Famous Court Trials of Montague County, Texas






Reviewed & Transcribed by Eveline  Marie Crocker
for The A. L. H. N. Texas Montague County Resource Web Site.

". . . .
      "It should be remember that when most of the events reported herein occurred, MONTAGUE COUNTY was a struggling young county. Law and order was new to this region and was extremely difficult to establish.
      This work is respectfully dedicated to the OLD PIONEERS, both men and women, who gave so much to establish our present day system of law and order, ..., and whose memory and deeds I am happy to help perpetuate.
Marvin F. London:
May 11, 1974.


The Brumley Family Murders

The Hanging of Charles Harris

The Hanging of Nancy Hill

The Burning of the Court House

 The Murder of  E. O. Drisell

 Killings on Smokey Row of Bowie , Texas



"In the early 1860's, during the Civil War, one of the earliest mass killings of white settlers to be committed by other white settlers was committed in Montague County. This was the killing of John Brumley and his two sons."

     "John Brumley and his wife, Mary Brumley, lived one mile North of Montague, on Salt Creek. on John Brumley's 160 acre preemption survey. This is the place that PAUL VERTTO acquired some time in the early 1900's and lived on for a number of years.  It is on the West side of the Montague to Nocona road. The BRUMLEYS had a double log house which stood down in the valley near the creek. The house were separated by a gallery or veranda (dog-run,emc)."
[This is example of a dog - run house is  east of Texas 36 highway between Gatesville and Temple Texas, photo taken 1996; it is also, similar to The Natt Long house which was burned in the 1960's  in Montague County  along the old Red river road between Bulcher and Illinos Bend where my Great Uncle Bailey and  Great Aunt Lou Ella Coker Dennis lived from 1948 until about 1970 when they moved into Saint Jo  The run (open breeze - way) was where the small animals stay out of the weather and to seperate the sleeping quarters from the hot, noisy  living  quarters ]

     "The BRUMLEYS had six sons. Two of their sons, BILL and DAN, lived at the Head of the Elm (now Saint Jo) and operated a trading post. They sold supplies to early settlers, cattle drovers and wagon caravans. Another of their sons was named LUKE. The names of the other three sons has not been learned. Some of their sons were in the Confederate Army. They  also had a daughter, who lived with them at the time of the killings."
     "JOHN BRUMLEY and his sons had been engaged in a feud , and had previously had a bad falling out with a group of men who lived in the county. Their names were DOCTOR ARMSTRONG, JOE BOILTON, JACK PATTON, BILL MUSICK, AND DAVE COOLEY."

    "JOHN BRUMLEY awakened early one morning, as was his custom, got up, lit his pipe and walked out on the gallery or veranda (dog-run). MARY BRUMLEY  and  the daughter heard Mr. BRUMLEY get up, but did not themselves get up at the time, because they had a Negro couple who did  the house work and helped with the field work. Mr. BRUMLEY was an early riser, and always enjoyed a smoke while waiting for his breakfast."
      " Soon after Mr. BRUMLEY had walked out onto the veranda, the BRUMLEY women heard a gun shot. They thought the old man had seen a snake, or an animal of some kind, and had killed it, so they did not get up immediately. Soon after they did get up they found the old man lying in the yard dead, and his partially smoked pip laying by his side."

      " A couple of days later, these men who had killed Mr. BRUMLEY went to Head of Elm to finish off the  two BRUMLEY boys who lived there. When the men were approaching the trading post, BILL and DAN saw them and took refuse in some trees behind their building.  The men pursued them, and in the gun battle that followed succeeded in killing both of the BRUMLEY boys."
        " J. H. COX was Postmaster at Montague at the time of the killings. He had known the BRUMLEY family for sometime, and had always liked and been friendly with them . He had never had any trouble with the other men, or even any hard feelings, but had just been good friends with the BRUMLEYS. He must have been openly expressing his sympathy for the BRUMLEYS, for one day soon after the killings these men showed up at the post office. They were heavily armed, as most men were at the time and in those days.  They dismounted and went into the post office. Mr. COX  said later that by their actions, he thought they had come to killed him. They talked to him for a few minutes, went outside and talked among themselves, then got on their horses and rode away. Apparently Mr. COX had been able to satisfy the men that he had not been taking the BRUMLEY'S side in their quarrel, but was only expressing his sympathy for the Brumleys who had been his friends for some time."

       " Two of the BRUMLEY boys who were in the Confederate Army came back to Montague soon after the killings, together with some other men who were in their company to hunt down and kill the men who had killed their father and brothers. They camped out in the woods in the Northwest corner of a 169 acre tract of land that joined the townsite. This is the land that was later owned by H. C. MASTERSON.

     "That night they tracked down, shot and killed DAVE COOLEY. His body was found the next morning. COOLEY had been shot with a shot-gun loaded with buck-shot.  He was bought into town and laid out in a building on the South side of the square, where the Ulbig Cafe later stood. He was pretty badly shot up."

" How many, if any, of the other men who killed their father and brothers were ever killed by the BRUMLEY boys is not known."

  "No court trail ever resulted from any of these killings. The people at the tie were engaged in a three front war. Most of the men were in the army or the rangers. They were fighting a civil war, an Indian war, and a war against cattle rustlers, thieves and renegades who had drifted into the county to plunder, steal and kill.  Many of these renegades were Northern sympathizers, and were all too eager to cooperate with the Federal soldiers and the Indians.  There did not seem to be the time, or civil authority enough, to set courts.  Everyone was well armed, and each man had to look out for himself and his own. Killings were a fairly common thing ion those days."

     "Montague County was at that time attached to COOK COUNTY for judicial purposes. Cook county was in the 16th Judicial District which included also Wise, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, Johnson, Ellis, Parker, and Dallas Counties. There was only one District Judge, and one District Attorney for this entire district.  We did not even have a County Attorney. The District Judge and District Attorney spent two periods, of only one week each, in this county per year."


"THE HANGING OF CHARLES HARRIS"     This record discloses the trial, conviction and punishment for the rare crime of  fratricide instigated, so it appears, by the father of the assassin and his victim.

     Charles Harris was hanged in Montague on August 29, 1879, for the murder of his brother, John Harris, on January 17, 1878. He is the only person ever to be legally hanged in Montague County for murders committed in Montague County. And there have been other hangings in Montague County in which the law was not invited to participate.

   Charles Harris was born in Missouri in 1857. He lived with his family until his mother died. He came to Texas in 1871. On December 20, 1877 he was married to Miss Josie Simms about 15 miles from Pilot Point in Denton County. He was six feet in height, well proportioned, but not corpulent. He had blue eyes and light brown hair.  Nothing in his physiological expression or general appearance stamped him as a murderer.

  Between the hour of daylight and sunrise on the morning of January 17, 1878, Charles Harris killed his brother, John Harris, in the home in which they both lived with their father, Charles Harris Sr., on Framers Creek about 13 miles North by East from the Town of Montague, by shooting him with a shot-gun. Death came instantly.

