members of a prom- 
inent family in San Antonio. They possessed equally 
fearless natures and all, at one time, held commissions in 
the Mexican army, but when Major Adolph Garza was 
killed in a duel by Colonel Henrico Mejia in 1867, Captain 
Juan Garza and Lieutenant Fernando Garza resigned. 

It fell to my lot to bear the sad news of Major Garza's 
death to his family, and I became acquainted with the 
following pathetic incident that preceded the tragedy. 
Under the influence of a presentiment that the encounter 
would result fatally to himself he was impressed to write 
letters to his mother and relatives containing his last 
messages. These he enclosed in a mourning envelope, 
which he addressed and placed in his desk with a note 
expressing an earnest entreaty that the package should 
be delivered to his people in San Antonio, Texas. The 
package was given to me in Monterey, with the request 
that I would deliver it to the grief-stricken mother, and I 
performed the duty with a sorrowful heart. 

Mr. Fernando Garza married after he resigned from the 
army, and died a few years later, but his widow survives 
and she still conducts a respectable restaurant in San 
Antonio which she opened twenty-five years ago. Cap- 
tain Juan Garza also returned to Texas after resigning 
from the army, and was appointed assistant city marshal 
of San Antonio in 1868, which position he has since filled, 
almost continuously, to the satisfaction of the public up 
to the present time. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE only time that I came in actual contact with rob- 
bers in Mexico was in 1868, on one of my trips when re- 
turning from Monterey. It was brought about by a 
favor I extended to a man I found on foot in an unin- 
habited country, by inviting him to take a seat in the 
stage. The only passengers with me in the coach were 
Dr. Felix, of Monterey, and Antonio Rivas, of San An- 
tonio, the father-in-law of Dr. Chapa, the druggist, and 
I was accompanied by my usual guard and the driver. 
As day was breaking we were at the foot of the table 
mountain known as Mesa de Vidaurri, about twenty miles 
northeast of Lampazos, that is also called Mesa de los 
Cartuhanes. 

The country in that vicinity was a sterile region, and 
I was surprised when Alex Gross, my driver from 
Lampazos to Santa Monica, called my attention to the 
form of a solitary man on foot a short distance ahead 
of us. The presence of a lonely human being in that 
locality was unusual, and it was very remarkable to find 
one there at any time, in his condition. Thinking that 
the man was in distress I stopped the stage and got out 
to speak to him. He was a well-dressed Mexican, his 
form was manly, and I was favorably impressed by his 
appearance. I inquired if any misfortune had happened 
to him and offered my services. 

He seemed to be pleased at the interest I manifested, 
and very politely informed me that he was there because 
his horse had broken loose and run away, also that his 
men were in pursuit of him on the road leading to the 
Rio Grande. I inquired if the men would return to that 

77 



78 A TEXAS PIONEER 

place the way they had gone. He answered, " Yes, be- 
cause there is no other road they could travel." As our 
route lay in that direction and we would be sure to 
meet the men, I invited him to take a seat in the coach 
and ride with us. He accepted my invitation with seem- 
ing pleasure, and after he, with his belongings, together 
with those of his six men, were stored on the stage, we 
resumed our journey. 

We entered into sociable conversation with our pas- 
senger and he was equally friendly and polite, but he never 
gave me a chance to question him about himself. We all 
talked freely to him, but he had very little to say, and 
evidently he did not know much about the country or what 
was going on in Lampazos and other small towns near 
the frontier. His reticence with reference to himself was 
noticed, but our conversation was agreeable and we trav- 
eled very pleasantly about eighteen miles before we saw 
the horse-hunters approaching in the distance. 

The stage was stopped and I got out my field-glass, 
and after adjusting it to the proper focus, passed it to 
our traveling companion. He did not know how to use 
it, but after I showed him, he identified his men and the 
horse they were leading. The fact that his horse had 
been secured was most gratifying to him, and when the 
men met us he begged the driver to stop the coach. After 
stepping out he walked forward to where his men were 
and talked to them, but we could not distinguish what 
was said. Evidently he told them of our kindness to him, 
because they advanced and returned thanks for all we had 
done. They received their property and after bidding 
us good-bye they remained there when we resumed our 
journey. 

A few minutes after starting, Alex Gross turned his 
head and said, " Say, Boss, that fellow isn't all right." I 
readily agreed with him because I entertained the same 
impression and had sized my friend up during the few 
hours I was in his company; but Dr. Felix and Rivas 



A TEXAS PIONEER 79 

differed with us and believed the man was only a pros- 
perous ranchman. 

On my return trip to Monterey I was told by Santiago 
Tomas, of Santa Monica, that I had made a warm and 
constant friend of Castro a the highway robber and outlaw. 
He said that Castro had related the particulars of how I 
had befriended him, and stated that he could not feel 
grateful enough to me, and was ready to serve me in any 
way that offered. Of course I knew that Castro was in 
existence, and I was also acquainted with his origin and 
some of his exploits ; but I did not know, until then, that 
he was the gentleman I had hauled several hours in my 
stage. Subsequently the fact became generally known, 
because Castro never missed an opportunity to relate the 
adventure, and to every one he expressed his gratitude 
for the assistance I had rendered him in the wilderness. 

He was evidently sincere, although he magnified my 
services. Some of my friends on the contrary, entertained 
an opposite belief, and thought that the presence of 
Castro, at the place I found him, was planned with a 
view to gain information and afterwards lay a trap for 
me; but his conduct when I met him about four months 
later proved that they entertained an unjust opinion of 
him. 

The meeting took place about twelve miles east of the 
Sabinas River when returning from Monterey, and it was 
entirely unexpected. I saw a bunch of men lying under 
the shade of a huisache grove, about two hundred yards 
from the road in the direction we were traveling. The 
stage was moving slowly up a hill, and when nearly op- 
posite them one of the party we had been watching walked 
towards us, at the same time making motions for us to 
stop. I recognized Castro immediately after leaving the 
coach, and when we met about half way he greeted me 
cordially with a hearty hand-shake. To his inquiry, if 
I remembered him, I answered yes and that I was pleased 
to meet him again. I asked if I could render him assist- 



80 A TEXAS PIONEER 

ance, and if so to let me know. He said he would like 
to get from me some cartridges suitable for a Spencer 
carbine if I could spare them. I replied that I could 
and returned to the coach to get them. When I gave 
them to him, he offered to pay me, but I insisted on his 
accepting them as a present and assured him that I had 
an ample supply. He thanked me very earnestly and 
urged me to go with him to his camp. I knew I would 
be safe in his company and did not hesitate to accompany 
him. His men rose to their feet as we approached and I 
was introduced to them as his friend " Augustin el Cor- 
reo," or August the stage man. They all shook hands 
with me, and among them I recognized several of the 
party who met us with Castro's horse. 

They numbered about fifteen men and all were armed 
with Spencer carbines and six-shooters. That pattern of 
rifle was the first breech loaders, using metalic cartridges, 
introduced into Mexico. Castro was a well-preserved man 
about fifty years old, and the ages of his men, appar- 
ently, ranged from thirty to forty years. They were 
all fairly well dressed, were decent looking and made a 
good appearance. They did not resemble the regular 
ladrones, who wore fancy clothes, which, like their sad- 
dles and bridles, were trimmed with silver. They also 
rode good horses which seemed to be, in fair condition. 

We talked about many things, but I carefully avoided 
any allusion to their occupation ; nor did I refer to San- 
tiago Tomas, the father-in-law of Dr. Sarna, of San 
Buenaventura, or the information he gave me with refer- 
ence to Castro's gratitude, because it would have led him 
to infer that I knew his reputation. Castro did not call 
my attention to the subject, although he assured me that 
I could rely on the friendship and services of himself and 
men at any time. Of course I thanked them for their 
good will and promised to assist them in any way that I 
could. 

Indians were plentiful along my route at that time, and 



A TEXAS PIONEER 81 

Castro inquired if I was not afraid of them. I replied 
that I was not, but that I was afraid of ladrones (rob- 
bers). He asked me if I had ever met any of them, and 
I said yes, but fortunately they never molested me. He 
then questioned me about my business and wanted to 
know if my stage line was a paying investment. I replied 
that it was because the Mexican Government had granted 
me many concessions and ample protection. One of the 
men suggested that I ought not to place too much con- 
fidence in the government of Mexico, because it had ruined 
and oppressed the people; but I knew why he talked that 
way and was not inclined to discuss the subject. 

When I was ready to leave I repeated that I was willing 
to serve them if possible, and asked if I could do anything 
for them. They said no, and thanked me with many kind 
expressions. The men all embraced me, but before Castro 
did so, he unfastened a pair of silver buttons from the 
side of his hat and presented them to me, with the request 
that I would keep them as a remembrance. They were 
shaped like a bell and fastened to silver plates an inch 
square. I kept them many years, but finally lost one of 
them, and the other I presented to Judge Spooner of the 
United States Court of Claims, when he was a visitor in 
San Antonio, in 1904. 

I never met Castro or his band on any other occasion, 
but shortly after I last saw him, I was told that he held 
up a stage-coach on the international stage line between 
the City of Mexico and Matamoras, nine miles west of 
Monterey, near Santa Catarina, and secured about ten 
thousand dollars. One of the passengers was Mr. Porter, 
who was returning from a business trip to the capital on 
account of a consignment of arms he sold to the Mexican 
Government during the war with France. He was a 
brother of Major Porter of the United States army, then 
stationed at Brownsville, and also an intimate friend of 
Theodore Lamberson, of El Paso, who at one time had 
charge of my wagon train, and afterwards was Sheriff 



82 A TEXAS PIONEER 

of Duval County. This was the last robbery that Castro 
committed in Nuevo Leon or Tamalipas on account of the 
vigilance of the Mexican authorities, who pursued him 
continuously until he was driven out of the states. 

Castro was not a common robber who took from the 
people indiscriminately, but only those who had an 
abundance were made to contribute to his demands, and 
he was lavish in his distributions to the poor. Conse- 
quently the rich feared him and he always found a friend 
and protector among the needy. Evidently he was grate- 
ful as well as generous, and he had many friends. I 
rather liked him myself after our first meeting near the 
base of the table mountain called Mesa de Vidaurri. 

The strangeness of that encounter in connection with 
the interesting features of the mountain are impressed 
distinctly on my memory, and as it is a conspicuous land- 
mark on my route I am constrained to give it further con- 
sideration. My description is based on information gath- 
ered from others, because I was never on the mountain, 
but have passed around its towering walls of solid stone 
on the north and south sides. The interpreted meaning 
of the name is Table of Vidaurri, that was suggested pos- 
sibly by its appearance. It is an isolated mountain that 
is situated in the State of Nuevo Leon, about two hundred 
miles north of Monterey, about twenty miles west of the 
International and Great Northern Railroad, and its 
precipitous sides that rise to the height of 1000 or more 
feet can be seen from passing trains. 

Perhaps, in ages past, when the country was a wilder- 
ness, the natives knew it as a place of safety, when their 
merciless conquerors were reducing their captives to slav- 
ery. Its inaccessible walls, rising perpendicularly from 
the surrounding plains, could only be scaled at a few 
points, and doubtless they found a secure place of refuge 
on its summit. 

Some time in the last century its value for ranch pur- 
poses was appreciated by Governor Vidaurri, of Nuevo 



A TEXAS PIONEER 83 

Leon, and he became its owner. He stocked it with the 
necessary animals and for many years the top of the 
mountain was devoted to the raising of horses and mules 
exclusively. The large herds raised on its summit were 
not molested, because the only accessible point was up 
a winding road, cut in the side of the declivity. The 
opening at the top was constantly guarded by a detach- 
ment of soldiers to guard against intruders and to pro- 
tect the surrounding country. A small settlement of 
peones occupied a village in the vicinity, who performed 
the labors of the ranch. These defenses, together with 
the natural obstructions, made the mesa or table of 
Vedura one of the strongest places in the country, and it 
was always safe from the depredations of horse-thieves 
and Indian raiders. 

The top of the mountain covered an area exceeding 
three hundred and fifty thousand acres, as it was about 
twenty-five miles square. The surface is generally level, 
with occasional elevations, and it is partially covered by 
forests, but the pasture land is extensive. Much of the 
land is fertile and suitable for cultivation, especially in 
the low lands near the numerous water-courses. 

When the mountain was first occupied it was infested 
by a number of native wild animals. Cinnamon and the 
common black bears, tigers, panthers, and Mexican lions 
were common and dangerous ; other animals also were 
numerous, including the mountain sheep of Mexico that 
have immense horns that serve to protect them when 
forced by danger to jump down precipices. On such oc- 
casions their bodies and limbs are drawn into a lump 
and they fall without injury on their enormous curved 
horns, which throw them a somersault before landing 
them on their feet. 

In order to protect his domestic animals Governor 
Vidaurri found that it was necessary to destroy the car- 
niverous animals, and he paid a bounty of twenty-five 
dollars for each tiger, panther and lion that was killed 



84 A TEXAS PIONEER 

on the mountain, with the result that, perhaps, they were 
exterminated. At one time, too, he had trouble with a 
party of Indians who discovered a trail and ascended the 
mountain on foot. After remaining there some time they 
were seen by ranchmen, who notified the soldiers and an 
immediate attack was made. The Indians were cut off 
from the trail and driven over the bluff. Those not killed 
by the fall were too badly crippled to escape, and the 
Mexicans dispatched them all. 

The mountain top was afterwards developed and much 
of the land was put under cultivation. Governor Vidaurri 
sold the ranch, ultimately, to his son-in-law, Pat Milmo, 
the father of the Milmo bankers of Laredo, who, I think, 
are the present owners. 

Such ranches in those days were extremely desirable 
because of the perfect security against loss when property 
of all kinds received very little protection. The coun- 
try was constantly exposed to inroads of wild Indians, but 
in 1868 they were unusually bold and more frequent in 
northern Mexico, also in Texas, where they were some- 
times extended. The murders and thefts committed on 
such occasions have never been estimated, consequently 
the savages were held in considerable dread. I seemed 
to be under the protection of Providence, because I never 
saw wild Indians but once in Mexico while running the 
stage to Monterey, and then they did not bother me. 

Equestrianism was carried to the highest point of ex- 
cellence in Mexico during the period to which my writ- 
ings refer, and every horseman in that country was am- 
bitious to own a beautiful, well-trained horse with 
expensive trappings. The outlay necessary to gratify 
his desires in that connection was never considered, and 
it was a luxury that was indulged in to extravagance. 
It was not uncommon to see riding horses that cost $1000 
with silver mounted saddles and bridles for which $500 
was paid. The fashionable riding costume of a wealthy 
Mexican, embroidered with silver and gold thread and 



A TEXAS PIONEER 85 

ornamented with silver buttons, involved an outlay of 
from $75 to $100, and his felt hat, with its broad brim, 
similarly embroidered, cost from $100 to $250. They 
made an attractive appearance on their well-trained 
horses, and others besides Mexicans indulged themselves 
in the same way. A well-known citizen, who now resides 
in San Antonio, was then engaged in business in Mexico 
and he invested not less than $1000 in a riding costume, 
saddle and bridle. 

The horses that were in demand were the hardy, active, 
native-bred horses of the country which trace their origin 
to the time of the Conquest. They were susceptible to 
thorough training and became submissive to the will of 
the rider through a pressure of the knee, a touch of the 
heel, or a twitch of the bridle. In that way a horse 
could be made to spring suddenly to the right or left, a 
distance of ten feet, or rear on his hind feet and walk 
several steps forward, and perform many graceful acts 
that displayed his intelligence in which the rider showed 
his horsemanship. I once saw a Mexican ride a very fine 
horse into a room in which a crowd had gathered, where 
the animal was made to rear and place his front feet on 
the counter. It was not an unusual occurrence and the 
act was applauded. 

These trained horses were also used to run races, and 
on such occasions a rope was stretched along the ground 
across the track at the starting point. The two horses 
were then placed in position with their front feet even 
with the rope, where they stood quietly until their riders 
made a motion with bridles and heels, when the signal to 
go was given, and then they leaped forward a distance 
of twelve or more feet. All the race tracks were straight 
and another rope was stretched across the furthest end 
in front of the judges' stand. The race was decided in 
favor of the horse that first put his front foot over the 
rope. 



CHAPTER X 

ON one of my return trips from Monterey, in 1868, I 
came upon a band of Indians at Santiago Creek, which is 
about twenty miles southwest of Santa Monica, where the 
battle of Cinco del Mayo was fought, in 1865, that re- 
sulted in a defeat of the French army by the Mexican 
forces under the command of General Trevino, the man 
who afterwards married a daughter of General Ord of 
the United States army. 

The Indians were encamped about three hundred yards 
south of the road when I drove in sight of them about two 
o'clock in the evening. They seemed to be resting and 
evidently the rattle of the coach on the rocky road roused 
them from sleep, because we could see them spring to 
their feet as if alarmed. Their hasty movements indi- 
cated that they were preparing for trouble, but they made 
no effort to intercept us nor did they show any disposition 
to attack us. Perhaps they were startled by the inter- 
ruption, not having noticed the road and believing them- 
selves in a place of safety, because their horses together 
with a large herd were grazing along near where we 
passed and all the animals seemed to be exhausted by 
fatigue from hard service. They may have concluded 
that we were capable of giving them a warm reception 
after seeing that we numbered eight men, including pas- 
sengers, driver, and escort, and all were well armed. As 
our wish was to avoid an encounter we passed through 
them as quickly as possible, but not fast enough to pre- 
vent me from recognizing several well-known brands of 
Texas ranchmen on the horses. 

We were informed later that this band of Indians, num- 

86 



A TEXAS PIONEER 87 

bering twenty-five bucks, had recently made a raid into 
Medina and Atascosa Counties, where they stole about one 
hundred head of horses from Judge Noonan and others. 
They also killed Rumanas Gross and his son, near where 
La Coste station is now. They crossed the Rio Grande 
somewhere between Eagle Pass and Laredo when return- 
ing to Mexico, and, probably, they reached the place 
where we saw them that morning and were resting after 
the fatigues of the journey. 

Another trip, in 1868, when I arrived at Lampazos, on 
my way to Monterey, the people informed me that the 
country was swarming with Indians on the war-path, and 
they advised me not to proceed further until news could 
be had from the soldiers who were in pursuit of them. I 
was told that a body of about sixty Indians were holding 
a position on the west side of the Sierra Colorado Pass, 
and that a small detachment of Mexican troops had ad- 
vanced to the east side of the pass, about twenty- two 
miles distant, but were unable to drive the savages from 
the point they occupied. 

The pass was on my route and after determining to 
proceed I started as usual between two and three o'clock 
in the morning and drove to the place held by the soldiers. 
They told me that the Indians were still on the other side 
of the pass, and it would be unsafe for me to go on, so I 
took their advice and returned to Lampazos. Later 
in the day the soldiers were reinforced, and an attack was 
made, in which many Indians were killed and the others 
were driven into the mountains. 

I did not like the idea of turning back, but the lives 
of my passengers would have been jeopardized if I had 
done otherwise, and as I had women and children under 
my care I could not afford to take any chances. One 
was the wife of Jose Brosic, with his three children, her 
mother, and her sister, all of whom took the stage at 
Piedras Negras; another was Pedro Morales, the as- 
sistant customs-house officer at that place. 



88 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Mr. Brosic, of Villaldama, who was then paymaster 
of the Mexican army on the frontier, was at the ranch 
of Golondrinas, west of Sierra Colorado Pass, with an 
escort of ten men waiting to meet his family, and he was 
overjoyed when he saw them safely arrive the second day 
after we left Lampazos. He had good reason to be un- 
easy, because, it was said that, during the time the In- 
dians were on that raid, they killed thirty or forty people. 

These few Indian alarms are about all that I ex- 
perienced when staging to Monterey. They were of little 
consequence in comparison with the thrilling adventures 
of others on the frontier, but the excitement they oc- 
casioned gave variety to a journey that would otherwise 
have been monotonous. We met with few accidents on 
our route during the two years of its continuance, and I 
can only recall one of a serious nature, that happened in 
1868. As it was one in which the lives of many pas- 
sengers were involved, the circumstances are vividly im- 
pressed on my mind, but fortunately my foresight averted 
a fatal disaster. 

I was on my way to Monterey, but knowing the 
Sabinas River was flooded, I turned from my usual route 
and went to a ferry at the Paso del Cocha, a short dis- 
tance above. I arrived there about daybreak, but found 
that the channel of the river was about one hundred feet 
wide and about fifteen feet in depth. It was full of water 
to the top of the banks, from recent rains, and it was a 
raging torrent. The current of the river, at its natural 
stage, was always rapid, though at such times it was 
fordable ; but a ferry was maintained at the crossing for 
the convenience of travelers when the river was swollen. 

I was not deterred by the swiftness or turbulence of the 
water, but determined to encounter the risks and made 
immediate preparations for passing over the river. The 
little ferry-boat was only about 8 ft. wide and 25 ft. 
long, consequently its capacity was limited, and it was 
necessary to make three trips across. One of them, in 



A TEXAS PIONEER 89 

which the mules and harness were transported, consumed 
two hours, but when the coach with all its luggage was 
loaded on the boat, preparatory to making the second 
trip, the ferry-man insisted that the passengers should 
go with it, but I protested against the arrangement, 
because the craft was loaded to its full capacity, and the 
swiftness of the current made it dangerous. We finally 
compromised the matter by an agreement on my part to 
pay the charges he demanded for a third trip. 

The first trip was made without the slightest difficulty 
and unloaded at the usual landing place, but the second 
was less fortunate. Each time, before crossing, the boat 
was pulled by a rope up the river, near the bank, where 
the water formed an eddy, to a point about one hundred 
and fifty yards above. When the oars turned it toward 
the opposite shore the rope was cast loose with the ex- 
pectation that the force of the water would carry it 
across. 

I was on the boat with two of my men, and it was 
guided by four ferry-men with oars in front and rear, 
but it rocked badly, partly because the luggage on the 
coach made it top-heavy. When about the middle of 
the raging torrent the surging waters capsized the flat- 
bottomed craft and emptied its load in the river. Those 
on board had prepared for casualties by stripping to 
their underclothing and we plunged into the water. 
When relieved of its freight, the boat rose again to the 
surface with many loose articles, including the cushions, 
and the current carried them onwards, but the coach and 
its load rested on the bottom of the Sabinas. 

When the lady passengers and children, who had been 
left until the last, saw the boat sink they thought we were 
all drowned, and I could hear their piercing shrieks as I 
swam toward the eastern shore. We landed about fifty 
yards below the crossing place and relieved their anxiety 
as soon as possible by joining them. They had given 
way to despair, under the impression that they were left 



90 A TEXAS PIONEER 

in a desolate wilderness; but before night closed around 
us all of them were safely transported in a rowboat to 
the western shore where our party was reunited. 

Our situation was rather deplorable, especially for 
women and children, because we were without bedding or 
shelter, but afterwards we were able to buy sufficient 
food from Mexicans, who, with their carts, camped that 
night at the ferry. The country on either side was with- 
out habitations of any kind, and the nearest, on the river, 
was fifty miles above where the boatmen lived. They 
only visited the ferry on horseback when the water was 
high, and generally made it profitable on account of their 
exorbitant charges, which were never less than two dollars 
and a half for each trip, and they always made me pay 
ten dollars for my coach and mules. 

We made no attempt to recover the coach the first day, 
because we had no appliances for taking it out of the 
river, even if we could have located it in the deep water; 
but that evening fortune favored us when two trains of 
Mexican carts, numbering thirty in all, appeared upon 
the scene, and camped in our vicinity. I approached the 
drivers immediately, and offered to pay them seventy- 
five dollars if they would find my coach and take it on 
the west side of the river where we then were. They ac- 
cepted my proposition and nearly all the men engaged in 
the search the following morning, but they were unsuc- 
cessful until the third day. They found it lying on its 
side about four hundred yards below where it sank, 
in water about ten feet in depth. Chains and ropes were 
fastened to the wheels and axles, by which it was dragged 
into shallow water, from where, after setting it on its 
wheels, it was pulled out to the shore. 

Nothing about the coach was broken, but everything 
that was not secured was missing, including many 
articles belonging to the ladies. The trunks and other 
baggage in the boat and on top of the coach that were 
bound by heavy straps were all safe. Of course every- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 91 

thing was wet, dirty, and more or less damaged by water 
and mud, but we were glad to recover them even in that 
condition. The lost stage cushions I afterwards re- 
placed with new ones that cost me one hundred and fifty 
dollars, but in the meantime I supplied the deficiency 
by substituting straw and sheepskins, which I purchased 
from the men of the cart train, that answered the pur- 
pose. We did not take time to unpack the luggage be- 
fore starting, and delayed our journey no longer than 
was necessary to hitch the team. 

The following passengers were on the stage: Mrs. 
Buss and her two children; Mrs. Dressal, a sister of ex- 
Congressman Schleicher, and her child; three Robin chil- 
dren, of San Antonio ; Charles Sada, Dr. Felix and Henry 
Rice, all citizens of Monterey ; Colonel Morales, of the 
Mexican army, and several others whose names I cannot 
recall. I am happy to say that not one of them ex- 
perienced any serious inconvenience on account of the 
accident, and they bore the discomforts to which they 
were obliged to submit, with becoming fortitude. I was 
heartily thankful that it was no worse, although I was 
put to considerable expense on account of it. 

The list will convey an idea of the patronage I received 
on account of the care and attention I always bestowed 
on my passengers. My thought fulness made me many 
friends along the route and also in Monterey where there 
was a large foreign population. Among them were 
Messrs. Weber and Ulrich, who did a large commission 
business, and Mr. Ulrich, who now lives in San Antonio, 
was then United States Consul; Mr. A. Buss, who con- 
ducted a large lumber business ; Mr. Dressal, a large hard- 
ware merchant ; Mr. Lickhart, Mr. Cartwright, Theodore 
Lambert on, and Mr. George Paschal, ex-mayor of San 
Antonio, a brother of Dr. Frank Paschal. These were 
all my friends, and they always took a great interest 
in the line because of the facility it gave them to com- 
municate with their friends in Texas. 



92 A TEXAS PIONEER 

On account of the amicable feeling expressed for me I 
never lacked attention and was welcome wherever I went, 
consequently I entertained a good opinion of myself, until 
on one occasion my self-conceit was lowered considerably. 
This incident occurred at a mesmeric entertainment which 
I attended through the persuasion of my friend, George 
Paschal. 

I had never seen an exhibition of the kind and knew 
nothing about the subject. The claim that one man 
could exercise such power over another, as was repre- 
sented by Mr. Paschal, who told me all about it, seemed 
to be absurd. I could not doubt the sincerity of his in- 
formation, because he was evidently in earnest; but it 
appeared more rational when he explained that some 
persons were more susceptible to the influence than 
others. 

When I entered the room I felt that I was exempt from 
mesmeric powers and that it would be foolish for any 
man to attempt to bring me under his control against 
my will. The gentleman was from California, and he 
appeared to be about forty years of age. I was intro- 
duced to him and we entered into conversation. He in- 
quired if I had any belief in mesmerism ; and I answered, 
" None at all, nor do I think that any person could con- 
trol my thoughts and actions contrary to my will, or that 
I would submit to another's power except by the exercise 
of superior force," and then closed by saying that I was 
open to conviction. 

I met his gaze as he looked intently into my eyes and 
said, " You are about the weakest subject I have had in 
the house." I was so much disconcerted by his opinion 
that I did not know what to say and remained silent. He 
then placed both of his hands on my head, and imme- 
diately after I yielded to a drowsy feeling that over- 
came me. I knew nothing more until I was restored to 
consciousness and found myself undressed to my under- 
clothing. Evidently I had been made to perform all sorts 



A TEXAS PIONEER 93 

of antics for the amusement of the company, and their 
mirthful humor indicated that they had been witnessing a 
regular monkey show. 

My over-confidence in my mental powers was consider- 
ably weakened on that occasion, and perhaps it was a 
good lesson, because I was more conservative afterwards. 
I was convinced that the human mind is amenable to 
mysterious powers that are beyond our comprehension, 
and that under certain conditions it must yield to a 
superior control. 

I might relate many other reminiscences connected with 
Monterey during the continuance of our stage business, 
and some of them are pleasant to recall, but perhaps they 
would not interest the reader. Many customs prevailed 
there among the natives that would, perhaps, attract 
only a casual notice, but some of them are quite interest- 
ing. One of the strangest sights to me was the facility 
with which the cargadores or carriers of Mexico convey 
enormous weights on their backs. The dexterity dis- 
played in handling their burdens and the perfect ease 
with which they transport them have always created as- 
tonishment in the mind of the observer. The fact that 
a man weighing not exceeding one hundred and sixty 
pounds, will place five hundred pounds, or more, on his 
back and trot off with it, seemingly, without the slightest 
inconvenience, is certainly remarkable, consequently the 
custom is worthy of a more extended notice. 

The truth of the axiom that " there is a trick in all 
trades," is not questioned, and the cargador, who is al- 
ways an expert in his business, has brought his to per- 
fection. His secret lies in the use of a cushion that 
removes the direct pressure and friction of the weight 
from his body. It rests against the lower part of the 
back, between the hips, where it helps to give a swing to 
his burden corresponding with the movements of the body 
and legs of the carrier when traveling in a jog-trot. The 
pad is called a muelle, and usually it is about six inches 



94 A TEXAS PIONEER 

thick, ten inches wide, and fourteen inches long. The 
muelle is suspended to a strap about four inches wide, 
after it is secured to a corner at each end, then the loop 
passes behind the shoulders and rests against the fore- 
head. 

The cargador, when about to receive his load, turns his 
bent back to it and instantly begins to lift .his feet up and 
down, similar to soldiers when marking time. The move- 
ment gives a swing to the body and the same rhythmical 
motions are observed in the hips and knees, with which 
the two or more assistants, who hold the load, keep time, 
after the weight is received by the hooks of the carrier, 
until it is in the proper position. He grasps his burden 
with a hook in each hand and the instant it is correctly 
placed on his back the carrier trots off and it adapts 
itself to his preliminary movements. Another secret is 
the necessity of maintaining the same rate of speed with- 
out stopping until relieved of their load; because if they 
should halt even for a moment or even check their gait, 
their burden would tumble to the ground or they would 
be crushed by its weight. 

I have often seen a continuous line of such carriers 
moving bales of cotton on their backs almost in double- 
quick time, in Matamoras and Monterey, a distance of 
four hundred yards, and I never saw one of them use the 
least exertion. It is said that they can carry a piano, 
that weighs more than a bale of cotton, in like manner, 
and with the same ease. Many times when I was hauling 
money from Chihuahua to other places I would employ 
cargadores to help me load it on my wagons, by carrying 
it nearly a mile to the Meson. A load for one of them 
was four thousand dollars in silver in two boxes, which 
together weighed two hundred and eighty pounds, and 
they would move off with them without an effort. The 
usual charge for such services was twenty-five cents for 
each trip, and they handled for me in that way at various 
times many hundred thousand dollars. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 95 

The cargador everywhere in Mexico is entirely trust- 
worthy, and no one is liable to suffer loss on account of 
his carelessness or dishonesty. Those who are eligible for 
such employment are men hardened by labor, and the 
applicant must be recommended by one or more respon- 
sible persons who have known him a number of years, and 
can testify to his honesty and integrity of character, be- 
fore his petition is presented at the Palacio Municipal. 
If its endorsements are satisfactory a license is issued to 
the applicant, for which he deposits about fifty dollars 
as security, and a badge is given him on which is a num- 
ber that is entered before his name in a book kept for that 
purpose. 

When a cargador approaches a person and offers his 
services he politely calls attention to his number and 
solicits employment. Strangers need not concern them- 
selves about the safety of baggage entrusted to their care, 
but it is always proper to make a memorandum of his 
number to guard againsb accidents. No transfer com- 
pany in the United States could assure greater safety or 
more prompt delivery of property than these humble car- 
riers in Mexico, who never strike for higher wages and 
are always ready to work. 

Our stage line to Monterey was discontinued in August, 
1869, on account of sudden changes in the custom-house 
officers at Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras by both gov- 
ernments, because the removal of our friends naturally 
affected our business. During the two years the line was 
in operation I was constantly on the road, nor did I ever 
miss accompanying our stage on any one of the forty- 
eight trips we made from San Antonio to Monterey and 
back, and I had sole charge of the business. Our net 
profits were large and we hated to give up the line, but 
were compelled to do so. 

The following list contains the names of all the pas- 
sengers that I can recall who traveled on our stage to and 
from San Antonio, Texas, and Monterey, Mexico: 



96 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Colonel Bliss and Colonel Shatter of the United States 
army. 

Mrs. Eliza Noll and Mrs. Schenk, of Austin, Texas. 

Nicholas Burke, Mr. Dolch and family, Mr. Dresch and 
family, George and Fred Enderle, Mr. Grober, James 
Riddle, A. Salinas and family, Mr. Stone and family, 
Sam White and Daniel Wueste, of Eagle Pass, Texas. 

Wolfgang Kapp, of Germany. 

Pedro Lastro, of Indianola, Texas. 

General Naranjo, Filipe Naranjo, and Mrs. Carnales, 
of Lampazos, Mexico. 

General Escobedo and Colonel Morales of the City of 
Mexico. 

Mrs. Buss, Mr. Degetau, Mr. Doese, A. Douglas and 
family, Mr. Drissil and family, Henry Dreiss, Dr. Felix, 
Henry Rice, Charles Sada, Gonzales Trevino, John Weber, 
and Charles Ziegler, of Monterey, Mexico. 

Frank and Mrs. Coreth, and Julius Mauraux, of New 
Braunfels, Texas. 

Mr. Labenburg and Major Magirdy, of New York city. 

Nicholas Gresanto and family, of Piedras Negras, 
Mexico. 

Mr. Koenig, of Paras, Mexico. 

Ex-Governor Abristo Madero, of Saltillo, Mexico. 

Dan Bonnett, Henry Brown, Lorenzo Castro, Mr. 
Elmendorf, A. B. Frank, John Fries, Mr. Frittilier, Fer- 
dinand and Captain Juan Garza, Francisco Gilbeau, H. 
Grenett, Charles Griesenbeck, Carl Groos, F. Groos and 
family, and Gustave Groos, John Guerguin, Meyer and 
Saul Halff, Mr. Herman, Mr. Koenigheim, Ernest Kramer, 
Mrs. Lottie Muenzenberger, Russell Norton, George Pas- 
chal, Mr. Pentenrieder, Antonio Rivas, August and 
Martin Robin, ex-Congressman Schleicher, Herman 
Schleuning, Angelo Torres, Mr. Ulrich, and R. Wolfing, 
of San Antonio. 

Santiago Tomas, of San Domingo, Mexico. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 97 

Carlos Brosic and family and Machor Sanchez, of 
Villaldama. 

Thomas B. McManus, of Washington, D. C. 

I could tell many things that would be interesting con- 
cerning other people, but my information must neces- 
sarily be confined to my own experiences and this sketch 
must suffice, though I will add that they were the hardest 
two years' work I ever did in my life. 

After settling up the business, we dissolved partner- 
ship, and Captain Muenzenberger moved to Santa Rosa, 
Mexico, with his family, where he engaged in mining and 
the milling business. I retained the mules and bought 
others with which I started a train of wagons on my own 
account. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE discontinuance of our stage line practically cut off 
all regular communication between Texas and Mexico un- 
til other means was established. But for the interruption 
to our business, it is probable that we would have in- 
creased our service to a weekly line in each direction and 
made it permanent through concessions we had in pros- 
pect. My individual efforts had made it remunerative, 
and I gained a large amount of practical experience that 
was valuable in my later enterprises. I had encountered 
all the dangers and difficulties on the route successfully, 
and learned to rely largely on my own judgment, there- 
fore, I felt competent to grapple with larger undertak- 
ings. I became acquainted with numerous people and 
claim to have gained the confidence of many business men 
through my transactions with them which gave me a 
commercial standing. 

With these advantages in my favor I did not hesitate 
to invest my hard-earned profits in my new business of 
freighting, with which I was familiar. My former ex- 
periments served as a guide and I secured six large, 
strongly built wagons, called " prairie schooners," and 
ten mules for each of them, besides a few extra animals 
for emergencies. I then employed competent drivers and 
placed my train in charge of Theodore Lamberson, who 
came with me from Mexico. My wagons made their first 
trip to Indianola, in September, 1869, a distance of one 
hundred and fifty miles, with a cargo of wool that be- 
longed to Mr. Lockwood, the banker in San Antonio, and 
others. On account of constant rains and high water 
the wool got wet and I was held responsible for the 
damage it sustained, consequently I had to pay Lock- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 99 

wood's losses to the amount of about twelve hundred 
dollars and six hundred dollars on other claims. This 
drain on my resources in the very beginning of my new 
enterprise only stimulated me to greater exertions and I 
determined to enlarge the scope of my business by ex- 
tending my route to the city of Chihuahua, in Mexico, for 
which purpose I increased the number of wagons in my 
train. 

Goods were then moved through Texas from Indianola 
to Mexico under bond. The guarantee was exacted by 
the Federal custom-house officials to insure prompt trans- 
portation through the United States to the Mexican bor- 
der where the duties were paid, and all bonded freight 
for Mexico was shipped from that point until 1877. In 
that year the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio 
railroad was completed to Luling, and I persuaded Col- 
onel C. C. Gibbs to use his influence to have the road 
bonded. It was done, and my wagon train hauled the 
first bonded freight that was consigned to that point 
through Messrs. Heicke & Helfrisch, of Galveston, Texas. 

I commenced my first trip from Indianola to Chihuahua 
and Parral, Mexico, on a journey of eleven hundred and 
fifty miles, in December, 1869. The goods I received were 
loaded out of the bonded warehouse of Messrs. August 
and Valentine Heicke, commission merchants in Indianola, 
after I had given a heavy bond, payable to the United 
States, to insure their prompt transportation. My sup- 
plies for the trip were purchased from the grocery store 
owned by Mr. Dan Sullivan, now a banker in San Antonio. 

I was personally unacquainted with the route beyond 
Fort Clark, but as I traveled with Mr. Froboese's train 
to Fort Stockton I felt no uneasiness on that account be- 
cause I had men in my employ who were familiar with 
all the watering places. I knew that the country was 
infested by Indians, but I did not worry about them after 
providing an abundant supply of arms and ammunition, 
and adopting suitable precautions. 



100 A TEXAS PIONEER 

The road we traveled from Indianola passed through 
San Antonio, Castroville, Uvalde, to Fort Clark, a United 
States military post, one hundred and fifty miles west of 
San Antonio. It is on a hill on the west side of Las 
Moras Creek, opposite the town of Brackett. This place 
was the last settlement on the El Paso road, in 1856, 
when the fort was first established. Thirty-five miles 
beyond is San Felipe Springs, where Del Rio is now sit- 
uated. These beautiful springs and adjoining land were 
secured by Jim Taylor, Joe Ney and others as early as 
1866. Two years later farms were opened and water 
for irrigating purposes was taken out of San Felipe Creek 
at a point from which a thousand or more acres could be 
watered. It was about the first irrigated farm west of 
San Antonio, and the land could not be bought then for 
fifty dollars per acre. 

The next interesting place is Devil's River, twelve miles 
beyond, in a northwesterly direction. The first crossing 
was one of the most beautiful places I ever beheld, and 
its pure crystal water, in addition to the attractive scen- 
ery, excited the admiration of everyone. The stream was 
fully five hundred feet across, and the water ran from 
two to three feet deep on a smooth rock bottom. After 
crossing the river and going four miles west we passed 
Painted Cave, that was once a favorite resort of the In- 
dians. Its name was conferred on account of numerous 
Indian paintings on the walls, such as chasing buffalo, 
scalping white men and stealing white children, war- 
dances, and many other things that were quite legible 
until recent years. Twenty miles beyond, in a northwest 
direction, is the narrow canon called Dead-man's Pass, 
where many unfortunate travelers have lost their lives 
near the south entrance. Fort Hudson is located on the 
west bank of the second crossing of Devil's River, twenty 
miles farther in the same direction, but it was abandoned 
at the commencement of the Civil War and was never 
reoccupied. Twenty-three miles further, at the eigh- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 101 

teenth crossing of Devil's River, is Beaver Lake; and 
forty-five miles beyond, in a northwest direction, is 
Howard's Well, that has an abundant flow of delicious 
water. The site of Fort Lancaster, an early military 
post, that was abandoned before the Civil War, is forty- 
eight miles beyond. A more desirable location for a fron- 
tier post could not be found in the western country. It 
it situated near the west base of a high mountain, on the 
east side of Lancaster Creek, in which flows a constant 
stream of limpid water, that empties ftnto the Pecos 
River, a mile below. 

We traveled four miles to the lowest ford before cross- 
ing the Pecos River, a few miles above the present site of 
the wonderful steel bridge on the Sunset Railway that 
spans the river at the height of 321 feet above. From 
thence we journeyed in a northerly direction to a place 
called Horse-head crossing, where the Concho road inter- 
sects with the route. The next place, forty miles, in a 
western direction, is Fort Stockton, an important mili- 
tary post, where United States troops were stationed. 
It may be noted that the entire distance of 230 miles from 
Del Rio to this point was uninhabited. An open coun- 
try surrounds the fort on all sides, but there is little to 
recommend the site and its most objectionable feature i 
the strong alkali water that can't be surpassed in the 
country. 

Nine miles west of the post is Leon Water-hole, that is 
also strongly impregnated with alkali, and it is as clear 
as crystal. The spring is thirty feet in diameter and 
so deep that the bottom has never been touched. Once, 
it is said, the depth was tested by a party of over-land 
travelers who camped there and threw two of their wagon 
wheels, that had loose tires, into the hole. They spent 
the next three days dragging for them with long ropes, 
without being able to recover them, and perhaps the 
wheels will remain there indefinitely. 

We left the El Paso road at Leon Water-hole and fol- 



102 A TEXAS PIONEER 

lowed the route, leading in a southwest direction, to 
Presidio del Norte,. distant WO miles, that was then with- 
out a habitation. The first watering place, forty miles 
beyond, is Leon Seto, that was settled two years later by 
Joe Head. Forty miles further is Burges Water-hole. 
Then we traveled twenty miles to Antelope springs, that 
is better known as Barando. The next water is at Tin- 
acha San Stevens, thirty miles beyond. Then comes 
El Alamita at the distance of twenty-five miles, which 
is forty miles from Presidio del Nor-te, that was also set- 
tled two years later by John Davis. These distances 
make one hundred and ninety-five miles, and the road is 
tolerably good excepting the last forty miles, which is 
hilly, and the sand is heavy, but its principal recom- 
mendation is an abundance of grass that affords good 
pasturage. 

Presidio del Norte is situated on the Mexican side of 
the Rio Grande below the mouth of the Rio Conchas, and 
Presidio is on the Texas side, where the Cibolo Creek 
empties. Custom-houses, were established in both these 
towns by the two republics, and a large quantity of goods 
passed through them. The river at that point is always 
fordable, except when the water is high, and then the 
passage is made on ferry-boats. 

After submitting an inventory of my freight for in- 
spection to the United States officials, who approved it, 
I crossed at the ford into Mexico, and my train was 
placed under guard until the inspectors verified my mani- 
fest and the duties on the bonded goods were paid. I 
received courteous treatment from the officials of both 
governments and was not unnecessarily delayed. 

I resumed my journey and traveled forty-five miles 
to El Rancho de la Mula over a tolerably good road. 
Thence to Chupadero it is sixty miles, and from there to 
Julimes is ninety miles through a desert country without 
water, except at Chupadero, where the supply was 
scarcely sufficient for my teams, but afterwards, when 



A TEXAS PIONEER 103 

passing over the route, I secured an ample supply by 
sending two men six hours ahead, with tools to dam up 
the water below the rock from where the water escaped. 

From Julimes to Bachamba ranch, that belonged 
to the McManus family, of Chihuahua, the distance is 
twenty miles over a road heavy with sand and the coun- 
try is covered with brush and cactus. From the ranch 
to Chihuahua is thirty miles, and the road traverses 
the Hojito Canon, one of the most dangerous places 
on account of Indians, in the State. It is only about 
five miles long where it passes through the Sierra Madre 
range, and many persons, including large parties, have 
been killed there by savages, but beyond the mountain 
pass the road is good and safe to Chihuahua. The en- 
tire distance from Presidio may be estimated at about 
two hundred and fifty miles. 

After delivering my freight that was consigned to 
Chihuahua, it was necessary to retrace my route about 
thirty miles to the McManus ranch, to avoid the moun- 
tains, where the road turned southward to Parral, which 
is about one hundred and seventy-five miles from 
Chihuahua. After leaving the ranch the road passes 
through a farming country about twenty miles, where 
Augustine and Tomas Cordero, two brothers, owned a 
large irrigated farm in the Conchas valley that they sold 
for $250,000 in 1872. We then came to the Rio Conchas 
and passed through the town of San Pablo that then had 
a population of about two thousand souls ; then through 
Santa Cruz with about three thousand. The next place 
was the beautiful town of Santa Rosalia with about seven 
thousand inhabitants, and then we arrived at the mining 
town of Parral. The entire road after leaving the Mc- 
Manus ranch was bad and hard on the teams. 

I loaded my wagons at Parral with bars of silver and 
crude copper ore, belonging to F. Stalfort, of Parral, and 
hauled it to Chihuahua. The silver was coined there 
into Mexican dollars at the mint belonging to Henry 



104 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Mutter, who was licensed to coin money for the govern- 
ment under a contract which allowed him twelve and a 
half per cent, for all the money that was turned out by 
his mint. 

I was detained there ten days, waiting until the money 
was coined, and one hundred and eighty thousand dollars 
was delivered to me for transportation to the United 
States. With it and the copper ore, which was also con- 
signed to parties in Texas, I started towards home over 
the same route I had recently traveled. 

The only incident worth noticing on our homeward 
journey was observed near Santa Rosalia, one Sabbath 
afternoon after leaving Parral, where we saw a crowd of 
between four and five hundred men and boys each with a 
stout stick, about five feet in length, in their hands. 
They seemed to have assembled for some definite purpose, 
but their object was not apparent as they stood in line 
out in an open country, and the appearance excited my 
curiosity. I was aware that my wagon-master, Eutimio 
Migarez, was born and reared in the State of Chihuahua 
and I asked him what it meant. He informed me that the 
people had gathered with the intention of exterminating 
jack-rabbits that had become a pest in the country on 
account of their numbers; that in farming districts the 
animals were often very numerous, and if the nuisance 
was not suppressed the growing crops were entirely de- 
stroyed by them; that they only foraged in the fields at 
night, and waste places in the vicinity sheltered them 
during the day, consequently the only effective method 
of getting rid of the nuisance was to surround their rest- 
ing-places in the daytime with a sufficient number of men 
and kill them with clubs. 

Sunday afternoon was usually chosen for the slaughter, 
and, as the hunt was exciting, the occasion was one that 
attracted every man and boy in the vicinity who was ac- 
tive enough to participate in the sport. A valley or 
plain was selected which the rabbits frequented, and the 



A TEXAS PIONEER 105 

party placed themselves in a circle at intervals of from 
fifty to one hundred yards from each other, until the 
area was surrounded. The hunters then advanced from 
every direction and roused the animals, which ran before 
from their resting-places in the brush and openings. The 
circle was closed as quickly as possible so as to form a 
continuous line through which it was impossible for the 
rabbits to escape. Then the timid animals were arrested 
in their flight at every point by threatening poles and 
they became distracted with fright. When the space 
that enclosed them was sufficiently contracted the work 
of destruction with sticks commenced and it did not cease 
until the last rabbit was dead. 

Large numbers of animals were killed in that way in the 
neighborhood of cultivated land, and it was necessary to 
resort to the method repeatedly, otherwise the crops would 
have been ravaged by other rabbits that came from 
places more remote. Eutimio said that once, when a boy, 
he joined a party of hunters who killed between four and 
five hundred jack-rabbits in one day. The Indians often 
secured a supply of food by similar means, and probably 
the custom descended from a remote period. In Kansas, 
where the animals are numerous, similar methods have 
been adopted in recent years, but they drive them into 
nets instead of killing them with sticks. 



CHAPTER XII 

BEFORE the age of railroads all over-land transporta- 
tion in Texas and Mexico was done by carts and wagons. 
For many years ox-teams were generally used for hauling 
to and from the coast country to the interior, but later, 
mules were substituted, to some extent, in the business, 
especially in the West, where the country was rough and 
mountainous and on account of the scarcity of water. 

A history of the ox-wagon and its usefulness in help- 
ing to develop the sparsely settled regions of Texas, to- 
gether with a description of the habits and customs that 
prevailed among the people engaged in the business, 
would be entertaining to those who feel an interest in fol- 
lowing the progressive steps of civilization. My per- 
sonal experiences as a driver of an ox-wagon for my 
father, from San Antonio to Port Lavaca, when I was a 
boy eleven years of age, and about five years later, when 
I drove alone, qualifies me to express myself on the sub- 
ject, but the details would be too lengthy in this connec- 
tion. It is sufficient to say that teamsters made them- 
selves indispensable to the commercial world, but the serv- 
ices they rendered are not appreciated. 

During that period all freighting between Texas and 
Mexico was done by individual owners of wagons and 
Mexican carts drawn by oxen, but they were gradually 
displaced by trains of wagons hauled by mules. Such 
trains, consisting of ten or more wagons under one man- 
agement, were common in Mexico long before they were 
seen in Texas. 

The first wagon trains drawn by mules that hauled 
freight out of San Antonio to Mexico, before the Civil 
War, were owned and conducted by John Monier, a 

106 



A TEXAS PIONEER 107 

Frenchman, now residing in San Antonio; but before di- 
recting attention to the subject other primitive means of 
conveyance will be considered. 

The ancient Mexican cart was unique in appearance, 
and as they are still common in that republic, its peculiar 
construction and importance is worthy of particular no- 
tice. The most remarkable feature about them, as orig- 
inally constructed, was the absence of metal in all of its 
parts, which were fashioned exclusively out of cotton- 
wood timber and fastened together with wooden pins and 
thongs of rawhide. 

