Nesbitt Memorial Library

Part 8 : 1870-1878

by Bill Stein (Copyright, Nesbitt Memorial Library and Bill Stein)

By 1870, the impact of nearly fifty years of constant and ever expanding human activity had taken a toll on the flora and fauna of Colorado County. The grasses and other vegetation that had been on the prairies, so deeply rooted that they were virtually invulnerable to the plows the early settlers used, had started to lose their grip on the land. Whereas the earliest settlers had had to plant their crops in the alluvial lands around the rivers and creeks, the steel plow, developed by John Deere in the 1840s and 1850s, freed them to cultivate the prairies. The prairie grasses also withered under the onslaught of larger and larger herds of grazing cattle. So did the once constantly running springs and creeks, which began to dry up, perhaps because numerous wells tapped into and reduced the water table; perhaps as the result of the loss of the earlier grasses, which retained moisture better than those which replaced them; perhaps because of the incessant trodding of generations of cattle over the plowed ground, which kicked soil into the streams, making them wider, shallower, and slower, thereby subjecting them to more rapid evaporation. The prairies were beginning to be consumed by an ever increasing number of trees, as people began extinguishing the intermittent and destructive wildfires which once prevented their proliferation, and setting instead, spot-fires which consumed only particular portions of their fields and pastures. The additional forest might have led to an increase in the number of bears in the county, a fair number of which once roamed the woody areas along the watercourses, had they not been hunted, with the assistance of teams of dogs, to the point that they had become decidedly rare. Hunters had also begun to take a toll on the extensive local population of beaver, deer, and red wolves, the last of which were regarded as strictly a nuisance.1

The weather, of course, had not changed. Severe conditions only rarely visited the county in the early 1870s. The worst spell of weather occurred in January 1872, when sleet, snow, and ice remained on the ground for several days. There was another very heavy sleet on January 12, 1877, though it was of much shorter duration. The September 1875 hurricane which devastated the port city of Indianola did minor damage to many businesses in downtown Columbus. The river flooded in October 1870, though to a much lesser degree than it had in 1869. There was a slight flood in early October 1873, and in July 1876, the river rose high enough to stop ferry traffic at Columbus, but did not flood the town.2

In the preceding decade, the population had grown, though seemingly only slightly. In 1870, the federal census takers counted 8326 people in Colorado County. Just over half (4258, or 51%) of the inhabitants of the county were male. Of the total, 3701, or 44%, were described as black. The remaining 56% were said to be white. As might be expected, five years after the slaves were emancipated, the bulk of the wealth in the county was held by the whites. White heads of household reportedly owned, on average, $1689 worth of real estate and $642 in other property. For black heads of household, the figures were $14 and $15, a vast disparity. The richest black man in the county, Harry Taylor, a Columbus blacksmith, had amassed $3500 worth of property. There were 149 white persons who were worth as much or more. No other black person was even as rich as the average white person. Most black heads of household (84%) had no assets to speak of. Blacks who had money often found it difficult to buy land, for white land owners generally found it more profitable to rent. Only 31 blacks owned real estate; 643 whites did. Most blacks apparently sustained themselves by agreeing to cultivate, as free men, a portion of the large plantations they had previously cultivated as slaves. A matching pair of contracts from 1870 stipulate that the landowner is to provide the land and all necessary farm animals and implements and receive half of the farm's proceeds; and that the tenants are to cultivate the crops, take care of the animals and equipment, keep the fences in good shape, and avoid fighting and deadly weapons in return for the other half. In addition, the contracts provide that the tenant's final compensation would be reduced by two dollars for every day of work which they missed. A surviving contract from 1873 is a little more specific. It calls for thirteen tenants to cultivate "as much land . . . as they can," two-thirds of it in cotton and one-third of it in corn, and to pay, as rent, one-fourth of the final cotton crop and one-third of the final corn crop. There was a small additional charge (one penny for every two pounds of cotton) for the use of a cotton gin. The 1873 contract also provided substantial penalties for allowing unsupervised livestock onto the corn or cotton fields ($25 per occurrence), and for engaging in fights "or other disturbances of the peace . . . (except in self-defense)" on the plantation ($50 per occurrence). Such fines were to be divided evenly among the other tenants.3

Some blacks attempted to acquire assets by demonstrating that they were directly descended from those who had them, their former owners. In 1871, the complicated dispensation of William Alley's substantial estate was further complicated by the declaration, by nine former slaves, that they were the children of Alley and one of his former slaves, Caroline, and therefore his proper heirs. The attorneys for Alley's estate responded that the nine former slaves, who used Alley as their surname, were not Alley's children, that their contention otherwise was only an attempt "to disgrace and defame the character of the said William Alley," that Alley had never married, and that, far from having any undue affection or familial feeling toward them, Alley had sold Caroline and her nine children to two other men, George L. Perry and William Bridge. The matter came to trial on October 24, 1871, but the jury failed to agree on a verdict. Citing "the prejudice existing against them and their claim in this County," and declaring that the same prejudice also existed in Lavaca and Fayette Counties, the alleged Alley children succeeded in securing a change of venue to Austin County. But they failed to pursue their claims, and when the estate was divided, they apparently were excluded.4

After the war, the county had supported paupers in various ways. In 1868, for instance, the county buried poor persons who died, boarded and supported a number of orphans, made cash payments to specified paupers, and rented a house for one indigent woman, paying $100 for the year. Soon, it had established a "pauper list," to which persons could be admitted, and thereafter receive monthly stipends, upon demonstrating that they were incapable of supporting themselves, or upon volunteering to house a qualifying orphan. The list became so burdensome that, in January 1871, it was strictly audited, and all but five persons were stricken from it, each of whom were to receive $10 per month. The poor could not be avoided, however, and reapplications soon added more recipients. So again, on May 16, 1876, the county cut the list back down, this time to seven persons, and sharply reduced all of their stipends. Within a few months, the local newspaper had begun suggesting that, as a permanent solution to the problem, the county purchase some land and open a poor farm.5

The most noticeable change in the human demographics of the county was the development of a German community in the town of Columbus. The Germans, who had originally been almost exclusively rural, had begun moving into town before the Civil War. The growing presence of Germans led to the formation of two societies in Columbus. One, the German Casino, was incorporated on April 17, 1871, the other, the German Germania, was incorporated on May 3, 1873. The former organization began with the intention of promoting "social recreation of the members," but two years later, when the German Germania was formed for the same purpose, the Casino changed its objectives to "the promotion of morals, benevolence, and encouragement of musical and dramatic science." The Casino had, since at least early 1872, operated a theater in Columbus which featured dramatic performances, dances, and even exhibitions of gymnastics.6

In the same spirit, the Germans of Columbus organized a large-scale, continuing festival, which they called the Volks Fest. The First Grand Volks Fest was held on April 23 and 24, 1872. Volunteers spent weeks organizing and advertising the event, and enclosing and preparing the grounds on which it was to be held, the area north of Columbus known as the grove. The Volks Fest began with a parade through Columbus. The town's commercial buildings were draped with German and American flags. The parade was led by the Columbus Brass Band. The band was followed by an elaborately decorated wagon carrying the queen of the festival, which was dubbed the "Watch on the Rhine." Then came the committee which organized the festival, several wagons decorated to represent the various industries of the country, two baseball teams (named the Colorado Base Ball Club and the Pioneer Base Ball Club), several wagons representing agricultural products, the local German singing club, the Allemannia Brass Band from La Grange, thirty-two small girls each costumed to represent one of the states of the union, a decorated wagon carrying the queen of the tournament and her ladies of honor, and finally, the Knights of the Tournament, a procession of the participants in the upcoming contest. When the parade reached the grove, three men, Richard V. Cook and John T. Harcourt, each a former state senator from Columbus, and Gustav A. Loeffler, a Houston man concerned with promoting and managing immigration to Texas, made speeches. After lunch, the two baseball teams played a game, with the Pioneer club winning. The baseball game, which was probably the first ever played in the county, was followed by a dance. The second day of the festival opened with another baseball game, this one between the Island City Base Ball Team and the Houston Base Ball Club. After the game, the tournament began. Organized to resemble a medieval tournament, the participants each paid a rather-high $4 entry fee. Each adopted a fanciful nickname, like "Knight of the Lone Star Banner," "Knight of the Garter," "Knight of the Alamo," and "Knight of the Forest." The Knight of the Farmer, James William Guynn, won first prize, a new saddle, and his brother-in-law, the Knight of Colorado, Walter Eldridge "Dick" Bridge, took second prize, a silver pitcher. The festival closed with a sack race, a race of children across an obstacle course of ropes, and two "Fat Men's" races, which drew a total of six participants.7

Higher cultural efforts by county residents dwindled to almost nothing. Fannie Amelia Dickson Darden sporadically published poems in the Colorado Citizen and seemingly continued to paint pictures. She was joined by and, it must be said, exceeded by Friench Simpson as a poet. Simpson was writing poetry as early as 1864, when he was sixteen and living at Oakland. His first known published poem, "Dolce Far Niente," appeared in the Colorado Citizen on July 23, 1874. Later in the year the Citizen published another Simpson poem, "A Study of Nature." By then, he had secured employment with the Texas State Geological Survey, a job which afforded him the opportunity to travel widely within the state, and to write brief accounts of his travels for the Citizen. Following Simpson's lead, in 1877, Darden produced a prose piece based on her travels for the newspaper. Darden's piece was about Sutherland Springs, a resort near San Antonio to which she had travelled to improve her health. Earlier, she had turned her attention to history, publishing what would become perhaps her best known work, "Dillard Cooper's Account of his Escape from Fannin's Massacre," on the front page of the Citizen of July 30, 1874. As the title suggests, Darden had heard the story from Cooper, who lived near Columbus. To tell of his escape, with three other men, from the massacre of James Walker Fannin's command by the Mexican army during the Texas Revolution in 1836, she employed what was for her uncharacteristically simple and reasonably compelling prose.8

In these years, portrait painting began to take a back seat to the relatively new art of photography. Whereas the earliest photographs were quite small, making them unsuitable to frame and exhibit on a wall, by the 1870s improvements in technology had made it possible to obtain larger images. By October 1871, two men named Anderson and Bennett had established a photographic studio in Columbus. They operated their business for nearly three years, closing it on May 1, 1874 and moving to Galveston. That August, Fred S. Jones attempted to fill the void left by their departure, moving into their old building. In September, Jones expanded his business by hiring F. A. Ryan to paint portraits and teach art at the studio; but nonetheless, it failed. He closed his gallery in early 1875. Later that year, the team of Alonzo Newell Callaway and John (or Julius) Serdinko tried their hand at the Columbus photography market, setting up a tent and declaring their intention to make photographs for a month. Serdinko apparently abided by the schedule, but Callaway remained in town, replacing Serdinko with Conrad Peterson. Peterson departed in late 1876; Callaway moved to Brenham in March 1877; and John H. Chapman took their place in town. Along the way at least one Colorado County man was motivated to join their profession. Eugene Himley announced his qualifications as a photographer in October 1875, and opened a gallery in Comal County the next year.9

In the 1870s, music and other entertainment in the county flourished as never before. Brass bands developed in Columbus, New Mainz, and the new town of Weimar. Two German musicians, a pianist named Bottcher, who also took in students, and the violinist Arnold Prause, performed at several venues around town, sometimes individually, sometimes jointly. The Columbus theater that had been established by the German Casino was apparently taken over by Henry Ilse. In the late summer of 1874, Ilse, who also operated a grocery store on the ground floor of the downtown building, thoroughly renovated the theater. By the end of September, Ilse had installed not only a larger stage, but new scenery which was painted by the same artist who provided the scenery for the prestigious Tremont Opera House in Galveston. If Ilse hoped to attract productions similar to those at the Tremont, however, he was soon disappointed. The only known events at Ilse's Hall were dances with music by the Columbus Brass Band on November 28 and on New Year's Eve. The latter was the last event at Ilse's Hall. The next day, January 1, 1875, Ilse sold his business to Reinhard Dick and his son-in-law, Charles William Rau. The new owners changed the name to Dick's Hall and Grocery, and apparently named Dick's son, Gustav Conrad Dick, to manage it. Dick's stewardship got off to a rocky start. Around the time of the sale, Ilse's bartender, Charles Loewendel, perhaps dismayed by the change in ownership, had taken to drinking heavily. Two weeks into the year, Dick apparently notified Loewendel that he was not fit to continue work, and, on the morning of January 14, Loewendel committed suicide.10

Dick's Hall also offered a series of dances by the Columbus Brass Band, and one more notable attraction, a concert by the pianist known as Blind Tom on May 17, 1875. The attractions improved markedly after Rau purchased his father-in-law's interest on October 26, 1875. The renamed Rau's Hall featured General Tom Thumb on March 3, 1876, and S. S. Baldwin, a lecturer who, on March 29, by demonstration and explanation, attempted to expose spiritualism, the religious craze of the time, as a hoax. On June 10 and June 16, Rau hosted Max Fehrmann, a musical performer associated with the Tremont Opera House. Fehrmann's show featured a play, a scene from an opera, and "comic songs" in both German and English. For November 6, Rau booked the Georgia Minstrels, advertising them as a "celebrated troupe of genuine negroes." In 1877, Rau's Hall featured two more minstrel shows, and two appearances by the fairly-well-known actress Fay Templeton. In the first, on March 21, Templeton's company performed the enormously popular play "East Lynne." By the time of her second appearance, in another popular play, "Colleen Bawn," in mid-May, the theater had changed owners.11

Rau had failed to make a mortgage payment due to Ilse on January 1, 1876; after which Ilse sued both Rau and Dick. On March 9, 1877, the district court ordered that the building and grounds be sold at public auction to satisfy the debt. On May 1, 1877, Dick's wife, Josephine, made the highest bid, and the facility reverted to Dick's control. The theater lay dormant over the summer, but was revived in November with appearances on two consecutive Mondays by an obscure comedian named John Dillon. Dillon had played at the Tremont in Galveston in late October and early November, and stopped to perform in Columbus on November 12 on his way to another engagement in San Antonio, and again on November 19 on his way back. Strangely, Dick had evidently hired Ilse to manage the theater. For the rest of its tenure as the principal theater in Columbus, it would be known as Ilse's Hall, or, as it would be referred to for a brief time in 1880, Ilse's Opera House. Ilse's intermittent program of dances and concerts in 1878 and 1879 was broken only by another appearance in town by Blind Tom on February 18, 1878.12

To be sure, the citizens of the county were entertaining themselves in other places and in other ways during the late 1870s. By 1876, public entertainment facilities had opened in both Eagle Lake (Newsom's Hall) and Weimar (Richter's Hall). In December 1874, a circus played Columbus. Though it was reviled by those who attended, other circuses came in December 1875, November 1876, and November 1878; and a pair of tightrope walkers made two appearances in town in the summer of 1879. In warm weather, people commonly went to Eagle Lake for picnics, or to go boating or fishing. In 1877, one estimate had it that 500 fish were caught on Eagle Lake every day. And, the lake served as a tourist attraction. In May 1876, a train load of Harris County citizens joined the residents of Eagle Lake for a large-scale picnic at the lake. The Harris County contingent brought a band; the Eagle Lakers erected a pavilion at the lake and provided boats and fishing equipment. The growing population on the west side of the county did their boating, fishing, and picnicing on Adkins Lake, though without the company of tourists. In the summer of 1871, a steamboat named Providence plied the river, taking people on pleasure cruises. Gambling, despite being against the law in some forms, was also popular. For a few months in 1876, an illegal gambling establishment apparently flourished on Spring Street in Columbus. For more edifying entertainment, in 1872 a short-lived gentleman's club, which featured periodicals and other material in a reading room, was organized in Columbus. In 1874, it nearly evolved into a modest library, but lack of interest or lack of money forced its failure. Debating societies in Columbus, Weimar, and Osage, the last of which was known as the Plow Boys Club, were more successful, publicly arguing about women's suffrage, the career of Napolean Bonaparte, or whether war or drunkenness was a greater evil. In two remarkable debates in the summer of 1874, the Plow Boys Club decided that Indians had been treated worse than blacks, and that blacks should not have the same privileges as whites. On July 3, 1874, the Osage debaters expanded their interests, changing the name of the organization to the Crockett Literary Society, and devoting at least part of their efforts to the production and appreciation of poetry.13

Organized sporting activity was sporadic. In 1872, after the games at the Volks Fest, Columbus baseball teams played at least two games against teams from La Grange, winning the first and losing the second. Probably, the Volks Fest continued to feature a baseball game. Certainly, at the Volks Fest in 1874, a Columbus team beat a team from Brenham, 61-35. Another Columbus team was organized in April 1875, but it is not known to have played any games. Two summers passed before, in December 1876, another team was formed. That team finally played its only known game, beating a team from Schulenburg by the astounding score of 51-2 on April 26, 1877. However, by the end of that summer, the young men of Columbus had abandoned baseball and turned their attention to public games of checkers, played on a board installed on the courthouse square. The following year, they embraced gymnastics, again using the courthouse square for their public demonstrations.14

In Columbus, the black population continued to stage annual celebrations of their emancipation from slavery, usually on June 19, or "Juneteenth" as it came to be known. In 1876, the celebration featured a parade, a dance, speeches by local white citizens, and, evidently, a baseball game. Similar festivals were held at Oakland in 1877 and at Weimar in 1878 and 1879. The 1879 Columbus Juneteenth celebration, held at the grove north of town, attracted some 600 people.15

The continuing series of annual Volks Fests in Columbus, however, ended after the fourth one was conducted in May 1875. The Third Annual Volks Fest, held May 26 and 27, 1874, featured the usual parade followed by speeches, a baseball game, foot races, and dances, and added livestock exhibitions and a shooting contest, which was won by Helmuth Kulow. The tournament, held on the afternoon of the 27th, was won by James West. John Stafford finished second, John Willower third, and James Light Townsend fourth. The festival concluded with a fireworks display in a light rain. The 1875 festival was marked by smaller crowds and a considerably shorter parade, and was ended prematurely by a substantial rainstorm. Still, it featured speeches (including one by Mathias Malsch in German); exhibitions of glass blowing, galvanic batteries, and art; a shooting gallery; a food booth to benefit the construction of the Episcopal church; and two dances, one of them at Dick's Hall. The tournament, on May 26, was organized by local physician Joseph Warren Brown. Brown charged participants $2.50 to enter, and gave prizes of $25, $15, and $10 to the top three finishers. The winners, West, Shelley C. Smith, and Warren Decatur Stafford, had just completed their competition when rain dispersed the crowd. The planned third day of the festival never materialized.16

Despite the demise of the Columbus Volks Fest, festivals with a German flavor continued to crop up in other parts of the county. There were German Gesang Vereine (singing clubs) in both Frelsburg and New Mainz. In 1871, the year it was established, the club in Frelsburg had begun holding a festival each May featuring dancing, singing, and the copious consumption of beer. Oakland area Germans organized a Schützen Verein (shooting club) and held a shooting contest each May. Not to be outdone, Weimar area Germans conducted festivals each fall, beginning, apparently, in 1876. That September 27, the citizens of Weimar staged their own recreation of a medieval tournament, with fourteen participants. The following spring, the Weimar Odd Fellows lodge scheduled a festival for April, but rain forced its cancellation. In 1878, Weimar's spring festival was reorganized by a group calling itself the German Volks Fest Association. Thereafter, the Weimar Germans celebrated both spring and fall.17

Colorado County Germans also participated in a celebration of the United States Centennial, held in Austin County near New Ulm on July 4, 1876. The event, which attracted about two thousand people, was very similar to the recent Volksfests, featuring speeches (in German), a parade, a tournament, music, horse races, dances, shooting contests, and theatrical performances. There were no celebrations of the nation's centennial in Colorado County. The prevailing sympathies of those county residents who were neither black, German, nor Czech remained strongly in favor of the causes of the Confederacy and against the government of the United States. These citizens, who called themselves conservatives, were consumed by political opinions which they embraced with a passion that bordered on madness. Though the conservatives, who were predominantly white, were in the political minority, they did control most of the county's wealth and its only media outlets. They usually supported candidates endorsed by the Democratic Party; and their contempt for black voters and other voters who supported Republican, or as they called them, Radical candidates, can hardly be overstated. In 1871, Fred Barnard, the editor of the Colorado Citizen, in a series of highly inflammatory statements, summarized his view of the Republican agenda: "Heavy taxation to keep the roads in order for the benefit of niggers . . . Tax the white man to build schoolhouses and educate nigger children . . . Squandering the people's money to enrich scallawags, carpet-baggers and niggers . . . Disfranchising all respectable white men and placing the ignorant negro over them . . . Squandering the people's money in private speculation, to enrich scallawags and niggers . . . Heavy taxation for the white men of the South, and fat offices for scallawags, carpet-baggers and niggers." The general disapproval of government authority by the conservatives extended to the lowest level. On August 15, 1870, when the state legislature reincorporated the City of Columbus, no provision for the public election of city officials was made. Rather, the governor was empowered to appoint the mayor and five city aldermen. Three of the men whom Republican Governor Edmund Jackson Davis appointed, Edmund Eason, Bartley Harbert, and Isaac Yates, were black.18

