Frontier Times Magazine
Vol 1 No. 1 - OCTOBER 1923
Contents of this volume:
Jack Hays, the Famous Texas Ranger
By Rex Wertenberg. Among the prominent men who made themselves conspicuous by their talents in the days qf the Republic of Texas, none were more active or had a more interesting career than Captain Jack Hays. On the western border he fought the enemies of civilization in more than forty engagements when he was protecting San Antonio and Southwest Texas against robbers and savages. This article provides a brief sketch of his life and a description of his personal appearance and character.
Further Mentions: Colonel Hays was born at Fort Haysboro, in Wilson county, Tennessee, on the 28th of January, 1817, his mother's brother, Abner Gage, Colonel Travis from the Alamo., Deaf Smith's spy company, Dawson's company; Colonel Karnes. Bexar county, President Lamar, the Somerville expedition, Bandera Pass; Walker's Creek, above Seguin, the Agua Dulce; Paint Rock, General Taylor, Ben McCulloch, Tom Green, the battle of Monterrey, General Worth, Colonel Hays married Miss Susan Calvit of Seguin in April, 1847, Ex-President Lamar, Generals Burleson, Ben and Henry McCulloch and Tom Green, Judge, Governor Bell, Colonel Walker Capt. Ad Gillespie, Big Foot Wallace,
The Trail of Blood Along the Texas Border
By John Warren Hunter. Early in 1855, Mathew Taylor and Joe McDonald, each having large families moved from Illinois and settled on Sprint Creek, fifteen miles west of Fredericksburg in Gillespie county. At that period Fredericksburg was the chief seat of the Prince Solms Colony of Germans and was a mere village of pole cabins and the settlement formed by McDonald and Taylor was on the extreme border. The government maintained a small garrison of regulars at Fort Martin Scott, two miles below Fredericksburg, also at Ft. Mason. McDonald and Taylor engaged in stock raising and farming. This is the account of their struggle to settle in this region and the trouble they encountered. It is a very sad story, but also good early Gillespie & Kimble County history.
Further Mentions: Fort McKavett, the Upper Llanos, the Conchos and the Guadalupe regions, the forks of the Llano, Junction City, the Nixon and Joy families who moved out from Arkansas, Squaw creek, Beaver Creek., Matthew Taylor. Tobe Joy, who later made a brilliant record as an Indian fighter. Captain John Banta, the Joy ranch, the Taylor ranch. the region from the Guadalupe to the Colorado, the pioneer village of Schoenbruff, the first settlement in the ,Northwest Territory near New Philadelphia, Ohio,
The Massacre of John Webster and Party
Story of the John Webster family, who came to Texas from Virginia in 1839. Webster knew of the danger from Indians, for the brutal Comanches were in control of the country north and west of Austin. For protection from Indians and to assist him in improving his place, he induced eleven young men to accompany him, and tradition says he bad with him a Negro man servant and his wife, making the party consist seventeen. Between the 10th and 15th of August, 1839, this party took up the line of march, having three wagons, drawn by oxen.. There being no roads and none of the men familiar with the country, their progress was very slow. According to Mrs. Webster’s account, at about sundown on the third day they reached an elevation that overlooked the spot that Webster intended to make his future home. But to their horror a large number of Comanche 1ndians were encamped on the spot intended for the Webster home. What follows is the story of their horrific experience.
Further Mentions: Webberville, the South San Gabriel. the town of Leander in Williamson County, the Cashion farm and the Wilson farm, the Brushy Creek Valley, the Llano branch of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, Henderson, Mr. Upchurch, George Alley, who afterwards lived and died in Georgetown and Rev. Jack Atkinson, a pioneer preacher of the Cumberland Presbyterian church., Mr. Atkinson, Pilot Knob, a few miles north of Austin. Mrs. Maverick, the name of Strickling, Washington Perry Reese and William Parker Reese, Kartha V. Strickling: Charles Reese and Thomas Reese."
History of Fort Inge on the Leona River
Miss Bertha, Dalton. Speaks of Mt. Inge, situated about three miles south of Uvalde on the Leona River, and of the Fort establish there on March 13, 1849. Captain Seth Eastman, of the First Infantry first commanding, and in a short time, he gave way to Captain William J. Hardu, author of a book on military tactics that was used by both the Federals and Confederates during the Civil War. On April, 1851, the troops were withdrawn but the Fort was again occupied in July of the same year. This is an account of it’s establishment and early history.
Further Mentions: Captain James Oakes, Captain Richards of the Ranger force, Captain Robert P. McClay, Robert E. Lee, who carried Scott into the City of Mexico, Judge J. F. Robinson, Captain Edmond K. Smith; General E. Kirby Smith, General O. B. Hood, Thomas Duncan, Brigadier General Joseph Wilson, General J. Duncan,
Taming the Savage Apache Followers of Geronimo.