The cart had two wheels, each about seven feet high, 
and both, separately, were made from three pieces of 
wood hewn to the proper dimensions. The middle piece 
was seven feet long, with circular ends, three feet wide, 
and its thickness was twenty inches at the hub, from 
which it sloped to ten inches at each end. The other two 
pieces were in the shape of a half circle, about seven feet 
long and two feet wide, and they also sloped to ten 
inches. These circular pieces when fitted to the two sides 
and secured to the middle piece by four long wooden pins, 
three by five inches square, that passed through the three 
pieces from one rim to the other, made a complete circle, 
and formed the wheel, with a hub twenty inches through 
and a rim ten inches thick. A round hole that sloped 
from six inches on one side to eight in diameter on the 
other, was chiseled through the center for the axle, and 
the second wheel was made exactly like it. 

A live-oak or a pecan tree was selected for the axle 
and squared to eight inches; then a spindle was shaped 
at each end that sloped on the upper side from seven 
inches at the shoulder to five inches at the end ; and when 
the wheels were put on they stood about seven feet apart. 
The bed, which was about six feet wide and fifteen feet 
long, was framed out of heavy timbers firmly secured to 
the axle by wooden pins and rawhide thongs. The tongue, 
that projected twelve feet in front, formed the center- 



108 A TEXAS PIONEER 

piece for the bed, and passed over the axle and both ends 
of the frame, at which points it was also secured by 
wooden pins and thongs, and other pieces formed the 
bed, which was covered by a thatched roof of straw that 
was supported by heavy standards set in the frame. 

These carts are common in many parts of Mexico, 
where they have been used a long time. In the State 
of Chihuahua I saw many of them as late as 1877, mostly 
in San Pablo, Santa Rosalia, and Julimes, but they 
were also used in other towns in that region where the 
land was irrigated. The Cordero brothers, whose farm of 
two thousand acres has been noticed, also those belong- 
ing to Frank McManus, Gustav Moye and many others, 
used such carts to haul corn, wheat, and other products 
to market. A full load for such carts was thirty-five 
fanegas of corn, that weighed about five thousand 
pounds, for which five or six yoke of oxen were required 
as a team, and they used fine animals that were always 
kept in the best condition. 

In Mexico the yoke is lashed behind the oxen's horns 
with a broad rawhide strap about twelve feet long, and 
the first yoke is secured to the end of the tongue. Any 
number of animals may then be attached in couples at 
certain distances apart to two lengths of a rawhide rope 
extending from the tongue, that is doubled and twisted 
together. The load on the cart was always equally dis- 
tributed so that it would balance on the axle, and a sub- 
stantial stake, fastened underneath to the hind end of the 
frame, with its end near the ground, kept the tongue 
on a level and sustained the weight when the cart was not 
in motion. 

The wheels and axles of such carts, after long use, 
wore away until the former wabbled considerably, and the 
screeching they made was awful. A remedy for the noise, 
when it became excruciating, was prickly-pear leaves, 
which were shoved in, one at a time, and when crushed 
on the axle served as an excellent lubricant. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 109 

These carts, but of lighter build and drawn by only 
three yoke of oxen, were often seen in San Antonio in 
earlier times, when they hauled freight from Mexico; and 
at one period they entered into competition with Texas 
freighters until serious disturbances occurred, that are 
known in Texas history as the " cart war," which were 
not quelled until the State was forced to exercise its au- 
thority. This, and other causes, brought about their 
gradual disappearance, until it is doubtful if one could 
now be found in Texas. 

When Mexico began to be developed and iron became 
plentiful, the carts were modernized to some extent, espe- 
cially in Nuevo Leon and around Monterey, where the 
wheels were reduced to four feet in diameter, and iron 
was used in their construction ; consequently they were 
better proportioned, the material was lighter and one 
yoke of oxen was commonly used to draw them. In the 
course of time these also were nearly all discarded for 
heavier cart-wheels with tires six inches wide and an inch 
thick, which required three yoke of oxen to draw them, 
that were introduced through the agency of Mr. Staacke, 
the first large dealer in vehicles in San Antonio, whose 
business has been noticed. 

Mr. Staacke is also justly credited with being the first 
importer of the heavy freighting wagons, known as 
" prairie schooners," that were used for commercial pur- 
poses in connection with overland transportation to all 
points west of San Antonio. They were constructed to 
withstand the wear and tear of the rocky and moun- 
tainous roads in western Texas and Mexico, and they 
could not be used to advantage elsewhere on account of 
their weight, which was estimated to be about four thou- 
sand pounds. 

The following dimensions of a few parts will convey 
an idea of their strength: The hind wheels measured five 
feet, ten inches in height, and the tire was six inches wide 
and one inch thick ; the front wheels were built like them, 



110 A TEXAS PIONEER 

but they were twelve inches lower. The axles were of 
solid iron, with spindles three inches in diameter, and all 
the running gear was built in proportion for hard serv- 
ice. The wagon-bed was twenty-four feet long, four and 
a half feet wide and the sides were five and a half feet 
high. Wagon-bows were attached to each, and over them 
two heavy tarpaulins were stretched, which hung down 
around the sides, that thoroughly protected the freight. 
On these covers the train-owner's name was painted, and 
beneath, a number, from one upwards, to distinguish the 
wagons, in which freight was loaded as it was entered on 
memoranda. The woodwork of these wagons was painted 
deep blue and the iron-work black. 

Every wagon was furnished with a powerful brake 
which was used to regulate the speed when going down 
steep hills, and two heavy chains were provided that were 
attached to the wagon-body for use in cases of necessity. 
Occasionally accidents happened to a brake and the 
heavily loaded wagon would become uncontrollable, with 
the result that mules and driver were often crushed to 
death under the wheels. 

The beam that constituted the brake was seven feet in 
length, six by eight inches square, and it was made out 
of choice hickory timber. It was placed beneath the 
wagon-box, before the hind wheels, in two heavy iron 
stirrups that were secured to the frame on each side by 
heavy braces or bolts, and a block of wood was fastened 
near each end which pressed against the wheels when the 
lever was manipulated by the driver in his seat. He could 
control the motion of the wagon according to the grade 
by forcing the brake against the wheels until they ceased 
to revolve, when necessary, or check them at will with a 
motion of his hand as easily as a motorman controls his 
car. 

An average load for such wagons was about seven 
thousand pounds, but generally, with ten small mules at- 
tached, sixteen bales of cotton was a load, because it 



A TEXAS PIONEER 111 

could be transported with more ease. The great capac- 
ity of such wagons may be estimated by comparing them 
with wagons used by the United States government, which 
haul an average load of three thousand pounds with six 
large mules, and thereby prove their superior advantages. 

Bulky freight was usually top-heavy and it made the 
wagon sway from side to side with a regular motion when 
passing over rough roads, which practically threw the 
weight alternately on two wheels, consequently it light- 
ened the draft on the team. But when so loaded it was 
dangerous to pass along the sloping roads high up on 
the sides of mountains ; and it was then necessary to 
attach ropes to the two axles on the lower side, which, 
after passing them over the top of the load, were held 
by a dozen men who moved along the slope above and 
kept the wagon from toppling over into an abyss where 
it and the team would be dashed to pieces. There are 
many such places on the road from San Antonio to El 
Paso where the country is extremely rough, and the en- 
tire distance, with the exception of about two hundred 
miles, was a constant drag. 

The mules used for freighting purposes were small but 
active, and they had untiring energy, with a constitution 
that enabled them to endure extreme hardships. The 
manner in which the ten mules were hitched brought them 
close to their load and made them almost a unit when a 
steady pull was necessary. This fact, in association with 
their good qualities, more than compensated for their 
size, and their numbers were not out of proportion to the 
load if the heavy mountain roads are considered. 

Before the prairie schooner was adopted as a means of 
communication between Texas and the northern states of 
Mexico, commercial energy in that direction was ham- 
pered ; but after they were introduced it became interested 
in the subject, and when the benefit to be derived from 
direct trade, between those regions and the seaports of 
Texas, was understood, wagon trains of six or more 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

prairie schooners were introduced, with a capacity to 
move a large quantity of freight in a given time. These 
were conducted under a systematic management which in- 
spired confidence, and it was not long before both coun- 
tries realized advantages through the arrangement. 

They encouraged San Antonio to extend her business 
connections with Mexico more than any enterprise that 
had been started before that period, and they did much 
towards stimulating a trade between the two countries 
and Europe, which has continued to grow until it has 
reached large proportions. They opened a way for the 
railroads that followed in their trail, which removed all 
competition in the way of transportation and travel by 
offering superior advantages. The prairie schooner was 
a humble pioneer that plodded its way slowly over plain 
and mountain, through a wilderness peopled by warlike 
savages, yet it was appreciated in its day, and its arrival 
at its destination was greeted with far more interest than 
that manifested when a modern, up-to-date train stops at 
a station. Their rarity, and because they were the main 
dependence in the West for the transportation of goods, 
always insured them a warm welcome; but it cannot be 
denied that a long train of prairie schooners was always 
attractive, and they were picturesque; many of them 
would have commanded a romantic interest if the epi- 
sodes and tragedies through which they passed could be 
related. 

The Mexican trains could not compare with those of 
Americans in general appearance, but in many respects 
they were far superior, and they were managed more suc- 
cessfully, because of the strictness with which they con- 
ducted the business. Their wagons were clumsily built, 
with frames twenty-four feet long, without sides, that 
rested on a heavy running-gear with three and a half- 
inch axles and enormous wheels with six-inch tires an 
inch thick. They were capable of carrying very heavy 
loads, and to illustrate the fact, a train of twelve wagons, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 113 

each drawn by fourteen mules, distributed in three sets 
of four working abreast and two to the tongue, would 
transport one hundred and twenty thousand pounds of 
freight with ease over the roads in Mexico. Many of 
such trains were operated there, and the largest were 
owned by Rocke Garady, David and Daniel Sada, of 
Monterey, and John Gargin, of San Antonio. 

Their mules were superior to ours because they were 
raised on their home ranches, and they had the advantage 
of being able to select the best. They did not depend 
for feed on grass alone, as the Americans were compelled 
to do, but always carried a sufficient supply of corn and 
wheat straw that kept their animals in the finest condi- 
tion. On the contrary, all the teams belonging to Amer- 
icans showed hard service because of their long journeys, 
when they were frequently exposed to great privations 
on drives of ninety miles in length without water and 
often went without corn or grass. The finest lot of mules 
I ever saw belonged to Rocke Garady, who owned and 
ran a train of twelve wagons, with fourteen mules to 
each, that was known as the finest outfit in Mexico, and 
I am sure that their equal could not be found in the 
United States. 

The same drivers were employed continuously by train- 
owners in Mexico, who were subject to strict obedience as 
peons, and discipline was rigorously enforced. The mules, 
too, on account of long service, were easily controlled 
and became trained to routine movements. This was 
seen when it was time to hitch up, after the caporal 
walked to the center of the corral among the loose mules, 
where he cracked his whip and ordered them to their 
places. Inside of five minutes every mule, sometimes as 
many as two hundred, would stand in their proper posi- 
tion, backed up against the wagon with their heads to- 
wards the caporal, ready for the bridles which the drivers 
placed on them. 

The Gonzales brothers, of Saltillo, owned a train of 



114 A TEXAS PIONEER 

twenty-five carts, with five mules for each. They had 
shafts in which a mule was hitched, with one on each side 
and two in front. They passed through San Antonio, in 
1867, on their way to New Braunfels, where they loaded 
each cart with eight bales of cotton, that was bought 
from Julius Morron for the Mexican market. The one 
hundred and twenty-five mules in this train knew their 
own carts, and would back up to them with their heads 
toward the center of the corral when the caporal gave 
the signal. I saw them go through the performance with- 
out making a mistake, and John Monier will confirm the 
truth of my statement. 

This historical sketch of overland freighting in Texas 
is necessarily brief and therefore imperfect, but it will 
serve as an introduction to the business in which I be- 
came engaged. I will also anticipate my experiences by 
explaining some of the customs and regulations that I 
observed when on the road, and also refer to a few of 
the hardships and tell how we guarded against Indian 
attacks and other dangers that constantly confronted us 
during the time that I was freighting between San An- 
tonio and the city of Chihuahua in Mexico. 

The scarcity of water and grass on the route frequently 
made it necessary for me to divide my daily journeys into 
three drives or camps, especially where the watering- 
places were about fifty miles apart. Generally, when 
making a long drive from one watering-place to the next, 
we started about one o'clock in the afternoon and drove 
until about six, when we stopped to eat supper and graze 
the teams ; we started again at ten P. M., and drove until 
three A. M., when we camped without water; at seven 
we were again under way, and at ten o'clock we arrived 
at the watering-place, where the teams were watered and 
turned loose to graze for about four hours, then watered 
again before being hitched. Sometimes, when the dis- 
tance between the watering-places was less than thirty 
miles, only one drive was made that day, but they did 



A TEXAS PIONEER 115 

not occur often. Our longest was a distance of ninety 
miles, between Julimes and Chupadero in Mexico, and the 
road was so bad it usually required forty-eight hours, 
including stoppages, without water for my teams, though 
sometimes it was made in thirty-six hours. 

The inconveniences we experienced on account of a 
scarcity of water could not compare to the discomforts 
occasioned by the necessity of protecting my mules and 
ourselves against Indians. Knowing that they were con- 
stantly watching for an opportunity to overpower us, we 
were compelled to be alert at all times to guard against 
surprises. When in camp at noon, while the herd was 
grazing in charge of the caporal, or chief herdsman, and 
his assistants, two teamsters stood guard on a prominent 
elevation in the vicinity, when in the mountains, where 
they could view the surrounding country, and they were 
relieved from time to time by others until the caporal 
brought the mules into the corral to be hitched. 

Arms used in my train were short needle guns of 50 
caliber that were ordered by Elmendorf & Co., of San 
Antonio, for me, at a cost of three hundred dollars a 
dozen. The gun was carried in a scabbard that was fas- 
tened to the driver's saddle mule, and when in camp, as 
a rule, it was placed against the left wheel of his wagon. 
The forty-five caliber six-shooter was carried in a scab- 
bard on his cartridge belt, and if not, it always was in 
reach of his hand. The belt carried fifty rounds of car- 
tridges for the needle gun and twelve rounds for the 
pistol. The guns ranged about eight thousand feet, and 
the pistols about one thousand feet. I always carried 
about two thousand rounds of cartridges for the guns and 
about five hundred for the pistols. 

When camped at night in a region known to be in- 
fested by Indians, or if the danger was imminent, a de- 
tail of four men always stood guard over the animals 
when grazing, who were relieved every two hours, and on 
such occasions the caporal, the wagon-master and all the 



116 A TEXAS PIONEER 

teamsters slept in a group near the train with their arms 
ready for use at a moment's notice. 

My wagon-train averaged about twelve wagons, some- 
times more and sometimes less ; and twenty-three men 
was about the average number that accompanied it, in- 
cluding drivers and others in my employ. As I worked 
ten mules to a wagon and took along about twenty loose 
mules for emergencies, the herd consisted of about one 
hundred and fifty animals. 

Mexicans made the most expert drivers, and those of 
other nationalities whom I employed never gave equal sat- 
isfaction. The most remarkable thing in their duties was 
the facility with which they picked out their teams in the 
darkest night, when colors were not distinguishable, and 
they rarely made a mistake, but it took a little more time 
to hitch up, or about forty minutes, against thirty min- 
utes in daylight. This talent is confined to teamsters of 
that race, but I never understood how it was done. I 
seldom found one that was unreliable, and they were al- 
ways ready, night or day, to attend to any duty that 
was required of them. 

Every wagon-train was under the general supervision 
of a wagon-master, who was responsible for its manage- 
ment at all times, and directed its movements on a jour- 
ney. The next important person was the caporal, who 
was constantly in charge of the herd of extra mules when 
moving and of all the animals after making a camp. His 
duties required him to look out for watering-places and 
good grass, and also to see that the mules were not mis- 
treated by the drivers. 

A train, say of twelve wagons, was always divided into 
two sections, and each section of six wagons was in charge 
of a captain who was held accountable for the perform- 
ance of certain duties and the accuracy with which his 
wagons were placed when forming a corral, which was 
provided for by dividing the train into sections. The 
captains generally were expert drivers who understood 



A TEXAS PIONEER 117 

their business, and when making a corral errors seldom 
occurred even in cases of emergency. 

The captain of the first section drove wagon No. 1 in 
the lead the first day's journey, and the captain of the 
second section led the train the following day, conse- 
quently they were experienced in the duties required of 
them. These changes in the positions of the sections 
were absolutely necessary on a long journey, otherwise 
the teams in the rear sections would have been strained 
entirely too much, on account of frequent stoppages, if 
they had traveled continuously in the same order. 

The corral to which I have referred was an important 
institution in the freighting business when the train con- 
sisted of a number of wagons, because it was indispen- 
sable for the security of the animals wherever the train 
was encamped, and it served also as a fortification which 
afforded ample protection for man and beast when at- 
tacked by Indians or other enemies. 

When forming a corral with twelve wagons on a high- 
way, the captain of the first section drove wagon No. 1 
out of his line of travel in a curve to the left, until his 
team returned to the roadside at an angle where it was 
stopped with its rear end outwards. Wagon No. % fol- 
lowed, making a similar curve, and stopped when the rim 
of its front wheel was even with and four feet distant 
from the rear rim of the left wheel of No. 1, with its 
body at the same angle. The driver of No. 3 did like- 
wise, under the guidance of the others, and his wagon 
was stopped in the same relative position, also, at the 
same angle as that occupied by the other two wagons. 
Then wagons Nos. 4, 5 and 6 were turned out of the 
road and driven straight to their proper stations, where 
they stood at the same distance with reference to each 
other and the first three wagons, but the angle was re- 
versed so as to throw the rear wheels inwards, conse- 
quently they formed a half circle, with No. 6, like No. 1, 
close to the road, and all the teams were on the outside. 



118 A TEXAS PIONEER 

The same maneuvers were made on the right of the 
road by the captain of the second section, who drove 
wagon No. 7 in a curve to within twelve feet of No. 1, 
where it was stopped at the same angle as that in which 
the last three wagons in the first section were placed, 
with its rear end in the same direction. The others fol- 
lowed in rotation and formed upon the first wagon and 
occupied the same relative positions to each other as those 
in the first section on the left, with No. 2 standing within 
twelve feet of No. 6. 

These two lines of wagons completed the corral and 
enclosed an oval space about 75 feet wide by 10 feet in 
length, with two main openings in the front and rear 
about twelve feet wide, and five others between the wagons, 
in both sections, each four feet in width, that were made 
for the mules to pass through, as a matter of convenience, 
when preparing to harness the teams. All these open- 
ings were provided with heavy ropes that were stretched 
across them when the mules were in the corral. 

A corral could be formed as readily in any open space 
where there were no roads or other guides, and they were 
always a necessity on account of their convenience, which 
no other arrangement could have supplied, because the 
mules were always taken from the wagons and unharnessed 
on the outside, and there was no place in which they 
could have been secured so well. When turned loose they 
passed through the rear opening into the corral, where 
they were fed in long canvas troughs that were stretched 
from the wagons, and from there they were driven in a 
herd through one of the large openings to a watering- 
place or to pasture by the herders in charge of the 
caporal. 

After the mules were returned to the enclosure, the 
caporal gave the first intimation that it was time to move 
by cracking his whip in the corral and ordered the mules 
to take their places, as noticed elsewhere ; they were then 
bridled, the ropes were removed, and every mule walked 



A TEXAS PIONEER 119 

through the gap nearest the wagon to which he belonged. 
They knew their places as well as a well-trained horse of 
a fire-engine when the signal is given, and they took 
them with the same certainty, though not as quickly. A 
company of soldiers could not have moved more orderly 
to the places where they belonged, and when harnessed 
and the train was ready to start, every animal was pre- 
pared to resume his journey. 

Frequently, when the herd was driven from the pasture, 
some of the train mules did not wait for the signal, but 
took their places at once, with their rumps against the 
wagon, and avoided the jam caused by the commotion 
into which the herd was thrown when ordered to their 
places. This evidence will suffice to show that the mules 
were familiar with every movement in the train. The 
corral was his home where he was broken in, and he never 
forgot his training, nor the wagon or place where he 
worked in harness. 

When traveling through the western country in olden 
times a train was occasionally attacked by Indians, and 
it became necessary to form a corral immediately for the 
protection of the men and mules. On such occasions the 
wagons were placed in the same order as in a corral for 
an ordinary camp, except that no openings were left be- 
tween them, but the plan was reversed with reference to 
the teams, because the wagons fronted inwards instead of 
outwards and the mules were all inside when the corral 
was completed, except the two teams of wagons No. 1 
and No. 7, that were in the front opening, which were 
detached and driven in the enclosure. When thus pro- 
tected the train men were able to repel any savage at- 
tack that might have been made unless overwhelmed by 
numbers. Usually there was no delay after the danger 
passed, because none but the two teams were unhitched, 
and the train was soon ready to move forward again in 
its usual order. 

Sometimes we were caught out in awful blizzards, and 



120 A TEXAS PIONEER 

many times I was alone with my wagons, while the men 
were in neighboring cedar-brakes with the mules, where 
they were driven for protection during such freezing 
weather. On one of my trips from Chihuahua, when I 
crossed the Pecos River at the Horse-head crossing, and 
traveled by way of Fort Concho, my train encountered a 
ten-days' spell of sleet and snow, and at one place, at 
the head of the Concho, the grass was covered for days 
where the buffalo had eaten off the small limbs from the 
trees as far as they could reach. Once a long train of 
wagons that was in charge of Captain Edgar, of San 
Antonio, was exposed to one of such blizzards, and he 
had the misfortune to lose about sixty mules. They had 
bunched together for protection against the cold, but were 
frozen to death, and the place was known many years 
after as " Edgar's bone-yard." 



CHAPTER XIII 

MY second visit to Chihuahua was in the early spring 
of 1870, but I can recall nothing of interest connected 
with the trip except that a young man, about whom I 
have something to say, traveled with me to my destina- 
tion. I remember meeting Colonel Terrell, a pay-master 
in the United States army, the father of Dr. Fred and 
Henry Terrell of San Antonio, who overtook me in the 
Limpia Canon when on his way to the frontier posts with 
money to pay the troops. His ambulance and two gov- 
ernment wagons were guarded by a detachment of twenty- 
five soldiers. Sister St. Stephens, of San Antonio, who 
was visiting the forts in his company in the interest of 
the orphans, traveled with the party under his protection. 

The next time I met Sister St. Stephens was at Fort 
Concho, where she took the westbound stage as a passen- 
ger for Fort Stockton, which was also my destination, as 
I expected to overtake my train there that had been sent 
on ahead from San Antonio, where I took the stage, and 
she was again visiting the forts in the interest of the 
orphans as on the first occasion. I felt an interest in her 
work and inquired if she had been successful in collecting 
for her charities, and she told me that she had been 
amply rewarded for her trouble. The other passengers 
were Mr. Head and Mr. Gallagher, who resided at Fort 
Stockton, and our escort was two soldiers, furnished by 
the government as a protection for the mail, who rode 
outside with the driver, but as we were all well armed 
no uneasiness was felt on account of Indians. 

Sister St. Stephens was an entertaining traveling com- 
panion, and she made herself agreeable throughout the 

121 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

trip. We sometimes presumed on her sociability by mak- 
ing jolly remarks, but she did not resent the liberty and 
was always in a pleasant humor. Once I ventured to say 
that she could be of no service in case we were attacked 
by Indians. She laughed and replied that if such an 
event should happen her part would be attended to 
equally as well as ours ; that we should do the fighting 
and she would do the praying. 

I have often reminded the good sister of our journey 
together, and I always sent her a token of remembrance 
every month during the many years I transacted business 
in San Antonio. Her life has been devoted to charitable 
enterprises and all contributions she receives are worthily 
distributed. I think, and have always expressed the be- 
lief, that Sister St. Stephens, who now resides at Brack- 
enridge Villa, is one of the noblest of women, and I hope 
that she will be spared many years for the helpful work 
she is doing in behalf of humanity. Many helpless or- 
phans have been sheltered, nourished, and trained partly 
through her efforts in the forty years since I first became 
acquainted with her. 

The young man that accompanied my train, to whom I 
have referred, was a professional clock-maker, and his 
name was Lurman. He had been sent from Europe for 
the special purpose of repairing a large clock in the 
cathedral, that was bought in Germany by Carlos Moye, 
a wealthy citizen of Chihuahua, who was commissioned 
by the city to make the purchase when on a visit to that 
country. 

The clock was a splendid piece of workmanship and it 
cost a considerable sum of money, but it did not give 
satisfaction with respect to keeping time, perhaps because 
it was not put together by one who was familiar with its 
mechanism. An appeal was made to the manufacturers 
to send an expert to remedy the defect, and they re- 
sponded by dispatching Lurman for that purpose. His 
long journey of several thousand miles was made under 



A TEXAS PIONEER 123 

a contract that stipulated he was to receive seven hundred 
and fifty dollars in addition to his traveling expenses. 
After overhauling the clock and remedying the trouble it 
was unsurpassed as a timepiece, and it served as an orna- 
ment for one of the finest churches in Mexico. 

According to the estimation of many competent judges, 
the structural work and graceful outlines of the Cathe- 
dral in Chihuahua will compare favorably with any in 
the republic. I was greatly impressed by its beauty when 
I first saw it, because I had never seen its equal, but 
afterwards I visited others that surpassed it in size and 
decorations. 

The cost of the building involved an outlay of many 
thousands of dollars, and it was all contributed from the 
earnings of the Santa Eulalia silver mines. The repre- 
sentatives of the Catholic Church in Mexico received an 
endowment of fifty cents from every mark of silver, valued 
at $8.50, that was taken from the mines. Under Spanish 
rule the total yield from the Santa Eulalia mines was 
$111,000,000, which is equivalent to 13,058,821 silver 
marks, consequently the tax levied on them for the ben- 
efit of the Christian religion amounted to $6,529,4*11, and 
the beautiful cathedral was built with a part of the 
money. I do not know if this is in history, but I am 
sure it is true, though I am not conversant with all of 
the facts bearing upon the subject, nor do I know when 
the foundation of the church was laid or when it was 
completed. 

The State of Chihuahua is considered among the rich- 
est mineral regions in Mexico, and the statement about 
the Santa Eulalia mines is not exaggerated. They are 
situated about sixteen miles east of Chihuahua. They are 
reputed to be among the most extensive deposit mines 
discovered up to that time, and were then considered 
among the most valuable in Mexico. 

The Cosihuiriachic mines are ninety miles southwest of 
Chihuahua. Their former wealth is known to have been 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

great and they are still very rich. Veins of solid metal 
600 feet in depth and fifteen feet wide have been tested 
that average $100 per ton. I entered the mines in 1871 
with Mr. Emil Schedlich; their dimensions only sloped 
600 feet to the vein, but it seemed to be about six miles, 
and I was glad to get out of them. They were sold in 
1876 to a San Francisco mining company for $500,000. 

The Corralitos mines, that were sold to an American 
mining company for $400,000, are located about 180 
miles north of Chihuahua. 

The Botopilas mines, in the southwestern part of the 
State of Chihuahua, were bought by Wells, Fargo & Co. 
for a large sum of money. They have produced enor- 
mously, and their wealth is said to be inexhaustible. 

The rich mine of La Gabilana, situated about 78 miles 
south of Chihuahua, had not been worked for many years 
before it was sold to the Chihuahua Silver Mining Com- 
pany of Logansport, Indiana. 

The Knox Dry Mountain Mining Company, in which 
I have owned twenty-five shares since 1877, is situated 
four miles from Parral, and the consolidated mines of 
Parral, owned by the Knox company of Chicago, are 
under the city of Parral. When I visited them last, the 
greater part of the city had been undermined, but pre- 
cautions were used to prevent the mine from caving by 
introducing heavy timbers and substantial masonry. 
When San Antonio first became the terminus of the Gal- 
veston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad, in 1877-1878, 
the firm of Froboese & Santleben freighted over 500,000 
pounds of machinery to the Knox Mining Company, of 
Parral, to the Santa Eulalia mines, and to the mines of 
Cosihuiriachic. Since that date modern methods of min- 
ing have been introduced in connection with improved ma- 
chinery and the business in that region has been greatly 
improved. 

On my return trip the place was shown me in Texas 
where the San Miguel brothers met with a serious misfor- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 125 

tune a short time before, similar to one I afterwards ex- 
perienced. I knew them when they came to San Antonio 
from Mexico, in 1868, with ten carts, each drawn by five 
mules, and subsequently they were employed by the gov- 
ernment to haul freight to the frontier posts. Two years 
later, when on their way to Fort Davis with supplies, the 
Indians attacked their camp, eighteen miles east of John- 
son's Run, and captured the entire herd of mules belong- 
ing to the train that was grazing in the vicinity. The 
cart-men retreated to an elevation and with loose rock 
built a circular breast-work behind which they defended 
themselves until the enemy retired with the herd. Two 
Mexicans were killed in the engagement and they were 
buried at the foot of the hill on which the rude fortifica- 
tion was situated, where, perhaps, it remains as it was 
when last seen by me. 

I always felt a peculiar interest in such places and 
many locations along my route where Indian fights oc- 
curred are familiar to me. One of them was near Fort 
Lancaster, that took place after the post was abandoned, 
where a party of Indians attacked the United States mail 
coach that was guarded by Mr. Cook and ten men besides 
the driver. The white men were greatly outnumbered 
and they had a thrilling experience as it was told to me. 

The Indians drove the men from the coach and sur- 
rounded them, but the little squad kept the enemy at 
bay as they retreated and fought their way on foot to 
Fort Stockton. The savages captured the mules and 
after appropriating the contents of the coach it was 
burnt. 

When the fight took place I was carrying the mail be- 
tween San Antonio and Eagle Pass, and the route between 
Fort Clark and Fort Stockton was controlled by Sawyer, 
Richie and Hall. A weekly mail, guarded by an escort 
of ten men under a boss, was carried each way by stage 
between those points. Mr. Cook was in charge of one 
coach and Mr. Holiday of the other; but there were other 



126 A TEXAS PIONEER 

connecting lines, and mail facilities were established be- 
tween all the frontier posts through to El Paso. George, 
a son of Mr. Holiday, pointed out the place where the 
stage was burnt, and recalled some of the particulars of 
the fight. Mr. George Holiday was once in charge of my 
train, and since I have mentioned him I may as well relate 
here an incident that occurred on Sabinal Creek when he 
was serving in that capacity. A young man from East 
Texas, who was looking for trouble, rode into his camp 
with a pistol in his hand, swearing that he intended to 
kill a Mexican and dared them to show themselves. Holi- 
day did not want to see his men killed, and they obeyed 
him when he advised them to open fire on the foolish fel- 
low. One bullet struck him in the neck, and another that 
passed through his clothes, left a mark on his skin. 
These wounds demoralized him, and he retreated rapidly 
to the store, a short distance away, crying out that he was 
shot and was afraid that he would die. Unless I am mis- 
taken Louis and Charles Peters, who live in Uvalde 
County, kept the store and perhaps they may be able to 
recall the incident. 

I have noticed elsewhere that Captain Muenzenberger 
moved to Santa Rosa and became engaged in the mining 
and milling business. In 1870 he contracted with me to 
haul a lot of machinery for his mill, which I loaded on 
my train in San Antonio. I met with no interruptions 
until I arrived at the regular Santa Rosa crossing, on 
the Sabinas River, where I was delayed fifteen days on 
account of high water that made the stream impassable. 
I then became impatient and decided that I would go to 
the head-waters of the river, where I was assured by sev- 
eral reliable Mexicans that I would find a ford which was 
always passable. 

After ordering my wagons to remain at that place I 
started out alone and following the directions I found 
a dim road which I traveled several miles until I arrived 
at the place that was described to me. To assure myself 



A TEXAS PIONEER 127 

that it was fordable I rode to the opposite side of the 
stream and the crossing proved to be satisfactory; but I 
was somewhat disconcerted when I found myself close to 
a camp of about twenty Kickapoo Indians, because I knew 
they were bitter enemies of the white race. Seeing that I 
was entirely alone they gathered around me, with arms 
in their hands in a threatening manner, and showed their 
unfriendly disposition by their insolent behavior. They 
abused Americans outrageously, in Spanish, and some- 
times in English, but they did not seem to care what I 
had to say because when I talked back small squads walked 
off a few yards and jabbered in their own language. 
Their actions showed that they were discussing violent 
measures with reference to my person, and my uneasiness 
increased every moment, but I assumed an indifferent atti- 
tude that concealed my anxiety. 

About that time a one-legged Indian made his appear- 
ance and I conversed with him in mixed English and Span- 
ish until he called me a liar in plain English, which I 
resented by remaining silent. He told me about a fight, 
on Hondo Creek, in which he was engaged, where his com- 
panion was killed and he was wounded in the leg " by a 
bald-faced-white-man who rode a bay horse." After mak- 
ing his escape he returned to Santa Rosa, but when he 
arrived his leg was in such a condition that amputation 
was necessary. This was interesting to me because I 
knew all about the fight, and in his description of the man 
who wounded him I recognized Xavier Wanz, who is' now 
a prosperous ranchman on the Hondo, a life-time friend 
who was a comrade of mine in the Civil War. 

The situation became more strained every moment and it 
was evident that a serious catastrophe would happen to 
me unless I could say or do something to prevent it. I 
had left my wagons at the crossing twenty-five miles be- 
low and no assistance could be expected from them, con- 
sequently I was entirely at their mercy. Finally I 
decided to play a game of bluff and told them that I must 



128 A TEXAS PIONEER 

go, as I had thirty men coming on behind, and that we 
were on our way to Santa Rosa Mountains. This in- 
formation had a perceptible effect, because they thought 
I was alone, and when I turned my head in that direction 
in a listening attitude and said, " I hear them coming," 
they did not attempt to detain me. 

I was only with them about twenty minutes, but the 
time seemed to be about two hours, and when I rode away 
I not only felt much relieved, but my satisfaction in- 
creased in proportion to the distance I put between them 
and myself. I hurriedly proceeded to the town of Santa 
Rosa, about fifteen miles distant, but was fearful all the 
way, because it was not unusual to meet bands of Kicka- 
poo Indians at any time near the foot of the mountains. 
The Mexican Government had granted them a reserva- 
tion in that region and gave them protection, conse- 
quently they were friendly to the citizens of that country. 
But they were bitter enemies of the Americans, and when 
in Texas, where they made frequent raids, they recognized 
no racial distinctions, as many of their victims were 
Mexicans. 

The Kickapoo Indian reservation was formerly on the 
Kaw River, in Kansas, and they were inoffensive and 
tractable until an effort was made to compel them to take 
sides in the Civil War. This they refused to do, and, in 
1864, about four hundred warriors determined to remove 
to Mexico. They carried with them their few belongings 
and their women and children accompanied them. They 
proceeded without opposition until after crossing Red 
River into Texas, where they were attacked by Confed- 
erate troops that were guarding the frontier, under the 
belief that they intended to raid the settlements. In the 
battle that took place many were killed and wounded on 
both sides before the Indians were defeated and fled. But 
this interruption did not prevent them from passing 
through Texas, and they finally settled on the lands 
granted to them by the Mexican Government near the 



A TEXAS PIONEER 129 

Santa Rosa Mountains. From these strongholds they 
made predatory incursions into Texas, and harassed the 
settlements west and southwest of San Antonio until they 
were suppressed. 

These facts were ascertained from the Indians and 
others during my stay in Santa Rosa with Captain Muen- 
zenberger, who entertained me at his residence in town. 
My visit was brief and I returned to my wagons under 
the guidance of a Mexican in the captain's employ, who 
was known to the Indians. We crossed the river at a 
ford twelve miles above my camp, and my train was con- 
veyed safely to Santa Rosa over the road I had explored. 
The machinery was delivered in good condition and two 
days after we commenced our return trip to San Antonio 
over the usual route. We found that the flood in the Rio 
Sabinas had subsided, but it was necessary to pull my 
wagons across to the opposite side with a cable drawn 
by mules. One of them was torn loose and swept down 
stream a considerable distance by the swift current that 
was a natural torrent, but it was recovered after spending 
much time in exhaustive labor. All these delays were 
expensive, consequently my profits from this trip did not 
amount to much because my wagons returned empty, and 
under such circumstances the hauling of special freight 
was not always remunerative, but the next the compensa- 
tion I received was unusually large; it was paid on a 
contract made with the city of San Antonio in 1871, dur- 
ing the administration of Mayor James French, in which 
I agreed to haul from Indianola the first iron bridge that 
was bought by the city. 

Some of the material was forty feet long and so heavy 
that it could only be transported on the largest wagons. 
Fourteen wagons were required to haul it, and I received 
a total of thirty-two hundred and fifty dollars for 
freighting it. 

The bridge was placed across the river on Houston 
Street, and Gustave Schleicher, who was afterwards a 



130 A TEXAS PIONEER 

member of the United States Congress from this district, 
superintended its construction. After serving the public 
at that point for twenty years, the bridge was replaced 
by the present structure on account of the necessities of 
the street-car line and the demands of an increased traffic. 
The original bridge was removed to the ancient ford 
across the river, known as the " Passo de los Tejas," on 
Grand Avenue, near the Lone Star Brewery, where it is 
now in use and there is no reason why it should cease 
to be of service in the next 100 years. 

An iron bridge was then a novelty in Texas that at- 
tracted considerable attention, but now, since they have 
become so numerous, especially in San Antonio, they are 
seldom noticed. The public is convinced that they are an 
economical investment, and in the course of time all 
wooden structures in Texas will be replaced by them. 



CHAPTER XIV 

A FEW days before I left San Antonio, and started 
westward on my third trip to Chihuahua, in the spring of 
1871, a Mexican woman was cruelly assassinated in the 
city, and one of her countrymen was suspected of having 
committed the crime after he disappeared. All the cir- 
cumstances pointed to his guilt and considerable interest 
was felt in the case, but the officers of the law failed to 
trace him, although they made strenuous efforts to bring 
about his arrest. 

In the meantime the murderer was cautiously making 
his way towards the Mexican border until Providence ar- 
ranged that I should effect his capture, and I became an 
involuntary instrument of the law without having given 
previous thought to the subject. 

The house in which the murder took place was imme- 
diately in the rear of the Kunkel building, that fronted the 
old Cassiano homestead on Houston Street, in the block 
that is bounded on the west by North Flores Street, 
which was then occupied as a mercantile establishment by 
my brother-in-law, Henry Wagner, the father of Henry 
Wagner, Jr., who now resides in San Antonio. 

The murdered woman was a poor widow whose respect- 
ability was not questioned, and she had labored hard to 
provide for two small children who were dependent on her 
daily efforts for a support. The man who took her life 
was a stranger in the city who had recently come from 
East Texas, and it was supposed that she became 
acquainted with him only a short time previous to her 
death. He was often seen in her company by persons 
who noted his appearance, and after the cowardly deed 

131 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

was perpetrated they were able to give an accurate de- 
scription of him. 

The evidence showed that the assassin stealthily entered 
the woman's home at night, after she had retired, and 
brutally stabbed her through the heart while sleeping. 
She died instantly, and it was done so quietly that the 
children were not awakened. The provocation that led 
to the killing was never revealed, but evidently it was a 
cold-blooded deed that nothing could justify, and one 
from which the murderer hastily fled to avoid detection. 

When the crime was discovered the following morning 
the stranger was instantly suspected, and after all the 
circumstances became known public opinion centered on 
him as the criminal. This information and a full de- 
scription of his dress and personal appearance, his dun 
horse and equipments was given to the sheriff, Thomas B. 
McCall, before he and his deputy started in pursuit to- 
wards the Rio Grande. 

My train left San Antonio before the tragedy occurred, 
but I was detained by business and they had been gone 
seven days when I took my seat in the stage with the ex- 
pectation of overtaking the wagons at Fort Clark. When 
I arrived there I learned that the train had passed on- 
wards the day before, but I had instructed my wagon- 
master to leave my saddle-horse at James Connell's, who 
was a merchant in the town, and I found ,him there. 
About three o'clock that afternoon I continued my jour- 
ney, and after riding six miles I saw a man in front of 
me near Pedro Pinto Creek, whose appearance and the dun 
horse he was riding suggested that he was the murderer 
of the Mexican woman. When I approached nearer he 
suddenly heard the hoof-beats of my horse, because he 
turned partly round in his saddle to look at me, and I 
was then sure that my impressions were correct. 

I had been authorized by Sheriff McCall to arrest the 
man in case I should meet him, and I decided that it was 
my duty to capture him. With that object in view I 



A TEXAS PIONEER 133 

rode quietly along until I was near enough to get the 
advantage, and then with my pistol in hand I urged my 
horse quickly to his left side. Under the cover of my 
weapon I ordered him to surrender and charged him with 
the cowardly murder. At first he refused, denied his guilt, 
and as he knew who I was^ he questioned my right to make 
the arrest. Evidently he was disposed to offer resistance, 
but as he had no pistol and was only armed with a Spencer 
rifle, which was hanging to his saddle in its scabbard on 
the side next to me, the chances were all in my favor and 
it would have been unsafe for him to make a demonstra- 
tion in that direction. 

Finally he realized that he was in my power, and when 
I ordered him to turn his horse and return in the direction 
of Fort Clark, he sullenly obeyed, but I allowed him to 
retain possession of his gun, after he refused to give it 
up, because I did not care to approach near enough to 
take it from him by force. He manifested his reluctance 
to proceed by checking his horse to a very slow gait in 
defiance of my efforts to urge him forward. This was 
very irritating, partly because my horse was restless and 
not easily controlled, but I retained my advantage by 
keeping as near my prisoner as possible and kept a close 
watch on every movement he made. I wished to avoid 
violent measures, but let him understand that I would 
resort to them if he offered the slightest resistance or at- 
tempted to escape. 

The situation was very unpleasant and we traveled 
about two miles in a slow walk before it was remedied 
by the appearance of several wagons belonging to the 
Dignowitys, that were returning empty from Fort Clark, 
where they had delivered a lot of hay for the government. 
They were driven by Mexicans, and I appealed to them 
for assistance to help disarm and secure my prisoner. 
After I related the particulars of the murder and ex- 
plained the circumstances connected with the arrest they 
readily complied with my request. In a few minutes he 



134 A TEXAS PIONEER 

was forcibly deprived of the carbine, after refusing to give 
it up, and his legs were tied together beneath the horse's 
body. After he was firmly bound I compensated them for 
their trouble by allowing them to retain the gun, which 
was useless to me and it would have been troublesome to 
carry. 

After parting from them I had no more trouble when 
leading the horse with the murderer on his back and we 
traveled much faster than before. When I arrived at 
Fort Clark I delivered my prisoner to the deputy sheriff, 
John Fries, who kept him closely confined until the au- 
thorities sent an officer to convey him to San Antonio. 
He was tried for murder and convicted on circumstantial 
evidence, and sentenced to twenty-five years' confinement 
in the penitentiary. I have forgotten the man's name, 
but it can be ascertained by referring to the records, and 
a number of persons are now living who are conversant 
with the facts, one of whom is James B. McClosky, of 
San Antonio. 

The part I took in the affair was authorized by Sheriff 
Thomas B. McCall, but I was never compensated by the 
State for making the arrest, because I did not file a claim 
for my services. But for me the assassin would have 
escaped to Mexico and avoided the penalty awarded for 
his crime, and my conscience was amply rewarded for hav- 
ing confronted the risks. In reality I was not exposed 
to any great danger because he had no chance to offer 
a successful resistance, and it was only necessary to guard 
him carefully until he was secured. Perhaps, if I had not 
met the Mexican teamsters, who made him helpless, he 
might have tried to escape before we reached Fort Clark 
and I was thankful that he did not make the attempt. 

After getting rid of my prisoner I resumed my journey 
through an uninhabited region until I overtook my train. 
The excitement I had passed through would have sufficed 
for that trip, but I was destined to meet with another ad- 
venture a few days later, and it was the most unpleasant 



A TEXAS PIONEER 135 

that I ever experienced. We were in the vicinity of John- 
son's Run, which is about eighteen miles northwest of 
Beaver Lake and about fifteen miles from a watering- 
place, in rainy seasons, called El Padron, where, we were 
told by travelers, rain had recently fallen, and we ex- 
pected to stop there for dinner and water the teams. 

The train was under way and I was asleep in my am- 
bulance when one of the herders rode up and roused me by 
saying that several deer were near the road close by. He 
was leading my favorite riding mule, tljat was always kept 
saddled for immediate use, and in a few moments I was 
mounted, with my Winchester rifle in my hand. The 
herder guided me to the place, but a heavy fog made 
everything very indistinct and I was almost among the 
deer when they were discovered. I fired instantly, but the 
dense fog obscured my aim with the result that I only 
wounded one of them, though after shooting four or five 
times I killed one as they ran away. After disembowel- 
ing the carcass and tying it behind my saddle I noticed 
that the wagons had passed out of hearing, but I felt no 
uneasiness on that account, because I was confident that 
I would soon overtake them. 

When I mounted my mule I noticed that she wanted to 
go in an opposite direction to that I had decided on as the 
proper course and the one I persisted in following. The 
air was heavy with dampness and it was about seven 
o'clock in the morning. The fog was impenetrable be- 
yond a short distance, but I rode along carelessly until 
the vapors commenced to rise, and then I began to think 
it was strange that I had seen no trace of the road nor 
arrived in hearing of the jolting wagons or the tingling 
bell that led the herd. I began to feel uneasy, and was 
soon convinced that I was completely lost. 

To lose one's reckoning under any circumstances is 
unpleasant, and only those who have passed through sim- 
ilar experiences will appreciate the sensations I felt when 
lost in that wilderness which was known to be infested by 



136 A TEXAS PIONEER 

wild Indians. Fortunately I realized the dangers of m}* 
situation and the necessity of preparing for emergencies, 
though I had no definite idea how I was to get out of my 
scrape. My first act was to lighten my load by untying 
the deer and casting it to the ground. I then examined 
my rifle and when I found only five loaded cartridges in 
the magazine I was very much disconcerted. In my hurry 
I had overlooked my six-shooter and belt full of ammuni- 
tion in the ambulance, but it was then useless to worry 
because of my carelessness, and I determined to make my 
limited supply go as far as possible. 

I entertained no rational ideas relative to the course I 
ought to travel and was disposed to trust to the brute 
instincts of my mule on several occasions by allowing her 
to go her own way. She would change her course the 
instant that I ceased to restrain her movements and each 
time she traveled several miles or until I decided that she 
was going wrong and guided her in another direction. I 
did not stop a moment during the entire day, although it 
was excessively warm about noon. I felt neither hunger 
nor thirst and my thoughts seemed to be concentrated on 
the possibility of meeting Indians. Sometimes I imagined 
that they were concealed in groves of cedar on my route 
and frequently made detours of half a mile to avoid the 
possibility of an encounter. 

These maneuvers were kept up until nine d'clock at 
night and then when I was almost distracted I got in the 
road by allowing my weary mule to travel as she pleased 
the latter part of the journey. She proved to me that 
she was right, and if I had not checked her previous ef- 
forts to get back to it early in the day I would have had 
no trouble. Naturally I was greatly relieved because I 
was satisfied that she recognized the road, though it was 
unfamiliar to me. 

The train did not stop until it arrived at El Fadron, 
and it remained in camp awaiting my return. When 
night approached, my caporal, Julio Castro, who now 



A TEXAS PIONEER 137 

lives on Frio Street in San Antonio, concluded that I had 
been killed, and he started out with six of my men to look 
for me. Long before we met, my mule heard them ap- 
proaching and she expressed her joy by braying, but I 
failed to interpret her meaning because the sound she 
heard did not reach my ears. I was content to know that 
I was on a highway that led somewhere, but otherwise 
my mind was not in a rational condition. 

When I saw the men approaching I wanted to run away 
from them, and would have done so if my mule had been 
able to make the effort, but the feeling only lasted a 
moment and I was greatly relieved when one of them 
hailed me in Spanish, saying, " Who comes there? " I re- 
plied quickly to the challenge and we hastened to meet 
each other. My first desire was to quench my thirst, and 
it was the first water that I had swallowed since the day 
before, but I did not suffer on that account. I suppose my 
bodily cravings were suppressed by my mental anxiety, 
and when that was relieved nature asserted itself. This 
experience taught me a good lesson which I carefully ob- 
served afterwards by keeping in hearing of my train when 
in a wild and dangerous country. 

These two adventures were the only incidents that hap- 
pened on the round trip, and I was satisfied because they 
terminated so successfully ; but they were offset by a series 
of misfortunes, after I returned to San Antonio, that 
greatly interfered with my business, and otherwise caused 
me great inconvenience, on account of the accumulated 
losses I sustained in consequence of the capture, theft, and 
death of a large number of mules on four different 
occasions. 

Soon after I returned, my wagons were loaded with 
government freight and suttlers' supplies for Forts Davis 
and Quitman, and the train was placed in charge of En- 
timio Mageras, an experienced wagon-master, who now 
resides at Santa Cruz, near Chihuahua. After delivering 
the freight according to contract he returned with his 



138 A TEXAS PIONEER 

empty wagons, and on the 17th of May, 1871, after 
making a forty-five-mile drive, he made camp, about noon, 
at Beaver Lake, near the eighteenth crossing on Devil's 
River. The mules were all tired and they were turned 
loose to graze on an excellent pasture, in charge of the 
caporal, Julio Castro, and his herders as usual; but un- 
fortunately no guards were stationed in the vicinity to 
look out for Indians, although such precautions were al- 
ways necessary. 

Evidently the men were careless, and the proximity of 
Indians was not suspected until about fifty wild 
Comanches charged between the wagons and the herd, cut- 
ting off the caporal and his four men, who escaped by 
flight. Their fearful war-whoops raised a commotion in 
the camp, and a majority of the Indians engaged the 
teamsters in battle while the remainder, after roping the 
bell-mare, took charge of the herd. They knew that the 
mules would follow, and when she was led away in a gallop 
over the rocky hills they all kept close behind, but in their 
rear other thieves urged them forward until they 
disappeared. 

The men in camp, though much startled, opened fire 
upon the Indians from behind the wagons ; but the battle 
could not have lasted many minutes, because when the 
mules were secured the enemy retreated. Probably it was 
then that the wagon-master and his men followed them on 
foot with the hope of recovering the animals. They 
claimed to have made such an attempt, but under the cir- 
cumstances it was a useless undertaking. 

The caporal and his herders were supposed to have 
been killed in the first attack, but they managed to conceal 
themselves in a ravine, and anxiety on their account was 
removed when they came from their place of refuge. 
Fortunately none of the men were hurt and if casualties 
occurred among the Indians the fact was never known. 
The marks of Indian bullets could be seen on the wagons, 
and they proved that the men were sheltered behind them, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 139 

but as I could never get the straight of the story I will 
let it stand as it is related. 