County government, too, was hampered by the extreme partisan feelings of the citizenry. When, on July 4, 1870, the newly installed county court met, controversy erupted over the installation of the new sheriff, William M. Smith. The three Democratic members of the court, Henry Clay Everett, Daniel Washington Jackson, and Johann Friedrich "Fritz" Leyendecker, seemed inclined to reject the sheriff's bond. Though they acknowledged that the bondsmen had more than enough wealth to support their positions, they objected to one, Robert Earl Stafford, on the grounds that he "was a notorious desperado" whose property was mainly cattle, and to another, Francis E. Jones, because he resided in and maintained his property and wealth in Matagorda County. Camillus Jones, the Republican who presided over the court, wishing to postpone consideration of the bond, set the vote on it for the afternoon then adjourned the court at noon, taking the copy of the sheriff's bond with him. Though neither he nor the other Republican, George S. Ziegler, returned to the courthouse that afternoon, the three Democrats did. They declared that the session had been illegally adjourned, resolved to continue it, and sent word to Smith to provide them with another copy of the bond. Smith refused, whereupon the three Democrats rejected the bond and declared the sheriff's office vacant. Jones appealed to Governor Davis for relief; but Davis also received a letter from another prominent Colorado County Republican, Robert Peter Tendick, which characterized Jones as a drunkard and Smith as incompetent, uninterested in performing the duties of the sheriff, and unpopular among the blacks. Tendick also noted that Jackson and Leyendecker generally favored Republican positions. On July 9, the governor informed Jones that he had indeed illegally adjourned the court, but that the court could not oust Smith from the sheriff's office without giving him another chance to produce an acceptable bond. Because most of the wealthy men in the county were conservative Democrats, and thus Smith's political opponents, it was only with great difficulty that he managed to find new bondsmen. To do so, he agreed to sign a highly unusual contract which effectively sold the sheriff's office to the Democrats, and which would eventually cost him his job. William Lucius Adkins agreed to sign Smith's bond on condition that his son-in-law, Rowan Green, be hired as deputy, and apparently with other stipulations. On October 10, in a contract with Green, Smith declared that, though he would hold the office, he would not perform the duties of sheriff, but instead would allow Green as deputy to act as he pleased and to keep all the fines and fees which would normally devolve to the sheriff. For his part, Green was to pay Smith $800 every December as long as Smith remained the duly elected and installed sheriff. On October 12, the county court accepted Smith's new bond and installed him as sheriff. Two days later, he named Green his deputy.19

Later that year, when the district which was composed of Colorado and Lavaca Counties elected persons to replace its recently deceased members of the Texas senate and legislature, the contest was bitter indeed. The conservatives, that is to say the Democrats, backed Wells Thompson, a highly-respected Columbus attorney, for state senator, and Julius E. Arnim, a Lavaca County storekeeper, for state representative. Only a year earlier, Thompson had been defeated in a bid for lieutenant governor. Nonetheless, his campaign had won wide support. The Republicans ran Robert P. Tendick of Columbus for senator and Henry M. Shoemaker of Lavaca County for representative. Both men were union army veterans who had been stationed in Texas after the war, and remained in the state after their units were mustered out. The polls remained open for four days beginning on Monday, November 28. The two sides used the time to try to influence voters, by both gentle means and physical intimidation. As the vote totals were released, day after day, it became clear that the election would be very close. On the first day of the election, a black man named Burton who supported Thompson was arrested and briefly sent to jail, evidently for fear that other blacks would attack him. The same day, county officials stopped a white man named Green Mitchell from continuing a speech in support of the Republicans when Rowan Green, the acting sheriff, threatened to shoot him. George Washington Smith, the brother of Sheriff Smith, made a public spectacle of his racial bigotry, and was probably the most tireless advocate of the conservative positions. As the election proceeded, he buzzed around Columbus, angrily confronting Republicans in public places, calling them all manner of unflattering names, provoking them nearly to the point of violence. Nonetheless, when the votes were counted, Tendick and Shoemaker emerged victorious. The Republican newspapers trumpeted the victory; the Democratic papers took solace in the observation that at each succeeding election the Republican margin of victory was declining. Two weeks after the election, tempers still ran high. On December 12 in Columbus, a white man named John Davis shot a black man named Edward Jackson in the back shortly after Jackson had affirmed that he had voted Republican. Jackson, who was unarmed, died on the spot.20

Davis was pursued by two black officers, Fayette Yancy and Allen Nail, both of whom were part of the state's recently created, and almost immediately controversial, law enforcement organizations. Nail, who had purchased property on the outskirts of town in 1868, was the captain of the state guard unit based in Columbus. His unit, like others across the state, was created in late 1870 to be ready to take control of the county whenever the governor believed that enforcement of the law was being obstructed "by combinations of lawless men too strong for the control of the civil authorities." Nail's unit, which contained 100 men, most if not all of whom were black, was almost certainly held in low regard by the conservatives. However, it was bolstered by a series of reserve militia units from around the county which had white captains and memberships, and which were no doubt thought respectable by the whites.21

Yancy, when he was a slave, had evidently been regarded by his owner, William Yancy, as enterprising and trustworthy, and had purchased property in Columbus less than a year after he was emancipated; nonetheless, he forfeited any respect he had accumulated in the white community when he became a private in the state police on August 1, 1870. The state police force was formed to help combat the growing number of violent crimes within the state, however, because it was composed of and controlled by people who supported the Republican political majority, conservatives, without considering its merits or efficacy, immediately and thoroughly despised it. By the time of the Davis shooting, Yancy already had been, and would continue to be, harassed by local officials and the local courts. In October 1870, a Colorado County grand jury handed down two indictments for assault against Yancy. Apparently, on the preceding September 3 and September 30, while attempting to carry out his duties, Yancy had struck men named Horace Hunter and Christoph Burger on the head with a gun. Robert Tendick rushed to Yancy's defense, swearing that he himself had seen Burger "quite intoxicated" on the day of the incident. Nonetheless, on June 13, 1871, Yancy was convicted of assaulting Burger and fined the substantial sum of $100. Three days later, Yancy's lawyer asked for a new trial, stipulating that Deputy Rowan Green had discussed Yancy's case with the jurors while the trial was in progress. On June 27, the court granted the new trial. While awaiting his new day in court, Yancy continued to perform his duties as a state policeman. On February 3, 1872, he apparently assaulted another man, Harrison Kyle, though this time with something other than a gun. Almost immediately, he was hit with another indictment. The beleaguered Yancy returned to court in June 1872. He was again found guilty of assaulting Burger and again fined $100, after which the court saw fit to drop the other two indictments against him. This time, Governor Edmund J. Davis came to his rescue. Tendick wrote the governor, outlining the case and pleading for a pardon for Yancy. Stating that "there is the best reason for believing that the applicant was convicted through prejudice against his color and because he was a policeman, and Whereas it appears from the statement of facts furnished by the Judge who tried the case, that applicant was really defending himself from a most outrageous attack of the prosecutor, and that of the two, the prosecutor should have been fined and not the applicant," on August 2, 1872, Davis issued Yancy a full pardon.22

By early 1871, Sheriff Smith was coming under increasing pressure from his one-time Republican supporters to discharge his deputy, Rowan Green, who was philosophically aligned with the Democrats, or face removal from office. Smith knew that firing Green would prompt the deputy's father-in-law, William L. Adkins, to revoke his signature on Smith's bond, and force him to forfeit the sheriff's office. Smith struggled with the dilemma for months, going so far as to, on February 23, 1871, appeal directly to Governor Edmund J. Davis, for advice. Finally, on June 28, 1871, the ax fell. District Judge Livingston Lindsay removed Smith from office, citing his inability to control Green, the frequent escapes of prisoners from the custody of the sheriff's office, and the failure of anyone from the sheriff's office to pursue John Davis. At the urging of local attorneys, Lindsay appointed former sheriff James B. Good to temporarily assume the office. Immediately, a petition and a barrage of letters in support of permanently appointing Good arrived in the governor's office. But one man, former state representative Benjamin Franklin Williams, who was black, urged Governor Davis to wait until both he and Robert Tendick endorsed a candidate. Shortly, Davis received a petition requesting that he appoint John Richard Brooks as sheriff. Though the petition was signed by eighty citizens, both black and white, neither Williams or Tendick signed it. They had another candidate in mind. Their petition, signed by far fewer citizens, asked Davis to appoint Charles Schmidt, who was Tendick's father-in-law, to the post. Already Davis had received correspondence from George S. Ziegler, who had served with Tendick in the United States Army during the Civil War, which warned him that Tendick wanted Schmidt to be sheriff, and which pointed out that Schmidt was already serving as cattle and hide inspector, as internal revenue collector, and as a state policeman. Schmidt, however, included his resignation from the state police force with the petition, and Davis, stating that Schmidt had received the strongest support by "both officers of the courts and citizens," named him the new sheriff on July 13, 1871. Smith, as a consolation, was handed Schmidt's old post as cattle and hide inspector, and was named cotton weigher as well.23

However, Schmidt, too, was destined to lose a bond war with the county court. On July 24, he submitted a bond for $12,000, with Robert Tendick and his wife Kate, John Rosenfield, and Edward Wilson as bondsmen. The court accepted it, but raised the amount to $20,000 and ordered him to get another bond. Meanwhile, Schmidt appointed former sheriff Johann Baptist Leyendecker as his deputy, finally removing Green from authority. Schmidt submitted his new bond on August 28, but it was rejected when one of the new bondsmen, John William Schoellmann, withdrew his support. He tried again on September 4, and was again rejected. This time the court noted that part of the pledged property was a homestead and that the bond did not state that all of the pledged property was unencumbered. Further, they doubted the ability of a married woman, meaning presumably Kate Tendick, to pledge her separate property. Schmidt gave up and returned to his role as cattle and hide inspector. Shortly, the governor received a petition, signed by 76 persons, most of whom were black, recommending that he appoint Leyendecker to the post, a letter, signed by four men endorsing Brooks, and a letter from Lindsay endorsing Good. Davis, however, appointed James H. McCulloch on November 9, 1871. But McCulloch apparently did not even live in the county, and he apparently never submitted a bond to the county government. The governor finally gave up and appointed Good sheriff on December 22, 1871. Good's bond was approved by the court four days later. Shortly, Robert Tendick and Schmidt found themselves under indictment; Tendick for perjury on the grounds that he had overstated his wealth on Schmidt's bond; and Schmidt for acting as cattle and hide inspector without authorization, and, because he had solicited fees while doing so, for swindling. Tendick's first trial, on February 24, 1872, resulted in a hung jury. Schmidt was acquitted of both charges on October 15, 1873. Tendick finally secured his acquittal on February 13, 1874.24

Like the successive Republican candidates for sheriff, Camillus Jones, the Republican who had been elected the county's presiding justice, came under increasing attack by the Democrats. Jones's behavior evidently had never been satisfactory, even to his fellow Republicans. On October 14, 1870, he had been indicted for conducting trials while inebriated in each if not all of the previous three months. He fought the charges for a year. When he promised District Judge Livingston Lindsay that he would reduce his consumption of alcohol, Lindsay endorsed Jones to the governor. But his situation was hopeless. Finally, on October 10, 1871, he resigned, commenting, "I would represent that I have transacted the affairs of my office honestly but I do not wish to retain it longer." As though it had been arranged in advance, on October 20, the indictment against him was quashed. Six months later, the governor appointed him Columbus city marshal. However, he never presented the city with a bond, and therefore never assumed the role. On May 7, the governor replaced him with John C. Journey, the man who had been the city government's first choice. Alas, Jones's troubles did not end there. In June 1872, his political opponents hit him with three more indictments, all for failing to properly do some comparatively minor paperwork in the month he had resigned as justice of the peace. By the time these cases were dismissed, on October 14, 1872, Jones had disappeared from county history.25

With the departure of Jones from office, and, four days before, the victory in a special election for United States congressman of Democrat John Hancock over Republican Edward Degener, Colorado County's Democrats were in a festive mood. On the night of October 12, they held a lengthy celebration, with a torchlight parade, music, cheers, cannon fire, speeches, and a dance. However, their joy was soon diminished by the results of the election to fill Jones's former office. The Republicans first nominated James Richard Fleming, but Fleming professed to be a Democrat and refused the nomination. They then turned their attention to Jahu Worner Johnson. Johnson had lived in Texas before the war, but had moved to Columbus only four years earlier, in 1867. Johnson drew two opponents: Littlebury M. Newsom, a longtime resident of the county who had served in the Confederate army for nearly the entire war, achieving the rank of lieutenant, and John D. Gillmore, who had served as county judge from the time he was appointed by a Republican governor in 1865 until he was removed by a Republican governor in 1868. In the election, on January 10, 1872, Gillmore and Newsom apparently split the Democratic vote, and Johnson easily won.26

The state police force and the state militia, along with other initiatives like the state's new public school system, all cost money, and caused the state government to raise taxes rather substantially. In addition to higher ad valorum taxes, occupation taxes were again imposed, prompting another confrontational editorial from the editor of the Colorado Citizen, Fred Barnard. On May 11, 1871, Barnard declared that "the tax law, enacted by the nigger conclave at Austin" was designed "to rob the people of the fruits of their industry, for the benefit of the Radical party," and stirred his readers with "That terrible word, retribution, haunts them day and night, until every carpet-bagger, scallawag, and negro composing this infamous body imagine they see the ghosts of their murdered victims following them wherever they go, and that the gaunt spectre, famine and bankruptcy, is grinning at them from every bush and tree in the forest. We offer these vampires a little consolation under the circumstances, which they would do well to heed and be wise---it is to hang themselves to the nearest tree after they adjourn, and thus rid the country and their friends of their presence forever."27

Though conservatives like Barnard apparently did not think it a problem, there was certainly a climate of violence in the county, and indeed across the state, for the new state police force to suppress. In the summer of 1870, there had been several murders and other violent incidents around the county. The west side of the county was shocked by three murders in 1870 and 1871. On May 29, 1870, south of Oakland, Joseph Wiggins Stafford was killed by a man named Milton Allen. Little, however, is known of the particulars, and Allen was never apprehended. On July 1, 1871, Thomas Morrisey was found shot to death near Content. Four facts led the authorities to arrest David Landers for the murder: Morrisey had spent much of the previous day with Landers; Landers had been heard to mildly threaten him; Landers had been seen leading Morrisey's horse after the killing; and, Landers had blood on his saddle. The same facts were apparently enough for the court, which refused his plea for time to produce a witness who would testify that the blood was that of a slaughtered animal, and on October 19, 1871, convicted him and sentenced him to death. Landers immediately appealed, and, in March 1872, the state supreme court reversed the judgement. Landers went back before the district court and, on October 17, 1872, was again found guilty, but this time was accorded a sentence of 21 years in the state penitentiary. The third murderer escaped with an even lighter sentence. On September 9, 1871, Sidney Ludlow, who was apparently drunk, was thrown from his horse in downtown Oakland. He rose to his feet, waving his pistol. When two of his friends, John D. Tooke and Jacob Andrew Eason moved to peacefully disarm him, Ludlow warned them not to approach and refused to give up his gun. When Tooke tried to take it away, Ludlow shot him. Tooke died two days later. Ludlow was quickly taken to trial, and on October 20, 1871, sentenced to seven years in the state penitentiary at Huntsville.28

In late 1871, the troubles on the west side of the county made their way into the county seat. Four years earlier, on July 15, 1867, a Lavaca County court had issued a warrant to arrest A. Stapleton Townsend for stealing two horses and conspiring to steal some others. Two days later, a posse confronted Townsend near his house, near Oakland, and when Townsend attempted to flee, opened fire. Townsend fell, mortally wounded. The five members of the posse were indicted for shooting Townsend, but the case did not come to trial for four years. On March 18, 1871, three of the defendants were found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in the state penitentiary. Two days later, however, the defense attorneys asked for a new trial, citing among their grounds that they had only just discovered what one of the state's witnesses could testify. That witness, Robert E. Stafford, claimed to have visited Townsend on his deathbed, and heard Townsend state, at first, that one of the defendants, David Snodgrass, had shot him, and then, about an hour later, that because he was running from them, he did not know who had shot him. Apparently, prosecutors had worded their questions so that only the first statement was introduced into evidence. The defendants got their new trials, and, on July 15, 1871, Snodgrass was exonerated. The following March, another of the defendants was acquitted, and the remaining cases were dismissed.29

Stafford's revised testimony evidently infuriated the Townsend family. In any case, there seem to have been hard feelings between the two families when, on December 5, 1871, some five months after the trial, he and Sumner Henry Townsend had an altercation in downtown Columbus. Their disagreement culminated in a shootout in which perhaps fifteen shots were exchanged. Townsend was shot in the arm and shoulder, and Stafford's brother, Benjamin Franklin Stafford, was shot in the ankle. Four days after the incident, State Police Captain Leander Harvey McNelly and one private arrived in town. They arrested, or assisted in arresting, Bob and Ben Stafford, their brother, John Stafford, their cousin, Richard R. Ratcliff, and Townsend. All were subsequently indicted either for carrying weapons or for assault. In judgements handed down in June 1872, February 1873, and February 1874, Ratcliff was fined $125, Ben Stafford $50, and Bob and John Stafford one cent apiece for their parts in the affair. The charges against Townsend were dismissed.30

Around the same time, a substantial community of Jewish storekeepers had begun to develop in Columbus. In or shortly before 1870, Henry M. Ehrenwerth, Henry Friedlander, and John Rosenfield all opened stores in town. They were joined by Leopold Steiner, who opened a grocery store in 1871. The most prosperous of the early Jewish merchants, Ehrenwerth, succeeded so well that in 1875, he was able to construct a two-story brick building which, when it opened, housed both his store, and, on the second floor, a saloon. Shortly thereafter, Rosenfield also moved into a better facility. His old building was taken over by Nimon Rosenfield, who moved from Weimar to open his own store in Columbus. Meanwhile, Leopold Burgheim had opened a drug store next door to Ehrenwerth's. In 1876, Ehrenwerth's clerk, Adolph Senftenberg, eloped with Minnie Merseberger, the daughter of Mayor Henry Merseberger. Though the bride's father had tried to stop the wedding, when the couple returned, he helped his new son-in-law set up a store in his downtown brick building. Senftenberg, working with his brother who lived in New York, would, in the next decade, build his New York Cheap Store into the largest retailer in the county. The curious residents of Colorado County got their first look at a Jewish religious rite on January 9, 1877, when Alex Dreyfus married Dora Morris in Columbus. Two weeks later, and again a month after that, a rabbi came to town, addressing a crowd at the courthouse. By then, Dreyfus, Joseph Frankel, Louis Mendel, David Steiner, and others, had added their presences to the Columbus Jewish community.31

The evident prosperity of the community of Columbus merchants, Jewish and otherwise, was no doubt aided by the establishment of two banks in Columbus in the early 1870s. Whereas earlier Texas constitutions had prohibited the incorporation of banks, the Constitution of 1869 omitted mention of them. By the summer of 1872, efforts were being made to establish a bank in Columbus. Later that year, or perhaps in early 1873, the firm of Frazell & Autrey opened for business. Before the end of 1873, the bank had been reorganized. Autrey left, local attorney Robert Levi Foard became the senior member of the firm, and D. F. Frazell the junior member. The new bank did business as R. L. Foard & Company. The same year, James Hendley Simpson and James Carlton opened another private bank in town, James H. Simpson & Company. The Simpson bank was certainly the more successful. On October 11, 1875, Frazell left the Foard bank. In March 1876, the Simpson bank moved into a concrete building across the street from the courthouse, a sharp contrast to the small wooden structure occupied by the Foard bank. By the end of 1876, Foard's bank had closed.32

There were also significant developments in agriculture. By 1876, many farmers near Osage and Content, including notably Thomas R. Green and Mordecai Gibson Flournoy, had abandoned cotton and begun raising sugar cane; and producing, from it, syrup. Northeast of Columbus, Charles Kessler had taken to making wine. Though Herbemont grapes grew best in his three-acre vineyard, which he planted in 1866, he also produced considerable quantities of Concord and Catawba grapes. By the mid 1870s, his wine was sold in Columbus stores. Two local nurseries, the Pearfield Nursery, which was opened about half way between Frelsburg and Columbus by Fritz Leyendecker in 1876, and the nursery of Clark Finney, which was in business less than a mile north of Alleyton by at least 1877, afforded county residents the easy opportunity to plant their own grapes, as well as pears, peaches, plums, and ornamental trees and shrubs.33

It was ranching, however, which was destined to displace cotton farming as the county's agricultural base. The fantastic success of Robert E. Stafford, who, in ten years, had built a comparatively small investment into a small fortune, inspired many others to imitation. Some attempted to exceed him. In October and November 1876, in what the Colorado Citizen characterized as "a gigantic scheme," the International & Great Northern Railroad took title to 37,760 acres of previously unowned land in the southern part of Colorado County. The railroad intended to put the land under fence, creating a giant pasture on which cattle, hogs, and deer were to be raised, with the resulting beef, pork, venison, cheese, and butter sold for a profit. The fences were to be constructed of wood and maintained by cowboys who were to reside in cottages built near the gates. Ultimately, the constructed fence was to be replaced by a thick hedge, which was to be planted along the fence in the ranch's first year of operation. The property was to contain suitable sheds for the cattle, and numerous water wells, operated by windmills, to constantly fill troughs. Nearly every aspect of the enterprise was revolutionary. At the time, few, if any, ranchers in the county had fences, sheds, or wells. However, the railroad apparently encountered financial problems, and never developed the ranch.34

The International & Great Northern's land grab was merely the largest in a number of similar acquisitions in the 1870s. Between April 1875 and May 1877, five other railroads: the Columbus Tap, the Galveston, Houston, & Henderson, the Houston Tap & Brazoria, the San Antonio & Mexican Gulf, and the Texas & New Orleans, patented 25,595 acres inside the county. In addition, in May 1875 and October 1876, the Waco Manufacturing Company, a textile firm, patented a total of 2905 acres, and, in April 1875, the Galveston and Brazos Navigation Company patented 640 acres. On March 31 and April 3, 1877, the firms of Adam Adams, R. C. Beaty, & M. C. Moulton, and of C. R. Beaty, E. T. Seale & J. M. Forwood, patented another 2500 acres in return for their services in opening channels in the Sabine and Neches Rivers. By the end of 1877, slightly more than 96,000 acres in the county, or about 15% of its total land area, remained unpatented.35

Some land ownership, of course, was still in dispute. By June 6, 1874, when the district court finally heard the case, the lawsuit that had been brought by the heirs of Ursula Veramendi Bowie (Maria Antonia Veramendi Sierra, Teresa Veramendi Rodriguez, and Marco A. Veramendi) to evict the occupants and supposed owners of the James Bowie Survey on the west side of Colorado County had dragged along for seven years. Though the jury quickly brought in a verdict in favor of the defendants, the persistent Veramendis resolved to continue their legal quest to recover what they regarded as their family lands, and appealed, finally to the state supreme court. In 1878, while in session at Galveston, the supreme court ruled in favor of the Veramendi heirs, and mandated that they be granted a new trial, again placing the homes of several residents of western Colorado County in jeopardy. However, on March 5, 1879, the district court again ruled in favor of the defendants, and the Veramendi heirs at long last decided to abandon their suit.36

