The Texas and Pacific
Train Robbed at Eagle Ford
The Messenger and Conductor
Fire on the Bandits - In the Ex-
change of Shots the Coaches
The Guards of the Convict
Train Join in
the Fray and in Retaliation the Rob-
bers Attempt the Release of
About Fifty Convicts.
The Express and Mail Car is
urated with Coal Oil and the
Match Lighted before the
Door is Opened.
EAGLE FORD HAUL.
How the Maskers Operated,
Captured - A Dallasian's Familiarity
Addressed by the Robbers.
[From Saturday's Daily.]
bound passenger and express train on the Texas and Pacific railroad
was robbed Thursday night at 12:10, at Eagle Ford, by four masked
men, armed with Winchester rifles and navy sixes. As the train
drew up at the depot, the robbers rushed into the office and
made a prisoner of Mr. J. Hixcox, railroad agent. One of the
party covering him with a pistol, kept the agent in the office
while the three others hurried to the locomotive and arrested
the engineer and fireman, whom they marched, together with the
agent, to the door of the express car.
Before leaving the depot, the agent
had been ordered, on reaching the express coach, to ask to be
admitted, feigning as though he was alone. Although all have
been quietly done, the suspicions of the express messenger must
have been aroused, for when the agent asked for admittance as
he had been commanded, the messenger refused to open the door
under any circumstances, informing the agent that he could only
get in by breaking in the door. One of the robbers ran to the
tender and, returning with a stick of wood, proceeded to batter
in the door, the leader of the maskers, at the same time calling
out to the messenger that they would give him two minutes to
open the door.
When the messenger opened it, he
was covered with the arms of the party, and ordered to unlock
the safe. On entering the car, the robbers immediately went through
it. This completed, the leader of the gang said, "Well,
we'll now see what's in Uncle Sam's packages," and started
for the mail car. At this juncture, Conductor Campbell came out
to see what was the occasion of the delay, and was rounded up
by the robbers with the agent, engineer and fireman, at the same
time being relieved of his watch. The mail bags were then rifled
and all registered letters taken. A stock man of this place,
named Wilson, who was aboard of the train, came out and walked
up into the crowd, not knowing the nature of the delay, when
one of the robbers said, "Fall into line, Wilson, d--n you,
fall into line," which he did without further delay. The
robber unquestionably knew him, but Wilson failed to recognize
After the robbery, the maskers backed some distance from the
train with their weapons presented to prevent an attack, and
then turning, retreated hurriedly in a northeasterly direction.
Colonel Noble, superintendent of
the Texas and Pacific, who was in the city at the LeGrand, was
telegraphed regarding the robbery, and upon receiving the message,
notified the officers of the fact, when a posse of men, headed
by Captain June Peak, started in pursuit. Thus far, nothing concerning
the movements of the pursuing force have been received. The maskers
are though to be of the same gang who recently robbed the Texas
Central railroad at Allen and Hutchins, variously estimated at
from four to sixteen.
Mr. Hargis, the agent of the Texas
express company at this place, was called upon by a HERALD reporter
to ascertain the amount taken from the company. The gentleman
stated that the amount taken could not be much over fifty dollars,
but was reticent concerning anything else connected with the
robbery and pursuit. Judge Norton, the postmaster, was also called
upon by the reporter, to learn, if possible, the loss by mail.
He stated that he could not tell, as the major part of it was
a through mail to Fort Worth, and he had not received any information
from that point regarding it. He said he could, therefore, only
speak of the mail from this point, and as there had been but
very little registered money sent on that evening in that direction,
he thought the amount gotten by the robbers must have been small.
[From Sunday's Daily.]
reporter met Mr. E. L. Stevens, the station agent at Eagle Ford,
who stated that he could give no new developments concerning
the train robbing at that place. He stated that the robbing was
perfected in the most quiet manner possible, and executed with
dispatch. The leader of the gang was a small man, rather wiry
in his movements, with dark, close-cut hair, small mustache and
about one hundred and forty pounds weight. Though he was dressed
in a rough frontier garb, he had the air of a border dandy, and
gave his orders in a bold, fearless way, which the other three
men, without ever once speaking a word, executed with rapidity
and precision. One of the other three, was rather a large, tall
man, though not fleshy, while the other two were of medium size.