John Kenedy, of Sabinal, arrived at the camp the 
day after the fight, when on his way to Fort Davis with 
a herd of beef cattle for the government which he was 
delivering under a contract. He was the first person that 
appeared, but he was unable to render my men any as- 
sistance, and before I could do anything myself, they 
and the wagons were brought to San Antonio by Jose 
Telamantes and Juan Montes with their trains, and they 
charged me six hundred dollars for the favor. 

In July after the disaster, I went to Mexico and bought 
a herd of perfectly wild animals, except a few that had 
been handled; but the number was not sufficient and I 
purchased thirty odd more from Kaneghean & Bro., in 
San Antonio. One of the last lot, bought in August, 
1871, when about four years old, died in Mr. Smelcher's 
pasture in December, 1905, consequently she was about 
thirty-eight years old at the date of her death. I en- 
tered her in the parade at the Spring Carnival in San 
Antonio a few months before she died, and she was led 
by Geronimo Morales, the man who broke her as an off- 
wheel mule when on a trip to Chihuahua. Her mate was 
killed on that trip, between Julimes and Chupadero, by a 
wagon heavily loaded with copper that ran over her when 
going down a hill. 

My next calamity was experienced on the first trip 
that I made with the mules I brought from Mexico. They 
were young and freshly broken to harness when I 
freighted a lot of corn from Austin to Fort Concho for 
the government. The hardships to which they were ex- 
posed, without sufficient grass or other food, was more 
than they could stand, and forty of them died from 
actual starvation along the route when returning home- 
ward. I was obliged to replace them with others and the 
drain on my resources made it necessary to use my credit, 
but I was not discouraged. 



140 A TEXAS PIONEER 

This misfortune was followed by another, near Laredo, 
when twenty head of mules were stolen from my train, 
which was in charge of my friend, Fred Miller, and again 
the loss was supplied by others I purchased in Mexico. 
I could not afford to give up my business, and I knew 
that perseverance would make me successful in the end. 

The superstition that misfortunes always come in 
bunches, seemed to be demonstrated in my experiences dur- 
ing that period, but they were exhausted, in January, 
187, when I met with the closing disaster of the series, 
on the road to San Luis Potosi. I was encamped in a 
large prairie, about fifteen miles south of Piedras Negras, 
where a severe blizzard overtook us that caused intense 
suffering. My mules became uncontrollable, on account 
of the piercing cold, and the herd scattered in search of 
protection. Thirty of them could not be found, and it 
was necessary to secure others at considerable expense 
before my train could proceed on its journey. After- 
wards I lost many animals in various ways, but this 
closes the catalogue of those that were of a serious 
character. 



CHAPTER XV 

WHEN returning from Fort Davis, in 1872, after deliv- 
ering a lot of government freight at said fort, I stopped 
at the Pecos Salt Lake and loaded my prairie schooners 
with salt free of cost from the unlimited quantity that is 
found there, and which was in demand among ranchmen 
on account of its special qualities. 

The lake is situated in a desert region two miles east 
of the Pecos River and fifteen miles above Horse-head 
crossing. The surrounding country in which it is located 
was naturally a level plain before the wind raised upon it 
numerous sand-hills, some of them fifty feet in height, 
that surround the lake on three sides. 

The water of the lake, which covers an area of about 
fifty acres of land, was only about eighteen inches in 
depth, and its surface was a glittering sheet of white salt 
about four inches thick. Evidently the sun's rays had 
evaporated it to that depth, and the substance was sus- 
tained by the fluid beneath that was densely impregnated 
with nitrate of soda. 

My corral was near the lower end of the lake where 
no sand-hills obstructed the view in a southerly direction, 
and an open plain extended far in the distance. After 
adopting every precaution for the security of my camp, 
the mules were side-lined before they were turned loose 
to graze on the rich pasture of Gama grass that was 
known in the West as Gramer grass, and immediate prep- 
arations were made for getting out the salt because I 
wanted as little delay as possible. All my men, not other- 
wise employed, were actively engaged in the work of 
scooping it up near the shore and filling the wagons. As 

141 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

I had no sacks it was bulked in the bodies to the depth of 
three feet, and three days' labor was necessary to fill 
them. That taken from the surface crumbled into par- 
ticles when removed, but that underneath was like wet 
snow. 

The caporal discovered about thirty Indians the sec- 
ond day after our arrival, and the next day they were 
seen hovering among the sand-hills in the distance. Evi- 
dently they were watching for an opportunity to dash in 
and drive off my herd of mules, but my precautions were 
carefully arranged and never relaxed, and when they saw 
that it would be an unsafe and difficult undertaking they 
did not venture an attack. 

The mules were only watered once a day, at the Pecos 
River, early in the evening, and on such occasions I pro- 
vided for contingencies by taking all my men along with 
a sufficient supply of ammunition packed on the saddle 
mules. The wagons and harness, also corn and other 
supplies, were left unprotected, but the Indians suspect- 
ing a trap, kept aloof and nothing was ever molested. 
The mules were always side-lined when we returned and 
then herded on the abundant pasture near camp, under 
the protection of a strong guard, until driven into the 
corral at sunset. 

We finished loading the third day, and the following 
morning, after covering my salt with heavy tarpaulins 
to protect it from the weather, I got my train under way, 
but I soon discovered that my prairie schooners were 
loaded beyond the capacity of my teams to haul them. I 
made slow progress until I reached a point about five 
miles below the lake, where I took about two thousand 
pounds of salt from each wagon. Afterwards I saw that 
the remainder was as much as my teams could haul, but 
they had been greatly relieved, and the same evening we 
crossed and camped on the west side of the Pecos. 

The next day we proceeded down the river towards Fort 
Lancaster, and when in camp at noon the caporal re- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 143 

ported that he saw Indians on the west side of the Pecos. 
No doubt they were the same party that had skulked in 
the sand-hills near our camp at the lake until we left, and 
then dogged our trail with the expectation of stealing my 
mules the first opportunity that offered. But my mis- 
fortunes had taught me to observe the utmost caution, 
and I left nothing to chance, consequently we were not 
disturbed. 

My train nooned at Howard's Well the following day 
and as it was about to move forward Anastacio Gonzales 
drove into camp with his six wagons. He was a citizen 
of San Antonio and as I knew him well it was natural 
that I should stop and talk to him with the intention of 
putting him on his guard against the dangers that lurked 
in that vicinity. I told him about the Indians who had 
constantly watched my camp during my stay at the Salt 
Lake, and that they had followed my train until the day 
before. I urged him to be careful and to use every pre- 
caution to avoid an attack, because I was satisfied that 
the same Indians were hovering in the neighborhood, and 
if they ceased to follow my wagons possibly they would 
make an assault on his camp if they saw that they could 
do so with impunity. 

In the meantime my train had passed on and when I 
bade him farewell it was two miles ahead of me. I was 
the last person that talked to him, exclusive of his im- 
mediate associates, because the sequel will show that my 
warning was unheeded and at that place his negligence 
brought him and his men to a tragic end. 

I did not hear of the disaster that overwhelmed Gon- 
zales until I arrived at Fort Clark. There I learned that 
Lieutenant Vinson with a detachment of troops was scout- 
ing in that country and stopped at Howard's Well soon 
after Gonzales and all his men were killed. The wagons 
were still burning and the charred body of Gonzales was 
found secured to one of them, where evidently he was 
bound when still alive. Vinson immediately followed the 



144 A TEXAS PIONEER 

trail of the Indians until he overtook them, and a fight 
occurred in which he and several of the soldiers were 
killed. 

Gonzales was a blacksmith by trade and his home was a 
small but comfortable cottage on the corner of Salinas 
and Laredo Streets, where his widow now lives. On an 
adjoining lot, fronting on Laredo Street, he completed 
the stone-work of a substantial four-room rock house be- 
fore setting out on his last trip, which he intended to 
finish when he returned. To-day the bare walls remain in 
the same condition as when he left them, because the 
grief-stricken widow will not permit any one to touch the 
last work of her husband's hands. Possibly, if Gonzales 
had adopted my suggestions, the Indians would not have 
attacked him, and it was his carelessness, perhaps, that 
gave them an opportunity to surprise his camp. 

I met with no further trouble from Indians on that 
trip, and my salt speculation, which cost me little or 
nothing, turned out profitably. I estimated my cargo 
at about fifty thousand pounds, and I sold it at whole- 
sale for five cents per pound, part of it at Knox's ranch 
and the balance to Griner, Wish and Rheiner. All these 
persons were sheepmen who valued it more than other 
salt on account of the large proportion of salt-peter it 
contained. But unfortunately the demand was limited 
and it would have been easy to glut the market ; other- 
wise a lucrative business might have been conducted by 
hauling it from the lake, because the sun would have con- 
stantly replenished the salt and furnished an inexhaustible 
supply for an indefinite period ; I believe my train was the 
first that ever hauled salt from the lake and I assumed 
great risks when doing it. 

I had then a fine lot of mules and prairie schooners 
with which to carry on my business, therefore it was to 
my interest to extend it as much as possible. My experi- 
mental trips to and from Chihuahua had netted me hand- 
some returns and I determined to confine my freighting 



A TEXAS PIONEER 145 

in the future to that point. My arrangements were soon 
completed, and I received sufficient assurance that full 
cargoes of freight in both directions would be consigned 
to my care at remunerative prices for hauling. These 
journeys were repeated many times, but as the records 
have been lost it would be useless to tax my memory by 
attempting to give an account of each journey, there- 
fore the incidents I will relate are widely distributed. 

I have an indistinct recollection of the trips I made in 
1872, and I can only recall that on one of them, when 
returning from Chihuahua, I crossed the Pecos River, at 
the Horse-head ford, on a pontoon bridge belonging to 
the United States army. The military authorities had 
constructed it for temporary use to facilitate the move- 
ment of troops and government wagon-trains. The 
structure was not capable of sustaining heavily loaded 
prairie schooners like mine, consequently I was compelled 
to divide my freight, which consisted mostly of copper, 
and had to carry each lot over separately. The labor- 
ious undertaking consumed almost the entire day, and 
while employed in overseeing the work I made the ac- 
quaintance of Mr. Salliway, a prominent and worthy law- 
yer now in San Antonio, who was then attached to the 
engineer corps to which was entrusted the building of 
the western forts, and the bridge was also constructed un- 
der their supervision. 

I also remember that I brought from Chihuahua a 
Mexican hoe, called azada in that country, that I pro- 
posed to submit to manufacturers with a view to having 
them made in the United States. It was a clumsy, rough 
and heavy implement, with a blade about ten inches wide 
on the edge and twelve inches in depth to the handle- 
socket, from which a projection, one and a half by three 
inches square, extended above, that served as a clod- 
crusher. It was considered a necessary tool on irrigated 
farms, and in the northern part of Mexico they were 
in general use. All of them were hand-made by native 



146 A TEXAS PIONEER 

blacksmiths, and at that time they cost five dollars each, 
partly because of the scarcity of iron and steel. 

I delivered the sample to Messrs. Norton and Deutz, 
who were then the leading hardware merchants in San 
Antonio, whose business connections extended into 
Mexico, although their trade was mostly confined to 
Chihuahua. I stated the facts to them and suggested 
that they should ascertain from northern manufacturers 
the cost of an improved hoe similar to the model. Act- 
ing on my advice they arranged to have a better and more 
highly finished hoe made at a price that gave the retailer 
in Mexico a liberal profit when sold at three dollars each, 
consequently they supplanted the ruder implement and in 
a short time were in common use all over that country. 
Doubtless others made much money out of the improve- 
ment, but I received nothing on account of my suggestion 
except the usual charges for freighting them into the 
country. 

The following year a tempting offer was submitted for 
my acceptance, and I was influenced by its liberal in- 
ducements to give it favorable consideration. Mr. Gus- 
tave Moye, who was Consul for the United States in 
Chihuahua, and a brother-in-law of Governor Tarrasas, 
offered me a partnership in a large ranch he owned, called 
El Camado, that is situated eighty miles west of the city. 
The estate represented contained about sixty thousand 
acres of land. The property, though only partly im- 
proved, was very valuable and the prospect offered great 
encouragement for the development of its mines and other 
natural resources. 

About one thousand acres were under irrigation, and 
the same sources of supply were capable of furnishing 
sufficient water for two thousand more of tillable land. 
That in cultivation was very productive and the yield 
of wheat, oats, corn and other crops was enormous. Irish 
potatoes grew wild in many localities and reproduced 
abundantly. Apples of good flavor also grew naturally 



A TEXAS PIONEER 147 

in that region and the trees were generally loaded with 
fruit in season. 

A small village occupied by one hundred and twenty- 
five persons of all ages was situated on the land, all of 
whom were peons and belonged to the owner of the prem- 
ises. These worked the land and performed other duties 
on the ranch under the supervision of Mr. Moye's brother- 
in-law, who was his business manager; and a priest at- 
tended to their spiritual welfare by preaching at stated 
periods in the little church. A silver mine had been 
partially developed on the property from which a large 
quantity of rich ore had been taken, and subsequently 
it became very valuable. 

Mr. Moye offered me a half interest in the ranch and 
all of its belongings, in return for my services and a joint 
interest in my wagon-train. He stipulated that I should 
reside on the estate with my family and devote my entire 
time to its management, and that the wagons and teams 
were to be used exclusively for hauling silver ore and 
agricultural products to Chihuahua. 

His generous proposition was under consideration when 
I left with my train for Texas, and there is no doubt but 
that I would have accepted his offer if one of my children 
had not died soon after my arrival in San Antonio. The 
sorrow I experienced on that account drove the subject 
from my thoughts, and I gave it no further attention, 
although Mr. Moye did not withdraw his offer until two 
years after it was submitted. 

I realized when it was too late that I had made the 
greatest mistake of my life when I failed to secure the 
property on such favorable terms. The opportunity to 
make a fortune was allowed to pass from my grasp with- 
out making an effort to secure it, because it would have 
been possible for me to have purchased the entire prop- 
erty for less than half of the amount that was paid when 
the country was being developed by American capitalists, 
at which time the mine was sold for thirty-five thousand 



148 A TEXAS PIONEER 

dollars and the ranch for forty thousand more. The 
mine alone is now worth a fortune, the tillable land of the 
ranch is in cultivation, and the remainder is stocked with 
cattle. 

I afterwards hauled many thousands of pounds of po- 
tatoes from the ranch to Texas, which cost me nothing 
except the outlay for digging them. They were excel- 
lent as food, they kept well and were not injured by 
transportation, but they were small and none were larger 
than a hen egg. I often sold quantities of them at Forts 
Davis and Stockton, at retail, for fifteen cents per pound ; 
but I once sold Mr. A. Cohen, who now resides on Mar- 
shall Street in San Antonio, about twenty thousand 
pounds for ten cents per pound, when he was the busi- 
ness manager of a suttler's store at Fort Stockton. I 
also sold at the forts many crates of wild apples that were 
gathered on the ranch, at from ten to twelve dollars per 
crate. The fruit was about the size of June apples and 
resembled the Bell-flower apple in appearance, but they 
were nicely flavored and the demand for them was greater 
than I could supply. The fact that apples and Irish 
potatoes are supposed to be indigenous to the soil in that 
region is a worthy subject for investigation by scientists; 
and if the impression is true, the general opinion with 
reference to the origin of apples and potatoes in America, 
should be revised. 



CHAPTER XVI 

MY frequent journeys to Chihuahua had made the 
route familiar to me, and when preparing for a trip I 
made in February, 1873, I persuaded Mrs. Santleben to 
go with me and take our child Sophie along. The In- 
dians had caused no trouble in some time and seemed to 
be perfectly quiet, consequently I apprehended no danger 
and thought that the journey could be made with safety. 
The distance was long and the roads were rough, but 
I provided an ambulance, drawn by two good mules, for 
my family, also a young girl, now Mrs. Salsman, who 
resides at Lacoste Station, to travel in, and after making 
every preparation for their comfort I started about the 
middle of the month. 

When we arrived at Fort Clark I was informed that 
numerous bands of Indians had been seen in various parts 
of the country, and it was feared that a general raid 
was on foot. General McKenzie was at that time in 
command of the post and he was making the necessary 
preparations to pursue them. 

The news caused me to feel some uneasiness, but I 
continued my journey with the hope that we would avoid 
coming in contact with them. I was somewhat relieved 
at noon the following day, when I met Dr. Livingston 
and six men at San Felipe (now Del Rio), who were 
awaiting the arrival of my train, with the intention of 
traveling with us, for mutual protection, as it was un- 
safe for his party to travel alone. They were from the 
Eastern States, on their way to California, with a pros- 
pecting outfit, and their appearance made a good 
impression. 

149 



150 A TEXAS PIONEER 

The next morning we crossed Devil's River and nooned 
at Painted Cave. The following day General McKenzie 
overtook us at California Springs, where we had stopped 
for dinner, and he camped there. His command consisted 
of a regiment of cavalry and one company of Seminole 
Indians, which was accompanied by ten wagons and a 
hospital ambulance in charge of a surgeon. 

The general advised me to remain and travel under 
the protection of his troops to Beaver Lake, at the head 
of Devil's River, where he intended to establish his camp, 
and promised that from there he would send his scouts 
towards the head of the Concho, the Pecos and the Rio 
Grande, to keep the other Indians from coming in, and 
head off those who had already spread over the country. 

I thanked him for his kind intentions and said that I 
appreciated the interest he took in the safety of my train, 
but told him that it would be impossible for me to travel 
with his troops on account of my big wagons and their 
heavy loads. So we left him there and camped that night 
at Dead-man's Pass. We nooned next day at Fort Hud- 
son, that was abandoned in 1860 and was then unoccu- 
pied, and camped that night between the seventeenth and 
eighteenth crossing on Devil's River. From there it was 
only a short distance to Beaver Lake, where at noon the 
following day General McKenzie overtook us, and made 
camp. The general was aware that I was compelled to 
go forward and could not wait for results from his scout- 
ing expeditions that he intended to send out next day, 
and did not urge me to delay, but he cautioned me to be 
very careful. 

We started about one o'clock in the afternoon for 
Howard's Well, about forty-five miles distant, where there 
was water. Dr. Livingston and his six men rode ahead 
of my train, with six pack-mules loaded with provisions 
and his mining outfit. They were about a mile in front 
of my wagons and only three miles from McKenzie's 
camp when a party of about forty Indians attacked them 



A TEXAS PIONEER 151 

from both sides of the road. They killed Black, a man 
about thirty years of age, and Jones, about the same 
age, was wounded in the knee. One mule was killed and 
all the others were captured, after the survivors hurried 
by defeat back to the wagons. The wounded man, who 
was suffering great pain, was sent immediately to Mc- 
Kenzie's camp, where his leg was amputated, but he died 
that night, and they buried him on the shores of Beaver 
Lake. Black was buried that evening in a shallow grave 
among the rocks where he was killed. 

The official report of General McKenzie's campaigns 
in Texas probably refers to this incident, and if so, 
other particulars relating to the subject may be given 
in that connection with which I am not conversant. I 
only know that a detachment of troops was sent in pur- 
suit of the Indians, but I do not know if they succeeded 
in overtaking them. 

Dr. Livingston and his four surviving companions con- 
tinued their journey with us, and one of them was a boy 
about eighteen years of age, known as Head Boone, who 
became greatly attached to Mrs. Santleben and our chil- 
dren. His expressions of discontent indicated that he 
had grown weary of traveling and was very much dis- 
gusted with his trip. He was anxious to return to his 
home in St. Louis, where his mother resided, and when 
I told him that he could remain with me, and promised 
to send him back when we returned to San Antonio, he 
showed more contentment. Perhaps his despondency 
was a premonition of the tragedy so near at hand, that 
prevented me from carrying out my kind intentions. 

Four days after the Indian fight, when we were in 
camp thirty miles southeast of Lost Pond, the unfor- 
tunate boy attempted to secure a rope that was attached 
to his saddle. A heavily loaded, old-fashioned shotgun 
was also fastened to the saddle, which he overlooked in 
the darkness, as it was nine o'clock at night. When pull- 
ing the rope the gun was accidentally fired, and a load 



152 A TEXAS PIONEER 

of buck-shot entered his stomach just below the breast- 
bone. We all hastened to his assistance, but it could be 
seen at a glance that his case was hopeless, and he died 
about an hour afterwards. 

The accident was very distressing and we were greatly 
depressed in spirits after it occurred, because of the 
friendly feeling we entertained for him. I would not 
consider the thought of burying him in a desert, and 
made immediate preparations to move forward to Lost 
Pond, although it was only a watering-place. We ar- 
rived at that place about nine o'clock the following morn- 
ing and proceeded at once to look for a suitable resting- 
place for the young man's body. We selected a spot on 
the side of a little hill, about two hundred yards from the 
road. The grave we quarried through four feet of soft 
rock, after removing the surface soil, and the corpse, 
wrapped in a blanket, was placed on a bed of hay in its 
vault with as much respect as it was possible for us to 
observe; and above was a covering of boards two inches 
thick, taken from my wagons. I cut his name on a slab 
of stone and placed it at the head of his grave, and Mrs. 
Santleben and the girls planted cactus on the mound, 
which was enclosed by a rock fence. While these sad 
rites were being observed, the usual guard was placed 
on the surrounding hills to protect the camp from a 
sudden surprise. 

In after times when passing the place I would call the 
attention of my traveling companions to the spot and 
relate the particulars of the tragedy, and its memories 
always gave rise to feelings of sorrow. After my return 
from Chihuahua I narrated the incident, with all of the 
facts, to James P. Newcomb, who communicated them to 
a St. Louis paper, but perhaps the article was not seen by 
his people, because I never heard from them. Possibly 
some one of his family will read this, who will feel an in- 
terest in the fate of the unfortunate youth whose end 
has remained a mystery so many years, and will be glad 



A TEXAS PIONEER 153 

to know that strangers gave him a decent burial in the 
wilds of Texas. 

After the funeral was over we resumed our journey 
from Lost Pond, at four o'clock in the afternoon, and 
nooned next day at abandoned Fort Lancaster, crossed 
the Pecos after dinner and drove along the west side 
of the river until we arrived at the foot of a mountain 
about three hundred feet high, near Pecos Springs, that 
rose between the road and the river. From there Liv- 
ingston and a companion named Williams passed over 
the mountain towards the river, where they surprised a 
band of Indians. Both parties were badly frightened 
and ran in opposite directions, without taking time to 
note the number on either side. The white men, as they 
hurried toward me, yelled " Indians ! " every jump and 
showed that they were badly demoralized, consequently 
they created considerable alarm. Under the impression 
that an immediate attack would be made, the wagons were 
corralled in a few moments, with the mules on the inside, 
and we prepared to meet the enemy, but were not molested. 

Our journey was not interrupted afterwards and noth- 
ing of importance occurred before reaching Chihuahua. 
I delivered my freight and remained there fifteen days 
collecting my cargo of copper and hides with which my 
wagons were loaded, and in addition I brought one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars in Mexican silver coin to 
Texas, that was consigned to Messrs. Heick & Bros, at 
Indianola. 

Our return trip was devoid of interest until we passed 
Fort Hudson, when making a night drive, near Dead- 
man's Pass, considerable excitement was caused in that 
desolate region, about three o'clock in the morning, by 
an alarm that led us to believe that Indians were in our 
vicinity. 

The ambulance in which my wife, with our child, and 
the girl were traveling, was immediately behind the 
front wagon that was loaded with money, and in it Mr. 



154 A TEXAS PIONEER 

E. A. MiUs, a brother of W. W. Mills of the El Paso 
custom-house, Mr. McChalton, a deputy custom-house 
officer of Presidio del Norte, and myself were riding. 
The ambulance was driven by Wiley Miller, who was hired 
for that purpose and to cook, and it was placed in the 
train where I could be near my family in case of danger. 

The scare was caused by the herd of mules, which the 
caporal and his men were driving in front of the train. 
Without any perceptible cause they suddenly became 
frightened and stampeded in every direction, and the 
caporal and herders instantly followed in pursuit, after 
warning us by shouting " Indians ! " who it was believed 
caused the terror. 

The excitement occasioned by the cry spread rapidly, 
but none were more panic-stricken than Wiley Miller as 
he turned loose the lines and jumped from the seat of 
the ambulance. His team also became wild with fright, 
and with no one to guide them, they followed in the wake 
of the scattered herd at full speed. 

Mrs. Santleben and child and the girl were in great 
danger, from which it was impossible for them to escape 
by their own efforts, because the curtains of the ambu- 
lance were all down and fastened on the outside, as was 
that also in front, behind the driver's seat. But for- 
tunately the team was caught by the men on horse-back, 
near a steep bluff, about forty feet in depth, towards 
which they were running, and my family was rescued from 
a serious or perhaps fatal accident. 

The men insisted that the trouble was caused by In- 
dians, but probably it was a false alarm, and the mules 
may have been scared by a panther, bear, or Mexican 
lion, because all of these animals were common in that 
region. Possibly the unusual sight of wagons attracted 
their curiosity and one may have approached the road 
nearer than usual before the presence of men was 
discovered. 

This incident caused some delay, but after the excite- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 155 

ment subsided and I could think more rationally, I was 
thankful that my wife and child had been preserved 
from the tragedy that threatened them. My gratitude 
influenced me to pardon Wiley Miller, who is now with 
George Koerner, in San Antonio, where he has been em- 
ployed continuously during the past fifteen years. 

The excitement and dangers of the trip did not deter 
Mrs. Santleben from undertaking a second journey to 
Chihuahua, and she accompanied me, with her infant 
daughter, Charlotta, and the older child, in December 
the following year. Miss Amelia Stienly, a young lady 
whose home was in Castroville, traveled with us from 
there to Fort Stockton, where she stopped to visit her 
sister, Mrs. Mary Arnold, and her place was filled by Miss 
Maggie Burns, fifteen years of age, who is now Mrs. Mar- 
tin of Austin. 

My train was about six days ahead of me when we 
started from San Antonio, and I was anxious to overtake 
it before the wagons reached Fort Clark, because the 
Indians were raiding in the country. I drove the ambu- 
lance that was occupied by the ladies and children, and 
my only attendant was a Mexican named Falstina, who 
rode on horse-back. 

We met with no interruptions until we were traveling 
along the highway near -the Nueces River, about nine 
o'clock at night, when three men suddenly sprang from 
the side of the road, one in front of the horses and the 
other two toward the vehicle, one of whom ordered me to 
halt, and holloed " Hands up ! " Acting under the im- 
pulse of the moment, I fired at the man in front of the 
team and a second shot at one of the others on the left 
side of the ambulance. The two reports and flashes of 
the pistol, both in rapid succession, frightened the horses, 
and they dashed forward at the moment the highwaymen 
commenced shooting. But as they were all on foot, the 
horses at the gait they traveled, soon removed us from 
danger after passing the first turn in the road. My 



156 A TEXAS PIONEER 

wife was cool and collected, but Miss Stienly was badly 
frightened, as was my Mexican escort, who deserted me. 

About twenty shots were fired, but no one was hurt, 
unless my aim was true, and only one of the robbers' bul- 
lets shattered a spoke in a rear wheel of my ambulance. 
The affair from the beginning to the end only occupied 
a few moments, and after the danger was over I realized 
that I had done a very foolish thing when I endangered 
the lives of my family unnecessarily by resisting the high- 
waymen's demands, and I reproached myself severely 
afterwards for my thoughtlessness. 

The next day we overtook my train at Turkey Creek, 
and no other incident occurred that is worthy of notice 
until we arrived at Fort Stockton, where Miss Stienly 
was welcomed by her relatives. She had been a pleasant 
companion and we regretted to part from her, but we 
did not miss her so much as we would have done, if Miss 
Maggie Burns had not decided to visit Chihuahua with 
us. 

Our journey from that point was devoid of excitement, 
and I can only recall one event that was at all remark- 
able, which happened about fifty miles northeast of 
Presidio del Norte. Mrs. Santleben walked off a short 
distance from camp to look for moss-agates, that were 
abundant in that country, and in the high grass she dis- 
covered two complete human skeletons. None of the 
bones had been disturbed, and they were bleached white. 
Evidently they had been there a long time, and nothing 
could be found in the vicinity that suggested the cause 
of their death ; nor could we tell whether the remains were 
of white men or Indians. 



CHAPTER XVII 

ON one of my trips with freight consigned to Fort 
Stockton, I met with an exciting adventure at California 
Springs, about half way between Painted Cave and Fort 
Hudson. These two places are situated near the first 
and at the second crossings of Devil's River, forty-six 
miles apart, in which distance there is no water except 
occasionally at California Springs after protracted rains. 

We were making a night drive and when within a few 
miles of the so-called springs I decided to ride on ahead 
and look for water at that place with the hope of finding 
it before the wagons arrived. I left the train on horse- 
back about eleven o'clock p. M., in company with Olojio 
Danda, one of my herders, who had been in my service 
some time and had proved himself a very reliable man. 
He was a citizen of Presidio del Norte, and one of the 
reasons that induced me to employ him was because he 
was known as a great Indian fighter. 

His reputation was acquired on the trail that passed 
between Presidio and Fort Davis, over which marauding 
bands of Comanches and other warlike tribes often passed 
when making raids into Texas, where the men of Presidio 
frequently intercepted them. Occasionally they fought 
them openly, but their favorite mode of attack was from 
ambush, and sometimes they proved themselves equally as 
expert as their red brethren by stealthily recovering all 
the horses the Indians had stolen on their raids. The 
services of such men were always in demand in that region 
because they were versed in Indian ways and their cour- 
age was equal to any occasion. 

We arrived at the springs about one o'clock in the 

157 



158 A TEXAS PIONEER 

morning and made a thorough search for water, but none 
could be found anywhere. About that time we saw to- 
wards the north at the distance of a mile a dim light, 
and Olojio suggested that we should find out what it 
meant. I did not favor an investigation because I 
thought that it might be an Indian camp, but I made 
no objections to his proposition. I was riding a good 
horse and knew that I could make my escape if my sus- 
picions were substantiated, and Olojio was riding an 
active little mule on which he kept ahead of me as we 
followed the windings of the drain through a heavy un- 
dergrowth of mesquite that extended in that direction. 

We approached the fire cautiously, but our animals 
made considerable noise tramping on the loose rocks, that 
could be heard some distance. When within about fifty 
yards our curiosity was satisfied when a bunch of In- 
dians sprang to their feet in the circle of light and 
instantly disappeared in the darkness. Olojio, who was 
a few yards ahead of me, gave the startling cry of " In- 
dians ! " as he quickly wheeled his mule, and the dreaded 
name was repeated when he dashed by me before I could 
turn my horse. There was no need for him to sound 
the alarm, because I had been shocked by the exciting 
apparition that stimulated his actions and I made no 
unnecessary delay. He kept in the lead a short dis- 
tance, as we hurriedly retreated over the route that had 
led us into the danger, but when I got in front the mule 
was soon out of the race and I could hear Olojio's plead- 
ing voice in the distance pitifully appealing to me in 
Spanish, saying, " Boss ! Boss ! Don't leave me." It 
was a cry for help which I could not ignore, and it made 
me check the speed of my horse while I reproached my- 
self for the thoughtlessness that led me to abandon him; 
but at that moment Olojio's mule passed me without his 
rider and my belief was that the Indians had overtaken 
and killed him. The impression gave me a fresh start 
and added impetus to my speed, though I could scarcely 



A TEXAS PIONEER 159 

keep up with the unincumbered mule that, on account of 
his fright, ran as swift as a deer in the direction of the 
wagons after entering the road. 

Our race did not relax its fleetness until we met the 
wagons, about two miles from the springs, where we came 
to a halt. Our sudden appearance created alarm and 
great excitement prevailed among my drivers and herders 
when I related what had happened. They too believed 
that Olojio had been killed by the Indians and we pro- 
ceeded on our journey with the intention of finding his 
remains and giving them a decent burial, but we were 
greatly relieved after traveling about a mile when we 
saw the supposed dead man limping towards us in the 
distance. We were all glad to know, when we met, that 
he had escaped serious injury, and that he had not en- 
countered the Indians. Olojio accounted for his lame- 
ness by explaining that his mule had stepped into a hole, 
and when the animal stumbled he was thrown over his 
head with such force as to cripple his leg. He also lost 
his gun when he fell, and it was recovered when we re- 
turned from Fort Stockton. 

My reflections, when I seriously canvassed the inci- 
dent, made me realize that I had done a very foolish 
thing by risking my life unnecessarily in a country that 
was full of dangers and under circumstances which made 
it a reckless enterprise. The fact that the Indians were 
as badly frightened as we were did not mitigate the 
folly, because if they had not been startled out of their 
sleep the episode might have had a different ending. I 
was taught a good lesson through my experiences in that 
connection, because I never afterwards hunted for 
trouble with Indians and was always glad when I did not 
see or hear of any on my travels. 

During that period no precautions against marauding 
savages could be relied on, even in the vicinity of set- 
tled communities. To illustrate the fact, I had a lonely 
adventure a few years later, similar to the foregoing, 



160 A TEXAS PIONEER 

within forty-five miles of San Antonio, that terminated 
very nearly in the same way and without injury to 
anyone. 

I had been absent from my family about four months 
and naturally was anxious to get home. My train was 
camped at the High-hill, on the Fredericksburg and Fort 
Concho road, when I left it about one o'clock in the 
morning and started on horse-back for San Antonio by 
moonlight over a road that was familiar to me. I 
crossed the Guadalupe River, where Waring is now sit- 
uated, and turned into a dim trail that was half a mile 
shorter than the wagon road to the point where I would 
re-enter it. The route was level and my longings to 
reach home as soon as possible prompted me to urge my 
horse forward in a slow gallop, but we had only pro- 
ceeded about three hundred yards when my horse passed 
through a bunch of Indians lying beside the trail, who 
were evidently asleep. Some of them sprang to their 
feet as I rode among them, but before they could do any 
harm I realized the danger I was in, and at that instant 
my horse bounded beyond their reach as he felt the stroke 
of my whip, which I continued to apply until he was run- 
ning at the top of his speed. How far he ran before 
checking his gait is not remembered, but I am sure that 
we traveled a considejable distance. I do not know how 
the Indians felt when I galloped among them, but they 
must have been as badly frightened as I was when I saw 
them. I was very much surprised at finding Indians 
that near San Antonio after passing through hundreds 
of miles of country in which they ranged without seeing 
any; but they were the real article, as was proved by 
the damage they did a few days later by killing two or 
three sheep-herders and stealing a number of horses in 
that section of country. 

Very few of my acquaintances are aware of the fact 
that I was once engaged in the brewing business in 
Chihuahua, therefore I will relate my experiences in con- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 161 

nection with the enterprise from its inception until I 
pocketed my losses and charged them up to my foolish 
confidence in human nature. 

The man with whom I was associated introduced him- 
self as John Kohler when I first met him in San Antonio, 
in 1873, immediately after his arrival in the city. He 
was then friendless, destitute of money, and shabbily 
clothed. He approached me and submitted for my in- 
spection a certificate from a St. Louis brewer that 
highly recommended him as a first-class brewer, and en- 
dorsed him as an honorable man. His credentials ap- 
peared to be correct and I was satisfied that he 
understood his business, otherwise he could not have 
secured such commendations. After hearing him talk 
I became favorably impressed, and when he expressed a 
desire to start a small brewery somewhere in Texas, I 
offered to take him with me to Mexico and establish him 
in business in Chihuahua. The numerous advantages of 
the situation that I mentioned seemed to please him, and 
he accepted my proposition. 

I provided for his immediate necessities, and with his 
assistance I purchased the outfit required for a small 
brewery, including everything required for the plant, 
which I agreed to haul. It was also understood that 
I was to furnish the capital to start the business, and 
that after my outlay was repaid the net profits should 
be divided equally between us. 

Kohler accompanied my train which transported the 
outfit, in 1874*, and the brewing establishment was suc- 
cessfully inaugurated in June. It was a small affair 
when compared with modern institutions of that kind, 
but it was distinguished as the first brewery that was 
ever established in Chihuahua. The enterprise was suc- 
cessfully operated, and Kohler demonstrated to the sat- 
isfaction of every one that he knew how to make good 
beer. His prices were reasonable and the public showed 
their appreciation by extending him a liberal patronage. 



162 A TEXAS PIONEER 

He sold his beer in bottles only, for which he charged six 
dollars per dozen quarts, and pints sold at three dollars 
and a half a dozen. At these prices his supply of hops, 
bottles, corks, etc., was soon exhausted, but about that 
time I returned from San Antonio and replenished his 
stock. 

I was astonished at his success, and the praise be- 
stowed on his beer was merited, because it was excellent. 
With his knowledge of the business there was no reason 
why it should not be superior in quality, because it was 
made from the finest grade of hops that could be pro- 
cured in the market. It was also cheaper than St. Louis 
beer that sold in Chihuahua at one and a half dollars 
a quart or twelve dollars a dozen bottles, or twice our 
prices, consequently we had no competition. The ven- 
ture had surpassed our most sanguine expectations, and 
its future prospects encouraged me to entertain the 
thought of enlarging the establishment. 

I again returned to San Antonio and did not get back 
to Chihuahua before December, with my usual quantity 
of freight, including additional supplies for the brewery. 
Much to my surprise and disappointment I learned that 
the brewery was closed, and my friends informed me that 
Kohler had anticipated my arrival ten days before by 
secretly departing from the city, but no one knew in 
which direction he had gone. He sold the property be- 
longing to the plant for a small amount of money, but 
that received from the business represented a consider- 
able sum, which, added to the expense I had incurred, 
constituted a heavy loss. 

He knew that I would demand my share of the profits, 
in addition to the outlay of one thousand dollars I spent 
in starting the business, and he concluded that he would 
make a stake when he had a chance. He was one of the 
" get rich quick " sort, and the old story was illustrated 
over again in which I had the experience and he had the 
capital ; but if he had pursued a different course and hon- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 163 

estly conducted the business we would both have realized 
a fortune in a few years by continuing the enterprise. 
It was capable of being developed into large propor- 
tions because the location was excellent and the beer had 
won a reputation. Instead of doing so, Kohler chose 
to rob his benefactor, who had lifted him from poverty 
to competency, and he became a fugitive from justice. 
I traced him to Parral, but gave up the search under the 
belief that he had gone to Europe, and I have never 
heard of him since. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

I WAS in Chihuahua in 1874 after making an un- 
eventful journey westward, and I quartered my teams 
as usual in the city at the meson de Massarre, where 
wagon trains and transient persons with animals usually 
stopped. The establishment was instituted for the con- 
venience of travelers and freighters, and they are found 
in many cities throughout Mexico. Massarre was the 
owner's name and a meson means an inn or hostelry. 
The buildings occupied a large square and they are 
worth describing. The stalls, with a cement trough in 
each, sufficient for stabling fully six hundred animals, 
are built around the sides. The square inside has room 
for four trains of heavy wagons at one time, and in the 
center stood the granary, a peculiar stone structure, in 
the shape of a bottle with a round tower that resembles 
the neck. It is seventy-five feet high and twenty feet 
in diameter, with steps that wind around the outside to 
a platform on top, up which the corn is carried and de- 
posited in an opening. When the tower is full the open- 
ing is sealed up with adobe mortar that -makes it air- 
tight. Its capacity is about five thousand fanegas, or 
about fifteen thousand bushels, and that quantity of 
corn has been kept three years in perfect condition with- 
out weevils. The corn was taken out from an opening 
below that was secured by an iron gate and lock. 

The meson was a private enterprise, and the charges 
were fixed for sheltering a train, but those for provender 
were governed by the market price. Sometimes a series 
of drouths caused a scarcity of corn and forage, conse- 
quently it was necessary to secure a large supply in sea- 

164 



A TEXAS PIONEER 165 

sons of plenty for such emergencies in order to facili- 
tate traffic in the country by furnishing accommodations 
for those engaged in the business. Usually the price 
for a fanega of corn ranged from two to three dollars, 
but after a season of drouth it was more; or when the 
country was distracted by civil war, high prices pre- 
vailed, as in 1873, when I paid $12 a fanega for corn, 
and it was difficult to get at that price. 

A few days after my arrival a large body of friendly 
Indians came into the city to celebrate a recent great 
victory they had gained over one of the hostile tribes 
toward the northwest, about fifty miles distant. The 
authorities had granted them the privilege of passing 
through the streets in a triumphal procession, for the 
purpose of displaying the trophies they had won in their 
foray into the enemies' country. 

The wild Indians, represented by the Apaches, Co- 
manches, Lipans, Navajos, and other fierce tribes, had 
desolated the State for a number of years, and had 
proved themselves a great scourge in the northern por- 
tion of Mexico, where they had materially injured the 
country. In order to suppress them, Governor Luis 
Tarrasas, of the State of Chihuahua, offered a reward 
of two hundred and fifty dollars for every scalp taken 
from the head of an unfriendly Indian. The agreement 
stipulated that the scalp should be identified by other 
trophies taken from the enemy, so that no impositions 
could be practiced. As the dress and ornaments, also 
the bows and arrows, of every tribe were different and 
could be easily recognized by those familiar with them, 
deceptions could not be practiced with impunity. These 
were turned over to the government officials, and, if the 
evidence was satisfactory, the reward was paid imme- 
diately. 

The friendly Indians on the reservations, influenced 
by this reward, made a regular business of waging war 
on the wild tribes, and they would absent themselves 



166 A TEXAS PIONEER 

from their villages for months, seeking opportunities to 
secure scalps, by waylaying their victims in favorable 
localities; but frequently their object was effected by 
surprises which resulted in the extermination of entire 
settlements. The State did not concern itself with ref- 
erence to their plan of warfare, and it approved their 
destruction by any method that might be adopted, be- 
cause the hostilities were a constant menace. A natural 
enmity existed between the peaceable and warlike tribes 
and it was easy to excite the cupidity of the former by 
offering liberal rewards. By such means the State rid 
itself of a large number of uncontrollable savages and 
gave protection to its citizens. 

The celebration I witnessed was not only approved by 
the city officials, but the programme was, evidently, ar- 
ranged by them beforehand. The procession entered the 
city about ten o'clock in the morning, and a brass band 
in front discoursed appropriate music. The warriors 
followed on horseback, in their war-paint and decked out 
in all their finery, about fifteen of whom had long poles 
to which were secured the scalps of their victims killed 
in battle, together with the bows and other trophies 
necessary to prove their valor. The women and children 
of the tribe came next, on horses, also in single file, and 
their oddity added an attraction to the display. I was 
greatly impressed by the significance of the occasion, 
which had the appearance of a great festival, on account 
of the interest manifested by the citizens. 

A few days after witnessing the parade I started with 
my train for Texas, having my wagons loaded heavily 
with freight, to which was added a large sum of money. 
Nothing of importance occurred until I arrived at a 
place called Mula, situated about forty miles west of the 
Rio Grande, where a custom-house officer was stationed. 
The facts will show that it was a very unpleasant inci- 
dent, and one that led to my arrest and the sequestra- 
tion of my train, with its entire cargo, by an officer of 



A TEXAS PIONEER 167 

the government, under a suspicion that part of the 
freight was contraband. I was accused of smuggling, 
and under that charge I was tried before the Federal 
Court, but I was acquitted because the evidence was not 
sufficient to convict me. 

Before stating the facts in the case, it will be neces- 
sary to relate the preliminary circumstances that asso- 
ciated me with it, and they were about as follows: 

The Mexican Government, in order to get rid of the 
copper money that flooded the country, provided for 
the coinage of five- and ten-cent pieces, and the mint in 
Chihuahua was compelled to coin ten per cent, of its' 
total silver output in coins of those denominations. As 
the merchants in the city were opposed to retiring the 
copper money from circulation, because it was the money 
of the poorer classes, they agreed among themselves that 
they would not pay out the small silver coin received in 
their business transactions, consequently about twenty 
thousand dollars accumulated in their hands, and when 
the government learned that it was unpopular, and again 
made copper a legal tender, necessity compelled them to 
dispose of it in some way. 

Small change was very scarce in San Antonio at that 
time, especially five- and ten-cent pieces, and such de- 
nominations readily commanded ten per cent, premium. 
But the exorbitant export duties exacted by the govern- 
ment, amounting to a total of ten per cent., was prohib- 
itory through legitimate channels. Therefore certain 
persons determined to avoid the imposition by smuggling 
this money across the Rio Grande, in order to take ad- 
vantage of the excellent market that was offered them, 
and in that way the greater part of the holdings was 
transferred to the United States. A part of the sum, 
amounting to about eleven hundred dollars, was placed 
in a sack of beans, and shipped with similar freight on 
one of my wagons. 

When I arrived at Mula, the officer stationed at that 



168 A TEXAS PIONEER 

place inspected my freight without discovering the 
money, and everything was found to be correct. But 
before I was ready to move on, the Alcalde of the town 
interfered, and demanded a second inspection. Evi- 
dently he acted under certain information received from 
some source, because he did not hesitate when pointing 
out the sack, which, it was afterwards proved, contained 
the money, and he carried it away with him. A courier 
was dispatched to Presidio with the information, and I, 
with the entire train, was detained until a squadron of 
mounted custom-house guards arrived. The com- 
mander took me in charge and escorted my train to Del 
Norte. I gave bond for my appearance and was liber- 
ated until the following day, when I was placed on trial 
under an accusation of smuggling money out of the 
country. 

Witnesses testified with reference to the facts, and as 
the evidence was conclusive, I was compelled to admit 
that the coin was found among my freight under sus- 
picious circumstances; but I proved that the sack of 
beans in which it was placed was one of a large consign- 
ment sent to San Antonio, and I denied knowing the 
owners or the parties who placed it there. My defense 
was sufficient to show that I was innocent of conspiring 
to defraud the government, and that I had been imposed 
upon by others who were using my train for illicit pur- 
poses; consequently I was honorably acquitted and the 
money was confiscated by the government. 

The laws of Mexico, with reference to smuggling, and 
the punishments imposed, were extremely severe, but they 
were not always vigorously executed. The penalty for 
transporting contraband goods required that the entire 
train and cargo should be confiscated. Those in charge 
of the train were assumed to be guilty and they were 
liable to a long term of penal servitude, consequently 
the risks attached to the business were very great. 

The evidence in my case put me in a pretty tight 



A TEXAS PIONEER 169 

place, and if my friends had not stood by me so faith- 
fully and firmly I would not have been so fortunate in 
escaping the penalties. I had many good reasons for 
congratulating myself on the result, and I was concerned 
as much for the interests of my patrons as on my own 
account. They had entrusted to my care one hundred 
and eighty thousand dollars, in Mexican coin, on which 
the ten per cent, duty had been paid, and it was all 
subject to confiscation under a strict construction of the 
law. My consignment of freight was also valued at a 
large sum of money, and my individual losses, if my 
train had been taken from me, would have ruined me 
financially. 

The energy with which my defense was conducted, 
and the earnest efforts of my friends, who brought all 
their influence to bear in favor of my interests, was all 
that saved me from the penalties of the law. The court 
was persuaded to consider my case in a favorable light, 
and after my acquittal the government officials were lib- 
eral in their exactions, and courteous treatment was 
shown me, especially by Henrico Peiia, who was in 
charge of the custom-house, from whom I received an 
unusually lenient inspection when passing me through 
his department. I became better acquainted with him 
afterwards, and I had many good reasons for esteeming 
him as one of my most intimate friends. 

A few days after my release from custody I crossed 
the Rio Grande, passed the United States custom-house 
after a satisfactory inspection by its officials, and 
camped the same day twelve miles beyond the river. 
That night James Clark, who was then in charge of the 
American custom-house in Presidio del Norte, joined 
us with a party consisting of his wife, two young ladies, 
Hugh Kelly, and an escort of six men on horseback. 
They were traveling in an ambulance, and they had 
come out for a frolic. I made them welcome in my en- 
campment, and after supper we decided to have a dance, 



170 A TEXAS PIONEER 

for which purpose several wagon sheets were spread on 
the ground inside the corral that was made by the sur- 
rounding wagons. The Loza family, representing sev- 
eral persons, were traveling with me to their home, which 
is at 926 San Fernando Street, in San Antonio. Prof. 
Manuel Manso and his orchestra troop, comprising sev- 
eral members, also from Chihuahua, were with our party, 
and they furnished music for the occasion. 

The music, from stringed instruments, was excellent, 
and as the wagon sheets on the level, hard ground fur- 
nished a splendid surface for the dancers, they enjoyed 
themselves to the utmost, until the caporal drove in the 
herd to be hitched, as day was dawning, and brought 
our pleasures to an end. Nothing similar to our frolic 
on that occasion was ever seen in that wild region, and, 
probably, its like will never be witnessed again, as the 
wilderness, perhaps, cannot be greatly improved. Every- 
one had entered into the spirit of the occasion and their 
pleasure found utterance in expressions of delight after 
it was brought to a close. The event might be termed 
a swell affair, because it was attended by the best people 
in the country, and though it lacked many accessories of 
civilization, the picturesque surroundings compensated 
for the deficiencies. After breakfasting with us, Mr. 
Clark and his party returned through the uninhabited 
country to their homes. 

Mr. James Clark, who now resides in Denver, Colo- 
rado, was familiar with all the facts relating to my ar- 
rest in Mexico, and he amused himself later at my ex- 
pense, when among my friends in San Antonio, by tell- 
ing them about the supper he ate in my camp, and the 
beans that were served as the principal dish, in which 
five- and ten-cent pieces were found with every mouthful. 
The joke became current, and its meaning was under- 
stood, but I am inclined to think that its interpretation 
would place me in rather an unfavorable light in Mexico. 

The pleasures we participated in and which have been 



A TEXAS PIONEER 171 

so briefly described, were not confined to the occasion. 
At Fort Stockton we were joined by Thomas Nelson, a 
worthy civil engineer, who now resides in San Antonio, 
and Pete Johnson, a well-known merchant at that time 
at the fort. They were jolly fellows, who could make 
themselves welcome anywhere, and such men always turn 
themselves loose when in camp. We always selected a 
camping place with a level space suitable for dancing, 
and every night the canvas was spread inside the corral, 
which was illuminated by the light of candles placed on 
the wagon wheels, and we danced, to the sweet music dis- 
coursed by Manso's fine orchestra, to the limit of en- 
durance. The frolics were always full of fun, but Christ- 
mas and New Year's nights which we spent on that trip 
were both unusually lively, and those who are alive re- 
call them as pleasant memories. 

