The articles on this page
come from the Dallas Morning News.
News can sometimes
be useful for finding clues and adding interesting details in your family
Many times someone accused of a crime was never convicted, but the proceedings do leave a paper trail.
29 Oct 1885 "Charged with Perjury"
"Deputy Sheriffs Haskell and Kearby
arrested Thomas Elam yesterday, near Elam
Station, on the charge of perjury based on the allegation that he had
made affidavit to being worth $1,000 in going on a bond exectuted in Bandera
County. The Sheriff of that county forwarded the bond to the Sheriff of
Dallas County for examination, and the latter passed upon it unfavorably.
Upon Elam being brought in he at once took legal steps looking to his release
on a writ of habeas corpus. The case is set for 9 a.m. Friday next. The
Sheriff of Bandera is here watching the course of events."
6 Nov 1885 "Habeas Corpus
"A few days ago Thomas
J. Elam was arrested in this county on a capias issued from Bandera
County on an indictment charging him with perjury in connection with a
bond. The Sheriff of that county, Mr. Hamilton, came after the prisoner
and Sheriff Smith turned him over to him. His bond was fixed at $2,000,
which the prioner gave, with Isaac Elam, J.E. Gill, G.W. Elam and W.B.
Elam on it. The prisoner sued out a writ of habeas corpus before Judge
Aldredge this evening. The State did not object to the bond, but urged that
as the indictment had been found in Bandera County, a capias issued on
it and the prisoner was in the hands of the Sheriff of Bandera, a habeas
corpus could only be heard in that county. The Judge sustained this position
and dismissed the case. The defendant gave notice of appeal and will prosecute
it to the higher courts."
22 Mar 1888 "Arrested for
Arson" "Several Cattlemen looking for Young
Cattle - A Big Transaction"
"Victoria, Tex., March 21 - Sheriff
Thurmond today arrested and placed in jail a man who is supposed to be
one Frank France who is badly wanted in Bandera
County for arson and horse theft. France had gone to the depot to take
the east bound train and when arrested denied emphatically that he was
the man wanted and gave his name as John Miller and later on as John Lewis.
He has been in Victoria only two or three days, is about 5 feet 5 inches
high, has a sandy complexion and light hair and wears a light mustache.
He was arrested on a description sent by the Sheriff of Bandera County
to Sheriff Thurmond."
23 July 1894 "A Woman in the
"Bandera, Bandera Co., Tex., July 19-
M. Cravey, a deputy sheriff of Bandera County, has just brought in James
Cravey, who this morning killed R.G. Crain
and wounded John Crain at the head of Cherry
Creek, in Kerr County. Cravey claims that he did the shooting in self defence;
that he was attacked by both the Crains and two others and after he had
killed one and wounded one he was chased for more than a mile by others
and finally leaped from his horse and took to the brush to escape. He made
his way to his brother, who is a deputy sheriff of this county, and surrendered
to him. The deputy started with him this evening to Kerrville to deliver
him to the sheriff of Kerr county. The Crains formerly lived in Bexar County.
There had been some bad blood between the parties for some time. John Crain
was arrested a short time ago by Sheriff Stevens at a meeting for carrying
a gun, which the sheriff found on his person when he arrested him. His case
is now pending in the county court. It is said that a woman is at the bottom
of the whole affair."
5 Mar 1898
"Four Corpses Found. The Horrible Death of Tramps in a Box Car at
Forth Worth. Accidental Asphyxiation. They started
a fire in the car and were strangled by poisonous gas.
Two other men barely escaped."
"Fort Worth, Tex. March 4 -- Four men,
homeless and known to the world as tramps, slept the sleep that knows no
waking in a box car in the suburbs of Fort Worth last night and two other
sare now lingering between life and death, caused by accidental asphyxiation......."
article is quite long but includes this part reguarding Bandera County)
"Letters on the person of another identified
him as Henry Harrell. His age is apparently
25 or 26, he was of medium height and weight about 130 pounds. A letter
taken from his person was written at Mason Creek, Bandera County, Tex.,
was dated Nov. 31, 1897, and was from his uncle, who signed his name H.G.
Johnson. He had on a pair of corduroy pants, brown coat and black
vest and a woolen shirt, there being underneath his corduroy pants a pair
of dark pantaloons."
rest of the article said that the bodies were interred by the county and
that "Not as much as 5 cents has been found on any of the dead persons".
24 Nov 1927 " 3 Get New Trial in Killing
Charges" (this column covers lots of cases around the state, I will only
quote the local names"
"Special to the News, Austin, Texas,
Nov. 23 - .....But the evidence was ruled insufficient by the higher court.