All wore masks, consisting of handkerchiefs tied around their
faces just below the eyes. While engaged in securing the booty,
the leader's mask dropped down, but he never attempted to fix
it. They had a flour sack with them in which they put the purloined
money and mail.
Bass and His Gang in Denton
Last night, about ten o'clock,
the express agent at this place, received a dispatch from Pilot
Point, in Denton county, stating that Sam Bass, Jackson and Underwood,
the supposed train robbers, are in the bottom of Elm Fork. It
was rumored that a party had crowded them above Lewisville, when
a fight ensued, in which many shots had been exchanged, when
the attacking party, for want of sufficient force, had been compelled
to draw off, when the robbers made for the bottom of Elm Fork,
near Pilot Point, where they defied arrest. The dispatch asked
for help, and Marshal Morton, officers Arnold, Walton and McGinly,
left last night on horseback for the scene.
Where They Defy the Law and Out
General Their Pursuers.
From Wednesday's Daily.
about 8 o'clock, the party who had gone from this place to Denton
county to look for the Eagle Ford express robbers, returned to
- April 13, 1878, Dallas
Weekly Herald, p. 1.
A HERALD reporter called upon Mr. Sam Finley, of the
express company, who kindly furnished the following: Thursday,
the day after the robbery, a party consisting of detective James
Curry, Ed Smith, telegraph operator, Wm. Edwards and others,
started out on the hunt of the Eagle Ford express robbers. They
struck their trail at Eagle Crossing, in this county, which led
them in a round-about way through the prairie and timber, within
two miles of Lewisville, on the Denton road.
Securing the services of a party
who was thoroughly versed in the windings of the county to pilot
them, they set out the following day to continue the hunt. After
riding over a good portion of the county on Saturday, they turned
again towards Denton, and when within two miles of that place,
and while they were yet in the timber, their attention was attracted
to two horses hitched in the timber a short distance from the
main road. They thought the animals were those of Hall's rangers,
but determining to take very precaution, they scattered and advanced
toward them. He and Curry rode further down on the left.
When within about forty rods of
the horses, a shot was fired at Curry, which he returned. He
saw the smoke from the shot, but could not see the party who
fired it. He and Curry dismounted, calling to the other men to
go around in the rear.
While in the act of tying his horse,
he saw one of the robbers, Frank Jackson, standing behind a tree
with his side exposed to him, aiming at Curry. Dropping his bridle
reins, he threw his gun down on the robber to shoot, when a voice
called out, "Look out, Frank." Jackson immediately
put the tree between Finley and himself. Wheeling around to learn
where the voice came from, he saw a man just as he was getting
behind a tree. At this juncture, he began to look for a tree
himself, and soon found one. Having gained shelter, he began
to look about, but could see nothing further.
Smith and their pilot had nothing but pistols, which were useless
at that range.
Jackson asked the party what they
were shooting at them for, when Curry asked him why he shot at
them; the robber replied that he had fired at a rabbit that had
jumped up between them.
This raised a doubt in their mind
as to whether or not they were the right party, and he called
to them to come out from behind the trees and show who they were.
This they refused to do, saying, "You go away; we don't
To encourage them, he stepped from
behind the tree, repeating his request that they should come
out and show who they were. They still refused and said, ""No,
you go away; we don't want to see you." He then called to
Curry, who was also behind a tree some fifty yards off in a key
which the robbers could plainly hear, asking him if either one
of the men was Bass, when Curry, who knew Bass by sight, answered
He then walked to where his horse
was grazing, when one of the robbers asked him what he was going
to do. He told him he would let him know in a few minutes. He
then led his horse over to where Curry was standing, they covering
him all the while with their guns.
Curry assured him that Bass was not there, and he began to think
more than ever that they were after the wrong men.