Of all the American Indians it is conceded that the Apaches were the most bloodthirsty and cruel. They were so cruel that it is said of them that they tortured simply for the pleasure of giving pain, and young Apache boys took keen delight in tearing to pieces live birds, mice or game which fell into their clutches. Growing into men their cruel natures were emphasized. Their outrages increased until the whole country was terrorized. Settlers were murdered, ranches were burned, men, women and children slaughtered and scalped. Sometimes they would strip the clothing from prisoners and bury them close to an ant hill so that the ants would eat the flesh from their skulls. Their outrages on the frontier shocked the whole world, and until captured by Miles and Lawton they terrorized the whole border and carried their warfare into Mexico. This is an account of their cruelties, and eventual taming.
Further Mentions: Geronimo, depredations in Sonora, San Carlos, Arizona, George Crook, Chiricaliua. General Miles, Captain Emmett Crawford, General Lawton, their mountain retreat in the Sierra Madres, Meteorites in Texas. – a brief but interesting article on meteorites found in TX.
A Bunco of the Eighties-the Diamond King.
During the year 1886 San Antonio was electrified by the arrival of a most singular individual. Many people remember clearly the furor he caused at the time. Coming unheralded and unknown, he blew into town one day, a blaze of diamonds. His Mexican sombrero was thickly powdered with immense gems. His coat and vest bore as many as could find room. His sleeve buttons, and the buttons of all his garments, were sparkling with diamonds.
To the curious throng that crowded his tent he had pitched a canvas home or a vacant lot near Alamo Plaza. His servants announced that their master was a diamond king. This man took San Antonio like a storm, and left in his wake….
Population of Texas Seventy-Five Years Ago
The first census record for the State of Texas was the enumeration of 1850, the republic having been accepted as a State in 1845, at which time its total population was 212,592, or more than one square mile for each person enumerated. The city of New York that year had a few more than 50,000. When Texas was admitted as a State in 1845 it claimed considerable territory not now within its confines. In 1850 it sold to the Federal Government for $10,000,000 all claimed outlying area which reduced it to the size as shown by present-day maps. Article goes on to provide details. Gives population figures for early towns such as Bonham, 211; Comaltown, 286; Corpus Christi, 533; Eagle Pass, (then in Bexar county) 383: Fredericksburg, 754; Galveston, 4,177; Hortontown, (Comal county), 139; Houston, 2,396, Indianola, 379; Lavaca, 315; Marshall, 1,180; McKinney, 192; Nacogdoches, 468; New Braunfels, 1,298. Palestine, 212; Richmond, 323 - San Antonio, 3,488; etc
Article further enumerates demographics, origins of settlers, ethnic distinctions, public schools, etc. Further Mentions: David S. Kaufman, of Sabinetown. and Timothy Pillsbury, of Brnzoria, Kaufman, Volney E. Howard, of San, Antonio, Surveyed by Austin. Stephen F. Austin surveyed and laid out the town of Columbus in August, 1823, and planned to make it the capital of his colony. But he found that the Indians frequented the territory along the Colorado River and to the westward, so he abandoned his plan and moved back to the Brazos River and located his capital at San Felipe de Austin. But the work started by Austin was carried on by two other men, who actually were the first settlers of the place that is now Columbus. These were W. D. Dewees and Leander Beeson. These men lived on opposite sides of the river and each was two miles from the proposed town, but moved to it after Austin's survey.
Arizona Indian Wars.
Thomas Farrell. Mentions fort McLean on the road to Pinos Altos, half way between Rio Mimbres and the Santa Rita copper mines., Rough and Ready station, 20 miles west of Mecelle. Bob Sackett, a girl of the Pennington family, the Apaches had carried off a boy of Johnny Ward's. Capt. Reel., Neil Davis, Owen Trellor., Neil Croker, Croker of California, Lieutenant Bascom, with a company of the 7th infantry, Apache pass, Cochise and his half brother, with two Pinal chiefs, Paddy Carroll., Lorato, Mickey Free.
Rangers Meet at Menard. (brief story) The ex-state rangers met at Menard: Mentions rangers: W. M. Green, Major commanding, Meridian; J. B. Gillett, Captain, Marfa; Norman Rogers, First Lieutenant. Post; W.W. Lewis, Second Lieutenant, Menard; A. T. Richie, Adjutant, Comanche – Henry Sackett, Orderly Sergeant and Secretary, Coleman; W. H. Roberts, color bearer, Llano - John O. Allen, chaplain, Cookville.