The journey was agreeable throughout, and nothing 
of a serious nature occurred to mar its pleasures, except 
my trouble with the Mexican custom-house officials, 
which was brought about by a traitor in my employ. 
This information was communicated by a reliable per- 
son, who was conversant with the facts, after I had 
pledged myself to secrecy on the subject. Until then 
I did not know who the informer was, because he did not 
appear at the trial, and only the Alcalde with the sack 
of beans, with the money inside, appeared against me in 
court. I was told that the rascal discovered the money, 
and after marking the sack, he notified the Alcalde, who 
re-inspected my goods. 

I had allowed him to return with me to Texas as a 
favor, and I would not dismiss him, but his treachery was 
suspected by the men in my train, and if I had not 
protected him it is doubtful if he would have reached his 
destination. I had promised not to betray his guilt, and 
I kept my pledge, although I felt inclined to punish 
him in some way, but I never did him any harm. 



CHAPTER XIX 

I WAS often accompanied on the long, tedious journey 
to Chihuahua by one or more friends, and their com- 
panionship was always appreciated. Business matters 
forced some of them to make tlje trip, and others made 
it with a desire to see the country, but, generally, their 
experiences did not tempt them to repeat the venture. 
Among them were Messrs. Gus Mauermann, San An- 
tonio's former Chief of Police ; Ernest Paschal, Fred Mil- 
ler, Tom Nelson, Britt, Guinn, Allen, Henry Laager, and 
Judge Netterville Devine. These intimate friends of 
that period are still alive and any of them will sustain 
the truthfulness of my statements. The last named had 
often expressed a wish to travel over the route with me, 
and, in 1874, when he learned that I intended to return 
through the buffalo country, on the headwaters of the 
Concho, where these animals roamed in countless num- 
bers, he arranged to go along. 

I always traveled in an ambulance and otherwise pro- 
vided for my comfort on such journeys, consequently 
Judge Devine had no hardships to encounter in his 
jaunt through a wild and rugged country. .The pros- 
pects of sport, variety and adventure were the tempta- 
tions that influenced him to go, and I determined to do 
all I could to have him realize his expectations. He 
joined us on Nueces Creek, west of San Antonio, on my 
usual route with a train of fourteen wagons loaded with 
freight for Mexico, and he was a pleasant addition to 
my company, which consisted of Messrs. Jack Berry and 
Henry Vonflie, who are now well-to-do ranchmen and 
farmers near Devine station on Briar Branch in Medina 
County. 

172 



A TEXAS PIONEER 175 

Beyond Fort Clark an American, whose name was 
James, stopped at my camp and made himself known to 
me. He stabbed and killed a man when I was loading 
my wagons in Luling, and it was approved by public 
opinion as a justifiable homicide. The assistance he 
received from people in Luling enabled him to escape 
the clutches of the law, and he was then traveling on 
foot towards Mexico, which was a place of refuge for 
all such fugitives. 

I was acquainted with the particulars connected with 
the tragedy and my sympathies disposed me to help him 
in his troubles. I made him a present of a good horse 
and saddle, and Judge Devine gave him his Winchester 
rifle, without considering his own necessities. He ought 
to have felt grateful when he parted from us that night, 
and I suppose he did, but we never heard from him 
afterwards, nor do I know what became of him. 

We continued our journey westward and arrived at 
Fort Davis in the morning and camped until two o'clock 
in the afternoon. When we resumed our journey, to 
make the sixty-mile drive to the next watering-place, 
Judge Devine decided that he would remain a while 
longer with his friends residing at the post, with the 
expressed intention of overtaking us before night, and 
I made no objection to his doing so. 

He did not leave the fort until the next day, or about 
twenty-four hours after the train left there, and he rode 
hard until two o'clock that night, when he arrived in 
camp. In the meantime I had become anxious for his 
safety on account of Indians, and my uneasiness kept 
me awake. I heard him whistling as he approached, but 
there was no tune to his music, and evidently he was in 
a disturbed state of mind on account of not seeing the 
wagons, or perhaps the silence of the wilderness made 
him think of the dangers. It made me think of my 
boyish experiences in dark and lonely places and the 
similar noises I made to keep up my courage. He was 



174 A TEXAS PIONEER 

in camp before he realized the fact, and I scolded him 
severely for his imprudence that had caused me so much 
worry, at the same time telling him exactly what I 
thought on the subject, but he didn't seem to consider 
that it was a serious matter. Many things afterwards 
happened on the trip that I do not care to mention, 
because those involved might not like to see an account 
of their escapades in print, but the details would be en- 
tertaining. 

We reached our destination within a reasonable time 
and found the people in Chihuahua very much interested 
in the preparations that were being made for a grand 
masquerade ball which was to be given by Governor Ter- 
razas. Shortly after our arrival Judge Devine and 
myself received invitations, and, as a matter of course, 
suitable disguises were procured in which we appeared 
at the festival. All the prominent citizens of the city 
and many foreign visitors were present and participated 
in the pleasures without restraint. It was a brilliant 
entertainment throughout, including its lavish refresh- 
ments, and it was an occasion that the guests could 
always recall with pleasure. 

Among those in attendance was Dr. Frank Paschal, 
a brother of ex-Mayor George Paschal, of San Antonio, 
who had earned an enviable reputation as a physician 
and surgeon in Chihuahua, where he was also highly es- 
teemed by all classes for his talents and many excellent 
qualities that distinguish a man and win the confidence 
of his fellow creatures. They were natural to him, but 
he was indebted to his amiable wife for much of his 
popularity on account of her social attainments, that at- 
tracted the wealthy, and her charities, which, when 
added to his gratuitous practice, endeared them both 
to the poorer classes. 

These statements will justify me in noticing a few in- 
cidents in his life as I recall them, because the facts are 
not generally known in his birthplace, where he has since 



A TEXAS PIONEER 175 

become prominent. The information is of local interest, 
otherwise, on account of his having been professionally 
associated with Dr. Cupples, who was one of the ablest 
and most popular physicians and surgeons in San An- 
tonio when Dr. Paschal commenced his practice. He 
was then about twenty-two years of age and had only 
recently returned from the university where he gradu- 
ated in his profession. His subordinate position did not 
suit his ambitious temperament, consequently he looked 
abroad for a suitable location where he would encounter 
less opposition in his profession, and he selected Chihua- 
hua, as the most desirable. His early childhood was 
passed in Monterey with his parents, and he was not 
only familiar with Mexico and the customs of its peo- 
ple, but spoke the Spanish language fluently. 

He received a friendly welcome from the people among 
whom he cast his lot, and for two years practiced his 
profession successfully before he again returned to San 
Antonio. The visit was made with a single purpose in 
view, and that was accomplished when he married Miss 
Lady Napier. Their bridal trip was made in the stage 
that was then running from San Antonio by way of 
Fort Concho and Horse-head Crossing to Fort Davis, 
where an ambulance with four mules and a driver awaited 
them, in charge of an escort, in which they were con- 
veyed to Chihuahua. 

A warm reception was extended to the newly married 
couple by the best people in the city, and in a short 
time the young wife was loved and admired by a large 
circle of acquaintances. The doctor soon became the 
leading physician, with an extensive and lucrative prac- 
tice, but his services were not withheld from the poor, 
and he was greatly assisted in his charitable attentions 
by Mrs. Paschal, who devoted much of her time to such 
work. Many indigent people were relieved by his skill 
as a surgeon, and quantities of medicine were generously 
distributed to them free of cost. 



176 A TEXAS PIONEER 

When Dr. Paschal and his wife removed from Chihua- 
hua to San Antonio, in 1881, his departure was greatly 
regretted by all classes, but such men are always a loss 
to any community. As an evidence of the appreciation 
in which he was held, he was often called to Chihuahua 
to perform difficult surgical operations or for consulta- 
tion in serious cases of illness, until about five years ago, 
but since then he has been unable to absent himself from 
San Antonio on account of his large practice. 

My stay in Chihuahua was not extended beyond the 
time necessary to load my wagons with freight destined 
for Texas, consisting of copper, hides, and a large 
amount of Mexican silver coin. We returned via Pre- 
sidio del Norte to Horse-head Crossing on the Pecos 
River, where we diverged towards Fort Concho, in com- 
pliance with my promise to Judge Devine to take him 
to the buffalo country, which was many miles north of 
my usual route. 

The plains and valleys that are traversed by the head- 
waters of the Concho River and its tributaries were then 
occupied by droves of buffalo whose numbers could not 
be computed with certainty. They seemed to be innu- 
merable when we entered that region and passed through 
the herds which grazed quietly on all sides far into the 
distance, until they moved at certain hours toward the 
river to quench their thirst. Then they congregated 
from all points and formed masses which sometimes com- 
pelled the train to stop until they passed. On such occa- 
sions the drivers shot into them and many were uselessly 
killed or wounded, without any reason to justify their 
cruelty. 

There was no trouble to kill buffalo under such cir- 
cumstances, and of course the wanton destruction of 
animal life could offer no pleasure to a sportsman, con- 
sequently the gentlemen in my party were content to 
satiate their curiosity by admiring the wonderful sight. 
But soon afterwards Netterville Devine passed through 



A TEXAS PIONEER 177 

an exciting experience when stalking buffalo, in which he 
had a narrow escape from Indians. He was walking 
ahead of the wagons when he saw a small herd of buf- 
falo that tempted him to try a shot at them. He ap- 
proached them cautiously and was creeping within range 
when luckily he looked behind and saw several Indians 
stealthily approaching him in the distance. He realized 
at once that the hunter was being hunted, and as he 
disliked the thought of figuring as game for Comanche 
sportsmen who coveted his scalp, he abandoned his game 
before they were disturbed, and made a hasty retreat. 
Fortunately he had a good start, and he improved the 
time by running at full speed on a bee-line until he 
reached the train. 

The next day Mr. Devine, in company with Henry 
Vonflie and Jack Berry, gave variety to the murderous 
sport, after it became monotonous, by roping and neck- 
ing together a pair of three-year-old buffalo, which, 
when released, joined the herd in that condition. We 
had an abundance of meat, and the men found more 
amusement in mastering the wild beasts than in slaying 
them ruthlessly for no purpose. They might have been 
driven into camp and butchered if the parties had been 
disposed to do so, in the same way that Mr. Vonflie did 
a two-year-old buffalo about two years afterwards in 
that region, where it was killed by the soldiers who were 
escorting my train from Fort Stockton to San Antonio. 

The range of the American buffalo or bison in Texas 
did not extend very far south of the Concho River, in 
1874*, and they were only found in great numbers about 
fifty miles above that limit. They were not molested in 
that region to any great extent until afterwards, on ac- 
count of the risk of encountering Comanche Indians, who 
occasionally hunted in that region in defiance of the 
United States troops which garrisoned Fort Concho. 
But their presence acted as a restraint, consequently the 
noble animals were partially protected in an area about 



178 A TEXAS PIONEER 

thirty miles wide, where they were in the greatest num- 
bers. 

Buffalo were plentiful in that country until 1877, 
when hunters began to kill them for their hides, and 
thousands were destroyed by organized bodies of men for 
that object alone. The Texas & Pacific, the Interna- 
tional, and the Southern Pacific railroads had then ad- 
vanced far enough into the State to be accessible, and 
the demand for the hides induced unscrupulous persons, 
including many foreigners, to engage in the business. 
But the massacre was not confined to Texas, because it 
was greater in the Northwest, where hundreds of men 
enlisted in the barbarous destruction of " our national 
animal " when the Northern Pacific Railroad penetrated 
the plains where millions roamed at will. 

Perhaps the percentage of merchantable skins (that 
were placed on the market would represent only a frac- 
tion of the total number of the animals that were killed 
and which no one can estimate. Thousands were slaugh- 
tered in sport or for their hides, and perhaps more 
escaped to die from wounds. Sometimes the tongue and 
other choice pieces were cut out and the carcass fed the 
wolves and buzzards that followed in their trail. 

Before the work of extermination was complete a new 
industry was suggested to those who dealt in buffalo 
hides and those who saw the millions of pounds of bones 
that lay bleaching on the plains. When it was ascer- 
tained that they had a commercial value, the dismem- 
bered skeletons were gathered in piles and hauled to the 
nearest railroads, which transported them to the East. 
The first person in Texas who appreciated the worth of 
such commodities was Mr. Louis Bergstrom, a brother 
of Oscar Bergstrom, Esq., formerly of San Antonio, but 
now a prominent lawyer in New York City, whose large 
practice extends into Mexico. Mr. Louis Bergstrom is 
now the general manager of the Alamo Dressed Beef 
Company of San Antonio, and he engaged largely in 



A TEXAS PIONEER 179 

the business of collecting them, also in buying buffalo 
hides. He sent out dozens of wagons which delivered the 
bones in carload lots to the nearest railroad stations. 
Perhaps a larger sum was realized from the sale of bones 
by the parties who were engaged in collecting them than 
from the total number of more valuable hides and the 
quantities of dried meat, that were recognized as mer- 
chantable commodities. 

The splendid race of animals is now represented by 
about two thousand individuals all told ; and about half 
of that number are in the United States. The Federal 
Government has control of several herds and is making 
efforts to revive the race in suitable locations on the na- 
tional reservations, where they will have permanent 
homes. 

My opinion is that it was as necessary for the buffalo 
to be destroyed as it was that the Indians should be 
driven out of the country, because while they remained 
the Indians could not be controlled, and the range was 
needed for domestic cattle, also for homes of thousands 
of people who have since settled the country. 



CHAPTER XX 

I WAS in Chihuahua again in the spring of 1875, and 
while there was told that several years before a large 
aerolite had fallen on the ranch of Mr. Henry Mueller, 
near San Lorenzo, about ten miles from the city, which 
was said to be one of the most massive known to the 
scientific world. I became very much interested in the 
subject and decided that if it was possible to secure the 
stone I would haul it to Texas and place it on exhibi- 
tion at the World's Fair in Philadelphia. 

Legally, the meteorite belonged to the owner of the 
land on which it fell, and as Mr. Mueller attached no 
value to it, personally, he agreed to let me have it. But 
in the meantime the Mexican authorities had asserted a 
claim, based on the assumption that as it came from 
space it was not subject to individual ownership, conse- 
quently the Republic had a right to dispose of it in any 
way it pleased. These pretentions were not disputed 
by the owners, although it is obvious that they could 
not have been sustained; but it was useless for me to 
oppose them, and I determined to secure it from the 
government on the most favorable terms. 

The decision made it necessary for me to negotiate 
with the proper officials, and after I explained my inten- 
tions they graciously condescended to allow me to carry 
out my wishes under the following conditions, to which 
I subscribed: They permitted me to transport the me- 
teoric stone out of the country free of export duty and 
to the Centennial Exposition buildings, at Philadelphia, 
at my own expense; but they required Mr. Mueller and 
myself to give a bond for a considerable amount, which 

180 



A TEXAS PIONEER 181 

stipulated that the stone should be safely returned to 
Chihuahua within a certain time without cost to the 
government. 

The meteorite was composed of solid iron and weighed 
54*00 pounds. It was shaped like a turtle, round on top 
and flat below. It measured about two feet through its 
thickest part and curved to the edges, where it meas- 
ured three feet wide and four feet long across the bot- 
tom. Evidently when the mass of metal struck the earth 
it was soft enough to be flattened by the impact and 
retained the imprint of the solid rock where it fell among 
loose stone on the surface, which were imbedded in the 
lower part. 

This visitant from another world was not very at- 
tractive in appearance, but I was fascinated by it and 
thought that others would be equally impressed when 
the curiosity was placed on exhibition. I was aware that 
it would be a difficult and costly undertaking, but I 
expected to consign it to one of the show places where 
sightseers would reimburse me for my trouble and out- 
lay. 

I hauled the mass of iron on a wagon assigned for 
that purpose, and it alone made a heavy load, which 
strained the team more than bulky freight would have 
done, because it was dead weight in the bed and the 
wagon had no swing. The other wagons were loaded 
with heavy freight in the bodies, including $200,000 in 
silver coin, and a bulky top weight of hides, which caused 
them to oscillate with a motion that relieved the teams. 
At Forts Davis, Stockton and Concho the aerolite at- 
tracted great attention among the soldiers, and when it 
arrived in San Antonio the wagon was unhitched and 
placed in the rear of the Veramendi House, which was 
then occupied by Mr. Weber, a brother of Jacob Weber, 
who resides on North Flores Street, where it was viewed 
by hundreds during the two weeks it was there. 

The only incident worth noticing, that occurred on 



182 A TEXAS PIONEER 

the trip, happened near the crossing of the San Saba 
River, where a company of rangers were stationed under 
the command of Captain Rufus Perry. About the time 
that I reached their camp several men went out hunt- 
ing, and a short time afterwards they returned with the 
information that they had discovered a party of Indians. 
Captain Perry, with the greater part of his men, was 
absent on a scout, but it happened that Major Jones, 
who commanded all the State Rangers on the frontier 
and was then on a tour of inspection, had arrived in 
camp a short time before the news was reported. He 
hastily summoned his escort together, with several of 
Captain Perry's company, and quickly proceeded in 
search of the Indians. He soon overtook them, and a 
battle was fought in which three Comanche marauders 
were killed and several others wounded, but no casual- 
ties occurred among the Texans. 

I got through with my train all right, but the me- 
teoric stone caused a certain amount of trouble, and the 
expense was considerable, because the wagon carried 
nothing else. The others brought full loads of freight, 
for which I was liberally compensated, but the most 
valuable part consisted of the two hundred thousand 
dollars, in Mexican silver coin, that was entrusted to 
my care. The sum represented the first considerable 
amount of money that was ever forwarded . from Chihua- 
hua to Luling, and for that reason the fact is worthy 
of record. 

Luling was then a new town that had sprung up in 
a few weeks at the terminus of the Galveston, Harrisburg 
& San Antonio Railroad, and the population was com- 
posed of all sorts of people, including many rough char- 
acters who were capable of committing any crime. In 
the midst of such surroundings I felt a natural uneasi- 
ness, on account of the large sum of money that re- 
mained on my wagons, during the two nights and a day 
that I was compelled to wait for a train on which to 



A TEXAS PIONEER 183 

forward it to its destination. I guarded it continually 
until Mr. Dan Price, whb is now Yoakum's efficient 
Mayor, witnessed my anxiety, and kindly offered me his 
services. I gladly accepted his valued assistance in 
watching the treasure, which was rendered until it was 
forwarded to the consignees, Messrs. Heick & Helfrisch, 
of Galveston. 

I left the stone in Luling with instructions to send it 
to Philadelphia, but as my business called me back to 
Chihuahua immediately, I was unable to give it further 
attention. It was publicly exposed with the Mexican 
exhibit without my authority, and my claim was ignored, 
as if the contract was not in existence. When the Cen- 
tennial Exhibition closed the meteorite was donated by 
Mexico to the British Museum. The opportunity had 
passed when I might have made it profitable, and I was 
glad to be relieved of the expense and trouble that would 
otherwise have devolved on me had I been required to 
comply with the exactions of my agreement. 

The meteorite was my property under the contract 
until I was released from my bond, and I have never 
understood why it was taken from my possession and 
transferred to others without adequate compensation. 
Justice entitled me to a reimbursement of my actual 
outlay at least, and such generosity at my expense was 
inexcusable. As the matter now stands, individual acts, 
backed by the Mexican government, made me an invol- 
untary contributor to science contrary to my expecta- 
tions ; and I will always believe that I have a claim 
resting against that stone, amounting to about five hun- 
dred and fifty dollars; but if proper credit was awarded 
for my services I might be willing to discharge the debt. 

When I think about the great number of lawless men 
who frequented the frontier during the period that I was 
engaged in the business of staging and freighting, and 
the large sums of money I transported from Mexico 
every trip through to Texas, I wonder at the forbear- 



184. A TEXAS PIONEER 

ance that restrained them from molesting me. They 
could have organized a sufficient force at any time, and 
under favorable circumstances they might have captured 
and plundered my train with impunity. 

The only occasion that such an attempt occurred was 
in 1875, when I was returning from Chihuahua with a 
valuable lot of freight and one hundred and fifty thou- 
sand dollars in silver coin. We had crossed the Rio 
Grande, at Presidio del Norte, after passing through a 
customs-house inspection, and my train encamped that 
night eighteen miles east of the river in a dry and narrow 
canon, across which the road passed, where it was not 
more than 300 yards in width. Under ordinary circum- 
stances it was not a desirable camping place, but it was 
the best place I could find and I was not apprehensive 
of danger. 

The usual precautions were observed for our protec- 
tion by corralling the wagons, and the customary guard 
was selected to watch over the camp; the mules were 
grazing on a mountain-side towards the west end of the 
canon under the watchful care of the caporal and his 
herders, and before the evening shadows closed around 
us the noises that had disturbed the silence of the wilder- 
ness were hushed and all was quiet except a tingling bell 
with the herd that proclaimed our presence. 

The calm that surrounded us was not interrupted until 
some time after Henry Vonflie and his men, who were 
first on guard, had retired. I and Timps, a young Amer- 
ican, and three Mexicans, had relieved him, but I cannot 
recall the hour that we went on post. We were seated 
outside of the corral near the two wagons that were 
loaded with money, when a shot was fired close to the 
train. Immediately afterwards we heard the tramp of 
men running over loose rock from the east. We knew 
then that an attack was being made on the train and 
instant preparations were made to meet them. I fired 
the first shot a few moments before my companions com- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 185 

menced firing, and our assailants answered with a volley 
which brought Mr. Vonflie and his men to our assistance 
and doubled our force. We were armed with Winchester 
rifles and many shots were fired on both sides before our 
party of twelve men drove the enemy away. 

The fight only lasted a few minutes, scarcely long 
enough for the wagon-master, who was with the cap- 
oral, and his men to drive the herd of mules into the 
corral before it was over. They were kept there and 
vigilance was observed until morning, because the excite- 
ment had banished sleep, and, besides, we expected that 
the attack would be renewed, but nothing unusual took 
place. 

Early the following morning we visited the position 
that our foes had occupied in the skirmish, and also 
where their horses were tied, with the expectation of find- 
ing a few gory corpses, but our valor was poorly re- 
warded, because we could not find a drop of blood nor 
could we discover that our adversaries had suffered the 
slightest injury from our storm of lead. After making 
a diligent search we collected a couple of old hats, a 
gourd of water, and a few trifles of less value as trophies 
of our victory. 

We afterwards learned that our assailants numbered 
altogether about forty cut-throats who knew that I was 
carrying a large amount of money and they had planned 
to rob my train. They had arranged to approach my 
camp through the canon in two equal parties from the 
east and the west, with the design of making a simul- 
taneous attack on foot when a signal gun was fired by 
a spy who was to have entered the corral secretly. But 
their plans were disarranged by the detachment which 
was to have advanced from the west, that was delayed 
by coming in contact with the herders and the mules 
that were grazing in that direction. Fearing detection, 
they used precautions which prevented them from mak- 
ing an assault on the west side when the signal shot 



186 A TEXAS PIONEER 

was fired, consequently they did not participate in it 
and we did not see them at all. 

A few months later several of the men who took part 
in the little skirmish were pointed out to me, but I could 
not prove anything against them, and as it was not safe 
to molest them during those rough times in that part of 
the country I thought it was best to leave them alone, 
and I also avoided making any allusion to the subject. 

The possibility of a second attack being made by the 
robbers was discussed, and we were led to view our sur- 
roundings with considerable apprehension; but we con- 
tinued our journey with resolute spirits, because there 
was no other alternative than to move forward. The 
large amount of money that I carried would have 
tempted the cupidity of thieves under any circumstances, 
and it was scarcely possible that the reckless scoundrels 
would abandon the booty they had hoped to secure with- 
out making another effort. 

These and other similar impressions led us to antici- 
pate an ambuscade, and that day, when about to start 
from where we stopped for dinner, about twelve miles 
west of Davis' ranch, a signal of alarm was given. My 
guard, who was stationed on a hill near by, reported 
that he saw about thirty men go into the high grass 
near a ravine at the place where we would have to cross, 
and it was his opinion that they had planned an am- 
bush for our benefit. 

We accepted the report in good faith, and naturally 
inferred that they were the same robbers who had at- 
tacked us the night before. Henry Vonflie and myself 
took ten men and cautiously ascended the hill, with the 
intention of making the necessary observations. The 
guard pointed out the place, about six hundred yards 
distant, where he had seen the men conceal themselves, 
and the truth of his statement was partially confirmed 
when we saw several men in the tall grass that was 
about waist-high. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 187 

We decided at once that our surmises were correct, 
and congratulated ourselves that we had anticipated the 
highwaymen's movements. There was no need of fur- 
ther investigation, and we commenced firing at those in 
the grass with a deadly purpose. We were all armed 
with long-range guns that were capable of doing exe- 
cution at a greater distance, and we knew that our bul- 
lets reached them, but they made no response. We con- 
cluded that we were either beyond the range of their 
guns or else they were trying to conceal their position, 
until we had fired about fifty shots. We then saw a man 
signaling to us by waving his hat, from a hilltop off to 
one side, and I ordered my men to cease firing. 

Evidently we had made a mistake, and as the man 
approached I advanced to meet him. When we met I 
recognized an old frontier settler I had known a long 
time, whose name was Landrum, who had lived on the 
frontier about a quarter of a century. In answer to 
my inquiries he explained that he was traveling with 
several men and had stopped to rest near the ravine a 
short time before, or about the time the guard saw them. 
When we began to shoot and the bullets struck among 
them he realized that his party was the target and that 
they were in great danger. To avoid being killed they 
threw themselves on the ground and crawled up the ra- 
vine some distance until they were out of range, and he 
ascended the hill where he could see the wagons, which 
he recognized. He then made his presence known by 
signaling to us, with the intention of correcting the 
erroneous opinion we entertained with regard to them. 



CHAPTER XXI 

ON my way to Chihuahua, in 1876, with the train 
loaded with freight received at Luting, it was necessary 
for me to diverge from my usual route at Fort Davis 
and travel the road leading to El Paso. The principal 
points of interest on that route were Barrel Springs, 
Eagle Springs, Van Horn's Wells, Fort Quitman, San 
Elizaria and Ysleta; but the town of San Elizaria was 
the only place of any importance, and it had only about 
four thousand inhabitants. About seventy-five years 
ago the little town, which is situated on an elevation in 
the valley, was in Mexico, on the west side of the Rio 
Grande, until the melting of snow on the mountain above 
caused a great overflow that covered the valley, which, 
at that point, was several miles in width. When the 
water subsided the river was confined to a new and per- 
manent channel west of the town, and the inhabitants 
were made to realize that their possessions were in Texas. 
It is claimed that the river cut off about ten thousand 
acres from Mexico, and that the loss of territory was 
the cause of considerable controversy between the two 
republics before it was finally settled according to inter- 
national laws governing in such cases. Along the banks 
of what was called the old river the dead trunks of im- 
mense cottonwood trees could be seen, but the bed 
through which the water formerly flowed was dry. In 
fact, the Rio Grande del Norte itself was sometimes des- 
titute of water, and I have traveled up the river-bed on 
horseback for miles. In the summer only, when the snow 
melts in the mountains, there is a full flow of water, and 
occasionally destructive floods similar to that which 

188 



A TEXAS PIONEER 189 

caused the cut-off of San Elizaria inflicted considerable 
damage in the valleys along the river's course, but it is 
expected that when reservoirs are completed above, that 
such overflows will be extremely rare. 

The importance of the great irrigation schemes that 
are proposed for the Rio Grande valley seems to be ap- 
preciated, and they will not only be of incalculable ben- 
efit to that region, but help to make El Paso the great 
commercial center of the middle Southwest. 

When I first knew El Paso it was a straggling town 
of a few hundred inhabitants, and at the time that 
Charley Howard killed Louis Cardise it was a rough 
frontier place. The tragedy occurred when I stopped 
there on this trip, and I will state my recollections with 
reference to the causes that led to the encounter. They 
differ somewhat from other versions of the story that 
have been published, but I believe my recollections of the 
original trouble are correct. 

Forty miles northeast from El Paso there is a lake 
that is strongly impregnated with salt which the sun 
evaporates continually. It was known throughout the 
northern part of Mexico and it supplied all that region 
with salt. Numerous carts were constantly engaged in 
hauling the salt into. Mexico, where it found a ready 
market at $12 a fanega of 240 pounds, and at that 
price it was remunerative. 

The salt at the lake had been free to the people from 
time immemorial, and it could be had for the labor of 
gathering, until Mr. Cardise, who was a government mail 
contractor, began to collect a revenue of $2.50 on each 
cartload that was taken away from the lake, which was 
paid reluctantly. The lake was on vacant land, which 
was a part of the public domain belonging to Texas, and 
Cardise never acquired any title in the property, conse- 
quently his charges were illegal and he had no authority 
to make them; but the people submitted to the imposi- 
tion rather than be deprived of the necessity. 



190 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Subsequently, when these facts became known to Mr. 
George P. Zimpleman, of Austin, Texas, he was influ- 
enced to locate the land on which the lake was situated, 
and he placed ijt in charge of Mr. Howard, his son-in- 
law, whose home was in El Paso. Mr. Cardise was en- 
joined from levying further exactions for salt, and the 
collections were made by Mr. Howard. The ill feelings 
produced by these transactions grew into bitter enmity, 
and as both men were popular, they exercised their in- 
fluence to the prejudice of each other until the feeling 
developed into an open feud. Both men were fearless, 
and it was expected that the quarrel would end in blood- 
shed, when Howard forced the issue by looking up Car- 
dise and killing him before he could offer any resistance. 

The death of Cardise exasperated his Mexican friends 
on both sides of the river, and as many of them were de- 
voted to his interests when alive, they organized a party 
with the intention of wreaking their vengeance on his 
slayer. The attack was made upon Howard and his 
friends in a small house containing three rooms, in which 
they took refuge, where they stood their assailants off 
for three days, but finally they were all killed. 

Before I started for Chihuahua, the Galveston, Harris- 
burg & San Antonio Railway Company was rushing its 
track towards San Antonio, which was designated in its 
charter as the terminal point, and the belief was gen- 
erally entertained that the road would not be extended 
beyond that city for many years. Naturally I was of 
the same opinion, because I was thoroughly acquainted 
with the country northward and to the western borders 
of the State, and I could not believe in the possibility 
of a locomotive marking its course through that unin- 
habited region with its smoke, or that its whistle would 
startle its silent wastes. Even if it was practicable to 
build a railroad to El Paso, many persons thought, and 
I among them, that the Indians would destroy the track 
as fast as it was built and cause it to be abandoned. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 191 

Years afterwards, when I saw the wonderful work that 
had been accomplished under the direction of skillful en- 
gineers, I recalled my mistaken ideas on the subject. 
Though it broke up my business I could appreciate the 
benefits that were conferred on the country when the 
road was completed. It has introduced civilization, and 
a large area of the desolate wilderness with which I was 
so long familiar has become one of the most prosperous 
regions in Texas. But at the time my story opens it 
was a wild and inhospitable region that promised to re- 
main a desert for ages. 

I found the wholesale merchants in Chihuahua rejoic- 
ing at the prospect of having a railroad terminus at San 
Antonio, within nine hundred miles of them, and they 
were considering the best means of reaping the greatest 
advantages that could be secured in the transportation 
of goods. They thought it was possible to avoid the 
enormous expense on large shipments of merchandise 
that necessity required them to order at one time, by 
arranging for quick transportation of goods in smaller 
quantities. As a single consignment sometimes weighed 
about 80,000 pounds and was valued at $100,000, this 
capital, with an additional outlay of $50,000 for freight- 
ing and custom-house duties, had become a serious bur- 
den, because the goods had to be stored in warehouses 
six or eight months until the supply was exhausted. 

Several of the most prominent merchants interviewed 
me on the subject and inquired if it was possible to 
make an arrangement so that they could get their con- 
signments through in smaller lots at regular intervals by 
introducing a system that would insure rapid transpor- 
tation and thereby avoid the great outlay and expense 
that wholesale dealers were obliged to bear in order to 
supply their customers. 

I gave the subject careful consideration before coming 
to a decision, and then I proposed to them that if a 
certain number of merchants in the city would obligate 



192 A TEXAS PIONEER 

themselves, for a period of ten years, to import 72,000 
pounds of merchandise every month, exclusive of heavy 
machinery, and export all their remittances and freight 
through me, I would start thirty-six small wagons with 
five mules to each. I explained that I intended to divide 
the wagons equally into three trains, and that each 
wagon would be capable of hauling two thousand pounds 
of freight; that after the line was established the trains 
would run on schedule time, and make the trip to Chi- 
huahua in thirty days, by leaving San Antonio on the 
first and fifteenth of every month, and return in the same 
time after leaving Chihuahua on the seventh and twenty- 
fourth of each month. 

I agreed to provide specially constructed wagons for 
the protection of merchandise from the weather and from 
pilferers, and arrange for their safety on the route by 
placing each train, with its twelve drivers and three 
herders, in charge of a competent wagon-master and arm 
all of the sixteen men with improved weapons, so that 
they would be strong enough to protect themselves 
against Indians and outlaws. 

I stipulated that I should receive eight dollars per 
hundred, or $80 per thousand pounds for hauling freight 
from San Antonio to Chihuahua, and that the rate on 
copper and other back freight from Chihuahua was to 
be five dollars per hundred, or $50 per thousand pounds ; 
also that the charge for transporting Mexican money 
and silver bullion should be two and a half per cent., or 
twenty-five dollars on every thousand dollars. 

My proposition was accepted with the understanding 
that the contract should provide for the discontinuance 
of the line in the event that a railroad was completed 
to Chihuahua at any time within ten years. This stipu- 
lation did not concern me in the least, because the re- 
mote possibility of such a road being built was beyond 
my conception, and I was very much elated over the 



A TEXAS PIONEER 193 

prospect of building up a safe and lucrative business. 
After perfecting the agreement I realized that the under- 
taking was too great for me to handle alone, and I de- 
cided to associate Mr. Edward Froboese with me as a 
partner in the enterprise. He was then in San Antonio, 
where it was necessary for me to complete my arrange- 
ments, and I proceeded immediately to load my wagons 
with freight destined for Texas. 

Before I was ready to start, Mr. Russell Norton, of the 
firm of Norton & Deutz, of San Antonio, who was await- 
ing an opportunity to return to Texas, requested permis- 
sion to travel with me, and I readily granted him the 
privilege. Business affairs had called him to Chihuahua 
some time before in the interest of his house, which trans- 
acted a large business in cities and mining districts of 
the State through local agencies. 

Mr. Thomas Cordero, a man of prominence in that 
country, with his family and servants, also accompanied 
the train in three ambulances, with a wagon that car- 
ried their luggage. His individual wealth was estimated 
at a large amount, and he, with his brother, Augustine 
Cordero, was once the owner of the largest irrigated farm 
in the State of Chihuahua, which they sold in 1872 for 
$250,000. Mr. Cordero expected to be absent from Mex- 
ico several years, and had planned a tour through the 
United States and Europe, with the expectation of re- 
turning by the way of Vera Cruz and the City of Mexico. 
They were refined and educated people, with agreeable 
manners, and his was the nicest family that I ever trav- 
eled with. 

The third day after leaving Chihuahua, when we were 
making the ninety-mile drive between the two watering- 
places, at Julimes and Chupadero, Mr. Norton met with 
an adventure that might have terminated seriously but 
for a fortunate coincidence. About twenty-two miles 
east of Julimes I ordered the driver of the ambulance in 



194 A TEXAS PIONEER 

which Mr. Norton and myself were riding to go ahead of 
the train to a place about three miles beyond, where I 
expected to camp for supper. 

We stopped near the bank of a dry branch, that was 
covered on both sides with a growth of brush, and a few 
minutes later Mr. Norton walked down into the dry chan- 
nel about one hundred and fifty yards from the ambu- 
lance, where he was suddenly confronted by eight or ten 
Comanche Indians where no one would have expected to 
find them. I could not see them until they circled around 
him, and then I perceived that he was in an awkward if 
not a dangerous situation. I knew that he did not have 
his rifle or other weapon with him, and I, with the driver, 
hastened to his assistance, but we stopped in an advan- 
tageous position within forty yards of them. This was 
not what they expected, and they undertook to get us 
inside the ring that surrounded Norton, by advancing 
in our direction, but we made threatening demonstrations 
which kept them back until they desisted after several 
attempts. 

They did not injure Mr. Norton in the slightest man- 
ner, but I have no doubt that they would have killed 
him if we had not been present. Their actions indi- 
cated that they were in a bad humor, and when they 
showed Mr. Norton how they scalped white men in 
Texas it was plainly intended as an expression of their 
hatred for the race. I expected that serious trouble 
would grow out of it, but we were prepared to meet it 
and watched for the first threatening movement. I 
thought the time had come for action when one of them 
mounted his horse and rode through the place where we 
expected to camp, because his actions showed that his 
intention was to provoke a fight; but luckily for all 
parties concerned, the herd of mules, driven by the cap- 
oral and his men on horseback, and followed by the traiyi 
of wagons, appeared a short distance beyond as they 
came over the hill. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 195 

The Indians seemed to be disconcerted when they saw 
my outfit, because they believed that we were traveling 
alone, and it is probable that they calculated on getting 
our scalps. They realized the disadvantages that con- 
fronted them at a glance, and after mounting their horses 
with as little delay as possible they rode off, yelling in 
regular Comanche style. We were glad to see the last 
of them, and Mr. Norton, who seemed to understand that 
he had escaped a serious danger, was more careful in his 
movements thereafter and never wandered about unarmed. 

The weather was pleasant until we arrived at Fort 
Stockton, and then it commenced to rain. From there on 
to Fort Clark we traveled through almost an incessant 
downpour of rain, which made our journey very uncom- 
fortable and delayed us beyond the time I had calcu- 
lated on for making the trip, consequently a change in 
my plans became necessary on account of a large sum 
of money I was transporting on two of my wagons, 
amounting to $180,000, which I had obligated myself to 
deliver in Galveston before the steamer sailed for Europe 
that brought the goods which were to be conveyed under 
bond on my next trip to Chihuahua. 

To meet my engagements I was compelled to leave the 
train at Fort Clark in charge of the wagon-master, and 
make forced drives with the two wagons containing the 
money, which had fourteen mules hitched to each of them. 
The commandant of the post furnished me with an escort 
of fifteen men and a wagon, in charge of a sergeant. 
I hastened forward to Luling, and thence by train with 
the money to Galveston, where I delivered it to Messrs. 
Heick & Helfrisch two days before the steamer's de- 
parture. 

Mr. Norton had become impatient to get home, and 
he also left the train at Fort Clark, where he took a seat 
in the stage; but Mr. Cordero and his family remained 
with the wagons, which were heavily loaded with copper 
and hides, until they arrived in San Antonio. He had 



196 A TEXAS PIONEER 

made arrangements with me to take charge of his serv- 
ants, teams, and vehicles, with the understanding that I 
was to convey them to Chihuahua with my train, and I 
complied with my agreement the next trip. 

I made no unnecessary delay, but immediately returned 
to San Antonio and interviewed Mr. Froboese, with ref- 
erence to my contract for the transportation of goods 
between San Antonio and Chihuahua, and laid before him 
the whole scheme, with the evidence of my agreement with 
the merchants. I offered him an equal partnership with 
myself in the enterprise, which he accepted with the un- 
derstanding that it was to be equipped at our joint ex- 
pense. We then had an interview with Col. T. C. Frost, 
the banker, who was then the agent for the Mitchell 
Wagon Company, and I requested him to ascertain the 
price and how soon the factory could deliver thirty-six 
wagons to be made as follows: Wagons to be built of 
the best materials and with a guaranteed capacity to 
carry 000 pounds over rough roads ; the box to be four 
feet wide, six feet high, and twelve feet long, with a 
door on hinges in the rear end, that could be locked ; 
the roof covering the bed to be made stationary, with 
sloping sides made of light boards and covered with 
heavy ducking; the driver's seat to be in front, outside 
of the box, like those on a Concord stage-coach, and 
placed where the brake could be controlled by the driver's 
foot. 

All the thirty-six wagons were to be exactly alike, and 
numbered so that when loaded the contents of each could 
be specified on the bills of lading. The door in the rear 
was to be closed and locked after the goods were packed 
for the journey, and the roof was to secure them against 
thieves, but principally to protect them from the weather 
when in transit. 

In due time Colonel Frost received a satisfactory reply 
from the wagon factory with reference to the order, and 
about the same time a communication came to me from 



A TEXAS PIONEER 197 

Messrs. Kedelson & Degetau, of Chihuahua, stating that 
an engineer corps had surveyed and established a line 
for a railroad from El Paso to Chihuahua, and that the 
company was then negotiating for land belonging to Gov- 
ernor Terrazas and Henry Mueller. The company had 
also deposited a bonus of $200,000 as a guarantee that 
the road would be completed to Chihuahua inside of three 
years. 

Fortunately the information reached me opportunely, 
otherwise we would have placed our order for the wagons 
and possibly other expenses migh have been incurred. I 
was thankful that unnecessary outlays had been averted, 
but my disappointment was irritating, because I had 
planned and expected to perfect one of the largest 
freighting enterprises in the West. In ten years I could 
have made the business profitable in many ways, and at 
the same time our trains would have saved the merchants 
of Chihuahua an incalculable amount of expenses. But 
the " Rapid Transportation Company " was only a vision 
that ended like a dream before its name became known to 
the public. Froboese and I continued to run our regular 
freighting business separately, as before, until we entered 
into a partnership in other enterprises that continued 
for years. 



CHAPTER XXII 

I WAS accompanied on my last trip to Chihuahua, in 
1876, by Mrs. Santleben and our two children, Sophie, 
now Mrs. Ed. McAllister, and Carlotta, who died in 
early childhood. Dr. Rufus Watkins, of Corsicana, 
traveled with us from San Antonio, and Miss Emily 
Stienly joined our party at Fort Stockton, both of whom 
went through to Chihuahua. Miss Stienly, who is now 
Mrs. Garby, of San Antonio, traveled with my wife from 
Castroville to that point two years before, and had been 
visiting her sister, Mrs. Mary Arnold, the mother of 
Martin Arnold, Esq., of San Antonio. 

Nothing occurred on our western journey that is worth 
noting except an adventure with a large rattlesnake that 
was discovered in a tarpaulin that was used for the chil- 
dren to play on when in camp. The night before, when 
in use, the snake crawled between the folds, and when 
taken up it was placed on the rear of Mrs. Santleben's 
ambulance. It remained there until we stopped for 
breakfast the next morning, when it was taken out to 
be spread as usual for the young folks to romp on. As 
the folds were opened the snake dropped out, and con- 
siderable excitement followed until it was dispatched. 

Before starting on this journey I received information 
that a revolution was brewing in the State of Chihuahua, 
and I was advised to travel the El Paso route, which is 
over three hundred miles further than that by way of 
Presidio del Norte, because I would avoid a wilderness 
of one hundred and forty miles, in which there was not a 
single habitation, that was dangerous in troublesome 
times; but the country along the other route was more 

198 



A TEXAS PIONEER 199 

thickly populated, and I could hope for protection or 
advice. I made a fortunate decision, because before I 
arrived at El Paso the revolutionary party, with Angel 
Treas at its head, had risen against the government, and 
he pronounced himself governor of the State of Chi- 
huahua. 

Orders awaited me at El Paso from Messrs. Kedelson 
& Degetau directing me not to cross the Rio Grande 
until I received further instructions. I was compelled 
to obey, because the freight, consisting of valuable goods, 
with which the fourteen wagons in my train were loaded, 
belonged to them. I moved my train to the table moun- 
tain southeast of El Paso, near Fort Bliss, and camped 
them there; but I engaged apartments for myself and 
family at the old El Paso Hotel, that was then kept by 
Mrs. Roman, where Miss Stienly and Dr. Watkins also 
secured rooms. 

We remained in El Paso forty-five days under a heavy 
expense. In the meantime the war was going on between 
the regular troops and the revolutionists, until the latter 
were badly defeated in a battle that was fought near the 
city of Chihuahua, in which the gallant General Paralta, 
of the Mexican army, was killed. The rebels were driven 
to their strongholds in the southern part of the State 
and eastward to the Rio Grande, where Treas held pos- 
session of Presidio del Norte and the country in that 
direction. 

Messrs. Kedelson and Degetau informed me of the 
state of affairs, and instructed me to cross the river and 
hasten forward with my train as quickly as possible be- 
fore the revolutionists could rally. I lost no time in 
obeying their orders, and after passing through the 
American and Mexican custom-houses, made a quick 
trip to Chihuahua without being molested, and arrived 
with everything in good condition, including Mr. Cor- 
dero's property, which I delivered to his agents. 

Among the friends who welcomed me was Mr. Moye, a 



200 A TEXAS PIONEER 

brother-in-law of Governor Tarrasas, who was absent. 
He kindly placed the governor's house and servants at 
my disposal, and I occupied it with my family during 
the seventeen days that I remained in the city. The time 
was spent pleasantly, and the attentions we received were 
appreciated. 

The delay was occasioned by the anxiety of the mer- 
chants to get their money out of the country on account 
of the unsettled condition of affairs, and the fear of los- 
ing it should the revolution gain strength. The insur- 
gents had capture^ Henry Mueller, the millionaire and 
father-in-law of Emil Kedelson, before the battle took 
place in which Paralto was killed. He was taken to the 
mountains near Santa Lorenzo, and a ransom of twenty- 
five thousand dollars was demanded from his family, 
which was paid, and he returned home before my depart- 
ure. 

My stay in Chihuahua was attended by an enormous 
outlay on account of the scarcity of forage and provi- 
sions caused by the disturbances in the country. The 
hay that was fed to each mule cost about fifty cents per 
day, and corn was sold at twelve dollars a fanega. The 
supply was limited even at those prices, and their feed 
was much less than it should have been preparatory for 
hauling their heavy loads homewards. 

I was compelled to return by way of El PaSo, because 
Angel Treas still held possession of Presidio del Norte; 
and I started back with the largest amount of money 
and copper that was ever brought from Chihuahua. I 
carried three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in Mex- 
ican silver, for which I received two and a half per cent., 
or $8750; and forty thousand pounds of copper, the 
freight on which was five cents a pound, or two thousand 
dollars. These sums added to the charges on 75,000 
pounds of up freight made a total of $17,500 that I 
received for my round trip. 

The great sum of money placed in my care made it 



A TEXAS PIONEER 201 

necessary for me to protect my customers' interests as 
much as possible, and for that purpose I engaged the 
services of Captain Maximo Aranda, who had made him- 
self conspicuous in his opposition to the revolution. I 
paid him one thousand dollars to escort my train to El 
Paso with his thirty men, and he performed his duty 
faithfully. Captain Aranda, who then owned a large 
stock ranch seventy-five miles southeast of El Paso, in 
Mexico, at a place called Conta Recio, was well and fa- 
vorably known in El Paso, Texas, where he once served 
as a guard under Mr. Mills when he was United States 
customs-house officer at that place. 

After crossing the Rio Grande at El Paso we traveled 
down the north bank of the river a distance of ninety 
miles, to Fort Quitman, where we took the road for Fort 
Davis. About twelve o'clock that night, when twenty 
miles beyond the fort, a party of six men came up with 
us, who told me that they had in their possession twenty- 
four thousand dollars in silver coin, that had been sent 
to me from Chihuahua, but they had no writing to show 
from the person who sent the money. The captain, who 
was in charge of the party when they started, had re- 
ceived instructions from the owner, and knew to whom 
the money was consigned, had been captured by the revo- 
lutionists. He, with two of his men, visited a ranch on 
the way with the intention of buying something to eat, 
but got into trouble, and when the others realized the 
danger they made their escape with the money. With 
no other knowledge than that the coin was to be deliv- 
ered to me in Texas, they hastened to overtake me. They 
might have proven unfaithful to their trust, because I 
learned afterwards that the owner never could find out 
what became of the men, and thought that, probably, 
they were killed or captured by the rebels, until he learned 
through me that they had honestly performed their duty. 
I took the silver in charge, without giving the men a 
receipt, and conveyed it to San Antonio, where I kept it 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

in my house for months, awaiting information from Heick 
& Helfrisch, of Galveston, to whom I communicated all 
the facts. 

When I arrived at Fort Davis I ascertained that Angel 
Treas and a majority of his followers had been driven 
out of the State of Chihuahua, and that he, with some of 
his men, passed the fort a few days before on their way 
to San Antonio. I was cautioned by my friends, Cap- 
tains Quinby and Stibers, who were stationed with their 
companies at Fort Davis, to be very careful, by avoiding 
unnecessary risks, as it was widely known that I was 
carrying a large sum of money on my train, and it was 
not improbable that the outlawed revolutionists would 
attempt to capture it at some point on my route. They 
advised me to ask for an escort, and when I did so, a 
telegram to that effect was immediately sent to General 
Ord, the commandant of the Department at San An- 
tonio, who approved my request by ordering that an 
escort of twenty-five men under an officer should protect 
me to Fort Stockton. 

The detachment, with two wagons, accompanied me to 
that point, and another guard was furnished from there 
to Fort Concho, where similar orders had been received, 
providing the same number of soldiers to go with me to 
Fort McKavitt, and from there it was arranged that the 
escort with their outfit should go through to San An- 
tonio. 

The good behavior of all these detachments deserves 
commendation, and I could not help feeling more 
than grateful for the interest they manifested in guard- 
ing my train. The generous protection of the govern- 
ment, through its officers, insured the safety of my charge 
and relieved me of the anxiety I would otherwise have 
felt. But I had no opportunity to show my apprecia- 
tion, in a substantial way, except to the last detachment, 
who guarded me to San Antonio. When they were pre- 
paring to return to their post I presented them with two 



A TEXAS PIONEER 203 

boxes of good cigars and a cask of Budweiser bottled 
beer, including a dozen glasses, which they highly appre- 
ciated. I visited General Ord, at his headquarters, soon 
after my arrival, and expressed my thanks for the kind 
assistance he had rendered me. I had reason to value 
the favor shown me because mine was the first overland 
train on that route for which an escort was ever fur- 
nished. 

I talked quite a while with the general, and at his re- 
quest gave him all the information I could with reference 
to the revolution in Chihuahua that was headed by Angel 
Treas, who had visited the general a few weeks before 
my arrival. I never saw Treas myself, but was told that 
he was a fine-looking and well-behaved man. 