After a short consultation, and
finding that they could get nothing out of the men, they pulled
off, watched them and saw each one at a time go out and saddle
his horse, while the other would stand guard with his gun leveled
on them. Soon after, they rode off in the woods and afterwards
appearing about three hundred and fifty yards below. They then
raised in their saddles, waved their hats and yelled to them
to come on. Chase was given, but the robbers soon distanced them.
It was subsequently learned that
the man with Jackson was Underwood, the Nebraska express robber,
who recently escaped from prison. In about an hour after Finley
and his party had arrived in Denton, Tom Gerrin, formerly a deputy
sheriff of that county, told them that Tom [sic] Bass and his
men were at a mill about three quarters of a mile out, and they
if they wanted them, to come out and try to take them. Gerrin
said there were four or five of them in the party, and all of
them armed with Winchester rifles.
At the time, he thought the report
a canard, and he asked Gerrin to accompany them to the place,
but though he claims, and has been to all appearances, acting
as an officer of the law, he refused, saying, "No, Sam Bass
is a friend of mine and I will do nothing against him."
This braggadocio-like avowal from Gerrin, when it became known,
caused a great deal of excitement and indignation among the citizens
of that place who armed and went out in pursuit. Before their
arrival, Bass and his followers had taken a timely departure.
While in Denton, he became aware
that the major part of the citizens of the county condemned the
robbers, but they had a number of friends who kept them posted
concerning their movements. He stated that men who acted as couriers
for the robbers left the city while they were there. Many sympathize
with them, while others befriend them, fearing their ill-will,
though the citizens, as a general thing, heartily condemn the
outlaws. Seeing that it was useless to further pursue under these
circumstances without a superior force, he telegraphed to this
place for aid, when Captain June Peak, Marshal Morton, officers
Arnold, Waller and James McGinley, responded, arriving there
Tuesday morning. Thus reinforced, they scoured the county around
Denton for a circuit of ten miles, but failed to find further
trace of them. It is time that the governor of the state was
taking some action in the matter.
Sam Bass and his followers would look well in the iron cage at
the jail. Bass boasts of the Union express robbery, and says
he converted most of the gold he got that trip into greenbacks.
- o o o -
SAM BASS GANG
NEW AND OLD METHODS
BANDITRY IN THIS SEC-
TION ARE COMPARED.
BY W. S. ADAIR.
It is by
no means a new thing for men to go after what seems to be easy
money, and there was plenty of excitement in and about Dallas
in the latter part of June, 1878, when four train robberies were
perpetrated in rapid succession in this vicinity, two on the
H. & T. C. and two on the Texas & Pacific railroads.
The first robbery was at Allen, the second at Hutchins, the third
at Eagle Ford, and the fourth at Mesquite. The officers and State
rangers scoured the country for the bandits, but did not arrive
at even a suspicion as to who they were until after the Mesquite
The clew was given by a man who
knew some of the bandits, and by the arrest of one of the gang
who had been shot in the leg at Mesquite, and who had stolen
into Dallas for surgical aid. Then it became known that the band
was headed by Sam Bass, who had, up to that time, enjoyed the
reputation of being a law-abiding farmer and stockman of Denton
County and whose followers were mostly country boys of Dallas
and Denton Counties who had become fired with the spirit of adventure.
The holdups at Allen, Eagle Ford
and Hutchins were without specially romantic features, the bandits
simply boarding the trains when they stopped at the stations,
as was their method, and taking what they found in the express
car, and leaving the passengers undisturbed. They usually announced
themselves by firing a few shots in order to give the requisite
blood-and-thunder setting to their performance, but avoiding
wanton bloodshed. But, at Mesquite, their exploit took on more
In the first place, Conductor
Alvord, who had charge of the train, when told to throw up his
hands as he stepped on the platform, pulled a small pistol and
began to shoot, thereby making himself the target for such a
fusillade of shots that he scrambled aboard the train with the
bone of his left arm shattered by a bullet, and his hat carried
off his head by a charge from a sawed-off shotgun. The shots
attracted the attention of the guards of a convict train standing
near the station, and one of the guards took a shot at the nearest
bandit, but he was obliged to retire under a rain of bullets
The three guards of the convict
train, J. T. Lynch, now of the Dallas police force; Fluellen,
who had shot at the bandit, and Henning, with their guns in hand,
approached the train from the side opposite the station, but
were told by the two bandits on that side to stop where they
were. They replied that they had no intention of interfering,
but merely wished to see what was going on. The bandits told
them there was no objection to their presence if they would keep
Threatens to Burn Car.