Further Mentions: Weatherford, Sam Bass and Nep Thornton. Jack Hays, Ben McCulloch, Ad Gillespie, Big Foot Wallace. Also has B&W photo of J. B. Gillett.
The Cry of the Death Bird Served as a Warning
By Isaac Motes. Speaks of owl-like bird who was supposed to have given a cry of warning when danger approached. Especially was it believed to be the protector of officers of the law and women and children. Many old plainsmen will tell you of cases where the death bird was believed to have saved their lives, and woe to the man who heard its cry and heeded it not. To quote Mr. Motes: "About midnight I was awakened by thunder and occasional flashes of lightning. There was a feelng of deep uneasiness in my heart, as though something else had helped to wake me: Almost immediately I heard the hooting of an owl up the river a hundred yards or so. Three times I heard it. At first I paid no heed to it, but the next time I noted it more intently and thought it sounded unnatural. The third time I felt this more strongly. I knew it was a habit of Indians to imitate the hoot of an owl or howl of a wolf as a signal to others of their band when they were creeping upon white men from different directions. Not more than a minute after I heard the owl the third time I heard another over to the east of me. I lay still, listening for a repetition of the sound, that I might tell if possible whether it were really an owl. The lightning occasionally flamed in zigzags across the black sky. I must have waited half an hour, straining my eyes every time the lightning flashed, when all at once I heard the scream of the death bird overhead. From the sound of its cry it seemed to have been sitting on one of the topmost limbs, and cried as it started to fly away, as I could tell by the long drawn out wailing sound. Immediately after this cry a flash of lightning filled the whole river bottom with a white blinding light, and I expected every second to receive a shower of arrows in my body from some band of lurking savages"
Further Mentions: Clear Fork, Indian Jim
The Lipan Indian Tribe
Among the Indian tribes whose friendship for the white settlers in Texas was steadfast and faithful, was the tribe of Lipans of which Flacco was the chief. This tribe was not of the more numerous of the Indian communities-it was just the other way - it was a small tribe. But it. was a valuable ally of the settlers and on more than one occasion gave valued assistance to the hard-pressed settlers in their fight.
Further Mentions: Seguin, Gen. Burleson, Senor Antonio Navarro, a friend in whom the Lipans had unbounded confidence, Gen. Houston, the San Gabrial, fifty miles from Austin, Col. John H. Moore, La Grange and Bastrop.
The Hunt for the Bowie Mine in Menard
By John Warren Hunter. In 1756 the Franciscan Missionaries erected the San Saba Mission on the north bank of the San Saba river, one mile above the site whereon now stands the flourishing town of Menard. At the same time they built a mission four miles below the San Saba mission on the south bank of the river. A year later this mission was destroyed by the Indians, but the upper mission continued to enlarge and flourish until 1790, when it was also attacked and destroyed by the Indians. Sometime during the occupancy of this mission the Spaniards discovered and developed a silver mine which was said to be of exceeding richness and which in the end, led to the downfall of the mission and the close of missionary effort in the San Saba country. There has always existed a doubt in the public mind as to whether the Spaniards ever discovered a silver mine on the banks of the San Saba. Geologists find no indications that would warrant even a remote supposition that silver had ever existed in paying qualities anywhere in all that region, yet notwithstanding all this, history and tradition attest the existence of a, silver mine so often referred to by old Spanish chroniclers as "La Mina de las Almagres," and "La Mina de las Amarillos," and in modern times as ''the Bowie Mine." This is the story.
Further Mentions: James Bowie, The battle of Calf creek, where Bowie encountered a large force of Indians, the Almagres mine, Ben F. Gooch, a one-time wealthy stockman, "Gooch's Folly.", W. T. Burnam, A man by the name of Fischer.
RANGER OF THE SIXTIES (This article is excellent genealogy, if you have ancestors who were rangers in San Saba, Mason, Llano and Burnet counties during 1860’s)
W. T. Linn, Texas Ranger of the 60's and Confederate veteran with a commendable record, was a citizen of San Saba and one of the Texas Rangers who made up that noted frontier company that was organized at the outbreak of the Civil War and was composed of men from San Saba, Mason, Llano and Burnet counties. This brief article mentions numerous names of rangers whom he recalls from those counties. An excerpt:
From San Saba county; J. B. Pyatt, B. M. Hamrick, T. F. Hamrick, B. Gammenthaler, W. T. Linn, Ben Linil, Henry Farrer, A. J. Hubbert, Allen Taylor, J. A. Taylor, Henry Woods, A. J. Brown, R. G. Binnion, Joe Hanna, Jack Hanna, Dick Nelson, Tom Potts, Lewis Mulky, B. G. Cook, John Hall,
Burnet County: First Lieutenant Woods, Newt Lawler, Mose Bolt, Zan Fisher, William Stokes, Zane Stokes, Charles Vandiver, John Olney, William Seawood, Sam Olney, John Aultman, Joe Aultman, Thomas Fry, William Brooks, William Bauntley, Al Brooks, Dr. Hansford, Bill Standifer, Jake Standifer, Tom Wolf, Rickman Holland, Jeff Bresbeale, Robert Flippen, Duke Snow, Matt Allen, John Lord, Jim Ward, Seott Pankey.
