Bastrop Advertiser 1/1890
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO APPLY TO THE 22ND LEGISLATURE FOR A SPECIAL ACT OF SAID LEGISLATURE,
PENSIONING JOHN D. MORGAN, A RESIDENT CITIZEN OF BASTROP COUNTY, TEXAS.
Notice is hereby given that an application will be made by John D. Morgan, a resident citizen
of Bastrop county, in the State of Texas, to the Legislature of Texas, for a special act,
pensioning John D. Morgan, of Bastrop in the State of Texas for services rendered by the
said John D. Morgan in the military forces of said State, as follows, to wit:
In the army of the Republic of Texas, in the company of Captain Rogers, under the command of
Felix Huston and also in the company of Captain C. L. Owen.
Afterward under the command of A. S. Johnson.
Also as a volunteer, in the Santa Fe expedition in 1841, and also in the Mier expedition in
1842, enlisting under General A. Somervell, in Captain Eastland's company, was twice taken a
prisoner. The first time he was released, and the second time he escaped from the City of
Mexico. On both occasions he returned to Texas, and re-entered the army. He was in addition to
the above, afterward frequently engaged in conflicts with the Indians and Mexicans. He is now
in his seventy-second year poor and totaly unable to work. JOHN D. MORGAN, Bastrop County,
Texas, January the 1st, 1890.
The above petition is indorsed by a .....
LOST - A yellow and white spotted pointer dog. Has a scar about eight inches long down his
back. When he left home, had on a leather collar about an inch wide. H. P. LUCKETT, BASTROP, TX
A prompt paying renter can rent the small resident building, on corner of Main and Farm
streets, formerly occupied as the ADVERTISER office. Apply to the editor.
While cases of small pox are cropping out in surrounding towns, our people should use every
caution against it. W. J. Milley & Co have on hand pure...
Bastrop Advertiser 1/1891
Marriage licenses were issued by County Clerk W. E. Jenkins from 12/1-31/1890 inclusive:
J. H. Thompson, M. M. Sapp
O. ? James, Nannie Clemons
G. B. Stark, Martha Snowden
C. C. Moore, Welma L. Walker
Samuel Eschber, Margaret Kalciouf
Z. H. Wilson, Mrs. Mary E. Wood
W. R. Scott, Jennie Gregory
R. K. Richmond, E. T. Nuckals
C. T. Lunday, Callie Hoskins
Chas Horton, Janie Brown
W. F. Smith, Lee J Tanner
Frank Woehl, Selma Wolf
J. T. Alexander, Mary Carter
R. L. Williams, Rosa Williams
Rufas Robinson, Myrtle Hart
P. W. Tummins, Mrs. Ernesteny Gardhousen
W. K. Petty, Mary Kelly
Dallas Cannon, Lizzie Jackson
William Trigg, Seymore Herron
Henry Edwards, Francis Jackson
G. W. Hubbard, R. A. Dixon
Ed Miller, Lucindy Cooper
Eli Hill, Mary Sneed
Calvin Wilaon, Mrs. Hanna Jones
Leondas Hardeman, Rebecca Jones
Monroe Johnson, Precilla Jones
Milley Hargrove, Celina Martin
Henry Hardeman, Catherine Henington
Erving Jackson, Mary Hill
Fone Aldridge, Christiana Smith
Phillip Armstrong, Rachel Johnson
William Crockett, Harriett Tyson
Robert Maxwell, Dora Keer
John Leonard, Martha Mathews
Jeff Moore, Eliza Williams
William Calton, Endocia Phillips
J. H. White, Batina Fonlain
Jim Riles, Mary Easley
Jim Jones, Mary Ann Patton
H. C. Lee, Rebecca Williams
Howard Bell, Celia Black
Washington Jones, Clora Anderson
T. L. Brown, Minnie Kellough
George Simmons, Pagie Miller
Burrell Priestley, Mrs. Matilda Yancy
Barrey Edmonson, Manevia Marshall
A splendid audience greeted Miss Neally Stevens at the opera house Wednesday evening. The
difficult and varied programme was exquisitely rendered, finishing a treat to our music
loving people long to be remembered and never before enjoyed in Bastrop. On this occasion
Miss Stevens fully sustained the endorsement given her by the....
2/7/1891 Bastrop Advertiser
A BRUTE IN HUMAN FORM
On Walnut Creek, 10 miles from Bastrop, there is a neat little Catholic church of people that
love peace and harmony with their neighbors of even not the same creed. They have for 14 years
worked and toiled to build for themselves a house of worship corresponding with the high
dignity of Him to whom it was consecrated. They succeeded, and love of God and love of the
neighbor was taught within the walls of the little chapel on Walnut Creek. And now comes the
brute in human form and with fienish hands destroys the chapel. On Friday night, the 23rd last,
between 11 and 12 o'clock, it was consumed by fire and all the contents burned to ashes. A
letter which was found near the ruins, explains itself. It reads as follows, I give the
my dear enimies - this being the reck day I will give you a notice that your outfit is in slim
show. By g--d I am this witch is my idea to do is to upset this, witch oyou will this morning
find the ruins, please do not mention this to no body is it will cause you trouble the owner
will please not say nothing for if you do b--ll is to pay By g-d to the dutch and marican
catolic suns of B---s.
from a lover make out our names if you can
This would be a nice opportunity to our officers to vindicate the honor of Bastrop County.
7/11/1891 Bastrop Advertiser
THE FOURTH AT BASTROP
The celebration of the grand old Fourth at Fireman's park was not the success expected or
hoped for. A good many who would have attended objected to paying the two bits entrance fee
at the gates, and there seemed to be no concert of action, even among the committeemen.
Stock raisers didn't like to pay an entrance fee to compete for a prize. The receipts, however,
were sufficient to defray expenses.
There was some fine stock on the grounds, a part of which competed for prized.
G. W. Jones, Jr took the first premium on his fine Bay stallion, over several compeditors.
The 10 years old Jack, belonging to J. H. Scott, of McDade, took first premium for best on
Ben Johnson's colt, sired by G. Thos. J. Smith got the blue ribbon for the best home bred
stallion on the ground.
W. T. Higgins black filly was driven around the track several times, but could get no
entries against her.
George Schafer's fine stallion, "Black Hawk Bashaw" with several of his colts, attracted
Louis Eilers, Jr, had his fine cow out and it was generally admired.
E. B. Burleson had two of his thorough bred Herfords o exhibitio, and of course, took the
blue ribbon. The oted male and a seventeen months old heifer were particularly commented
upon, and the "bald-faced" breed were pronounced just splended and hard to beat in any country.
Will Goodman was the only one of the committee who seemed to give any attention to matters
on the grounds, but with fate against him, did all he could to make the occasion as near a
success as possible.
Senator Carlisle is of the opinion that any democrat can win next year.
A gallows, at Fort Smith, Arkansas, it is said, counts seventy-two victims.
8/1891 Bastrop Advertiser
She Killed the Evidence of Her Shame and Will Tell Nothing.
SMITHVILLE, TEXAS Aug. 17.-
A case of infantcide has been discovered three miles southwest of town.
Miss Mollie Wilson, a girl seventeen years old, gave birth to a well developed girl baby
Sunday morning. When found the top of the skull was crushed in and the body buried under
the sand with a covering of oak leaves. The girl refused to assign any reason for her act and
will not give the name of her seducer. The girl is an orphan whose father was highly
The crime of seduction is one of the most damnable that inflict this country. Our legislature
should have increased the "age of consent" to eighteen years, and when a villain seduces a
girl under that age, the death penalty should be speedily inflicted. To satisfy the lustful
passion of an infamous brute, the life of an innocent girl is wrecked, a respected family
disgraced, and society outraged. In such cases the seducer should be made to suffer even more
than the seduced. There can be no possible excuse or mitigating circumstances, for the
seducer of young girls, and for him there should be no pardon. Until the public condemnation
of the man is as strong and as lasting as with the unfortunate girl, these crimes will
continue to exist, to the detriment of good society.
Bastrop Advertiser 1/1892
We are glad to hear, from the physicians, good reports from the sick. All are reported
doing splendidly this Friday morning, and with proper care, to prevent a relapse, will soon
Misses Maggie and Nelie Green, in their happiness, did not forget the toil worn printers, but
sent a nice lot of cake from their Leap Year party, to sweeten the labors of the Advertiser
force. Such kind remembrances are appreciated and not soon forgotten.