I remained in San Antonio eight days, during which 
time the well-known banker, Mr. Lockwood, arranged with 
me to convey to Galveston an additional fifty thousand 
dollars, in Mexican silver, which he had boxed for ship- 
ment to New York, where it commanded a higher premium 
than the seven per cent, he had paid. I accepted the re- 
sponsibility and placed the sum with the three hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars I brought from Chihuahua 
and loaded the amount on four wagons, each of which 
was drawn by ten of the best mules picked from my herd. 

I started from San Antonio at nine o'clock p. M., with 
thirteen men, including myself, five of whom were driv- 
ers, with an extra man as guard on each wagon, and two 
others rode with me on horseback. We were all armed 
with Winchester carbines and six-shooters, and felt that 
if there was any significance attached to the unlucky 
number " thirteen " we were well prepared to meet con- 
tingencies. Mr. Lockwood was present, and looked a 
little uneasy when the wagons pulled out of the yard, 
on Dallas Street, where I was then living; but after see- 
ing the preparations I had made for the safety of my 
train, and the number of armed men that guarded it, he 
was satisfied and remarked " That looks all right." 



204 A TEXAS PIONEER 

We traveled from nine o'clock that night until day- 
light before stopping to rest the teams and eat break- 
fast. We waited until ten o'clock before hitching up, 
and arrived at Kingsbury, east of the Guadalupe River, 
about three o'clock that evening. I chartered a box-car 
from Captain Cook, the railroad agent at that point, and 
the money was unloaded into it before dark. I had ar- 
ranged to take five men with me in the car, and after 
securing my six passes we started for Galveston, but did 
not arrive there until two o'clock the following evening. 
The $350,000 that .1 brought from Mexico was consigned 
to Messrs. Heick and Helfrisch and was delivered imme- 
diately, likewise the fifty thousand dollars belonging to 
Mr. Lockwood, to the bank to which it was consigned. 

I told Messrs. Heick and Helfrisch all about the 
twenty-four thousand dollars that had been delivered to 
me under such peculiar circumstances and informed them 
that I had left it in my house in San Antonio where I was 
holding it for identification. I also notified them that I 
had sold a half interest in my train to Henry Vonflie, 
who would accompany the wagons thereafter, because I 
had other business to attend to, and it was probable that 
I had made my last trip to Chihuahua. 

Three months later Messrs. Heick and Helfrisch in- 
formed me that a firm in Chihuahua had requested them 
to solicit information from me regarding twenty-four 
thousand dollars they had forwarded to me after I left 
Chihuahua, as they were unable to trace any of the par- 
ties to whom it was entrusted, and it was probable that 
if they did not deliver it, they were killed by the revolu- 
tionists. The uncertainty with reference to it and my 
failure to report its receipt, made them fear it was lost, 
because all the other merchants who forwarded money 
through me received correct returns from their con- 
signees, and they hoped that I could throw some light 
on the subject. Messrs. Heick and Helfrisch immediately 



A TEXAS PIONEER 205 

relieved their anxiety by communicating the facts as I 
had related them, to which they replied giving the neces- 
sary instructions for its disposition, and I forwarded the 
money by express from Kingsbury to their agents in 
Galveston, who paid the full amount of my charges. Al- 
though I had other transactions with Messrs. Heick and 
Helfrisch afterwards, this is the last time they will be 
mentioned. Mr. Helfrisch is dead, but as Mr. Heick is 
now a prosperous merchant in Abilene, Texas, he will 
testify to the truth of my statements. 

After the twenty-four thousand dollars was taken to 
my house, a lot of bonded goods in my care was placed 
in the same room and the key was given to Mr. Ogden, 
the father of Charles Ogden, Esq., then United States 
revenue agent in San Antonio, who knew all about the 
money. But I took no chances on that account, and 
saw that it was properly guarded until the responsibility 
ceased. 

I was certainly pleased at the prospect of being re- 
lieved of the money that was turned over to me in the 
wilderness under such mysterious circumstances after 
months of careful watchfulness. Fortunately Mr. T. 
Monier was making preparations to start for Kings- 
bury with his train the following day, and after making 
arrangements with him to haul it to that point I sent 
the money to his house on Zavala Street early in the 
morning by Henry Wagenfuhr, a trusty drayman. In 
the meantime I learned that certain persons in San An- 
tonio had found out in some way that the money was 
moved, and were planning to rob Monier's house, but 
fortunately for them they did not put in an appearance, 
because arrangements had been made to give them a warm 
reception. Charges were made against the guilty par- 
ties before the grand jury, of which Henry Elmendorf 
was foreman, but the matter was finally dropped. 

This last trip to Chihuahua was the longest and most 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

expensive in my experience. It was commenced on the 
10th of July, 1876, after loading my wagons in Luling, 
and it did not end until I returned from Galveston, seven 
months thereafter. In the meantime I had unloaded the 
copper on my wagons in San Antonio, on the llth of 
January, 1877, and the money at old Kingsbury, nine 
days later. 

The gross income that I received on the trip was over 
seventeen thousand dollars, and my total expenses 
amounted to over fourteen thousand dollars, conse- 
quently I only netted about three thousand dollars as a 
compensation for all my hardships and disappointments. 
But for the enforced delays I would have received profit- 
able returns from it, and also from a second trip I might 
have made in that length of time. 

Dr. Watkins remained in Chihuahua, but our party 
was increased by the following persons, who returned 
with us to San Antonio : Mr. Markt, a retired merchant 
of Chihuahua, his wife and five children, who now reside 
in Medina County; a son of Mr. George McManus, and 
Henry Fischer, a nephew of Henry Mueller. These, with 
my own family and Miss Stienly, enlarged our company 
to fifteen persons, and our associations were pleasant 
throughout the journey. 

The only unpleasant incident of the trip occurred in 
connection with one of my men soon after leaving Chi- 
huahua. Francisco Ruiz was a confidential driver to 
whom I entrusted the care of a brick of gold valued at 
two thousand dollars. A short time after receiving it 
he became afflicted with nervous prostration, which af- 
fected his mind, and when I attempted to recover posses- 
sion of the gold brick I could get no satisfaction from 
him in regard to its hiding-place, but I continued to look 
for it until it was found. The poor man had completely 
lost his mind, and for seven days he ate but little and 
never slept. He never lay down, and a constant watch 
was kept over his movements, but nothing could be done 



A TEXAS PIONEER 207 

to relieve him until the eighth day, when I tried an ex- 
periment which restored him to a normal condition. 

He was sitting near a camp fire, with several of his 
companions, about eight o'clock at night. His head was 
resting in his hands and he was crying. I determined to 
quiet him, and if possible, put him to sleep. I saturated 
a towel with chloroform and placed it slowly under his 
face, where I allowed it to remain until he went to sleep. 
Captain Aranda and Henry Vonflie, of Briar Branch, laid 
him down and put something under his head that served 
as a pillow. He slept about two hours, and when the 
effects began to wear off I administered more chloro- 
form. About three o'clock in the morning we persuaded 
him to get into a wagon where he would be more com- 
fortable. He then asked for more of the sweet-smelling 
medicine and I gave him some on a handkerchief, but 
not enough to hurt him. He fell asleep before I left him 
and an hour later the train started. When we camped 
at nine o'clock Ruiz was well rested and he talked very 
sensibly. He commenced searching immediately for the 
gold brick that I had trusted to his care, but I told him 
it was useless, as I had it in my possession and showed 
him the place where I found it. No indication of his 
disorder was perceptible, and after we crossed the river, 
at El Paso, he was again able to drive his team. 

He continued his services as a driver with the train 
until a year later, when on his way to Chihuahua. He 
then had a similar attack, which came on him in a camp 
three miles east of the Nueces River, on the El Paso road. 
He died almost instantly, and was buried the following 
morning at that place. His grave can yet be seen, and 
it is a satisfaction to know that I can identify it and 
testify to his worth. 

He left a wife and three children, who then lived in 
San Antonio on the Rock Quarry Road, in a small house 
south of Captain Smith's residence. I took care that his 
family should not suffer, by giving a standing order to 



208 A TEXAS PIONEER 

my brother-in-law, Henry Wagner, for supplies at his 
store, and supported them for two years. At the expira- 
tion of that time I arranged with Telamantes to convey 
them with his train to Santa Rosalia, near Chihuahua, 
and when I last heard from them they were all alive and 
in comfortable circumstances. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

BEFORE the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio 
Railroad was completed to San Antonio I anticipated 
that important event by founding one of the first two 
transfer lines that were ever established in the city. 
Messrs. Berg & Bro. started the other at the same time 
when the road was opened for business, in 1877, and our 
individual wagons delivered the first commercial freight 
that was ever hauled into San Antonio over a railroad. 

I could not give the business my personal attention be- 
cause I was frequently absent with my train, and for that 
reason I entered into a partnership with Messrs. Wolfing 
and La Batt, who were then conducting a commission 
business on Market Street. We organized under the 
firm name of " The San Antonio Transfer Company," 
in 1877, and it was entirely under their control, except 
that I had a voice in the general management. 

About that time telephones were being used as novel- 
ties, and we introduced the first instruments that were 
ever put in operation in San Antonio. The line was a 
private enterprise and the wire was stretched from our 
office nearly in a direct line to the freight office of the 
Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad depot by 
passing it over buildings and attaching it to trees or 
other objects. One phone was in our office and the other 
was attached to the desk of our shipping clerk in the 
depot, Mr. Ed. Dieselhorst, who now lives in San An- 
tonio. They were not as perfect as those now in use, 
but they answered our purpose equally as well and they 
certainly gave satisfaction. The wonderful invention was 
then a curiosity, and as it excited a great deal of interest, 

209 



210 A TEXAS PIONEER 

many persons visited the office to test it personally. Its 
marvelous powers were commented on, but no one pre- 
dicted that it would grow in favor until it became a 
necessity in the business and social world. 

We secured a liberal patronage and the firm prospered, 
but soon afterwards Mr. La Batt sold his interests to 
Mr. Wolfing and withdrew from the firm. A new part- 
nership was then formed under the name of Wolfing & 
Santleben and we opened our office in the old Odd Fel- 
lows' Building, on the corner of Houston and St. Mary 
Streets, where the San Antonio Transfer Company was 
run in connection with the commission business. After 
the transfer business was started I devoted the greater 
part of my time and attention to my freighting interests, 
but I became dissatisfied with the management of the 
new company and determined to dissolve partnership with 
Mr. Wolfing. 

Mr. Ed. Froboese owned and was then running a large 
wagon-train, and as I had before offered to associate him 
with me in the " Rapid Transportation " business to 
Chihuahua, I proposed that he and I should establish 
a Mexican commission business in connection with our 
freighting service. I also suggested that if he would 
purchase Mr. Wolfing's interest in the transfer line we 
could combine all three enterprises under one manage- 
ment. He willingly entered into my plans, and when 
Mr. Wolfing was made acquainted with them, he re- 
luctantly sold out his interest in the transfer company 
to Mr. Froboese, who entered into partnership with me 
in 1879 under the firm name of Froboese & Santleben. 
We conducted our business in the same office two years 
against continual opposition, but we met our competitors 
successfully by uniting our energies and concentrating all 
the resources at our command after the sale of our trains 
when freighting ceased to be profitable. We had been 
competing with Messrs. Berg & Bro. all the time in a 
friendly way until John Monier, C. Villemain and Martin 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

Muench entered into open opposition against our trans- 
fer line and then we all had to hustle for patronage. 
Fortunately our company was able to hold its own and in 
a short time our three competitors were willing to sell 
out to Froboese & Santleben at a reasonable price and 
quit the business ; but their wagons were old and useless 
to us after we bought them, and our only returns were the 
worth of the irons. 

Later on Mr. La Batt started an independent transfer 
line with four floats of Wilson & Childs make, but soon 
afterwards he proposed to consign his outfit to the man- 
agement of the San Antonio Transfer Company and it 
was not long before we made the same arrangements with 
Messrs. Louis and Henry Berg, whereby we controlled 
their eight floats. Under our agreement Messrs. La Batt 
and Berg & Bro. were to receive a certain percentage of 
the net earnings of their twelve floats during the contin- 
uance of the contract. In this way we removed all com- 
petition and the San Antonio Transfer line was conducted 
to the satisfaction of all the parties concerned until we 
closed out our business, and at the same time we continued 
our Mexican commission enterprise as an independent 
concern in which Froboese & Santleben alone were inter- 
ested. During eight months of the time Mr. Froboese 
was in Europe and the business was entirely under my 
control. 

In 188 I felt the necessity of visiting Mexico for the 
benefit of my health, which had been seriously impaired 
after I gave up freighting five years before. I deter- 
mined to visit the San Lucas Springs and made suitable 
preparations for the trip by providing an outfit with 
everything necessary for the comfort of my family, in- 
cluding my sister, who was also in bad health, and others 
who accompanied me on the expedition with expectations 
of pleasure and excitement. 

The party consisted of Mrs. Santleben and my sis- 
ter, Mrs. Mary Rheiner; a niece, Anna Weyel; my two 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

nephews, Henry Wagner and Willie Rheiner; James 
Durham, now postmaster, business man and owner of the 
water-works at Sabinal; Ernest Hausman, now of San 
Antonio, and four servants. We started about the 10th 
of May and traveled leisurely in our four vehicles over 
the Eagle Pass route which, on account of my feeble 
condition, was made by easy stages. 

We stopped at the Dolch Hotel in Eagle Pass and 
were welcomed by my old friend who had frequently en- 
tertained me on former occasions. Ten years had passed 
since I had visited the place or crossed the Rio Grande 
at that point, and many new rules and regulations had 
been introduced in the custom-houses, especially at 
Piedras Negras, with reference to travelers ente'ring 
Mexico. These were known to me, but I thought I could 
avoid the exactions, vexations, and delays in my case by 
seeking a personal interview with the officials. Although 
scarcely able to make the exertion I crossed the river the 
day after my arrival, and visited the office of the Mexi- 
can custom-house, where I hoped to meet some of my 
old acquaintances, but those who received me were as- 
sistants and strangers. They were very civil and I was 
politely requested to state the purpose of my visit. I 
informed them that I wished to enter Mexico with my 
party and outfit without unnecessary delay, and that it 
was my intention to visit and bathe in the waters of San 
Lucas Springs with the hope of benefiting my health. 
They explained that it would be necessary for me to make 
an inventory of all my belongings, such as vehicles, ani- 
mals, arms, and our three months' supply of provisions; 
and that an import duty of thirty per cent, on their value 
would be levied, which when paid would be deposited to 
my credit with an understanding that the amount re- 
ceived on each of such entries as specified on the inven- 
tory, should be refunded when I again passed through 
the custom-house on my return. I thanked them for 
their courtesy and requested an interview with the officer 



A TEXAS PIONEER 313 

in charge of the custom-house, who occupied an adjoin- 
ing room, which was granted. I walked in and after 
introducing myself, stated that I was an old frontiers- 
man who once ran a stage line between San Antonio and 
Monterey when the custom-house at Piedras Negras was 
in charge of Nicolas Gresanto and his assistant, Pedro 
Morales, who were then and afterwards intimate friends 
of mine. I also told him that I had since freighted to 
Chihuahua and crossed the Rio Grande many times at 
El Paso and Presidio del Norte. When I saw that he 
appeared to be interested I talked about many prominent 
persons in Mexico, some of whom were my friends, who 
were well known to him, until I was agreeably inter- 
rupted by the appearance of Juan Muscos, the chief 
clerk of the custom-house, who to my knowledge had held 
the office for eighteen years, whom I recognized in a mo- 
ment after he entered the room. He knew me instantly 
and immediately rushed forward to greet me. With his 
arms around me he told his chief that I was a very dear 
friend of his whom he had known since 1862. He then 
inquired of me what had brought me back to Mexico, 
but before I could answer, the officer had told him the 
object of my visit, and that as I wanted to arrange for 
my passage through the custom-house with as little delay 
as possible, he instructed his clerk to issue me a pass 
that would permit me to cross the river with my party 
and outfit at once. The next day I crossed over, and 
after I drove up to the custom-house the ladies were 
invited to the residence of the officer in charge, where 
they were entertained by his family while an inventory 
was being made of our belongings, which were thoroughly 
examined and valued; but not a cent was exacted as a 
deposit on the valuation, and my verbal obligation was 
the only stipulation for the return of the animals and 
vehicles. Finally a pass was given me which stated that 
I was an old frontiersman and that as I was visiting 
Mexico for my health I and my party should be per- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

mitted to go wherever we pleased without being inter- 
fered with in our travels. 

We left Piedras Negras about four o'clock in the 
afternoon and in about an hour and a half we arrived at 
Vieta, where we were welcomed by Jose Maria Perez, the 
principal owner of the town, who was a highly esteemed 
old gentleman. He was an old friend, who, in 1871, 
brought his infant son all the way to San Antonio be- 
cause he wanted me to stand as his god-father. He was 
an uncle of Pedro and Nicanor Valdez, of Sabinas Sta- 
tion, who were then prominent in Mexico, and were also 
intimate friends of mine. I remained with him four days, 
and when I left he sent his son, a mounted custom-house 
officer, to escort us and extend his protection, because 
the country was unsafe on account of Indians. 

Our next stop was at Santa Rosa, on the third day, 
where we were hospitably entertained by the Muenzenber- 
ger family for four days, and they were unremitting in 
their attentions, and I have every reason to feel grateful 
to them because they have always been my good friends. 
Mr. Muenzenberger died several years ago in El Paso, 
but his widow and sister-in-law now reside on Avenue B, 
in San Antonio. When we left we were accompanied by 
Anton Burgelman, with two men, who gave us additional 
protection until the morning after we passed Puerto Ovio, 
where two families were killed by Indians two days before. 
The next night we stopped at Luis Serna's ranch, within 
five miles of the spring, and the next morning we reached 
our destination. 

San Lucas Springs is situated north of the Serna ranch 
in a rough canon, due west from Eagle Pass and about 
one hundred and eighty miles from the Rio Grande. To 
distinguish it from hot springs in other localities, it is 
known as the cold spring, although the water is tem- 
perate, and it flows from a large and deep basin in the 
mouth of a cave, where it forms a brook which passes 
through the canon. The curative properties of the water 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

are well known, and many invalids visit the spring 
on account of the medicinal qualities it possesses, inde- 
pendent of the sulphur with which it is strongly im- 
pregnated. 

I had little faith in the efficiency of the water and at 
first refused to bathe in it, but was overcome by the in- 
sistence of my wife and sister, and was surprised at the 
beneficial results I derived from it. It far surpassed 
my expectations, and I continued to improve after my 
first bath, which was repeated twice a day for six weeks, 
or until my health was entirely restored. 

I had borrowed two cows from Mr. Serna and also 
bought a lot of hens to furnish my camp with milk and 
eggs, and they gave us an abundance during our stay. 
We passed our time pleasantly in camp and introduced 
many diversions. The day that Guiteau was executed 
we thought it was our duty to notice his foul crime, and 
when Durham formed us in line those with weapons fired 
a salute to express our approval of his fate. On account 
of Indians and to prevent a sudden attack a strict guard 
was maintained by sentinels who were stationed every 
night around the camp. 

Mr. Serna had information of our intended departure 
from the springs, and the day we arrived at his ranch he 
had a sumptuous dinner prepared for our benefit. We 
expressed our appreciation of his hospitality by doing 
full justice to his entertainment, and we retain pleasant 
recollections of the many acts of kindness manifested in 
our behalf. 

After I returned to San Antonio, much improved in 
health, Mr. Froboese and I decided to dispose of our 
business interests and invest in a cattle ranch. We sold 
our entire interest in the San Antonio Transfer Com- 
pany and the Mexican commission business to Messrs. 
Berg and La Batt and soon afterwards our ranch was 
established on the Rio Frio in Uvalde County under the 
firm name of August Santleben & Company. 



216 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Although we had cut loose from all busines entangle- 
ments in San Antonio we continued to feel an interest in 
the transfer company, and it was with sincere regret that 
we learned of its troubles. It seemed that they com- 
menced in a disagreement with B. F. Yoakum, who I be- 
lieve was at that time the general manager of the In- 
ternational & Great Northern Railway Company, and it 
led to the establishment of an opposition transfer line by 
Yoakum, who instituted it as a private enterprise. He 
bought six four-horse floats and turned them over to Mr. 
Orr, who had ben a contractor on the International & 
Great Northern Railroad and owned a lot of horses, 
mules and wagons which were then idle. In a short time 
the San Antonio Transfer Company found that it could 
not compete with the methods that the new company 
introduced into their business, and Messrs. Berg and La 
Batt were compelled to sell out to them. The Orr Trans- 
fer Company then controlled the entire transfer business 
in the city, and it was run to suit the managers without 
reference to the wishes of their patrons. The principal 
cause of discontent was their refusal to pay the freight 
at the depots according to the custom that was 
established by Messrs. Berg and myself when the G. H. 
& S. A. depot was first opened. 

I kept posted with reference to what was going on 
in San Antonio, and after Froboese and I realized that we 
had not only made a mistake when we went into the cattle 
business but were actually losing money on our invest- 
ment, we determined to engage in other employment in- 
dependent of the ranch. We soon found out that the 
merchants in the city were dissatisfied with the way the 
transfer business was conducted, and when some of them 
requested us to re-establish ourselves, I visited all the 
wholesale houses and made contracts with them to haul 
their freight at a stipulated price for two years. We 
ordered twelve floats from Wilson & Childs, and 
Froboese went to St. Louis to buy the necessary number 



A TEXAS PIONEER 217 

of large Missouri mules that were required. Inside of 
two months our opposition line was in operation and Mr. 
Orr was immediately thrown out of business. Messrs. 
F. Groos & Company were the bankers for the Orr 
Transfer Company and they bought the entire property 
and sold it to us for eleven thousand dollars. We gave 
our notes for the amount, which was paid in less than 
two years out of our earnings. 

When Froboese & Santleben took possession of the 
property, an inventory showed that they owned seventy- 
two floats and old wagons and one hundred and ten head 
of horses and mules. These numbers included their re- 
cent purchases and all the floats and animals that were 
formerly owned by every one of the defunct companies. 
From them the San Antonio Transfer Company selected 
forty of the most serviceable floats and seventy-five of 
the best animals with which to carry on its business. The 
remaining trucks were either stored away or sold as 
junk, and the surplus horses were placed on the market 
and disposed of as quickly as possible. It then ran 
forty odd floats with over one hundred animals. 

Our company monopolized the transfer business of the 
city during the two years that it operated under the con- 
tracts with the merchants ; but when the time expired 
competitors with from two to four wagons opposed us 
on all sides, and during the next four years we had the 
struggle of our lives. Among them was Mr. Louis 
Scheihagen, an old retired merchant, who started four 
floats, but after running them a while he sold them and 
his business to F. A. Piper, a prominent and successful 
merchant in Uvalde, Texas, who purchased largely from 
the leading commercial houses in San Antonio. His in- 
fluence and standing secured him a certain patronage 
and made him a formidable competitor, and we saw the 
necessity of removing the opposition. We found that 
Mr. Piper favored a partnership, and an agreement was 
negotiated whereby he became associated with us in our 



218 A TEXAS PIONEER 

business. Under the arrangement that we perfected in 
1892, Mr., Piper purchased a half interest in the San An- 
tonio Transfer Company at a fair cash valuation, and 
put in his four floats and animals at cost as part pay- 
ment. The San Antonio Transfer Company then ex- 
pired, after an existence of about fifteen years, when 
the new organization took the name of the Merchants 
Transfer Company. But the firm of Froboese & San- 
tleben and also that of A. Santleben & Company, in 
which A. B. Frank and Max Krakauer were interested, 
survived, because neither was connected with the new 
company. 

The general management of the business was entrusted 
to Julius Piper, a brother of F. A. Piper, under the super- 
vision of the stockholders; but it was not conducted to 
the satisfaction of all the parties concerned, and a dis- 
agreement arose that made me wish that I was out of the 
firm. Froboese and I discussed the business in the pres- 
ence of an employe of the house who had been befriended 
by me and in whom we both had confidence. We decided 
that we would get out of the company and re-establish 
the San Antonio Transfer line, but as Froboese was in- 
debted to Mr. F. A. Piper for a considerable amount of 
money and was not in a position to sell to advantage, it 
was agreed that the subject should be left open after it 
was settled that one of us should sell to the other. The 
party who was present was thoroughly acquainted with 
our affairs and we had every reason to trust him because 
he was under many obligations to us ; but we afterwards 
learned that he was scheming to sever our connection with 
the firm, and subsequently he used his information to 
effect his purpose. 

I was sick in bed at the time the Judas visited me and 
submitted a plausible proposition in which he represented 
that Froboese wanted either to purchase my interest in 
the company or sell his own to me. He urged that as I 
was unable to attend to the business I should make 



A TEXAS PIONEER 219 

Froboese my successor, and as I was then still more in- 
clined to sell and knew that he wanted to buy, I enter- 
tained no suspicions of a shady transaction until I as- 
certained afterwards that the proposition was made with- 
out Froboese's knowledge. The terms submitted for my 
consideration appeared to be free from entanglements, 
and I was so well satisfied that I agreed to dispose of my 
stock to Froboese at once. The next day a clerk was 
sent to my house with the necessary documents, which I 
signed when propped up in bed, thereby terminating my 
connection with the firm without any money being paid, 
and I was forced to institute suit for the amount. 

That was the way I got out of the transfer business in 
San Antonio, after having spent many of the most active 
years of my life in its management. Froboese severed his 
connection with the company in a tragic manner a few 
months later when he realized that he was inextricably in- 
volved in debt. I then ascertained that he was financially 
mined when he purchased my shares in the transfer com- 
pany, and that he had hypothecated them for their full 
value to protect his credit after encumbering all of his 
property for every cent it could carry. 

I knew that Froboese owned considerable property, but 
I did not suspect that any of it was encumbered, nor do 
I believe that he intended to ill use me when he bought 
my shares on the strength of his credit, and I am con- 
fident that pressure was brought to bear by his creditors 
through the Judas who betrayed us both under the guise 
of friendship. It was a well-laid scheme to swindle us, and 
the hand that manipulated the triggers knew when to 
spring them when there was no means of escape. 

This information disposes of the transfer business so 
far as I was concerned, but I have not noticed my con- 
nection with other private enterprises or political ex- 
periences during that period otherwise than in a bare 
reference. I will now call attention to them, and will 
first give an account of the street-sprinkling business, 



220 A TEXAS PIONEER 

that has not been noted, in which I engaged long before 
I was identified with any local business in San Antonio. 

The enterprise was instituted during the administra- 
tion of Mayor French, under contracts with the city and 
merchants, to sprinkle the plazas and certain streets in 
San Antonio, also the main avenues leading to the depots 
after the railroads were completed to the city, under 
Mayors Callaghan's, Paschal's and ElmendorPs adminis- 
trations. I purchased the first sprinkling outfits, of both 
the Miller and Studebaker patents, that were used in San 
Antonio, through Messrs. Staacke Bros., and introduced 
them for that purpose. These contracts were extended 
through a period of sixteen years, and then it were per- 
manently interrupted by the San Antonio Water-works, 
Company, which secured an injunction to prevent the use 
of water from its hydrants. The city controlled the 
business afterwards, at its own expense, under an ar- 
rangement with the company, and doubtless it will 
continue to manage it to an indefinite period. 

I had been connected more or less with politics for 
years, but I was never a candidate for an office until 
nominated and elected City Alderman of the Fourth 
Ward in 1890. The best evidence I can give of my serv- 
ices is the approval awarded me by my constituents, who 
were granted all their demands, and it is pleasant to re- 
member that my associates, with Mayor Callaghan at 
their head, always seconded my efforts in their behalf. 
The only city ordinance that I can recall which originated 
at my suggestion, was the naming of Main Avenue, that 
for 150 years was known as Acequia Street. I was an 
alderman eighteen months, and when I resigned, in 
August, 1891, to accept the office of Registrar of Votes 
for Bexar County, to which I was appointed under Gov- 
ernor Hogg's administration, I was succeeded by Mr. 
Thomas E. Dougherty, who served as alderman for the 
unexpired term. 

The office to which I was appointed had been recently 



A TEXAS PIONEER 8*1 

created, and after I was installed in September, 1891, 
my signature approved the first registration certificate 
that was ever issued in Bexar County. I held the office 
six years, in which time I served three terms for the 
county and three terms for the city, and when I resigned, 
in August, 1897, Captain Philip Shardein was appointed 
to succeed me. 

I then entered into partnership with Joe Meyer and 
engaged in the produce business, on Houston Street, but 
I soon discovered that the business was unprofitable, and 
as it did not suit me I closed it out as soon as possible. 
In this connection I will notice the fact that soon after 
I disposed of my transfer business, in 189'3, the partner- 
ship of Froboese & Santleben was dissolved, and a year 
later the firm of Santleben & Company discontinued the 
ranch business ; consequently when I disposed of the 
produce business I was out of employment, and my 
natural inclinations led me again to engage in politics. 
I became a candidate for the office of Tax Assessor for 
Bexar County, in opposition to three other aspirants, 
and was defeated. 

I supported Marshall Hicks, Esq., for Mayor of the 
city in the next political campaign, in 1899, and after he 
was elected I was offered, and accepted, the position of 
Superintendent of Streets and Sanitation. I held the 
office four years under Mayor Hicks' administration and 
that of his successor, Dr. Fred Terrell, who was ap- 
pointed Mayor to fill the unexpired period of Senator 
Hicks' second term. The records of the Superintendent's 
office during my incumbency will bear inspection, and I 
know that my duties were honestly and properly exe- 
cuted ; but the best evidence is noted in the credit the city 
received on account of its cleanliness throughout that 
period. 

This was the last of the political offices I have had the 
honor to fill either by election or appointment, which oc- 
cupied eleven and a half years of my life. Although I 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

do not regret the time devoted to such employment I am 
convinced that if I had given the same attention to my 
personal affairs that was received by the public, my com- 
pensation would have been more remunerative and I might 
have spent the time more pleasantly. I do not believe 
that I lost any friends during my political career, al- 
though I opposed several with whom I was intimate, but 
never with bitter feelings. 

The interest I felt in municipal affairs engaged me in 
politics more than personal aspirations, and I have mani- 
fested the same sentiment through aid extended to many 
public and private enterprises that have been started in 
San Antonio, under the belief that they would advance 
the city's prosperity; and among them I will notice the 
Opera House and the Lone Star Brewery. I believe that 
I was influenced by a laudable ambition and that the 
money was well spent, because it has encouraged me to 
do all I could towards helping to make San Antonio the 
greatest city in Texas, 

I will now bring this subject to a close by saying that 
since the date on which my last political appointment ex- 
pired I have engaged in many other business undertak- 
ings, but none of them could be considered as permanent 
enterprises, although it may be stated that I have con- 
tinually held from two to three government contracts, 
each for a limited period, up to the present time. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

BEFORE concluding those experiences in which I have 
reviewed my humble services and other subjects of a per- 
sonal character, I will notice the settlement that reim- 
bursed me for a part of my losses on the frontier. I al- 
ways believed that in the course of time I would be paid 
for the mules that were stolen from me, because the Fed- 
eral Congress had made provision for such compensation 
and a Court of Claims had been organized in Washing- 
ton, D. C., for the purpose of considering the evidence re- 
ferring to Indian depredations on the exposed settlements 
of the United States. Numbers of such claims had been 
filed, including my own, some of which were for losses 
sustained in 1865, and the total amount of those docketed 
represented many millions of dollars. 

Some time after the Court of Claims convened in 
Washington, the judges ascertained that no headway was 
possible on account of the nature of the claims, which 
required close investigation through evidence that could 
not be secured except at an enormous expense, conse- 
quently it became necessary to transfer the sittings of 
the court to San Antonio and other central points near 
the frontier. Provision was accordingly made by amend- 
ing the law to allow the court to be moved from place 
to place, so that the judges could make an exhaustive 
examination into the merits of each case without incom- 
moding the witnesses. 

The first Texas city in which the court convened was 
San Antonio, in 1902, and there Judges Spooner and 
Palmer presided alternately until 1905, when the sessions 
were brought to a close. So far as I was able to decide, 

223 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

every claim that was presented before the court was im- 
partially investigated and the evidence carefully consid- 
ered with a view to do the claimants justice and at the 
same time protect the government against fraudulent 
or exorbitant charges. 

The court held to the opinion that all the depredations 
that had been perpetrated on the southwestern frontier 
were committed by Mexican outlaws, from points west 
of the Rio Grande, and not by Indians, as represented, 
until positive evidence was offered that proved the con- 
trary. My testimony was conclusive with reference to 
horses I saw in the possession of Indians in Mexico, 
bearing the brands of ex-Congressman Noonan, and 
other well-known ranchmen in Medina County. The fact 
was so well substantiated that it influenced the court to 
dismiss the assumption, and thereafter the justice of the 
claims was considered entirely on their merits. 

Much of my time was occupied as a witness during the 
sittings of the court, because of my knowledge of events 
that transpired during the period in which all the depre- 
dations were committed. I only testified with reference 
to the facts and responsibility of the claimants from a 
disinterested point of view, and it was a pleasure to know 
that nearly every case in which my evidence favored the 
justness of the claim it was approved and paid. The 
proceedings of the court have been published, and the 
decisions will show that many claims were set aside as 
fraudulent, also that the court reduced the amount of 
damages specified in the original affidavit of every legiti- 
mate claim before a judgment was rendered. 

My claim against the government for the value of 
mules that were stolen by Indians in 1871, was filed in 
Washington, D. C., in 1872, by my lawyers, Messrs. Eck- 
ford and Robertson, of San Antonio, whom I employed 
for a contingent fee. Afterwards I was represented, 
first by Judge Pray, next by Colonel Upson, of San An- 
tonio, and then by Messrs. Wilson and McManus, of 



A TEXAS PIONEER 225 

Washington City. When Mr. McManus died, in 1888, 
Mr. Wilson continued to represent me until Messrs. Wer- 
ner and Schramm, of San Antonio, became my lawyers, 
in 1891, and Mr. Wilson was retained by them to attend 
to my claim in Washington. The case was in their hands 
twelve years and I became impatient at the delay which 
seemed as if it would be prolonged indefinitely. I had 
given them ample time before I employed Mr. Clark, an 
attorney in Washington, in 1904, to attend to the busi- 
ness for me. Six months afterwards when my case was 
called for trial, Mr. Clark secured a judgment in my 
favor ; which amount was paid to me in full after deduct- 
ing the attorney's fee that the law allowed for such serv- 
ices, and Mr. Clark made a satisfactory settlement with 
Mr. Wilson out of the amount he received. 

The case was pending thirty-two years, and I have no 
doubt that the gentlemen who represented me at various 
times did all they could to bring it to trial, but they were 
hampered by contingencies and official delays which Mr. 
Clark was in a position to overcome. I was not under 
obligations to retain an attorney when I believed that 
my interests could be served to better advantage by an- 
other, and as the compensation was contingent, after 
bringing it to a settlement, I was not responsible to any 
of them for a fee except to Mr. Clark, who was a lawyer 
of high standing, and I made a satisfactory settlement 
with him. This explicit explanation is submitted for the 
purpose of counteracting any unfavorable criticisms 
which reflect upon my actions in the premises, that, I un- 
derstand, have been put in circulation. 

The tedious delays that the government imposed upon 
me, and others, were extended through an ordinary life- 
time, and then its responsibilities were scaled below actual 
values, that prevailed when the losses occurred, before its 
constitutional obligations were discharged. But the 
amount I received was appreciated, though it was much 
less than I expected. The fact that my claim for losses 



226 A TEXAS PIONEER 

of animals on the frontier was recognized by the Federal 
Court as having been perpetrated by Indians confirms 
my statements on the subject. It was only an incident 
in the past, that has been sketched in these reminiscences, 
but it recalls the active life with which I was associated, 
and leads me to sum up my travels as noted in my ex- 
periences with a view to accentuate my services. 

I will only notice the distances covered by me between 
1865 and 1880, and in these fifteen years I claim that I 
traveled a greater number of miles as a mail contractor 
and when staging and freighting than any man then liv- 
ing. This assertion is not made as a boast, but because 
the facts will confirm my exertions during those years. 

I will first review my employment from January 1, 
1866, until June 30, 1867, as a mail contractor when I 
drove a weekly stage from San Antonio to Eagle Pass, a 
distance of about one hundred and sixty-five miles, with- 
out missing a trip. I made seventy-eight round trips 
over the route, going and returning, each estimated at 
three hundred and thirty miles, or a total of twenty-five 
thousand, seven hundred and forty miles. 

The stage that I always accompanied from San An- 
tonio, Texas, to Monterey, Mexico, started on its first 
trip the first day of August, 1867, and the line was dis- 
continued July 30, 1869. The distance between the two 
cities is five hundred and twenty-five miles,, and I made 
forty-eight round trips of one thousand and fifty miles 
in each, or a total of fifty thousand, four hundred miles. 

After abandoning my stage line, I engaged imme- 
diately in the freighting business, and from 1869 until 
1880 ran a train of wagons from seaports and railroad 
stations in Texas, to the city of Chihuahua and other 
prominent places in Mexico, also to frontier posts in 
Texas. A reasonable estimate of my travels, during 
those eleven years, would amount to fifty thousand miles, 
and I believe the total would far exceed that distance if 
accurately estimated. 



A TEXAS PIONEER JOT 

These three overland enterprises alone will sum up over 
one hundred and twenty-six thousand miles, or about five 
times around the earth, and if my journeyings during 
the other active years of my life were added, the totals 
would foot up much more. They were made through a 
wild and uninhabited country, over routes that were con- 
tinually beset by savage Indians, who were inveterate 
enemies of the white race, and by equally lawless men who 
frequented the frontiers of Texas and Mexico. Though 
I risked my life continually on these travels and jeopar- 
dized all the property I possessed, besides much that was 
entrusted to me by others, I generally reaped a reward 
that compensated me for all the hardships and dangers 
I encountered. Although I sustained many losses in 
various ways on my own account, which aggregated a 
large amount, I can truthfully say that not one of my 
customers who entrusted money and merchandise to my 
care, or the Federal Government under my mail con- 
tracts, ever lost a cent through my negligence. 

The value of freight that I transported to and from 
Chihuahua and other parts of Mexico, on my own wagons 
and under contract on other trains, amounted to millions 
of dollars. I will also state that I hauled more money 
from Mexico during that period, on stages and wagons, 
than any other person, the greater part of which was 
consigned to parties in Europe. No security was ever 
exacted to insure the safe delivery of money, and it was 
only necessary to give my personal receipt for large 
sums that were entrusted to me, or for freight, the 
greater part of which consisted of valuable merchandise. 

The outlay on each trip that I made with my wagon- 
train was always heavy, and several times my profits 
were all consumed on account of unavoidable delays. I 
usually had from eighteen to twenty men in my employ, 
including several extras for service in cases of necessity, 
and tried to secure experienced and reliable persons, who 
were paid good wages in addition to their board. My 



228 A TEXAS PIONEER 

wagon-master received $75 per month; my caporal $30; 
my drivers from $18 to $20; and my herders from $15 
to $18. I also gave my stage drivers $60 per month 
and board when I ran the stage to Monterey. I will 
also notice that the firm of Froboese & Santleben, of San 
Antonio, paid the following liberal salaries to their em- 
ployes: Their book-keepers received from $100 to $125 
per month; their shipping clerks, at each of the depots, 
received $100 per month; and their float drivers, $1.50 
per day. They were all competent men and earned 
wages that will compare favorably with the salaries al- 
lowed for such work since the advent of union labor or- 
ganizations, which are trying to regulate such matters; 
and I want to correct an erroneous impression by saying 
that I am not opposed to labor unions in general, because 
I recognize that they have become necessary, but I have 
denounced those who advocate extreme measures or ap- 
peal to their strength, otherwise than through arbitra- 
tion, to enforce their demands. In my opinion wages 
should be graded according to efficiency, and in every 
order members ought to be rated with reference to their 
qualifications and receive pay corresponding to their 
abilities. I always observed this rule in my business, and 
I never lost anything by paying worthy men good wages, 
because it was always cheapest in the end. 

I often found destitute American citizens in Mexico, 
where they had no friends, and it was always a pleasure 
to aid those who solicited my assistance. I brought 
many of them back to Texas on my stage from Monterey, 
when the fare alone was $75, and paid their expenses all 
the way. Afterwards, when freighting from Chihuahua, 
I often did as much for Americans who were stranded in 
that region. I also brought many poor Mexican families 
to San Antonio, who were furnished provisions free of 
cost from the train. These never failed to express their 
gratitude, and there is a well-known and respectable 
Mexican woman, now living on the Castroville Road, near 



A TEXAS PIONEER 229 

the crossing of Leon Creek, who came to Texas under 
such circumstances in company with thirty-five other emi- 
grants. This woman now earns a support from a small 
store which she owns and manages, and she shows her 
thankfulness in various ways for the help I gave her 
about thirty-five years ago under the belief that she never 
can do enough for me or my family. Many similar inci- 
dents might be noticed in this summary of facts, but they 
would only prolong the story of my life unnecessarily, 
and I only call attention to these because it is a pleasure 
to recall them. 

The subject has been confined to my personal ex- 
periences and those with whom I was associated, and I 
have only noticed incidentally a few members of my 
father's and my own families, but it was because I could 
not find a place in which to introduce the records re- 
ferring to them. The information does not extend be- 
yond the birth of my parents, because I remember nothing 
of their ancestry, and my references only include their 
descendants of the third generation. 

My father, Christian Santleben, was born in Hanover, 
Germany, on the 27th day of July, 1809, and my mother, 
Sophie Haas, was born in the same city on the 25th day 
of October, 1810. They were married in said city on the 
13th day of January, 1837, and it was their place of resi- 
dence until they emigrated to America, in 1845. Three 
children were born to them in Hanover and two in Texas, 
whose names, with the dates of their birth and christen- 
ing, are as follows: Christian, born January 20, 1838, 
and christened January 25, 1838 ; Wilhelmina, born May 
22, 1842, and christened June 5, 1842; August, born 
February 28, 1845, and christened March 11, 1845; 
Mary, born July 8, 1850, and christened July 25, 1850 ; 

Ferdinand, born , 1852. My mother died November 

30, 1886, and my father died March 11, 1889, at their 
home near Castroville. 

My brother, Christian Santleben, married Wilhelmina 



230 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Ammann, of San Antonio, in Castroville, on the 27th day 
of July, 1867, and the names of their children are as fol- 
lows: Charley, Willie, Lena, Mary and Christian. He 
died in December, 1893. 

My sister, Wilhelmina Santleben, married Henry Wagner, 
of San Antonio, on the 13th of July, 1863, and the 
names of their children are as follows: Mary, Henry, 
Gusta, Willie, Lena, Sophie, August, and Lizzie. Wil- 
helmina died July 28, 1883, in San Antonio. 

I, August Santleben, married Mary Anna Obert, of 
Boerne, Kendall County, Texas, on the 30th day of De- 
cember, 1870, and the names of our children are as fol- 
lows: Sophie, Charlotta, Henry, August, Graves, Alfred 
and Ella. 

My sister, Mary Santleben, married Peter Rheiner, of 
Uvalde County, in San Antonio, on the 1st of January, 
1872, and the names of their children are as follows: 
Peter, August, Ferdinand, and Mannie.. Mr. Rheiner 
died in 1878, and his widow married Charles Barnard, of 
Rochester, New York, in 1884, and Mary died in 1888. 

My brother Ferdinand married Louisa Grosenbacher, 
in 1878, in San Antonio, and the names of their children 
are as follows: Emma, Mary, Dolly Bell, Eddie, Oscar, 
Johnny, and Alfred. 

The offspring of the second generation number thirty- 
five souls, of whom twenty-six are now living, and several 
of them are married, who have a total of thirty-two 
children, six of them being my grandchildren by my 
daughter, Mrs. Sophie McAllister; consequently the liv- 
ing descendants of my parents at the present time num- 
ber fifty-eight persons. 

In this brief reference to the Santleben family I have 
stated all the facts that it is necessary to notice, and as 
my existence on earth is drawing to a close, it is suitable 
that I should introduce a latter posterity of my father's 
descendants before concluding this sketch of my life. 

Mr. George Obert and his wife, Mary (the parents of 



A TEXAS PIONEER 231 

my wife), came to this country in 1853, and settled in 
New Braunfels ; the names of their children were Eva, 
Adam, Lizzie, Margaret, Valentine, and Mary (my wife). 
The succeeding chapters are reminiscent of early times 
in west Texas and Mexico, and refer to historical and 
social conditions that no longer exist. Those who read 
them will, perhaps, appreciate the efforts that have done 
so much for civilization in the past and encourage the 
present generation to greater exertion towards improv- 
ing the opportunities that the future offers for extending 
the territory tributary to San Antonio far beyond its 
present limits. 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE settlement of the northern and western regions 
of Texas was retarded many years by hostile Indians who 
opposed the advance of the white race into their hunting 
grounds. The enticing wilderness, extending from the 
Colorado River to the Rio Grande and covering an in- 
definite area northward which lured the American colon- 
ists by its attractions, was controlled by the Comanche 
tribe, whose habitations were on the head-waters of the 
Brazos. They were a brave, cruel and vindictive race 
numbering many thousands of warriors whose horseman- 
ship was marvelous; and they roved at will over the im- 
mense territory which they were always ready to defend 
against trespassers, or gratify their thieving propensi- 
ties by robbing those of their possessions who succeeded 
in gaining a foot-hold in that country. 

When Anglo-American pioneers and colonists began to 
ignore all barriers and ventured to occupy the prohibited 
region in greater numbers they were checked by brutal 
murders and revolting outrages. The Comanches' fierce 
and bloodthirsty nature delighted in such crimes and they 
served to intimidate their determined enemies while sat- 
isfying an implacable vengeance. Experience had 
taught the native occupants of the soil in all parts of 
America the hopelessness of coping with their white ad- 
versaries in open warfare, and they undertook to oppose 
them through the horrors inflicted by the tomahawk and 
scalping knife. But such tragedies only restrained the 
timid, through the dread they inspired while they invoked 
the fearless to merciless retaliation, and a struggle com- 
menced for mastery which led to a carnival of crime that 

232 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

threatened to destroy the hopes of those occupying the 
outposts of civilization. 

For many years marauding bands of Indians swept 
down from their northern strongholds and spread de- 
struction in the territory surrounding San Antonio, when 
that city was the only place of refuge in the western 
country. The population of the town in 184*3 numbered 
less than two thousand, and their rude habitations were 
confined for safety to a small area in the vicinity of the 
public square. Wild Indians constantly hovered in the 
suburbs and frequently entered the town to depredate 
on the people, and occasionally they committed murder. 

Such statements seem to be incredible, but several old 
residents of San Antonio are now living who have seen 
citizens killed by wild Comanches in the vicinity of the 
Postoffice. The fact will be more clearly emphasized 
by quoting from Henry Castro's diary, where he says that 
when his first colonists arrived in San Antonio in Feb- 
ruary, 184*3, " no settlements existed west of San Pedro 
Creek to the Rio Grande." His enterprise attracted but 
little attention because no one in the town then thought 
that it was possible to establish a settlement such as he 
proposed. Nor was this opinion changed when they were 
joined by other immigrants during that and the follow- 
ing year. But a sensation was created when Henry 
Castro, in company with Louis Huth, appeared, on the 
19th of July, 1844, and announced that it was his pur- 
pose to carry out his undertaking. He stopped at An- 
tonio Lockmar's, on Soledad Street, " then the best house 
in the city," and while there, on August 26th, he says 
that " five or six Comanches came within two hundred 
yards of the house . . . and succeeded in captur- 
ing eleven mules that were grazing in the enclosure. 
Such acts of audacity on the part of Indians 
intimidated my colonists and tended to injure my 
enterprise." 

Castro had not then seen the land that was specified 



234 A TEXAS PIONEER 

in his grant, but a few days afterwards he went west with 
an escort of five men furnished him by the famous ranger 
captain, Jack Hays, which increased his party to twelve 
well-armed men, and spent several days in riding over a 
part of it. When the short-sighted citizens of San An- 
tonio saw that he was determined to carry out his project 
they became alarmed at the idea of a town being estab- 
lished between them and the Rio Grande which would cut 
off the trade that came to them in dribbles from Mexico. 
With a view to hinder his plans they attempted to dis- 
courage his colonists and were aided by interested prop- 
erty owners who wanted their labor. But he overcame 
their selfish schemes and a few days later established the 
town of Castroville, where he settled his people, far be- 
yond the limits of the most remote habitation. In the 
face of difficulties, with the aid of armed bodies of Texas 
Rangers who kept the Indians in check and guarded the 
outskirts of the settlements, he installed the first pro- 
gressive enterprise that promised to develop the western 
country. These fearless citizen soldiers of Texas, to 
whom they were so much indebted, were always ready to 
pursue the raiders without considering the odds against 
them, and frequently inflicted retributive justice for their 
misdeeds when driving them back to their distant haunts. 
Posterity can not too greatly extol the memory of those 
gallant men in the service of the Republic, who constantly 
exposed their lives through their efforts to protect the 
frontier, and they deserve a monument in San Antonio 
that will commemorate their performances during that 
period. 

The town of Castroville was founded on the Medina 
River, twenty-five miles west of San Antonio, on the 12th 
day of September, 1844, by colonists brought out from 
the Rhenish provinces by Henry Castro. On the same 
day Messrs. Louis Huth and G. S. Bourgois were elected 
Justices of the Peace and Louis Haas Constable by the 



A TEXAS PIONEER 235 

authority of David Morgan, Chief Justice of Bexar 
County. In the morning of the same day the ceremony 
of laying the corner-stone of the church of Saint Louis 
was performed by the Rev. Bishop Odin, with the as- 
sistance of his grand vicar, the Rev. Abbe Oge, in the 
presence of all the little colony. The events of the day 
were celebrated that night with " discharges of musketry, 
bon-fires and the usual libations." 

The following day Bishop Odin departed for San An- 
tonio and Mr. Castro accompanied him part of the way. 
Before they separated the Bishop gave him the following 
certificate : 

" I, the undersigned, bishop of Claudiopolis, affirm to 
whom it may concern, that upon the invitation of Mr. H. 
Castro, who has received from the government of Texas 
a large grant of land in the county of Bexar, I visited, 
accompanied by Abbe Oge, of my diocese, his settlement, 
situated on the Medina River, twenty-five miles west of 
San Antonio de Bexar, to lay the corner-stone of the first 
Catholic church to be constructed in the first settlement 
of the said Castro, and that we placed the same under 
the invocation of Saint Louis. We have seen a good 
number of colonists at work building their houses with a 
view of forming a solid and permanent settlement. 