    On June 3, 1878, the June Term of the District Court, 10th Judicial District, composed of Denton, Cooke and Montague Counties, opened in Montague. It opened in the two story frame court house, which was later burned on March 31, 1884. The following officials were present: Judge J. A. Carroll, who lived in Denton County: M. D. Herbert, District Clerk; A. L. Matlock, County Attorney; Lee N. Perkins, Sheriff.

    On June 4, 1878, the Grand Jury, which was composed of W. A. (Bud) Morris, who was its Foreman, W. R. Willingham, K. G. Heard, T. J. Williams, Jas. Davenport, John Orr, Jasper Fields, Jas. Cheek, Wm. Dixon, Jas. McDaniel, Dean McDonald and C. F. Wilson, returned an indictment for First Degree Murder against Charles Harris for the Murder of his brother John.   The case was set for trial on June 11, 1878, but was continued until Monday, November 11, 1878. On October 28th 60 jurors' names were drawn as a Special Venire, and the Sheriff was directed to summon them to report on November 11. On November 11th only 35 of those summoned reported . The Judge then directed the Sheriff to go beyond the court house yards and summoned 25 other persons to complete the Special Venire. Court then recessed until the following day.   On November 14th a motion to quash and set aside the indictment was overruled and the case proceeded to trail.

    M. B. V. Shockley for the State testified . . . . P. H. Tompkins for the State testified . . . ., A. L. Shoemaker, for the State, testified  that he had often seen the defendant's handwriting, and was well acquainted with his handwriting. Being shown the paper identified by Tompkins, Shoemaker testified that the writing upon it was that of the defendant. The writing on the paper was then read in evidence, as follows: "To the Officers of this God dam County:
                    when you come up with us, bring all of Texas, 
or you won't get what you started for, 
but get a good whipping.
Charley Harris
D & Company"   L. N. Perkins, for the State, testified that he is Sheriff of Montague County, and had charge of the defendant ever since he was put in jail. Attorney Matlock showed to Sheriff Perkins two 
documents marked " Exhibits B and C, and asked if he had ever seen them before; to which inquery Perkins replied that he had. At this juncture the jury were removed, at the instance of the defense counsel, and the prosecution proceeded, before the Court, to lay the predicate for the introduction of the documents as evidence to the jury.......Perkins then explained how he came by Charley Harris's written confession . .. .
H.N. Richards, for the State, being shown a memorandum book; recognized it as one which he got out of the post office at the Town of Montague. It was directed to the Sheriff of Montague County, and Richards was a Deputy Sheriff, and took the book out of the post office and delivered it to the County 
Attorney. It was post-marked Denison, Texas, February 5, 1878, and was sent to the Sheriff by one Spence, a Constable at Denison: but Richards did not know how Spence obtained possession of it.

       A. L. Shoemaker, for the State, again testified to his knowledge of the defendant's handwriting; and being shown the entries on certain pages of a memorandum book, stated that they were in the handwriting of the defendant. 

the State then proposed to read the entries to the jury; to which the defense objected, because there was no proof that the book had ever been in the defendant's possession, or had ever had been delivered by him to Spence or anyone else.... The objections were overrule and the State introduced the entries. . . .

R. Cook, for the State, testified that the defendant, after his arrest upon the charge of the murder of John Harris, was brought to him, who was Justice of the Peace. Defendant waived examination, and COOK
committed him to jail. . . . .

Several witnesses for the State Testified to the movements of the defendant in the neighborhood  . . . .
J. Johnson, one of these witnesses, testified that the defendant was at his house the evening before the killing, and tried to borrow a shot-gun, but did not get it. . . . .

The defense introduced JOHN EVANS, who testified that he lived within sight of the residence of the deceased and his father and brother. Between Daylight and  Sunrise on the morning of the killing , Evans heard . . . .

The above was the only evidence adduced by the defense. Charles Harris had denied his first statements, those upon which his conviction was principally obtained. He said that he did not remember ever to have made them.....
Harris did not take the stand to testify in his own behalf.

On Friday, November 15, 1878, the jury, through its Foreman, D. F. Speer, returned its verdict into open court. The jury found Charles Harris guilty of First Degree Murder and assessed the death penalty. Upon that verdict, the Court entered the following judgment:

"It is, therefore, deemed by the Court that the verdict (guilty) of the jury be approved, and that Charles Harris be condemned to the hanged by the neck until dead."
     "It is further ordered by the Court that the defendant  be remanded to the custody of the Sheriff of Montague County to be safely kept by him to await the further sentence of this Court and Defendant is ordered to pay all costs of this prosecution, for which let execution issue." 

     "On November 18th, the defense filed a Motion For New Trial. This motion was overruled by the Court on November 19th.  The defendant gave notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals of Texas. In June 1879 the Court of Appeals affirmed the case by its opinion recorded in Vol. 6, beginning on page 97, Court of Appeals Reports.
    On June 30, 1879, the Court sentenced Charles Harris as follows:
              "On this day the defendant Charles Harris being brought before the Court in his proper person in custody of the Sheriff of this County, and having been asked by the Court whether he has anything to say why judgment should not be rendered and sentence pronounced against him in accordance with the judgment of this Court rendered at its last term convicting him of the offense of murder of the first degree, and the judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the judgment of this Court, and the mandate of the Said Court now being on file in this cause.


Many citizens and Christian ministers visited with Charles Harris during the two weeks previous to his execution. Between the hours of 10 and 12 o'clock A. M., on the day of his execution, Mr. TURNER AND HIS WIFE, F. H. JONES, MISS SLOAN, COUNTY ATTORNEY A. L. MATLOCK, MISS HYATT, DISTRICT CLERK R. E. BROWN, COUNTY JUDGE R. D. RUGELEY AND REV. S. CRUTHFIELD were permitted to enter the jail and spend a short time in signing.  Harris was clam and resigned. After the signing they all shook hands with the doomed  man and bade him farewell. Harris manifested feelings at the parting. Rev. Crutchfield expressed himself as being satisfied that Harris was prepared to die, and said the condemned man told him he would soon be in heaven with his mother.

Sheriff Levi Perryman, with a carefully chosen group of 40 armed guards were at the jail. The best of order prevailed, although the crowd of people was very large and constantly increasing.

The gallows was located some three-quarters of a mile Northeast from Montague, just under the hill East of the cemetery, in a small grassy opening between gently sloping timbered hills.  Early in the morning people begin arriving at the site to witness the execution. 
  At precisely 12 o'clock noon the Sheriff took the prisoner from the jail and had him placed in a wagon, in which he was then taken to the gallows.  Arriving there, they found an immense crowd of people assembled to witness the execution.