Jeff R. Boseman, secretary of the Bastrop County Farmer's Aliance, passed through Bastrop en..
Bastrop Advertiser 1/1892
We are glad to hear, from the physicians, good reports from the sick. All are reported
doing splendidly this, Friday morning, and with proper care, to prevent a relapse, will soon
Misses Maggie and Nellie Green, in their happiness, did not forget the toil-worn printers,
but sent a nice lot of cake from their Leap Year party to sweeten the labors of the
ADVERTISER force. Such kind remembrances are appreciated and not soon forgotten.
We rejoice to note Dr. Luckett able to resume his practice. The Doctor had quite a seige
with the grippe.
Miss Emma Billeison, of Austin, came down to attend the Masquerade ball at the opera house,
Judge George Milton, the efficient Justice of the Peace, of McDade, was among the pleasant
visitors to our office Monday.
C. C. Highsmith, Esq., is off on a professional visit to LaGrange, Columbus, Richmond, and
Houston to return today or tomorrow.
Mrs. Capt. Dan Grady, we learn, will soon move out to the farm-residence of her son-in-law,
Mr. T. K. Moore, and live with her daughter.
Miss Joe Johnson, after a pleasant visit of several days to Bastrop, guest of the family of
Mrs. Kate S. Maynard, returned to Austin Wednesday.
Mrs. Della Reynolds and Mrs. T. J. Trigg went up to Taylor to attend the dedicatio of the
$13,000 Christian church at that place, returning to Bastrop Monday.
District Clerk Rufus J. Griesenbeck and family, left for San Antonio, Tuesday morning, via
Austin. Mr. G. goes as a representative from Guttenburg I.O.O.F. lodge, of Bastrop, to the
grand lodge, which holds its annual session in that city this week.
C. C. Watterson, the popular and energetic post master at Watterson, gave the ADVERTISER
office a pleasant all Wednesday. Mr. W. is in his 72d year, and but few men have carried age
better. He is now as active and sprightly as many men half his age. May he live....
Bastrop Advertiser 2/1892
Remember the admission fee of 25 cents will be the only charge made at the Valentine party at
the residence of Mrs. McDowall, this Saturday night. Everything else free.
On acount of the Valentine party at Mrs. McDowall's this, (Saturday) night, the Histrionic
Club has postponed their meeting at the Opera House until next Saturday night, Feb 20th.
Brick is being placed in the walls of the new jail, and the prisoners have all been moved
to the jail at LaGrange, preparatory to tearing down the old jail, in brick and timber to be
used in the new one.
The ladies are making extensive preparations for a Leap Year ball and supper, at the Opera
house o the 26th. The ladies will make the boys ask ? of themselves, and Wall flowers will
not be permitted to gade and lose their luster. Boys, take items: It will prove beneficial
when your time comes after a while.
Dots from Donnell Community
DONNELL COMUNITY 3/28/1892
Winter has passed and gentle spring in all us soft beauty, welcomes us and bids us rejoice
and be glad. Although we feel very much discouraged owing to the late freeze partly killing
fruits, gardens, and corn.
Health is tolerably good at present, though the Gripp has been raging in our midst for some
time, but we hope its career is over, having heard on only two cases lately, Messrs J. A.
Whitworth and J. T. Gray.
Our school will soon be out. The last day will be spent in examinations of the pupils. We
will have some recitations. But cannot promise an entertainment, owing to the disadvantages
of the school buildings.
Invitations were sent out last Friday by Mrs. Munger for a quileing to be given on the ensuing
day. Of course we were glad to take it in. Saturday morning found a jovial crowd gathered
and they had merry times, if happy faces and bright smites mean anything. At 12 o'clock the
invitation to come to dinner was received and all did justice to the splendid dinner which
had been prepared. The evening was equally well enjoyed. After the quilting was over they
repaired to the hospitable home of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Whitworth's, when all joined in singing,
music and reading.
Our Sunday school organized a few Sundays since with Mr. G. W. Corbell, superintendent, it is
increasing in interest and strength.
We have had several spelling matches since my last letter. Two of which we will especially
mention. In one Mr. Howard Smith deserves credit as he spelled some time after the others
missed. The other is Miss Mina Whitworth, excelled. After all spelled until they were tired,
there were several recitations and dialogues which were well rendered by the school
Reports of guns can be hears bringing down game by the score. Mr. Bud Hemphill, one of the
hunters is somewhat, discouraged as the others are surpassing him. But don't dispair Bud,
probably luck will change as you have changed your hunting ground recently and perhaps by
trying stones you will succeed.
Our little friend, Rillie Kent, is very sick but we have hopes of her recovery.
Mrs. J. Hoskins and little daughter Annie, have just returned from a long visit to her
daughter Mrs. Pearson, of Travis county. We are glad to have her among us again.
Miss Mary Catchins accompanied by Miss Emma Smith, visited her sister, Mrs. B. Yoast, this
Mr. Ed Donnell, and family have visited relatives in Caldwell county recently.
If this appears, when opportunity affords you may look for another letter from
Bastrop Advertiser 4/2/1892
R. H. Dixon, a former citizen of Bastrop county, a former resident of the Red Rock
neighborhood, was killed the first part of the week, by a Mr. Martin in Travis county.
Dixon had rented land from Martin and disagreeing upon some matters hard words passed
between them. Afterwards Martin went on the premises rented by Dixon, who ordered him off,
which order Martin failed or refused to obey, when Dixon started toward him, and was killed
by Martin, who surrendered to the officers, and enters a plea of self defence.
TOBE COOK HANGS
THE MURDERER OF MISS IDA BELLE MOORE SUFFERS THE PENALTY OF HIS CRIME.
Hangs Until He is Dead! Dead! Dead!
A Full History of the Crime, the Trial and the Hanging.
DIES PROTESTING INNOCENCE.
ASCENDS THE SCAFFOLD CHEERFULLY AND WITH A FIRM AND VERY STEADY STEP.
His Case Having Gone Before All Earthly Tribunals, Now Goes Before the Great Bar of God.
The scaffold upon which the murderer and rapist, Tobe Cook, alias Henderson Cook, was hung,
was erected on the inside of the jail, a wooden structure, about sixty eight feet in size,
the rope hanging from a large steeple fastened in the ceiling about seventeen feet from the
floor, the drop being about eight feet.
About fifty persons were admitted into the room, and between 400 and 500 on the outside.
At precisely 1:33 o'clock, Sheriff G. W. Davis and Deputies H. N. Bell, James Fitzwilliams
and J. F. Nash turned the bolt in the big door, passing in with the condemned man, who
excalimed, as he started, "Here is an innocent man dressed up for the gallows." Passing
up the steps of the gallows, he said, "Here we go; here we go."
He ascended the scaffold with a firm, steady step, showing but little nervousness.
The only persons, besides the prisoner, on the scaffold, were Sheriff Davis, Deputies Bell,
Fitzwilliams and Nash and Elder Sterling Warmly and Emmett Richardson, colored.
When the prisoner first stepped on the floor of the gallows, he made a movement as if to place
himself in position for the rope, as if ready and anxious to have the affair over as soon as
Sheriff Davis read to him the death warrant, after which religious services were conducted by
Elder Sterling Warmly, who read the prayer of David, from the Eighty-sixth Psalm, and Emmett
Richardson led the singing.
While Sheriff Davis was reading the death warrant, the condemned man seemed perfectly
indifferent, looking carelessly around upon the crowd, but during the religious services he
appeared more attentive and interested.
He was then told if he had anything to say, the opportunity was offered him.
"Everyone of you that swore falsely against me, the innocent stands before you, dressed for the
gallows, to suffer for the death of Ida Belle Moore; I am innocent, ignorant of her death.!"
He asked, "Do you want to hear a lie?" Someone from the crowd, said, "I am satisfied of your
guilt." At this he cried, "Don't you believe the truth? Don't you believe the truth, when I
twll it to you standing here with this rope in my hand, ready to die?" Continuing in the same
strain he has kept up for several weeks. He talked about twenty five minutes, winding up by
looking through the window and speaking to the crowd on the outside, showing them the end of
the rope, and asking, "Could I hold this rope and not tell the truth?" Of course, he was certain
of a safe entrance into Heaven, where he would be given a seat on the right of Jesus.