On October 14, 1872, about six weeks after John C. Journey resigned the post, Governor Davis appointed William Fondren as the new Columbus city marshal. Fondren had been selected by the city government, but only by a narrow, 3-2 margin. In addition to two aldermen, the mayor, John C. Miller, also apparently opposed Fondren. All was well, however, when Fondren failed to qualify. Miller fired off a letter to the governor recommending James W. Fields for the post, and stipulating that more than one hundred citizens had endorsed his candidacy. Davis appointed Fields to the post on November 1.37

Four days later, county voters went to the polls. When the voting ended, on November 8, John R. Brooks had been elected sheriff. Brooks, who beat the incumbent, Good, by ninety votes, took over the post in an orderly manner on January 3, 1873. At the same time, the voters of Colorado and Lavaca Counties elected three representatives to the state legislature. The three Republican candidates, Eugene L. Overbay, Benjamin F. Williams, and Johann Zwiegel, narrowly carried Colorado County, but, on the strength of the vote from Lavaca County, the three Democrats, Thomas A. Hester, Fritz Leyendecker, and George W. Smith, won the seats.38

The City of Columbus was allowed to begin conducting elections again in June 1873, at which time, it seems, the city council again became an all-white, though largely German, institution. Still, conservative distrust of government remained strong. In the summer of 1874, a mild scandal erupted, when the city came under criticism for renting an office for the mayor when it already owned a small building, called the market-house, which contained stalls that were once used by butchers. Already discontented with local tax rates, the citizenry was further aroused by an editorial in the August 20, 1874 issue of the Colorado Citizen, which noted a move to have the city take over the ferry on the north side of town, to make it free, and to raise taxes to pay the expenses of its operation. The Citizen agreed that free access to the city, and therefore to the railroad, ought to be provided to people who lived north of town, but suggested that the only way the citizens could afford it would be to eliminate the city government, which it decried as an expensive luxury. On September 24, the mayor, John D. Gillmore, announced that city tax collection practices had been lax and that he had assigned the city marshal to sweep the city, collecting back taxes. The next day, a number of citizens conducted a formal meeting to question the city's tax collection methods. Seeking relief from what they regarded as onerous taxes, on February 5, 1875, a petition to dissolve the city government, signed by 251 persons, was presented to the state legislature. The city apparently acted quickly to quell the revolt, for eight days later another petition appeared at the capitol, this one stipulating that the city government should not be dissolved because it had "done away with" the exorbitant taxes. By then, the city had renovated the market-house and moved the mayor's office into it. On February 25, however, the mayor assigned the city marshal a new task: beginning on March 1, he was to kill all the unlicensed dogs in town. Forewarned, it must be presumed that many dog owners shortly bought the necessary licenses from the city.39

Better, but not free, access to the city from the north was shortly to follow. The ferry, which had been more or less in place since 1838, was serviceable enough for most of the year, but was frequently too dangerous to use when the river was high. After at least a month of discussion, on November 23, 1874, a number of citizens and businesses pledged to support the construction of a toll bridge by a proposed company to be called the Columbus Bridge Company. On January 20, 1875, the state legislature chartered the company, and mandated that they build a bridge within two years. After preliminary meetings on February 13 and February 20, the company was formally organized at a meeting at the courthouse on February 25, 1875. Under its president, George Witting, the company moved fast. The contract for the construction of the bridge was awarded on April 6, 1875. Materials began arriving shortly thereafter. Construction began in May, and the bridge opened to traffic in late August. The company had had to borrow only about 20% of the money it needed to build the bridge and begin operations.40

With the successful completion of the bridge on the north side of Columbus, the county came under increasing pressure to improve the road leading to it, and to construct a substantial bridge over Cummins Creek. Buoyed by a donation toward the effort by Thomas Wentworth Peirce, who was part owner of and the key executive officer of the railroad, the Columbus Bridge Company decided to undertake the project itself. In July and August 1875, the county appropriated money to the company to help with the construction, and declared that they would henceforth maintain the road between the two bridges as a first class road. In April 1876, the company hired the same contractor who had built their bridge at Columbus. The Cummins Creek project also proceeded smoothly. The bridge opened in the summer of 1876. Though passage over it was free, its presence certainly must have added to the tolls the company collected on the bridge at Columbus. After completing the Cummins Creek project, the bridge company decided to remove itself from the day to day operation of its toll bridge, choosing instead to rent it to independent entrepreneurs each year.41

On December 2, 1873, the Republicans again seized full control of the county's police court. The three incumbent justices of the peace who had refused William M. Smith's sheriff's bond, Henry C. Everett, Daniel W. Jackson, and Fritz Leyendecker, each lost their bids for reelection. They were replaced by, respectively, Ernst Ludwig Theumann, Alfred Schrimsher, and Eugene Himley. The incumbent Republican presiding justice, Jahu W. Johnson, did not seek reelection. His seat went to Leopold Steiner. The fifth justice of the peace, Republican George S. Ziegler, won reelection. Notably, though the five justices of the peace were each designated with a precinct number, because of an interpretation of the voting rules by the governor, all five were elected countywide. When Steiner died, of yellow fever, four days after the election, an election to replace him was set for March 7, 1874. In that election, James Asbury Toliver, who was identified with the Republicans, easily outpolled Basil Gaither Ijams. The new Republican officeholders were seated with a minimum of bonding problems. On January 28 and 29, 1874, Theumann's, Schrimsher's, and Ziegler's bonds were accepted. Himley's was rejected, but was accepted when he next presented it, two months later. The same day, Toliver's bond was accepted, and he began presiding over the court. In the same election, Benjamin F. Williams, a black minister from Columbus, stood as a candidate to regain the seat in the state legislature he had held two years earlier, and he finished high enough in Colorado County to win one of the two seats allocated to the district. However, the voters of Lavaca County did not support him, and Democrat William Shelby Delany of Colorado County and Republican William P. Ballard of Lavaca took the two seats.42

The Columbus city elections of 1875 went better for the Democrats. Though Republican Henry Merseberger defeated Democrat Benjamin Marshall Baker for mayor, the Democrats took control of the city council. Three of the five seats went to men nominated by the Democrats, another to a man endorsed by both parties. None went to blacks. Soon afterward, the Republicans experienced a defection on the county police court. On August 4, 1875, Eugene Himley resigned his seat, evidently to pursue his contemplated career as a photographer. In the special election to fill the position, on September 11, 1875, Benjamin Harris Neal, a physician living near Frelsburg, easily bested his challenger. Neal, unlike Himley, was elected only by voters who lived within his precinct.43

The Republicans, though, demonstrated their continued control of Colorado County in the elections of 1875 and 1876. In the early August 1875 election of candidates to the state's constitutional convention, the three Republican candidates, Jahu W. Johnson, Ernst L. Theumann, and William P. Ballard, outpolled their Democratic challengers, George Millan McCormick, Julius E. Arnim, and John Wilkins Whitfield, in Colorado County. However, on the strength of their vote in Lavaca County, the Democrats were elected. From September 6 through November 24, 1875, they, and other delegates from around the state, most of whom were Democrats, drew up a proposed new constitution for the State of Texas which reorganized county government, eliminating the police court and substituting a commissioners court to be presided over by a county judge. On February 15, 1876, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved the new constitution. At the same time, they elected officials to fill the positions mandated by it. But, had it been left to the voters of Colorado County, the constitution would have failed: 1558 persons voted against it and only 1213 for it. Again, Colorado County by and large elected Republicans to the county's offices, but, on the strength of the vote in Lavaca County, and in the case of the state senate, Gonzales County, sent Democrats to Austin. Wells Thompson, the Columbus attorney, won the three-county race for the senate; Milton V. Kinnison of Lavaca County and Ibzan William Middlebrook of Colorado County took their district's two seats in the state legislature. In the Colorado County judge's race, though, Republican Jahu W. Johnson surprisingly beat William S. Delany, the respected attorney whose campaign centered on the notion that the county judge ought to be a lawyer. In the sheriff's race, Republican James A. Toliver beat Democrat Thomas J. Grace by 200 votes. One of the four new commissioners, Alex F. Kinnison, was a black man. He captured 63% of his precinct's vote. Two other black men, Ellsworth O. Almond, who became inspector of hides and animals, and Caesar C. Eason, who became one of the eight constables in the county, also won elections. The other seats on the commissioners court went to Christian Heydorn, Mike Muckleroy, and Williamson Daniels, whose party affiliations are no longer evident. Almost immediately, Kinnison and Eason published statements in the Colorado Citizen, warily appealing for full public support. The county's police court met for the last time on April 18, 1876.44

By then, it was becoming clear that party differences had begun to blur. For the Columbus city elections of June 5, 1877, the Democrats and the Republicans nominated the same man, Benjamin M. Baker, for mayor. Both parties also endorsed one candidate for alderman, and candidates for city recorder and city treasurer. Three of the other council seats were taken by Democratic nominees; the last was taken by a Republican, a black man named Edmund Eason. The marshal's office went to the Republican nominee, Jesse Joyner Harrison, though his opponent was longtime Republican John R. Brooks, who was evidently running as a Democrat. Harrison enjoyed the advantage of incumbency, having been appointed to the office in January 1875. Members of both parties also praised the performance of Jahu W. Johnson, despite the fact that, in November 1876, by virtue of a vote of the commissioners court, he became the first Colorado County judge to collect a salary. When he resigned, on September 24, 1877, he was replaced by a Democrat, Samuel Daviess Delany, the brother of the man Johnson had defeated in 1876. The new judge had only recently come to the county from Kentucky.45

Meanwhile, two of Colorado County's leading Democrats had made great advances in the state government. When, on December 1, 1876, Governor Richard Coke resigned to become a United States senator, and Lieutenant Governor Richard Bennett Hubbard assumed the office of governor, Thompson, who had been elected president pro tempore, became the presiding officer of the state senate. Only three months earlier, one of his two Columbus law partners, George M. McCormick, had been named assistant state attorney general. Two years later, McCormick was elected attorney general in his own right, though, running as a Democrat, he did not carry his home county.46

Whatever the true population of the county in 1870, it is certain that during the following decade, the population rose markedly. The rise was partly attributable to an organized effort made to encourage people to settle in the area. As early as 1871, an Immigrant Aid Association, to help immigrants meet their immediate needs for food and shelter, had been formed in Columbus. In January 1871, when some 750 immigrants passed through town, the association greeted them warmly. They were provided with a great many more immigrants to greet that year by virtue of the efforts of one man, Mathias Malsch, who sponsored the immigration of about 850 central Europeans, most of whom were Czech, to Texas in 1871. Malsch reported that his first shipload left Bremen on March 13, 1871 and arrived in Galveston on May 21; and that his last arrived on December 20. The great majority of his immigrants were Catholic, though some were Lutheran. Five of the immigrants died at sea and a sixth at Galveston. According to Malsch, 266 of them settled in Colorado County, with the rest settling in Austin, Fayette, and Bastrop Counties. In addition to paying for passage, because few of the immigrants had the means to immediately sustain themselves, Malsch also provided food, livestock, and farm implements. Apparently, the immigrants were to repay him from the profits of their labor.47

After his controversial stint as deputy sheriff, Rowan Green took up the practice of law. Shortly, however, he too had made it his business to encourage settlement in the area, and, not coincidentally, to sell real estate. He made no attempt to attract foreigners, turning his efforts instead to his home state, Georgia. He went to Georgia in August 1874, carrying with him circulars which trumpeted the value of moving to Colorado County. He returned to Columbus in September, having set the wheels of migration in progress. His efforts began to pay off in late 1875, when a number of families apparently followed his suggestion. The same year, Green wrote a long letter praising the county which was published in at least one Georgia newspaper. In 1876, he expanded the letter into a pamphlet; the following year he expanded the pamphlet and reprinted it. Whether spurred by Green or not, many more migrants from other parts of the United States arrived in Colorado County in early 1877. These new settlers, like those from Europe, generally were welcomed warmly, at least partly for political reasons. As the local newspaper acidly noted on October 19, 1871, "the arrival of large numbers of honest immigrants who, to a man, want a white man's government" were seen by the conservatives as "a stunning argument to the negro" who "want the African floodgates opened, and cannibals imported to counteract the influence of these white people upon the political status of the State." By 1878, however, even some of the white immigrants had begun to grate on the locals; the county, the local newspaper complained, had become overrun "with impecunious tramps, who cannot get work, and finally resort to crime."48

Throughout the 1870s, the railroad continued to drive the economic and demographic development of the county. On June 11, 1868, in a meeting at Harrisburg, the directors and president, Sidney Sherman, of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railroad acknowledged that they were hopelessly in debt and unable to proceed as a company. They were in default on a mortgage they had taken out on November 1, 1860; they owed a contractor, William M. Sledge, a considerable amount of money; the dispute over ownership of the rails used to construct the Columbus Tap Railroad, which they had acquired, had never been resolved. Over the next eighteen months, the railroad's many problems were worked out, and a group of investors, many of whom lived in Boston, Massachusetts, emerged as the new owners. During the same months, the company's new managers undertook major improvements to the dilapidated railroad, making extensive repairs to the track, installations, and rolling stock, and purchasing new rolling stock. In addition, the Brazos Iron Bridge Company constructed a bridge across the Brazos River to replace the awkward and dangerous barge system which had, until then, been used by the railroad. By 1870, the railroad was ready to proceed with its westward extension and approached the state legislature to amend its charter. A year earlier, they had decided to extend their line to San Antonio, rather than to Austin as had been the original plan. On July 27, 1870, the legislature sanctioned the new plan, and changed the name of the railroad to the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railroad. In 1875, the railroad built a roundhouse on the west side of Columbus, and in 1878, a cattle pen which enclosed some two acres a mile or two west of town. By then, they had extended their track beyond the county line. Though the railroad had begun acquiring rights of way across the lands west of Columbus as early as August 1871, they began doing so in earnest in late January 1873. Over the next two months, they acquired at least ten rights of way on the west side of the county. They also planned two new depots.49

The G. H. & S. A. pieced together the first new depot site, some seven miles west of Columbus, in two agreements, one reached with Gail Borden, Jr., on March 7, 1873, the other with William Stapleton two days later. The depot and its surrounding planned town was to be named Borden, and was to be laid out on land on Harvey's Creek which until then had been owned by Borden and Stapleton. Half of all profits from the sale of lots were to go to the railroad; the other half to either Borden or Stapleton. Stapleton already lived in the area, as did both Gail Borden and his brother, John Pettit Borden. The Bordens also operated a hotel, and an industry, the Borden Meat Preserving Company, there. Since 1849, when he invented the meat biscuit, a consumable though not delectable food product which resisted decay, Gail Borden had concerned himself with preserving food. His patent on condensed milk had made him a considerable fortune. Between May and October 1871, Borden acquired five tracts of land west of Columbus. By March 1872, he had begun construction of the meat packing plant, and the place had become known as Bordenville. On October 3, 1872, he conveyed all of his land in the area to his new company, the Borden Meat Preserving Company. By March 1873, in addition to the hotel, two schools (one for whites and one for blacks) had been constructed in the area, and Borden's home site included a garden and an orchard. The company's main building, in which up to 25 head of cattle per day could be processed, was a two-story structure of wood and stone. It produced roasted beef and, from the less desirable cuts, a less desirable extract of beef. The considerable water it used was piped to the building from a reservoir on the creek. The company's nearby slaughterhouse was adjoined by 150 acres under fence, where the unfortunate cattle were allowed to spend their last days. The new town of Borden, ambitious in its plat, grew very slowly if at all. It received its post office, with John Borden as postmaster, on January 19, 1874. Eight days earlier, its most famous resident and the driving force behind all its industry, Gail Borden, had died. The beef packing plant would operate, under the guidance of Borden's son, for only a few more years. By the summer of 1878, it was out of business, at least in part because of its inability to pay the railroad's shipping charges.50

The railroad acquired its second depot site, in far western Colorado County some seven miles west of Borden, from Daniel Washington Jackson on April 22, 1873. Jackson agreed to provide the railroad with suitable land for a depot, and the railroad agreed to lay out a town on a 320 acre tract and to split the profits from the sale of the lots with Jackson. By June 20, the depot was in place. Jackson formally conveyed one-half interest in the town tract to the railroad, specifying that some lots should be reserved for "churches, schools, parks public places, & burial grounds." By August, the town had been surveyed and laid off into lots, and given the name Weimar. On August 28 and 29, the first two lots were sold, the first to William Herndon and the second to Alex Roeber. Only four months later, on December 23, 1873, Weimar was given a post office. A telegraph office was installed a year later. In terms of population growth, Weimar was far and away the most immediately successful of the railroad towns in Colorado County. Weimar's depot provided a link to eastern markets for the farming communities of Oakland, Content, Osage, and the small Fayette County community of Holman, all of which had considerable populations, all of which were just a few miles away, and all of which immediately declined or virtually disappeared. Weimar grew so fast that on July 21, 1875, less than two years after the first lots were sold, the citizens of the town petitioned the county police court to hold an election to consider incorporation. On August 26, 39 persons voted to approve incorporation, and only ten voted against. Five days later, on August 31, 1875, the county declared that the town was incorporated. In the city's first elections, held on September 15, 1875, Herndon was elected mayor and Larkin D. Secrest marshal.51

By early 1876, citizens of Schulenburg and Flatonia, each of which were recently established railroad towns in neighboring Fayette County, were urging the citizens of Weimar to separate their thriving new city from Colorado County and join in establishing a new county, which was to be named Menefee County. But the citizens of Weimar were against the proposition. By then, though the city boasted fewer than 500 residents, Weimar had two schools: the Weimar Institute, taught by Patrick Henry Hargon, and the Preparatory and Classical School for Males and Females, taught by Henry Columbus Quin. By September 1876, Quin had added three more teachers to his faculty. In 1877, a man named Schneider opened a third school in Weimar, this one conducted in German. By the end of that year, there were fourteen dry goods and grocery stores in town, plus two drug stores, two wagon shops, two hotels (the St. James and the Commercial), a restaurant and three saloons, three livery stables, three shoe stores, a tailor shop, and a saddle shop run by A. F. Rose. A third hotel had been destroyed by fire in October. There were also Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges, each of which had established a cemetery. Late that year, Jackson, Weimar's founder, finally moved to town, where he opened a livery stable.52

To extend its line west, the railroad had selected a route through Columbus that effectively bypassed its depots. Realizing that the agreement that had been reached between the railroad and William Jefferson Jones and George W. Smith on August 11, 1867, whereby the railroad would pay Jones and Smith for passage across their property on the north side of Columbus, would, over time, cost them a fortune, the railroad set out to find another way to cross the west side of Columbus. Except for Jones's and Smith's vacant lots on the north side of town, houses and commercial buildings blocked their way. That left the obvious alternative: a city street. On February 11, 1873, the railroad secured the permission of the City of Columbus to construct track on either Crockett or Preston Streets, and shortly afterward, began laying their track along Crockett. However, the new route created two problems for the railroad in town. Thereafter, westbound trains stopping in Columbus had to be diverted from the main line to the depots in the north part of town, then back up onto or across the bridge before proceeding; and eastbound trains had to stop on the bridge and back up to the depots. Secondly, the new route down Crockett Street did not afford the railroad enough room to build their customary side track, on which freight trains could stop to be loaded and unloaded while other trains passed through town. In early 1874, the railroad moved to solve these problems. On February 24, 1874, they asked the Columbus city council for titles to Preston Street between Back and Travis Streets, to the portion of Bowie Street north of Preston, and to a lot on the corner of Crockett and Travis Streets in the heart of the city's commercial district. They hoped to move their passenger depot to the downtown lot and to construct a side track along Preston Street and move their freight depot to the requested part of Bowie Street. They used as leverage, the possibility that both depots would be moved to a farm of about 20 acres west of town that the railroad had purchased on March 21, 1873. In response to the requests, a group of citizens raised the money necessary to purchase the downtown lot for the railroad. By April, the passenger depot had been moved to its new location on the corner of Crockett and Travis Streets. The city, however, was apparently reluctant to give up Preston Street, and, on June 9, 1874, the railroad, again using the twenty-acre site west of town as its threatened alternative, asked for additional land on the south side of Crockett Street for its side track. On August 31, the city authorized the railroad to build a second track on Crockett Street, and to move their freight depot to a site about one block west of their passenger depot on the new side track. Jones and Smith, one must suppose, vigorously opposed allowing the railroad to have a right-of-way along Crockett Street. Jones, however, had moved to Galveston, and could do little from his home there. And, because of his previous political positions and racist attitude, Smith's protests certainly fell on deaf ears. The mayor and aldermen who granted the right-of-way had been appointed by the Republican governor, and three of the five aldermen were black. Smith, it turned out, had little time to fume over his lost revenue, or over the control of the city government by Republicans.53

On October 11, 1873, a Wharton County Deputy Constable named James Roan arrested a black man in southern Colorado County. The man resisted arrest, and Roan struck him over the head with his revolver. That night, when neither Roan or any member of his family was there, a number of bullets were fired into his home. The next night, two black brothers named Wright left the plantation where they worked to go to Eagle Lake to sell pecans, and never returned. When eyewitnesses placed Roan and a party of men in the area on the night in question, about 75 or 100 local blacks secured arms, resolved to find the Wrights, and to take action against Roan if it was warranted. Sheriff John R. Brooks got wind of the gathering and went to Eagle Lake with a posse. He spoke to the assembled blacks, imploring them to disperse, then returned to Columbus to await developments. Soon, the bodies of the missing Wright brothers had been found. On October 16, Brooks returned to the area, discovered that many of the armed blacks had gone into Wharton County, seemingly to look for Roan, and was taken to the spot where the bodies of the Wrights still lay, about three miles southeast of Eagle Lake. The two men had been tied together and coldly shot dead. The next day, United States Marshal Thomas Peck Ochiltree dispatched his deputy, M. K. Canfield, to Colorado County to investigate the incident and quell what had been depicted in the press as a potential riot. There was to be no riot. On October 19, a black man named John Wesley Brown was walking on a road about four miles from Columbus when he noticed two white men on horses. Brown recognized one of the men as Thomas J. Humphreys, a man who had threatened him only the day before because he had not paid a grocery bill. To avoid confrontation, Brown left the road. Humphreys, though he seemed not to have recognized Brown, nonetheless regarded his conduct as suspicious, and followed. As he approached, Brown turned, produced a pistol, and shot Humphreys two or three times. Humphreys died the next day. His death may have assuaged the hostility raging through the black community. Certainly it was further mitigated by the growing general awareness that one of the greatest calamities in the county's history had already begun.54