    Soon after reaching the scaffold the Sheriff and HArris ascended it, together with Rev. Crutchfield.  Harris looked pale, but walked up the scaffold with a firm, even step.  Deputy Sheriff W. A. Morris then read the sentence of the court, and the warrant commanding the Sheriff to carry out the execution.  This being done, Rev. Crutchfield stated to the vast assemblage of people that Mr. Harris had requested him to sing, "Shall We Know Each Other There," and that after the song Mr. Harris would address the people.  The song being sung, Mr. Harris arose and said:

                   "Ladies and Gentlemen: I am here to pay the penalty of the law.  I am sorry this crowd had to be called together to witness my execution.  I do not believe they could be called around a better heart.  I had a good mother, who taught me to be good, and I had no idea of coming to this.  My aged father has been accused of being guilty of this crime. He is as innocent as the angels in heaven. He is an old man; I hope I shall meet him in heaven.  I hope to meet you all in heaven.  I pray God that you will never be called again to witness such a scene as this.  I am the first one ever executed in Montague County according to law, and I pray God there may never be another, and I pray God I may be the only one executed according to law in the whole world.  There is not a man in the whole world around whose memory there clusters one particle of hate.  I hope my fate will be a warning to all young men of this County.  I ascend upon the scaffold high that others may take warning of me.  My time has come, I must go, though it seems hard.  I have been, and am now a friend of Montague County. I love everyone in the whole county.  I love the prisoners in the jail: and here is the Sheriff, as good an officer as there is in the whole world.  I hope to meet him in heaven. I love you all.  I hate to go this way, but I must.  May God watch over you all.  Remember, you all must die. I am young: in the prime of life. I hate to go this way, but I must.  May God watch over you all.  Think of the dying man's words. I hope you may all think I am prepared.  I hope to  meet you all in heaven in a better world than this."

At the close of Harris's  speech Rev. Crutchfield said that the condemned man had requested him, and as many of the people who were willing, to sing the song, "Sweet Bye and Bye". Whereupon, several hundred united in singing that beautiful Christian song, Harris singing with them. After the song Rev. Crutchfield knelt and made a solemn, feeling prayer, in which thousands of spectators knelt and joined.
    After the prayer, a few of Harris's old acquaintances, who had known something about his parentage and childhood life, while weeping and sobbing, called to the Sheriff, saying, " Levi, may I ascend the scaffold and bid Charlie fare well?" The Sheriff  answered that a few could do so, but there must be no disorderly  conduct or confusion.  These old gray headed and Christian  men ascended the scaffold and bid Charlie farewell  in a most affecting manner. While this was being done the order that prevailed showed how perfectly they were controlled by the principles of law and  order. 

    A few moments were spent by those who were on the scaffold, including the Sheriff and his Deputies in shaking hands and bidding each other farewell. 
  At 1:00 o'clock P. M. Harris took his place on the trap door. He seemed calm and self possessed.  He looked
neat, dressed in a suit of navy blue coat and pants and a white vest.  He looked around at the vast throng of people and bade them farwell .  When Deputy Sheriff R. A. (Bob) Nix placed the rope on the right side.  Harris requested that it be shifted to the left side, which was done.  The cap, with its veil was placed on his head and over his face. 

  Some time before his execution Sheriff Perryman asked Harris to select some friend to cut the fall. But each time the Sheriff mentioned it, Harris would always reply by saying that he thought the Sheriff was his friend . . . .he requested Deputy Nix to cut the rope .      .   .           .   At 1:20 the drop fell.

 Following is the report of  Drs. F JOHNSON, WOLVERTON, McDOUGAL, and LOVE, who were present to make such examination as would enable them to report to the Sheriff that life was extinct.
As stated, the drop fell at 1:20; 1:24 pulsations distinct; 1:30 pulsation slight; 1:40 Dr. Johnson, and the other physicians present, pronounced Harris dead. Cut down 30 minutes after the drop fell.

     Court records reflect that Charles Harris subpoenaed Henry Hawkins, Lucy Hawkins, David Simms, Josephine Harris and Charles Harris, Sr., as witnesses to testify in his behalf.   The record does not reflect that any of these witnesses appeared  The records do reflect that none of them took the stand to testify in his behalf.  Charles Harris, Sr. sold his belongings and left the county within a few days after the killing of John Harris.  As far as can be determined, he never returned to Montague County, nor was he ever heard from again. What a sad ending for a man's life!  To cause one of his sons to kill the other, and then to know that the assassin son was himself hanged.
       Although no one seemed to have remembered Charles Harris during his hour of trouble, he remembered others. For he requested in writing that Sheriff Perryman bury his body by the side of his brother John Harris on Framer's Creek.  His request was granted. He further requested that the newspaper publishing the details of his execution be sent to D. W. Colvert,  Colvert's Station,  Indian Territory;  Franklin Pemberton, Fayette, Howard County, Missouri;  Mrs. Lucy Hawkins, Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas:  Also that Mrs. Hawkins will please read the paper and forward it to her sister, who has always refused to write to him.

Editor ROARK:

Editor Roark, of  "THE  TEXAS NORTHWEST ",  covered the execution for his paper.   It is from his paper that some of the details for this article is taken.  Under
dateline of August 30, 1879, he published an Extra, which was headlined: CHAR. HARRIS EXECUTED ! 5000 PEOPLE PRESENT. His story went on to read in part as follows:

              "We have deemed it best to issue an extra sheet containing an account of the execution of Chas. Harris for the murder of  his brother John, on the 17th day of January, 1878, together with such written and oral statments concerning the matter as Mr. Harris has himself voluntarily made from time to time.  While we deeply regret the existence of the cause that made the infliction of the death penalty upon Mr. Harris a necessity, we feel a pride in mentioning the admirable conduct and management of Mr. Perryman and his Deputies while passing through this trying ordeal.  The affair, in all details, was most admirably arranged and conducted.  While the dignity and authority of the law was duly honored and sustained, Mr. Harris had extended to him all the Christian sympathy and feeling compatible with his situation.
        "We were more than pleased to notice the good order and Christian decorum of the vast 
multitude present. It was truly wonderful to see how perfectly that vast ocean  of human feeling and passion, whose swelling tides throbbed and surged in five thousand anxious aching bosoms, was controlled.  We doubt whether so large and orderly a company of people could be assembled, under similar circumstances, in any other county in the State.  That the Sheriff and his Deputies , who conducted the execution, and the multitude who witnessed it, were preeminently governed by the laws of the State and the principles of the CHRISTIAN civilization, was especially manifested when, just before Mr. Harris's execution, a few old acquaintances, who had known something about his parentage and childhood life, while weeping and sobbing, called to the Sheriff, saying:" Levi, may I ascend the scaffold and bid CHARLEY  farewell?"  The Sheriff answered that a few could do so, but that there may be no disorderly conduct or confusion.
         "At an early hour in the morning the people began assembling.  The expression on their faces,  and their general appearance, furnished an interesting field of study for the philosopher and CHRISTIAN moralist."
                 "Thinking men (no gender, emc)  could not well suppress the inquiry:  What particular principle of CHRISTIAN religion, as taught by JESUS CHRIST and contained in the NEW TESTAMENT, sanctions or demands the INFLICTION of a DEATH PENALTY? 
[The Jews inflicted the Death penalty when they told Pilate to  "Kill Him, Kill Him, referring to JESUS the CHRIST. REFERENCE ALL FOUR OF THE  GOSPELS, MATTHEW., MARK, LUKE AND JOHN, upon which my faith as a BELIEVER STANDS.  evelinemarie crocker]
Was it the Spirit of CHRIST, as revealed in the gospel of LOVE, that brought together this vast concourse of people?   Will the execution of CHARLEY HARRIS develop and strengthen in the human HEART the SPIRIT  and PRINCIPALS of the CHRISTIAN religion? Or was it a SPIRIT of IDLE CURIOSITY, or, what is worse, THE SPIRIT of VINDICTIVE WRATH and REVENGE, and will it not WEAKEN in the HUMAN HEART the POWER and  RULERSHIP of the CHRISTIAN religion?" (At this point a portion of the newspaper is torn off and  lost, so that the EDITOR's argument is partially lost.) The narrative ends with the following words:

     "We have not made these remarks nor asked these questions in a CAPTIOUS  SPIRIT, or with the DESIGN of influencing the people to operate the execution of the LAW. Our aim has been to elicit inquery and thought upon the subject, and see if there can not be some better method devised for the treatment of criminals than KILLING them.  The subject is a broad one -- one of vital importance. Its full discussion will involve the discussion of every essential principle of the CHRISTIAN religion."
The end of the Hanging of Charles HARRIS.

  "Since this work is entitled, "FAMOUS COURT TRIALS OF MONTAGUE COUNTY,"
This report  probably should not be included. This, because the hanging of Nancy HILL was not preceded by a court trial: no court of law sanctioned her hanging; and the authorities were not invited to participate in her hanging.  Nevertheless, in August, 1873, Nancy HILL was hanged in MONTAGUE  COUNTY. 
     The hanging of NANCY HILL was long remembered, and long talked by the early settlers of this county.  She may well have been the first white person ever hanged in Montague County.  In any  event, she is the only  woman known to ever have been hanged in this county.
   Nancy HILL was a notorious horse thief of the 1860's and early 1870's She operated along the frontier counties, where police protection was hard to come by for the settlers.  Civilization was moving westward. Already counties like Denton, Cooke, Wise, Parker and Montague were being settled.   She operated along this line of countries.  She seemed to have headquarters in SPRINGTOWN in PARKER county.  She was usually accompanied by two or three men, who constituted her gang.

  She is known to have stopped occasionally at rural homes in Montague County in quest for food.  She would always make her identity known. . . . .
She was friendly, pleasant and always very generous in her payment of food. .  .  .  .
She was in her early or middle 30's when she was hanged.  .  .  .  .
   On the day she was hanged, NANCY HILL was jumped by a group of men near SPRINGTOWN, where she had been appropriating other people's horses to her own use and benefit. Whether her men escaped, or whether she was cut off from them, is not known.
In either event, she was pursued by these men, who kept in hot pursuit, until they caught up with her on Denton Creek, between Montague and where the city of BOWIE is now located.   Having caught up with her, the men took the law in their own hands and meted out punishment by hanging.

    Late the afternoon of the hanging, W. A.  (Bud)  Morris was out looking for his cows when he found the body hanging from the limb of a tree.  NANCY HILL had paid the supreme price for her stealing activities.

On December 12, 1873, the POLICE COURT, which performed the Duties now performed by the Commissioners Court met in called a session.  The Police Court was composed of five Justices of the Peace, one of whom served as Chief Justice, a position comparable to the present day County Judge.  The Court on that occasion was compound of james M. GRIGSBY, Precinct No. 1, who was Chief Justice; A. B. P. Mayfield, Precinct No. 2, William Fanning, Precinct No. 3; R. A. Green, Precinct No. 4; Chesley Marlett, Precinct No. 5; W. A. Morris, District & County Clerk; W. T. Waybourn, Sheriff.

      On that date the Court approved for payment a statement of Wm. H. Slack, Constable, Precinct No. 1, in the amount of 18.60 for his services in summoning a jury and witnesses
in the Coroner's Inquest over the body of NANCY HILL.  The inquest was presided over by JUSTICE  JAMES M. GRIGSBY, sitting as a CORONER.  The jury found that NANCY HILL died by hanging at the hands of a person or persons unknown. The names of the men who constituted the posse were never learned.
For years Mr. London had wondered why a woman, like NANCY HALL,  would turn to a life of crime, culminating as her's did, by hanging at the hands of enraged vigilantes.  To answer this question, Mr. London had spent years searching for the answer to other questions,  which would help answer the main question, such as:  Who was NANCY HILL?  Where did she come from?  What of her family?  Did anything happen in her life that would have forced her, so to speak, into a life of crime?  Was she led into a life of crime by a man she loved?  To find the answer to these questions, old court records have been checked, county histories, old newspapers, old stories have been checked out, and numerous people have been interviewed.  The facts, so far developed, are set out  below.
During the CIVIL WAR,  many people, in both te UNION STATES and the CONFEDERATE STATES, were caught up in the war and suffered because they lived in an area that was fighting on the side that was contrary to their beliefs.  Many people now believe that they suffered the most. Many people living in the SOUTH thought that secession was wrong, but once the war was declared they joined with the majority and tried to help win the war.  Others refused to help in the war effort, and refused to go to the North, preferring to remain here and suffer the hardships.  In the harsh years of the war anger mounted against the "Yankee Sympathizers," and vigilante groups sought to drive them from the South or destroy them. Many people were murdered: their homes were burned; their crops burned; their livestock were stolen.  These angers, and these crimes , died down to the point where a "Yankee Sympathizer" was tolerated in the South.
  One family, who were said to have been Union Sympatherizers, and who refused to aid in the war effort, and who refused to go North, was the Allen C. Hill family. Allen C. Hill lived wIth his wife, Dusky Hill, and his children, Jack Hill, Nancy, (sometimes called Nance), Katherine, Martha, Adeline, Eliza, Belle and Allen, Jr., on a farm just out of Springtown, Parker County.
  Allen C. Hill was killed in 1863, during one of the worst parts of the Civil War, over what was said to be prejudices against him as a "Yankee Sympatheizer."  He is said to have been killed by vigilantes. 
  Jack Hill, the elder of the only two sons, was killed in Montague County in January 1873.  He is said to have been killed by a man named Aaron Bloomer, as a result of some difficulties between them.  The records that would reflect whether Aaron Bloomer was ever prosecuted or not were destroyed in the courthouse fire of MARCH 31, 1884.  If he was prosecuted,  and if he was convicted, he did not appeal. There is no record of an appeal in Austin. 

  IN January 1873, Chief Justice James M. Grigsby, sitting as a Coroner, conducted an inquest over the body of Jack Hill . He is the same Coroner who was later, in August 1873, conduct an inquest over the body of Nancy Hill, Jack's sister.  Both inquests lasted two days.  On September 29, 1873, the Police Court voted to pay Justice Grigsby $6.00 for conducting the inquest over the body of Nancy Hill.  It is interesting to note that the same order authorized the payment of $2.50 to James W Morrow, for serving two  days as a juror in the Jack Hill inquest.  The same juror served in both inquests.  The names of the other jurors have not been learned.