He asked for just one more prayer from Elder Warmly, who reascended the steps, delivering a
powerful and impressive prayer, the condemned man kneeling upo his knees with his head resting
upon the railing of the gallows. After the prayer, he shook hands and embraced the elder, and
at 2:12 the officers begain pinoning his legs, when he came near falling, only prevented by
the officers catching him, thus dhowing for the first time, signs of fright; at 2:16 his hands
were tied behind his back, the rope placed around his neck at 2:17 and the black cap over his
head at 2:17, as the cap covered his face, he exclaimed: "Innocent blood.". The trap was sprung
at precisely 2:18, when the spirit of Tobe Cook, burst from its clay socket to be ushered
before that God, which gave it life, and before whose tribunal he is to be judged for the deeds
done in the body.
He struggled but little, and was pronounced dead, by the physicians, at 2:33 but at 2:40 a close
examination showed slight fluttering of the heart, which ceased, altogether at 2:43. It was 9
minutes of 3 o'clock when the body was cut down, and on examination the neck was found broken,
the third joint from the head was broken. Had it been the first joint, death would have resulted
The hanging, throughout, and everthing connected with it, was a pronounced success, and too
much credit cannot be given Sheriff Davis and his deputies, for the faithful and careful
carrying out of the sentence of the court.
Sheriff Davis had clothed the condemned man in a nice suite of clothes, patent leather shoes,
furnishing a neat coffin in which to bury him.
After the body was cut down, and the physicians had gone through with their examination, it was
taken chage of by his mother, wife and brother in law, and by them carried to Hill's Prairie,
where the burial will take place today, Saturday.
The utmost good order prevailed throughout, and notwithstanding the stout protestations of
innocence from the condemned man, the great preponderance of evidence against him, was so
overwhelming, that those who know of it have not a shadow of doubt as to his guilt, and
honestly believe he died with a lie in his mouth.
IN THE JAIL
Between 2 and 3 o'clock, Thursday evening, we visited the condemned man. We found him talking
to several persons who were standing around his cell; he was still protesting his innocence,
and expressed himself as confident of a safe and certain entrance in the portals of heaven,
when he would not stand but have a seat by the side of God - there the white and black would
drink from the same cup and eat of the same Heavenly bread - that he and his God knew of
his innocence, and God would be his judge.
We told him if he had anything to say that he would like given to the public, to say it and
we would write it down and publish it as he gave it, that we had no desire to do him an
injustice. He replied taht he was not in the humor to talk them. We asked him if he could write
to write what he had to say and we would publish it. To this he replied that he could write,
but could not now, adding if we would come back next morning he would tell us all he had to say,
and wanted it published just as he gave it, which we promised to do. He then picked up the
bible, laying near him and called our attention to the 37th chapter of Psalms, reading the 1st
and 2nd verses, remarking, "that is my consolation; in that I put my trust." The verses read
"Ffret not thyself because of evil doers neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity
"For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb."
He was told, if guilty and he confessed it, he could the better face his God, with the hope of
pardon, and, if guilty and he denied it, he could not face God. He replied, "No, nor man
either,: addressing a bystander, "if I was guilty I could not look you in the fact.",
looking the person square i the eye, rather malicious, but without a sign of flinching.
About 9 o'clock, Friday morning, we visited the condemned man in his cell. His mother, and
wife had just left him, the wife having in her hands his hat, and the mother, his shoes, which
he had given them. There were present Rev. W. Wootton, also. Elder S. W. Wormly, collored,
and several others. He still protested his innocence, said he was telling the truth and would
tell the same tale as long as there was life in his body. He requested us to write his name
Henderson Cook, said he had been prosecuted under the name of Tobe Cook, but Henderson Cook
was he name.
When asked if he had anything he wanted to say to the world, he replied: "Yes! I want you to
tell the world that I am innocent; that I have been prosecuted falsely and convieted of that
which I am not guilty; I knew nothing of the death of Miss Ida Belle Moore until Friday, the
morning after the murder." When asked how he recounted for the track of his sandals on the
ground around where Miss Moore was killed, he said: "My sandals, made out of old boot legs,
was never there, I had them on and was plowing in my field on the day Ida Belle Moore was
killed, and plowed that day until the sun was down in the tops of the trees; the bible tells
me to forgive those who have falsified against me, I forgive them, but there are persons who
knew and seen me at work in my field." mentioning the name of one white man and his children.
He censured the jurors for their verdect, saying he had heard that one of them said he had
told the judge he had no prejudices for or against the prisoner, only that he might get on the
jury and break his d-n neck, but yet, he said, he forgave him.
Elder Wormley and others sang the sont, "I heard the Voice of Jesus Say," the prisoner joining
in the singing. At the conclusion, a very affecting prayer was given by Decon Tilmore.
The prisoner asked to see Mr. Fowler, one of the attorneys, who prosecuted the case. He was
sent for and on coming in Cook told him he had heard that for the sum of $700 he (Fowler)
had worked up evidence against him (Cook) for which he had but a few hours to live and
he wanted to know why he did it; what harm he had done him?"
Mr. Fowler explained to Cook his connection with the case, saying he had given his services for
the good of society, as any good citizen should do, without charge and without the hope of
pay: he had received nothing for his services, but had given money and time to ferrett out
the guilty party. He then recited a part of the evidence, to some of which the prisoner
strongly, and excitedly objected. He defiantly told Mr. F. that that was all he wanted to know;
that he would meet him at the judgement bar of God; and that it would not be long. Mr. Fowler
told him, that he did not want to excite him or parley words, but he was confident of his guilt,
he had worked up the evidence, was fully convinced, and the parts he had taken was the proudest
of his life, because it was a crime he was particularly against, and felt taht he had only
worked in the good of society. At this Cook became very much excited and, looking Mr. Fowler
fiercely in the face, he said: "In three months from now the ground up yonder will open for
you and then we'll meet face to face at the judgement." to which Mr. F replied: "Yes, I may
die before night." Cook repeating, "in three months the ground will open for you."
At 10:30 o'clock, the prisoner was brought from his cell and standing before a large bath tub,
Elder Warmley, assisted by Deacon Tilmore and others, sang a song after which the condemned
man was baptised. As he entered the water, he clapped his hands, repeating the clapping as he
come up out of the water. He was then neatly dressed and prepared for the last and final act,
when his soul would go to face that God which gave it life.
Early in the morning the crowd, white and black, began assemlbing around the jail, and by 11
o'clock, several hundred people had gathered, in the hope of getting a glimpse of the hanging.
On Tuesday morning, April 3, the condemned man was brought before Judge Teichmueller, in open
court, to be sentenced to death for the murder of Miss Ida Belle Moore. He seemed calm and
self possessed. When ordered by the Judge to stand up, he arose from the seat and advancing
several steps, stood before the Judge, with the tip of his fingers resting upon the table,
assuming the attitude of a preacher preparing to exhort his congregation. The Judge said:
"Tobe Cook, at the last term of the district court the grand jury returned an indictment
against you for the murder of Miss Ida Belle Moore; you were arraigned and tried before a
jury of your own selection; unable to employ counsel, the court appointed able cousel for you,
in the person of two attorneys, Hons. R. L. Batts, and R. W. Siddall; after due tried the jury
returned a verdict of guilty with the death penalty; through your attorneys, application was
made for a new trial, which, after careful consideration of the argument, was overruled, when
your case was appealed to the appellate court which court has affirmed the sentence of the
court below, have you anything now to say why the sentence of death should not be passed
The prisoner replied: "Yes, Judge; I am perfectly innocent of the charge, I am as innocent,
judge as a stran of hair on your head; I am as innocent of the murder of Miss Ida Belle Moore
as the stran of hair on your head; I was never, though 37 years old, on that farm; I am
innocent of the acusation."
He spoke in a low, smothered tone of voice, giving to it a tone characteristic of the negro
ehorter, evidently as a pleading for sympathy.
Judge Teichmueller continuing said: "Your trial has been fair and impartial; after a patient
investigation of your case, you have been found guilty; the evidence against you, though
circumstantial, has been voluminous and very positive; if there had been any doubt in my mind
of your guilt, the fact that your case, in all its enormity, has been carefully reviewed by
the appellate court, a court where no influence of passion or prejudice can reach, has destroyed
every shadow of doubt; your protestations of innocence are natural, and but to be expected.