Even as Humphreys lay dying of his wounds, a number of persons in Columbus had been diagnosed with yellow fever. At least three of them would beat Humphreys to the graveyard; within a week, he had been joined by perhaps twenty more. The epidemic was preceded by a slight flood of the river on October 2, which left behind it enough stagnant pools to breed the hoards of mosquitoes which would soon enough spread the disease. The city was, by then, in deplorable condition. Weeds clogged the streets and covered the many vacant lots; numerous privies had gone far too long without the application of lime; horse, cow, and other manures dotted the streets; and carcasses of dogs, hogs, and others of the many types of animals kept by residents had been allowed to remain where they fell, and they, along with the viscera and other offal of butchered animals, were decaying in the unseasonable heat. Worse, the city council had banned hogs from the streets, a measure which advocates of public health decried, for the free-running hogs at least had consumed some of the garbage that residents discarded in their yards and on the streets.55

Again, as it had been at Alleyton six years earlier, the outbreak of yellow fever was almost certainly the result of the arrival of the railroad, and most particularly of railroad workers, who provided the local mosquitoes with the necessary serum to spread among the previously uninfected population. The first few victims could be tied closely to the railroad. The first to die, Gustav Sachs, worked at a lumber yard near the freight depot. He died on October 18, less than 24 hours after he became ill. His illness was immediately diagnosed as yellow fever. Three to five more persons died within a day or two. The old Brunson Saloon, a wooden structure which had been converted into a boarding house for railroad laborers, and which was characterized by the stench of various alcoholic drinks and the human products which their consumption caused, all of which had spilled onto the floor for years, was an early hotbed of the disease. As news of the fever spread through town, normal activity ceased, and residents began packing up to seek refuge in the country. On October 20, the district judge adjourned court and authorized the county sheriff and his deputies to remove the prisoners from the jail. They took the prisoners to a place outside town, where, being poorly guarded, most of them took the opportunity to escape. For two weeks, Benjamin M. Baker abandoned publication of the Colorado Citizen to flee from the disease. Some of the town's physicians also fled to the country; others became ill themselves. By October 20, only two doctors, John Henry Bowers and Robert Henry Harrison, remained on duty in town. Unaware of the cause of the disease or of any cure for it, they fed their severely ill patients with Borden's extract of beef and otherwise ministered as best they could. By October 21, more than 75 people in town had been diagnosed with the fever. On that day and the next, fully a dozen, including George W. Smith, died. Daniel Webster Harcourt died on October 21; his wife, Lue Ella, on the 22nd. Help arrived from other cities: in New Orleans, $500 was raised to help victims; from Galveston, railroad employee Hardy Eddins brought nurses and medical supplies. On November 5, Peter Joseph Hilden, a Columbus tailor, died. He had witnessed the deaths of his wife and three of his children in the preceding few days. The successful attorney Edward Musgrove Glenn died on November 14. John C. Miller, the mayor of Columbus, died on November 18. His wife died two days later. The city marshal, James W. Fields, died on December 1. Albert Dickson Darden, the son of William John Darden and Fannie Amelia Darden, who, following in his father's footsteps had been admitted to practice law little more than a year earlier, died on December 4. Leopold Steiner, the Jewish merchant who had been elected presiding justice a few days earlier, died on December 6. By the time the epidemic abated in late December, it had left so great a scar on the community that it would be remembered for a century. At least sixty people had died.56

After Fields died, the city appointed Joseph P. Harris, whose own son had also recently died in the epidemic, to assume the role of city marshal. The appointment may have raised a few eyebrows, for Harris had a somewhat checkered past. He already had killed at least one man, and probably had killed two. In addition, from November 25, 1872 until January 22, 1873, he had served as a private in the hated state police force. Moreover, he had served as marshal before, and definitely without distinction. He had been appointed to the post by Governor Edmund J. Davis on December 9, 1870. On November 26, 1871, he and his future brother-in-law, James McDowell, had gone in search of Bartley Harbert, a black Columbus city alderman and member of the state guards, apparently intending to assault him. Harbert got wind of the affair, armed himself, enlisted the aid of a friend, and confronted Harris and McDowell. Soon, Harbert and McDowell had each drawn pistols. Though no shots were exchanged, Harris had taken the opportunity to pistol-whip Harbert, then unduly alarmed the populace by informing the mayor, with no justification whatever, that local blacks were on the verge of a riot. Little more than three months later, in early March 1872, Harris had another physical altercation with a local black official, the local state policeman, Fayette Yancy. The following month, under staunch criticism by local Republicans, he had been removed as marshal. On December 14, 1873, very shortly after he returned to the job, Harris was sent to investigate a disturbance at a residence on Dewees Street. He was accompanied by, of all people, Bartley Harbert, who was acting in his capacity as a special Columbus policeman. When Harris and Harbert arrived at the house, the tenant, a black man named Pierce Henderson, opened the front door. Harbert waited on the porch as Harris entered the house, gun in hand. Reportedly, Henderson was holding a rifle. True to form, the trigger-happy Harris opened fire, killing Henderson. Though Harris seemingly suffered little immediate criticism for the killing, less than a year later, he was again in trouble. On October 14, 1874, he was indicted for using his office to extort money from a local merchant. Finally, in January 1875, amid a swirl of rumors that Henderson's rifle had been leaning in a corner rather than in his hands when he was killed, Harris resigned. Five months later, on June 14, 1875, a grand jury indicted him for murdering Henderson. He was brought to trial, but acquitted.57

In addition to increased economic prosperity and increased exposure to infectious diseases like yellow fever, the railroad also familiarized the citizens of Colorado County with the grievous industrial accident. Such accidents had happened before, and they continued to happen---for instance, David F. Whitney was mauled and killed at George S. Turner's sawmill on March 9, 1871, and Josiah Shaw was killed at his farm on November 1, 1877 when he got caught in the machinery of his gin---but never had they occurred with such frequency. In May 1874, a train wreck near Weimar killed an engineer and fireman. On October 8, 1874, another railroad employee, who had been mangled by an engine a week earlier, died. Two weeks later, a man named Willis McDonald was killed in a railroad accident about five miles west of Columbus. On February 21, 1875, one man was killed and another injured as crews attempted to place a derailed train back on the track near Rocky Hill. The following summer, Nelson Childress, a citizen of Columbus, slipped near the track and had his arm cut off by a passing train. In June 1876, a newsboy died after his legs were run over when he fell between two cars. On March 10, 1877, a man was mauled when he slipped while trying to board a moving train at Borden. He was taken to the Wootton Hotel in Columbus, where he died nine days later. Another railroad employee was severely injured in October 1877, and two railroad employees were killed in 1878.58

The railroad also introduced the citizens of Columbus to what would come to be called "noise pollution," as trains rumbled through the previously quiet town, blowing whistles and ringing bells. Other types of pollution had long been present. The yellow fever epidemic had made the community more aware of the dangers of leaving water standing and weeds growing; however, the increased awareness did not always translate into action. Horses, cattle, pigs, and animals of other sorts, alive and dead, were always present on the streets; people bathed at much wider intervals than is now customary; garbage rotted in yards; unsanitized outhouses and stables fouled the air. In September 1876, a jury complained mightily when it found itself sequestered in the courthouse overnight, unable to escape from the odor of the public privy. They, and the rest of the citizens, also had to contend with the stench from William L. Haskell's brick factory north of the railroad track in Columbus, which was so pronounced that residents implored the city council to take action. That problem, at least, finally resolved itself in September 1877, when, after three years of operation, Haskell stopped making bricks.59

The smell of gunpowder also filled the air. When aggrieved, Colorado County residents seemed to think little of producing and using deadly weapons. Indeed, one of the county's representatives at the Constitutional Convention of 1875, George McCormick, spoke out against a clause regarding dueling, stating that in "cases where a man's honor or that of his family was concerned . . . he must fight or be branded as a coward." Cowardice was apparently largely absent from his home county, for the times there were characterized by an increasing incidence of gunplay and murder, much of which was sensational. The most peculiar such incident occurred on September 29, 1874, when Amos English and Matt Woodlief, neither of whom was a resident of the county, had a gunfight in the middle of the afternoon on Milam Street near the Kulow Hotel in downtown Columbus. Both men, apparently, were gamblers who roamed from town to town. Woodlief had been in town since at least September 23, gambling in a local saloon. On the morning of the gunfight, Woodlief and English had played cribbage, with English ostensibly winning $20. However, Woodlief, claiming that English had cheated, refused to pay until English produced a pistol. When the two men met again that evening, Woodlief still had blood in his eye. He courteously asked English if he was armed; and when English said that he was not, Woodlief told him to go get his pistol. While English was gone, some of Woodlief's local friends persuaded him to forget about the matter, and he took his pistol to his hotel room. By this time, English had gotten his pistol, and was out on the streets looking for Woodlief. When he found him, about three o'clock that afternoon, Woodlief threw up his arms and protested that, this time, he was unarmed. English offered to let him return to his hotel, the Kulow, for his pistol, which Woodlief promptly did. When Woodlief emerged, English began firing. In all, the two men exchanged eight shots. Woodlief was not hit, but English was hit twice, and died about five hours later. Woodlief was quickly arrested, and, in less than a month's time, tried and acquitted.60

In 1875, the county was again forced to deal with its long standing problems in incarcerating suspected and convicted criminals. The jail, which the county had built of a locally created type of concrete, had proven to be among the least secure such facilities in Texas history. The first of what would be four jail breaks in 1875 came on January 9, when three prisoners burrowed through the wall. When four more prisoners escaped on April 27, 1875, the Colorado Citizen characterized it as "the semi-annual escape" and lamented that, though the jail was comfortable enough in the summer, it was a pity that prisoners had to be confined "in such an airy tenement in winter time." After two escapes in four months, the commissioners court finally moved to improve the jail. Since 1873, when the enabling legislation was passed by the state legislature, the county had raised money by means of a special tax to construct a new jail. On June 1, 1875, far short of the necessary funds for a new building, they appropriated the money to improving the existing jail, and hired a contractor to install two new cells on the second floor. The cells were not installed until late August, by which time there had been two more jail breaks.61

In the first, the structure itself was not at fault. On July 28, a guard, when feeding the prisoners, carelessly left the doors to both cells open. The three prisoners knocked the guard down and, under fire, scrambled out the front door. This time the Citizen wryly commented, "no announcement is yet made of the next exodus." It came less than a week later, and was unusual in that both escapees were women. Milly Walker and her daughter, Fanny Walker, had been arrested in connection with perhaps the most discussed homicide of the year. The elder Walker, it seems, intended to marry a man named Jim Perry, by whom she had already had a child. By some means, Perry's brother, Mose, stopped the wedding. Walker responded by inviting Mose Perry to share her birthday cake. Shortly, he developed symptoms local physicians associated with strychnine poisoning, and died. Led by Robert Henry Harrison, a team of physicians tested the contents of Perry's stomach, using distillations from it to kill both a frog and a mouse, and pronouncing that, as many citizens had already concluded, Perry had indeed been murdered. Walker's trial, in June, ended with a hung jury; ten jurors were convinced she was guilty, two that she was innocent. Her daughter's trial was postponed. On August 2, the two women cut a hole through the wall of the jail and escaped. They were still at large in October, when their new trial date arrived. By February 1876, however, they had been arrested. That month, Fanny Walker had a baby, which was born in jail, and which prompted a sympathetic judge to postpone the trial. The following September 13, when the case came up again, the state dropped its charges against Milly Walker, and Fanny Walker was found not guilty.62

By then, a new sensational murder case had occupied the public consciousness. In February 1876, Mathias Malsch, who had, since his 1871 immigration initiatives, practiced law, was on the road from Frelsburg to Columbus when he encountered another attorney, Emile Houillion, riding the other direction. Houillion suspected that Malsch had had an illicit affair with his wife, Belle. He knew that Malsch had accused him of forging a deed, and had therefore greatly damaged his practice. Believing that no one else was around, Houillion drew a pistol and began shooting. Malsch was hit at least once, and was thrown to the ground by his horse. He quickly scrambled to his feet and began running down the road. Houillion pursued him, still shooting. He shot Malsch again, then dismounted and stabbed him three times. Leaving Malsch dying or dead, Houillion rode back to Columbus, discarding his knife in a field along the way. In town, he encountered Robert Henry Harrison, a local physician, and reported that he had had a shootout with Malsch. Harrison and another physician, Joseph W. Brown, rode to the site. They found a small crowd gathered around Malsch's dead body. Even in his first conversation with Harrison, Houillion had blamed Malsch for firing the first shot. Houillion did not know, however, that two young men had seen the murder, and that they were prepared to dispute his story. Following their lead, authorities soon found Houillion's knife. They arrested Houillion shortly thereafter. His trial began on March 15, 1877. Over the next three days, fifty or more witnesses appeared, many of whom presented sensational evidence regarding Belle Houillion's apparent affair with Malsch. Houillion claimed that he knew nothing of the affair, and that he had shot Malsch only in self defense. He denied that the knife was his, and speculated that some unknown party had killed Malsch with it after he had left him wounded in the road but before he returned with help. The trial ended on March 17. Noting that the evidence indicated Houillion had pursued the fleeing Malsch for more than 100 yards, that his wife's affair was common knowledge, and that Malsch was unarmed, the jury returned to court on Monday, March 19, with a conviction. Houillion was sentenced to be hanged on April 20, 1878. In response to a petition signed by many local citizens, including Sheriff James A. Toliver, Governor Richard B. Hubbard, Jr. granted Houillion a reprieve until May 24. However, on May 22, Hubbard denied his plea for a commutation. On the night of May 23, Houillion wrote letters to his wife, to Toliver, and to a woman in Austin County, then retired to his bed. At about three o'clock in the morning, he called to the jailor, Monroe Harrison, who found him sweating profusely. Harrison called Toliver, who determined that Houillion had ingested poison. He was dead before a doctor could arrive. It was quickly determined that the poison had been wrapped inside a page from a March 27, 1878 edition of a Galveston newspaper, but no one ever discovered who had delivered it to Houillion. He claimed, in his letter to Toliver, to have had the poison in his possession for some time. He justified his suicide to his wife, who evidently had religious convictions against it, arguing "as they are murdering me I have the right to prevent the same the best way I can." In both letters, he continued to insist he was innocent.63

By 1877, the citizens had become accustomed to one shocking murder per year. That year, the victim was Joseph W. Brown, the Columbus physician. Brown was in Houston attending a fair on May 25, 1877 when he was invited to dinner at the Kennedy Hotel by a friend. As the men ate at a communal table, an argument broke out among two other diners. The argument quickly degenerated into a fight, and a third man, William Lafayette Grissom, pulled one of the men from the room. Tempers were still running high when Grissom returned. He and Brown briefly exchanged words. Grissom later testified that he saw Brown reach into his coat, apparently to draw a pistol. Grissom quickly drew his gun and fired two shots. The first, aimed at Brown's head, missed. The second hit Brown in the chest. He fell forward onto the table, then rolled onto the floor. Moments later, he died. As bystanders attempted to minister to him, his outer garments were removed and searched. He had been unarmed. Grissom was brought to trial on February 26, 1878. He was convicted, but he immediately appealed. The following June, his conviction was overturned because the jury had not been properly sequestered. He was retried and again convicted. Finally, in March 1880, the court of appeals affirmed his conviction, and he began serving a 99 year sentence.64

These sensational murders were by no means isolated. Violence and murder permeated the county. On October 22, 1871, at the culmination of an argument, Ben F. Gee struck John B. Harvey in the head with a shotgun, killing him. In Alleyton, on May 26, 1872, Colonel Samuel Stoudenmier and George S. Walton had an argument at the local Sunday School. Later that day, when Stoudenmier visited Walton to iron out their differences, two or three insults were exchanged, and Stoudenmier punched Walton in the face. Walton retreated into his home, emerged with a pistol, and shot at Stoudenmier. At Eagle Lake, on May 3, 1873, Nat Morris went a step further, shooting and killing William L. Wynn. In Columbus on September 11, 1873, livery stable owner Arthur Sherrill was stabbed four times by an itinerant salesman named O. M. McKinney, with whom he had argued. Though Sherrill was severely wounded, he recovered. Near Oakland, on April 1, 1875, in the course of trying to help Deputy Sheriff Christian Heydorn arrest Oscar Hargon, R. Gideon Blakeney shot and killed Hargon. In Oakland, on May 12, 1877, Thomas A. Woolridge, who had gone to town to get a haircut, got into a heated argument with one of his tenant farmers named Joe Holland, who was upset that his crops had been damaged by cattle. As he left, Holland threw a parting remark, but tripped near the gate when attempting to run from the scene. The enraged Woolridge taking advantage of the fall, leaped onto Holland, and in the ensuing scuffle, slashed him in the arm with a pocket knife. Holland, fully conscious, stalked off and bled to death.65

Though there were also many incidents of black-on-black violence---notably the killings of Thomas Stanley by William Long on November 20, 1873 and of Lee Henderson by an unidentified black man in March 1875---blacks, especially those caught in rural areas, often became the targets of white terrorism. In the last days of 1870, two black men were shot on the Gonzales Road west of Columbus. The first, Henry Lee, was killed, the second, Peter Roach, only wounded. Other black men were killed, apparently by whites, in rural areas in late April or early May 1871, on August 8, 1873, in November 1873, on September 19, 1874, in December 1875, on December 1 and December 22, 1876, and on February 11, 1878. Often, the assailants went unidentified. So too was the assailant who shot a black man named Alex Harrison in the head in Columbus, killing him, on December 24, 1877.66

Probably, most of the blacks killed in rural areas had been suspected of rustling, for local cattlemen did not hesitate to shoot such individuals. Following the practice of the day, ranchers let their cattle roam freely and unattended across the unfenced countryside, rounding them up twice a year to brand and sell them. For most of the year, they were easy prey for rustlers, most of whom, in Colorado County, slaughtered stray cows for their meat. Despite the growing concern of ranchers, the county official whose duties and powers were most pertinent toward mitigating the rustling problem, the inspector of hides and animals, found little support for his activities, and sometimes encountered active, violent resistance. Though it is not known to have been a factor in the incident, at the time he was killed, William L. Wynn was serving as a deputy inspector. No doubt the situation did not improve when a black man, Ellsworth O. Almond, was elected to the office in 1876. Almost immediately, Almond fell victim to an assault. By then, ranchers had determined to protect their own cattle. All around the county, vigilante groups began to emerge. In February 1876, ranchers on the Navidad River formed the Navidad Stock Association to guard their cattle against theft. The following month, the citizens of Weimar followed suit, stating that they were forming the Protection Society of Colorado and Fayette Counties because "depredations have and are now being committed upon persons and property in our vicinity, which the officers of the law have heretofore failed to arrest." On July 10, forty-nine blacks who lived in or near Eagle Lake formed a similar society, pledging "to report to the officers of the law all stealing of cattle and hogs, and in fact the stealing or depredating upon property of any kind whatsoever, whether said property belongs to white or colored."67

Their effort, apparently, was too little too late. In July and August 1876, violence which had its roots in the conflict over rustling near Eagle Lake escalated into a range war. James Underwood Frazar and his brother, Newton Ford Frazar, who ran a store in the Eagle Lake Bottom, had come under suspicion in the recent murder of two black men, and a number of area blacks had threatened to attack their store in retaliation. Robert E. Stafford, whose herd of cattle had grown to enormous proportions and who no doubt suffered as much as or more than anybody from the rustling, seized upon the opportunity. He, together with a number of cowboys who worked for him and a number of men from Eagle Lake, rallied to the Frazar brother's defense. As Stafford and his cowboys helped the Frazars evacuate their store, many of Eagle Lake's terrified women and children fled their homes for temporary accommodations in Columbus. Over the next several days, in a series of small shootouts over a wide area, six more black men were killed. Two of them, Bony Cotton and Lewis Gaskin, were regarded as notorious cattle thieves. Neither any of Stafford's cowboys or any other white man is known to have been shot. Finally, on August 9, Sheriff Toliver took a posse to Eagle Lake to investigate. The same day, he was joined by a posse of men from Weimar led by Constable Larkin Secrest. Confronting the combatants where he found them, Toliver ordered everyone to return to their homes. The last skirmish occurred on August 10, as Stafford and his cowboys were leaving the area. One account has it that they were ambushed by five black men, another that they encountered two blacks riding near the river. In any case, the Staffords opened fire, wounding one man and killing a horse. Again, neither Stafford nor any of his cowboys were wounded. Having successfully separated the warring parties, Toliver, with twelve men, remained behind to count and identify the dead.68

Not even the horrible events near Eagle Lake stopped the rustling, though it may have shifted the bulk of it to the northern part of the county. On October 8, at a meeting in Frelsburg, a number of citizens organized themselves into a company "for the suppression of lawlessness and crime," with Fritz Leyendecker as captain. Each member of the company was to report "any violation of law that may come to his knowledge" to Leyendecker; Leyendecker was to be ready to call his company together to help "the proper authorities" make the necessary arrests. Two months later, a series of fires destroyed much of the pasture north and northeast of Columbus. Though no arrests were made, authorities suspected the fires were deliberately set to drive cattle to the river and creek bottoms, where they were killed, then butchered and/or skinned by rustlers.69