  A few days after the death of Nancy (Nance) Hill, a mob took the two daughters, Katherine and Martha, who were next in age, respectively to Nancy, from their home to a place about three miles Southwest of Springtown and hanged them.
   A few days later after Katherine and Martha were hanged, not being satisfied with their vengeance, the mob returned to the Hill farm home and burned it. As the remaining members of the family fled from their home the mob pursued and overtook them.  The mother, Dusky Hill, and daughters Adeline and Eliza, were taken to a point near the present site of Agnes, Parkers County, and were all shot and killed.
  The Two youngest children, Belle and Allen Jr., who were about 12 and 11 years of age, respectively, were not killed.  It is probable that the mob felt that these children were too small to have a part of the family policy making, and too young to understand why the mob was angry with their family.  The Children were turn over to charitable people in Springtown , then later by Sheriff Wes Hedrick of Parker County. What finally became of the children has not been learned.
  After these terrible events , the God fearing, compassionate and charitable people of the Springtown Community were actually afraid to bury the bodies of the Hill women, whose bodies were left lying where they were hung and where they were shot.  Finally, Al Thompson, a former Texas Ranger Captain, and Dock Maupin, a former Texas Ranger, who served under Captain Thompson, boldly challenged the vigilantes by taking the decaying bodies of the Hill women and burying them in dry goods boxes in the cemetery at Springtown.

  It has not been learned where the bodies of Jack and Nancy Hill were buried.  It is probable that their bodies were never claimed by the family, and that they were given pauper's funerals in the cemetery at Montague.

What a tragic ending of a family, for the father and mother, and six of their eight children, to have all been murdered? And as far as can be learned no prosecution ever grew out of the murder of any of them.
   The question is still, what caused it all. (Marvin London)"


       " In the early morning hours of  March 31, 1884, the courthouse in Montague was burned by three men.  They were William M. Clark and Frank Clark, brothers, and Landy Howell.  This was the two story frame courthouse, with rock basement, which was constructed in 1873. It was located in the center of the public square, where the present courthouse now stands.

The fire was discovered by local citizens about 1:00 o'clock in the morning.  Those who penetrated the burning building before its demolition discovered that the floors and walls at points where the fire was raging, and where the furniture in the court room, and in some of the office apartments, had been thoroughly saturated with coal oil, and that the ordor of that liquid
pervaded the entire building.  On the morning after the fire, some battered and disfigured coal oil cans of two merchants of the town, who, for prudential reasons, had long kept their coal oil supply stored on the sidewalk, outside of their stores, were found to correspond exactly. The merchants themselves desposed that they each missed cans from their coal oil supply on the morning after the fire. 
  No effort was made to apprehend the perpetrators of the crime, until after the building was so far consumed as to remove all danger on involving contiguous property, when the Constable of the precinct, J. P. Kern, summoned a posse, including John R. Clark, another of the Clark brothers, to examine the surrounding country for indications of persons either having come to or gone from the Town of Montague.
  This expedition, however, was postpone until the next morning by a severe rainfall, the posse summoned  dispursing to meet a dawn. The parties, except John Clark, met according to agreement, and, upon the eve of starting, met John Clark coming into town, horseback, from a North direction, who reported that he had been on Slat Creek, without making any discovery. The party  followed John Clark's horse tracks, going and coming, to the place where William M. Clark lived, about four miles distant, having en route been joined by Sheriff L. L. McLain. John Clark's horse tracks, both ways, had been made since the rain. . . .
  It was proved during the trail that there was one or more indictments pending in the District Court of Montague County against William M. Clark and Floyd Jessee for felonious theft, but that had been pending through several terms of court, and that Clark had always been present when his cases were called and continued, and had never expressed or manifested any disinclination to meet them. .  . .
Bin Catlett, who lived with William Clark, testified that William Clark, Frank Clark and Landy Howell went from William Clark's house to church early the night of the fire. . . . Catlett said that some one, Landy Howell, he thought, said one night some time after the fire, when they were all in William Clark's home, that all present were in danger of speedy arrest for burning the courthouse.  Catlett replied that, as he had nothing to do with it, he was not afraid of arrest....
   Landy Howell, who upon County Attorney J. M. Chambers agreement to dismiss the case against him, had turned State's evidence, was the most important witness for the prosecution. . . .
  Several witnesses who left church  with William and Frank Clark and Landy Howell, located them near, and going toward William's home, between 9 and 10 o'clock on the night of the fire.
   The State introduced evidence, being records of the District Court, showing that Ben Peveler and John R. Clark then stood indicted for breaking open the jail of Montague County in the Fall of 1884. Sheriff L. L. McLain testified that he arrested William M. Clark and Frank Clark in October of 1884, and had placed them in jail.  This Testimony would have had them in jail at the time Peveler and John Clark, broke open the jail.
  On March 23, 1885 the March Term of Court begin. Presiding were F. E. Piner, District Judge; J. M. Chambers, County Attorney; L. L. McLain, Sheriff: and D. C. Hart, District Clerk. 
   On March 24, 1885 indictments were returned against William M. Clark and Frank Clark for Arson.  The Grand Jury was composed of W. A. Davis, Foreman; John W. Crain, Taylor Puryear, B. L. Mitchell, James Wylie, F. H. Jones, Clark McDonald, Nelson Keck, Peter Coe, David Jordan, W. S. Thurston and W. A. White.
  On April 14, 1885, William M. Clark was tried before a jury, and was found guilty and a 10 years term in the peitentiary assessed as his punishment.  He appealed and his case was reversed and remanded for a new trial.  J. D. French was Foreman of the Jury.
  On October 5, 1885, during October Term, new indictments for Arson were returned against both William M. Clark and Frank Clark. An indictment was returned also against Landy Howell.  The Grand Jury was composed of W. D. Allen, Foreman; G. W. Williams, Isaac Wainscott, R. A. McGrady, J. P. Stone, E. W. Giles, G. W. Campbell, J. M. Strong, Hiram Wainscoot, Bascomb Akins C. L. Ray and Henry Crouch.
    On October 12, 1885 the old  indictments were dismissed against both of the Clark Brothers.
  On October 26, 1885 the case against William M. Clark was transferred to Cook County on a change of venue. The case was set for trial on November 23, 1885. 
  The District Clerk of Cooke County states that she is unable to locate the file concerning that trial.  They have either been misplaced or misfiled .
  The case against Landy Howell was dismissed on July 30, 1890.
  The writer has always understood that both Williams and Frank Clark were tried in Cooke County, that each was found guilty, and that each was sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary, which was the maximum punishment for arson."