Mason County: John O. Hair, James Crosby, Robert Cavness, Thomas Lindsey, Kit Woods.
Llano County: Code Charles Haynes, Ben Gibson, John Russell, Hardin Russell, Robert Hardin, Cal Putman, Lib Rainbolt Nathan Noble, Brooks and Barker.
Further Mentions: The company went into camp on the Hall ranch, three miles from where the town of Richland Springs now is, on Richland Creek. The company afterwards went into camp at Old Camp San Saba, between Brady and Mason. This company of mounted men, with their own fighting equipment, was mustered into the Confederate Army in 1863, and retained their individual equipment until mustered out of the army. Col. McCord commanded the regiment and N. D. McMillin was company commander with T. P. C. Hambrick and James McDowell lieutenants; Dr. Hansford was the company physician. At the close of the war this company was mustered out at Velasco, at the mouth of the Brazos River.
Descendants of these men make up a large percent of the citizenry of San Saba, Mason, Llano and Burnet counties. Mr. Linn believes Lewis Mulkey, Charles Vandiver and William Seawood are the only…
Pioneer Is Dead. Brief article mentions August Cline, one of the best known pioneers of Texas and founder of the town of CIine, Uvalde county. Mr. Cline, who was a native of Prussia, came to the United States at an early age. He was a companion and co-worker with Kit Carson in the early days of the New Mexico Indian campaign. He served as a scout for the United States Army, working under many famous generals of the army. Mr. Cline was chief scout for General McKenzie in his last campaign against the Indians in Western Texas.
Not only did he take an active part in the campaigns of the United States against the uncivilized Indians, but Mr. Cline had several personal encounters. The story is told of how…
Remarkable Life Story of Quanah Parker
Quanah Parker, the celebrated Comanche chief, who died suddenly at his home on the Comanche reservation four miles west of Cache, Okla., Feb. 23, 1911, had a most remarkable history. Parker was the son of Peta Noeona, one of the most ferocious and daring Comanche chiefs known in the annals of Indian warfare; his mother was Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman of a pious and God fearing family that lived near Groesbeek, Limestone County, Texas, where she was captured in 1836 by a band of Comanches and Kiowas led by Peta Nocona. At the time of his death Quanah Parker was 67 years old, having been born in 1844, eight years after the capture of his mother by his father. Prior to 1847 when the Comanche tribes were compelled to live on reservations prescribed by the Federal Government, Parker's life had been spent among scenes of rapine and bloodshed, and many deadly struggles had he witnessed and participated in between the red race of his father and the white race to which his mother belonged. The story of Quanah Parker's life really begins with the emigration from Cole County, Illinois, to Texas in 1833, of his mother's grandfather, John W. Parker, and her father, Silas Parker and numerous relatives who settled in Limestone County, on the west side of the Navasota River, and near the present site of the town of Groesbeck. There were nine families in the Parker colony. The account goes on to detail the events in the remarkable life of Quanah Parker.
Further Mentions: Parker's Fort, Elder John W. Parker, Benjamin F. Parker Mrs. R. Russell, L. M. T. PLummer, his wife and son James, aged 2 years; L. D. Nixon, his wife, Robert, a grown son, and another son; G. E. Dwight, his wife and two children, and Mrs Duty and Mrs. Elizabeth Kellogg, Samuel M. Frost and Robert Frost, David Faulkenberry, Captain L. S. Ross, William Donohue, Colonel John S. Ford, Captain S. P. Ross and Captain W. A. Pitts, the battle of Antelope Hills. Major Van Dorn, Captain Jack Cureton of Bosque county, Lieutenant Killiher, the little daughter of Cynthia Ann, "Prairie Flower,", Hon. J. L. Birdsong, A. C. Birdsong, the daughter of Yellow Bear.
Belief in the Efficacy of the Madstone.
Belief in the efficacy of the madstone as a preventive of hydrophobia is beginning to wane, though there are still many intelligent men, some of whom are learned in science, who believe the application of the madstone will, prevent rabies. The madstone, according to physicians who have studied the subject, was first used by the Indians. The genuine madstone is a hard substance usually taken from the stomach of some animal…