An apparently small but vocal group of people in Columbus continued to decry the consumption of alcohol, even in moderate amounts, and what they regarded as the inevitable and deplorable consequences of intemperance, gambling and swearing. The temperance movement must have gained a boost on October 28, 1871, when a local jeweler named Adolphus Krauth dropped dead inside Ilse's Saloon from, it was later publicly declared, "collapse of the lungs, superinduced by the excessive use of stimulants." Early the next year, former members of the defunct local temperance society were encouraged to convene at the courthouse. But the movement hardly progressed until the autumn of 1874, when a travelling temperance lecturer and minister named James Young organized a chapter of the United Friends of Temperance, with meetings every Thursday night, in Columbus. By the end of the year, the group had 112 members, 66 women and 56 men. In 1877, they, and like-minded individuals from around the county, forced an election to decide whether or not liquor ought to be prohibited within Colorado County. But the measure failed miserably. The election, held on March 17, drew more than two thousand voters, and nearly 90% of them voted against prohibition.70

In the preceding years, the introduction of organized religious activity into the white community in Columbus had begun to lose its momentum. In 1871, one of the driving forces behind the growth of the American Lutheran Church in town, John Jacob Scherer, moved back to Virginia. After his departure, the Lutherans, who had always been strongly interested in education, lost control of Colorado College. Scherer's congregation had purchased a lot across the street from the college building on September 17, 1866. They sold the lot, on which they had perhaps already constructed a church, to the Columbus German Lutheran Church on March 19, 1872. The new owners certainly had a church on the site; however, they did not hold onto it for long. On September 16, 1872, they borrowed $370 from George Billert. Though the note came due a year later, the church failed to pay. Billert apparently did not press for payment, and was soon occupied with other matters. Both he and his thirteen year old daughter, Caroline, contracted yellow fever. She died on November 20, 1873, and he ten days later. His widow, Mollie, remarried the following year, and she and her new husband, Charles Olaf Nelson, approached the church for the money. The church paid the Nelsons $44.40 toward settlement of the debt on May 6, 1874. The Nelsons waited patiently for the rest of the money, then, on January 12, 1876, sued. On February 11, 1876, the district court ordered that the church be sold at auction to satisfy the debt. That May 2, the Nelsons bought the church. Two weeks later, they sold it to the Methodist Episcopal Church South German Mission. By that time, presumably, the German Lutherans had been evicted.71

German Lutherans, however, still had a flourishing church at Frelsburg; so too did German Catholics, at both Frelsburg and New Mainz. In fact, in 1874, the congregation of St. Roch's Catholic Church at New Mainz constructed two new buildings, a convent and a new church. The church was consecrated for services on May 1, 1874. However, the Catholics failed to organize a congregation at Columbus, though the priest at New Mainz, Constantin Hergenroether, tried, conducting services at the courthouse on November 2, 3, and 4, 1871. The Columbus Episcopalians fared somewhat better. On October 3, 1870, William G. Hunt, on behalf of the congregation of which he was a member, purchased a lot on Milam Street on which they planned to construct a church. However, a year later, construction had not yet begun; and thereafter it proceeded very slowly, if at all. When Episcopal Bishop Alexander Gregg visited town from February 24 through February 27, 1872, he conducted services in the courthouse. The new church was apparently not completed until 1874, when a minister named Thomas J. Morris was assigned to it and began keeping its records. Morris listed 68 members of the congregation when he arrived. The Columbus Methodist Episcopal South congregation, which had constructed a church near the river in 1850, also built a new church in the early 1870s. Their new church was spearheaded by a new group of trustees, all of whom were appointed on February 19, 1872. Less than two months later, on April 11, 1872, they purchased a lot a few blocks west of the courthouse for the new church. Having built it, however, they apparently could not fill it, for on November 25, 1875, they conveyed one half of it to the Lutherans, stipulating that "equal religious purposes [were] to be enjoyed by both churches." The Baptists were also having difficulties. By late 1876, the local Baptist congregation had become so small, and, according to the Colorado Citizen, "citizens seem to manifest so little interest in religious matters," that the minister, Powatan E. Collins, resigned, and regular services apparently ceased. The same year, Scherer visited town, taking the opportunity to observe "the reason that so large a proportion of the citizens of your city are out of the church is not because they are more depraved, or harder in heart, but because there are so few who, by consistent example and continued precept, prove that religion's 'ways are pleasantness and all her paths are peace.'"72

Outside of Columbus, things apparently went better for the religious minded. The recently-established Baptist and Methodist congregations at Osage continued to thrive. Both denominations soon had established presences in Eagle Lake. Methodist minister Orceneth Fisher arrived in Eagle Lake in May 1872 to begin gathering a congregation. His Baptist counterpart, John Burke Armstrong, reportedly arrived in town some five years later. Methodists and Baptists, as well as Presbyterians, had also cropped up in Weimar. In 1877, the Methodists took giant steps toward building that city's first church. That year, a number of local women organized themselves into the Ladies Methodist Aid Society of Weimar and began raising money for the construction of a church. Their efforts were greatly bolstered when, on November 2, 1877, Daniel Washington Jackson and Thomas Wentworth Peirce, "in consideration of a desire to promote the cause of morality & religion and to advance the interests of Weimar," donated a lot for the project. The same year, the Methodists declared Alleyton a mission, and assigned a minister to attempt to build a congregation.73

Despite some setbacks, including the destruction of a church between Weimar and Columbus by fire in August 1875, black congregations around the county also prospered. In the summer of 1876, perhaps 2000 blacks gathered north of Columbus for a camp meeting, prompting the Citizen to comment, "the 'heft' of religious element in this county seems to abide with the colored people, judging from the time and attention given to religious matters." Later that year, the black Methodist Episcopal congregation in Columbus, which also operated a school, purchased a lot on the northwest side of town and began construction of a new church. It was completed in 1877. Meanwhile at Oakland, on November 25, 1876, an apparently non-denominational group which called itself the Freedmen's Church bought a one-acre site for their church. Almost a year to the day later, on November 24, 1877, the African Methodist Episcopal congregation at Weimar bought two lots, one for a church and one for a parsonage, from Jackson and Peirce. As they did when they gave the white Methodists a lot a few weeks earlier, Jackson and Peirce cited "a desire we have to promote [the] cause of morality & religion & to enhance the interests of Weimar." This time, however, they gave nothing away, charging $75 for the two lots. Still, the Weimar AME congregation had entered into competition with Weimar's white Methodists in the race to build the first church in town.74

Perhaps because churches tended to be racially segregated, or perhaps because religious activity was of little consequence to them, conservative whites seem to have been unconcerned about religion in the black community. Education, however, was another matter. There was certainly some sentiment against educating blacks; and strong sentiment against educating them in conjunction with whites. So it was that, between 1869 and 1871, when the state made another of its several attempts to establish free public schools, schools which would admit both black and white children, resistance was widespread. Both the constitution adopted by the state in 1869, which mandated the creation of a public school system, and the law of August 13, 1870, which authorized each county to assess taxes to fund the construction of schools and provided that public school teachers were to be paid from the long-established state school fund, failed. It was not until after the law of April 24, 1871, which allowed counties to maintain as well as construct schools with taxes, and which made attendance compulsory by declaring that, with some exceptions, the parents of school-age children who did not attend a public school for at least four months were guilty of a misdemeanor, that such schools became common. For persons in Colorado County, the most notable exception to the compulsory attendance rule was the provision that exempted children "who received regular instruction from any private teacher having a proper certificate of competency," for private schools could be racially segregated. The Colorado Citizen, under the editorial guidance of Fred Barnard, wasted little time in viciously attacking the new school system and the legislature's choice for state school superintendent, former Union soldier and Freedmen's Bureau official Jacob Carl Maria DeGress. Of the schools, the Citizen prodded, "white men, remember that the Radical party intend through the public free schools, to compel you to send your children to the same school with negro children," and of DeGress "he is imminently qualified to boss the job of teaching the negroes to be impudent to the white race" and "he may enjoy the transcendant pleasures of seeing the children of the white rebels commingling on terms of equality with their former proteges, under the rod of a buck negro school teacher."75

In the fall of 1871, public schools opened around the county. However, the most substantial school building in the county, the Colorado College building in Columbus, contained a private school. The building was purchased by the local Odd Fellows lodge in early 1871, and they rented it to a teacher named E. E. Post. Post's private school was so successful that for the term beginning in January 1872, he hired three more teachers, one of whom, Kate Oakes, had conducted a public school in the previous term. After Oakes's closed, the county was left with sixteen public schools which had an average enrollment of 73 students. The largest, apparently, was that at Columbus, which had more than 200 students. Years later, one citizen remembered that because of "an unsocial atmosphere which prevailed in Columbus and . . . the inability to find agreeable lodging and boarding places," white teachers quit the local public schools, leaving them to be conducted by blacks.76

The following year, Post left town, and the Odd Fellows leased the college building to the state for use as a public school. More importantly, Benjamin M. Baker, who would become a strong advocate of good schools, and who seemed to be little concerned whether or not they were public, took over as editor of the Citizen. He began his campaign to establish a single, high-quality school in Columbus with an editorial published on October 1, 1874, an editorial which was evidently prompted by the sudden dismissal of the town's public school teacher, T. L. P. Holloman. When Holloman, who had conducted the school the preceding year, returned to town to resume classes in the fall of 1874, he was told his services were no longer needed. Too late to secure another position, he further divided local educational efforts by opening a private school in the Masonic hall and suggesting that his school ought to be eligible for state funds. Baker continued his lobbying on November 19, saying "the importance of a well-regulated and permanent school in our midst can scarcely be over-estimated." He weighed in again the following week, assuring his readers that the absence of a good school impaired economic development. Few, apparently, were persuaded. Two new schools opened in Columbus in January 1875, and Arnold Prause opened another, this one conducted in German, the following March 15. Three days later, Baker lamented that instead of one school, the city contained "some half dozen village schools, of limited scholarship, eking out an existence of little profit to the teachers, and of very little advantage to the place." Things, from his perspective, were about to get a little better.77

In the fall of 1875, Powatan E. Collins established the Colorado Institute. His new school came complete with a board of directors, elected on August 21, 1875, consisting of nine of the community's leading citizens. The Institute promised to be so successful that, whether from a spirit of cooperation or defeat, the Columbus public school decided not to begin its classes until March 1876, after Collins's school was set to close. Collins, however, opened a spring term on January 3, 1876, a term which did not conclude until June. By then, the state, by virtue of adopting a new constitution, had made sweeping changes to the public school system. The most notable change was the declaration that public schools must be racially segregated, which was written into the constitution and was reiterated by the act, passed by the legislature on August 19, 1876, which set up the new school system. The Colorado Institute, which had hitherto been supported privately, began receiving public funds with the term which opened in the fall of 1876. So too did the several successful schools outside Columbus, including that of Edward Brady Carruth, which had been operating in Osage since 1874, that of John R. Harris which apparently began operating at Oakland in 1875, those of Pat H. Hargon and Henry C. Quin in Weimar, and the Hermann Seminary at Frelsburg. Shortly, if not immediately, separate schools for blacks appeared in Columbus, Oakland, Alleyton, and probably elsewhere. The Alleyton black school was conducted by Alex F. Kinnison, who also served as a county commissioner.78

Several rural schools were also apparently flourishing, including one at Frels Prairie about five miles north and slightly west of Columbus, one at Walnut Bend, one near Boggy Branch, one near Miller's Creek, one near the San Bernard River, one at New Mainz, and one at Content. That at Content must be regarded as typical. On July 9, 1871, six local men met and agreed to support a school in the area. The school opened that fall, under the governance of a board of directors and the guidance of a teacher named G. Marski, and soon began receiving support from the state. In the summer of 1872, the directors determined to build a new schoolhouse, 24 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 12 feet tall. Backed by a number of pledges, they secured a small tract of land and constructed the building. Teachers came and went (Marski was replaced in 1873 by Charles W. Hanns, and Hanns the following year by Max Albrecht Konz), salaries and costs escalated, and the state provided varying degrees of money, but the school remained open for about ten months each year.

When Robert P. Tendick returned from the legislature in 1873, he was appointed postmaster, but otherwise retired from politics and concentrated his attention on his store in Columbus. In 1874, he moved it to a larger building on Spring Street. Soon, his store was the best in town. His success stemmed in part from the presence of the post office next door, but also from his commitment to low prices and high sales volumes, a practice which he introduced to the county, and which he encouraged other store owners in Columbus to follow. In 1875, when most other stores in the county were operated by their owners and perhaps one clerk, his store employed a manager and five clerks. In 1876, he spent six weeks in the northeast, buying goods for the store, and for a new enterprise, a wholesale distribution house which he opened near the railroad depot. His success led to the complete rehabilitation of his public image. In 1871, the Colorado Citizen had called him "an adventurer, who by fraud, occupies a seat in the State Senate" and added, "I would suggest to this swindler . . . that there is a vacant cell in the State penitentiary awaiting him." Five years later, and under new editorial guidance, the newspaper lauded him for doing "more than anybody we know of in this town to revolutionize the mercantile business."79

By 1878, for all their electoral success, Colorado County's Republicans had done little to advance the cause of assimilating the freed slaves into society. Former slaves had held offices and opened businesses, but, more than a decade after their release from bondage, few, if any, had accumulated substantial material wealth. Moreover, schools, churches, and neighborhoods had largely succeeded in resisting racial integration. Other developments, notably the influx of immigrants, the increase in gunplay and violence, plus the development of public schools, the railroad, banks, and discount stores, had radically altered the character of the county. The passage of the earlier era was more clearly marked by the deaths of the two founders of Columbus, Joseph Worthington Elliott Wallace and William Bluford Dewees. Wallace died at age 81 on August 24, 1877; Dewees eight months later, at age 79, on April 14, 1878. Only two months earlier, the destitute Dewees had been placed on the county's pauper list. The Citizen, in brief obituaries, praised each man for his service in the Texas army in 1836. There was no mention of the roles they played some forty years earlier in establishing the city in which they each died.80

1 Sadly, there is very little documentary information on the county's changing biota. Stephen
F. Austin noted, in August 1823, that the place on the Colorado River he had in mind for the capital of
his colony, which seems to have been very near where Columbus was eventually located, was "very
well watered with the best of springs" (see Eugene Campbell Barker, ed., The Austin Papers, 3 vols.
(vols. 1 and 2, Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1924 and vol. 3, Austin: University of
Texas Press, 1926) vol. 1, p. 690). An unknown traveller through Texas in 1837 noted that he found "in
the vicinity of Columbus ... a number of large springs which issued from the banks of the river" (see
Andrew Forest Muir, ed., Texas in 1837 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958), p. 81). William
Bluford Dewees described the county, and indeed most of this part of the state, as largely prairie
"interspersed with beautiful groves," and broken only by narrow forests along the river, creeks, and other streams (see Dewees, Letters from an Early Settler of Texas (Louisville: Morton & Griswold, 1852. Reprint. Waco: Texian Press, 1968), pp. 37, 130-131). Though farmers certainly burned fields in the early days of settlement (see, for example, Dewees, Letters from an Early Settler of Texas, p. 37), by 1871 at least one newspaper was campaigning against the practice (see Houston Daily Union, February 4, 1871). Charles William Tait, who used dogs to hunt bears in 1848 and found them plentiful, complained that they had already become rare in 1854 (see "Letters of Charles William Tait, 1848-1864," Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, May 1996, pp. 96, 106).

2 Colorado Citizen, February 1, 1872, September 23, 1875, July 6, 1876, January 18, 1877;
Robert Henry Harrison, "The Epidemic of 1873, in Columbus, Texas," Nesbitt Memorial Library
Journal, vol. 2, no. 3, September 1992, pp. 137-138.

3 Ninth Census of the United States (1870) Colorado County, Texas, Schedule 1; Mike
Kingston, ed., 1994-1995 Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide (Dallas: The Dallas Morning
News, 1993), p. 331; S. T. Burney to Edmund J. Davis, June 22, 1870, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301)
Archives Division, Texas State Library; Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book G, pp.
232, 233; Contract with Freedmen, Harbert Family Papers (Ms. 50), Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial
Library, Columbus. The 1870 census listed 978 white persons and 688 black persons who owned either
real estate or other property. These white persons owned real estate totalling $1,649,035 and personal
property totalling $608,657; the black persons $9,960 and $10,479. Of these persons, 873 whites and
678 blacks were identified as heads of households. The 873 whites owned $1,474,295 in real estate and
$560,806 in other property; the 678 blacks $9,310 in real estate and $9,849 in other property. Of the
black heads of household, 572 listed no assets at all.
From 1860 until 1870, Colorado County's population grew by 5.6%. This must be considered
as very slight when measured against the state's overall population growth of 35.5%.Colorado County's
growth outpaced only one of its immediate neighbors, Wharton County, which grew by only 1.4% in
the decade. In the same time span, Fayette County grew by 43.8%, Austin County by 48.8%, and
Lavaca County by 54.2%. It should be noted, however, that local genealogical researchers hold the
1870 census of Colorado County in low regard, noting that many persons who are believed to have
been living in the county before, during, and after 1870 are missing from its pages (for state population
figures, see Mike Kingston, ed., 1986-1987 TexasAlmanac and State Industrial Guide (Dallas: The
Dallas Morning News, 1985), p. 443).

4 Colorado County Probate Records, File No. 602: William Alley, Final Record Book H, pp.
701, 703, 705, 710, 721, 723; Colorado Citizen, November 2, 1871. William Alley died in 1869, Caroline
in January 1867. The plaintiffs were Walter Alley, Albert Alley, George Alley, Jane and John B. Burton,
Amanda and Pierce Henderson, Mary and Joseph Allen, Catherine and Ben Cloman, Julia and Briscoe
Calhoun, and Sarah and Ben Preston. Marriage records for two of the female plaintiffs, Jane Burton
and Julia Calhoun, have been found. Both women used the name Alley as their maiden names. The
earliest known use of the Alley name by one of these former slaves is on Jane Burton's marriage
license, which was taken out on November 10, 1865 (Colorado County Marriage Records, Book D, pp.
180, 234).

5 Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1862-1876, pp. 114, 115,
117, 121, 158, 175, 198, 200, 203, 210, 212; Colorado Citizen, September 7, 1876.

6 Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., The Laws of Texas 1822-1897 (Austin: The Gammel
Book Company, 1898), vol. 6, p. 1290, vol. 7, pp. 1044, 1402; Colorado Citizen, March 16, 1871, February 15, 1872, February 22, 1872, February 27, 1873. The organizers of the German Casino were Sophus Johann Theodor Harde, George Witting, Robert P. Tendick, Charles Schmidt, Theodore Oswald, Simon Thulemeyer, and William Beethe; those of the German Germania were Harde, Witting, Johann Zwiegel, Helmuth Kulow, and Friderich Gustav Schultz. The earliest known appearance by a dramatic company at the Casino Hall featured an actor named Vining Bowers on March 1, 1872.

7 Colorado Citizen, February 22, 1872, March 14, 1872, March 28, 1872, April 4, 1872; La Grange New Era, March 15, 1872, April 19, 1872, May 3, 1872; AMembers of the Texas Legislature, 1846-1962 (Austin: n. p., c. 1963), pp. 39, 45, 51. The festival grounds contained a platform for the speakers, a platform for dancing, and a refreshment stand. Harcourt was state senator in the Ninth and Tenth Legislatures, which met under the state's Confederate government; Cook was state senator inthe Eleventh Legislature, which met in 1866. The fat men's races were won by John Rosenfield and George Gegenworth. The other participants were Helmuth Kulow, Isam Tooke, Henry Merseberger, and J. Kulow.

8 Poems by Darden were published in Colorado Citizen, February 22, 1872, February 29,
1872, March 14, 1872, March 28, 1872, May 21, 1874, July 16, 1874, November 12, 1874, and April 22,
1875. For the Sutherland Springs material, see Colorado Citizen, August 30, 1877 and September 13,
1877. The Cooper article was preceded by a declaration from Cooper that Darden's version was
correct. The declaration was dated August 18, 1870, suggesting that the article was written several
years before it was published. Simpson's poetry and prose were published in Colorado Citizen, July
23, 1874, December 10, 1874, April 15, 1875, May 6, 1875, May 20, 1875, July 8, 1875, October 7, 1876,
and October 14, 1875. Several other prose pieces concerning the State Geological Survey were pub-
lished in other issues, but because they were signed "S. G. S." they cannot be attributed to Simpson.
It is likely, though, that he wrote them. His poems were signed "S." That they were his is confirmed by
their inclusion in his privately published 1900 book, A Study of Nature and Other Poems. The book
provides the date and place many of Simpson's poems were written, including two at Oakland in 1864.
Though only two of his poems are known to have appeared in print in the period, the book indicates
that Simpson was most prolific between 1864 and 1876. Of the 58 poems in the book, thirty bear dates.
One other, the title poem, can be dated to 1874 by virtue of its appearance in the newspaper. Of these
31 dated poems, all but three were written between 1864 and 1876. The other three were written more
than thirteen years later. More about Simpson can be found in Colorado Citizen, October 29, 1874,
May 6, 1875, and September 2, 1875.

9 Colorado Citizen, October 19, 1871, April 9, 1874, July 9, 1874, August 20, 1874, September 10, 1874, November 5, 1874, January 21, 1875, July 1, 1875, August 12, 1875, September 23, 1875, October 7, 1875, October 21, 1875, January 27, 1876, February 17, 1876, November 9, 1876, March 8, 1877, March 22, 1877; David Haynes, Catching Shadows (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1993).

10 Colorado Citizen, November 19, 1874, December 24, 1874, January 14, 1875, May 11, 1876, July 6, 1876, November 9, 1876, September 21, 1876, September 28, 1876, May 3, 1877; Colorado County Deed Records, Book R, p. 495; Colorado County Marriage Records, Book E, p. 215.

11 Colorado County Deed Records, Book Deed S, p. 245; Colorado Citizen, January 28, 1875, May 20, 1875, September 23, 1875, November 18, 1875, March 2, 1876, March 23, 1876, June 8, 1876, June 22, 1876, November 2, 1876, February 1, 1877, February 15, 1877, March 22, 1877, May 10, 1877. The man who was known as Blind Tom, Thomas Green Bethune, was born a slave in 1849. Blind and of severely limited intelligence, he became celebrated for his ability to play, on the piano, music he had heard, and toured the United States and Europe demonstrating his ability. Tom Thumb's real name was Charles Sherwood Stratton. In his early adult years, he is said to have been little more than two feet tall and to have weighed about fifteen pounds. He was given his stagename by his original promoter, the highly successful entertainment entrepreneur Phineas T. Barnum.

