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cattle rustlers from Gonzales county, in the West Hardin community. In our crowd were Jim Sutton, Fred House, Tom Patton, Belger Baylor, J. J. Kilgore, Emil Neil and myself. We overtook the rustlers at Leon Springs, now Camp Stanley, with 350 head of cattle belonging to cattlemen throughout our section of the country, and we captured the whole outfit about sundown. After guarding them all night we took them to San Antonio and turned them over to the
JESSE M. KILGORE sheriff. The following day we drove the cattle back below Floresville and turned them loose. The leader of the gang was convicted and sent to the penitentiary for six years, but was pardoned shortly afterwards.
In 1871 my father went up the trail with a herd, his straight mark and brand. He came back with his outfit, horses and wagon. With him came Dick Crew, whose native state was Ohio. Dick lived with us quite awhile and we thought it strange that a man from the north could ride and rope so well. I would like to know what became of him. We all thought a great deal of Dick Crew.
In 1875 we left the Cibolo, in Wilson county, with 2,100 head of mixed cattle going West. We followed the Cibolo as far as Selma in order to have water. From Selma we crossed the Salado at the old Austin Crossing, then to the head of the San Antonio River where Brackenridge Park is now located, where we watered. Then went on to Leon Springs. The next water at San Geronimo, then Pipe Creek, and from there to Bandera, following the Medina River up to the present site of Medina City. Here we held the cattle and rested for a month. The cattle were sore-footed from traveling over the rocks, and the horses were skinned and poor; in fact some of them died afoot, and during the time we rested we sent back to the ranch for fresh horses. After breaking camp we followed the West Prong of the Medina River to its head, where we made another stop to rest. We were then on the divide. Leaving there we went out by the Frio Water Hole, and on to the Frio River where we again stopped, men and horses all in. Charles L. Kilgore, Joe Crossley and myself intended to start a ranch, but did not fancy the rocks.
The Indians came frequently with the moon, but so far had given us no trouble. No doubt they had sized up our horses, concluded they could not use them and passed them up as too poor.
The following winter we gathered up and went to Frio county, about one hundred miles south of where we were. After two days' travel down the Hondo, fifteen redskins came by our old camp in behind us.
A man named Phillips ate dinner with us and started back to Bandera and was killed and scalped by those Indians. No doubt they saw our herd and passed us somewhere near Frio City. We had eight men in our crowd, John J. Strait, John Muhr, Price Preston, Charles L. Kilgore and myself, and others whose names I cannot recall. It is believed that the Indians thought our party too large to attack. Brother Charles and myself are the only members of that party that I know of who are still living. Reaching Frio county we bought land and fenced it with timber, like all the pastures were fenced in those days. Wire fences were then unknown.
About the last raid made by the Indians near Frio City was in 1877, when a band of redskins passed through the Oge and Woodward pasture five miles from Frio City. Louis Oge, Cav. Woodward, Bill Henson and two Mexicans took their trail, sending one Mexican to town to notify the citizens, and requesting help to meet them at the Votaw pens on Elm Creek. Some thought it was done to break up a dance that was coming off, so we did not go. During the afternoon another Mexican brought word that Oge and the others were fighting the Indians, so we rushed out there but arrived too late as they had fled, leaving forty-six head of stolen horses. There were ten Indians in the band. Some of the horses belonged as far up as Bandera. After the fight was over we had our dance.
Afterwards Billie Parks and the boys on the Leona killed an Indian. This was about the winding up of the Indian raids in this section.
Shortly after this Joe Crossley was killed at Uvalde by Sam Griner, and later Griner was killed.
In 1893 Chas. Kilgore and myself bought and drove 330 ewes to the Pecos River, and located a ranch fifty miles west of Fort Lancaster. Jack Sheppard was a third partner. We were three months on this trip. We had a hard time crossing the Pecos River. It sure tries a man's patience to make such an undertaking as we attempted. You can't belong to the church and swim sheep across a stream. Only by the help of Halff's cowboys were we able to get those sheep across, otherwise we would have stay on this side. They were like the old timer-can't make him "take water over the bar." Finally we sold out and quit the Pecos, going as far as Fort Worth, later selling out there and came back home. Fort Worth was quite a small place then. In Volume I of this book our president, George W. Saunders, in his write-up of the settling of this country, and the hardships the people endured during those times, did not exaggerate in the least. His memory is wonderful, and the only thing he forgot to mention was about our living on "jerked” beef, and how old he was when he first saw any flour. I know I was a good sized boy before we had any flour. My father owned the first cooking stove and buggy on the Cibolo. Our few neighbors came over to see our stove and, of course, pronounced it a fake, but it was not long until the old skillet was cast aside and stoves were plentiful.
I first saw the light in Texas in 1854. I have two brothers living, Chas. L. and J. K. Kilgore. Have three sisters dead. Ella, the oldest, married L. H. Browne. They had two sons, J. L. and N. H. Browne, both of whom are now living in San Antonio. My next sister, Mattie, married J. J. Strait. Both are dead, but are survived by six children: J. B., J. S. and Y. C. Strait, Mrs. Viola Ward, Mrs. Dell Ward, and Mrs. Alma Parr. W. Y. Kilgore, now dead, married Miss Mary Little and has one child living, Mrs. Artie Barnhardt.
In 1879 I married Miss Flora A. Matthews of Palestine, Texas. In 1887 she died at the age of 26 years, leaving two children, both girls, Elna and Callie. Elna married George W. McDaniel, they have three children living; Flora V., Robert G. and Maggie. Callie married first Geo. T. Crusins; they had two children, Geraldine K. and Alton B. Crusins. In 1918 she married Thomas N. Scroggins, a World War veteran and a member of the 36th Division.
I have five grandchildren and one great-grandchild living. We are passing away fast. In a few years we will meet here no more. If it had not been for the president of our association, George W. Saunders, there would have been nothing left for the younger generation to know who opened good old Texas for them to live in.
HARDSHIPS OF A WINTER DRIVE
Alf. Beadle, North Pleasanton, Texas In January, 1894, Mr. Pruitt, whose ranch is situated twenty-five miles north of Alpine in the Davis Mountains, put up a herd of cattle to be driven up into the
Panhandle country. He hired Tip Franklin, Jesse Parker, Will Heard, myself, George Owens, Jim McMahon, Jess Pruitt and Will Pruitt; also a negro cook and negro horse-wrangler. Jess Pruitt was boss.
On the second day of February we started out with the herd in good shape. The first night out the cattle stampeded several times and kept all hands up most of the night as well as the second night. One day about twelve o'clock a low cloud was seen in the
ALF. BEADLE north. Some of the boys said it was only the sand blowing on the plains, while others said it was a blizzard coming. We were then going over the long prairie near the Leon Holes and about 4 o'clock it struck us. It was a sandstorm and turned to sleeting. We were compelled to stand a midnight guard with the horses as well as the cattle. The cattle milled and ran most of the night. Could not bed them at all and we made slow progress owing to the cold. We got to the Horse Head Crossing on the Pecos River in the middle of the afternoon. The river was up and as we had good protection on that side of the river Jess stopped there for the night, but on account of the salt grass he had to double the guards again. Bob the horsewrangler was put on guard again. The next morning we had no horses nor horse wrangler, all were gone. We found where Bob had burned a rat den and after it had burned out he raked the ashes away and lay down and went to sleep. Upon waking up, Bob discovered the horses were gone and he began hunting for them and got lost himself. We found him that day about one o'clock twelve miles up the river with two of the horses. We