According to J. T. Lynch, who said
he saw and heard everything, the robbers made Jake Zern, station
agent, throw up his hands as he came out of the station, and
stood up beside him, J. M. Gross, a local merchant who happened
to be on the platform. The express messenger closed his car and
refused to open. The bandits saturated the sides of the car with
kerosene and told the messenger that they were going to count
to fifty, and that if the car was not open by that time, they
would apply a match to the kerosene. When the counter got to
"forty," the door of the car flew open and the messenger
stepped out with hands above his head.
heard what the bandits said to the express messenger, saw them
throw kerosene against the car, and heard the man counting,"
said Lynch. Meantime Jake Zern and Mr. Cross held their hands
up as faithfully as any old saint on his pillar. After the robbers
had looted the car, and were about to depart, the express messenger
coolly said to them: "Would you gentlemen object to giving
me a receipt for what you have taken from the car; you see, I
shall have to make a report to the company?" The messenger's
request was such a surprise that we guards were moved to laugh
to ourselves, but it was even funnier to Jake Zern, who laughed
aloud, and was reproved by one of the robbers for the untimeliness
of his mirth.
"Jake Zern lived on the second
floor of the station, and while the robbers were busy with the
express car, Mrs. Zern slipped downstairs and secured what money
there was in the station drawer. The robbers did not molest the
passengers on the train, but they took a watch and some money
from the messenger. They were, however, so well pleased
with the nerve he displayed by asking them for a receipt that
they returned to him all that they had taken, with the remark
that he was all right.
Having looted the car, the robbers
made a run for their horses, taking with them the man whom our
guard, Fluellen, had wounded when he fired a charge of buckshot
at him at the beginning of the proceedings. But before they started
away, one of the number proposed that they go and liberate all
the convicts, because Fluellen had fired. The convicts, who heard
this proposal, became very unruly, and we were obliged to shoot
three of them within the next few days. The wounded robber was
sent to Dallas, or came of his own accord, to consult a surgeon,
and was arrested along with another of the band, and in this
way the personnel of the band became known to the officers and
A company of rangers, reinforced
by civilians and officers, under command of Lieutenant June Peak
of the rangers, went in pursuit of the bandits. In the pursing
party, besides the rangers and officers, wee Alex Cockrell, Tom
Floyd, Tom Gerren, Jim Curry, John and William Work, and many
more. The posse followed the bandits into Denton County, and
thence into Wise County. In their flight, the robbers killed
one of their number whom they suspected of bad faith, saying
that he snored in his sleep.
At Salt Creek, in Wise County,
the posse surprised the bandits in camp. Their horses were staked
out to graze in a glad while the men were taking a much needed
sleep in a grove. Underwood was the only one of the bandits who
got to his horse, on which he got away, but seeing that Lieutenant
Peak was the only one in charge of the horses, he boldly rode
back to dispute Peak's claim to the stock. He charged Peak, shooting
as he came. But, Peak shot him out of his saddle, but was unable
to prevent him from escaping into the timber on foot. In order
to render it impossible for the fugitives to regain possession
of the horses, Lieutenant Peak ordered the animals shot.