12 Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 3429: Henryllse for the use of James H. Simpson & Co. v. Reinhard Dick and Charles W. Rau, Civil Minute Book G, p. 135; Colorado Citizen, October 18, 1877, November 15, 1877, February 14, 1878, August 1, 1878, September 11, 1878, October 10, 1878, October 17, 1878, February 13, 1879, July 3, 1879, July 10, 1879, July 24, 1879, March 25, 1880, April 1, 1880, June 17, 1880, July 15, 1880. The Citizen of November 15, 1877 indicates that Dillon had appeared in Galveston in two productions, "Our Boys" and "Lemons." The first was performed at the Tremont on October 29 and 30, the second on October 31, November 1, and November 3 (see Joseph S. Gallegly, Footlights on the Border (The Hague, The Netherlands: Mouton and Co., 1962), p. 190).
It has been assumed that Dick hired Ilse to run the theater because (1) after November 1877, the theater was known as Ilse's Hall, and (2) a contract by which Dick hired Ilse to run the theater for three years beginning on October 1, 1883 is on record, and if, as seems reasonable, this was Ilse's third consecutive three-year contract, then Ilse's employment would have started on October 1, 1877, a date which fits in nicely with the date of the theater's change in name (see Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book M, p. 122).

13 Colorado Citizen, May 11, 1871, March 21, 1872, November 19, 1874, December 17, 1874, December 31, 1874, January 14, 1875, May 6, 1875, July 8, 1875, December 2, 1875, April 20, 1876, May 11, 1876, June 1, 1876, June 8, 1876, August 31, 1876, October 26, 1876, November 2, 1876, April 19, 1877, March 28, 1878, April 11, 1878, November 14, 1878, November 28, 1878, July 17, 1879; Osage Debating Club Records (Ms. 49), Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus. The records of the debating club and literary society contain four or five handwritten poems. Three were written by Ann Elizabeth Townsend, the widow of Moses Solon Townsend and mother of Marcus Harvey Townsend. The authors of the other poems cannot be determined.

14 La Grange New Era, May 24, 1872, June 7, 1872, August 2, 1872, Colorado Citizen, May 14, 1874, May 21, 1874, May 28, 1874, April 29, 1875, December 21, 1876, April 12, 1877, May 3, 1877, May 10, 1877, July 12, 1877, April 4, 1878.

15 Colorado Citizen, June 24, 1875, June 22, 1876, July 5, 1877, June 20, 1878, June 12, 1879,
June 26, 1879. The Weimar Juneteenth celebrations in 1878 and 1879 were held at Grace's Grove.

16 Colorado Citizen, April 23, 1874, April 30, 1874, May 14, 1874, May 21, 1874, May 28, 1874, April 22, 1875, May 13, 1875, May 20, 1875, May 27, 1875, June 3, 1875. Though there would be no Volks Fest for the next several years, the festival would be revived, very successfully, in 1880.

17 Colorado Citizen, May 11, 1876, June 1, 1876, November 2, 1876, November 9, 1876, April 19, 1877, May 3, 1877, May 9,1878, May 23, 1878, August 15, 1878, April 17, 1879, May 8, 1879, May 15, 1879, September 11, 1879.

18 Colorado Citizen, May 11, 1871, June 15, 1876, July 6, 1876; Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 6, pp. 810-814; Colorado County Election Returns, Secretary of State Records (RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin. In addition to the three black aldermen named above, the governor also appointed Simon Thulemeyer and John Richard Brooks aldermen, and John C. Miller mayor.

19 Camillus Jones to Edmund J. Davis, July 6, 1870, Robert P. Tendick to Edmund J. Davis, July 6, 1870, William M. Smith to Edmund J. Davis, February 23, 1871, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Edmund J. Davis to Camillus Jones, July 9, 1870, Executive Record Books, Edmund J. Davis, vol. 1, p. 207, Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book G, pp. 286, 296; Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 2634: William Beethe, et al. v. William M Smith. Jackson and Leyendecker had earlier been identified with and endorsed by the Republicans, and they still, in 1870, were regarded by them as reasonable men. Both, however, had firmly joined the Democratic Party by 1876 (see Colorado Citizen, August 3, 1876).

20 Galveston Daily News, November 30, 1870, December 1, 1870, December 2, 1870, December 3, 1870; Houston Daily Union, December 1, 1870, December 2, 1870, December 3, 1870, December 7, 1870, December 9, 1870, December 10, 1870, December 12, 1870, December 13, 1870, December 14, 1870, December 17, 1870, December 19, 1870, December 22, 1870, December 24, 1870, December 27, 1870; Tri-Weekly Houston Union, December 9, 1870; Colorado County Election Returns, Secretary of State Records (RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Roster and Record oflowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations 1861-1866, six vols. (Des Moines: 1908-1911), vol. 5, pp. 485, 920; Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 869: State of Texas v. John Davis. Across the district, Tendick got 1762 votes to Thompson's 1628, and Shoemaker got 1774 to Arnim's 1620. In Colorado County, Tendick got 1283 votes, Thompson 1071, Shoemaker 1276, and Arnim 1080. The Democratic candi-
dates actually carried Lavaca County, in Thompson's case 557 to 479, and in Arnim's 540 to 498. For information about Thompson's 1869 campaign for lieutenant governor, see [Hempstead] Texas Countryman, August 13, 1869; Galveston Daily News, August 19, 1869; Hempstead Weekly Countryman, September 17, 1869, November 26, 1869.
Tendick, who was born in Prussia on June 19, 1837, came to the United States in 1856. After first settling in Illinois, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri. There, he joined the Union army, rising to the rank of lieutenant and serving as quartermaster for the 30th Missouri Infantry. He was discharged with that unit at Columbus in 1865 (see Colorado Citizen, November 15, 1888). Shoemaker, who had been born in Indiana on February 18, 1839, was elected lieutenant in the 38th Iowa Infantry on August 11, 1862. He held the same rank in the 34th and 38th Consolidated Iowa Infantry after that unit was created on January 1, 1865. He was wounded slightly in action at Fort Blakely, Alabama on April 9, 1865. He came to Texas with his unit the following month, and was released from service, with the rest of his unit, at Houston on August 15, 1865 (see Eighth Census of the United States (1870) Lavaca County, Texas, Schedule 1; Sammy Tise, comp., Lavaca County, Texas Cemetery Records (Hallettsville, 1985) vol. 2, p. 35; Roster andRecord oflowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations 1861-1866, vol. 5, pp. 485, 841, 920).

The returns of the election provide more evidence that the 1870 federal census takers severely undercounted Colorado County's population. In Colorado County, 2402 people cast ballots, more than twice as many as the approximately 1040 who voted in Lavaca County. However, according to the 1870 census, Lavaca County contained 842 more people, and 413 more males, than Colorado County. Noting that females were not eligible to vote, and estimating that one-fourth of the male population was under the legal voting age, then Colorado County's voter turnout was an extraordinary 75%, and Lavaca's a more believable 30%.

21 Muster and Pay Roll, Company E, 8th Regiment, State Guards, September 1, 1870, Adjutant General's Records (RG 401), Archives Division, Texas State Library; Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 6, pp. 185-190; Colorado County Deed Records, Book N, pp. 81, 86. OfNail's 100 men, only 29 could be reasonably identified on the 1870 census. Of those 29, 27 were black. The other two were named John Harbert and John Smith, whose common names make absolute identification problematical. Two other members of the unit, Nail himself and Tom Braker, are identified as black men in Colorado County's deed records. The reserve militia companies were: Company A, with Captain George Millan McCormick, headquartered at Columbus, containing 103 members; Company B, with Captain Ed H. Adams, headquartered at Frelsburg, containing 100 members; Company C, with Captain A. Braden, headquartered at New Mainz, containing 100 members; Company D, with Captain Alex Matthews, headquartered at Alleyton, containing 102 members; and Company E, with Captain
Isaac N. Wall, headquartered at Oakland, containing 88 members (see Muster Rolls, Second Regiment, Reserve Militia, 1870-1871, Adjutant General's Records (RG 401), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin).

22 State Police Roster, Seventh Police District, p. 422, Adjutant General's Records (RG 401); Colorado County Deed Records, Book M, p. 23; Report of Louis W. Stevenson, April 30, 1868, Barry A. Crouch Collection (Ms. 41), Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus; Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 840: State of Texas v. Fayette Yancy, Criminal Cause File No. 858: State of Texas v. Fayette Yancy, Criminal Cause File No. 932: State of Texas v. Fayette Yancy, Minute Book E, pp. 38, 73,294, 296, 305, 354; Robert P. Tendick to Edmund J. Davis, June 1872, Leyendecker Family Papers (Ms. 37), Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus. Various state policemen would serve Colorado County until the force was abolished by the legislature on April 22, 1873 (see Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, p. 493).

23 Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 2634: William Beethe, et al. v. William M. Smith, Minute Book E, p. 73; J. D. Thomas to Edmund J. Davis, January 31, 1871, William M. Smith to Edmund J. Davis, February 23, 1871, James B. Good to C. K. Hall, June 29, 1871, William M. Smith to Edmund J. Davis, June 29, 1871, Petition to Edmund J. Davis to Appoint James B. Good Sheriff, June 30, 1871, William J. Darden to William Alexander, June 30, 1871, Edward M. Glenn to Edmund J. Davis, July 2, 1871, Benjamin F Williams to Edmund J. Davis, July 2, 1871, Benjamin F. Williams to James P. Newcomb, July 2, 1871, Livingston Lindsay to Edmund J. Davis, July 2, 1871, Petition to Edmund J. Davis to Appoint John R. Brooks Sheriff, July 8, 1871, Andrew J. Vaughan to Edmund J. Davis, July 9, 1871, George S. Ziegler to Edmund J. Davis, July 10, 1871, Edward Wilson to Edmund J. Davis, July 10, 1871, Robert P. Tendick to Edmund J. Davis, July 10, 1871, Petition to Edmund J. Davis to Appoint Charles Schmidt Sheriff, July 15, 1871, Charles Schmidt to Edmund J. Davis, July 1871, all in Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Colorado County Election Returns, Register of Elected and Appointed State and County Officials, 1870-1875, both in Secretary of State Records (RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin. Smith asked for the position of cattle and hide inspector in August, but did not receive either of his new appointments until December 9 (see William M. Smith to Edmund J. Davis, August 8, 1871, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin).

24 Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1862-1876, pp. 215, 216, 217, 219, 222, 232; Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book H, pp. 148, 152; Colorado County Election Returns, Register of Elected and Appointed State and County Officials, 1870-1875, both in Secretary of State Papers (RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 915: State of Texas v. Robert P Tendick, Criminal Cause File No. 916: State of Texas v. Charles Schmidt, Criminal Cause File No. 916: State of Texas v. Charles Schmidt, Minute Book E, pp. 250, 260, Minute Book F, pp. 44, 45, 113; Colorado Citizen, November 16, 1871, February 29, 1872, March 7, 1872; Livingston Lindsay to Edmund J. Davis, September 10, 1871, Edward Wilson, et al. to Edmund J. Davis, November 3, 1871, Petition to Appoint Johann Baptist Leyendecker Sheriff, November 3, 1871, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin. The Colorado Citizen, in reporting on Tendick's trial, speculated that the jury had been packed with Tendick supporters, including "eight gentlemen of color... three German citizens and one native American," prompting an angry reply from Tendick the following week.

25 Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 859: State of Texas v. Camillus Jones, Criminal Cause File No. 1000: State of Texas v. Camillus Jones, Criminal Cause File No. 1001: State of Texas v. Camillus Jones, Criminal Cause File No. 1003: State of Texas v. Camillus Jones, Minute Book D, p. 372, Minute Book E, pp. 111, 380, 381; Livingston Lindsay to Edmund J. Davis, April 9, 1871, John C. Miller to Edmund J. Davis, March 27, 1872, George S. Ziegler to Edmund J. Davis, March 28, 1872, George S. Ziegler, et al. to Edmund J. Davis, March 28, 1872, John C. Miller to Edmund J. Davis, March 29, 1872, John C. Miller to Edmund J. Davis, April 4, 1872, Livingston Lindsay to Edmund J. Davis, April 15, 1872, John C. Miller, et al. to Edmund J. Davis, April 29, 1872, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library; City Officials Appointment Book, City of Columbus, p. 36, Colorado County Election Returns, Secretary of State Records (RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State Library; Colorado Citizen, October 12, 1871. Jones had moved to the state of Colorado by 1874 (see Colorado Citizen, October 8, 1874). Perhaps Jones never filed his bond because he had second thoughts about working under the Columbus mayor, John C. Miller. In late 1871, probably still fuming over his forced resignation as presiding justice, he characterized Miller as "one of the most worthless men in this comunity besides being an ignorant ass he is a drunken imbecile without the dignity sense or anything else that would create respect in others." For good measure, he added a few words about the city marshal, Joseph P. Harris, calling him "a much worse man" than Miller, and declaring that "there is nothing in the catalogue of crime that he could not be induced to do." Patient readers will encounter Harris again later (see Camillus Jones to Edmund J. Davis, December 13, 1871, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library).

26 Colorado Citizen, October 12, 1871, October 19, 1871, October 26, 1871, November 30, 1871; William S. Speer and John Henry Brown, eds., The Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: The United States Biographical Publishing Co., 1881), pp. 122-127; Executive Record Books, Edmund J. Davis, vol. 1, p. 753, Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin. The vote totals in the 1872 election to replace Jones were: Johnson 404, Gillmore 234, Newsom 189. Fleming, after moving away from the county, would serve as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1875, as a district judge, as a state Senator, and as a presiding officer at the state Democratic convention and a delegate to the national Democratic convention in 1894 (see The New Handbook of Texas (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996) vol. 2, p. 1030).

27 Colorado Citizen, May 11, 1871.

28 Robert P. Tendick to Edmund J. Davis, July 6, 1870, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Galveston Daily News, June 24, 1870, August 6, 1870; Henry Calhoun Thomas, "A Sketch of My Life," Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, vol. 1, no. 3, February 1990, p. 90; Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 912: State of Texas v. David Landers; Criminal Cause File No. 913: State of Texas v. Sidney Ludlow, Minute Book E, pp. 150, 151, 389; Colorado Citizen, October 26, 1871, March 14, 1872; E. H. Wheelock, Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas [Texas Reports], vol. 35 (Austin: Statesman Book and Job Office, 1873), pp. 359-361.

29 Lavaca County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 700: State of Texas v. David Snodgrass, et al., Minute Book D, pp. 135, 664, 669, 768, Minute Book E, p. 122. The five defendants were David Snodgrass, Rupert "Ben" Van Wagner, Mac W. Rhodes, William C. Meredith, and William Burton Simpson. Townsend was about eighteen when he was killed. His father, Spencer Burton Townsend, had died before he was ten. After his father's death, he seems to have lived with his uncle, and the man for whom he was apparently named, Stapleton Townsend. In addition to Stafford, Townsend was attended on his deathbed by a Dr. DeGraffenreid. This was certainly one of three brothers, William G. Degraffenreid, Thomas Tscharner DeGraffenreid, and Fleming Taylor DeGraffenreid, all of whom practiced medicine in the Oakland area at the time. The most likely candidate is Fleming DeGraffenreid who was, like his brother Thomas, married to a close relative of Townsend. He, rather than Thomas, is the more likely because the attending physician did not testify at the trial. Fleming died in 1869, two years before it was held. Thomas lived until 1875, and would certainly have been called to confirm or refute Stafford's testimony if he could (see Seventh Census of the United States (1850) Schedule 1, Lavaca County, Texas; Eighth Census of the United States (1860) Schedule 1, Lavaca County, Texas; DeGraffenreid Family File, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus; and Tula Townsend Wyatt, The Seven Townsend Brothers of Texas 1826-1838 (Austin: Aus-Tex Duplicators, 1974), p.187. The latter source has been used as the source of the date of Spencer Townsend's death. Curiously, it omits mention of the suspected horse thief).

30 Colorado Citizen, December 7, 1871. February 27, 1873; Robert P. Tendick to Edmund J. Davis, December 11, 1871, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 920: State of Texas v. Richard R. Ratcliff Criminal Cause File No. 921: State of Texas v. John Stafford; Criminal Cause File No. 922: State of Texas v. Robert E. Stafford; Criminal Cause File No. 923: State of Texas v. Benjamin E Stafford; Criminal Cause File No. 924: State of Texas v. Sumner Townsend; Criminal Cause File No. 949: State of Texas v. John Stafford; Criminal Cause File No. 950: State of Texas v. Benjamin E Stafford; Criminal Cause File No. 951: State of Texas v. Robert E. Stafford; Criminal Cause File No. 952: State of Texas v. RichardR. Ratcliff; Minute Book E, pp. 305, 306, 320, 321, 329, 483, 484, Minute Book F, p. 113. The shootout occurred on the corner of Milam and Walnut Streets. The Staffords were all brothers of Joseph W. Stafford, who had been murdered near Oakland in May 1870. Tendick, in reporting the incident to the governor, characterized the Staffords as a "lawless band of desperadoes."

31 Ninth Census of the United States (1870) Colorado County, Texas, Schedule 1; Colorado Citizen, November 2, 1871, June 18, 1874, November 12, 1874, April 15, 1875, May 13, 1875, June 10, 1875, August 26, 1875, September 9, 1875, October 21, 1875, November 11, 1875, November 18, 1875, April 27, 1876, July 13, 1876, October 5, 1876, January 11, 1877, February 1, 1877, February 8, 1877, February 15, 1877, April 5, 1877, May 10, 1877, September 6, 1877. A few of these people were said to be Jewish in articles cited above. Others were established as Jewish by virtue of their membership in the Columbus chapter of the B'nai Brith, which was founded in 1879 (see Colorado Citizen, May 1, 1879).

32 La Grange New Era, August 2, 1872; Colorado Citizen, February 27, 1873, April 2, 1874,
April 9, 1874, April 30, 1874, October 14, 1875, March 9, 1876, March 23, 1876, December 21, 1876.
Though the earliest discovered mention of the Simpson bank is in an advertisement in the April 2, 1874
issue of the Colorado Citizen, William Henry Harrison's History of Banking in Colorado County,
Texas (n. p., 1976) reproduces, on page 16, a Simpson bank letterhead that states that the bank was
established in 1873. A document dated March 26, 1873 on the letterhead of the bank of Frazell &
Autrey is preserved in Leyendecker Family Papers (Ms. 37) Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library,
Columbus. Their firm was in business as early as March 6, 1873, when Charles Wesley Traylor
mortgaged his goods to them. They dissolved their partnership some time after July 2, 1873 but before
1874 (see Colorado County Bond & Mortgage Records, Book I, p. 217; Colorado County District
Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 3037: D. E Frazell v. John W Guynn, et al.).

33 Colorado Citizen, July 29, 1875, November 4, 1875, December 16, 1875, April 27, 1876, July
27, 1876, August 24, 1876, October 19, 1876, December 7, 1876, July 19, 1877, November 8, 1877; Price
List of the Pearfield Nurseries, Pearfield Nurseries File, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library;
Colorado County Deed Records, Book P, p. 99. Kesler also had some success in growing apples and
pine trees. He lived in the area of the county that now contains numerous pines. The Citizen of July
19, 1877 catalogued the spread of these trees with: "A few days ago I had the pleasure of a visit to Mr.
Charles Kessler and his grapery, five miles North-east of Columbus. Mr. Kessler owns the pinery, and
surrounding his residence is one of the most beautiful pine groves that can be found anywhere. This
is the only pinery in this county or portion of the State, and for the past few years it has rapidly spread
throughout the post-oaks; and if the people would be more careful with fire in the winter and spring,
young pines would soon spring up all over this county, and in a few years would be of great benefit."
Though this might be taken to mean that Kesler planted the trees which grew into the presently
expansive piney woods, dendrologists seem to believe that the Colorado County piney woods, like
those in Bastrop County, are "remnants of a once-contiguous range from East Texas" (see Paul W. Cox
and Patty Leslie, Texas TreesA Friendly Guide (San Antonio: Corona Publishing, 1988), p. 13; Benny
J. Simpson, A Field Guide to Texas Trees (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1988), p. 228). However, it
should be noted that no earlier mention of pine trees in Colorado County has been found, not even in
the extensive descriptions of the countryside provided by William Bluford Dewees (see Dewees,
Letters from an Early Settler of Texas), or in the list of the area's trees written in 1844 by Johann
Leyendecker, who lived just north of the present piney woods (see Anders Saustrup and Jean Gross,
trans. and eds., "From Coblenz to Colorado County, 1843-1844: Early Leyendecker Letters to the Old
Country," NesbittMemorial Library Journal, vol. 1, no. 6, August 1990, p. 184). And, the January 7,
1860 issue of the Colorado Citizen goes to great lengths to praise a man for arranging to regularly
bring "cedar and pine lumber (which is in great demand in our town,)" from Bastrop and Fayette
Counties, helping to alleviate "the very extravagant prices" locals then had to pay for such wood. One
must wonder why, if pine trees were present in Colorado County, citizens had to pay high prices to
obtain pine lumber from elsewhere. Further, in 1923, T. L. Bailey identified the Colorado County trees
as "short leaved pines (Pinus echinata), " and reported that the pine forest "occupies only a few
hundred acres and is surrounded by post oak woods... The pines here seem to be actually spreading
and numerous small pines interspersed with post oaks occur on the border of the area" (see Bailey,
The Geology and Natural Resources of Colorado County, University of Texas Bulletin No. 2333
(Austin: University of Texas, 1923), pp. 129-130). Most experts identify the pines in Bastrop County as
loblolly pines, that is, Pinus taeda, a different species. And, if the Colorado County piney woods are
indeed a remnant of a primeval forest, the question must be asked: what caused them to begin
spreading through the surrounding post oaks in the mid nineteenth century and to continue spread-
ing through them well into the twentieth?