" In faith of which I signed and affixed my seal to 
these presents. 

" ODIN, Bishop of Claudiopolis. 

" CASTROVILLE, Sept. 12, 1844. 

" Seen for legalization of the signature of Odin, bishop 
of Claudiopolis. 

" F. GUILBEATJ, 

" French Consular Agent at San Antonio de Bexar." 

" This document, signed by Bishop Odin and dated 
Castroville, September 12, 1844, is no doubt the first time 



236 A TEXAS PIONEER 

that the name Castroville was ever signed or printed, as 
it came into existence at that time." A. J. Sowell, The 
Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas, 
p. 136. 

The colonists proceeded immediately to provide shelters 
for themselves and families, which kept them constantly 
employed, and it seems that they did not have leisure to 
draw up and sign the following document until the 
twelfth day, though it was dated the day of their arrival : 

" Process verbal of the possession taken of the lands 
situated on the concession made to Mr. H. Castro by the 
Texas government, on the 15th day of February, 1842, 
situated in the county of Bexar, and other lands belong- 
ing to him. 

" We, the undersigned colonists engaged in France by 
Mr. H. Castro to participate in the advantages of the 
grant above mentioned within the limits assigned by the 
government of Texas, the terms of which are more par- 
ticularly set forth in a contract passed between us and 
the said H. Castro, do declare : 

" That the said Castro having assembled us at San 
Antonio de Bexar as our leader, conducted us on that 
which had been assigned and given us by him, in conse- 
quence of which we left San Antonio on the 1st of Sep- 
tember to go to the Medina River, twenty-five miles west, 
which place we reached on the 2nd instant. We declare 
that, independent of our contract and without any obli- 
gation on his part, Mr. H. Castro has made us the 
following advantages heretofore expressed, in order to 
facilitate to us our speedy settlement. 

" Here are the advantages above mentioned : 

" First. To each of us forty acres of land of his prop- 
erty on the Medina. 

" Second. The necessary transportation and our ra- 
tions secured until our homes shall be constructed. 

" Third. Horses and oxen until our next crop. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 237 

" Fourth. Bacon and corn to those who may want it 
until the next crop is gathered. 

" Fifth. The use of his milch cows. 

"We. declare that Mr. John James, deputy surveyor 
of this district, came and surveyed the lots assigned to 
us. We declare since twelve days that we have reached 
our destination our labors, being well conducted, promise 
to give a comfortable shelter for ourselves and families 
within seven or eight weeks. We are satisfied, by the 
experience that we have acquired, that the climate of 
Bexar County is among the most salubrious, the water 
exceedingly good, timber sufficient, and the land appears 
to unite the qualities needed for great fertility. Such is 
the protection under which we have established ourselves 
and which forms the base of our hopes. We have unani- 
mously resolved to name the town of which we are the 
founders Castroville. 

" Done at Castroville, on the Medina, in the county of 
Bexar, September the 12th, 1844. 

" Signed, Jean Batiste Lecompt, Joseph Haguelin, 
N. Rosee, Theodore Gentil, Auguste Fretelliere, J. S. 
Bourgeois, Zavier Young, Louis Huth, George Cupples, 
Charles Gonibund, J. Fairue, N. Forgeaux, P. Boilot, C. 
Chapois, J. Maeles, Leopold Menetrier, Michel Simon, 
Theophile Mercier, Anthony Goly, Louis Graff, G. L. 
Haas, Joseph Bader, Bertold Bartz, Charles de Montel, 
Sax Gaspard, J. Ulrich Zurcher, George Spani. 

" Certified to at CastroviUe, September the 12th in the 
year 1844. 

"G L. HAAS, Constable. 

" Louis Huth and J. S. Bourgeois, Justices of the 
Peace. 

" Republic of Texas, county of Bexar. I, the un- 
dersigned, do hereby certify that Louis Huth and J. 
Simon Bourgeois are justices of the peace and G. L. 
Haas constable of Castroville in this county. 



38 A TEXAS PIONEER 

" Given under my hand and official seal at San An- 
tonio de Bexar, this the 5th day of October, A. D., 1844. 

" DAVID MORGAN, 

" Chief Justice of Bexar County. 

\ 

" Seen for the legalization of David Morgan's signa- 
ture, the consular agent for France ad interim. 

" FAUTREL AINE. 

" Recorded by T. H. O'S. Addicks on the 7th day of 
October, A. D., 1844, in the records of Bexar County." 

Several shiploads of colonists had arrived before the 
settlement was made at Castroville, but evidently the sig- 
natures in the foregoing list represent the heads of fami- 
lies of all that were present on that occasion. Some were 
then on the way, and they continued to arrive until 1847. 
A complete list of the colonists that were brought out by 
Castro was transmitted to the Secretary of State im- 
mediately after the arrival of each vessel, and they are 
supposed to be on file in that office in Austin. The fol- 
lowing family names are all of those who settled in Cas- 
troville between the years 1844 and 1850 that I can re- 
call: Rien, Tunder, Eldiero, Bowl, Sharp, Magilien, 
Kichley, Criesly, Varnet, Ichhorn, Riechheartzer, Halde, 
Hans, Grimwald, Meny, Bentely, Huechler, Frauger, 
Fulmer, Drougheorst, Inchin; Schmitt, whose two sons, 
Emil and Louis, are living; Johanes Loesbeog; Burger, 
whose sons, Louis, Robert and Joe, survive ; Trawalter, 
whose sons reside in San Antonio; Vollmer, father of 
John and Jacob ; Conrad, father of Peter and Joe ; Biede- 
ger, father of Joe and Jack; Huehner, father of August 
and Mrs. Louis H'uth, Sr., of San Antonio ; Vonflie, father 
of Henry Vonflie, of Briar Branch; Steinley, who has a 
son living in Dunlay; John Buser, who has a son living 
in San Antonio, and family ; Halde and family ; John 
Kreisle and family ; Walter, who has six sons residing in 



A TEXAS PIONEER 239 

San Antonio ; Alberdie and family ; Drodcour and family ; 
Eldise and family; Mangold, whose three sons, George, 
Jacob and August, reside in Medina County; Tschier- 
hart, whose six sons, Emil, Joe, Louis, Nic, Henry and 
Sebastian, reside in Medina County; Schwendeman and 
family ; Dreier and family ; Andrew Keller and family ; 
Jacob Pippert, father of Jacob, John, Fritz, Dave, Emil, 
Mrs. Tuerpe, and Mrs. Zoller; Zimmerman and family; 
Hoak and family; Berry, father of Jack, Joe and 
August. 

After the town site of Castroville was surveyed into 
lots and the people were settled in their new homes the 
business of its citizens was directed to varied industries. 
The church, a school house, a saw and grist mill, a brew- 
ery and stores, etc., were built, and in a few years evi- 
dences of prosperity were perceptible in the community. 
The following list will show who were the first business 
and professional men who located in the village when it 
was a frontier settlement: 

The first Roman Catholic church and the first Luth- 
eran church west of San Antonio were built in Castro- 
ville. 

The first Catholic minister was the Rev. Father Dubuis 
and the first Protestant minister of the Lutheran denom- 
ination was the Rev. Mr. Offinger. 

The first survey of land west of the Medina River was 
made by Mr. John James, of San Antonio. 

The first school teacher was August Kamp, who was 
afterwards County Clerk of Medina County for fifteen 
years. He was the father of Aug. Kamp, Jr., the pres- 
ent County Clerk of said county. 

The first store and brewery was established by Louis 
Huth, who was one of the two first Justices of the pre- 
cinct, and he was first County Clerk after Medina County 
was organized. 

The first corn mill and cotton gin was owned and oper- 
ated by Louis Haas, the first Constable of the precinct. 



240 A TEXAS PIONEER 

The first bakery and dance hall was owned and con- 
ducted by Hichling. 

The first meat market and boarding house was opened 
by Mr. Crust, the father-in-law of C. Villemain, who is 
San Antonio's present City Tax Collector. 

The first hotel was opened by Mr. Dardie. 

The first physician was Dr. Hoffman. 

The first lawyers were Judge Noonan and Colonel 
Upson. 

The first sheriff of Medina County was Thomas B. 
McCall. 

Although the name of Castro was thus honored by the 
people with whom he was personally associated, and 
though the State of Texas has perpetuated his memory 
in an act of the legislature which gave his name to one 
of the northern tier of counties in recognition of the ben- 
efits he conferred on the Republic in the most trying pe- 
riod of its existence, no effort has been made to eulogize 
his services to the extent that they deserve. 

We know what Stephen F. Austin and his colonists and 
others did towards braving the dangers and hardships of 
the wilderness, and afterwards when they secured their 
freedom and established the Republic of Texas. Their 
fortitude and bravery deserve all honor and praise, and 
the statesmanship which laid the foundation for a great 
commonwealth will receive consideration in all ages; but 
those who came afterward and gave strength to the com- 
munity, as producers or otherwise, especially those who 
placed themselves in the van of civilization near the more 
exposed western border where they opened the way for 
others, should not be forgotten. 

The most prominent of the latter class was Henry 
Castro, and we are constrained to believe that the ter- 
ritory west of the Guadalupe River is more indebted to 
his personal perseverance, energy, and liberal expenditure 
of wealth, than to any other individual that appears in 
history. In a short period after settling his colony west 



A TEXAS PIONEER 241 

of the Medina River he did more towards promoting the 
material prosperity and safety of the country by giving 
value to property in that region than had been done in 
the previous one hundred and twenty-eight years of its 
occupancy. 

Castro brought to Texas a total of five thousand two 
hundred desirable Icolonists, or, according to another 
statement, four hundred and eighty-five families and 
forty-five single men, on twenty-seven ships, in five years, 
and settled them beyond the western limits of the most 
remote white settlements, on land granted him by the 
Republic of Texas in 1842, in that portion now com;- 
prising part of Medina, Uvalde, Frio, Atascosa, Bexar, 
McMullen, LaSalle and Zavalla counties. These people 
were transported across the ocean and conveyed to their 
destination at his own expense, and he not only complied 
with his contract in every particular with regard to the 
donation of land, but he added forty acres and a town lot 
to the allowance of each family, and assisted them out 
of his means in every possible way until they were able 
to provide for themselves. He injected his own spirit 
into them, and encouraged them and others to occupy 
the desirable wilderness beyond until the western frontier 
was extended to the Nueces River. 

This man was born in France in July, 1786, of wealth} 7 
Hebrew parents, and he could claim a descent from one 
of the oldest Portuguese families. He was a soldier un- 
der Napoleon until his overthrow, when he emigrated to 
the United States, and in 1827 he became an American 
citizen. He returned to France, in 1838, and engaged 
in the banking business as a partner of Mr. Lafitte. 
Later he undertook to colonize the large grant of land in 
Texas that was awarded him at his own solicitation, after 
exerting himself in General Henderson's behalf to nego- 
tiate a loan of $7,000,000 in France for the young Re- 
public which interested him in its fortunes; and his 
services in that connection secured him the honorable ap- 



242 A TEXAS PIONEER 

pointment of Consul-General of the Republic of Texas 
for the Kingdom of France. 

The concession and distinction were conferred on ac- 
count of his natural abilities and wealth, which com- 
manded great influence in commercial circles and which 
were extended to the government. He was not an ordi- 
nary man, otherwise he could not have persuaded so many 
persons to abandon their homes and associations in the 
old world and take up their abode in a wilderness among 
savages with a confidence that was based entirely on his 
promises and representations. 

In a letter written to the President of the Republic 
of Texas, at Washington-on-the-Brazos, on January 14, 
1844, he refers to serious obstacles he had encountered 
and overcome, and also to the large sum of money, 
amounting to $40,000, which he had expended up to that 
date. Castroville was not then established and evidently 
he distributed a much larger sum in carrying out his en- 
terprise, which, when added to his generous distributions 
to all who needed assistance, exhausted his means and 
encumbered him with debts that impoverished him in his 
old age. He died at Monterey, in Mexico, when on his 
way to visit the graves of his relatives in France, and not 
one of his immediate family is alive. 

Texas has worthily perpetuated the memory of many 
of her citizens who have conferred honor and benefits on 
the commonwealth. A similar sentiment has prompted 
communities in Texas to erect memorials to prominent 
individuals as an evidence of gratitude, and the spirit 
that suggested them should be encouraged, because hun- 
dreds have and will live who deserve such monuments. 

When the descendants of the first settlers within the 
limits of Castro's colony learn to appreciate Henry 
Castro's character and begin to realize the importance 
of his efforts, tKey will petition the State to show him 
reverence by removing his remains from their obscure 
resting-place in a foreign land and entomb them in the 



A TEXAS PIONEER 243 

State cemetery at Austin. Then perhaps a marble statue 
will be erected in San Antonio, the metropolis of Texas, 
which has been so greatly benefitted by his energies and 
wealth. When such a movement is inaugurated I will 
gladly show my respect for his memory by contributing 
to the fund, because of my gratitude for many favors 
that he conferred on my father, who, though not one of 
his colonists, was intimately associated with him. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

CASTRO'S land grant covered an area of several 
thousand square miles between the Medina and. Nueces 
Rivers, which bounded it on the east and west. The 
country within these limits lies among the foot hills of the 
Rocky Mountains, in Medina and Uvalde counties, and 
spreads out on the plains below. Several spurs that jut 
out from the range of mountains further north represent 
its roughest portion, but their rugged sides are beauti- 
fully clothed with evergreens, and between the elevations 
are wide valleys of rolling or level lands covered with 
succulent grasses and groves of forest trees in endless 
variety. Sparkling streams and rippling brooks of crys- 
tal water meandered through them and added to the 
charms of that region until they escaped into the open 
country southward. The highlands, lying in plain view 
a few miles north of the Southern Pacific Railroad, mark 
the outlets of the canons in which there are now many 
villages and numerous prosperous homes of farmers and 
ranchmen. 

Further southward the land is rolling with occasional 
level prairies that formerly were carpeted with perennial 
flowers mingled with luxuriant verdure, but now the 
greater part is covered with mesquite brush and oc- 
casional mots of live-oak or other timber. The country 
was then well watered by a number of tributaries with 
seemingly an inexhaustible flow of water which emptied 
into the river on its borders, and all of them were lined 
with belts of pecan or other large forest trees. The land 
generally is fertile, and the numerous attractions that 
the country presented led many pioneers to settle there 

244 



A TEXAS PIONEER 245 

when the Indians were dangerous. In recent years 
thousands of home-seekers have bought up and divided 
the land that was owned in large bodies by ranchmen 
and speculators, who have demonstrated on their smaller 
holdings that the soil is unsurpassed for agricultural 
purposes. These facts in connection with the present 
prosperity of the country, will be enlarged upon later. 
A number of flourishing towns with substantial business 
houses, beautiful residences, churches and educational in- 
stitutions, where the usual occupations are represented 
and all modern conveniences have been introduced, are 
found in that region. 

In addition to this vast territory Castro controlled a 
tract of land containing sixteen leagues, which was 
bounded by the Medina River on the west, and fronted 
his grant on the east above and below Castroville. This 
body of land was secured from John McMullen, of San 
Antonio, through private negotiations, to prevent its oc- 
cupation by others who might have come in conflict with 
his enterprise, and it was a part of his scheme to colonize 
it also after establishing the settlements under his 
contract. 

Many glowing descriptions have been written about 
Texas when the country was in a primitive condition, 
and that part west of the Medina River has received its 
share of praise. A more attractive region did not rest 
under the dome of heaven, and as I remember it when 
in a natural state, it is my opinion that the representa- 
tions so frequently made are not exaggerations. Myriads 
of wild horses roamed the prairies at will, deer were 
everywhere and other game was abundant ; the clear, run- 
ning streams were full of fish, and quantities of honey in 
caves and hollow trees waited those who cared to take it 

A natural supposition suggests that with such an 
abundance of nature's provisions at the disposal of 
Castro's colonists a scarcity of food was impossible; but 
strange to say they sometimes lacked a sufficiency the 



246 A TEXAS PIONEER 

first few years. The fact that the new settlers had been 
raised in towns and thickly settled districts and knew 
nothing about hunting wild animals will explain the sit- 
uation. Besides, very few brought guns with them, and 
only a small quantity of ammunition, none of which was 
suitable for killing large game or defense against In- 
dians. With the exception of a few who were in pros- 
perous circumstances they were destitute of money, con- 
sequently their only dependence for ammunition was on 
the Rangers, who occasionally gave them small supplies 
until their condition improved. The Rangers also re- 
lieved their necessities by killing and delivering large 
game, and they also relied for food on the Lipan and 
Delaware Indians, with whom they traded until the former 
became hostile, but of course many helped themselves 
as they gained experience. 

Even if the emigrants had been well equipped they 
could not have been compared with the American pioneers 
accustomed to frontier life and who were expert shots 
with the excellent rifles they always carried; therefore 
the colonists were at every disadvantage and almost help- 
less, individually and as a body, in their exposed situa- 
tion. Castro had taken preliminary steps to protect his 
people by representing the situation to the government, 
with the result that Captain Jack Hays, who was sta- 
tioned at San Antonio, was ordered to protect them with 
his company of Rangers. The efficient service they ren- 
dered kept the Comanches from destroying the settlement 
in its infancy, although they continued their depredations 
at intervals. 

My recollections of the country extend back to a period 
when it was very sparsely inhabited by small communities 
wide distances apart. In order to convey a comprehen- 
sive idea of the subject I will first locate each settlement 
west of San Antonio, with the date and names of those 
who made them, and then I will give similar data with 
reference to those north and northwest. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 247 

The first settlement, four miles west of the city on the 
San Antonio and El Paso road, was made in 1850, by 
William Waldenpalt, where Herd Johnson's grass farm 
is now situated. He started the first dairy farm there, 
from which the first milk was sold in the city. It was on 
Leon prairie, which extended from the Alazan Creek, near 
San Antonio, to within one mile of Leon Creek, or about 
five miles in width from east to west, and it was between 
ten and fifteen miles long. Then it was bare of trees 
and covered with native grasses that grew about two 
feet in height, but in later times a growth of mesquite 
brush made its appearance. 

Five miles beyond the dairy farm was a settlement that 
Placito Olevirra and Cetro made, in 1844, on Leon Creek, 
shortly after Castroville was established. The latter was 
the foreman of the Nat Lewis horse and cattle ranch, 
which was projected soon afterwards on Leon prairie. 

The Lewis ranch became well known, and the " No " 
brand of Don Louis al Pelon, which was a popular title 
that distinguished the owner, was familiar to everyone in 
west Texas. During the years in which it flourished 
many poor families of settlers within fifteen miles of San 
Antonio earned a support by milking the Lewis cows 
with his consent, some of them as many as twenty-five 
head. They sold butter and cheese in the San Antonio 
market and fattened their hogs on the sour milk. Until 
1860 the Lewis ranch owned a greater number of horses 
and cattle than any other in western Texas, and they 
were mostly raised on Leon prairie. He and his excel- 
lent wife, who resided in San Antonio, were always ready 
to extend their hospitality to strangers, and their liber- 
ality in helping the poor was known to me, because we 
lived as neighbors in said city for many years, and they 
were my best friends. Their two sons, Messrs. Nat and 
Dan Lewis, are now prominent citizens in San Antonio. 

Five miles west of Leon Creek is Arroyo Medio, which 
was first settled in 1850, by Noah Bowles, who was an 



48 A TEXAS PIONEER 

old friend of my father and they were neighbors when 
they lived on Castro's ranch. 

Four miles further is Potranco Creek, which was first 
settled, in 1850, near where it empties in the Medina 
River, by Billy Lytle, a brother of Sam Lytle and an 
uncle of John Lytle, a well-known ranchman who owned 
large herds of horses and cattle that were recognized by 
the L brand. 

Two miles beyond is San Lucas Springs, that was set- 
tled in 1850 by the Adams family, represented by the 
following seven brothers : John, Bill, Dave, James, Pete, 
Mart, and Henry. They also owned large herds of horses 
and cattle in the JA brand. 

Four miles further west is Saus Creek, that was first 
settled in 1854* by Samuel Etter, Sr., who engaged in 
farming as a business, and also raised cattle on a small 
scale. 

On the same creek, and adjoining Mr. Etter's, was my 
father's farm, which he settled in 1855, where he resided 
until the date of his death. 

Four miles beyond is the town of Castroville, on the 
west bank of the Medina River, that was settled in 1844. 

Ten miles west of Castroville on the San Antonio and 
El Paso road is Hondo Creek, where a settlement was 
made, in 1855, by the Harper, Burnet, Benian, and Mc- 
Lamore families. 

Four miles above, on the same creek, is the town of 
Quihi, where the first settlement was made, in 1846, by 

Louis Bailey, Jack Reef, Sardoff, John Rieden, 

the father of Frank Rieden of San Antonio; Baptist 
Schmidt, Amb. Reitzer, B. Bonekamp, G. Garsting, H. 

Wilpert, H. Gerdes, Jans Sievers, B. Brucks, Bick- 

man, F. Bauer, Brinkhoff, Opus, Denters, 

John Toucher, H. Schneider, Rensing, Gasper, 

Eisenhauer, Louis Korn, Rudolph Charobiny, and 

Dr. Acke, whose descendants reside in San Antonio. 

Three miles west of Quihi is the town of Vanderburg, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 249 

that was first settled, in 1847, by Zavier Vanz, 

Mumme, White, G. Bridge, Stegler, and 

Decker, whose entire family, with the exception of two 
sons, Joseph and Carlo, died from eating wild lettuce, and 
Carlo was raised to manhood by my father in his family. 

Four miles southwest of Vanderburg, on Worthy 
Creek, is the town of New Fountain, where a settlement 
was first made in 1845, by the Leinaweber, Grossenbacher, 
and Goehring families, all of whom have representatives 
now residing in San Antonio. 

Ten miles west of Hondo Creek, on the San Antonio 
and El Paso road, is the old town of D'Hanis, that was 
first settled in 1847 by Nic Ney, John Ney, the father 
of Joe Ney, the present sheriff of Medina County; Don- 
ald French, Finger, Hagemueller, Barto, 

Joe, Nic and Sebastian Wipff, Mike, Wolff, 

Mathias Koch, father of Mathias Peter, John, Ja- 
cob, and Steve Koch; Braden, Carr, 

John Rieddenmann, Peter Britz, John Schreiber, John 
Raiber, Antone Ludwig, John Ruedinger, Joseph Wol- 
lehker, Anton Strausser, Frank Bihl, John Nehr, Joseph 
Reudinger, J. B. Deckard, Dr. Marrell, John and Chris. 

Schumacher, Ben Grosenbacher, Riesmann, 

Kaufmann, Joseph Echtile, John B. Zeher, August Zeher, 
Leonard Esser, Peter Koch, O. W. Koch, Joe Rieber, Joe 
Wippf, John and Austin Gardieser, Herbert Weynand, 
John and Austin Lutz, Leopold Zuercher, Joe Zuercher, 
Jack Souter, Tob Souter, Richard Riley, Paul Brotz, 
Joe Richarz, and Martin Nester. 

Two miles further west on said road is Saco Creek, that 
was first settled in 1850 by Mr. Reuter, the father-in-law 
of the well-known stockman, Fritz Rhode, and in the same 
neighborhood Tobe Reiley, John Reinhart, and Captain 
Richarz established themselves. 

Fort Lincoln was established in 1850 on Saco Creek, 
two miles from the old town of D'Hanis. It was named 
for General Lincoln of the American Revolution. Major 



250 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Longstreet of the United States Army, who was after- 
wards a famous general in the war of secession, was its 
last commander. 

A settlement was made in 1850 on Ranchera Creek 
three miles east of Sabinal station by John Davenport, 
John Bowles, and two brothers, John and Ross Kenedy. 

The next settlement was on Sabinal Creek, that was 
made in 1850 by Warren Allen's and George Hammer's 
families. 

Four miles beyond is Blanco Creek, where, in 1858, the 
Wish family settled. 

Eight miles beyond is the Rio Frio, where, in 1854, the 
Sanders family settled. 

Eight miles beyond is the town of Uvalde, that was 
first settled in 1850 by Mr. Bowles, the father of Duck 

and Peter Bowles, John Weimiller, Pullion, 

Greiner, and Nance. 

Four miles below Uvalde was Fort Inge, on Leon Creek, 
that was established by the United States government in 
1850 for the protection of the frontier, where a company 
of dragoons was stationed. 

The next and furthest settlement towards the west 
until after the Civil War was at Fort Clark, that was 
established by the United States government in 1856, on 
the north side of Las Moras Creek, fifty miles from 
Uvalde. 

On the east side of Las Moras Creek, opposite Fort 
Clark, is the town of Brackett, which was settled in 1852, 
by James Connell, Mrs. Rose, Henry Rudolph, and the 
Brackett family. 

Fort Ewell was also established by the United States 
government in 1850, on the Nueces River, about ninety 
miles below Uvalde, now in La Salle County. 

A settlement known as San Francisco was made in 1850 
on San Francisco Creek, west of the Medina River, six 
miles in a southwest direction from Castroville, below the 
San Antonio and El Paso road, by Mr. Haas, the father 



A TEXAS PIONEER 251 

of Valentine, Philip, Fritz, and George Haas, and their 
sister, who afterwards married Mr. Benderley; Mr. Von- 
flie, the father of Henry Vonflie of Briar Branch ; also by 

Roatsman, Blase Meyer, Cristiles, 

Bater, and Haller. This settlement was repeatedly 

raided by Indians and many settlers were killed. 

A settlement was made in 1850 where Devine station 
is now situated, which is eighteen miles below Castroville, 
on the International & Great Northern Railroad. It was 
named in honor of Judge Devine, the father of Netterville, 
Albert, and Joe Devine of San Antonio. Of the follow- 
ing settlers Big-foot Wallace was the first, then came 
Tom Galbreth, Thomas A. James, Lou Moore, Gip and 
Bee Tilley, J. W. Winter, West Davidson, James Long, 
George and James Crawford, Reese Moore, W. M. Brom- 
lett, George McCombs, John Craig, Tobias Long, Holly 
Laxon, and Rev. Newton. Big-foot Wallace claimed that 
he built the first log cabin on the west bank of the Me- 
dina River, ten miles south of Castroville, four years be- 
fore it was established. 

Five miles below Castroville a settlement was made on 
the west side of the Medina River in 1848 by the father 

of Emil and Louis Smith, in company with Berges, 

Trawalter, John Lisburg, Miller, Brown, 

and Cole. 

In 1845 a settlement was made by my father on land 
known as Castro's corner, that was also known as Castro's 
ranch, in a bend on the east side of the Medina River, 
six miles above Castroville, and his was the most remote 
white man's habitation in that direction; but he was not 
one of Castro's colonists, though he lived there eight years 
and then removed to land he bought on Sans Creek. 

Four miles above Castroville were the farm and saw- 
mill of Charles de Montel, the father of Ed. de Montel 
of Hondo City, where he settled in 1846. The Laman, 
Hagerly, and Zinsmeier families settled in the same neigh- 
borhood. 



252 A TEXAS PIONEER 

The Harby settlement, which was situated eight miles 
above Castroville on the Medina River, was made between 
1847 and 1850 by the Harby, Spattle, and Koenig fam- 
ilies, and afterwards the Wusbach, Tuerpe, Sedar, Ber- 
ley, Felter, Dr. Bohm, Monier, and Villemain families set- 
tled in the same neighborhood. 

About all of the settlements west of San Antonio have 
been noticed that were in existence before 1860 ; but there 
were others in the Fisher and Miller grant, northeast and 
north of said city, that were made by German immigrants 
sent out by an incorporated society in Germany in charge 
of Prince Salms-Braunfels, to whose efforts the colony 
is principally indebted for its success. 

On Good Friday in 1845 Prince Salms-Braunfels 
crossed the Guadalupe River with an escort of a few men 
and selected the present site on which the beautiful city 
that bears his name has since been built, where he located 
his first colonists. The names in the following list rep- 
resent a few of those he introduced between that date and 
1850: 

F. Heidemeyer, F. Salmuller, W. Kracke, Chris. Hans, 
A. Sauerborn, Carl von Domersmark, George Klappen- 
bach, Gus. Hoffman (the first Mayor of New Braunfels 
and a colonel in the Confederate Army), Dr. Theo. 
Koester, Nic Zink, Carl Thomas, H. Wilcke, Geo. Ulrich, 
F. Holekamp, L. Vogel, Theo. Sterzing, Ad. Benner, 
Peter Home, G. Remley, Thomas Schwab, Albert Dreiss, 
father of Adolph and Edward Dreiss ; Nic Zircher, Silves- 
ter Simon, E. Kaderli, E. Scherz, P. Margerle, E. Wink- 
ler, Gab. Sacherer, and E. O. Meusebach, father of Ernest, 
Otto, and Max Meusebach ; George and Philip Obert. 

Sisterdale was settled by a colony of German immi- 
grants, in 1847, and it was known as the Latin settle- 
ment, because they were all familiar with the Latin lan- 
guage. It was composed of the following members: 

Edward Degner (afterwards a member of the United 
States Congress), Professor Kapp, Dr. Hertzberg, Nico- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 253 

las Zinks, Mr. Baer, Julius Dressel, Dr. Runge, A. Sim- 
mering, Hugo Klocke, A. Neuber, O. Neuber, Kuhler, 
Ernst. Flack, Philip Braubach, Fritz Degner, Joe Moses, 
Mr. Donaup, and Mr. Langbein, father of August, Carl, 
and Gustave Langbein. 

Fredericksburg was laid out in May, 1846, by John 
O. Meusebach, and settled by B. Blum, William, August, 
and Daniel Arhilger; also by Lawrence Schmidt, Fritz 
and Henry Lohde, Heinrich and John Behrens, Mrs. Carl 
Schwarz, Heinrich Strackbein, Mrs. John Turst, Mrs. 
Steubing, Martin Heinemann, Mrs. Anton Novian, Anton 
and John Klein, Mrs. Leyendecker, Mrs. Young, Carl 
Megrih, Ernst. Besler, Mrs. Peter Boun, and L. and H. 
Wahrmund, father and uncle of Otto Wahrmund. 

Boerne was laid out for a town in 1851, by Mr. Deussen, 
who was the first hardware merchant in San Antonio, and 
Judge .James, the father of Vinton, Sidney, Scott, and 
J. H. James, who is now Judge of the Fourth Court of 
Civil Appeals of Texas. But before that date, in 1847, 
the following persons had settled in that vicinty: Adam 
Vogt, Leopold Schuz, Dr. Ferdinand Herff, Fritz Sauer, 

and Kreuer. In 1849 they were joined by Jacob, 

Thomas, and Peterson Sasuma, and Judge G. W. Ken- 
dall; and afterwards came Fritz and Henry Wendler, 
August Staffer, Matthews Banman, Captain Adolph and 
Fritz Zoeller, Julius Faber, John Schartz, Joseph Berg- 
man, Charles Dienger, Jacob Deussen, Guenther Froebel, 
Franz Werner, Bernhard Hagerman, Judge Brown, and 
Mr. Spitz. 

Bandera was settled in 1850, and among the first were 
P. D. Sauer, R. H. and DeWitt Burney, - - Milstead, 

Odum, and Macon Gillis. A saw-mill owned by 

Charles de Montel was located on the present site of the 
town before 1854, which turned the fine cypress timber 
in that vicinity into lumber and shingles. In 1853 Amasa 
Clark settled there, and a few years later came August 
Pengenot, V. and Auten Audewald, John and Adam 



254, A TEXAS PIONEER 

Adamietz, Charles Montague, T. L. Miller, Mrs. D. Obor- 
ski, G. W. Lewis, Mrs. Mahala Jones, J. P. Rodrigues, 
Mr. Klappenbach, Mr. Dahlmann, and Captain Reese's 
family. 

Comfort was laid out in 1851 by Ernest Alt gelt, who 
conducted the first store and also a saw-mill near by. 
Mr. Altgelt was the father of H. H. Altgelt of New 
Braunfels, and George C., August, and Ernest Altgelt, 
of San Antonio. Mr. Altgelt was a very prominent at- 
torney and highly esteemed by all who knew him, and 
died in 1878. 

The following is a list of the first settlers of Comfort: 

Ernest Altgelt; Theo. Wiedenfeld; W. C. Boerner; 
Wm. Heuermann; Fritz Goldbeck; Theodore Goldbeck; 
Mr. Ingenhuett, father of Peter, Thomas, and Martin 
Ingenhuett; H. Allerkamp; Louis Boerner; Schelbhase 
and family; Fritz Holekamp; Mr. H'artenbrock ; Mr. 
Hinneber; C. W. Telgmann; Mr. Harms; Mr. Stecher; 
Mr. Timpke ; Hy. Werder ; H. Liesman ; Mr. Karger ; O. 
Roggenbucke; Ed. Steves, father of Albert, Ernest, and 
Edward Steves ; Otto Brinkmann ; Geo. Holekamp ; 
Charles Herbst ; W. Fellbaum, father of Charlie and Er- 
nest Fellbaum; Schladore; H. Stieler; Dr. Melis; Mr. 
Brunks ; A. Bruns ; H. Boerner ; John Horner ; L. Breit- 
enbach ; Mr. Schimmelpfening ; Herman Wille ; Justus Se- 
ginnis; Mr. Johns ; Paul Hanisch; E. Serger; Mr. Her- 
der ; O. Rosenthal ; C. and E. Vetterlein ; Mr. Schwethem ; 
H. Schulz; H. Witbold; Mr. Schmidt; E. Schilling; F. 
Perner; C. Flach; Mr. Joseph; Jacob Kuechler; Louis 
Berger; Fritz Sauer; Dr. Pfeiffer; V. Pfeiffer; A. Faltin; 
Paul and Otto Bellow; L. Strohecker; H. .Seidenstricker; 
Emil Oberwalter; Chris. Boerner; and M. Lindner. 

A party of Mormons drifted into the country from 
Missouri in 1854, and stopped first on Verde Creek, but 
soon after they moved to Bandera, where they remained 
a short time before settling at a place still known as 
" Mormon Camp," a few miles below Bandera. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 255 

The following families settled on the Salado, before 

1850: Ackermann, Gembler, Ries, and Eisenhauer; 

Thos. Applewhite, Ross Houston, Craighead, Clai- 

borne Rector, " Uncle Billy " Evans, and J. H. Polly, on 
the Cibolo; and Harrison Pressnall, John, Jesse, and 
Stephen Applewhite, on the east side of the Medina. 

The Indians were very bad and made raids on the un- 
protected settlements about Bandera at regular intervals 
until 1855, when Governor Pease made an effort to check 
them by authorizing the citizens on the frontier to organ- 
ize themselves into minute companies under a provision 
which stipulated that they should receive pay for actual 
services performed. The same year a company of infan- 
try was stationed by the Federal government on Verde 
Creek, but the absurdity of foot soldiers undertaking to 
cope with the wild nomads of the plains soon became ap- 
parent, and they were relieved the following year by a 
company of dragoons, under the command of Captain 
Palmer, who erected the necessary buildings, and Camp 
Verde became a permanent station. 

The Indians were not deterred by the preparations to 
resist them, but continued their murderous and thieving 
raids as before, until the more timid settlers abandoned 
the frontier through fear of death and the horrors of 
captivity. These conditions continued, in violation of 
the Constitution, which required the United States to 
protect its citizens, until the State of Texas undertook 
to shield them in 1861 by placing a regiment beyond the 
limits of the settlements, which kept back the marauding 
savages and insured the safety of that region during the 
following four years. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

CASTRO'S colonists were not molested by Indians during 
the first two years after Castroville was established. 
Immediately after that event Castro entered into a treaty 
with the Comanches, which placed them on friendly terms, 
but in 1846 outside white men killed several of that tribe 
and the settlers were made to suffer through a series of 
years for that act of indiscretion. The Lipan Indians 
who occupied Castro's grant were very friendly with his 
people until one of the tribe was killed by a discharged 
Ranger in a drunken frolic, for which reason they became 
bitter foes of the white race. They removed in a body 
to Mexico, where they occupied a mountainous country 
in Coahuila without the consent of that government, and 
thereafter they continually depredated on the frontier 
settlements of Texas. 

The New Braunfels and Darmstadt colonies were more 
fortunate, because the treaty that was made in their be- 
half by Meusebach, Spies, and Von Koll, with the Co- 
manches, in 1847, on the Verein Shegal, or Union Hill, 
in said town, was not violated. But for the concession 
of land lying between 'the Llano and San Saba rivers the 
colonists would have been exterminated, and on that ac- 
count Baron von Meusebach was called the savior of 
Fredericksburg. 

The Texas Rangers proved themselves faithful guard- 
ians and kept the Indians under restraint for two years, 
but when Captain Jack Hays raised a regiment of 
Rangers, in 1846, to serve with the United States army 
in the invasion of Mexico, many of the most prominent 
Indian fighters of the frontier enlisted under him. The 

256 



A TEXAS PIONEER 257 

entire western portion of the State was practically un- 
protected, and during his absence the scattered settle- 
ments in every direction around San Antonio were exposed 
to the ravages of wild Indians, who availed themselves of 
the opportunity to vent their vengeance without re- 
straint. They did not confine their attacks to the exposed 
border region only, but actually invested San Antonio 
with a display of boldness, and even entered the town, 
where they killed several inhabitants on the Plaza. 

Under such circumstances the inoffensive people in ex- 
posed situations were compelled to resort to every avail- 
able means for self-protection, and it was only their cease- 
less watchfulness and precautions that saved them from 
destruction. During that period, and prior to 1850, 
many persons were brutally murdered, though it has only 
been possible to get the names of a few of those that 
were killed; but the people were poor and they had few 
animals, consequently the plunder the marauders secured 
was light. 

After the settlements extended further west the pioneers 
were not only exposed to depredations from the Co- 
manches, but they were constantly harassed by the 
Lipans and other implacable foes from Mexico. These 
enemies were, perhaps, partly composed of remnants of 
tribes who were exiles from their ancient homes and sacred 
associations, after centuries of warfare with Anglo- 
Americans in the east, and an intense hatred governed 
their actions towards the white race. When an occasion 
offered to avenge their past wrongs after finding a refuge 
in a foreign land, they made incursions across the Rio 
Grande to the settlements in Texas with a secrecy and 
celerity that defied opposition. There they stealthily 
committed a series of revolting crimes before escaping 
with the plunder of their victims, and often with captured 
children and many stolen horses, to their strongholds in 
the mountainous regions of Mexico, where they were safe 
from pursuit. 



258 A TEXAS PIONEER 

About fifteen small settlements only, representing a few 
families in each, had been able to establish themselves 
west of the Medina River in the first eight years after 
Castroville was located, several of which were made by 
Americans in the last three years of that period, who 
managed to maintain themselves by fighting frequent bat- 
tles. The Federal government was dilatory about guard- 
ing the frontier after Texas was admitted into the Union, 
and five years passed before the State received the inade- 
quate protection afforded by the establishments at Forts 
Inge, Ewell, Clark, McKavitt, Concho, Lincoln, and Camp 
Verde, which attracted many people to the country. Ex- 
perience proved that the small companies at those points 
could neither suppress the Indians nor prevent their raids, 
consequently the settlers in exposed situations were 
obliged to depend on themselves, with the aid of a few 
companies of gallant Rangers in the service of the State, 
and the dangers constantly increased. 

These enemies usually entered the country on foot, 
about the full of the moon, and prowled through the set- 
tlements in search of horses on which to mount themselves, 
and then they collected others in large herds, with the 
intention of driving them out of the country. When the 
frontiersmen discovered their presence, which, very often, 
was not done until some bloody crime had been perpe- 
trated, runners were sent out to collect all the available 
fighting men at a designated place, where they embodied 
themselves under a chosen leader and pursued the ma- 
rauders with untiring energy. When overtaken, no mercy 
was shown by either side, and many bloody battles were 
fought, in which the white men were generally victorious. 
In that way retributive justice was inflicted, but fre- 
quently the raiders escaped across the Rio Grande, or 
northward, with large numbers of stolen horses. 

The troops at the United States forts were commanded 
by efficient officers, and they performed the duties assigned 
them with diligence, but their services generally were in- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 359 

efficient because the Dragoons were mounted on large, 
heavy, Missouri-raised horses that were too clumsy for 
the duties required of them. When in pursuit of the 
small, hardy, and active native animals that the Indians 
rode, which had great vitality and were accustomed to 
hardships of every kind, the soldiers were usually outdis- 
tanced and the raiders escaped. Nevertheless, their pres- 
ence inspired confidence and helped to settle up the coun- 
try, and on many occasions they performed efficient serv- 
ice, or their deficiencies were supplied by companies of 
Texas Rangers, which from time to time were raised by 
the State of Texas for the purpose of effectually guard- 
ing the frontier. 

Through a period of ten years prior to the commence- 
ment of the Civil War the whole western border region of 
Texas was a scene of rapine and bloodshed perpetrated 
by Indians and outlaws from Mexico, which that govern- 
ment was unable to prevent, and which the United States, 
whose duty it was to exert its powers for that purpose, 
took no steps to suppress. The most daring and das- 
tardly acts of outlawry were committed until a large area 
of country was laid waste on the lower Rio Grande, in 
which, according to the official report of Major Heintzel- 
man, of the United States army, " there was not an 
American or any property of an American that was left 
to be destroyed " ; and many Mexicans, citizens of Texas, 
were likewise robbed of their possessions. " Their horses 
and cattle were driven into Mexico and there sold a cow 
with a calf by her side for one dollar." 

These and other acts of defiance and robbery were 
committed by a lawless element who have been identified, 
whose operations were confined to that region and along 
the border about El Paso. Between these two sections 
of country the Indians depredated more frequently than 
elsewhere, and the record of murders they committed in 
those years will show that they penetrated to the interior 
within thirty miles of San Antonio on the north, south, 



260 A TEXAS PIONEER 

and west, where Federal troops were stationed and State 
Rangers always were in the field to oppose them. 

The Indians made but few predatory incursions during 
the war of secession, and the frontier was remarkably 
free from their attacks, although it was not always ex- 
empt from raids and at several points severe engagements 
took place. This immunity was secured by a regiment of 
cavalry, that was raised by the secession government of 
Texas, in 1861, for the protection of the frontier. The 
companies were stationed at intervals along the outskirts 
of the settlements from the Rio Grande to Red River, 
and scouts constantly rode between the stations to watch 
for Indian trails going into or returning from the settle- 
ments. This regiment, after serving the State one year, 
was turned over to the Confederate government, and it 
was retained in that service until 1864. 

The constant movement of troops along the border and 
the vigilance that was observed in all quarters kept them 
quiet. When the Civil War closed, these restraints were 
removed, and shortly afterwards marauding bands of 
outlaws and hostile savages resumed their depredations. 
They not only harassed the border settlements, but fre- 
quently penetrated the interior to within fifty miles of 
San Antonio. 

The conditions prevailing at that time throughout that 
large territory are expressed in a letter, written by Gov- 
ernor Throckmorton, on September 29, 1866, to the Sec- 
retary of War of the United States, in which he says: 

" The frontier is suffering great devastation. Murders, 
rapine, and the most revolting outrages are of daily oc- 
currence. Unless the government will send sufficient and 
immediate protection, the State will be compelled to 
undertake it, without a dollar in the State Treasury to 
defray the necessary expenditures." 

When the Federal government failed to send troops to 
the border in compliance with the request made by the 
Governor of Texas, the State Legislature passed an act 



A TEXAS PIONEER 261 

authorizing him to call one thousand men into service to 
protect the frontier settlements for a period of twelve 
months. Three battalions of Texas Rangers were raised 
accordingly, under a provision which required every vol- 
unteer to furnish his own arms, horses and necessary 
equipments, and this little Texas army performed efficient 
service in the field, under amended acts of the Legislature, 
until the enemies of civilization on the frontier of Texas 
were suppressed. 

The following extract from the exhaustive report of 
Adjutant-General W. H. King, referring to the latter pe- 
riod, says : " The disturbed condition of the country, the 
lack of a stable and permanent State government, the 
widely scattered and helpless condition of the border set- 
tlements, the absence of mail facilities or other means of 
easy communication, and the small number of newspapers 
then in the State, all united to make it nearly impossible, 
in many instances, to get specific information in regard 
to Indian raids and depredations, even though it was pos- 
itively known that the border was being scourged by such 
raids. In this way and from these causes scores of mur- 
ders and outrages in the dark and bloody past have found 
no place in the written pages of Texas history, though 
leaving ruined homes, aching hearts, tearful eyes, and 
frightful memories as evidences of their dread reality. 
The history of Texas for almost forty years shows an al- 
most continuous state of warfare between her people and 
the blood-thirsty devils of the . . . Indian race along 
her western and southern borders. Many counties that 
had organized and were becoming populous before the 
Civil War, were depopulated by these Indian forays, and 
the whole line of frontier settlements was kept for years 
in a state of mind alternating between fear and fury by 
these incessant predatory attacks. 

" The Comanches, Sioux, and Kiowas in their raids 
would follow down the Red River, cross into the north- 
western counties and ravage the sparsely settled section 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

of the northwestern part of the State. They even car- 
ried their depredations into the more thickly settled parts. 
The Kickapoos and Lipans, from the secure camping 
ground in Mexico, made periodical raids into Texas, 
crossing the Rio Grande above Eagle Pass generally. 
These hostile bands frequently traversed the entire south- 
western section of the State, murdering the white settlers 
and pillaging wherever they went." 

A corroboration of these statements is partially veri- 
fied in the following evidence, and if it was possible to 
procure a complete list of the killed, the destruction of 
human life west of the Guadalupe River during the years 
enumerated would be increased enormously. 

1843. In the battle in Bandera Pass, seven miles above 
Bandera, 5 of Capt. Hays' Rangers were killed. 

1844. An Irishman, one of the Hays Rangers, was 
killed in the Nueces canon, name unknown. 

1844. Z. Rhien was the first of Castro's colonists that 
was killed, 48 miles southwest of San Antonio. 

1845. Wesley Deer, one of Capt. Wax-field's Rangers, 

in Sabinal canon ; Heck, a Ranger, one mile west of 

" Sunset " railroad crossing over Sabinal on El Paso 
road; an unknown Ranger, one of Capt. Walker's com- 
pany, near Sandy branch, in Medina County ; Noah Man- 
gum, a Ranger, on the east side of the Leona, ten miles 
below Uvalde. 

1846. F. H. Gulled, Vincent and Joe Jonnes, and Joe 
Bessale, the first of the Castroville settlement on the Me- 
dina River, seven miles above Castroville. 

1847. Mr. Meyer, by Kickapoo and Lipan Indians 
near Quihi. 

1849. Two men with Dr. Lyon's wagons at Deadman's 
Pass. 

1850-1860. The following persons from Boerne and 
Comfort were killed by Indians in these ten years : Stahl, 
Grober, Mikel, Henrich, H. Kensing and wife, H. Runge, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 263 

Dunlop, Peter Metzger and daughter, Taylor, Joy, and 
Gusta Schumann. 

1851. Seven men, near Fort Ewell, on the Nueces 
River, when a U. S. government train was captured; one 
of them was August Sartor, aged 18 years, a brother of 
Alex Sartor, a prominent jeweler of San Antonio; Lieut. 
Hollibird, a United States dragoon, below Laredo ; Ad. 
Gillespie, of Ford's Rangers, between Fort Merrel and the 
Rio Grande; Baker Barton, in a battle fought by Lt. 
Buries on 25 miles from Laredo. 

1852. A Mexican mail-rider and several persons be- 
tween Corpus Christi and Laredo. 

1854. Lowe, a Frenchman, who lived with E. D. West- 
fall, near Fort Inge ; = Forrester and two children on 
the Helotes, 18 miles west of San Antonio. 

1855. Willis Jones, of Capt. Callahan's Rangers, a 

brother of Capt. Frank Jones, at Piedras Negras ; 

Gesser, a French peddler, and ten Mexicans, 15 miles 
west of Gonzalesj Jesse Lawhorn, on Curry Creek, in 
Kendall County; Amanda Davis, a child of Richard 
Davis, near the river, 8 miles north of Bandera. 

1856. Louis Thompson, near Frio canon ; White, 

on the Hondo, where Joe Richards' ranch is now ; Hans 
Ney, an uncle of Sheriff Joe Ney, in Medina County; 
four persons on J. H. Hill's place in Frio canon; Dr. 
Thompson, by robbers, five miles west of San Antonio. 

1857. Mr. Murry, assessor of Bandera County, in Sa- 
binal canon; Mr. and Mrs. Johnson Gilliland killed, and 

two children captured, in Refugio County ; Bilhartz, 

an uncle of Mr. Bilhartz of San Antonio, at Lacoste Sta- 
tion; Valentine Haller, near Castroville; Berry Bucha- 
low, on the Saco; John Martin, a soldier, at Kickapoo 
Springs near Fort McKavitt; Dan Murff, 8 miles north 
of Kerrville on Guadalupe River; Newt. Price, 8 miles 
north of Kerrville on Guadalupe River; 11 Mexicans, on 
Ranchero Creek, 2 miles east of Sabinal station. 

1858. John Hoffman, of Castroville, 8 miles north of 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

Sabinal station ; Sebastian Wolfe, of D'Hanis, 8 miles 

north of Sabinal station ; Lewis, at D'Hanis ; 

Gotthardt on the Guadalupe River; his 3 sons now reside 
in San Antonio; Nat Magnum, ten miles below Uvalde, 
on Leona Creek ; Capt. John Davenport, on El Paso road 
near Sabinal station ; Jones Bowles, on El Paso road near 
Sabinal station; Jack Bowles, at Guide Hill, 7 miles be- 
low where Sabinal station is now; Nick Baker, in Uvalde 
County; Brinkhoff, killed, and his two sons cap- 
tured near Quihi; Jule Bouchois, at the head of Hondo 
Creek, related to the Zinzmeyer family in San Antonio ; 
Herman Rotzman, on San Francisco Creek 6 miles east 

of Castroville; Vonflie, father of Henry Vonflie of 

Briar Branch, Medina County; Louis Magee, near 
Boerne, a son of Rev. John Magee; John W. Davis, at 
Barrel Springs, beyond Fort Davis ; Mr. and Mrs. Am- 
lung, their 3 children and 7 men at Deadman's Pass; 
Young Hardin, 4 miles south of Bandera. 