In the running fight which ensued,
Alex Cockrell and John Work had their horses killed under them,
and Arkansaw Johnson, one of the bandits, was killed. Eluding
their pursuers, the rest of the gang secured other mounts and
struck across Denton and Dallas Counties, making their way into
East Fork bottom in Kaufman County, with the rangers and posse
in pursuit. In the meantime, Lieutenant Peak had secured the
services of a spy in the camp of the fugitives. Having followed
the bandits out of Kaufman County and as far south as Porter's
Bluff on the Trinity River, he received word from his spy that
the bandits had planned to raid a bank in Waco on a certain day.
Acting on this information, Lieutenant Peak made arrangements
to be on hand at the robbery. But before the day arrived, a second
message from the spy informed the officer that the Waco enterprise
had been abandoned in favor of a raid on a bank at Round Rock,
where the chances of getting away with the holdup were considered
as being more favorable.
Realizing that it would be impossible
for him to reach Round Rock in time to be present at the robbery,
Lieutenant Peak telegraphed Major J. B. Jones, commander of the
rangers, who dispatched a company of rangers to the scene. The
rangers engaged the bandits on the streets as they entered the
town, and in the running fight which followed, Sam Bass, the
leader, was killed, and his band, scattering, never again operated
as an organization, though some of the individuals figured for
several years in lone holdups.
Just what amount of loot the Bass
gang secured in their various holdups no one seems to know. As
stated, they never undertook to rob the passengers on the trains
which they stopped, but were content with what they got out of
the express cars. Bass is said to have been a native of Illinois.
He came to Texas when he was a mere boy, settling in Denton County,
where his people engaged in farming and stock raising. His band
consisted of about ten men, mostly boys of respectable families
in Dallas and Denton Counties. Arkansaw Johnson, who was killed
in the Salt Creek fight, was the only one of the number whose
antecedents were unknown. Nobody seems to this day to know who
One of the number was killed in
Grayson County, another by United States soldiers in Kansas,
a third by a United States Deputy Marshal in Dakota, two were
convicted and sent to the penitentiary, and two, Bill Underwood
and Frank Jackson, have never been accounted for.
Early day bandits were usually
frontiersmen, who regarded railway trains, which began to make
their appearance in their solitudes, as a species of larger game,
and who were prompted as much by adventure as they were by cupidity.
They knew little or nothing of commercialism or industrialism.
After an exploit, they fled into some natural wilderness, the
mountains or woods, their superior knowledge of the country,
giving them a great advantage over pursuing officers.
- January 23, 1921,
Dallas Morning News, Sec. 3, p. 4.
But bandits nowadays are right
up-to-date in the affairs of the world, court danger, and rather
prefer that the police, Deputy Sheriffs, detectives and secret
service men will see proper to appear on the scene than not,
as calculated to give zest to their operations, and since the
telegraph and telephone wires, automobiles and interurban cars
have transferred the wilderness from the mountains and woods
to the cities, they no longer figure on a 100-mile chase and
the chances of eluding it. They simply turn a few corners, lose
themselves in the crowd and turn up the next day for a new adventure
just a few blocks removed from the scene of the sensation of
the preceding day. The old-time bandit took life only when it
was necessary; the modern shoots promiscuously.
- o o o-
EARLY DAY CHANCES
IN DALLAS RELATED
M. W. SAMUELS REFUSED OP-
PORTUNITIES TO GET IN "ON
THE GROUND FLOOR."
NIGHT WITH SAM BASS
Outlaw Band Unwelcome Guests
of Dallas Business Men n
BY W. S. ADAIR.
it seems only yesterday that all the Western country was full
of Indians in paint," said M. W. Samuels, 102 South Jefferson
street. "I was born at Columbus, Ind., in 1852, and going
to Kansas with my father, Joseph Samuels, in 1858, settled at
Marysville, Marshall County, 110 miles west of St. Joseph, where
father was proprietor of the only mercantile establishment between
St. Joseph and Denver. The country was almost a moving mass of
buffaloes, and the Indians were on the warpath all around us.
Settlers were in constant dread of massacre. Little children
did not have to be told twice to stick close to the house.