I will designate Friday, the 10th day of June, 1892, as the day of your execution, when, with
in the walls of the county jail of Bastrop County, the sheriff will proceed to execute the
sentence of the court, by hanging you until you are dead."
As the prisoner left the stand he faced the crowd, and bid them "Good-bye to you all; I'll
ot see many of you any more, but I want you to remember there is one darkey as innocent as a
stran of hair on your head, going to die for the crime of another."
The officers started back with him to the jail, when he espied a number of colored people, to
whome he protested his innocenct of the acusation, telling them that for months he had laid in
the old jail, suffering for a crime, he had never committed, adding "ain't it harrid; I have
been dragged from the old jail to LaGrange, and with handcuffs my hands, shackles on my feet
and a rope around my body, I have suffered from freezing cold, till my feet and legs are now
swollen from the effects of the frost bite." and illustrating how he was forced to rest and
sleep in jail, he exclaimed, "O-h-h-h-h ain't it ha-r-r-d?" which brought from them an answer,
"Yes, it is har-r-r-d!:
He was returned to jail, but never ceased talking in the same strain until he had been locked
on the inside of his steel cage.
HISTORY OF THE CRIME
At about 2 o'clock, on Wednesday, June 17, 1891, Miss Ida Belle Moore, a step-daughter of Mr
A. J. Bellamy, about 16 years old; living near Upton about eight miles below Bastrop, visited
a neighbor about one-half of a mile distant from her home. At about 5 o'clock in the afternoon
she left that neighbor's house for that home she never reached alive. Almost in sight of home
she was seized by a fiend incarnate, choked and dragged under a one-stran barbed wire fence
and carried on through the woods to a secluded spot, where she was murdered, choked to death
and then outraged and her lifeless body left on the ground, where it was discovered later by
anxious friends cold in death.
It is needless to say the country was aroused. A runner, was sent to town and immediately
Sheriff Davis, with a posse, and accompanied by County Attorney J. B. Price and Hon. J. P.
Fowler, went down to ferret out the murder. Suspicion soon rested upon Tobe Cook, a black
negro, who was placed under arrest, and who would have been instantly hung by an outraged
populace, had not there been a shadow of doubt of his guilt and the counsel of cooler heads
prevailed. After quiet was restored, and all danger of summary justice being meted out to the
fiend, Governor Hogg telegraphed Sheriff Davis to "protect the prisoner at all hazards,"
adding, "there is a standing reward of $1000 for the arrest of each and every man who assists
or engages in mob law," and yet, not a dollar was offered for the capture of the fiend who
had perpetrated the double crime.
At the examining trial he was committed to jail without bail, and at the fall term of the
distant court, the grand jury returned two indictments against him, one for rape, the other
for murder. In the trial of the murder case, the jury returned a verdict of "murder in the
first degree, assessing the death penalty. A motion for a new trial was overrulled, when the
case was taken to the appellate court, which affirmed the verdict of the court below.
The prosecution was conducted by District Attorney W. E. Maynard and Hon. J. P. Fowler, the
defense by HOn. R. L. Batts and Judge R. W. Siddall. The case was stoutly contested from
beginning to end.
Following is the list of jurors by whom the case was tried:
W. W. Boon, foreman: Otto Ebner, G. Hemphill, J. R. Caston, W. A. Trussell, W. N. Scales,
J. A. Thompson, Lewis JOnes, Almer Woods, George Perkins, JOhn A. Davis, J. M. Taylor.
The Jurors deliberated less than an hour before returning their verdict, which, on the first
poll, was unanimous "Guilty of murder in the first degree, with the death penalty."
Tobe Cook was about 37 eyars old, about six feet high, and in form, a rather good looking
specimen of the negro race, and would be considered rather a bright, intelligent negro. The
evidence against him was entirely circumstantial but of the most positive character.
The tracks of the murderer were carefully measured, and their peculiarities noted, before
suspicion rested upon any particular person. These tracks indicated clearly that there was a
covering of some sort on the feet at the time they were made, but that it was neither boots
or shoes. There appeared from these tracks to be three holes in the sole of the covering
of the left foot, and also something projecting in front, which made a peculiar mark on the
ground immediately in front of the left big toe and there was a deeper impression made
slantingly across the right track as if made by a seam in the covering of the right foot. It
was shown beyond all doubt that oe the day of the murder Cook had upo his feet a pair of
leather moccasins made from old boot tops, and that there were three holes in the sole of the
one used on his left foot and a piece of leather projecting in front of it, and taht there was
a seam slantingly across the sole of the one used by him with these moccasins on were of the
same size and corresponded with and were in every respect identical with the tracks of the
murder. The identity of Cook's tracks and those of the murderer was established by a large
number of credible witnesses. It was also shown that Cook was absent from his home at the time
of the murder and that he was not only unable to account for his whereabouts on that day, but
it was shown beyond all doubt that the statements made by him as to his where abouts at the
time of the murder were wholly false. It was also shown that he had been in the habit of going
into the field and "fooling away" his time with two negro girls, while their parents were not
with them and that these girls were at work away from their parents in the field, near where
the murder was committed at the time of the murder, and that they said they were expecting
Tobe there that day, and he was seen at one place, and the evidence tended strongly to show
that he was seen at another place on that day on the way to the scene of the murder. At the
time of the murder the deceased were a large metallic breastpin with sharp points and sharp
edges to it, and in choking her to death with his hands this breatpin was pressed against
her throat with such violence that it was bent and broken and her neck scratched and wounded
with it. When arrested Cook had four wounds upon his right thumb and forefinger, such as
could have been made by this brestpin, while he was in the act of committing the murder, and
he gave very contradictory and unreliable statements as to how he received these wounds.
There were other circumstances proven in evidence too numerous to mention here, but as stated
by the court of appeals the circumstances taken together are abundant and show conclusively
that Cook is guilty of this heinous crime. Presiding Judge White in delivering the written
opinion of the court of appeals in the case says: "The evidence shows that the murder was
committed by the deceased being choked to death, and also shows conclusively that it was
committed in the perpertration, or attempt at the perpetration of rape. The record in the case
is very volumnous, and the evidence entirely circumstantial in character; but, while the
testimony is circumstantial in character, a most mature consideration of it in its various
phases has forced upon us the conviction that it is conclusive, and establishes the
defendant's fuilt of this most heinous crime beyond all reasonable doubt. We do not deem it
necessary to discuss this testimony; or even recapitulate it, in its most important features.
Suffice it to say that in our judgement it abundantly sustains the verdict, and fully warrants
the judgement, which inflicts the extreme penalty of the law. The record shows a most fair and
impartial trial, in which all of the rights of the defendant were accorded him, and in which
no action is shown in any manner prejudicial to his interests. Having found no reversible
error, and believing the punishment is fully justified by the heinousness of the crime which
the defendant has committed, it only remains for us to declare that the judgement is in all
HISTORY OF THE CRIME
On Wednesday, June 17, 1891, Miss Ida Belle Moore, a step-daughter of Mr. A. J. Bellamy,
about 16 years old, living near Upton, and about 8 miles south of BAstrop, visited a
neighbor about a mile distant from her home. In the evening she left the neighbor's house
for that home she never reached. Almost in sight of home she was seized by a fiend
incarnate, choked and dragged under a barbed wire fence, through the woods to a secluded spot
where she was murdered, choked to death, and then outraged, her lifeless body left on the
ground, where it was discovered later by anxious friends, cold in death.
The country was aroused, and Sheriff Davis, with a possee, and accompanied by County Attorney
J. B. Price and Hon. J. P. Fowler, went down to ferret out the murderer. Their efforts resulted
in the arrest of Tobe Cook, a black negro, who would have been hung by an outraged populace,
had not the counsel of cooler heads prevailed. This is the noted case where Gov. Hogg
telegraphed the sheriff to protect the prisoner at all hazards, and that there was a standing
reward of $1,000 for each and every man who should engage or assist in mob law. The telegram
was sent after quiet had been restored, and all danger of summary justice being meted out to
the fiend who murdered and outraged Miss Bell Boore, at an end.