  On the morning of March 15, 1879, John W. McLaughlin shot and killed 
 E. O. Driskell in the Town of Burlington, which is now named  Spanish Fort.
  On June 23, 1879 the June Term of court  began, with Judge J. A. Carroll, County Attorney B. E. Green, District Clerk R. E. Brown and Sheriff Levi Perryman presiding.
  The Grand Jury was composed of W. C. Turner, Foreman; F. M. Quinsy, L. Banister, C. F. Wilson, A. G. Arnold, J. E. Willett, C. G. McGuire, Isaac Wainscott, J. A. Murrell, D. C. Jordon, W. J. Jackson and L. C. McNatt, R. A. (Bob) Nix, Bailiff.
The Grand Jury returned an indictment against John W. McLaughlin of  First Degree Murder for killing of  E. O. Driskill.
  On January 2, 1880 McLaughlin was tried before a jury in Montague, with L. B. E. White as its Foreman, which resulted in a hung jury. WITNESSES FOR THE STATE  1. David Lenox testified, that at one time McLaughlin had been in the employ of E. O. Driskill, the deceased, as a bar-tender, but the business relations of the two terminated several months before the killing; that at the time of the severance of business relations between the parties, or shortly thereafter, hard feelings had developed between them, on account of some valgar intrusion upon his property attributed by Driskill to McLaughlin, and with regard to the collection of a sum of money due Driskill by McLaughlin. . ..
2. L. C. McNutt testified that at the time of the killing his dry goods store was situated on the Northeast corner of the square, In Burlington, and east of Driskill's business. At sun - down, the evening before the shooting, Driskill came to the  McNutt store for his Mail, and while there was approached by McLaughlin with the demand: " By God, why did you put my account in the hands of an officer?"   To which Driskell responded , " Because I could get no settlement out of you."McLaughlin replied that the amount was not correct, and he had been charged with things he didn't get. . . .
They continue to quarrell and abuse each other until finally Mc Nutt told them to desist and go to supper. ...
McNutt stated that he had paid or agreed to pay G. W. Barefoot $ 25.00 to assist in securing counsel to aid in the prosecution of McLaughlin, and had also signed, as security for the Heirs of Driskill, a note for $ 300.00 for the same purpose. Barefoot was the partner of Driskill, and later Administrator of his estate.
 The pistol used by McLaughlin in the killing belonged to one Howard LaForce.
3. Wade Horton  testified, that he was in the employ of Driskill at the time of the killing. He gave same account as the other state witnesses of the quarrels in
the street preceeding the homicide, and of McLaughlin's coming to Driskill's place of business the night before the killing, armed with a shot - gun and hunting Driskill... .
Just as Horton who was standing in the S. W. corner of the saloon near a window 
observed them, McLaughlin shot, and immediately Driskill shot. McLaughlin's first was the fatal shot, Horton observing, the dust fly from the back of Driskill's coat as the ball passed out. ... Driskill always carried an ivory handled six - shooter, 45 calibre, pistol. It was empty after the shooting, held six cartridge shells, and was warm.
4. Henderson Cook testified that he was present in the saloon the night before when McLaughlin armed with shot gun came inquiring as to Driskill's whereabouts.
5. C. E. Noyes  testified  that he had also, overheard McLaughlin and Driskill quarrell on different occasions just pior to the killing ; he saw McLaughlin standing near the saloon door, with his hand behind him, under his coat; heard him cock a pistol, saw him present the pistol and fire, saw Driskill return the fire immediately: after which he heard several shot. ...
6. J. H. Stone  testified that at the time he occupied a position about 30 yards S. W. from the front of the grocery store, on horse back, in plain veiw of both parties. Driskill was standing in his  front door.  McLaughlin was standing outside, in front ,and near Driskill.  His [McLaughlin's] hat was laying on the ground, 6 or 8 feet S. W. from him. They were quarreling, crusing and taunting each other of fear.  They stood thus about five minutes atfer Stone first saw them,  when McLaughlin drew his  and dropped it at his side: Driskill at the same time drawing his  far 
enough from his bosom to expose the handle, McLaughlin then put his pistol under his coat, keeping his hand on it. McLaughlin again drew his pistol from behind him, and brought it down in front of him with the muzzle directed toward the feet of Driskill.  Driskill drew his pistol from his bosom until Stone could see nearly the whole of it, and stopped.  McLaughlin then asked, "What do you mean?" Driskill replied: "By God, I mean  business; what do you mean?" McLaughlin raising his pistol, said " if I must, I must," and fired, Driskill firing nearly at the same time. Stone did not want to say which fired first, it was so near together. He was certain, however, that McLaughlin drew and presented his pistol first, though the actions of the parties were nearly simultaneous.
  Stone stated that in his opinion there were altogether some eight or nine shots fired during the fight, but he could not say positively how many.  The first two he knew were fired by McLaughlin and Driskill. A shot fired by Driskill, who stood inside the door,  at McLaughlin, who faced him from outside, would not have coursed to where these shots struck, since they were directed towards the front of the store and at Driskill.  However, shots fired at McLaughlin from the alley, running along the West side of the store and saloon building, would have had range with the points where these two shots struck.

