178 Chapters
Medium 9781574415056

17. Seeing Jane Again

Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne Brown University of North Texas Press PDF

“Dear child . . . common Sense and common intelligence of mankind wil[l] vindicate your father . . . there will be no Stigma attached to my name for the blood which I have Spilt is of that kind which can never Stain.”

John Wesley Hardin to daughter Jane, July 14, 1889

t is evident from the Hardin correspondence beginning the second decade of his imprisonment that his studying showed results in greatly improved writing. His letters, although still far from grammatical and with occasional misspelled words, unfortunately are filled with axioms and proverbs, biblical quotes or paraphrases, and advice to his children.

Rarely does he refer to his actions, which would have provided the historian details of his life. He continued to condemn the legal system that placed him in prison, his “unfair” trial, the appeal, the unjust imprisonment, and the legal murder of his brother and relatives. These were the things that were entirely unjust and actually criminal in his mind. At the same time he expressed pride in his achievements.

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Medium 9781574415056

10. Fighting Waller’s Texas Rangers

Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne Brown University of North Texas Press PDF

“[Captain Waller ] aroused the whole country and had about 500 men scouting for me, whose avowed purpose was to hang me.”

John Wesley Hardin

harles M. Webb, deputy sheriff of Brown County, lay dead on the street in Comanche. This victim was different from Hardin’s previous ones: he was not a member of the unpopular State Police; he was not a soldier wearing the uniform of an occupation army; this man was a former Texas Ranger and a white lawman, respected by the populace and apparently with many friends. Hardin, the Dixon brothers, Jim

Taylor and other family and friends now faced the wrath of the Comanche citizenry. Wes and some of his friends galloped to “some mountains” four miles from town. On the twenty-seventh brother Joe and some other friends found him. He then sent back with Joe the horses they had used to make their escape from town. Hardin did not want people to think him a horse thief, which notion was admirable in this extreme case of emergency, but neither he nor his friends appreciated the anger of the Comanche County citizens. Hardin and Taylor and the Dixons no doubt felt that within a week or so the anger would pass, and this violent incident would be forgotten. They could not have been more wrong.

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Medium 9781574413786

Chapter 7. “back-shooting border scum and thieves”

David Johnson University Of North Texas Press ePub



“back-shooting border scum and thieves”

NEWSPAPERS HERALDED IT as the Mason County War or the Mason County Disturbances. Locally it was called the Hoo Doo War, and the troubles were never confined to Mason County. It was an ethnically divisive, brutal affair that began with two factions seeking range domination in Mason and Llano counties. Best known for the violence in Mason County during 1875 and 1876, it began earlier and lasted longer than the period of Ringo’s involvement, nearly thirty years.1 One historian concerned with Ringo’s role in the fighting correctly attributes that phase of the war to the murder of Tim Williamson.2 Williamson’s death and the subsequent killing of Moses Baird mark distinct turning points in the conflict. The first brought in Scott Cooley, the latter John Ringo.

Simplistic reasons have been given for the feud’s outbreak. One ascribes the feud’s origins to the Civil War and the animosities that grew out of it. Others blame ethnic animosities between the recent immigrants from Germany and those from other parts of the United States. Concerning John Ringo, a writer incorrectly states that Ringo joined the Scott Cooley “gang which operated with the Americans when it suited their purpose.”3 Another, referring to the Cooley faction, states organized outlaw gangs took “advantage of the German-American feud.”4 Elsewhere the author states that Ringo joined the Cooley gang, “a gaggle of back-shooting border scum and thieves,” and maintains that Cooley’s gang “intruded” into a range war that “became a complex and bloody three-way struggle” with the Cooley group preying on both sides.5

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Medium 9781574414769

Chapter 22: Kid Curry Captured

Mark T. Smokov University of North Texas Press ePub


Kid Curry Captured

Kid Curry continued to travel through the South, hiding out for a time in late November 1901 in the Unaka Mountains, a rugged region where western North Carolina’s border meets southeastern Tennessee. He was accompanied by a native of the area named Sam Adkins (or Atkins), who was wanted for murder in Texas. The two fugitives had become acquainted during the time Curry had been in Texas.1 Curry also spent some time in early December in Asheville, North Carolina, northeast of the Unakas. He was seen in the company of two men, Luther Brady and Jim Boley.2 All three of these men would figure importantly in Curry’s future during his sojourn in Knoxville, Tennessee.

On Monday, December 9, Curry arrived at the Southern Railway Station in Knoxville from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Two pieces of his baggage were to be sent later on Train No. 36, actually arriving on Thursday the 12th.3 By Tuesday he had checked into a room at the Central Hotel where he kept two grips, but he made his headquarters for the week at Ike Jones’ saloon (known as the Old Central Bar) in the red-light district called the Bowery. Going by the name William Wilson, he was soon seen in the company of two of the better-looking prostitutes in the Bowery, Mayme Edington and Lillian Sartin (or Sartain). He was especially fond of Lillian, spending the nights in her room upstairs over the bar at Ike’s place on Central Avenue and Commerce Street. He ate many of his meals at a nearby restaurant run by the wife of Edwin Jackson “Uncle Jack” Harrison.4

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Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 17 I Have Killed A Many Man

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF



I Have Killed

A Many Man


fter Long­ley was sentenced on Tuesday, September 11, 1877,

Jim Brown discussed with Judge Turner his concerns about the security of the Lee County jail while Long­ley was awaiting the outcome of his appeal. Turner agreed that it was “not a safe jail for the confinement” of Long­ley, and ordered that he be conveyed to the Travis County jail in Austin “for safekeeping during his appeal.”1 Turner initially ordered Long­ley sent to Galveston, but crossed it out in favor of Austin.

Apparently there was no room for Long­ley in Austin where John

Wesley Hardin was currently being detained. Brown sent a telegram that evening to Sheriff Christian Jordan in Galveston: “I want to imprison Bill Long­ley with you. Answer instanter. Can you take him?”2 Jordan promptly responded that the county commissioners of

Galveston County had prohibited him from receiving prisoners from other counties until the county jail could “be placed in a more secure condition.” On the 13th, Brown again telegraphed him: “By request of many citizens I telegraph you again to take Wm. Long­ley for safekeeping. He is convicted of murder and is threatened by mob.”3

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