"While I spent my boyhood days on
the frontier, all that was very tame in comparison with what
I saw when I made a trip to the Black Hills in 1869. In early
days, people flocked to newly discovered gold fields as they
now flock to a new oil field. Most of them did not know gold
from any other shiny substance, but that did not hold them back.
I hurried to Deadwood with thousands of others from all parts
of the world. I took a stage at Sidney, Neb. The Black Hills
were in the Sioux reservation, and when white men began to pour
into that region, the Indians protested, and, that doing no good,
went on the warpath. the stage, which charged a fare of ten cents
a mile, was guarded every step of the way by Federal soldiers.
"Deadwood, a collection of tents
and huts in the mountains, was a den of vice. Criminals and abandoned
characters from all the ends of the earth had assembled there,
thinking to profit by the absence of law and order. Men killed
one another at the gaming tables, or killed themselves when they
lost their all. A man considered himself lucky when he was merely
hijacked, for robbers, as a rule, killed their victim to start
with, and then went through his pockets at their leisure. No
man felt safe. The Indians attacked the first train the Union
Pacific attempted to run into Deadwood, and, among others, killed
the engineer. To tell the plain truth, I was afraid to stay at
Deadwood, and I soon found myself running the gauntlet back to
Sidney and feeling infinitely more safe on the way than I had
felt in Deadwood.
Up Against It Once More.
"The Southwest began to attract
attention when railroad building was started here early in the
70s. From what I could hear, Shreveport was the very place for
a rising young man. I arrive there in August, 1873. I was at
once arrested and put in a quarantine camp, where I learned that
there was a yellow fever epidemic on. All the fears and alarms
I had experienced at Deadwood once more came over me. Early that
night, I managed to escape from the camp. I footed it to Marshall,
hiding in the woods when I saw anybody coming. On reaching Marshall,
I made for the railroad yards, where I found a freight train
starting west. The friendly engineer and the fireman agreed to
bring me to Dallas for $5 each, which I was glad to pay. With
a blanket rolled around me, I rode in the coal tender. The engineer
stopped the train several miles east of Dallas and put me off,
but told me how to find my way into town. He was afraid to let
me come in on the train.
Early Morning Killing.
"Covered with coal dust and half
famished, I strode into the Crutchfield House at night. The town
was quarantined against the world, and a stranger had to give
a circumstantial account of whence he came and how he got into
town. To questions at the Crutchfield House, I replied that I
had been at work for some time in the Texas & Pacific yards,
and, strange to say, got by with that fabrication. When I emerged
from the hotel next morning, I had scarcely time to note that
the courthouse was s small frame structure with trees around
it and inclosed by a chain which served at once as fence and
hitching rack, when my attention was arrested by some shots on
the east side of the square. I saw a man fall on the sidewalk
in front of the Four-Clover saloon, at what is now 102 South
Jefferson street, and another man mount a horse, and, whooping
and yelling like a Comanche, ride for the river, firing a pistol
with each hand as he went. He clattered across the bridge without
saying turkey about the toll and was lost to view. The shacks
on the east side of the courthouse were occupied as saloons or
gambling halls, or a combination of the two. Such games as faro
and keno were played within the houses, and monte, chuck-a-luck
and the wheel and paddle games on the sidewalk in front. There
was a 'barker' for each game, who in eloquent slang, urged the
boys to come forward and try their luck. The shooting affair
did not interfere with the business of the gamblers. Word went
down the line that a man had been killed, and that was all there
was to it. So little was said about the tragedy, in fact, that
I never heard the name of either of the parties to it. So far
as I know, no attempt was made by the officers to arrest the
Took it Out for Trade.