34 Colorado Citizen, January 6, 1876; Index to Abstracts of Lands, Colorado County, Texas
(Ms. 43) Colorado County Abstracts Collection, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library. In the newspaper cited above, Stafford was said to have built a $6000 investment into a $200,000 fortune. In 1870, when signing the controversial bond for Sheriff William M. Smith, he had listed his property. Then he owned two tracts of land in Colorado County, one of 420 acres worth $1500 and another of 170 acres worth $1480, plus 800 acres in Gillespie County valued at $800. He also owned a half interest in 10,000 cattle, with his interest valued at $15,000; forty horses worth a total of $ 1200; and he had "no Debts and ... several thousand Dollars in cash." His net worth at the time was at least $20,000, and, depending on how much "several thousand" dollars was, perhaps as much as $40,000. Nonetheless, the 1870 census declares that he owned only $3000 in real estate and $1500 in other assets (see Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book G, p. 286; Ninth Census of the United States (1870) Colorado County, Texas, Schedule 1).

35 Index to Abstracts of Lands, Colorado County, Texas (Ms. 43) Colorado County Ab-
stracts Collection, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library; Colorado Land District, Scrip Files No.
118, 178, 212, 274, Original Land Grant Collection, Archives and Records Division, Texas General Land
Office, Austin.

36 Colorado County District Court Records, Minute Book F, p. 170, Minute Book G, p. 431; Cases Argued and Decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas [Texas Reports], vol. 48 (Houston: E. H. Cushing, 1878), pp. 531-554.

37 City Officials Appointment Book, City of Columbus, p. 36, Secretary of State Records (RG
307), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Bartley Harbert et al. to Edmund J. Davis, September 4, 1872, John C. Miller to Edmund J. Davis, September 5, 1872, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG
307), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin. It is assumed that the mayor did not support
Fondren's candidacy because he, quite conspicuously, did not sign the letter the council sent to the
governor on September 4.

38 Colorado County Election Returns, Lavaca County Election Returns, Secretary of State
Records (RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin. In Colorado County, Zwiegel got
1203 votes, Overbay 1166, Williams 1162, Leyendecker 1153, Smith 1127, and Hester 1124. In Lavaca
County, the totals were: Zwiegel 315, Overbay 323, Williams 296, Leyendecker 838, Hester 859, and
Smith 833.

39 Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 7, pp. 906-911; Colorado Citizen, Au-
gust 13, 1874, August 20, 1874, September 24, 1874, October 1, 1874, January 7, 1875, February 11, 1875,
February 25, 1875; Petition for Repeal of the Charter of Columbus, February 5, 1875, Petition to Refuse
the Repeal of the Charter of Columbus, February 13, 1875, both in Memorials and Petitions, Archives
Division, Texas State Library, Austin. Though no account of the 1873 city elections has been found,
subsequent reports of city council activity reveal the names of at least some of the men who served on
it. Though there were only five seats on the council, because of resignations, at least seven men
served as aldermen between 1873 and 1875. Three of the seven: Sophus Johann Theodore Harde,
Henry Ilse, and Julius F. Sandmeyer, have been identified as German. The other four were John A.
Carter, John Keith, Henry S. Obenchain, and Lott W. Simpson. John C. Miller, the same man who had
been appointed by Governor Edumud J. Davis in 1870, apparently won reelection as mayor, for he
continued to serve (see Colorado Citizen, May 14, 1874, July 9, 1874).

40 Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 8, pp. 592-594; Colorado Citizen, November 5, 1874, November 26, 1874, December 3, 1874, February 18, 1875, February 25, 1875, March 11, 1875, March 18, 1875, April 8, 1875, April 15, 1875, April 29, 1875, May 6, 1875, May 27, 1875, July 1, 1875, July 15, 1875, July22, 1875, August 5, 1875, August 12, 1875, August 19, 1875, September 2, 1875, March 23, 1876. In the bridge's first year of operation, the highest toll charged was 50 cents, for a four-horse carriage. Wagons drawn by six horses or four or more yoke of oxen cost 30 cents. If they were drawn by four horses or three yoke of oxen, 25 cents; if by two yoke of oxen, 20 cents; and if by two horses or one yoke of oxen, 15 cents. Two-horse wagons cost 15 cents and one-horse carts 10 cents. Men on horseback, and each unridden horse, cost a nickel. Other livestock cost three cents per head. People who walked across the bridge were charged two and a half cents. However, persons could buy ten dollars' worth of tolls in advance for only five dollars. Most of these tolls were well under the maximums established by the company's charter (see Colorado Citizen, June 15, 1876).

41 Colorado Citizen, December 9, 1875, January 6, 1876, January 20, 1876, February 3, 1876,
March 23, 1876, April 6, 1876, April 13, 1876, June 15, 1876, October 5, 1876, March 15, 1877, November
15, 1877, December 27, 1877; Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1862-
1876, pp. 397, 416,421.

42 Colorado County Election Records, Book 1874-1884; Colorado County Police [Commis-
sioners] Court Records, Book 1862-1876, pp. 309, 311, 313. In addition to Camillus Jones, Charles
Schmidt, and Robert Tendick, Republican officeholders Himley, Johnson, Steiner, and Ziegler would
all be indicted for some criminal offense or another during the 1870s. Some might regard this as
evidence of their incompetence, some as evidence that their political opponents used the court
system to harass them. All the indictments were eventually quashed or dismissed, which some might
regard as a consequence of the political favor of the prosecutor and the district judge (see Colorado
County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 1090: State of Texas v. George S. Ziegler,
Criminal Cause File No. 1116: State of Texas v. LeopoldSteiner, Criminal Cause File No. 1117: State of
Texas v. Leopold Steiner, Criminal Cause File No. 1118: State of Texas v. Leopold Steiner, Criminal
Cause File No. 1119: State of Texas v. Leopold Steiner, Criminal Cause File No. 1120: State of Texas v.
Leopold Steiner, Criminal Cause File No. 1127: State of Texas v. Leopold Steiner, Criminal Cause File
No. 1165: State of Texas v. Jahu W. Johnson, Criminal Cause File No. 1168: State of Texas v. Jahu W
Johnson, Criminal Cause File No. 1169: State of Texas v. Jahu W Johnson, Criminal Cause File No.
1226: State of Texas v. Eugene Himley, Criminal Cause File No. 1464: State of Texas v. George S. Ziegler,
Minute Book F, pp. 99-100, 119, 190, 192, 278, Book G, p. 79).

43 Colorado Citizen, May 20, 1875, June 3, 1875; Register of Elected and Appointed State
and County Officials, 1870-1875, Secretary of State Records (RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State
Library; Colorado County Election Records, Book 1874-1884. The Democratic winners in the city
elections of 1875 were Charles Brunson, James H. Simpson, and Richard A. Thornton; the Republican
winner was Jahu W. Johnson. The winner who was endorsed by both parties was William Franckel.
The Republiican losers were Charles Schmidt, C. O. Nelson, and Edmund Eason, who was the only
black man in the race. The Democratic loser was Joseph W. Brown.

44 Colorado County Election Returns, Lavaca County Election Returns, Senatorial Election
Returns, 27th District, 1876, all in Secretary of State Records (RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State
Library, Austin; Colorado County Election Records, Book 1874-1884; Colorado Citizen, January 13,
1876, February 3, 1876, February 24, 1876, March 2, 1876, March 9, 1876, March 23, 1876, April 20, 1876;
Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1876-1879, pp. 21, 23. Three of the
1875 candidates for the state legislature, Arnim, Ballard, and Whitfield, were from Lavaca County. Two
more early candidates for sheriff in the 1876 county elections, W. H. Eason and Sumner H. Townsend,
withdrew from the race shortly before the election. Eason may have been a black man.

45 Colorado Citizen, November 23, 1876, May 24, 1877, May 31, 1877, June 7, 1877, September 27, 1877, October 4, 1877; Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1876-1879, pp. 247, 250; William S. Speer and John Henry Brown, eds., The Encyclopedia of the New West
(Marshall, Texas: The United States Biographical Publishing Co., 1881), pp. 122-127. Johnson's resignation was probably prompted by the demands of his business. In 1874, he had invented an insecticide designed to kill cotton worms, which he called Dead Shot. He also raised cattle. Twice during his
short tenure as county judge he was granted lengthy leaves of absence to attend to business (see
Colorado Citizen, June 25, 1874; Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book
1876-1879, pp. 54-55, 229). Earlier, the commissioner from Oakland, Christian Heydorn, had been
replaced on the court by a known Democrat, Joseph C. Kindred. Heydorn had resigned, both from his
commissioner's seat and from another office he held, justice of the peace, in March 1877. In each of the
previous two months, he had, it seems, collected two fines amounting to $56 which he had not yet
turned over to the county treasurer. When he rather suddenly left the county, he was pursued by a
special deputy, who arrested him and placed him in jail in Columbus. The following September he was
indicted for embezzlement, but was subsequently acquitted (see Colorado Citizen, March 15, 1877,
March 22, 1877, March 29, 1877; Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No.
1593: State of Texas v. Chris Heydorn, Criminal Cause File No. 1594: State of Texas v. Chris Heydorn;
Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1876-1879, p. 202; for Kindred's status
as a Democrat, see Colorado Citizen, August 3, 1876).

46 Colorado Citizen, May 4, 1876, June 22, 1876, September 14, 1876, October 5, 1876,
November 21, 1878; Members of the Texas Legislature, 1846-1962 (n. p., n. d.), pp. 87-92. Colorado
County had perhaps its most profound influence in Austin in 1876 during the Fifteenth Legislature.
Not only did Thompson preside over the state senate, but another of its members, James Harvey McLeary, then living in San Antonio, had been born and raised in the county. In the legislature, Ibzan W. Middlebrook was joined by Michael Quin, who lived in Colorado County before the Civil War and, in the Confederate army, commanded a company of men he helped raise in the county, but had since moved to Galveston.

47 Houston Daily Union, February 1, 1871; Colorado Citizen, February 2, 1871, October 5,
1871, October 19, 1871, November 16, 1871, January 18, 1872. Malsch wrote two reports of his activity
for the Colorado Citizen. His reports give the names of two ships that carried his immigrants, the
Erna and the Bremen. He gives the dates of three departures: March 13, October 1, and October 17;
and the dates of two arrivals: May 21 and December 20. He stated that he had sponsored a total of 848
immigrants in 1871, and that 338 passengers were on the two boats that left in October. It is evident
that these were the last of his immigrants to depart. The quarterly reports from the Port of Galveston
from the first half of 1871 have survived, but the dates they provide do not match Malsch's. They list
four arrivals: the Meteor on January 30 with 185 passengers, the Bremen on May 10 with 126 passengers, the Weser on June 15 with 135 passengers, one of whom died, and the Galveston on June 19 with
six passengers. Though the arrival dates do not match, we must presume that the last three of these
ships were completely or largely filled with passengers sponsored by Malsch. Adding these 267
passengers to the 338 who apparently arrived in December leaves 243 of the 848 unaccounted for.
These must have been the "some two hundred and fifty German and Bohemian immigrants" which the
Colorado Citizen reported arrived in Columbus on October 13. Leo Baca, in his study of Czech
immigration to Texas, using a German immigration newspaper, the Deutsche Auswanderer Zeitung,
identified four other immigrant arrivals at Galveston in 1871: the Texas, which embarked on August 29
with 94 passengers and arrived on October 23, the Iris, which embarked on September 4 with 120
passengers and arrived on November 7, the Bremen, which embarked on September 17 with 101
passengers and arrived on November 17, and the Erna, which embarked on October 18 with 291
passengers and arrived on December 23 (see Baca, Czech Immigration Passenger Lists (Hallettsville: Old Homestead Publishing, 1983) vol. 1, pp. 37-38). Despite the discrepancies, we must presume that
these were the voyages of the Erna and the Bremen which delivered the last 338 of Malsch's passen-
gers. This leaves the 250 or so immigrants who arrived in Columbus on October 13 unaccounted for.
Obviously, these immigrants could not have arrived on the Texas or the Iris, as neither vessel arrived
in Galveston before October 13. We can only speculate that the missing 250 immigrants first sailed into
another American port (perhaps New Orleans), or that other ships arrived in Galveston in 1871.

48 Colorado County District Court Records, Minute Book E, p. 213; Colorado Citizen,
October 19, 1871, August 6, 1874, September 10, 1874, October 28, 1875, November 4, 1875, December
23, 1875, January 13, 1876, April 13, 1876, May 18, 1876, July 20, 1876, August 17, 1876, January 11,
1877, April 12, 1877, February 8, 1877, April 19, 1877, January 17, 1878, January 24, 1878; Rowan Green,
Colorado County, Texas: Its Health, Climate, Soil, Advantages andResources (Columbus: Colorado
Citizen, 1877). Some people, notably Washington County's state senator, Matthew Gaines, a black
man, had strongly suggested that Texas attempt to encourage immigration from Africa. He was moti-
vated at least in part by his belief that a marked increase in the number of whites in the state relative
to the number ofblacks would erode black political power. Colorado County's state senator, Robert P.
Tendick, though a Republican, ridiculed the notion of encouraging African immigration in a speech he
made on April 19, 1871, saying in part: "The children of the ancestors of Senator Gaines do not
encumber their minds with money used as a valuable medium of circulation: many of them even never
thought of the luxury of clothing to cover themselves. Now, then, will the Senator inform me who
would pay the passage of his countrymen," and "If the Senator from Washington is afraid, as he said,
that too many white people are coming into the State, and they would sooner or later tell him to pick up his little carpet bag and leave, I think for that reason, if no other, he should encourage the emigration of people of the Northern States and Europe, who come here with the inherent doctrine of political
equality to all; whereas on the other hand, if we do not counterbalance that immense immigration
which is pouring in from the Southern States, every one with State sovereignty on the brain, his
prophesy might come to pass, and certainly if the State administration should unfortunately become
Democratic" (see Speech ofHon. R. P Tendick on Immigration, Delivered in the Senate of the State
of Texas, April 19, 1871, n. p., n. d.).

49 Galveston Daily News, October 11, 1868; Houston Daily 7imes, January 7, 1869, February
19, 1869, March 23, 1869; Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 6, pp. 547-551; Colorado
Citizen, August 12, 1875, April 4, 1878; Colorado County Deed Records, Book Q, p. 574, Book R, pp.
55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 62, 87, 91; Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book I, 225, pp. 601, 604,
607; St. Clair Griffin Reed, A History of TexasRailads (Houston: St. Clair Publishing, 1941. Reprint.
New York: Arno Press, 1981, p. 192). When itbecame clear that the existing railroad had no intention
of building a line to La Grange and Austin, as had earlier been intended, a new railroad, the Columbus,
Austin, & Parker County Railway Company, was chartered. The company, which was incorporated by
virtue of an act passed by the legislature on April 2, 1873, was to construct track from Columbus to Weatherford, through La Grange, Bastrop, and Austin. Two Colorado County men, Josiah Shaw and
John Richard Brooks, were listed among the original commissioners of the railroad. Evidently, however, the C. A. & P. C. built no track, and, in keeping with the provisions of their charter, went out of
existence in two years (see Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 7, pp. 886-891).

50 Colorado County Deed Records, Book O, pp. 606, 608, Book Q, pp. 524, 597-599; Colorado
County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book I, pp. 595, 596, 605; Colorado Citizen, March 14, 1872,
April 2, 1874, June 25, 1874, July 22, 1875, June 6, 1878; Petition to Prohibit the Sale of Alcoholic
Beverages at Borden, March 22, 1873, Memorials and Petitions, Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Record ofAppointment ofPostmasters 1832-September 30, 1971, National Archives
Microfilm Publication M841, Roll 122; Joe B. Frantz, Gail Borden Dairyman to a Nation (Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press, 1951), p. 275, which has been used as the source of the date ofBorden's
death. Borden may have moved to the area because his son-in-law, Jahu W. Johnson, had moved to

51 Colorado County Deed Records, Book I, pp. 602, 603, Book R, p. 61; Record ofAppointment of Postmasters 1832-September 30, 1971, National Archives Microfilm Publication M841, Roll
122; James L. Rock and W. I. Smith, Southern and Western Texas Guide for 1878 (St. Louis: A. H.
Granger, 1878), p. 213; Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1862-1876, pp.
423-424; Colorado County Election Records, Book 1874-1884; Colorado Citizen, August 13, 1874,
December 10, 1874, September 23, 1875. The indication, in the Rock and Smith book, that the town was
laid out on October 3, 1873 is almost certainly erroneous. Several lots had been sold by that time.

52 Petition of the Citizens of Weimar in Colorado County Relative to the Formation of a New
County, May 27, 1876, Memorials and Petitions, Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin;
Colorado Citizen, April 13, 1876, July 6, 1876, August 10, 1876, March 8, 1877, March 22, 1877,
October 18, 1877, December 13, 1877, January 17, 1878. Menefee County was to contain parts of
Fayette, Caldwell, Gonzales, DeWitt, Lavaca and Colorado Counties.

53 Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book I, p. 220, Book K, pp. 256, 257;
Colorado Citizen, April 9, 1874, April 16, 1874, August 27, 1874; Colorado County Deed Records,
Book Q, p. 578. The railroad had purchased the twenty-acre farm because the owner would not give
them a right of way through it.

54 Galveston Daily News, October 16, 1873, October 17, 1873, October 18, 1873, October 19,
1873; Galveston Tri- Weekly News, October 17, 1873, October 19, 1873, October 22, 1873, November 7,
1873; Fayette County New Era, October 24, 1873; Colorado Citizen, April 6, 1882; Colorado County
District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 1149: State of Texas v. John Wesley Brown.

55 Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book I, p. 220; Robert Henry Harrison,
'"The Epidemic of 1873, in Columbus, Texas," NesbittMemorial Library Journal, vol. 2, no. 3, September 1992, pp. 137-138; Fayette CountyNew Era, October 24, 1873, November 7, 1873.

56 Harrison, "The Epidemic of 1873, in Columbus, Texas," Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, vol. 2, no. 3, September 1992, pp. 131-157; Colorado County District Court Records, Minute Book
F, p. 63; Fayette County New Era, October 24, 1873, November 7, 1873, November 14, 1873, November
21, 1873, December 5, 1873; Galveston Daily News, October 21, 1873, October 22, 1873, October 23,
1873, November 7, 1873, November 19, 1873, November 23, 1873, December 2, 1873, December 11, 1873;
Colorado Citizen, July 20, 1876, September 12, 1878, March 25, 1880, May 22, 1884; Colorado County
District Court Records, Minute Book E, p. 366. The incarceration in the countryside provided Colorado County's prisoners with their second easy opportunity to escape in three months. On July 26, when a woman named McCarter had been arrested for stealing, the jailor refused to put her in the jail's single cell because eight men, most of them black, were already inside. Instead, he let her sit in the office; and when he left the building, she unlocked the cell door and she and all the other prisoners escaped (see Fayette County New Era, August 1, 1873).

57 State Police Roster, Seventh Police District, p. 422, Adjutant General's Records (RG 401);
City Officials Appointment Book, City of Columbus, p. 36, Colorado County Election Returns, both in
Secretary of State Records (RG 307) Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Statements of
Bartley Harbert, Westley Burford, and Andrew Pickens, December 12, 1871, Camillus Jones to Edmund
J. Davis, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Fayette
County New Era, December 19, 1873; Colorado Citizen, March 21, 1872, January 14, 1875; Colorado
County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 1277: State of Texas v. Joseph P Harris;
Criminal Cause File No. 1368: State of Texas v. Joseph P Harris. Before his first stint as city marshal,
Harris had worked for the county as a jailor (see Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court
Minutes, Book 1862-1876, p. 154). At the time of their assault on Harbert, Harris and McDowell were
good friends. That friendship lapsed in mid-1872. McDowell married Harris's sister, Sarah, on Febru-
ary 11, 1872, without telling her, or anyone else, that he already had a wife, who was living, abandoned,
in Alabama. When the Harris family found out, McDowell fled, apparently to Tennessee. Joe Harris
wanted to pursue him but was hindered by the fact that he had to support his poor, widowed mother.
She was Dilue Rose Harris, who would later become well known as the author of reminiscences of her
life in early Texas and the traumas of the Runaway Scrape, and as the subject of a number ofbiographical efforts. Sarah Harris later married George S. Ziegler, the important local Republican politician who
spent the latter part of his adult life in Eagle Lake. It was at his home that Dilue Harris wrote her
reminiscences, and at which she died. Another of her daughters, and of Joe Harris's sisters, Mary
Victoria, was married to Johann Baptist Leyendecker, the one-time Republican sheriff of Colorado County. That family connection may partially explain why Joe Harris kept receiving appointment after
appointment despite his many difficulties (see Colorado County Marriage Records, Book E, p. 258;
Joseph P. Harris to Edmund J. Davis, September 2, 1872, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives
Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File
No. 974: State of Texas v. James McDowell; Harris Family File, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial
Library, Columbus. Dilue Rose Harris's reminiscences appear in the Quarterly of the Texas State
HistoricalAssociation, vol. 4, no. 2, October 1900, vol. 4, no. 3, January 1901, vol. 7, no. 3, January
1904. Publications about Harris include: Jeanette Hastedt Flachmeier, "Dilue Rose Harris," in Evelyn
M. Carrington, ed., Women in Early Texas (1975. Reprint. Austin: Texas State Historical Association,
1994), Flachmeier, A Rose in Texas (n. p., 1986), and Rita Kerr, TexasRose (Austin: Eakin Press, 1986).

58 Colorado Citizen, March 16, 1871, May 14, 1874, October 1, 1874, October 15, 1874,
October 29, 1874, February 25, 1875, September 2, 1875, June 8, 1876, March 15, 1877, March 22, 1877,
October 11, 1877, November 15, 1877, May 23, 1878, October 3, 1878. The rise in industrial accidents
was shortly followed by the introduction of the personal-injury lawsuit to Colorado County. In the
summer of 1877, Cecile LaGierse, the widow of the man who died as the result of injuries he received
when attempting to board the train at Borden, sued the railroad. The case dragged on for years, and
was finally dismissed, on grounds that the plaintiff had not come to court, on March 9, 1887 (see
Colorado Citizen, June 7, 1877; Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 3454:
Cecile LaGierse v. Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad, Minute Book I, p. 72).