WITNESSES FOR THE DEFENSE: 1. JASON WHITE:  testified ... Very early on the morning of the killing, he went to the grocery store of Driskill to purchase some potatoes; after purchasing which, he and Driskill stood for awhile in the door.  During this time McLaughlin passed by, going towards the drug store. Driskill hailed him, asking where his shot-gun was, and told him he had best go get it, and when he got it to use it.  McLaughlin  remarked to Driskill that he was not armed, and Driskell advised him to go get his arms, and to be sure to use them, adding that it was no more reprehensible to carry a shot-gun during the day than at night.
2. ISAAC BEASLEY testified: that he saw a quarrel between McLaughlin and Driskill, about dark on the evening before the killing, near McNatt's store, during which McLaughlin asked Driskill, "Why are you always abusing me when you know I am not armed?" to which Driskill replied:" God damn you, go and arm yourself. I will bet you will not do it. I will stay here and wait until you come back and see if you do." McLaughlin went off towards home, ...
Beasley said that the shot-gun McLaughlin had on the night before the killing belonged to his, Beasley's brother.  He did not know who gave it to McLaughlin.  Beasley at that time was living in the same house with McLaughlin.
3. Byron Hill testified:  at the time of the killing, he was clerking in Stone 's drug store. He heard some of the quarrlin in front of the saloon, and about that time heard Freeland give three or four blasts on his flute and saw him start in a rapid walk across the street from his shoe shop, go in the West door of the saloon, turn as though he were going into the front room of the saloon, and about this time the shooting began. ...
... , Freeland desired Hill to keep the gun at the store; and said  some " Damn son - of - a - bitch" was going to be killed, and he would have to "skip out".  ...,that  if Hill were attacked he, Freeland, could kill the assailant from his shop window. Hwe told Hill that he was on the "skip" from Tennessee on account of trouble. Freeland left the country a few days after the killing, leaving his shop, tools, flute and  horse undisposed of, and Hill had heard nothing from him since. ...
4. J. P. Stone, proprietor of the drug store, testified  that in the morning, about one hour before the killing, while McLaughlin was standing in the drug store door, Stone saw Driskill standing across the way in his door, laughing, dancing, whistling, and patting his rear at McLaughlin as though to tantalize him, and he knew from McLaughlin's appearance that this conduct angered him. Stone advised McLaughlin, however, to have no difficulty with Driskill, and received his promised that he would no. Just before the killing he saw McLaughlin leave the drug store and go in the direction of McNutt's store, and saw that he, McLaughlin , was about to pass in front of Driskill's saloon, someone rattled some chains and reached out and knocked off McLaughlin's hat.  He did not see the person who did this. In a short time the shooting commenced.
  Freeland had tried on several occasions to purchase a Winchester rifle from Stone, but Stone would not sell, because of the difficulties between McLaughlin and Driskill, and Stone believed that Freeland was "backing" Driskill.. .. Stone did agree to sell the gun to Dr. Burns, a partner of Driskil, but finding, before the sale was consummated, that he wanted to buy it for Freeland, refused.
...,  McLaughlin lived in Burlington, was in town every day, but was engaged in no business at the time of the killing.
5. George Cisco testified that while he was standing at a point about 75 steps from the saloon, on the West side of the square, he saw McLaughlin start from the drug store in the direction of McNutt's store. As he passed in front of Driskill's store Driskill was standing in the door.  After having passed the door, McLaughlin with his right hand behind him, and walked up to Driskill. Driskill struck his hat off with his left hand.. . . 
Cisco saw smoke out from the alley door, during  the shooting, as though some one were shooting from there.
6. Calvin Baker testified that he witnessed  the shooting from a point about 75 yards S. W. from the saloon.  . His testimony was substantially the same as that of George Ciso.
7.  Rube Horton  testified  a little after dark on the evening before the killing he was in McNatt's store, where Pat McLaughlin, John W. McLaughlin's brother, was clerking. Some one told Pat that his brother had gone to the saloon with a shot - gun, Pat went after his brother.
8.   Dr. Salmon testified that he was called to see McLaughlin shortly after the shooting , and found he had been shot twice; once in the left side, the ball entering from the front and ranging backwards and downwards very near reaching the cavity of the abdomen; the other ball striking square between the shoulder, passing through the over - coat, and under - - coat at the seams, and lodging without entering the body, but raising a bump.
  McLaughlin was tired again on June 26, 1880 and found guilty of Second Degree murder.  His punishment was assessed at five years in the penitentiary . He appealed, and his case was again reversed and remanded for a new trial.
. T. C. Pembroke was foreman of the Jury.
  McLaughlin was again tried in December of 1880.  He was again found guilty of Second Degree Murder, and his punishment was again assessed at confinement in the penitentiary for a period of five years.. He again appealed, and his case, and his case was again reversed and remanded  for a new trial.
  Whether McLaughlin was ever tried again is not known.  The records at the courthouse which wouurnish that information appear to be missing. furnish that information appear to be missing.

  McLaughlin was represented by Attorneys Grigsby & Willis and Davis & Garnett.


by former Governor James (Jimmy) V. Allred Indrouction : Most of the material for the next three chapters, dealing with the killings on Smokey Row, was taken from a series of articles written by former Governor James V. Allred, and later published by his brother, Renne Allred, Jr., in The Bowie News. Much of the wording of the next three chapters are in the Governor's own words. Marvin F. London:

THE MURDER OF WALKER HARGROVES . . . .  Dr. M. V. Creagan hurried to the saloon immediately after the shooting,  Hargroves was not quite dead, but breathed five or six times before expiring.  He described Hargroves wounds. 
  An article appearing in a Fort Worth paper under the date of May 21, 1908 stated that Justice Maben had that day completed the inquest concerning the death of Walker Hargroves.

     The article stated that his funeral would be that afternoon .  His funeral would be held from the family residence at 408 Missouri Avenue, at 2:00 o'clock, Friday.  Rev. Waites of the Christian Tabernacle conducted the services.  Interment was in Oakwood Cemetery.

    An article appearing in the Fort Worth Press in November, 1952, stated that Walker James, who had killed Walker Hargroves 44 years ago, in 1908, had died in Fort Worth at the age of 78 years.
    In Friday, May 22, 1908 issue of The Saint Jo Tribune,  the following article appeared: Walker Hargroves, formerly of Bowie and a well known charcter throughout this section was shot and instantly killed in the Broad of Trade saloon in Fort Worth at 5:15 Wednesday afternoon.  Walter James, a bartender in the saloon, surrendered to the officers and was placed under a $5,000 bond charged with the killing.  According to reports, Hargroves got into a dispute with James and had started around the east end of the bar with the announced intention of "settling matters" when the fatal shots were fired that ended his checkered career. On October 30, 1908, Porter Brodie was killed in Bowie by a man named Walter Smith, who was commonly known as Pat Smith.  But that is another report in this work, which see, entitled "Killing of Porter Brodie."'
THE KILLING OF PORTER BRODIE    "Porter Brodie was a well known Bowie barber during the stormy days on Smokey Row.  He operated a modest little barber shop on Smythe Street, just a couple of doors from where Walker Hargroves had operated his saloon.  He was a quiet, inoffensive man.  However, he had very strong convictions against liquor. He had been quite outspoken on the subject.  He had helped promote the local option election of 1906, which carried and bought prohibition to Bowie for the first time.  There had been bad blood between Brodie and the saloon owners for some time, as evidenced by his shoot out with Walker Hargroves on Smokey Row on an occasion in about May, 1907.
    Walter Smith, who was commonly called Pat Smith, operated a frosty joint and pool hall on Somkey Row.  At one time following the coming of prohibition to Bowie, Bodie had file a complaint against Pat Smith for violation of the prohibition laws.  The two Texas Rangers who were stationed in Bowie promptly arrested Smith.  This had caused bad blood between Pat Smith and Porter Brodie.

