Reminiscences Of Judge Edgar Scurry

Reminiscences Of

Judge Edgar Scurry

I was born at Mission Valley, Victoria County, Texas, on November 21, 1857. I lived there until I was grown, then I went to Giddings, Texas, and studied law and was admitted to the bar. I left Giddings on the last day of December, 1890, and started for Wichita Falls, Texas. I came to Wichita Falls on the Denver train. At that time the town was new and rather small, about 2,000 in population, I think, but it struck me as a right lively little town, and I figured it would be a good place to begin my practice. My practice was very slow getting started. I handled land, some real estate. Land was selling for $10 per acre then. I sold some for $16 per acre about ten miles down the river.

The first office I held was County Judge. I was elected at the fall election in 1894 and held it through 1895-96. Next I served one term in the State Legislature, the 26th Legislature, in 1899. Then I was District Attorney of the 30th District, then District Judge again then in and out several times as District Judge.

One of the most exciting things that happened in those days was the robbing of the City National Bank in February, 1897. I was County Judge at that time, and had stayed in Ft. Worth the night before. I was on my way home on the train; when we stopped at Bellevue Mr. Kemp got on the train. He was on his way to Ft. Worth, but having received a wire from somebody in Wichita Falls, saying that the bank had been robbed, and Mr. Frank Dorsey killed, he boarded our train to return home. Captain McDonald and some of his State Rangers were on that train going south; they all came back with us. As soon as Capt. McDonald could get his officers together they left town in pursuit of the robbers. Frank Hardesty was in the group and was shot, the bullet hitting his watch which was in his vest pocket; the impact knocked him down and made him sick for a few minutes, but left him unhurt. Will Skeen and Maje Davis were in close pursuit of the robbers from the first. A group of us followed just as soon as we could. Dr. Kendall and I were in a buggy, and on the way down to the point near Mart Boger’s Ranch where the robbers were captured, John L. Sullivan, the ranger, broke his stirrup and fell off his horse. He then got in the buggy with Dr. Kendall and I took his horse and that is why I was at the scene and took part in the capture of these men. We went to that bridge right near where we captured them, and then turned back to come home, having decided that we had lost them. Charlie Word and I were riding together, and suddenly we heard Henry McCauley holler out, "Who are those men?" We looked up and saw two men running across the field towards some timber on a little creek near where we were riding. We discovered that they were the robbers. They ran toward a clump of timber where Mart Boger’s hog pen stood.

Capt. McDonald wasn’t very strong and he and Dr. Kendall were up at Mr. Boger’s resting when we first saw the robbers. Henry McCauley went and told them that we had them surrounded up there in that timber. This timber was situated on a dry creek and there was a bog wide 60-foot road and fields around it. When Capt. McDonald got there he commenced to holler and talked about going in after them. He insisted he was going in, but I told him I was not, then he began calling to the men. Then one of the robbers called and asked, "Is that Capt. McDonald?" and receiving the answer in the affirmative, he asked the Capt. if they would be protected if they would surrender. The Capt. promised to protect them. There was some little talk that indicated that some of the crowd that was there wanted to kill them, but the more level headed ones told them it was not right; that Capt. McDonald had promised to protect them and bring them back. So we brought them back in a farm wagon. I never have been able to recall who drove that wagon. We tied the prisoners together and put them on a plank seat in the center of the wagon. Lieut. Sullivan, with rifle in hand, faced them from the front seat; Will McCauley, the ranger, and myself, sat on the back seat with shotguns. Then we brought them to Wichita Falls and put them in the jail.

I refused to come down for the mobbing; I knew what they were going to do and I didn’t want to have a part in it. The grand jury indicted five or six of our citizens, but they never came to trial. Judge Miller was the presiding Judge. At the moment when the case was called a message came that Mrs. Miller had an explosion of a little stove, and Judge Miller adjourned the case for a few minutes while he went to see about her. While he was gone the attorneys elected a special judge, Charlie Sherrod, and changed the venue to Vernon, and that was the last of it.

Both the Daughters and the Sons of the Confederates here were named for my father. My father was born in Tenn. His older brother, Richardson Scurry was in the Battle of San Jacinto. Both of them were in the Congress of Texas when it was a Republic.

A monument was erected to my Father, Gen. Wm. Read Scurry, at Little Rock, Ark. by the Bert C. Newton Camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans at their annual reunion in 1928. I have in my possession the war records of my father. He commanded the troops at the battle of Glorietta, near Santa Fe, New Mexico, (The Civil War). He was killed at Jenkins Ferry, Oct. 30, 1864.

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