Whetstone, O Whetstone - the place of my birth.
The prettiest village God placed on this earth.
There`s New Row, Smack Ally, Pig Lane and the Nook
And a nice little walk by the babbling brook.
Artist rendition of the shooting death of Peter Whetstone, d. Nov. 1843 in Marshall, Tx.
In reading a 1937 interview on my 3x Grandfather, I collected clues. I had the names of the two Whetstone women in his life, Dicey (his mother) and Allie (his aunt and step-mother). I also knew that they came from the Texas Pioneer Family of Whetstone. This wasn't going to be easy. It has taken me ten years to get this far, and I owe it in part to newly found cousins, and use of the internet resources I now swear by.
Peter, Edice "Dicey", and family emigrated to Texas from Arkansas in abt. 1829. Previous to their emigration, they resided in Batesville, Independence Co., Arkansas. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was married to Oliver Hazard Anderson by the time the family came to Texas, and O.H. and Elizabeth came with them, as did Hazards father, Bailey, Bailey Anderson Jr., and their families. Elizabeth, Anderson, and Warrick were all born in Arkansas; while Perry, Mary Ann "Polly", and Johnson were born in Texas. They are listed in the 1835 Sabine District census.
Peter served the Republic of Texas Army. He participated in the Siege of Bexar, Dec. 5-10, 1835, and received land grants for his service. Eventually, the young family settled in Marshall.
The issue of where the County Seat would be located came about. A committee made up of Seaborn Robinson, John M. Clifton, James A. Williams, and David Hill looked at various properties, hoping to find something that would be suitable for the purpose. It appears they weren't impressed with the Whetstone land. However, tradition has it that Ol' Peter, accompanied by the committee members, worked to convince them that his land would be perfectly suited. "Clifton is reported to have remarked, 'The elevation is all right, the view of the forest and the many rolling hills all are picturesque, but the location looks too dry.'" (Source: Marshall News Messenger, 13 Jun 1972) The day was hot and dry, the men thirsty. They followed Peter to an old tree where he withdraws a jug of whiskey from a hole within the tree. The jug made its round from one commissioner to the next. Clifton then comments, "The place which furnishes such "Spring Water" like this-this is the place for the Seat of Justice." Peter had won the commissioners over. In 1841, Peter donated land for a school, courthouse (the first built in 1842-43 with logs furnished by the Whetstone plantation), and church.
In 1843, during the Regulator-Moderator dispute in East Texas (is also known as the 'Reign of Terror in East Texas'), Peter was leader of a Moderator group. Evidently, the dispute arised from counterfeited land certificates, complicated by the arrival of new settlers. This is the bloodiest time in the history of Texas, and Peter wasn't immune from the fallout. In November 1843, Peter was shot and killed by Col. William T. Boulware, a Regulator. His obit reads:
"DEATH OF PETER WHETSTONE-This noted freebooter that for many years has been an object of terror and hatred on the eastern fronteir of Texas was recently killed in his own house. He had threatened to wreak his vengeance upon several individuals of Harrison county who had combined to expel him and his sons from the county. One of these individuals hearing that he had threatened his life, went to his house situated about 20 miles from Shreveport, on Sunday the 9th November, and knocked at his door. It was opened by Peter and at the same moment the visitor shot him down with a gun loaded with buck shot. He expired instantly. Thus has fallen one of the most violent and blood-thirsty renegades of that section. He has left three sons who have grown up amid scenes of crime and blood shed, and it is feared that they will ere long come to a violent end. It is said that not less than twenty persons have been murdered by Whetstone during the last fifteen years." (Source: Peter WHETSTONE Obituary). In all of my researching of Peter and his family, I've yet to come across anything supporting his obituary, which also says that he had killed around twenty men. This will be ongoing research for me. We also know that Peter's sons' went on to lead full lives, with the exception of Perry, who died during the War Between the States of smallpox.
Whetstone is represented to have robbed and killed more than twenty different persons within the last fifteen years. He was about 60 years of age, and was as agile as a buck and of an iron constitution.
A citizen of Shreveport, a Mr. Sheldon, narrowly escaped being robbed and murdered by Pete some nine years ago since. As he was riding along the road, Pete approached him, and after presenting a pistol, demanded his money or his life. Sheldon, preferring to seek safety in flight, put spurs to his horse and succeded in escaping, after a chase of nine miles, by making his horse jump a ravine, which the horse on which Whetstone was riding refused to do.
The citizens of Shreveport are greatly rejoiced at having finally got rid of this monster.
Information received from Mr. Clifton D. Cardin, Official Bossier Parish Historian
Hmmmmm......Who would have thought?
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Peter's birthplace is as mysterious as the man himself. Though now proven, many of us believe that he was born in Indiana. In one of the census', Anderson said in the 1880 Van Zandt Co., Tx. census that his father was b. in Indiana. If this is indeed the case, could our Peter be the same Peter Whetstone who stole a horse in Indiana and who jumped bail....fleeing Indiana forever? Peter did name two of his children after counties in Indiana! This is a point of interest, and something that has us all trying to prove or disprove the theory. Peter was a very private man and didn't tell anyone where he came from originally. He had been the subject of interest for Harrison Co. researchers and Historians for many years, particularly in the '60's and '70's.
Peter's place of burial has been a mystery for many years. It is said that he's buried someplace on his property in Marshall, but to date, no one has been successful in locating it. Researchers and Historians in Harrison Co. attempted to locate him at some point; however, Peter stays as elusive in death as he did in life.
Provided these Whetstone's from Indiana are our's, it appears that they entered Indiana from Kentucky. The following information came to me from a Whetstone cousin, T. Hampton (SOURCE: "From then til now History of McCutchenville", By Kenneth P. McCutchen): Three brothers named David, Henry, and Mathias were friends of Daniel Boone (they are somehow "figured" into the establishment of the Fort at Boonesboro). They lost their land in Kentucky, due to not registering any formal claims, soon after it became a state. They emigrated to Indiana soon after 1800 upon Boone's suggestion because they sought good farming land. The brothers settled along the old Vincennes(?) Trail north of present day Stringtown.
Peter, s/o David, stole a horse and was apprehended. He was released on bail, which his father paid, but when it was time for his court appearance, Peter was gone. His bail was forfeited, thus ruining his father financially.
Unknown....Sent to me with information on the WHETSTONE Family
Another Unknown sent to me with same information
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