    About 2:00 o'clock P. M. on October 30, 1908, Brodie was returning to his shop from lunch.  Just as he stepped upon the sidewalk, Pat Smith came walking up from the direction of Johnson;s confectionery. Neither man spoke to the other. When they were about 18 or 20 feet apart, once again the guns were blazing on old Smokey Row. The shooting occurred in front of Giles Grocery on Smythe.
     The only utterance of any kind came from Brodie.  When the first shot struck him Brodie said "Oh". His body pitched forward. Before it reached the sidewalk, asecond shot struck him and he said< "Oh, Lordy." . . .
  The body of Brodie lay on the sidewalk for an hour or more, surrounded by a large crowd, eager to get alook at it.  The dead man, who was in his shirt sleeves, lay streched out in the center of the sidewalk on his back, with his head towards the South.  The left hand lay by his side.  The right elbow rested on the sidewalk, with the hand on the breast. There was no gun on or near Brodie's body.As soo as he could do so, Justice J. T. Stallings had the body removed to Burgess Funeral Home, Here Dr. J. T. Lawson, in the presence of Justice Stallings, stripped the body and examined the two wounds. ... After the official examination of the body, it was conveyed to the home of the deceased on the South side of town.
 The community was profoundly shocked when the news of the tragedy spread over town.
Justice Stalling sit as Coroner: . . .
  Shortly after the shooting Pat Smith was taken into custody by Constable John Wales, charged with the shooting .  When arrested Smith handed the officer a "45" pistol.  Later in the day he was conveyed to the jail in Montague by Sheriff B. F. Waston.
 On the following Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, after the shooting,  Justice Stallings, sitting as Coroner, conducted an inquest on the shooting of Brodie.  Assistant County Attorney J. N. Campbell,  acting for County Attorney Charles F. Spencer, represented the State."
 [Inquest witnesses included the following: emc]
1. M. M. Huskey, farmer: seven miles South, was standing on Wise Street on crossing between Wilson's restaurant and Stoner's grocery store, 50 or 60 feet from Giles corner; heard a shot; looked up and saw a man falling on the sidewalk in front of Gile's store:. . . .
2  J. W. Davis, farmer, six miles North,  was standing on the sidewalk, 20 feet below the Bowie Meat Market on Smythe Street talking to Pat Smith about a little trade they had on hand the past Saturday; had up a forfiet; Smith went on down the street; he remained where he as, and talking to W. F. Gunter until the shooting and saw Bodie fall:. . . .
3.  W. M. McCarter was standing with M. M. Huskey when the shooting occurred. 
His testimony was substantially the same as Mr. Huskey's with this addition; he was one of the first to get to Brodie; he found him lying on his back, his left hand by his side; his right on his breast; Brodie was in his shirt sleeves; he had no weapon on or about him that he could see and there was none laying by him; he didn't think any one could have removed a pistol from his person or from the pavement near him without witness seeing it done.
4.  T. C. McCracken was standing on the sidewalk on Smythe Street between Johnson's place and the place where Ezra William's pool hall is located: he was talking with Geo. Williams: his face was up the street and his back down; he heard a shot and turned around and looked; the first thing he saw was a man falling in front of Giles store about 75 feet from him; ....he and old man Glover and Ed Sinclair placed his hat under his head (Brodie's) just as he got there; he grasped a few times and died: in 10 to 15 minutes after he was shot he was dead;. . .
5.  J. H. Cable, clerk at Giles' store, was standing just inside of Giles' store; he was about two feet, he supposed, from the North front door, which opens out on the pavement on the East side of Smythe; one door opens out on the corner of the building , and the one he was nearest to opens out on Smythe:  there is still another front door that opens out on Wise Street, in front of the building ; all three doors were standing open: he saw Brodie first; he had just stepped up on the edge of the sidewalk when  he  first saw him; he was going North, and towards his shop, two doors North of Giles building: he was in his shirt sleeves; about the same time Brodie stepped up on the sidewalk he heard someone coming down street and looked around and saw Pat Smith; he was walking pretty fast; about the time he observed him he stopped directly in front of the door where he was standing; he stopped directly in front of the door where he was standing ; he saw him reach down into his pocket as though he was pulling out a handkerchief, and pulled out a gun; he immediately raised it up and fired.  Brodie, at the time Smith fired, was some 18 or 20 feet from him, walking towards him; he pitched forward when 
the first shot was fired; Smith fired again before Brodie hit the pavement; he fell on his shoulder  and rolled over on his back;  Smith took one step forward and fired another shot; Brodie was lying on his back when the last shot was fired;  there was not a word said by either Smith or Brodie before the shooting begin: he never heard a word said by either, except Brodie said "Oh" and " Oh, Lordy"; he said "Oh" when the first shot was fired, and about the time he hit the sidewalk he said "Oh Lordy"; witness saw no pistol or weapon of any kind in the hands of Brodie or about his person; he saw no pistol or weapon of any kind fall on the sidewalk when Brodie fell;  Smith went up the street and out of his sight immediately after firing the last shot; three shots, and only three shots, were fired and Pat Smith fired all if them.
6. S. P. Johnson testified substantially the same as did  Cable and Huskey, except he said when Smith returned up the street he was carring a pisto in each hand.
  Smith trial began on February 6, 1911.  Judge Clem B. Potter presided. County Attorney Charles F. Spencer prosecuted the case....
  In any event, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.  The verdict was signed by J. R. Allgood, Foreman.
  Walter [Pat] Smith was later to be shot on December 23, 1912 by Constable Harbin H Edwards, from wich wounds he died some four or five days later. See "Killing of Walter (Pat) Smith."


. . . The way Smith kept his hand in his coat pocket led both Donald and Edwards to believe that he had a gun in his pocket.
    Smith looked at Paul Donald  and said, " The Alley is open at both ends, and you can leave at either end."  To which Mr. Donald then replied, "I'm not about to leave."  Smith then appeared about to daw the object from his coat pocket when Constable  Edwards put his hand on Smith's shoulder and said, "Pat, don't do that." Smith then took his left hand and shoved Harbin Edwards in the face.

  At this point Edwards drew his gun and fired three or four shots in rapid succession at Smith's midsection.  Smith then turned and quickly staggered into the store.  Donald and Edwards followed the wounded man.  Inside the store they found a gun that Smith had supposedly placed on a barrel as he went trough the store.  Edwards picked up the gun and he and Donald continued to pursue the wounded man.  Smith had gone out the front of the store and had progressed as far as Brown's Drug Store where he collapsed in front of it.
   Pat Smith was carried home, where he lingered near death for four or five days before he finally died.
  Other men were arrested in a near by saloon by the peace officers for their part in the beating of Pruner.
   Some time later Mr. Edwards was indicted and tried for the murder of Pat Smith, Paul Donald was the only living witness who could testify in Edwars' behalf.  It may have been decided later that a trial should be had, while Mr. Donald's testimony was available, just as a protection to Mr. Edwards.
  In any event, H. H. Edwards was indicted on January 16, 1915, in Cause No. 5843, in the District Court of Montague County.  The Foreman of the Grand Jury was W. A. Philpot.
  Apparently, on February 3rd, Mr. Edward was tried. He plead self - defense. Paul Donald was his principal witness. He described the events that occurred immediately prior to the shooting.  Edwards was aquitted.
  The case was tried before Judge Charles F. Spencer.  Paul Donald was County Attorney; N. F. McClellan was District Clerk; and A. W. Cunningtham was sheriff.

  Thus ends the sage of three men, Walker Hargroves, Porter Brodie and Pat Smith, who knew old Smokey Row; they knew its violence; they were a part of its violence; two of them died of its violence; the other almost died of its violence, and did die of violence in Fort Worth soon after leaving Smokey Row.
Thus was the violence with which our forefathers lived;  thus was the courage they possessed to suppress such violence; and thus were the sacrifices they made to secure for themselves, their children, and their children's children, a better life.  We owe them so much more than we will ever know. M. F. L."