Similar action was also taken in favor
of Pat Forest, sentenced to life imprisonment
on a charge of murdering W.A. Gray in Bandera
County, the court holding that the trial court erred in authorizing conviction
on the count of unknown weapons being used in the crime. Gray was killed
after a dispute over the outcome of a gambling episode. The appeal was
from Kerr County."
6 May 1930 - Similar column of sentences
and reprieves from Austin, Texas
" A.B. Davenport,
Bandera County, Six Years..." nothing else noted in the article.
Later I collected the Feb papers and
found this previous article: 11 Feb 1930 from Autin's newspaper, reprinted
in the Dallas Morning News " Gov. Dan Moody on recommendation of the Board
of Pardons and Paroles ....furloughs extensions granted-Thirty Days; A.
B. Davenport, Bandera County, theft. Six years, thirty days:..."
17 Apr 1934 -- "Austin, Texas,
April 16. - Gov. Miriam A. Ferguson granted six conditional pardons......Kasper Mazurek, Bandera County, sheep theft,..."
26 Aug 1934 - Special to the News
"Deaf - Mute Rancher Tortured and Forced
To Sign $100 Check."
San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 25 -
deaf-mute Bandera county rancher, was tortured and forced to sign a blank
check for $100 by four bandits in a restroom within a block of police headquarters
Saturday afternoon. The quartet wrapped barbed wire around Essary's neck and wrists.
15 Jan 1940 "Medina Man Held
in Slaying of Kin"
"Bandera, Texas, Jan 14 (AP) - J.M.
Autry, Medina, was being held in the Bandera County Jail Sunday
in connection with the fatal shooting of his brother-in-law, Hal
Smith, Medina farmer."
"Smith died in a Kerrville hospital
several hours after he was shot while he and Autrey were in a pasture on
Smith's farm. Autrey was taken before Justice of the Peace Mitchell of
Medina and released on $500 bond shortly after the shooting and rearrested
early Sunday by Sheriff W.H.Burns when Smith died."
"Sheriff Burns said Sunday that a preliminary
hearing for Autrey would be held Tuesday".
30 May 1952 -- "Jurors
Indict Ranch Hand in Child Death"
"Bandera, Texas, May 29 (UP) - A Special
grand jury returned a murder with malice indictment Thursday against Earl
Mathews, 29, Tarpley, Bandera County, ranch hand. It charged him
with beating and slapping and squeezing his 3-yr-old stepson to death."
"Mathews himself was brought to the
jury room, and testified while Bandera County Sheriff John Faris and Texas
Ranger M.L.Purivs stood guard. He was led, white and shaking, out of the
jury room one hour later."
"Thirty-eight district prosecutors
indicated they will press for an early trial. Mathews, meantime, will be
held in the Medina County jail, at Hondo, where law enforcement officers
took him after his arrest".
6 Mar 1963 Judge Rules Mistrial
in Bandera Case
Fort Stockton, Texas (AP)- Dist. Judge
C.E. Patterson.Tuesday declared a mistrial in the
love triangle murder trial of Bill McKnight after efforts to seat a jury failed.
Patterson's ruling came after lawyers had practically exhausted the jury panel without seating a single juror. More than 40 prospects had been questioned in two days.
The trial was moved here from Bandera where a jury couldn't be formed.
The 83rd District Court judge said he would meet with lawyers Wednesday morning to determine the disposal of the case.
Observers listed three possibilities; the case could be set for trial again in this term of court: it could be possibly returned to Bandera County for disposition, or Judge Patterson could possibly move it to another court. Most jurors were excused for technical reasons rather than for assertions that they had opinions in the case.
McKnight, 21, once a University of Texas honor student from Kerrville but now of San Antonio, is accused of killing Kelly Parker.
Parker was gunned down in front of the girl's hom in Bandera last May.
Parker's family hired former Gov. Coke Stevenson of Junction as a special prosecutor.
6 July 1942 "Riot in Town, Bandera,
Texas", July 5 (AP).
Lieut. Charles Addison Smith, 26, of
Duncan Field was shot to death and Deputy Sheriff Vernon Merritt was severly
beaten here early Sunday while many persons, including a large number of
soldiers celebrated July 4.
of Bandera County said he could not make a detailed report but that Merritt
did the shooting and that the Army at San Antonio was conducting an investigation.
reported that hundreds of soldiers milled sullenly about the streets but
that military police quickly got the situation in hand.
occurred shortly after midnight in front of a cafe, Lieutenant Smith was
taken to a drugstore where he died.
with the solders was credited with quieting the troops after the near riot
there were no eyewitnesses to the shooting except the ones involved.
the son of Mrs. Charles A. Smith of Pendleton, Ky.