He was, on examining trial, committed to jail without bail, and at the fall term of the
district court the grand jury returned two indictments against Cook, one for rape, the other
for murder. His case was set for trial Nov. 4th, on the charge of murder. In the trial of the
case the jury returned a verdict of murder in the first degree, assessing the death penalty.
A motion for a new trial was overruled, the case taken to the appellate court, which court
affirmed the verdict of the court below.
District attorney W. E. Maynard and Hon. J. P. Fowler conducted the prosecution and Hon.
R. L. Batts and Judge R. W. Siddall, the defense. The case was stoutly contested from the
beginning to the end.
the condemned man, is a brown negro, about 6 feet high, in form, a good looking specimen of
the negro race. He is about 37 years old, and would be considered a bright, intelligent negro.
He was convicted entirely on circumstantial evidence, but among those best acquainted with his
case, the judge, jury, officers, and citizens, not a shadow of doubt exists as to his guilt.
Unless Gov. Hogg should pardon, reprieve, or commute the sentence, Tobe Cook will, within the
walls of the county jail of BAstrop, on Friday, June 10th, 1892, hand until he is dead! dead!
A short time since he was visited by his mother, in the jail at LaGrange, who spent several
days with him there. On her return, it is reported, she confidentially told, to a friend,
that while a LaGrange, Tobe confessed his guilt, and explained to her how the bloody deed was
done, but we have failed to trace the report to any reliable source. If guilty, as charged
and seemingly fully proven, hanging is too good for him, and if, in the future, evidence
should develop to prove him innocent, those who condemned Tobe Cook to hang, for the
atrocious murder of Ida Belle Moore, cannot censure themselves; confident, from all the
evidence before them, of his guilt, they did what they felt was right, and conscientiously
believed to be their duty as law abiding and law enforcing citizens.
HIS MOTHER VISITS HIM IN HIS CELL
This Friday morning, the mother of the condemned man, visited him in his cell in the county
jail. They greeted each other pleasantly. She sang for him and prayed a very earnest, affecting
prayer, after which she talked for some time. She is a pleasant faced woman of about 55 years
of age. She advised him if he was innocent to say so and stick to it, but if he was guilty, to
tell the truth, and own it like a man. He replied "Mother, I am as innocent as this piece of
iron" taking hold of one of the cell bars. A bystander reminded him of what his mother had
said, adding "don't die with a lie in your mouth; tell the truth and if guilty own it like a
man; you can then better meet your God." At this he became very much exercised, laid his cup
of coffee on the floor, rose to his feet, and in a loud voice protested his innocence, said
officers and lawyers had fixed the guilt on him, his mother adding, "and negroes, and I know
'em insisted that he would not tell a lie for everybody in Bastrop, that he did not see Ida
Belle Moore that day, or at any time before during that year, and that he was innocent of
HAS MADE NO CONFESSION
The mother denies, most emphatically, telling to anyone, that her son had confessed his guilt
to her; says he has declared his innocence from the first, that she believes he has been
falsely accused and wrongfully convicted, and before the day of execution God will disclose
the guilty one.
Bastrop Advertiser 8/26/1892
Softly glides the murmuring waters,
Where the dead are sleeping,
And its voice seems softly sighing
As of some lone spirit weeping.
Here, upon the sunny hillside,
Lies fair - Bastrop City -
With its dwellers now so silent,
Once the brave, the gay, the witty.
Slowly drive me through its windings
-But no friendly voice doth greet us;
Little children here are many.
But they come not forth to meet us.
Varied are those mirthless dwellings;
Some could tell of wealth and station.
but on vanity and pride,
Death has writ- "Annihillation".
Yet how lovely is the scene!
As if traced by fairy fingers,
Mark we here, some chaste design,
Where the artistic fancy lingers;
-Behold! the faithful watchdog guarding a baby fair-
That numbered only sunny hours-
-Here an emblematic dove-
There a simple bunch of flowers.
And yonder- a simple shaft,
No marble of the sculptor's art.
-Plain - unpretending- yet how dear
To every honest Southern heart.
It stands like a sentinel, true and brave.
Our liverties to watch and guide-
A momument to a Confederate brave
To tell how a patriot loved and died.
Lovely Fairview-perhaps no more,
I'll con thy varied tablets o'er,
But never shall my soul forget
The tender thought, the sad regret,
With which I mused thy windings through-
-And turned to bid thee a silent adieu.
Bastrop Advertiser 11/1892
THE NOTORIOIUS DALTON GANG ALL DEAT BUT ONE.
Correyville, KAS, Oct 5
The Dalton gang has been exterminated, wiped off the face of the earth.
Caught like a rat in a trap they were today shot down, but until four citizens of this place
yielded up their lives in the work of exterminations.
Six of the gang rode into town this morning and robbed the two banks of this place. The raid
became known to officers of the law and when the bandits attempted to escape they were checked
by a marshall's posse. In the battle which ensued four of the desperadoes were killed outright
and one so badly wounded that he has since died. The other escaped but is being hotly pursued.
Of the attacking party four were killed, one fatally wounded and two seriously wounded.
The dead are: Bob Dalton, desperado, shot through the head. Grant Dalton, desperado, shot
through the heart. Emmet Dalton, desperado, shot through the left side: Joseph Evans,
desperado, shot through the head; John Moore, "Texas Jack", desperado, shot through the
head; T. C. Connelly, city marshal, shot through the body; L. M. Baldwin, bank clerk, shot
through the head; G. W. Cabine, merchant, shot through the head; C. J. Brown, shot through
the body. Thomas G. Ayres, cashier of the First National BAnk, was shot through the groin and
cannot live. T. A. Reynolds, of the attacking party, has a wound in the right breast, but
it is not considered necessarily dangerous. Louis Dietz, another of the attacking party was
also shot in the right side. His wound is serious, but not fatal. It had been rumored a
month ago that the Dalton gang contemplated an immediate raid on the banks of the city,
arrangements were made to give them a warm reception and for over a week a patrol was
maintained night and day to give warning of the gang's approach. The raid did not take place
and then came a report from Deming, N.M. that United States officers had a battle with the
bandits and three of the bandits had been killed. This report is believed here to have been
circulated by the Daltons themselves, the intention being to divert the intention from their
real intentions, and to fool the people in town into a sense of security. The people however,
were not so easily decieved and when the report of the disaster to the gang in New Mexico
was denied, the vigilance was renewed. Still the expected raid was not made and finally the
patrol was withdrawn last Saturday, although every stranger was carefully scrutinized as soon
as he appeared on the streets.
N. B. Moore, chairman of the Republican state executive committee, in a lengthly open letter to
the Republicans of Texas, after reciting scathing arraignment of the Hogg administration, as
passed by the Bastrop Convention, says:
"It now becomes the imperative duty of every repubican in Texas who has the welfare of the
6/1893 Bastrop Advertiser
At Red Rock, about 16 miles west of Bastrop, on Friday evening of last week, a case against
Will Wilson was called in Justice Nyegard's court on a charge of fighting. It being late in
the evening, the justice decided to postpone the examination until next day, ad while in the
act of preparing a bond for Wilson, the latter announced that he would not give bond, got up
and left the court room, followed by Deputy sheriff McClure, who endeavored to persuade him to
return and sign the bond. Wilson drew his knife and attempted to cut the officer, whereupon
Deputy McClure shot him, firing four times, one ball going through his wrist, and the other
striking him in the breast. He ingered until about noon next day when he died. Wilson's father
in law, Dona Harris, who came running to the gate, during the shooting, stopped to pick up a
plank as he reached Deputy McClure, and not dropping it when ordered to do so by the officer,
was also shot i the arm, a flesh wound, just below the elbow.
Deputy McClure handed us the following as his statement regarding the killing:
"I was forced to do what I did. I had Will Wilson and Donie Harris in chage in justice court.
Squire Nyegard was fixing to give them bond, when Mr. Wilson arose and said: 'I don't
propose to give any bond, so good day, gentlemen!' and started to the gate, where his horse
was hitched. I told him not to go yet, that his bond would be fixed in a few minutes, but he
never stopped. I followed him and overtook him at the gate. As I stood in the gateway, he
caught me by the sleeve with his left hand and drew an open knife with his right. I said: 'Mr.
Wilson there is no need of this trouble,' but he said I am a Wilson, I am, and I will kill you.'