"I went to work for Adam Craft,
on the northeast corner of Main and Jefferson streets. Mr. Craft
had the most extensive general mercantile establishment in Dallas,
and was the largest cotton buyer in North Texas. He was succeeded
in business by his son, Levi Craft, who occupied the old stand
until along in the '80s. Dallas was the terminus of the Houston
& Texas Central and of the Texas & Pacific Railroads,
and was the market for the cotton produced in Dallas and adjoining
counties. Merchants paid 4 1/2¢ to 5¢ for cotton, not
in money, but in dry goods and groceries. The cotton, some of
it grown 150 miles away, was brought in four and five bales on
a wagon, drawn by six yoke of oxen, the whole family perched
on top of the cotton. The farmer would exchange his cotton for
jeans, linsey-woolsey, cowhide shoes, tobacco and whisky, and
then beat it back home without having seen a cent of money, and,
to all appearance, well satisfied. Every cotton grower had to
have whisky and navy tobacco. Many times, a farmer, after completing
his purchases, would take a hasty inventory and conclude that
he had invested too much in dry goods and groceries and not enough
in whisky, and would ask the merchant to take back part of the
groceries and wearing apparel and give him more whisky and tobacco.
In spite of the fact that farmers got next to nothing for their
cotton, and had to take that in trade, there was considerable
money in circulation, mostly gold, for the people of the South
were afraid of greenbacks. For several years after the close
of the war, the country was flooded with counterfeit bills, and
the people refused to take chances on any kind of paper money.
Town Lot Auction.
"The only two-story building on
the courthouse square in 1873 was the Wagner Building, southeast
corner of Main and Jefferson streets. But, there were several
two-story buildings on Main and Elm streets. Dallas was no doubt
a flourishing town, but it was generally believed that when the
railroads were extended, the trade would go elsewhere. Waco was
spoken of as the coming town, and Fort Worth was already on something
of a boom. The real estate men advertised a town lot sale at
Fort Worth in 1873. Philip Sanger, who knew that I had about
$2,000, came to me and advised me to invest it in town lots at
Fort Worth. I hired a buggy and drove to Fort Worth to attend
the auction sale of lots. Lots sold from $50 to $150 each in
what is now the business district of the town, the best corner
lots going for the latter figure. I listened to the auctioneer,
but was never once moved to make a bid. Mr. Sanger was out of
patience with me when I told him that I had not invested. I also
looked Waco over. It was a larger town than Dallas, had more
capital and had an immense trade. But, I did not take hold. When
I returned to Dallas, a blacksmith who was illuminated with the
name of Bois d'Arc, from the circumstance that he made wagons
of bois d'arc timber, offered me a tract of thirty acres lying
along the river, west of Houston street, and extending from Commerce
street to the brewery plant. He wanted $300 for it. It did not
seem to me that it would even be worth as much as $3, and so,
we made no deal. When I review the past, it appears to me that
I obstinately refused to be shoved or shouldered in on the ground
floor in this part of the country.
Merely a Little to Drink.
"In 1876, Isadore Casper of Casper
Bros., Denison, and I went west with three wagons loaded with
merchandise, which we meant to sell at auction in the various
settlements. I was the auctioneer. With us were Perry Saums and
a Mexican in charge of the teams. A few miles east of Denton,
we met late in the afternoon a body of twenty-five or thirty
heavily-armed mounted men. After halting and questioning us,
they ordered us to about face and conducted us into a deep ravine,
where they said we would go into camp for the night. The leader
introduced himself as Sam Bass and presented his next friend,
Mr. Underwood. These formalities over, Bass wanted to know if
we had any whisky. We told him that we had only about five gallons.
'We do not want to swim in it, but merely a little drink,' was
his reply. The outlaws took a drink all around, invited themselves
to be our guests at supper and then played cards, having first
put out guards.
Send Word to the Rangers.
- May 24, 1925, Dallas
Morning News, Sec. 9, p. 5.
"After breakfast next morning, Bass
and Underwood, acting for the whole band, shook hands with us,
thanked us for our hospitality, praised our fare and whisky,
and requested that if we met any rangers, we tell them a straight
tale about having spent the night with Sam Bass and his men.
Then we resumed our journey and our guests went in the opposite
direction. Between our camping place and Denton, we met a squad
of rangers, to whom we gave a circumstantial account of our night
with the outlaws. The rangers went in hot pursuit, but I never
heard that they caught up with the fugitives. That was two or
three years before Bass was killed at Round Rock."
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