1859. Rowland Nicholas, about 5 miles above Kerr- 

ville; Saartoff, in Medina County; Jack Mechler, 

uncle of Mechler brothers in San Antonio ; Jack Walters ; 
John Bowles, between the Rio Frio and Sabinal canon, 
near Pilot Knoll; Reuben Smith, near Hondo Creek; 
Harms Gaddis, father-in-law of Judge Hass, of Castro- 
ville, near Quihi ; W. Houston, at 18th crossing of Devil's 
River, near Beaver Lake; a captive white boy, mistaken 
for an Indian in the Nueces canon ; Henry Fraiser, a 
boy, near Sesquadara Creek in Medina County. 

1860. Long, on Hondo Creek, and his sister was 

scalped, but she recovered and afterwards married Mr. 
Smith, known as " Sago " Smith ; Peter Ketchum was 
killed with Long on Hondo Creek; five members of the 
Braggart family in Comanche County; Ed. Watkins, 
near Knox's ranch on the Frio, 8 miles east of Uvalde; 

Richards, near Knox's ranch on the Frio, 8 miles 

east of Uvalde ; Hans Youngman, an uncle of Mr. Young- 
man, a merchant of San Antonio, near Lacoste station, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

on Mustang Prairie; Martin Grace, on the Medina River 

near where Idlewild is now ; White, in Hondo canon ; 

a Mexican boy between Elm Creek and the Medina River ; 
an unknown Frenchman, in the Hondo canon; Samuel 
Lane, a few miles above Comfort on the Guadalupe River ; 
Leonard Eastwood, near the Leona, in Frio County; B. 
F. Wilkins, on the Rio Frio about 8 miles from Uvalde; 
George Robinson, on the Rio Frio about 8 miles from 
Uvalde; Theodore, the shepherd, one of the first settlers 
near Sabinal station. 

1861. James Winters and Harrington, both of 

Pleasanton, on Hondo Creek; William Herndon, on 
Hondo Creek; two negroes belonging to Mr. M. French, 

on Hondo Creek ; John Schreiber, near D'Hanis ; 

Anderson and O'Bryan ; Decker, near D'Hanis* 

Henry Adams and Henry Robinson, in the Nueces canon, 
near Chalk Bluff; Henry Robinson's sixteen-year-old son, 
in the Nueces canon, near Chalk Bluff; Henry Richarz, 

an uncle of Captain Richarz, near Pleasanton; 

Harrington, near Pleasanton ; " Mustang " Moor, on 
Laredo road, near Moor's station; a detachment of ten 
Confederate soldiers of Company D, of the 2nd Texas 
Cavalry, Capt. James Walker's company, under Lieu- 
tenant Robt. Mays, consisting of John Walker, Thomas 
Carroll, Sam Shelby, John Parker, Calvin Jones, John 
Brown and four others, were all killed; the following 
three members of Capt. James Walker's company of 2nd 
Texas Cavalry were killed between Fort Stanton and 
Fort Craig, viz. : William Pemberton, Joseph Moss, and 
Joseph Amanicker. 

1862. Young Hart, lived on Patterson's ranch, killed 
on Hondo Creek between El Paso and Laredo road ; David 
Adams, brother of Henry Adams, 40 miles east of Rio 

Grande ; Stockhouse, a brother-in-law of Capt. 

Richarz, 5 miles from D'Hanis ; Vincent Trahea, in Atas- 
cosa County; W. Hudson, at 18th crossing on Devil's 
River. 



266 A TEXAS PIONEER 

1863. Mr. Williams, on Llano River ; Tom Black 

and Jones, 3 miles from Beaver Lake on El Paso 

road; Sawyer, on Dry Frio; Zach Deckert, near 

D'Hanis; Zavier Gollett, in Medina County; three Con- 
federate soldiers, members of Capt. Bradley 's Co., south- 
west of Uvalde ; Adolph Schauffhausen, in Uvalde County ; 
Eastwood, about thirty miles southwest of Uvalde. 

1864*. Mr. Hall, on Richland Creek, in San Saba 
County; a ten-yen r-old son of Mrs. Youngblood, on Grape 
Creek in Blanco County ; " Gunsmith " Gebhard, of Cas- 
troville, on Salado Creek, twenty-five miles east of the 
Rio Grande on El Paso road; Rudolph Koenig, of Cas- 
troville, on Salado Creek, twenty-five miles east of 
the Rio Grande, on El Paso road. Texas scouts 
fought a large body of Kickapoo Indians on Dove 
Creek near its juncture with the Concho River, in the 
vicinity of Fort Concho, when on their way from their 
reservation on the Kaw River, in Kansas, to Mexico. The 
Indians were at first defeated, but rallied and routed 
the rangers with heavy loss. Among the killed were 
Don Cox, Tom Parker, Capt. Sam Barnes, Albert Ever- 
ett, Noah Gibbs, John Stein, James Mabrey, Joseph 
Byers, Wm. Epps, Capt. Gullentine and his son, besides 
others. 

1865. Ed. Terry, and 2 of his children, two and a half 
miles south of Center Point ; Samuel Bennion, Jbrother-in- 
law of Jack Davenport, in Burnett County, on Sabinal 
Creek; Bud English, 10 miles west of Frio River, in Frio 
County ; Dean Oden, 10 miles west of Frio River, in Frio 
County ; Frank Williams, 10 miles west of Frio River, in 
Frio County, and about six others; John Bockney, his 
wife and children, 8 miles east of Fort Clark in El 
Paso road; Chris. Wachter's mother-in-law, near Kerr- 
ville; Henry Cox lost a daughter 4 years old on west 
prong of the Nueces, a 13-year-old son on the El Paso 
road, and a married daughter, her husband and 3 chil- 
dren near Brackett. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 267 

186 . Rause, during the Civil War on Tuhua- 

cana Creek in Frio County ; Hood, a boy, on Redus 

ranch in Hondo canon. 

1866. Valentine Gunley, 6 miles west of Castro ville 
below El Paso road; Thomas Clark, in Medina County, 
above Bandera; Bob Leakey, in Uvalde County; George 
White, in Uvalde County; George Wheeler, in Hondo 

canon ; George Miller, in Hondo canon ; Thulle, near 

Castroville; Mrs. Bowlin and child in Sabinal canon; 
David Cryer, about 10 miles north of Bandera; B. C. 
Buckalew, near Lexon Creek, in Sabinal canon; Thos. 
B. Click, above Bandera on Medina River; Samuel Love, 
2 miles above Kerrville; Sam Long, on Blanco Creek; B. 
Slaack, above Bandera, on Medina River. 

1867. John Sanders, on the Eagle Pass road; Mrs. 
William Alexander, 18 miles above Kerrville, in San Saba 
Co. ; Jack Miller, near Saco Creek ; Joseph Moor, his 
wife and mother, where Medina city is now; Mr. Jones, 
where Medina city is now ; W. B. Derry, and 2 children, 
on Guadalupe River 10 miles below Kerrville, and his 8- 
year-old daughter carried off, but was recaptured later 
in the Frio canon, by Chris. Kelly, John Paterson and 
Ed. Meyer, a brother of Albert Meyer, of San Antonio; 

Schlossen and Baptist, on G. W. Kendall's ranch 

in Kendall Co. ; George Mayer ; Henry Robinson, in Frio 
canon, on El Paso road; John Rowland, an uncle of 
Frank Rieden of San Antonio; John Davis, brother of 

Davis, an express driver in San Antonio; John 

Dawson, at Barrel springs on El Paso road; nine 
Mexicans 15 miles from Eagle Pass, on Eagle Pass 
road. 

1868. James Dowdy's four children, Fanny 20, Alice 
18, Rilla 15, and James 12, on Johnson's creek in Kerr 
County; three persons in the Bickle family 5 miles east 
of Boerne; Roumon Gross and his son George, near La- 
coste station in Medina Co. ; Pablo Hernandez and 3 
men, near Chichon on the Laredo road ; Spanneburg, 



268 A TEXAS PIONEER 

5 miles east of Boerne; Hardin, a youth 15 years 

old, 4 miles southwest of Bandera. 

1870. Mrs. Wanz, the mother of Zavier Wanz, on 
Verde Creek; a Mexican on Charley Vivian's ranch; two 
Mexicans on Ed English's ranch near Carrizo springs ; 

Walter Reese, on Verde Creek; Bird, of Capt. 

Rufus Perry's rangers, near Shovel mountain in Hays 
County; Mr. English lost a son and his two companions 
in a fight with Indians on the Rio Frio, between Eagle 

Pass and Laredo road; Bedeger of Capt. Richarz's 

rangers, near Carrizo springs ; Walter Richarz, a son of 
Capt. Richarz, six miles west of Sabinal Creek on El 
Paso road; Joe Rief, of Capt. Richarz's rangers, 6 miles 
west of Sabinal Creek on El Paso road; Mrs. Wallace, 
on Verde Creek. 

1871. Mr. Stringfield and his wife, and his son, cap- 
turned on the Rio Frio below Laredo road; a white boy 
in the employ of J. T. Patterson, in Hondo canon. 

1872. Frank Clark, among the Salt Creek mountains 
in Brown County; a negro who joined a party from John 
Kenedy's ranch, near Sabinal station ; two Mexicans, at a 
sheep-pen in Live Oak County; one Mexican, in the 
Crough sheep-pen near Frio town; three Mexicans, near 
Frio town; one unknown white man near Frio town; one 
unknown white man in the Bennett settlement near Leon 
Creek; Ludwig Spath, on Sandy Creek in Gillespie 
County; Anastacio Gonzales and 8 Mexican teamsters at 
Howard's well; Freeman Clark, on Salado Creek; Frank 
Camp, at Round Rock, now in Ward's pasture, in Frio 
County; Mr. Redbug, on Elm Creek, in Frio County; 
Massey, on Elm Creek, in Frio County. 

1873. Two Mexicans employed by Ross Kenedy and 
Frank Rooney, on the Rio Pecos; Capt. Williams and 2 
of his men, in Babyhead gap, in Kimble County ; Thomas 
Black, near Beaver Lake. 

1874. Glass and Batley, two rangers, in the Lost Val- 
ley fight in Jack Co. ; a boy on Black Creek, by Indian 



A TEXAS PIONEER 269 

raiders, who carried off 100 horses; Bailey, in 

Uvalde County. 

1875. Frank Jones, in Mason County; Isaac Gal- 
braith, and three other persons, near Devine; George 
White, the father of ex-Sheriff White of Edwards County, 
near Devine ; Jack Phillips, on his way to Sabinal canon. 

1876. W. B. Perry and 2 children, 10 miles below 
Kerrville on the Guadalupe River; a white man, & miles 
west of Johnson city ; Mrs. Sawyer, in Frio County ; a 
16-year-old boy, one mile west of Johnson city; a Mex- 
ican herder, about 3 miles west of Johnson city; W. R. 
Terry and 2 of his children, on Verde Creek, near its 
juncture with the Guadalupe. The Indians made their 
last raid into Sabinal canon and killed 16 persons in the 
wide circle they made back to the Rio Grande. 

1877. Joe Wilton, below D'Hanis. 

1879. Five U. S. soldiers, by Victoria's band, west of 
Fort Davis ; Baker, west of Fort Davis ; John Coul- 
son's wife and two children in Nueces canon. 

1882. Mrs. McLaurin, Allen Lease, near Knox's ranch, 
in Frio canon, 8 miles east of Uvalde, in the last raid 
made by the Lipan Indians, in the Frio canon, when 
they were pursued by Lieut. Bullis into Mexico and 
whipped at Horseshoe Bend. 

NOTE. This list gives a total of three hundred and 
ninety-two persons that are known to have been killed by 
Indians between the years 1843 and 1882. 

This partial list of people that were killed by hostile 
Indians on the western frontier in thirty-nine years must 
suffice. No official record of such murders was kept, con- 
sequently the list is imperfect, and a great many names 
might be added of which I have no knowledge. It is cer- 
tain that many persons were slaughtered by marauding 
bands of Indians, whose bodies have never been found. 
Numerous skeletons of other unfortunates have been 



270 A TEXAS PIONEER 

found in remote places, which could not be identified, and 
the cause of their death is unknown. The greatest de- 
struction of life occurred on the Texas frontier through 
a period extending from 1850 to 1877, and those who 
traveled the exposed route leading from San Antonio to 
El Paso suffered more than elsewhere. The following 
incident in my own experience will help to illustrate this 
statement and serve as a fitting close to the subject: 

The incident happened in a wild, desolate country, 
west of Devil's River, in 1876, and I was accompanied 
by Captain Stocker of St* Louis, the manager and one 
of the principal stockholders of the Knox Mining Com- 
pany of Parral, in which I was also interested. Captain 
Stocker went hunting and entered a ravine, where he dis- 
covered the bones of six or eight men that were lying 
exposed on top of the ground, and he directed my atten- 
tion to them. Evidently they had been killed by Indians, 
because the skulls showed the marks of the scalping- 
knife. The place was a short distance away from the 
road, and possibly they had retired to the shelter of the 
ravine during a cold spell of weather, where the Indians 
found and murdered them. The indications showed that 
the tragedy occurred years before, probably in 1849, 
when on their way to California. We could not find the 
slightest clue to their identity and their remains were 
left undisturbed. - 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

MY personal recollections of San Antonio extend back 
to 1854, and they are vividly retained, although at that 
time I was only nine years old. Believing that the in- 
formation will prove to be interesting, I will submit my 
youthful impressions of the city as briefly as possible, and 
after giving a general description of its area and ap- 
pearance in connection with its prominent features, I will 
close with a sketch of the city's development in each dec- 
ade until the present time. 

My first view of San Antonio de Bexar was from the 
highlands towards the west, and the first object in that 
direction that I distinctly remember was the Catholic 
Cemetery, which included all of Milam Square and the 
land now occupied by Santa Rosa Hospital, that was 
enclosed by a stone wall about eight feet high. I was 
greatly impressed by its appearance, because it was the 
first graveyard I had ever seen, and when I was told that 
it was the burial place for all the people who died in the 
city the evidence was conclusive that we were approach- 
ing its limits. 

From that point, the wagon on which I rode, with its 
team of oxen driven by my father, moved slowly forward 
to the crossing on San Pedro Creek, thence onwards 
through the center of the town and down Market Street 
to the ford where Navarro Street bridge now spans the 
San Antonio River. Nat Lewis' gristmill, which was run 
by water power, was situated just above the ford, on the 
north side of the beautiful stream, and the general camp- 
ing place for wagons was in that vicinity. There the 
oxen were unyoked and turned loose to graze on the open 

271 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

lands east of the river, with hopples on to prevent them 
from wandering to a distance. 

I was afforded many opportunities for sight-seeing 
while encamped there, and I took advantage of them to 
view the city, which was then confined to a small area 
around the public squares, where all the business houses 
were located, and to a couple of blocks in each direction 
from that point, that represented the residence portion of 
the town. All the land north of Houston Street, and 
that, equally distant, south of the Plazas between the 
San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek, which could 
be irrigated from the ditches, was in cultivation. The 
town was supplied with products of the soil derived from 
that source and a few small settlements in the surround- 
ing country. 

The population of the city at that date probably did 
not exceed four thousand inhabitants of all races, and 
of that number a large majority were of Mexican descent, 
many of whom were in destitute circumstances. It was 
a poorly built town of unattractive one-story adobe 
structures, with walls extending two or three feet above 
flat cement roofs, that resembled the houses commonly 
seen in Mexico; this style of architecture was observed 
in the business houses around Main Plaza and in the two 
stores that stood near the center in front of the present 
Court House, also in the Governor's Palace, on Military 
Plaza, the Veramendi house on Soledad Street, and others 
of less consequence on Main and Dwyer Avenue. A few 
buildings were constructed of stone, but the most stately 
edifice was San Fernando Church, and the only one of 
two stories in height that I remember was the James 
residence on Commerce Street, where General Worth died 
in 1849, and in which General R. E. Lee was a frequent 
guest. A majority of the dwellings were rude huts with 
walls built of poles set upright in the ground and plas- 
tered with mud. 

The rear portion of the present Cathedral, the old Pal- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 273 

ace, the Veramendi house, and a few others of less im- 
portance are all that remain. The Alamo, of course, 
stands as solidly now as it did then in its soli- 
tude overlooking the city, where I visited it often 
and spent many hours playing among its ruins. The 
only residence east of the river, unless I am mistaken, 
was owned by Colonel S. A. Maverick, on the corner oc- 
cupied by the Gibbs building, west of the Federal build- 
ing. The Post Office was then kept in a small house on 
Dwyer Avenue, which is still standing. 

Several buildings of that period, on Main and Mili- 
tary plazas, that have disappeared, are noted in history. 
One was the Council House on the corner of Market 
Street, where the fierce Indian fight occurred with a 
party of Comanche chiefs, in which all of them were 
killed; and another was the first schoolhouse, on Military 
Plaza, in the rear of the Cathedral. There were others 
that were notorious gambling places, where many bloody 
encounters took place, which gave San Antonio a bad 
reputation before it began to improve. 

I have endeavored to recall the names of all the early 
settlers of prominence and worth, of Anglo-American 
origin and of European birth, who resided in San An- 
tonio prior to 1857, and the list is inserted at the close 
of this chapter. They made themselves conspicuous in 
the upbuilding of the city through the exercise of civiliz- 
ing influences, in opposition to a rougher element whose 
efforts to terrorize and disgrace the community as rob- 
bers and murderers retarded its growth. 

The names of merchants and their places of business, 
who were established in San Antonio between 1844 and 
1857, are given in the following list: 

Cook & Lockwood; on corner opposite Kampmann 
building, in 1844, now occupied by Frank Bros. 

Bryan Callaghan, Sr. ; on Main Plaza, in front of 
Court House, in 1844. 

George Caldwell; on West Commerce Street, in 1853. 



274 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Daniel Devine; adjoining Cook & Lockwood's store, in 
1844. 

Dr. Dignowity; on Soledad Street. 

Marcello French; on West Commerce Street. 

Louis Groesbeck; on Main Plaza, in front of Court 
House, in 1844. 

Griff Jones ; on north side of Main Plaza, in 1844, 
where Saul Wolfson's store is now. 

Jones & Ulrich; north side of Main Plaza, in 1844, 
where Saul Wolfson's store is now. 

King & Carolan; north side of Main Plaza, in 1844; 
where Saul Wolfson's store is now. 

Frank Paschal; north side of Main Plaza, in 1844, 
where Saul Wolfson's store is now. 

Dr. A. Nette; the first drug store in San Antonio. 

Post & Hedges ; on north side of Main Plaza, where 
Saul Wolfson's store is now. 

Rose & McCarty; on West Commerce Street, where A. 
B. Frank's store is now. 

Wilson I. Riddle; on corner of Commerce and St. 
Mary streets, in 1844. 

Sweet's furniture store, in 1850. 

Sweet & Lacoste; where Critzer's Jewelry Store is now, 
in 1850. 

William Vance; on West Commerce Street, in 1844, 
succeeded by Vance Bros. 

Wallace & Evans ; on West Commerce Street, where 
A. B. Frank's store is now. 

The following resident lawyers practiced before the 
Bexar County bar between 1844 and 1855: Mack An- 
derson, T. T. Anderson, Jack Cock, James H. Denison, 
Thomas J. Devine, Judge Duncan, T. S. Harrison, Hart, 
Alford & Willie, James Henson, Hewitt & Newton, Rus- 
sell Howard, Volney Howard, George H. Noonan, J. A. 

Paschal, Simpson, T. T. Teel, Columbus Upson, 

Vanderlip, Jacob Waelder. 

These names will probably suggest others, but, doubt- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 275 

less, a complete list of the persons who were engaged in 
business during that period could be made from the court 
records by anyone who might feel disposed to undertake 
the task. Many persons named in the two lists became 
prominent and their character is stamped on the work 
they performed. 

The town did not improve materially on the plazas 
in the twelve years following my first visit, but its habi- 
tations were extended considerably during that interval 
on account of large accessions to the population. The 
estimated number of inhabitants in 1857 was about seven 
thousand; and in 1860 they are stated to have been be- 
tween ten and twelve thousand; but it is probable that 
numerous transient residents were included in the last 
estimate, who were awaiting a development of events 
threatened by the signs of the times. Texas was pre- 
paring to secede from the Union, and other important 
movements were in contemplation which made San An- 
tonio the rendezvous of many adventurers. 

The act of secession was anticipated by a demand for 
the surrender of the Federal troops in Texas, and the 
capitulation to the State authorities was accomplished 
in San Antonio. Texas then became a State in the 
Southern Confederacy and the great Civil War followed, 
with its four years of horrors that spread a blight over 
the country. That era of misfortune to the Southern 
States was succeeded by the evils of the reconstruction 
period, which were prolonged through twice as many 
years. The conditions that prevailed, immediately after 
the war ended, hampered business energy generally 
throughout the South and hindered an active interest in 
commercial enterprises ; but in no place was there mani- 
festation of less activity than in San Antonio, where it 
seems that the welfare of the city had ceased to be a 
matter for consideration. 

The people of the town could not have been placed in 
a worse situation, or one that could more thoroughly ex- 



276 A TEXAS PIONEER 

pose the inefficiency of the city government. My knowl- 
edge is derived from personal observation, because I made 
the city my home about the time that the disgraceful 
state of affairs was at its worst. A lawless element, com- 
posed of bandits, thieves, and murderers, infested the 
town, where they defied the authorities and terrorized the 
community with no fear of punishment, and with the 
same impunity that led tribes of marauding savages to 
ravage the outlying settlements within a few miles of the 
city. The crimes and murders that were perpetrated by 
white degenerates under the shadow of the law were less 
excusable, more cowardly and equally as brutal as those 
committed by savage enemies in their mode of warfare. 

Before the interests of society could hope to advance 
it was necessary that the evils which held San Antonio 
in their grasp should be overcome, otherwise the city 
could not improve, nor was it possible to develop the nat- 
ural resources of the country until they were removed. 
In other words, the conditions demanded that the city 
should be purged of turbulent and corrupt men in order 
to remove the contagion of bad example; and also that 
the country should be protected against savages, so that 
peaceable, orderly citizens might enjoy tranquillity in 
the pursuit of their vocations when striving for the gen- 
eral good of the commonwealth. These problems were 
hard to solve, but they were worked out successfully in 
the course of time. 

The conditions in west Texas could not have been more 
unsatisfactory than they were in 1866, when I assumed 
my duties as a mail contractor under the Federal govern- 
ment, over the routes from San Antonio, via Eagle Pass, 
to Fort Clark, and another from San Antonio to La- 
redo. Indian raids from the north and west were fre- 
quent occurrences, and the entire frontier was unpro- 
tected by a military force, consequently the dangers that 
lurked in every direction compelled those who traveled the 
roads, and the people in every settlement, to take care 



A TEXAS PIONEER 277 

of themselves. Naturally, under such circumstances, all 
rural pursuits languished, immigration almost ceased, and 
communication with Mexico was hampered until inter- 
course between San Antonio and that country was con- 
tinued with difficulty on account of the dangers that 
menaced those who passed over the route. 

A state of affairs such as I have outlined could not con- 
tinue in opposition to the enterprising spirit that began 
to assert itself in defiance of existing discouragements. 
Business men grasped the situation and began to work in 
earnest for the city's welfare and the country's safety, 
and though the obstacles seemed insurmountable they 
labored harmoniously until every obstruction in the way 
of progress was removed. Active steps were taken to 
improve the city, and in the next few years several public 
enterprises were inaugurated, many new, substantial 
buildings were erected, and the city was better governed 
than it had ever been before. 

Among the most prominent measures and institutions 
worthy of notice, that were adopted or established in 
1866, was the organization of the first national bank of 
San Antonio; a charter for the first street railroad was 
secured ; the city was first lighted with gas ; and an ice 
factory was erected. In 1867 the first city ordinance 
against carrying concealed weapons was passed by the 
council, and the first raid was made by the police on 
gamblers. In 1868 the first fair of the Agricultural and 
Industrial Association was opened; the first stage-line 
between San Antonio, Texas, and Monterey, was estab- 
lished; the first steam fire engine arrived; the first Jockey 
Club was organized; and the corner-stone of the first 
cathedral in west Texas was laid with imposing cere- 
monies. In 1869 San Antonio was first designated as a 
money order office. In 1870 the city was re-incorpo- 
rated; improvements of the Plazas was begun; foot 
bridges were built across the river on Commerce and St. 
Mary Streets ; sidewalks were laid ; agitation of city 



278 A TEXAS PIONEER 

water-works commenced; the city donated to the Federal 
Government forty acres of land near the present site of 
Fort Sam Houston, which was officially begun in 1865; 
and a more extensive wagon trade, in which " Prairie 
Schooners " were introduced, was opened with distant 
points in Mexico than had ever existed before. 

A brighter future confronted San Antonio then, and 
the city's appearance had been greatly improved in a 
manner that comported with its commercial importance. 
But in the next decade it made far greater strides and 
both the business and residence portions were greatly ex- 
tended in every direction and the river was spanned on 
Houston Street by the first iron bridge. An excellent 
public school system and a number of public enterprises 
were inaugurated, in addition to which many churches, 
stores and other buildings were erected. In 1875 Fort 
Sam Houston was permanently established and the city 
voted a subsidy of $300,000 to secure the Galveston, 
Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad, which was com- 
pleted in 1877. The water-works system was finished in 
1878, and in the same year the Belknap system of street 
car lines was operated to San Pedro springs. 

The danger from Indian raids had been lessened after 
military posts were established far out on the frontier, 
and telegraph lines connected them with military head- 
quarters in San Antonio. In consequence of those 
measures the western and northern settlements became 
comparatively safe and the industries increased in pro- 
portion. Immigration poured into the country and a 
considerable area of land in the territory tributary to Sari 
Antonio was put in cultivation. Large herds of horses, 
cattle, and immense flocks of .sheep grazed in safety on 
the western plains, and San Antonio became a prominent 
market for live stock and wool. 

Throughout this period my identification with the 
freighting business from Texas seaports and railroad 
terminuses, through San Antonio westward to El Paso, 



A TEXAS PIONEER 279 

placed me in a position where I could see the progressive 
steps that were made when bringing about the country's 
development, and I realized that a trans-continental rail- 
road had become a necessity. When I saw that the Gal- 
veston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad would be ex- 
tended to El Paso and form a junction with the Southern 
Pacific Railway, I knew that my freighting business 
would be ruined. These impressions led me to anticipate 
that event by disposing of my outfit to advantage, and 
thereafter I became personally associated with affairs 
in San Antonio, and took an active interest in promoting 
the city's improvements and general prosperity. 

During the next ten years San Antonio developed 
rapidly, and many large buildings, some of which were 
of considerable importance, were erected. A telephone 
system was established in 1881. The Sunset Railroad 
made connection with the Southern Pacific, and through 
trains were run from San Francisco to New Orleans in 
1883. The International and Great Northern was com- 
pleted through San Antonio to Laredo in 1885, where it 
connected with the Mexican Central, which established a 
through route to the City of Mexico. Trains were run- 
ning over the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad to 
Kerrville, in 1887. The street car system was extended; 
plazas and streets were improved, important bridges were 
built, the Army Post and Federal Building were finished ; 
the business and residence portions of the city were greatly 
enlarged; and many new enterprises were inaugurated. 

The last decade of the nineteenth century was the most 
active period in the history of San Antonio, and the 
impetus the city received through the commercial energy 
and civic pride of its citizens made it the metropolis of 
Texas, with a total of 53,321 inhabitants, according to 
the last census. During that period business centers 
were changed; property values largely increased; the 
residence limits expanded in every direction, and new 
additions were made where property was purchased with 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

avidity. The city was lighted by electricity; the street 
car service was greatly extended and electric cars were 
introduced which gave efficient service and did much to 
equalize the value of property; a more complete system 
of water-works was perfected which supplied the city 
with delicious water from artesian wells ; an expensive 
sewerage system was introduced; many miles of asphalt 
and macadamized streets were constructed; the city was 
adorned by numerous costly business houses, public build- 
ings, including a county court house, a city hall, churches 
and institutions of learning, in which several millions of 
dollars were invested; and it was also beautified by a 
number of public parks in choice localities, which are 
among the city's greatest attractions. It also became an 
educational center, because its public schools, colleges 
and seminaries ranged among the best in the United 
States and were patronized by students from abroad. 
Every denomination of the Christian religion, also every 
fraternal and benevolent order was represented and lib- 
erally sustained. 

These improvements and benefits, that are recognized 
as a necessity in every civilized society, are associated with 
a healthful climate, a variety of agreeable natural fea- 
tures which are universally admired, and the locality is 
appreciated as an ideal place of residence. Identified 
with these attractions are the fascinations of a, romantic 
history, which extends to a remote period, that casts a 
spell over the city, on account of its connection with 
many heroic performances in the story of its evolution, 
and distinguishes it as the most interesting city in 
America. 

The prospects that unfolded before San Antonio in 
every direction at the beginning of the twentieth cen- 
tury, presented a future that was exceedingly promising. 
The reputation it had acquired as a health resort drew 
invalids from every civilized country, and its renown at- 
tracted visitors from all parts of the world, who naturally 



A TEXAS PIONEER 281 

contributed to the city's prosperity. The city was also 
indebted to the Federal Government for its preference 
shown by selecting it for its military headquarters in the 
southwest, with a present property valuation of about 
$5,000,000, and the people appreciate the incalculable 
advantages derived from that source through the gov- 
ernment's large disbursements, amounting to about 
$3,000,000 annually, and its military features. 

The inducements that have made San Antonio a city 
of homes, and lured others from the outside world to seek 
its hospitality, are accepted as facts and they are fully 
substantiated, consequently there is no necessity for ex- 
aggeration. They largely increased the resident popula- 
tion, and gave encouragement to rural industries which 
brought large bodies of emigrants who settled contiguous 
territory partly on account of the flattering inducements 
and other opportunities that nature offered them. 

The advantages possessed by San Antonio at that 
period made the city one of the most important com- 
mercial and military centers in the country, but they have 
been much improved in the past eight years. The evi- 
dence is perceptible in the character and value of the 
buildings in the business and residence portions of the 
city, which will bear a favorable comparison with similar 
structures in other localities, and in values of real estate 
that have increased enormously. An estimate based on 
the resident population at this time of one hundred 
thousand souls, and taxable wealth amounting to $65,- 
000,000, will convey a crude idea of the changes that have 
taken place. But the metropolis of Texas owes its im- 
portance to its geographical situation and transporta- 
tion facilities, more than to local attractions, through 
the opportunities for trade that have been opened since 
the country tributary to San Antonio was developed, and 
close connection with the Republic of Mexico was secured, 
but the last has conferred more benefits than any other 
contributory cause. 



282 A TEXAS PIONEER 

In 1854 Mr. Sartor, father of Alexander Sartor, Sr., 
was the owner of a small brewery on West Commerce 
Street, near the bridge, that was called the Lone Star 
Brewery, and a large star hung in front of it to represent 
the name, but I do not remember the length of time that 
it remained in existence. It is possible that this ancient 
enterprise suggested a name for the present wealthy cor- 
poration known as the Lone Star Brewery in San An- 
tonio, but I am not informed on the subject. 

The present association under that name was organized 
in 1880 by San Antonio capitalists, among whom was 
Herman Kampmann, J. E. Muegge and F. Kalteyer, who 
furnished most of the money. Mr. Otto Koehler was 
placed in charge of it as general manager. The greater 
part of the stock of the company is now owned by the 
Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association. 

Mr. Otto Koehler is now president, and Mr. Otto 
Wahrmund is vice-president of the famous City Brewery, 
that is well known throughout the State of Texas, and 
these gentlemen, together with Messrs. John J. Stevens, 
the present postmaster of San Antonio, and Oscar Berg- 
strom, of New York city, are its principal stockholders. 

The friendly and commercial relations that have been 
established through the energy and perseverance of busi- 
ness men in San Antonio, and more recently by the ex- 
ertions of International Associations, have exercised an 
influence in both countries under the encouragement of a 
liberal government, instituted by President Diaz, to whose 
talents Mexico is so much indebted. They have ac- 
complished a great deal of good, and the advantages are 
seen in the increase of trade between San Antonio and 
that country which shows that the plans were properly 
based and it is possible to benefit all the interests involved 
by executing them successfully. 

The subject might be extended indefinitely, but this 
brief sketch of San Antonio must suffice, and I will close 



A TEXAS PIONEER 283 

the account with a list of prominent American, German 
and French families who resided within its limits between 
the years 1845 and 1857: 

Adams, father of Captain Bill, Captain John, Jim, Pete, 
Henry, Dave and Martin Adams. 

Alexander, , father of Dave and Rob Alexander, 

also of Mrs. Stribling. 

Alsbury, E. P., and family. 

Artzt, C. P., father of Charles and Theodore Artzt. 

Baetz, Joseph, father of Henry and Robert Baetz. 

Baylor, Mrs. S. M., widow of Dr. John Baylor, U. S. A., 
father of General J. R., Colonel G. W., Henry, Charles, 
Walker, Sophie, Mary and Fanny. 

Beck, James H., father of James, Edward, Mary, John, 
Lucien, Hugel, William and Walter Beck. 

Becker, Reinhold, father of Max Becker. 

Beckmann, , father of Charles and Joe Beckmann. 

Bee, General H. P., father of Carlos, Ham P., and Tar- 
ver Bee. 

Beitel, , father of Charles, Roy, Frank and Albert 

Beitel. 

Bennett, , father of John, David, Jim, Joe, Jordan, 

Gramel and Margaret Bennett. 

Bennett, W. A., father of Sam Bennett and Mrs. Yoakum. 

Biesenbach, Peter, father of August and Ed. Biesenbach. 

Bihl, father of Charles T., George D., and Walter Bihl. 

Bitter, Henry, father of Albert and John A. Bitter, Tax 
Collector of Bexar County. 

Bitter, Dan, father of W. H. and Charles Bitter. 

Bonnett, , father of Charles, Pete, Andrew, Dan 

and William Bonnett. 

Booker, Dr. . 

Brackett, , father of Mary, Ellen and Sarah 

Brackett. 



284 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Brackenridge, Colonel G. W. 

Braden, Ed., father of Alderman Ed., Joe, Martin, Willie, 
Henry and Dr. Braden. 

Bradley, John, father of Captain John Bradley, Mrs. 
Wilder, and other children. 

Brahan, Major, , father of sMrs. Ed Cunningham. 

Briam, Louis, father of August, Louis and Hans Briam. 

Brown, John and family. 

Brodbent, C. L., father of Charles, Albert and Felix 
Brodbent. 

Callaghan, Bryan, father of James and Mayor Bryan 
Callaghan. 

Campbell, W. W., father of Charles and John Campbell. 

Canterberry, Harvey, married Mrs. Wilson I. Riddle, 
children, J. W. and Mildred Canterberry. 

Carolane, J. M., father of Mrs. Enoch Jones. 

Cass, Josiah, and family. 

Childers, George W., and family. 

Childress, Jacques, father of Polk and Sam Childress. 

Clements, Reuben, and family. 

Colquhorn, Major. 

Crawford, John C., father of Charles and John Crawford. 

Cupples, Dr. George, uncle of C. E. Cupples. 

Cunningham, Ed., father of Narcissa, Susie, Eva, Brahan 
and Ed. Cunningham. .- 

Dangerfield, William H. 

Dashiell, Maj. J. Y., father of G. R., T. P., D. H., and 
Y. F. Dashiell. 

Dauchy, A. N., father of Malvina, Mary and Adelhirt 
Dauchy. 

Dauchy, Carey. 

Degen, Charles, father of Louis and Charles Degen. 

DeMosie. 

Denman, Coleman, and family. 

Desmuke, Dr. , and family. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 285 



Deussen, 



DeVillbis, Rev. J. W., and family. 

Devine, Judge J. N., father of Netterville, Albert, and Joe 
Devine. 

Devine, J. P., T. J., Gregory, and Daniel Devine. 

Dial, Major , father of Mrs. Judge Shook. 

Dietler, Frank, father of Henry Dietler. 

Dietsch, Joe, father of Albert and Joe Dietsch. 

Dignowity, Dr. , father of Jim, Henry, Ed, Charles, 

and Frank Dignowity. 

Dreiss, Albert, father of Edward and Adolph Dreiss, de- 
ceased. 

Drier, , and family. 

Dry den, , and family. 

Duerler, , father of Gus and Louis Duerler. 

Dullnig, , father of John, Christian, Jacob, Andres, 

and George J. Dullnig, president of the Dullnig Grocery 
Co. 

Durand, J. A., and family. (He married Miss Rodriguez.) 

Durand, W. C., and August Durand. 

Dwyer, Joseph, father of Judge Ed., Joe, Sam, James and 
Pat Dwyer. 

Eager, Robert, father of Mrs. Florence E. Roberts, Mrs. 
Blanch E. Badger, and Mrs. Fanny McCullough. 

Eberhardt, B. C., father of Barney, Willie, Fritz, August, 
and Henry Eberhardt. 

Edgar, Capt. Bill, father of several sons, and Mrs. Cotton. 

Edgar, Jack, and James. 

Edwards, Charles, and family. 

Elder, , father of Robert, Felix, and Albert, also of 

Mrs. Judge Devine and Mrs. Capt. G. Nelson. 

Elmendorf, Charles, father of Henry, Emil, Edward, and 
Dr. Elmendorf. 

Enderle, Fritz, father of George and Fritz Enderle. 

Evans, family. 

Ewell, General R. R. 



286 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Felder, William, father of Adolph, Charles, Joe, and Ed. 
Felder. 

Fest, Henry, father of Ed, Henry, and Simon Fest, de- 
ceased. 

Fischer, Charles. 

Fisk, James, father of James, and Ben Fisk, Justice of 
the Peace. 

Ford, Capt. J. S. (Old Rip), father of Mrs. Maddox and 
other children. 

Fournier, Anton, father of Anton Fournier. 

Foutrel, , father of Leon, Emil, and J. F. Foutrel, 

also of Mrs. E. T. Tschirhart. 

Frazier, Dr. , and family. 

French, Marcellus. 

French, J. H. 

Fries, , father of John, Louis, George, Fred, Walter, 

and Rudolph Fries. 

Froboese, Ed., father of Ed., August, Julius, and Herman 
Froboese. 

Gilbeau, Francisco, father of Frank and Edward Gilb'eau, 
and Mrs. Bryan Callaghan. 

Gimbel, Christian, father of Ernest and Gus Gimbel. 

Giraud, F., and family. 

Graf, Louis, father of Charles, Emil, and Ludwig Graf. 

Grenet, Honore, and family. 

Griesenbeck, Charles, father of Hugo and Eugene Gries- 
enbeck. 

Grimsinger, Frank, father of Joseph and Frank Grim- 
singer. 

Graves, Dr. R. L., and family. 

Groesbeeck, J. D., father of J. N. Groesbeeck, of San 
Antonio, and H. S. Groesbeeck, now deceased. 

Gutzeit, Frank, father of Joseph, Charles, and Edmond 
Gutzeit. 

Hall, Samuel. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 287 

Harney, Gten'l. . 

Harrison, T. S. 

Hart, . 

Hatch, Dr. . 

Hays, Col. Jack, and family. (He married Miss Sue Cal- 
vert, of Gonzales.) 

Hebgen, , father of Otto Hebgen. 

Heggers, . 

Herff, Dr. Ferdinand, father of Ferdinand, Charles, Wil- 
liam, August, and Dr. John Herff, deceased. 

Herman, Dr. Thomas, and family. 

Hertzberg, Theodore R., father of Dr. E. F., and lawyer 
Hertzberg. 

Hettler, Joe, father of James, Michael, and Victor Het- 
tler. 

Higginbotham, R. T., and Aunt Martha Higginbotham. 

Hoefling, Rudolph, father of Rudolph, Henry, and Willie 
Hoefling, deceased. 

Homer, George. 

Horn, Anton, father of Joe, Leo, and Henry Horn. 

Horn, Charles, father of Julius and Charley Horn. 

Horner, George, father of Kasper and Herman Horner, 
also of Mrs. F. A. Piper. 

Houston, Dr. G. J., father of Augustus, Reagan, William 
Bryan, deceased, and J. W. Houston, also of Mrs. J. W. 
Frost and Mrs. R. B. Minor. 

Howard, Russel, and family. (He married Miss Mary 
Elliot.) 

Howard, Thomas H., and Volney. 

Huntress, John, father of Frank Huntress. 

Huppertz, Herman, and family. 

Hutchinson, Judge . 

Hutzler, , father of Anton, Joe, and John Hutzler. 

Jackson, W. C., father of Alvin and Zulo. 
James, Judge John, father of Vinton, Sidney, Scott, and 
Judge J. H. James. 



288 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Jett, Capt. William E., father of Willie, Thomas, Stern, 
and Stephen Jett. 

Johnston, Gen'l. Albert Sidney, and family. 

Jonas, Peter, father of Albert and Peter Jonas. 

Jones, Enoch, father of Griff Jones. 

Jones, William E. 

Judson, George H., father of Will, Mose, and Mrs. Si 
Pancoast. 

Jordan, David, John, Jim, and Joe. 

Kalteyer, F., father of George and Dr. Fred, also an uncle 
of W. C. Kalteyer, the druggist. 

Kampmann, John H., father of Herman and Gus Kamp- 
mann. 

Kerr, Uncle Billy, father of William, Thomas, Newton, 
Caroline, and Virginia Kerr. 

King, family. 

Kingsbury, Dr. , and family. 

Knox, Gen'l. William B., father of Capt. W. R. and " Big 
Henry " Knox. 

Koenigheim, E., and Sam. 

Krempkau, Charles G., father of Gus, Henry, Adolph, 
Albert, John, and Willie Krempkau. 

Kuhlmann, H., father of Henry and Adolph Kuhlmann. 

Kunzman, Henry, father of Theodore Kunzman. 

Laager, Henry, father of Henry Laager, Jr. 

Lacoste, J. B., father of Lucian, and Mrs. Ferdinand 
Herff, Jr. 

Ladner, Nick, father of Ladner Bros., of Eagle Pass. 

Landa, Joe, father of Harry Landa, of New Braunfels. 

Lee, Gen'l. Robert E. 

Leslie, Jack. 

Lewis, Nat., father of Nat., Jr., and Dan Lewis. 

Lockwood, A. A. 

Lytle, "Uncle Billy," father of Capt. Sam and Charles 
Lytle. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 289 

Luckee, W. F., father of William, Mary, Emily, Samuel, 
Julius, Eugene, Cornelius, George, and Ella. 
Ludwig, , father of Albert Ludwig. 

Mackay, Dr. . 

Martin, George, father of George, Jr., Jack, and Miss 
Belle Martin. 

Mauermann, , father of Alderman Ben and Marshal 

Gus A. Mauermann. 

Mays, N. D., father of Allie and Garland Mays, also of 
Mrs. Capt. Gosling and of Mrs. Judge Tom Mays. 

Maverick, Samuel A., father of Sam, Lewis, George, Al- 
bert, and William Maverick, also of Mrs. Dr. Terrell. 

McAllister, Sam, father of Willie, Joe, and Ed. McAl- 
lister. 

McCullough, Sam, father of Robert and Clark McCul- 
lough. 

McCullouch, Gen'l. Henry E. 

McCullough, Gen'l. Ben. 

McDonald, John S., father of John McDonald. 

McLane, . 

McLane, H. H. 

McMullen, John, and family. 

Menger, S., father of August, Dr. Rudolph, and Alderman 
Eric Menger. 

Menger, William, father of Gustav and William Menger. 

Menger, George. 

Merick, M. L., father of Martin, Wolfe, and Julia Merick. 

Meyer, , father of Albert, Emil, and Edward Meyer. 

Miles, Ed. 

Minter, Major, and family. 

Mitchell, Asa, father of Nathan ("Old Nat"), Caro- 
line, William, Milam, Hiram, Martin, Laura, Madison, Jack, 
and Wallace Mitchell. 

Moore, Sam, and family. 

Muenzenberger, C., father of Ernest Muenzenberger, 
Gen'l. Agt., Nat'l. Lines of Mexico. 



290 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Nauwald, C. H., father of C. H. and E. A. Nau- 
wald. 

Neighbors, Major , and family. 

Nelson, Capt. G., father of T. C. Nelson. 

Nette, A., father of August Nette. 

Neubauer, Fritz, father of Fred, Willie, Adolph, and 
Louis Neubauer. 

Newton, Frank, father of Joe, Lee, Charley, and Frank 
Newton, Jr., County Clerk. 

Newton, S. G., father of S. G., and Tom Newton, 
County Attorney. 

Niggli, John, father of Emil, Fritz, and Ferdinand Nig- 
gli, deceased. 

Noonan, George H., father of George B. and Ralph 
Noonan. 

O'Day, . 

Ogden, Duncan B. 
Ogden, D. C. 

Oge, Louis, father of George Oge, and Mrs. C. H. Ber- 
trand. 

O'Ray, William. 

Pancoast, Josiah, and family. 

Pancoast, Aaron, and family. 

Paschal, Frank, father of Dr. Frank, ex-Mayor George, 
and Ernest Paschal, deceased. 

Paschal, Judge J. A., father of ex-Congressman Tom 
Paschal. 

Piper, , father of Fred, Julius, and A. C. Piper. 

Pirie, James, and family. 

Poor, Ira S., father of Capt. D. M. and Fred Poor, also 
step-father of W. W. and Colon D. McRoe. 

Post, and family. 

Powers, John ("Kentuck"). 

Pfefferling, Ed., father of Ed., Rudolph, Henry, and 
Abraham Pfefferling. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 291 

Pyron, Col. Charles L., father of Clara, Ella, Charlie, 
and Mot Pyron. 

Rice, , father of Howell Rice. 

Richardson, Dean W. R. 

Riddle, W. I., father of Sarah E. Riddle Eager and James 
W. Riddle. 

Rische, Ulrick, father of Ernest, Duck, and Edward 
Rische. 

Ritterman, , father of Louis and Henry Ritterman. 

Rossy, Charles, father of Charles Rossy. 

Rothenflue, George, father of Peter Rothenflue. 

Rummel, Fritz, father of Charles, and Fritz Rummel, Jr. 

Rummel, Louis, father of Gustave, Fritz, Louis, and 
Adolph Rummel. 

Russ, , father of Max Russ. 

Russi, Michael, father of Mrs. George R. Stumberg. 

Russi, David, father of Fritz Russi. 

Ryan, , father of Joseph Ryan, City Attorney of 

San Antonio. 

Sartor, Alex, father of Alexander Sartor. 

Sauer, Justus, father of Paul, Charles, and Ernest Sauer. 

Schaffer, Adam, father of Henry and Philip Schaffer. 

Schleman, Dr. . 

Schmeltzer, Gustave, father of Herman and Gus Schmelt- 
zer. 

Schreiner, Fritz, father of Charles Schreiner, and brother 
of the well-known Capt. Schreiner, of Kerrville. 

Schumacher, Anton, father of Henry, William, and 
Charles Schumacher. 

Schunke, , father of Louis, Max, Willie, Charles, 

Otto, and Ed. Schunke. 

Seffel, Stephen, father of Emanuel Seffel. 

Seguin, J. N., a sister married Ira Hewett. 

Shiner, Peter, father of Joe, Henry, Mike, Charles, and 
Bee Shiner. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 

Schleuning, Theodore, father of Fritz Schleuning. 

Schleuning, Herman, father of Herman Schleuning. 

Simpson, I. P., and family. 

Small, William, and family. 

Small, L., father of Henry, Fred, and Montgomery Small. 

Smith, Capt. J. W., and family. 

Smith, Samuel S., father of Thad. and Robert Smith. 

Smith, Erastus (Deaf), and family. 

Staacke, A., father of Herman, Gustave, and Rudolph 
Staacke, deceased. 

Stevens, , father of Constable Charley and Ed. 

Stevens. 

Stevens, John, father of Postmaster John, Jr., Tom, and 
Andrew Stevens, private secretary of the City Brewery. 

Steves, Ed., father of Ernest, Albert, and Ed. Steves, Jr. 

Strohmeyer, Emil, father of Rudolph Strohmeyer. 

Stumberg, Diedrich, father of George R. Stumberg, also 
of Louis and Henry Stumberg, deceased. 

Stuemke, August, father of George Stuemke. 

Sutherland, Dr., father of Leven, Jack, and Rev. 

Sutherland. 

Sweet, Colonel James R., father of Alex. 

Tobin, William, father of William G., C. M., and Sheriff 
John W. Tobin. 

Teel, T. T., father of B. F., Van, F. F.,,J. F., W. E. 
Teel, also Mrs. Judge Haltom. 

Teel, R. E. 

Tengg, 2 father of Nic Tengg. 

Thiele, , father of August Thiele. 

Thomas, Ben, and family. 

Thomas, Wiley, and family. 

Trainor, James, father of John, Capt. James, and other 
children. 

Trueheart, Thomas L., father of James L., A. B., and 
H. M. Trueheart. 

Twohig, John. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 293 

Ulrich, Joseph, father of Lewis Ulrich. 
Umscheid, Frank, father of Joe Umscheid, J. P. 
Upson, Columbus, father of James and George Upson. 

Vance, William, father of William and John Vance. 
Vanderlip, . 

Waelder, Major Jacob, father of Bradley and Carlo Wael- 
der. 

Wallace, William, Alexander, Anderson ("Big Foot"). 

Weber, Jacob, and family. 

Wefing, , father of Louis and Otto Wefing, who are 

half-brothers of Adolph and Capt. Eugene Hernandez. 

Weidemann, Dr. 

Welter, , father of Carl Welter. 

Wernette, John, father of Josie, Charles, and John Wer- 
nette. 

Weyel, Jacob, father of Albert, and Ferdinand Weyel, 
deceased. 

Weyel, William, father of Willie, Louis, Theodore, and 
Punk Weyel. 

Wilkins, John, father of John Wilkins. 

Willie, . 

Wheeler, Judge , and family. 

Whitehead, Thomas, second husband of Mrs. Urutia. 

Wolcken, , father of John and Christian Wolcken. 

Wurzbach, Charles, father of William, Charles, Dr. 
George, and Harry, County Judge of Seguin. 

Worth, Gen'l. William, U. S. A., and family. 

Zander, August, father of August, Julius, and Adolph 
Zander. 

Zork, Louis, father of Ralph, Jack, and Julius Zork. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

A SUPPLEMENTAL history of the settlement of west 
Texas would be incomplete without a description of the 
four frontier states of Mexico, and three others in the 
interior lying south of them. But before entering into 
details I will call attention to the conditions of the coun- 
try, also to some of the prejudices of the people before 
the age of railroads, when I was familiar with the coun- 
try, and compare them with those that exist at the pres- 
ent time. In this connection the fact should be noticed 
that I became familiar with the states of Tamaulipas, 
Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Coahuila Chihuahua and 
Durango, before and after the great Civil War in the 
United States, but I did not visit Queretaro until 1889, 
when going to the City of Mexico by rail. 