I pulled away from him and demanded the knife, but he said: 'No, you can't get it. By God, I
will kill you.'
"So I shot to keep him from outing me, and shot him again when he started to get behind his
horse, and had his hand at his side as if trying to get a pistol. I didn't want to kill him,
else I could have killed him the first shot. I just wanted to stop him and thereby save
myself. He never showed any sign of being hit.
"About this time Mr. Donie Harris, Wilson's father in law, came running out the gate, at the
same time picking up a piece of plank of lumber. I ordered him to stop, saying: 'I don't
want to hurt you, but if you don't stop now, I will kill you. You all are forcing me to do
this.' He would not stop and I shot him in the arm. Then I looked to see where Wilson was
and he had fallen about seven or eight steps from me. I sent one man for the doctor, another to
notify the sheriff and another for a wet cloth to bind up Harris' arm to keep him from bleeding
to death. So all was done, that could be done. The doctor and the officer came. I came to
town that evening and have strayed through the preliminaries. I am sorry Mr. Wilson died. I
did not want to hurt any man, but was obligaed to do what I did".
From those who know Deputy McClure well, we learn that his character is above reproach, that
he is sober, energetic and trustworthy, and that he has ever been conscientious in the discharge
of his official duties. Justice Finney placed his bond for the killing of Wilson at $500, and
for the shooting of Donie Harris, at $100, which bonds were readily given.
Bastrop Advertiser 11/2/1895
County Clerk W. E. Jenkins has issued the following marriage licenses during the month of
October, just passed:
George Duncan and Abbie Hamilton
Albert C. Billingsley and Kate Keele
J. P. Renfro and Lula Graves.
Odilon Aguine and Felleitas Regas
George Carr and Mattie Oliver
Wade Preston and Matilda Roberton
Charles A. Kellum and Martha A. Nelwing
William H. Young and Henrietta Jones
J. A. Delap and Mrs. Lillie K. Skinner
H. A. F. Wormley and Anna Jefferson
W. T. Smith and Lucy A. Woods
Louis Montgomery and Virginia Walter
Mack Miller and Claudie Smith
Fred Bryers and Mary Montgomery
William Winston and Mahala Moore
Frank Doherty and Mrs. M. C. Wilson
A. L. Harris and Julia E. Culpepper
W. H. Culpepper and Ida Culberton
J. T. Gray and Lora Roberts
Lee Roberts and R. Culpepper
John Caruthers and Rosa Humbles
D. A. Macklin and Mary Jones
Major Nolan and Sallie Powell
Apolio Enrites and Lus Estrada
J. T. Dancer and Mollie Morman
Reinhold Beck and Mary Hilbig
Carl Oppett and Margaret Schneider
For Sale - A good open top buggy and harness. Will trade it for corn. Apply at this office.
Statistics for the year ending December 31, 1894
(lists products and total sold)
Total number of farms in county, 1,320; number of farm laborers, 409; average wages paid per month, $12; number of renters, 996; value of farming implements, $24,899.
Bastrop Advertiser 10/15/1898
COMMISSIONER W. N. SCRUGGS
I was recently a guest in the home of our worthy Commissioner W. N. Scruggs, and later, had the
very great pleasure of his guestship in my own home. For years I have known Brother Scruggs,
and have thought it an honor to number him among those whom I count my friends. During
these visits I have drawn from him the story of his life, and want to present it to the readers
of our Advertiser in the hope that they may find as much pleasure in the reading of it, as has
come to me in the writing.
Brother Scruggs is a native of Alabama, and was born in 1823. His parentage was of that Scotch
Irish blood that has given to America our wisest statesmen, our most earnest ministry, our
most industrious and prosperious farmers, our most successful business men, and our bravest
soldier on the field of battle.
The father of Brother Scruggs was a soldier under Gen. Jackson and with that famous officer
fought the Creeks at Horse Shoe Bend, and afterward the English regulars at New Orleans. The
grandfathers were as young men, with Washington in his revolutionary campaigns and with him
at Yorktown. His mother was a cousin to Moses Austin of early Texas history.
The father removed i 1817 from Tennessee to Alabama where as we have said, Mr. Scruggs was
born. Here amid the beautiful green hills of the Tennessee river, and drinking the pure cool
water of their numberless springs, Mr. Scruggs grew to manhood's years. Like so many, of his
day, he was denied the privileges of good schools, and tells us that three monghs would cover
all the time that he ever spent in any institution of learning, and we suppose the schools to
which he did go, were very primitive in their accommodations, and worse than primitive in the
methods of instruction.
This does not mean, however, that Mr. Scruggs is not a well informed man, for he has made up in
later years by diligent hard study, and careful broad reading, what he failed to secure in
his earlier years, and today one will scarcely meet a man better posted on all questions of
Here, too, in his 23rd year, he was married, the choice of his heart being a cousin, Miss
Elizabeth Scruggs of Georgia, who accompanied him on life's journey till within a few years
Soon after marriage Mr. Scruggs, hearing through acquaintances in Texas of the wonderful
attractions of this new country, set his face to the westword, and in his old fashion wagon,
made by his own hands, he crossed the Sabine at Gaine's Ferry and was on Texas soil, camping
his first night in the State, just on the banks of that river, in the fall of 1850.
Following the old San Antonio road, the only road then in the state, Mr. Scruggs drove directly
to Bastrop county, and settled on the Colorado a mile below the village that has now become
the city of Bastrop.
With the Rector's he farmed, and did the work of a mechanic here, until the year of 1853, when,
to satisfy the home sick wife he returned to the old home land, settling once more amid the
hills of northren Alabama. But, it was never the purpose of Mr. Scruggs to make this return
to Alabama anything but a visit, and, in leaving Texas, he did so expecting to make an early
return to the state of his adoption. But, awaiting the preparation of others who wanted to come
also to Texas, Mr. Scruggs was yet in Alabama when the great Civil war broke upon the quiet of
our peaceful nation.
Lending then a willing ear to the call of his state, he volunteered on the first call for troops,
and next to the name of the noted Gen. John B. Gorden was written the name of William N.
Scruggs, a volunteer in the 6th Alabama Regiment.
In the organization of this regiment Mr. Scruggs was chosen first Leiutenant of Company F,
his commission from the Governer of Alabama, dating April 7th, 1861.
The first call of this regiment to the front took them to Bull Run, where Mr. Scruggs had his
first baptism of fire. Those who kow the history of war will need but to know that the 6th
Alabama was a part of that heroic "Army of Virginia." and they will know the war and battle
record which Mr. Scruggs helped that army in making. He was with his regiment i all the
principal engagements fought by this army, Bull Run, Williamsburgh, the seven days before
Richmond, Malvern Hill, where he led his regiment in charge after charge, all the day, through,
upon the impregnable defences of McClelland's army; where, too, he saw the water his men drank
stained and red with the blood of their fallen comrades, Antietam, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg,
Spotsylvania, where Mr. Scruggs said his command had an "awful time" and where "it looked for
a while," said he, "like none would be left to tell the tale."
At Gettysburg Mr. Scruggs regiment occupied the center, and he led his men to those heroic
charges from which so few of them returned and he himself with the skirts of his coat bullet
riddled and cut into strings and schreds.
As I listened to Mr. Scruggs recital of his part in this the ost terrible of all battles, I
could but wonder how it was his to escape, alive and uninjured. Who was it walled with hissing
led the narrow lane he trod, and made it, so narrow that a step, and less than a step, to
either side would have exposed his body to the death dealing bullets that were riddling
into strings the skirts of his coat on either side?
Were I a Calvinest I would say it was preordination, I would say that God, when he made the
earth and filled it with metal, had decreed that W. M. Scruggs should not be killed in battle,
and the lead had heard and remembered.
But, I am Arminian, and prefer to believe that a christian wife had prayed that the beloved
husband be returned to her, and to his home, and that God had heard, and was rembering that
Toward the close of teh war, then the regiment was reorganizing, Mr. Scrugg's company, which
had entered the service 139 strong, was found to number but seven icluding himself. The others
had give up their livews for the cause that was soon to become the "Lost Cause". And in this
orgaization Mr. Scruggs was promoted, receiving the commission of Quarter-master General, and
close of the war found him at Blue Mountain Alabama, in the discharge of his duties.