59 Colorado Citizen, July 2, 1874, May 18, 1876, June 1, 1876, June 15, 1876, June 22, 1876,
July 27, 1876, September 14, 1876, August 9, 1877, September 13, 1877. The jury that was bedeviled by
the odor of the courthouse privy sent a complaint about it, in the form of a mock court decision, to the
Colorado Citizen. The newspaper printed it on September 14, 1876. The jury included Dallas
Stoudenmier, prompting his biographer, Leon Claire Metz, to write of the incident. Metz indicated that
the matter was a genuine court proceeding, surely a highly questionable interpretation (see Metz,
Dallas Stoudenmire: El Paso Marshal (Austin and New York: The Pemberton Press, 1969), pp. 28-29).

60 Colorado Citizen, October 1, 1874, October 22, 1874; District Court Records of Colorado
County, Criminal Cause File No. 1268: State of Texasv. Matt Woodlief Criminal Cause File No. 1269: State of Texas v. Matt Woodlief Criminal Cause File No. 1286: State of Texas v. Matt Woodlief et al.,
Criminal Cause File No. 1287: State of Texasv. Matt Woodlief et al., Criminal Cause File No. 1290: State
of Texas v. Matt Woodlief et al., Criminal Cause File No. 1291: State of Texas v. Matt Woodlief et al.,
Minute Book F, p. 304. Woodlief got into trouble less than a year later in San Antonio. There, after a
brief altercation with police, he was arrested and tried for assault. He was again acquitted, this time on
grounds of insanity. Two years after that, on May 15, 1877, his career, and his life, came to an end when
he was killed by a city marshal in Houston (see Colorado Citizen, May 13, 1875, June 3, 1875, May 17,

61 Colorado Citizen, January 14, 1875, April29, 1875, June 3, 1875, August 19, 1875; Gammel,
ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 7, p. 1309; Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court
Minutes, Book 1862-1876, pp. 386, 427. The new cells were apparently four-sided, independent struc-
tures that were installed inside the existing building. They were apparently much stronger than the
earlier cells, for the building had to be strengthened to hold their weight. Immediately after installing
the new cells, the commissioners court improved the jail further by adding a kitchen (see Colorado
County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1862-1876, pp. 392, 438-439).

62 Colorado Citizen, April 8, 1875, April 22, 1875, May 6, 1875, June 24, 1875, July 29, 1875,
September 14, 1876; Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 1349: State of
Texas v. Milly Walker and Fanny Walker Minute Book F, pp. 529, 617, Minute Book G, p. 55. It was the
jury in the Fanny Walker case that spent the night in the courthouse and complained of the foul
smelling privy.

63 Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 1472: State of Texas v.
Emile Houillion; Colorado Citizen, March 2, 1876, March 22, 1877, April 18, 1878, May 9, 1878, May
23, 1878, May 30, 1878, June 6, 1878; Galveston Daily News, May 8, 1878; Executive Clemency Papers,
Emile Houillion, Secretary of State Records (RG 307) Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin.
Malsch had been authorized to practice law by the commissioners court on October 26, 1871 (see
Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1862-1876, p. 228). Houillion's time in
jail was apparently not in the least pleasant. On June 5, 1877, citing the conditions under which he was
incarcerated, he asked the county to transfer him to another jail. The county refused. On September
14, 1877, his jailor, George Best, was indicted for malfeasance in office because he kept Houillion in "a
loathsome and unhealthy cell" with insufficient drinking water, poor food, and no "means by which he
could keep himself healthy and clean," forcing him "to wallow in filth and inhale the vapors of a filthy
and unhealthy prison cell ... causing dangerous and ill health and great personal and inhumane
suffering" (see Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1876-1879, p. 230;
Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 1609: State of Texas v. George Best).
Curiously, shortly after his death, a rumor arose that Houillion had faked his death, and that he had
escaped to Europe. SheriffToliver stated that he had buried the body in the Columbus City Cemetery.

64 Colorado Citizen, May 31, 1877, June 7, 1877, October 11, 1877, January 10, 1878, February 28, 1878, March 7, 1878, June 20, 1878, February 27, 1879, May 8, 1879, March 25, 1880. Brown had
moved to Columbus from Tennessee in 1866. His first wife, Margaret, died in the yellow fever epidemic
in November 1873. Ironically, Brown had examined the bodies of each of Amos English, Mose Perry,
and Mathias Malsch, the three men who preceded him as annual sensational murder victims (see
Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1876-1879, p. 102).

65 Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 984: State of Texas v. Ben
F. Gee, Criminal Cause File No. 993: State of Texas v. George S. Walton, Criminal Cause File No. 995:
State ofTexas v. Colonel S. Stoudenmier, Criminal Cause File No. 1073: State of Texas v. NatMorris,
Criminal Cause File No. 1102: State of Texas v. O. M. McKinney, Criminal Cause File No. 1135: State of
Texasv . M McKinney, Criminal Cause File No. 1608: State of Texas v. ThomasA. Woolridge; Fayette
CountyNew Era, May 16, 1873, September 19, 1873; Colorado Citizen, October 26, 1871, April 8, 1875.
"Colonel" was Stoudenmier's first name; not a title. He was the brother of the celebrated El Paso marshal Dallas Stoudenmier, who is said by his biographer, Leon Claire Metz, to have engaged in
gunplay in Colorado County during these years. No evidence of any gun battle involving Dallas
Stoudenmier in Colorado County has been found. In fact, Dallas Stoudenmier lived in Fayette County
in 1870. Metz based his statements on second-hand reports of interviews with persons in 1965, or
nearly one hundred years after the incidents might have occurred. It is possible that the people
interviewed in 1965 confused the Stoudenmier brothers, attributing Colonel Stoudenmier's difficulties
with George Walton to Dallas. Though it is likely that no one alive in 1965 had a direct memory of the
otherwise obscure Stoudenmier family in Colorado County, memories of the family might have been
passed down after a biographical sketch of Dallas Stoudenmier was included in Eugene Cunningham's
1934 book, Triggernometry. Both Cunningham and Metz spell the name "Stoudenmire." The spelling
used herein is that on the marriage licenses of both Stoudenmier brothers and that on Colonel
Stoudenmier's tombstone. He died on July 10, 1927, and is buried in Llano, Texas. Dallas Stoudenmier
was killed in an El Paso gunfight on September 18, 1882. He had gotten married in Colorado County
only seven months earlier. His body was shipped to Alleyton for burial. Though the precise site of the
grave has long been forgotten, in November 1998, a man named Red Underhill erected a tombstone for
the former marshal in the Alleyton Cemetery (see Metz, Dallas Stoudenmire: El Paso Marshal, pp. 29-
30; Cunningham, Triggernometry (New York: The Press of the Pioneers, 1934), pp. 171-188; Dallas
Stoudenmire Vertical File, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, which contains xero-
graphic copies of both marriage certificates and the relevant page from the 1870 census of Fayette
County; Colorado County Citizen, December 28, 1994, November 25, 1998).

66 Galveston Tri-Weekly News, November 21, 1873, November 28, 1873; Fayette County New
Era, November 28, 1873; Houston Daily Union, December 27, 1870, January 2, 1871; Colorado Citizen, September 24, 1874, April 1, 1875, December 16, 1875, September 7, 1876, December 7, 1876,
December 28, 1876, December 27, 1877, February 14, 1878; Colorado County District Court Records,
Criminal Cause File No. 903: State of Texas v. Pete Lyons; Criminal Cause File No. 1105: State of Texas
v James G. Ward; Criminal Cause File No. 1145: State of Texas v. William Long; Criminal Cause File No.
1271: State of Texas v. James Byrne; Camillus Jones to Edmund J. Davis, May 6, 1871, Edmund J. Davis
Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin. The Citizen took different ap-
proaches to its coverage of the murders in December 1876. Of the first victim, Si Hunter, it reported:
"The negro killed is said to be of good character, and no one knows the cause of the difficulty. The
stranger immediately left, and was not pursued, as no clue could be had of his destination." Of the
second, Westley Burford, the Citizen said: "Though the deceased had not the best character, we
object to this mode of getting rid of him."

67 Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book I, p. 114; Colorado Citizen, March
2, 1876, March 30, 1876, May 2, 1876, May 11, 1876, June 1, 1876, July 13, 1876, August 10, 1876. The
theft of livestock, of course, was not new; however, the primacy of the notion that ranchers must exact
their own retribution was. One must wonder what effect cases like that of Karl Friedrich Sophus Jordt,
a longtime resident of Frelsburg and then Columbus, had on the psyches of ranchers. Jordt was
convicted of stealing "a certain sorrel horse" and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. He
appealed the case to the state supreme court, which, in early 1869, overruled his conviction on the
grounds that Jordt ought not have been convicted of stealing a horse because the term "horse" meant
either a male or a female animal and Jordt had actually stolen a gelding (see Colorado County District
Court Records, Criminal Cause File No. 775: State of Texas v. Charles Jordt; George W. Paschal,
Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas [Texas Reports]
(Washington, D. C.: W H. & O. H. Morrison, 1870), vol. 31, pp. 571-572; Galveston DailyNews, March
10, 1869).

68 Colorado Citizen, August 3, 1876, August 10, 1876, August 17, 1876, September 7, 1876;
Henry Calhoun Thomas, "A Sketch of My Life," Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, vol. 1, no. 3,
February 1990, pp. 84-86. Thomas, who was one of the Stafford cowboys, stated that the incident was
ever afterward referred to as the Stafford War. Besides Cotton and Gaskin, the sheriff identified Zach
Hughs, Dick Terrell, Isam Devenport, and Reuben Wheeler as the men killed in the war. Thomas
identified the man who was wounded on August 10 as Wiley Balock. The story of the Stafford War
evidently made it as far as New York, though by then it had been expanded to include the deaths of
thirteen blacks and one white man, former union soldier and former Wharton County sheriff Isaac N.
Baughman (who is identified as J. N. Baughman in the article). The New York story had it that one
black man was "shot seven times in the legs and arms, before killed" and that Baughman was "taken
from his sick bed, where he had been confined for weeks, tied up to a tree, for he could not stand by
himself, and eighteen bullets put into his body." Baughman was indeed killed in August 1876, though
not until August 27, some two weeks after the Staffords went home. The Colorado Citizen reported,
"He was shot in the middle of the forehead, through the right temple, one arm torn off, and otherwise
mutilated by fire-arms. As to who did the killing, there are conflicting opinions." Baughman had, for
years, been vilified by some residents of Wharton County, eleven of whom, in 1875, published a
lengthy statement accusing him of cattle theft, incitement to riot, financial impropriety, and "basely
insulting" his partner's wife (see "The Horrible Murders in Texas," New York Times, September 18,
1876 as reproduced inA History ofEagle Lake Texas (Austin: Nortex Press, 1987), p. 27; Colorado
Citizen, March 11, 1875, August 31, 1876; Wharton County District Court Records, Civil Cause File
No. 839: W J. Godsey, etal. v. Isaac N. Baughman andL. L. Lacy). There was one other briefpostscript
to the Stafford War. In March 1877, a notice, signed "Committee of 25 Navidad," arrived at the post
office at Texana (which is now Edna). The notice, which stipulated that the "committee" had been
organized on August 4, 1876, during the height of the Stafford War, and which contained several spelling and punctuation errors, threatened cowboys with some vague retribution if they worked for
Stafford, or for another cattleman, Samuel William Allen. Nothing further is known of this "committee"
(see Colorado Citizen, July 19, 1877, August 9, 1877).

69 Colorado Citizen, November 16, 1876, January 4, 1877. One story stemming from this
period has it that a cattle rustler who was caught butchering a cow was murdered and sewn up inside
the cow's carcass. The story has been repeated so often that it probably bears at least a kernel of truth
(see Horton Foote, Farewell (New York: Scribner, 1999), p. 159, for a printed version of the story).

70 Colorado Citizen, November 2, 1871, April 4, 1872, June 4, 1874, October 1, 1874, Decem-
ber 31, 1874, June 8, 1876, March 15, 1877, March 22, 1877, April 5, 1877; Colorado County Police
[Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1876-1879, pp. 184, 203. The final vote was 1853 against prohi-
bition to 263 in favor of it. The measure got its strongest support in Oakland and Weimar. In Oakland,
37 of the 147 voters voted for prohibition; in Weimar, 80 of the 420 voters did so. The vote in Columbus
was 567 to 83 and in Eagle Lake 217 to 35. All 189 people who voted in Frelsburg and 142 ofthe 144 who
voted at New Mainz were against prohibition. Women, of course, could not vote.

71 Colorado Citizen, May 11, 1871; Colorado County Deed Records, Book M, p. 148, Book
P, p. 473, Book S, pp. 521, 538; Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 3340:
Mollie Billert Nelson and C. O. Nelson v. Simon Thulemeyer and Henry Boedeker as Trustees of the
German Lutheran Church, Minute Book F, p. 608; Colorado County Marriage Records, Book E, p.
370; Galveston Tri- Weekly News, December 3, 1873. Billert might be considered a peculiar choice to
loan money to a church, for he ran a brewery. Billert's Brewery was located on the river in Columbus,
south of Spring Street and north of Washington (block 89). He purchased the property on March 23,
1868. When he died, the inventory of his estate listed 120 empty kegs, three or four kettles, four beer
trucks, various measures and funnels, and one malt mill. It is interesting to consider how the history
and reputation of Columbus might have been changed had not this business been ended by Billert's
early death (see Colorado County Probate Records, Final Record Book H, p. 582; Colorado County
Deed Records, Book M, p. 704).

72 Records of St. John's Episcopal Church, Columbus, Register Number 1, 1874-1892, p. 7;
Colorado Citizen, October 19, 1871, November 16, 1871, February 22, 1872, February 29, 1872, August
3, 1876, November 9, 1876, February 24, 1881; Colorado County Bond & Mortgage Records, Book I, p.
56; Colorado County Deed Records, Book O, p. 384, Book S, p. 287, Book T, p. 15. The Colorado
Citizen of February 27, 1873 (which is the only known surviving copy from that year) reported that
there were services conducted by U. C. Spencer in the Methodist Church on both the morning and the
evening of the second, third, and fourth Sundays of each month. On June 25, 1874, the Citizen
reported that "Rev. Mr. Archer officiates in the Methodist Church at this place." Beginning on Octo-
ber 15, 1874, the Citizen began running a regular column listing religious services in town. Naturally,
only white services were considered. The first column notes that, besides two Sunday schools, (the
Methodist Sunday School and the Columbus Union Sabbath School), there were regular services
only in the Episcopal church. On November 26, 1874, the newspaper noted, "Two of our Churches
have regular service, though the attendance upon it is somewhat meagre, one of them is occupied
only on occasions." The regular column noted a once-a-month Lutheran service from February 25,
1875 through April 6, 1876, and weekly Baptist services from March 2, 1876 through November 9, 1876.
At no time in the years between 1874 and 1876 were Methodist services (other than the Sunday
school) noted, though the official church history reports that the church had pastors named A. L. P.
Green from 1872 through 1876 and EF A. McShan from 1876 through 1878 (it does not mention Spen-
cer). Green had certainly left by March 1876, when he opened a hotel in Schulenburg. The records of
the church itself are little help. The earliest recorded event at the church (again except for Sunday
school classes) is a wedding performed on December 21, 1895. The oldest record book also contains a membership list, which begins with an alphabetical listing of the 192 members of the church at the
time the book was started. For some of these members, the dates they joined the church are recorded.
Of the dates which are recorded, none is before 1890. However, for most of the 192 persons, the dates
they joined the church are not recorded, suggesting that they had been members for some time. The
Columbus Baptist church records are even less useful. The earliest record discovered in a thorough
search of the church office with thirteen-year employee Fay Elliott were the minutes of the church
council from 1964 (see Katherine Evans Wooten, A History of First Methodist Church Columbus,
Texas 1822-1957 (n. p., 1957), p. 16; Colorado Citizen, March 16, 1876; Records of First United
Methodist Church, Columbus, Texas; Records of First Baptist Church, Columbus, Texas).
More evidence of the limited religious activity in the county is provided by the admittedly
inadequate 1870 census. The census takers counted only three congregations (two Lutheran and one
Catholic) and two churches (one Lutheran and one Catholic) in the county. Though there were surely
more congregations and church buildings in existence at the time, this low count cannot be taken as
an indication that there were several flourishing denominations present (see Eighth Census of the
United States (1870) Schedule 5, Colorado County, Texas).

73 Colorado Citizen, February 1, 1877, March 8, 1877, March 22, 1877, October 18, 1877;
Records of First United Methodist Church, Eagle Lake, Texas; Eagle Lake Headlight, January 26,
1929; Colorado County Deed Records, Book T, p. 359. What is apparently the earliest record book of
the Methodist church in Eagle Lake states that the congregation was organized in May 1872. Though
the earliest record in the book is of an 1878 wedding, the books apparently were acquired around 1890.
Earlier events were recorded later, but not necessarily in the order they occurred. The congregation,
though, certainly dates from before 1873, for one of the listed members is William L. Wynn, who, as we
have seen, was murdered in May 1873. The Baptist church in Eagle Lake has no early records. The
obituary of John B. Armstrong, in the above cited issue of the Eagle Lake Headlight, reports that he
arrived in town in 1877.

74 Colorado Citizen, September 2, 1875, August 3, 1876, November 16, 1876, May 10, 1877;
Colorado County Deed Records, Book S, pp. 665, 666, Book T, p. 262, Book W, p. 368. Weimar's St.
James African Methodist Episcopal Church's own history states that the congregation was estab-
lished in February 1874; however no mention of its existence before 1877 could be located (see Mary
Hinton, Weimar, TexasFirst 100 Years 1873-1973 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1973), p. 134).

75 Frederick Eby, comp., Education in Texas Source Materials (Austin: University of Texas,
1918), pp. 516-535; Colorado Citizen, May 11, 1871. The Constitution of 1869 had required that the
legislature compel all children between six and eighteen years old to attend either a public or a private
school for at least four months each year. The 1870 law attempted to do so, but provided only the
weakest of penalties, stipulating that if its children failed to attend school, the county would forfeit its
"interest in the school fund for the time being," but affording no punishment for the parents.

76 Colorado Citizen, May 11, 1871, October 5, 1871, October 12, 1871, November 2, 1871,
January 18, 1872, February 15, 1872, February 29, 1872; "Reminiscences of Mrs. F G. Mahon," Nesbitt
Memorial Library Journal, vol. 9, no. 1, January 1999, pp. 45-46; Dewey Homer Brown, The History of
Education in Columbus, Colorado County, Texas (Master's thesis, Sul Ross State Teachers College,
1942), p. 68. Though public schools were not popular with the Colorado Citizen, the newspaper did
find it proper to praise new history textbooks which were adopted, complaining that the old ones
taught "that the Southern people were heathens, murderers, and traitors" (see Colorado Citizen,
November30, 1871).

77 Lease, Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 51 to J. C. Degress, Superintendent
of Public Instruction for the State of Texas, September 1, 1872, Shropshire-Upton Chapter, U. D. C.
Collection (Ms. 25), Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus; Colorado Citizen, Febru-
ary 27, 1873, September 10, 1874, September 17, 1874, September 24, 1874, October 1, 1874, November
26, 1874, December 24, 1874, January 7, 1875, March 18, 1875. Holloman apparently also made some
money as a writer. He published a poem in the Colorado Citizen of June 11, 1874.

78 Colorado Citizen, August 6, 1874, September 17, 1874, March 18, 1875, August 12, 1875,
August 19, 1875, August 26, 1875, September 23, 1875, November 16, 1876, January 18, 1877, December
13, 1877; Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 8, pp. 811, 1035-1046; Samuel D. McLeary,
"School in Osage," in Hinton, Weimar, Texas First 100 Years 1873-1973, p. 286. The original directors
of the Colorado Institute were William S. Delany, Rowan Green, Robert H. Harrison, Jahu W. Johnson,
C. O. Nelson, Robert E. Stafford, James LeeTaylor, Exum P. Whitfield, and George Witting.
It will be remembered that what became Hermann Seminary had started out as Hermann
University. On August 10, 1870, the legislature incorporated a second Hermann University, this one to
be organized in Comal County, and assigned the league of land that had been designated for the
original Hermann University to it. Naturally, this created a problem, for an earlier legislature had
already given the league to Hermann Seminary. Perhaps for this reason, little more than a year later, on
November 1, 1871, the legislature revoked the charter of the second Hermann University (see Gammel,
ed., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 5, pp. 256-258, vol. 6, pp. 635-636, vol. 7, p. 164).

79 Record ofAppointment of Postmasters 1832-September 30, 1971, National Archives
Microfilm Publication M841, Roll 122; Colorado Citizen, October 5, 1871, July 16, 1874, December 23,
1875, April 13, 1876, June 1, 1876, October 12, 1876. Tendick became postmaster on September 22, 1873
and held onto the post until he resigned in early 1883. On January 1, 1879, he conveyed his store to
John A. Tendick and George W. Hoeffert, who operated it until it failed in November 1881. Robert
Tendick opened a bank in April 1879. However, his wife's health began to decline, and, in mid 1880,
acting on the advice of physicians who thought the climate might help her, he moved to San Antonio.
She died there, at the age of 33, in February 1881. He remained in San Antonio, becoming vice
president and manager of the San Antonio Brewing Association, and died there, quite wealthy, on
November 3, 1888 (see Colorado Citizen, December 26, 1878, April 10, 1879, February 17, 1881,
February 24, 1881, November 24, 1881, February 8, 1883, November 15, 1888, September 24, 1891).

80 Colorado Citizen, August 30, 1877, April 18, 1878; Colorado County Police [Commission-
ers] Court Minutes, Book 1876-1879, p. 301. Nor did Dewees's obituary mention his book, Letters from
an Early Settler of Texas. At this point in the county's history, local history was thought insignificant.
Dewees' book, like Fannie Darden's previously-noted article about Dillard Cooper, and like Dewees's
and Wallace's obituaries, concentrated instead on what might be called state history, and particularly
on the revolution of 1836.