Then there were no railroads leading into the Republic 
of Mexico and all the highways in those sections were 
not only rough, but it was dangerous to travel over them 
because there was always a great risk of encountering 
robbers and wild Indians. The settlements were sep- 
arated by long distances between ; the people were almost 
destitute of the necessities of life; and places of enter- 
tainment, except in large towns, were of the rudest de- 
scription. Traveling was nearly all done on horseback 
or in private conveyances, and merchandise or other com- 
modities was transported on carts or wagons over routes 
leading from prominent seaports to cities in the interior. 
European nations monopolized nearly all the trade of the 
country, and they controlled its exports in exchange for 
the manufactured goods received from those countries. 

Commercial intercourse between the United States and 
Mexico was restricted by popular prejudices on both 

294 



A TEXAS PIONEER 295 

sides, that was expressed in the trade relations between 
the two Republics until the transactions were not worth 
considering because of their insignificance. The causes 
which were responsible for the boycott may be traced 
through the histories of the past, and especially to the 
war in which the nations engaged, that provoked a bitter 
hatred between the two races, but there is no necessity 
for noticing them in this connection. It is sufficient to 
know that in Mexico the feeling existed against the 
United States in its most intense form, and it is a known 
fact that the better class of citizens disliked to visit 
Texas, and disapproved the idea of educating their chil- 
dren anywhere in the United States. For that reason 
many of their young men were sent to school in Europe 
rather than have them learn the English language or 
adopt American customs. 

No effort was made to counteract this bad feeling in 
the United States where it was generally encouraged; 
and it was reciprocated by respectable Americans who 
visited Mexico occasionally on business connected with 
mercantile affairs or mining property. But a few 
Americans owned business houses in that country and in- 
troduced small lots of goods manufactured in the United 
States, although there was little demand for them. For- 
eigners of English, German, and French origin who en- 
gaged in business in the interior were liberally patronized, 
and the goods they handled were all imported from 
Europe in wholesale quantities ; but in 1868 a demand was 
created for merchandise of American manufacture which 
gradually increased until they became a necessity. In 
this connection I will notice the fact that nearly all the 
freight hauled overland to Mexico, until 1880, was im- 
ported from Europe and passed through Texas under 
bond. I will also state that during my intercourse with 
the people of Mexico I rarely heard a word of the English 
language, and it was never spoken in business houses, 
but the conditions have undergone a perceptible change 



296 A TEXAS PIONEER 

on account of business relations that have been estab- 
lished with the United States in recent years with the 
aid of railroads. 

The changes were brought about by means of com- 
mercial enterprises which have made it possible for busi- 
ness energy to work untrammeled, and forced the intelli- 
gence of the two countries to realize that a closer union 
between them is unavoidable. Mexico is preparing for 
it by educating hundreds of her young men in the col- 
leges of San Antonio, and Americans are showing their 
confidence in the prospects of the future by investing mil- 
lions of dollars in that country where they own and con- 
trol large properties. These influences have promoted 
trade, and the vast railroad systems which the necessities 
of commerce have created have linked the two countries 
together with bonds of steel that will encourage friend- 
ship and assure perpetual peace. 

These efforts of a later generation to forget the wrongs 
and differences of the past, that are charged against both 
republics, have been successful from a commercial point of 
view, and in the course of time a more liberal feeling will 
be entertained by the masses. These amicable relations 
should be cultivated in Mexico, and Texans should be 
reminded that Mexico was the mother that sheltered 
their state in its infancy, until the constitution of 1824 
was trampled under foot by a military despotism, before 
it seceded from that republic, and they should grasp the 
friendly hand that has been extended to them by the 
present government over the chasm in which all their past 
differences ought to be buried. 

My personal relations with Mexico have always been 
pleasant, and I entertain grateful feelings because of the 
liberal and courteous treatment that was received by me 
from the government and people on every occasion, when 
I visited that country on business or pleasure. I have 
many warm friends who live there, therefore I would not 
say anything to offend or misrepresent them, and I trust 



A TEXAS PIONEER 297 

that no information of mine will be misconstrued, either 
in what I have written or in the descriptions of the states 
which follow. 

CHIHUAHUA 

This state is bounded on the north by the United 
States, on the east by Coahuila, on the south by Dur- 
ango, and on the west by Sonora and Simaloa. It is the 
largest and the farthest north of any in the Mexican Re- 
public. Its greatest width is 360 American miles, and 
its extreme length is about 450 miles. The area of the 
state is estimated at 83,746 square miles, and the census 
of 1900 gave it 245,657 inhabitants. 

The city of Chihuahua is the capital of the state, and 
it is beautifully situated, near its center, in a large plain, 
at the base of the Sierra Madre range. The Mexican 
Central Railroad, which extends from Ciudad Juarez, op- 
posite El Paso, to the city of Mexico, passes through the 
city; and another road is being constructed from there 
to Presidio del Norte, on the Rio Grande, and also west- 
ward to the Gulf of California, both of which will soon 
be completed. Many towns and villages are scattered over 
the state and some of them are destined to become places 
of importance on account of their favorable locations. 

The western portion of the state is broken by several 
chains of high mountains, with a number of deep canons 
between, from which flow numerous beautiful streams of 
clear water that empty in the gulf of California; but 
there are also many wide valleys of fertile land that pro- 
duce luxurious grasses and timber in great variety. The 
surface of the country towards the east is less rugged 
and the country is more accessible. In the northern part 
of the state in the neighborhood of Juarez is a desert 
sixty miles square, that is difficult and sometimes danger- 
ous to cross on account of the sand which is constantly 
drifting and forming hills called madonos. The Rio 
Concho, which rises in the Sierra Madre Mountains and 



298 A TEXAS PIONEER 

runs through the state 360 miles to Presidio del Norte, 
where it empties in the Rio Grande, which is the state's 
boundary line on the north, below El Paso, is the longest 
river in the Repubh'c. The greater part of the valley is 
in cultivation and the land under irrigation is very pro- 
ductive, and Irish potatoes grow wild. 

The live stock interests in the state are very great 
and there are many large ranches on which vast num- 
bers of horses, mules, cattle, sheep and goats are profit- 
ably raised on the untillable lands which afford an ex- 
cellent pasturage. 

The mineral wealth of the state is justly considered to 
be greater than in any other part of Mexico. The 
Spaniards worked the mines in early times and several 
of them were made to yield sixteen ounces of silver per 
cargo, of 300 pounds, but they were unprotected from 
the Indians, and when sufficient labor or timber for se- 
curing the shafts could not be had they were abandoned. 
Since the conditions have changed, through the facilities 
offered by railroad transportation, the old mines have 
been opened by American capitalists and are worked by 
modern machinery under the direction of skillful engi- 
neers so as to yield enormous profits. Many new mines 
in other localities have also been opened and American 
enterprise, backed by unlimited capital, has introduced 
new methods, and the mineral resources of that region 
are being developed into enormous proportions. 

The government maintains two custom houses on the 
Rio Grande within the borders of the state, one at 
Ciudad Juarez and the other at Presidio del Norte, 
where all the duties are paid on imports subject to tariff, 
and the northern border is strictly guarded to prevent 
smuggling. These institutions were established for the 
collection of taxes on foreign imports long before rail- 
roads were built through that country, and they have 
become important ports of entry since the Southern 
Pacific was completed through Texas. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 299 

The present conditions in the state can not be com- 
pared to those that existed when I freighted to Chihuahua, 
but the room for improvement is still very perceptible. 
These changes have been brought about by railroads, 
which have developed the country and encouraged 
friendly and commercial intercourse with the United 
States and other foreign countries whose citizens have 
invested enormous sums of money within its borders. 

Among the first foreigners that settled in Chihuahua, 
between 1848 and 1855, were Henry Mueller, Emil 
Schadlig, F. Feltmann, Carl, Gustave and William Moye, 
Frank Mollmann, A. F. Wulff, Frank, George and Ed- 
win McManus, and J. P. Hickman, father of James P. 
Hickman, Jr., proprietor of the Southern Hotel in San 
Antonio, and Henry Creel and family, father of Henry 
Clay Creel, present governor of the state of Chi- 
huahua. 

These and other foreign-born citizens were prominent 
business men in the city when I was engaged in freight- 
ing; but since then the population of other nationalities 
has greatly increased, and a large part of the business 
is under their control. The country is being developed 
very rapidly, especially its mineral wealth which offers 
flattering inducements for the investment of capital. Im- 
portant railroad lines are being constructed which will 
largely augment the resources of the state, and when 
the route leading from Presidio del Norte to Topolo- 
bampo is completed, via the city of Chihuahua, it will be 
the most direct route from San Antonio to the Pacific 
coast. 

COAHUILA 

This state is bounded on the north by Texas, on the 
east by Nuevo Leon, on the south by Zacatecas, and on 
the west by Chihuahua and Durango. The state has an 
area of 50,890 square miles and the population in 1900 
was 144,594. 



500 A TEXAS PIONEER 

When the Mexican Republic was first organized 
Coahuila and Texas were united as one state and they 
became known as the " Twin Sisters." The boundary 
line between them was not clearly defined, and later the 
Medina and Nueces Rivers were both claimed on Spanish 
evidence as the eastern limits of Coahuila. The seat of 
government of the two states was originally at Monclova, 
but it was subsequently removed to Saltillo, the present 
capital of Coahuila, contrary to a petition of the citizens 
of Texas, who opposed its removal on account of its 
greater distance and the dangers of the route which 
made it almost inaccessible to their delegates. 

Saltillo is an Indian name which means " highlands 
with much water," and as the town is situated on the de- 
clivity of a high hill that is the source of many gushing 
fountains, the appropriateness of the name is obvious. 
The city is of considerable importance and it has about 
25,000 inhabitants. The most prominent of its numerous 
churches is beautifully ornamented with sculpture, and 
it has besides a number of important buildings and other 
interesting features that include an amphitheater, a pub- 
lic garden, a central plaza, around which the governor's 
palace and other government buildings are situated, also 
an alameda planted with beautiful shade trees. In its 
vicinity are several large factories that are successfully 
operated by water power. 

Several large towns and many villages are situated in 
the state, which are sustained by about fifty manufactur- 
ing enterprises, including factories, flour, corn and saw- 
mills, and other local industries. The principal import- 
ing point within the borders of the state is Ciudad Por- 
firio Diaz, that was formerly known as Piedras Negras, 
which is opposite Eagle Pass, where a Federal custom- 
house has long been established. A bridge crosses the 
Rid Grande at that point which connects the Southern 
Pacific system with the Mexican National Railroad 
and other important highways leading into Mexico. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 301 

The mineral wealth of the state has long been known 
and esteemed for its riches, though its development was 
interrupted many years by the Indians. Some of the 
high grade ores taken from the mines have assayed a 
very rich yield in silver, and others of copper, lead, etc., 
are producing profitable returns. All of the old mines 
are now worked and many new claims have been opened 
in recent years which foreign capital is developing with 
improved machinery in accordance with modern methods. 

A large area of the state is mountainous and not suit- 
able for cultivation, but much of the tillable land is irri- 
gated and the soil produces abundant crops of corn, 
wheat, cotton, sugar-cane and all the fruits of a tem- 
perate climate ; grapes are grown in quantities, and wine 
made in that region received the gold medal at the Cen- 
tennial Exposition, also Mescal of the best quality is pro- 
duced from the Maguey plant. The nutritious grasses 
of the grazing lands sustain large herds of animals and 
all kinds of live stock do well. 

Don Evaristo Madero, who was governor of the state 
about twenty-five years ago, was distinguished for his 
liberality and enterprising spirit which his enormous 
wealth enabled him to exercise in many ways for the good 
of the state. He accepted the executive office contrary 
to his inclinations, and afterwards distributed his salary 
among the poor. I knew him well through business 
transactions and Carlos Griesenbach was his intimate 
friend. The governor has been an exhibitor at the three 
last International Fairs in San Antonio, and secured 
premiums on a great variety of liquors of all kinds, in- 
cluding wines, brandy, etc., of his own manufacture. 
This fact shows that he has broad views that are not 
confined to his own country and that he realizes the im- 
portance of cultivating commercial relations with the 
United States. The Sisters of the Ursuline Academy, 
in San Antonio, have good reasons for holding him in 
grateful remembrance because of the aid he extended to 



30 A TEXAS PIONEER 

them during and after the Civil War in the United 
States. 

NUEVO LEON 

This state has a very irregular outline. It is 
bounded on the north by Texas and Tamaulipas, on the 
east and south by Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi, and 
on the north and west by San Luis Potosi and Coahuila. 
The state has an area of 23,635 square miles and the 
census of 1900 gave it 650,000 inhabitants. 

When the country was first organized under Spanish 
rule Nuevo Reino de Leon was a kingdom, as the name 
indicates, which embraced Nuevo Leon and all the ad- 
joining states, with its capital at Monclova. After- 
wards it was reduced to three of said states, which be- 
came a province, and now it is the smallest of the Re- 
publican states that were carved from its territory. Its 
greatest length is about 300 miles, and it is only about 
125 miles across its widest part. 

The historic city of Monterey is the capital of the 
state and it has about 90,000 inhabitants at the present 
time. The altitude of the city is 1630 feet above the sea 
level, and it is situated in a delightful and healthful 
climate about 630 miles from the City of Mexico. Moun- 
tain spurs from the Sierra Madre range nearly surround 
the city and form valleys that lead out from it. The 
most attractive of these elevations is the Sierra de la 
Silla, or Saddle Mountain, which rises six miles distant 
in a southerly direction. All the railroads that connect 
with those which pass through Texas and others of equal 
importance center in Monterey. These national high- 
ways afford rapid transportation to all parts of the Re- 
public, and they facilitate the commercial energy of its 
citizens who are making the city an emporium of trade 
for the northern part of Mexico. 

Before railroads were dreamed of, its factories and 
other industries attracted attention on account of its 



A TEXAS PIONEER 303 

natural advantages, but its prominence has since been 
largely increased by the benefits they have conferred. 
Manufacturing establishments are converting the raw 
material of the country into merchantable commodities 
and large foundries are fusing its valuable iron ore into 
steel rails, etc., for commercial and industrial purposes. 
The vast opportunities that a progressive policy has con- 
ferred on the city have given it an importance in Mexico 
equal to that which Chicago holds in the United States 
as a commercial center. jBftncroft Libfaril 

Some valuable mines have been developed in tne^tate 
since 1890 which are yielding profitable returns. Before 
that date primitive methods, which involved a small out- 
lay of capital, were commonly employed and all the work 
was near the surface. Mines have been discovered in 
which silver, copper, iron, sulphur and valuable marble 
are found and they will add to the wealth of the state in 
the course of time. The principal mining towns are 
Jimenez, Linares, Montemorelos, Salinas, Cerralvo, Vil- 
aldama and many other important and beautiful 
places. 

A considerable area of land is in cultivation and that 
under irrigation yields abundant harvests of corn, oats, 
wheat, beans, pepper and sugar cane. Irish potatoes 
grow wild in the mountains and a variety of other vege- 
tables constitute a part of the tillable crops. Fruits of 
all kinds thrive to perfection and the oranges grown in 
the vicinity of Monterey are classed as the best that 
Mexico produces. Land not suitable for tillage is de- 
voted to ranch purposes and large numbers of horses, 
cattle, sheep and goats are raised on the excellent pas- 
turage that sustains them in good condition. 

TAMAUIJPAS 

This state is the extreme northeastern division of the 
Mexican Republic and its boundary line on the north is 



304 A TEXAS PIONEER 

the Rio Grande, which separates it from Texas. It is 
bounded on the east by the Gulf of Mexico ; on the south 
by the states of Vera Cruz and San Luis Potosi; and on 
the west by Nuevo Leon. The state has an area of 
30,225 square miles and its population in 1900 was 
141,000 souls. The Nueces River, in Texas, was claimed 
by Tamaulipas as its northern boundary until that 
part of its territory was relinquished in 1848, under the 
treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. 

Ciudad Victoria is the capital of the state, and it is 
beautifully situated near the base of a high mountain 
where it is almost surrounded by attractive gardens, 
orchards, and fields of sugar-cane and corn, which are 
irrigated from large streams of clear water. The Mexi- 
can Central Railroad that connects Tampico with Mon- 
terey passes near the city and affords direct communica- 
tion with the outside world. Before it was completed 
the town had only about 10,000 inhabitants, when I vis- 
ited it in 1863. There were no local industries in the 
town then and its trade was insignificant ; there were no 
attractions and its only place of interest was an old 
church which was built in the eighteenth century, but 
never finished. Its walls are scarred by marks of shot 
and shell similar to those on the high loopholed walls 
which surround the grave-yard that occupies a command- 
ing position and was evidently built for and used as a 
fortification. They are reminders of the civil wars that 
were constantly waged for many years in the state by 
the frontier generals, Canalles and Cortinas. 

The railroad has added greatly to the prominence of 
the capital and its importance as a commercial city will 
increase when the state develops its latent wealth under 
the present liberal policy of the government. A railroad 
from Matamoras southward through the tropical regions, 
near the Gulf of Mexico, will become a necessity in a few 
years. Rapid transportation for the products of that 
country to the markets of the United States will be se- 



A TEXAS PIONEER 305 

cured, and the road would establish another bond that 
will unite the common interests of the two republics. 

Matamoras is one of the principal ports of entry and 
it is the largest city in the state. It is favorably sit- 
uated on the south side of the Rio Grande, opposite 
Brownsville, in Texas, and thirty-five miles above the 
mouth of the river, which gives it a safe harbor near the 
Gulf of Mexico and makes it the most northern seaport in 
the republic. Before the Civil War in the United States 
the place was scarcely known, but after all the ports in 
the Southern Confederacy were blockaded the Southern 
troops held possession of the Rio Grande. Matamoras 
was a friendly port that was open to the ships of all na- 
tions, and they flocked to its harbor with cargoes of 
freight to exchange for the cotton which was hauled on 
wagons from the interior of Texas. Thousands of bales 
were conveyed across the river and passed through the 
custom-house, in Matamoras, before it could be sold ; con- 
sequently it became the most important cotton market in 
the world. The demand was greater than the supply 
and the fleecy staple sold at fifty cents, or perhaps more, 
per pound in gold; but nearly all of it was spent in the 
purchase of goods by individual purchasers for home use 
at exorbitant prices. 

The population of the city increased during that period 
to about 35,000, of all classes, in which many nationali- 
ties were represented. The greater part were Mexicans, 
but a large number were refugees or deserters from the 
Southern states and others were from the Northern states 
and from Europe. The duties received by the Mexican 
custom-house on imports and exports yielded an enormous 
sum to the government before United States troops oc- 
cupied the lower Rio Grande country and cut off the 
trade from Texas. i 

The prominence that Matamoras acquired under such 
conditions, and later during the war against Maximilian, 
secured for it an important trade with the northern states 



306 A TEXAS PIONEER 

of Mexico that has constantly increased. The National 
Railroad which extends up the Rio Grande valley and 
southwestward to Monterey, has established direct com- 
munication with the interior of Mexico, and the St. Louis, 
Brownsville and Mexico Railway connects it with all the 
important railroad systems in the United States. Other 
railroads to that point are being discussed and un- 
doubtedly one or more direct lines from San Antonio to 
Brownsville will be completed in the near future. 

Nuevo Laredo, on the Rio Grande, is another im- 
portant port of entry within the borders of the state. 
The Mexican National, the International and Great 
Northern, and the Texas-Mexican Railroads, which con- 
nect Monterey with San Antonio and Corpus Christr 
form a junction on the bridge that spans the river b 
tween the old and new town of Laredo. Both are i 
proving rapidly under the magic touch of progress av 
the destiny of the two towns is not involved in doubt be 
cause that point is an important gateway between the 
two republics. 

The Cordilleras range that traverses the state from 
northeast to southwest and separates it from Nuevo 
Leon, forms a barrier toward the west that is almost 
impassable; but the spurs extending from the mountains 
enclose many lovely valleys of considerable extent which 
sustain a large population. The climate west of the 
mountains is temperate and dry, but that towards the 
east is moist and much warmer, and at certain seasons 
portions of it are subject to heavy rain storms which do 
much harm. 

The mountainous j)prtion of the state is rich in min- 
erals, and the deposits of gold, silver, etc., seem to be in- 
exhaustible. Many mines have been worked profitably 
for years, and probably others that were once abandoned 
because of unfavorable surroundings, have been developed 
by foreign capital since new methods have been 
introduced. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 807 

The cultivable land is fertile and produces cotton, 
corn, rice, sugar-cane, beans, Irish and sweet potatoes 
with little labor. Tropical fruit in great variety, and 
many kinds that are common in northern climates, grow 
to perfection. The timbered portion of the state is 
mostly confined to the mountains, but there is an 
abundance in other parts that is suitable for building 
purposes. 

The eastern portion of the state and that bordering 
on the Rio Grande, is admirably adapted for ranch pur- 
poses, and large numbers of horses, cattle, sheep and 
goats are raised at small cost. The finest mules in the 
Republic are bred in the state and they always find a 
~ady market. 

Before closing the subject I will give a brief descrip- 
i of the states immediately south of and joining those 

/derihg on Texas. They were once politically asso- 
ated with Texas, when Spain held dominion over the 
country; and now they are related through commercial 
interests. My acquaintance with all that region will 
warrant my calling attention to it and justify me in 
noticing a few of its attractions with which I am familiar. 

SAN LUIS POTOSI 

This state is bounded on the north and east by Nuevo 
Leon and Tamaulipas ; on the south by Hidalgo, Quere- 
taro, and Guanajuato ; and on the west by Zacatecas. 
It has an area of 23,635 miles, and in 1900 it had 210,000 
inhabitants. 

The city of San Luis Potosi is the capital of the state. 
It was once the capital of one of the intendencies into 
which Mexico was divided when under Spanish rule and 
Texas was one of its provinces, forming part of the 
tenth brigade. I have described its appearance as I saw 
it in 1862 in Chapter III, but since that date the Mexican 
National and Mexican Central have been built through 



308 A TEXAS PIONEER 

the city, which connect it with the railroad systems in 
Mexico, and its importance as a commercial center at the 
present time cannot be underrated. It has always been 
noted for its local industries, and it is destined to become 
a manufacturing city. There are several other cities 
situated in rich mining districts with large populations. 

The mines of the state rank among the richest in the 
country, and many of the metallic veins in various locali- 
ties are now worked by foreign capital that is doing so 
much to advance the prosperity of Mexico. All of the 
precious minerals are found in paying quantities, and 
many of the baser metals, particularly iron ore, in large 
deposits. 

The surface of the state is broken by chains of moun- 
tains which run across it and form many large and 
beautiful valleys. They are spurs of the Cordilleras 
range which extends over the eastern portion of the 
Mexican Republic and form a natural boundary between 
the state and Tamaulipas. The most remarkable chains 
are the Sierra de San Luis and Sierra Gorda, which bound 
the state on the south and separate it from the states 
of Guanajuato, Queretaro and Mexico. 

Many varieties of valuable timber are native to the 
southern portions of the state; lemons, oranges, peaches, 
pears, apricots, and other fruit peculiar to Mexico, are 
grown in its temperate climate ; corn, oats r and all kinds 
of vegetables are successfully cultivated; and cotton, 
coffee, sugar-cane and tobacco are produced with profit. 

A large area of the state is devoted to the raising of 
live stock and large numbers of horses, cattle, sheep and 
goats add to the taxable wealth of the state. One of 
the largest and most valuable estates in Mexico lies 
partly within its boundaries. It is situated on the table 
lands and it contains nearly 900,000 acres in one body, 
which extends into three adjoining states. The name of 
this vast estate is San Rafael del Salado y Agua Dulce, 
but it is commonly known as El Salado. General Don 



A TEXAS PIONEER 309 

Juan Bustamente, ex-Governor of San Luis Potosi, owns 
the property. 

aUERETARO 

This state is bounded on the north by San Luis 
Potosi ; on the east by Hidalgo ; on the south by the state 
of Mexico; and on the west by Guanajuato. 

The state has an area of 3,027 square miles, and 
according to the census of 1890, it had 203,290 inhab- 
itants. 

A great variety of minerals are found in the state and 
a number of mines that had been worked before I visited 
the country were then idle because of the lack of enter- 
prise and the want of capital, but it is more than prob- 
able that the rich resources of the state have been greatly 
developed under more favorable conditions. 

The state is well watered, but none of the streams are 
navigable. Fruit and vegetables in great variety and 
every agricultural product that grows in the United 
States flourishes in that delightful climate. Many 
species of timber are found in the mountains, and the 
untillable land affords an excellent range for live stock 
of all kinds which are raised in considerable numbers. 

The city of Queretaro is the capital of the state, and 
it is situated in a temperate climate about two hundred 
American miles in a northerly direction from the City of 
Mexico. 

The National and Mexican Central Railroads pass 
through the city and connect with all parts of the Re- 
public. These great transportation enterprises have 
brought about many changes, but its ancient features are 
still attractive, and among them are several fine churches, 
a large hospital, and the convents of San Francisco, 
Santa Cruz, San Antonio, San Domingo, and San 
Augustin. 

The water that supplies the city is brought from the 
neighboring mountains through a large aqueduct that 



310 A TEXAS PIONEER 

is made of solid masonry laid in a native cement which 
has stood the test of centuries in Mexico, where it is in 
general use. The channel, that conveys the water to the 
city in a constant stream, is about ten feet in width and 
fully seven feet deep. 

The canal was built on a certain level, but owing to 
the irregular surface along its course, it was necessary 
to make cuts from ten to fifty feet deep, and in other 
places the duct was sustained by masonry with arches, 
some of which are eighty feet high. The work was 
completed over one hundred years ago, and it is said 
that it cost $124,000. The surplus water after supply- 
ing the city is conveyed in ditches to the gardens, etc., 
in the vicinity, and the irrigated land produces all kinds 
of native fruits and flowers which grow to perfection. 

Near the city is the factory of Hercules, that, when 
I saw it, was represented to be the finest and largest 
establishment of its kind in the world. It is said that it 
cost over $4,000,000, and in 1867 it was owned by 
Francisco Rubio. Water, steam, and horse-power were 
used to run the machinery, and some of its departments 
were continually at work. The daily output was about 
1800 bolts of unbleached domestic, and at night a large 
number of stones, run by water-power, were employed in 
grinding quantities of wheat. The grounds around the 
factory are beautifully improved, and one of the attrac- 
tions is a statue of Hercules that was brought from Italy, 
which cost $15,000. 

It was in the city of Queretaro that Maximilian sus- 
tained a siege against the liberal forces of Mexico under 
General Escobedo, which resulted in his betrayal, through 
the treachery of his bosom friend, Colonel Miguel Lopez, 
of the Empress' regiment, whom he had just made a 
general, and he surrendered to Generals Palacio and 
Escobedo on the 19th of May, 1867. Maximilian was 
subsequently tried before a military tribunal, and shot, 
with his unfortunate companions, Generals Mejia and 



A TEXAS PIONEER 311 

Miramon, at the foot of " Cerro de la Cruz " on the 19th 
of June, 1867. 

ZACATECAS 

This state lies northwest of the city of Mexico. It is 
bounded on the north by Coahuila; on the east by San 
Luis Potosi ; on the south by the states of Aguas 
Calientes and Jalisco, and on the west by Durango. 

Its area contains 22,998 square miles, and in 1890 it 
had 470,000 inhabitants. 

The city of Zacatecas is the capital of the state. It 
is situated in the southern part of the state in a canon 
that runs through a mountainous district, and its alti- 
tude is 7,500 feet above the sea level. The principal 
edifices consist of the governor's palace, the mint, a city 
hall, a jail, markets, a hospital, a theater and an amphi- 
theater, a cathedral and a dozen or more churches. The 
Mexican Central Railroad passes through the city from 
the north to the City of Mexico, and it is connected with 
Tampico by the same system over another route. 

The greater part of the state is mountainous, but in 
the eastern portion there are many fertile valleys that 
are capable of sustaining a large population. The 
climate is cold in the more elevated portions, but it is 
temperate in the valleys. 

Many species of timber are found and it is abundant. 
Pears, apples, and grapes are grown and produce fruit 
of excellent quality. Corn, wheat and other small grain, 
and vegetables in great variety are cultivated with sat- 
isfactory results. 

The state has numerous haciendas of great extent and 
a large number of farms and ranches. The grazing lands 
are' favorably adapted to live stock, and horses, mules, 
sheep and goats thrive on its mountainous pastures. 

The mineral wealth of the state is so great that it 
ranks among the first in the Republic, although all of the 
mines have been worked at a great disadvantage, and 



312 A TEXAS PIONEER 

many, for various reasons, were abandoned. Some of 
them are very rich in precious metals and they also pro- 
duced all of the baser kinds, but it does not appear that 
many of them were very profitable. 



DURANGO 

This state lies in a northwest direction from the City 
of Mexico, and it is bounded on the north by Chihuahua ; 
on the east by Coahuila and Zacatecas ; on the south by 
Jalisco ; and on the west by Sinaloa, from which it is 
separated by the Sierra Madre range that sends out spurs 
of high mountains which also divide the state. It has 
an area of 42,510 square miles, and the census of 1900 
gave it 200,000 population. The climate on an average 
is temperate, but it varies with the altitude. 

The city of Durango is the capital of the state, and 
when I knew it in 1872 it had about 28,000 inhabitants. 
The government buildings are similar to those in other 
state capitals, and it also had a mint, three or four 
churches, a fine hospital, a theater, a place for bull-fight- 
ing, etc. The place was of considerable prominence as 
a commercial center, although it had only a few in- 
dustries, and all the freight to and from the place was 
hauled on wagons, etc. 

I suppose since the Mexican National Railroad was 
completed from C. P. Diaz to that point, and beyond 
to Tepehuanes, that the city has been greatly improved. 
It only needed transportation facilities to make it one of 
the most important cities in the Republic, and when the 
road is completed to its destination on the Gulf of Cali- 
fornia, its ocean outlet and connections with all the rail- 
road systems in the country, the benefits the city will 
receive cannot be overestimated. 

The state is known to be rich in minerals of all kinds, 
but the mines have only been developed successfully in 
recent years. Its gold and silver mines were worked 



A TEXAS PIONEER 313 

profitably until they were abandoned on account of In- 
dian incursions and civil wars. Valuable mines of 
copper, lead, and other metals have been discovered, and 
the inexhaustible iron mountain, known as Cerro del 
Mercado, is said to be one of the richest deposits of iron 
ore on the American continent. Movements have been 
recently made towards utilizing the ore by establishing 
one of the largest steel plants in the country. 

The principal river is the Rio del Nazas, that runs 
through the state one hundred and fifty American miles, 
and on both sides of its wide valley are many beautiful 
haciendas and plantations that produce every variety of 
grain and other agricultural products adapted to that 
region. The Rio del Tunal and El Reno de las Palmas 
also have large valleys of tillable land through which they 
flow. These and other streams afford an abundance of 
water for irrigating purposes and the cultivable land in 
the state is capable of sustaining a large population. 
Live stock of all kinds do well, and there are many large 
ranches devoted to the raising of cattle, horses, sheep and 
goats. 



APPENDIX 

NAMES OF MAYORS AND ALDERMEN 

OF THE 
CITY OF SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 

From its incorporation, June, 1837, to the present time. 

The sign * precedes names of Aldermen who did not serve entire 
term. 
The sign f precedes names of Aldermen elected to fill vacancy. 

September 19, 183T, to March 9, 1838. 

Mayor. John W. Smith. 

Aldermen. Manuel Martinez, Francisco Bustillo, Ramon Trevino, 
Pedro Flores Morales, Gabriel Arreola, Rafael Herrera, Francisco 
Grenado, Francisco A. Ruiz. 

March 9, 1838, to July 20, 1838. 

Mayor. William H. Dangerfield, and from July 20, 1838, to Jan- 
uary 8, 1839, Antonio Menchaca, pro tern. 

Aldermen. Antonio Menchaca, W. E. Houth, Jose Flores, Rafael 
Garza, Manuel Yturri, Leander Arreola, Ambrosio Rodriguez, 
Manuel Ximenes. 

January 8, 1839, to January 8, 1840. 

Mayor. S. A. Maverick. 

Aldermen. Jose Cassiano, Vicente Garza, Francisco A. Ruiz, 
Domingo Bastillo, John W. Smith, Manuel Perez, George Dolson, 
Luciano Navarro. 

January 8, 1840, to January 9, 1841. 

Mayor. John W. Smith. 

Aldermen. Cornelius Van Ness, George Blow, Francisco A. Ruiz, 
Jose A. Navarro, Miguel Arcienega, Manuel Perez, John McMullen, 
Ambrosio Rodriguez. 

January 9, 1841, to April 18, 184Sf. 

Mayor. Juan N. Seguin; and from August 17, 1841, to Sep- 
tember 7, 1841, Francis Guilbeau, pro tern. 

314 



A TEXAS PIONEER 315 

Aldermen. Man'l. Perez, Marcus A. Veramendi, Pedro Flores, 
Antonio Menchaca, Jose Cassiano, Juan A. Urutia, L. Smithers, 
Bryan Callaghan, Jose M. Flores, Francis Guilbeau, John R. Black, 
Diego A. Taylor, Francisco Bustillo, Antonio Lockmar, J. L. True- 
heart, Augustin Barrera. 

April 18, 1842, to March 30, 1844. 
Mayor. John W. Smith. 

Aldermen. J. McMullen, Rafael Garza, B. Callaghan, S. A. Mave- 
rick, E. Dwyer, J. A. Urutia, C. Rivas, B. Bradley. 

March 30, 1844, to February 18, 1845. 

Mayor. Edward Dwyer. 

Aldermen. Rafael Garza, Ambrosio Rodriguez, Jose M. Flores, 
Robert Lindsay, Juan A. Urutia, Antonio Menchaca, James Good- 
man, Thomas Whitehead. 

February 18, 1845, to January 1, 1846. 

Mayor. Edward Dwyer. 

Aldermen. Ygnacio Chavez, J. B. Lee, Augustin Barrera, Jose 
Cassiano, C. Rivas, Francisco Bustillo, Thomas Whitehead, Am- 
brosio Rodriguez. 

January 1, 1846, to January 1, 1847. 

Mayor. Bryan Callaghan. *C. F. King, pro tern. 

Alderman. George Van Ness, J. A. Urutia, Charles F. King, 
Pedros, A. J. McClelland, M. A. Veramendi, William B. Jaques, 
Antonio Rodriguez. 

January 1, 1847, to January 1, 1848. 

Mayor. Charles F. King, *and from January 27, 1847, to Janu- 
ary 1, 1848, S. S. Smith, pro tern. 

Aldermen. W. G. Crump, S. S. Smith, M. Trumble, J. A. Urutia, 
A. Rodriguez, O. B. Brackett, R. Herrera, Ygnacio Chavez. 

January 1, 1848, to January 1, 1849. 

Mayor. Charles F. King, *and from April 3, 1848, to January 1, 
1849, S. S. Smith, pro tern. 

Aldermen. S. S. Smith, A. Menchaca, J. N. Fisk, A. H. Martin, 
Bryan Callaghan, A. Rodriguez, J. A. Urutia, R. W. Peacock. 

Janury 1, 1849, to January 1, 1850. 
Mayor. J. M. Devine. 
Aldermen. S. S. Smith, Bryan Callaghan, J. N. Menchaca, N. 



316 A TEXAS PIONEER 

Lardner, Luciano Navarro, J. N. Fisk, Jose A. Urutia, Win. Lytle, 
G. T. Howard, J. D. Groesbeeck, J. H. Beck. 

January 1, 1850, to January 1, 1851. 
Mayor. J. M. Devine. 

Aldermen. Chas. Hummel, S. A. Maverick, S. S. Smith, Wm. 
Lytle, O. Evans, J. A. Urutia, G. L. Paschal, A. A. Lockwood. 

January 1, 1851, to January 1, 1852. 
Mayor. J. S. McDonald. 

Aldermen. S. A. Maverick, J. H. Lyons, J. A. Urutia, John 
Vance, G. L. Paschal, George Cupples, F. Giraud, J. D. McLeod. 

January 1, 1852, to January 1, 1853. 

Mayor. C. F. King. 

Aldermen. A. A. Lockwood, Peter Odet, M. G. Cotton, Rafael 
Herrera, H. D. Stumburg, James R. Sweet, H. Huffmeyer, J. A. 
Urutia, J. S. McClellan. 

January 1, 1853, to January 1, 1854. 

Mayor. J. M. Devine. 

Aldermen. A. A. Lockwood, C. N. Riotte, M. Lopez, H. Huff- 
meyer, F. Herff, B. Callaghan, J. B. Lacoste, A. Navarro, J. R. 
Sweet, Charles Hummel, G. M. Martin. 

January 1, 1854, to January 1, 1855. 

Mayor. John M. Carolan. 

Aldermen. C. F. King, F. Guilbeau, J. A. Urutia, J. A. Navarro, 
J. M. West, H. F. Oswarl, J. Hackett, J. Ulrich, August Selling^ 
sloh, B. Brady. 

January 1, 1855, to January 1, 1856. 

Mayor. James R. Sweet. 

Aldermen. C. F. King, A. W. Desmuke, Asa Mitchell, J. S. Mc- 
Donald, J. G. Viall, B. E. Edwards, A.' Deffenbaugh, B. R. Sapping- 
ton, J. D. Groesbeeck. 

January 1, 1856, to the first Monday of January, 1857. 

Mayor. J. M. Devine. 

Aldermen. G. T. Howard, A. Nette, G. Soto, I. A. Paschal, S. S. 
Smith, G. P. Post, F. Giraud, D. C. Alexander, John Fries, E. G. 
Houston, N. A. Mitchell, L. Zork. 

January 1, 1857, to June 30, 1857. 
Mayor. J. M. Devine. . 



A TEXAS PIONEER 317 

June 5, 1857, to June 30, 1857. 
Mayor. J. H. Beck, pro tern. 

July 1, 1857, to January 1, 1858. 

Mayor. A. A. Lockwood. 

Aldermen. D. C. Alexander, W. B. Knox, Jose Rodriguez, J. G. 
Gardner, W. Aj Menger, Owen Clark, David Russi, W. W. Camp- 
bell, J. A. Urutia, J. H. Beck, N. Lardner, S. W. McAllister, George 
Horner. 

January 1, 1858, to January 1, 1859. 

Mayor. A. A. Lockwood.' 

Aldermen. J. E. Gardner, J. M. Chaves, John Sturm, W. A. Men- 
ger, D. Russi, J. Earl, J. M. Penaloza, M. G. Cotton, H. Canter- 
bury, G. Thiesen, C. Byrn. 

January 1, 1859, to January 1, 1860. 
Mayor. James R. Sweet. 

Aldermen. G. Persh, W. W. Campbell, H. D. Stumburg, W. C. 
Tynan, C. Byrn, L. M. Penaloza, D. Russi, M. G. Cotton. 

January 1, 1860, to January 1, 1861. 
Mayor. James R. Sweet. 

Aldermen. M. H. Campbell, D. Russi, Wm. Vance, Thos. H. Strib- 
ling, G. Persh, H. D. Stumburg, W. C. Tynan, W. W. Campbell. 

January 1, 1861, to January 1, 1862. 

Mayor. James R. Sweet. 

Aldermen. E. Braden, F. Galan, C. F. Fisher, J. Hoyer, D. Russi, 
J. M. Fenaloza, Wm. Vance, Thos. H. Strebling, P. L. Buquor, 
G. C. Patching, E. A. Florian. 

January 1, 1862, to January 1, 1863. 

Mayor. James R. Sweet, *from January 1, 1862, to May 26, 
1862. 

Mayor. S. A. Maverick, from May 26, to January 1, 1863. 

Aldermen. E. P. Alsbury, D. Russi, F. Schreiner, G. A. Patching, 
E. A. Florian, E. Hickman, A. Sartor, E. Braden, C. F. Fisher, 
Chas. Hummel, G. Persch. 

January 1, 1863, to January 1, 1864. 

Mayor. P. L. Buquor. 

Aldermen. F. Cassiano, Jose Martinez, C. E. Fisher, E. A. Flor- 
ian, C. Hummel, E. Hickman, G. C. Patching, A. Sartor, E. Dewey, 
S. Sampson, E. Miles. 



318 A TEXAS PIONEER 

January 1, 1864, to January 1, 1865. 
Mayor. P. L. Buquor. 

Aldermen. E. Braden, E. Hickman, A. Moye, E. Schenck, W. B. 
Jaques, S. S. Robinson, C. F. Fisher, F. Cassiano, Jose Martinez. 

January 1, 1865, to October 1, 1865. 

Mayor. J. H. Lyons to August 15, 1865. 

Mayor. C. F. Fisher, pro tern, from August 15 to October 9, 
1865. | 

Aldermen. F. Cassiano, D. Russi, C. F. Fisher, S. W. McAllis- 
ter, W. B. Jaques, A. Moye, E. Braden, F. Schenck. 

October 9, 1865, to August 23, 1866. 
Mayor. D. Cleveland. 

Aldermen. H. D. Stumberg, M. H. Campbell, F. W. Poppey, C. 
F. Kaiserling, P. Shiner, G. Persch, C. Seabaugh, F. Schreiner. 

August 24, 1866, to December 31, 1866. 
Mayor. J. H. Lyons. 

Aldermen. J. F. Cassiano, W. B. Jaques, Ed. Braden, S. W. Mc- 
Allister, A. Moye, D. Russi, C. F. Fisher, C. E. Jefferson. 

January 1, 186T, to November 8, 1867. 
Mayor. J. H. Lyons. 

Aldermen. M. Yturri, A. M. Ruiz, D. Russi, S. S. Smith, F. Won- 
derschack, C. F. Fisher, A. Sartor, S. W. McAllister. 

November 8, 1867, to March 8, 1870. 

Mayor. W. C. A. Thielepape. 

Aldermen. A. Sartor, C. F. Disher, E. Pentenreider, J. M. Chanez, 
Frank Rose, J. P. Newcomb, P. H. Braunback, Thos. Hertzberg, 
V. Lieffering, C. G. Artzt, A. Dillon, F. Groos, A. Bucchette, James 
Callaghan, R. C. Norton. 

March 28, 1870, to November 12, 1872. 

Mayor. W. C. A. Thielepape from March 28, 1870, to March 12, 
1872. 

Mayor. S. G. Newton from March 13, 1872, to November 12, 1872. 

Aldermen. E. Pentenreider, James Callaghan, F. Groos, W. W. 
Gamble, D. Bell, C. Elmendarf, J. P. Newcomb, R. C. Norton, F. 
Guilbeau, F. Schreiner, J. W. Mozee, J. A. Duerler, Jose Flores, Ed. 
Steves, J. H. Kampmann, C. L. Probandt, N. Lewis, E. Cole, Wil- 
liam Reed. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 319 

November 13, 1872, to January 13, 1873. 
Mayor. F. Giraud. 

Aldermen. J. Sweeney, H. Collman, F. Kalteyer, S. S. Smith, 
C. F. Fisher, H. W. Tong, A. Michel, C. J. Hupperts. 

January 14, 1873, to January 19, 1875. 

Mayor. F. Giraud. 

Aldermen. J. Sweeney, T. T. Teel, S. S. Smith, Frank Rose, C. F. 
Fisher, Louis Briam, F. Groos, F. Schreiner, J. H. Kampmann, 
Phil. Shardein. 

January 19, 1875, to January 19, 1877. 

Mayor. James H. French. 

Aldermen. J. Sweeney, G. R. Dashiell, T. T. Teel, P. Scheiner, 
S. S. Smith, F. Schreiner, E. J. Chavez, F. D. Faville, E. Degener, 
W. Frescott, F. Hahn, S. W. McAllister, T. Kiolbassta, M. Muench, 
A. F. Wulff. 

January 19, 1877, to January 25, 1879. 

Mayor. James H. French. 

Aldermen. T. T. Teel, P. Scheiner, F. G. Smith, John Monier, 
F. D. Faville, F. Schreiner, F. Hahn, E. Degener, W. Prescott, 
M. Muench, A. F. Wulff, G. Hoerner. 

January 25, 1879, to January #5, 1881. 

Mayor. James H. French. 

Aldermen. L. Bergstrom, *A. Bruni, B. Callagham, E. Froboese, 
J. P. Newcomb, F. Schreiner, R. Wulfing, *W. Prescott, P. Jonas, 
A. I. Lockwood, W. H. Maverick, George Homer, *W. Heuermann, 
M. Muench, Edward Steves. 

January 25, 1881, to January 25, 1883. 

Mayor. James H. French. 

Aldermen. *L. Berg, A. Bruni, Geo. Caldwell, B. Callaghan, 
H. L. Degener, Win. Heuermann, P. Jonas, A. I. Lockwood, E. 
Niggli, F. Schreiner, E. Steves, R. Wulfing, fM. C. Shiner. 

January 25, 1883, to February 1, 1885. 

Mayor. James H. French. 

Aldermen. Eli Arnaud, *J. N. Gallagher, *Jos. E. Dwyer, 
August Belknap, F. Schreiner, W. R. Story, J. H. Bolton, J. T. 
Hambleton, A. I. Lockwood, H. Pauly, C. A. Richter, J. H. Smye, 
fJuan T. Cardenas, fJ. N. Gallagher. 



320 A TEXAS PIONEER 

February 1, 1885, to February 1, 1887. 

Mayor. Bryan Callaghan. 

Aldermen. T. E. Conner, J. N. Gallagher, *Juan Cardenas, J. H. 
French, F. Schreiner, A. Belknap, A. I. Lockwood, J. T. Hamble- 
ton, *J. H. Bolton, *Henry Pauly, *Martin Muench, J. H. Smye, 
fM. F. Corbett, fN. Mackey, fHans L. Degener, fL Bergstrom, 
fS. W. McAUister. 

February 28, 1887, to February 28, 1889. 

Mayor. Bryan Callaghan. 

Aldermen. *A. Belknap, Fritz Schreiner, Dan Lewis, J. N. Gal- 
lagher, fJ. H. Schaefer, fJ- H. Presnall, C. Guerguin, T. E. Conner, 
E. L. Richey, Geo. H. Kalteyer, H. L. Degener, Gus Mauermann, 
G. A. Reiman, *J. H. Smye. 

February 28, 1889, to February 28, 1891. 

Mayor. Bryan Callaghan. 

Aldermen. A. I. Lockwood, Henry Fest, A. F. Wulff, John H. 
Bolton, Charles Guerguin, T. E. Conner, Jacob Weber, Geo. H. 
Kalteyer, Joseph Boelhauwe, F. F. Rogers, Gus A. Reimann, Alex 
Sartor. 

February, 1891, to February, 1893. 

Mayor. Bryan Callaghan. 

Aldermen. A. I. Lockwood, F. Schreiner, *M. F. Corbett, fW. S. 
Anderson, L. M. Gregory, C. Guerguin, T. E. Conner, Jacob Weber, 
*Aug. Santleben, Jos. Boelhauwe, *H. W. Bitter, Albert Persch, 
Albert Backmann, ^Thos. E. Dougherty, fW. Muth. 

February, 1893, to February, 1895. 

Mayor. George Paschal. 

Aldermen. Chas. Schreiner, W. S. Smith, *C. B. Hill, G. W. Russ, 
*S. G. Newton, Jas. H. French, Wm. Hoefling, H. Limburger, J. A. 
Daugherty, Albert Beckmann, H. Eltnendorf, N. Mackey, Joe 
Beckmann, Erich Menger, *John W. Tobin. 

February, 1895, to February, 1897. 

Mayor. Hy. Elmendorf. 

Aldermen. F. Guerguin, Aug. Robin, Erich Menger, Jos. P. 
Devine, Wm. Hoefling, C. Fahey, Ad. Dreiss, A. F. Beckmann, W. C> 
Robards, N. Mackey, Louis Oge, W. Holt. 

February, 1897, to February, 1899. 
Mayor. Bryan Callaghan. 
Aldermen. G. A. Duerler, B. J. Mauermann, J. N. Rome, W. B. 



A TEXAS PIONEER 321 

Hamilton, Lee Kilgore, W. L. Richter, Geo. Surkey, Marshall Hicks, 
L. Mahncke, John Miller, C. A. Denny, W. W. Johnson. 

February, 1899, to February, 1901. 

Mayor. Marshall Hicks. 

Aldermen. L. Mahncke, F. A. Piper, Geo. Surkey, T. E. Mumme, 
J. K. Lamm, W. L. Richter, J. A. O'Connor, R. F. Alexander, Aug. 
Thiele, Wm. Davis, W. L. Barker, A. P. Rheiner. 

February, 1901, to February, 1903. 

Mayor. Marshall Hicks (Elected to State Senate October, 1902). 

Mayor. Dr. Frederick Terrell (Elected to fill vacancy). 

Aldermen. W. L. Barker, Aug. Lewy, J. F. Hickman, Walton 
Peteet, J. K. Lamm, W. L. Richter, J. A. O'Connor, R. F. Alexander, 
Fred Terrell, A. Seidel, Frank Weber, A. P. Rheiner. 

February, 1903, to May, 1905. 

Mayor. J. P. Campbell. 

Aldermen. W. L. Barker, V. P. Brown, W. L. Richter, N. T. 
Wilson, J. R. Lambert, J. D. Seamands, Rud. Krisch, J. H. Kirk- 
patrick, J. F. Fentiman, H. B. Salliway, F. M. Gloeckner, Ed. Steves. 

May, 1905, to May, 1907. 
Mayor. Bryan Callaghan. 

Aldermen. W. L. Richter, B. J. Mauermann, John Bauer, J. T. 
Hambleton, J. R. Lambert, Eli Arnaud, E. Menger, M. A. Davis 
A. I. Lockwood, C. S. Robinson, Ed. Braden, E. A. Kuehn. 

May, 190T, to May, 1909. 
Mayor. Bryan Callaghan. 

Aldermen. B. J. Mauermann, W. J. Richter, *John Bauer, fErnst 
Dietzmann, J. T. Hambleton, J. R. Lambert, E. Arnaud, E ^Menger, 
*L. C. Thompson, fC. C. Smith, A. I. Lockwood, K. J. CareyriBtt? 
Braden, E. A. Kuehn.