But in all these years and i all these campaigns and battles Mr. Scruggs had not forgotten our
Texas and though his return from the war found him the owner of but a two year old heifer, and
a half "fice" dog, neither of which were grown, he began soon to make preparation for his long
desired return to the state of his adoption.
In the fall of 1870, Mr. Scruggs again found himself i Texas, after a sixty days journey,
unloading his worn out family at Duck Pond in Bastrop County, without a cent of money, or even
a chew of tobacco, in his pocket.
The farm and home he now owns in that neighborhood, and which he redeemed from the virgin
forests tell of the labor and unremitting toil that have occupied the nearly third of a
century that Mr. Scruggs has been a resident of our dear old Bastrop county.
I 1887, Mr. Scruggs was elected a county commissioner and with but few intermissions has ever
since filled this responsible office, and filled it too, we are glad to say, to the honor of
himself and the satisfaction of his consitency. To those, if any, who would criticise his
course as a member of this court he would, readily say, "the books are open, read for yourself,
the record of my vote, on all questions touching the interests of my county or the interests of
Standing on the platform of his past record he tells us he is a candidate for re election, and
we feel sure that if the people of Precinct 4 knew, as the writer does, the stand that Mr.
Scruggs has ever taken for economy in the business matters of the county, then his election
would be assured, and assured not only for another term but for life.
Mr.Scruggs is a christian man. At a quarterly meeting held at Mr. Carmel, AL, the presiding
elder preached from this text: "The Lord is a sun and a shield, He giveth grace and glory,
and no good thing wil He withhold from them that walk uprightly." Under the preaching of this
sermon Mr. Scruggs was convicted of sin and began at once to seek religion. This meeting was
protracted, and on the eighth day of its continuance, when the preacher called for mourners,
Mr. Scruggs in almost shouting happiness, arose in the meeting and said: "Bro. Bartee, I am
already past the mourner's bench." He would have said more, for his heart was very full of that
love which passeth all understanding, but there were others there, others who were not ashamed
to shout the praise to God which they felt, and some of them at once "occupied the time." He
soon after united with the Methodist church, living in its fellowship and devoting himself to
its upbuilding and to the salvation of others through its influence till a few years ago when
he joined the Christian church at McDade. Being a broad man, Mr. Scruggs was never a churchite,
never believed his own church the only one, and was ever ready to work for the world's
betterment in any church. He was ever felt that the battle is one, the enemy the same, and
that which regiment or brigade he was in was no question so long as the right flag was over him
and the enemy was in his front.
Mr. Scruggs lives yet where he first settled. The industry and economy of earlier years have
placed him above want and with a sister, now in her 84th year, as housekeeper in the house,
he is spending in peace and quiet the declining years of life. He does not anticipate many
years more of lifes cares and burdens, but without fear and uncertainty he awaits the call to
the better world, and to the better life. He loves his friends and knows of no enemies. And
the only aspirations of his heart are to do all the good he can while living, and to be ready
when the summons shall come.
J. H. Gillaspy
Fourty-five hundred hogsheads of tobacco destroyed by fire at Clarksville, TN on the 5th inst.
The soldiers have quit licking the Spaniards and the country is now licking revenue stamps
to square things.
Bastrop Advertiser 2/12/1899
A REMARKABLE SIGHT
Smithville- The present blizzard is by far the coldest weather ever known in this section of
the country. The thermometer registered 4 degrees below zero at 7 o'clock this morning and
at noon it was 6 degrees above zero with the sun shining. The Colorady river is frozen over,
a thing that was never known before. The correspondent was told today by men who have lived
here since the '40s that they had never seen the Colorady frozen over before - From the Bastrop
Advertiser of Feb. 12. 1899.
Superintendent Fred. G. Haynie who has been in the Hospital at Austin for several weeks for
treatment of his eye, returned home Saturday. His many....
10/1898, The Bastrop Advertiser
On Friday night of last week a Mr. Lake Cain (son of James Michael Cain), a resident of the
southern part of the county, registered at the Midland Hotel and was assigned a room. It is
said he had 75 cents, in money, ten cents of which he spent for morphine, 15 cents he paid
to Mr. Wilkes for his night lodging. About 8 o'clock he went to his room and to bed. He
had stopped the night before at the John Watts boarding house, but being unable to get a
room for himself, changed to the Midland Hotel. It is said he was subject to epileptic fits,
and was in the habit of taking morphine when he felt the spells coming on him. It is
supposed he took the dose between 8 and 9 o'clock, Friday night. When discovered Saturday
morning, he was in a comatose condition. Dr. Combs was called to see him, but the deadly
drug had got in its work, and he died between 12 and 1 o'clock. Justice Jenkins held an
inquest, deciding that he had died from morphine administered by his own hands, but whether
suicidal intent or not, is not known. His brother, J. M. C. Cain, came up from Smithville
and took charge of the remains which were carried to Upton and interred (at the Young Schoolhouse
August 13, 1898
JAMES W. KENNEDY
The subject of this sketch, Mr. J. W. Kennedy, was among the very early settlers of Bastrop county. His father was a Leroy Kennedy, an officer under Jackson in the Creek war, 1813, and afterward, a member of the Legislature of his adopted state, Alabama.
At the age of twenty-two, Mr. Kennedy left the old home land, and in company with Maj. A. W. Moore, and others, turned his face to the westward.
On New Year's day of 18819, he reached and crossed the Sabine.
This was at Gaine's ferry, and here the little band of emigrants had their first experience of Texas hospitality. The old ferryman, Mr. Gaines, had made the day a time of feasting and merry-making with his neighbors, and slaves. And to the company of happy guests the newcomers were very heartily welcomed, and, not only so, but were detained for hours in the enjoyment of the occasion.
This sort of hospitality, that compelled the stranger to stop, and that lured him to tarry, long characterized, we learn, every section of our beautiful Texas. It has of late retired to our western countries.
Mr. Kennedy reached Bastrop on the 11th, having driven from the Sabine to the Colorado, in ten days, and, at once began work as farm hand, and overseer on the lands of the Mr. Moore with he had come.
But in August of this year he joined a company of Texas Rangers, at Austin, and was soon afterward sent to the Rio Grande, where, for the next twelve months, life was made up of fighting Indians, raiding their country, and patrolling that vast extent of our frontier reaching from El Paso to the Gulf, and eastward to the San Antonio river and the Guadalupe mountain range.
More than one of his own number Mr. Kennedy helped to bury, as a result of their frays with the wily Comanche foe. What became of the enemies dead, Mr. Kennedy did not state, but we suppose they were either carried off by their comrades, or made carion for the hungry wolf or starving vulture.
Surely Texas and Texans owe more to the old Ranger, than we have ever thought, or ever paid, and it is a sad reflection, too, that if ever the delinquency is to be made good, it must be dome soon, for even now, the old heroes of our Indian times are fast passing away, and, in a little while there will be naught left us, but to honor their graves and revere their memory.
After his service as a Ranger, Mr. Kennedy returned again to Bastrop, and worked for some time in the sawmills owned by Moore & Sims. He then visited the old home land, and his parents, but, being this time fully persuaded of the superiority of Texas over Alabama, the visit was but a visit only, and he soon again sought his western, his new home.
When the writer suggested that possibly some special attraction had figured in this Alabama visit, Mr. Kennedy promptly answered, "no, I had never yet cared anything for the opposite sex." Then I thought, what a lesson for the swain of today love sick at seventeen.
Not long after his return to Texas Mr. Kennedy became a gold hunter. A man named Stewart, living then in Milam county, claimed to know of very rich mines in the Guadalupe mountains, and, calling for volunteers to help him in searching for them, Mr. K., with many others joined the company.
With wagons and teams, provisions, camp, and mining outfit, the company proceded to the western mountain country, where, alas! They made many a vain and ineffectual day's search for the rich mines, and the boundless wealth with which they had all hoped to return.
Worn out at last and discouraged, Mr. Kennedy one morning arose in the midst of their camps and called for volunteers to return home and when the evening of that day had come, Mr. K, said, himself, and thirty three others, pitched their tents far toward the head waters of the San Saba.
He still believes the mines were there all right as to find them. Those left behind, one by one, returned, some long after, but they had never found any gold. They had only been more determined, but no less unfortunate then the others.
Again, we find Mr. K, in the limber mills of Bastrop, coming finally to own this he did what, no doubt, has been the wisest thing he ever did, he married.
His bride was a Miss Elizabeth Foster whose parents had come, in 1840, from Missouri, and settled, first, near Bastrop, but afterward at Middleton Springs, in Bastrop county.
Soon after the organization of the Confederate Government, Mr. K, received the appointment of Postmaster at Alum Creek, a position he held till the close of the war. The care of a large family made necessary that he stay at home, while the office he held prevented conscription, so it happened that he experienced none of the hardships and knew none of the dangers incident to the life a soldier, yet, with all his heart, he believed in the principles of the Confederacy, and, till a late date in the progress of the war, hoped for, and believed in the success of the Southern cause.
Under the pretense that he had aided the South, by serving as a road supervisor during the war, Mr. K, was forbidden to take the ironclad oath, by the powers that were, and hence, for a year or two of the reconstruction days, he was not allowed the right to vote. But afterward he took this oath, and once more was permitted to have a part in governmental affairs of his state. When, however, he came to cast his first vote, it seems there was not much in it to stimulate his manhood, or encourage his reviving patriotism. For his was made to approach the polls between files of soldiers, with bayonets meeting over his head, and guarded and watched with the utmost vigilance till this sacred duty to his country was done, and then led away by an accommodating orderly.
When visiting Bastrop, Mr. K, says his way had been to remain till night, and have a good time with his friends, and on the above occasion he had fully intended, he says, to follow his old established custom, but to his surprise a very official officer pre-emptorily ordered him, at once, to leave town. This officer, being backed by all proper authority, and that authority not lacking in an abundant supply of "carnal weapons". Mr. K. says he thought it would be decidedly to his advantage to give due heed to the wishes of this very, very king? Officer, and so went home. The good wife was much surprised at the early return, and was so pleased at it, that she was nearly ready, Mr. K, says, to believe reconstruction and reconstruction officers were pretty good things after all. But he says they were not, and the writer is by no means ready to dispute the assertion.
But better days came, the administration of Davis gave way to that of Coke, and peace and prosperity returned. Owning land in the Colorado bottoms, Mr. K, followed farming till 1885, when he left Alum Creek, and moved to Paige, where he took charge of the Grange store, and grange business then but recently organized there.
In this he continued for four years after which he engaged in a little confectionery and fruit business of his own in which he is still occupied at the present time.
He owns a nice home in Paige, and though not by any means wealthy, yet lives well, and spends pleasantly the closing years of his eventful life.
Everybody knows him, everybody likes him. Everybody wishes him well, and Bastrop country will lose a good citizen, and the people of Paige a kind and loving neighbor when he is no more.
On the wall of his room hangs a beautiful and nicely framed Masonic chart, giving the more important dates, and events in his life.
The blanks for the insertion of the birth are already filled and I read, "born May 26th, 1825," The blanks for the marriage date are also filled, and those for date of his connection with the Order, but below is a coffin, and over it are the woreds, "Called from Labor to Refreshment." But the blank space for the date of this last event in life's history, is yet unfilled.
Pointing to the blanks, Mr. K, feeling remarked, "It will not be long now till these spaces, too, will be filled." But the writer hopes it may be a long, long time yet, and in this wish we are joined by many, many of his kind and loving friends.
J. H. Gillaspy.
August 6, 1898
I visited recently historic ground; historic ground, though marked by no pillar, or monument to indicate its importance. Some four miles above Bastrop, where the waters of the beautiful Colorado wash the shores of the highlands, is the site upon which once sttod the rude cedar log hut of Gail Borden. The Gail Borden whose name has gone the world around.
As I stood upon this site, I called to mind what I knew toughing the history of this famous pioneer, and, with the hope of interesting some one, I would present a few of these facts to my readers.
Gail Borden was born the first year of the now closing century of New England stock. Removing from New York, he settled, during his earlier years in Indiana, where he taught school, surveyed land and assisted his father at farming.
But after a time his health so far failed, that he left his home and his parents, and drifted southward, seeking a climate less rigorous, a clime where he might gather again his lost powers, and improve his failing health.
He settled in Mississippi, at a place called Zion Hill, where he soon became acquainted with the then famous Col. Eli Mercer, whose daughter, he not long afterward, married.
This was in the twenties, and Texas was coming to be known in the older states. So, in 1829, he gathered together his little worldly estate, and the wife bidding a last farewell to the loving parents, he set his face to the westward.
He settled on the La Vaca in Austin's Colony, where he engaged in farming, and stock raising, till his abilities as surveyor became known, when Austin apponted him as the official surveyor of the colony.
When that band of strong and determined men came together in 1833, at San Filipe, to discuss what should be done in regard to the intolerable oppressions of Mexico, Gail Borden was among them, a delegate from the La Vaca district. History does not tell us what he did, or what he said, but we may well believe that one who had been born with a New Englander's heredity and had afterward in the Southland, imbibed a Southern's chivalry, was not silent in that convention.
Soon after this he founded and published the Texas Land Register, the first paper of any kind ever printed in Texas, and it was the press and type of this paper with Santa Anna buried beneath the waves of the near at hand bayou.
It was while he was serving as Austin's surveyor that he visited the site of Bastrop, surveying the lands for the new town, and other lands adjacent.
It was then he saw the beautiful and fertile lands lying above the town, and choosing the location above mentioned, he built the cabin and moved his family to this part of the colony, if indeed I may call lands above Bastrop, a part of Austin's Colony.
It was now 1819 and the great stream of migration to California had begun, a stream that dried up and all but perished upon the barren plains and burning sands of Arizona and the Pacific slope.
Moved to pity by the tales of suffering, and being of quick perception, Gail Borden now turned inventor.
The juices of the best Texas beeves seasoned with the best wheat flour, was baked, and then ground to powder. This was the invention, this was the never surpassed food, the "Gail Bordon Meat Biscuit", samples of which, thirty years afterward, were as good and as wholesome as when first made.
But the demand not justifying, in 1853, he discontinued the manufacture of this wonderful food. But, calling to mind one day, as he sat in the home of a friend at Bastrop, that milk has in it all the elements of a perfect human food, he began wondering if it, too, might not be condensed and preserved.
Then experiment followed experiement, and finally success crowning the effort, the name of "Gail Borden's Eagle Brand of Condensed Milk" is known the world over.
But about this time death came into the humble cottage, and she who had once been the beautiful, ever happy Penelope Mercer, was laid away to rest in the little, obscure graveyard, that may yet be seen near where the sluggish waters of Sandy pour themselves into the currents of the Colorady.
Gail Borden, soon after this event, returned to the land of his nativity and began, on a large scale, the manufacture of his condensed milk, and, the war coming on, a greater demand was made for his product, as great, or even greater, than he could supply, so that in a few years he became a very wealthy man.
Soon after the war, however, he left his large condensing and canning facturies in the charge of his sons, and again came to Texas. He did not return to his old Bastrop home or his Bastrop lands, but settled farther south in Colorado county.
Here, as in New York, he built quite extensive condensing factories. But his work and his years drew to a close, and on the 11th day of January 1871, he "wrapped the drapery of his couch about him." And lay down in the embrace of his last slumber. He passed away from.. love by thousands who knew him and knew of him, and will be blessed by thousands yet to be born.
The old Bastrop home, a part of it, at least was given in kindly beneficense, to the Hatherly family by the son, Mr. John G. Borden, who spared no pains and no expense to make the removal of these good English people from New Jersey to Texas, a pleasant journey, and a successful and happy enterprise.
Four great factories, two in New York, one in New Jersey, and one in Illinois, now furnish a world wide market with condensed milk, and when I reflect that this wonderful enterprise had its inception in Texas, In Bastrop, and upon the banks of our own Colorado, I am filled with pride, pride for my state, and pride for the old town.
When I reflect that the tens of thousands of voyager upon the great ocean, the millions of soldiers bent upon the war campaigns of the world, or the legion of travelers that tread the frozen regions of polar zones, or press the burning sands of the tropics may be, and are all supplied to day with a Providence's rich, blessing to mankind, pure, rich sweet milk, and that the great stream which now supplies the world, had its beginning with him whose hands once reared the humble cabin upon whose site I stand, I am filled with wonder at the possibilities of human invention, the possibilities of human enterprise.
J. H. Gillaspy