Although I would have preferred to link directly from my web page to this oral history at the WPA's web
page, this was not possible.  Their pages are not set up to accommodate such links.  I was able to copy the
text exactly as it appears on their site.  What follows is an exact copy of the document found at the WPA's
web page with one exception.  I deleted a bit of information on viewing  the document that is not relevant for
this site.  The references to "Page image" below refer to links of images of  the original type written page.

This project is online thanks to the:
Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA General Writer's Project Collection.



Andrew Jackson Hale


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{Begin handwritten} [????] {End handwritten} {Begin handwritten} 4350 {End
handwritten} words

EDITORIAL FIELD COPY

by

Mrs. Florence Angermiller, P.W. {Begin handwritten} [???] {End handwritten}

Page 1

232

From F.C. by

Mrs. Gussie Hale, P.W.

Pioneer Experiences and Tales of Early Days UVALDE COUNTY, DISTRICT #10 {Begin
handwritten} PART ONE {End handwritten}

ANDREW JACKSON HALE

Uvalde, Texas .

"Uncle Jack" Hale is 82 years old and lives on the Rocksprings Highway about about a mile
from the depot. He is of sound physical and mental condition and remembers his early-day
experiences clearly. His parents, Andrew M. and Sarah Hale, were natives of Alabama, coming
to Texas about two years after they were married and just before the breaking out of the Civil
War. "Uncle Jack" was born in Greenville, Hunt County, Texas , May 20, 1856. He was not
the oldest child as his mother's first baby was born on a boat they boarded for Texas but died
soon after birth and was buried at sea.

When the Civil War broke out, his father enlisted and drove a team for the Southern Army. In
"Uncle Jack's" own words:

"He was never in the firing line, only a teamster. I remember him coming home several times
during the war. I also remember after the war that some Yankees came in and settled on a little
creek called Long Branch, about one-half mile of our house. Father and them were on friendly
terms.

"Every morning at sunrise and in the evening at sundown, they would fire a cannon off. Father
would take us children and mother up there to see this. There were several men in this company
who were wearing a ball and chain on their ankles. On our return home one evening, I said to
my father, 'Father, what were all those men doing with that ball

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and chain on their ankles?' He said, 'Well, son, during the war there were some men who would
never fight; they would run in a battle. So when they go to fire this cannon every day, they have
to put the ball and chain on them to keep them from running away, for when they smell gun
powder, they'll run in spite of hell.'

"When I was about fifteen years old, my brother and me used to haul beef, hides and cotton
bales from Hunt County to Jefferson, Texas . He used ox wagons with four yoke of steers to
each wagon. Ten mile a day was a big drive. My older brother and myself made this a business.
Sometimes when we were making those trips, we would see {Begin deleted text} hundres
{End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} hundreds {End handwritten}
{End inserted text} of turkey and big bunches of hogs being driven to market. There were no
trains and that was the only means and the easiest way of getting them to market. Jefferson was
the nearest shipping point and it is located on Lake Caddo.

"When roosting time came, they would sure have to find a place for those turkey to roost; that is,
a thicket of some kind, or they would fly up on anything that they would see to roost on. As for
the hogs, they would be tired when night came and would lie down and bed up like cattle. Of
course, they would have a wagon along and feed these hogs three times a day.

"When we were freighting to Jefferson, there was a black-jack grove on the road to Jefferson.
The little town had a saloon, restaurant, barber shop, post-office and about two grocery stores.
It is now called Cumby and is about sixteen miles east of Greenville. My brother and I were
returning one evening with a load of whiskey for Bill and Frank Arnold. As we were nearing this
spot, we heard a lot of shouting and when we reached the black-jack grove, we could almost
walk

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on dead men. There had been six men killed. The Downings, Stricklands and Fryers had met
here. There was an old feud between these three and they had gotten into this shooting scrape
and six were killed. I know there was one Fryer and one Downing killed, but I don't remember
just who the rest were. I don't remember exactly what the feud was about, either. I believe the
shooting came up over a horse race. My brother and I stayed there about an hour and when we
left, the dead men were still lying in the road and we had to pull around them to get our team by.

"When I was about 24 or 25 years old, I was deputy sheriff and jailer at Greenville. But there
was serious trouble came up and I left there between suns in order to avoid further and more
serious trouble which I knew would be sure to come if I stayed. It hurt my feelings to go but all
my friends insisted that it was the best thing to do until things were more peaceable. So to please
them and my mother and father, I left.

"I remember the Negro slaves quite well. My Uncle Jack Hale, the man I was named for, had
slaves. I remember them when they would go to work every morning. They had a boss and
when they didn't work or did something they shouldn't do, my uncle would sometimes whip
them, but never unmercifully.

"One time when I was quite a boy, twelve or fourteen years old, I saw a Negro whipped. There
was a widow woman living near us and there was lake of water between our place and her
house. She would always come down to this lake to wash her clothes. One day after she had
finished a day's washing and had gone to the house, Judge McGowan's Negro came down
through there hauling wood and one of them stole her clothing off the line. Mrs. [Weaver?] saw
him from the

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house and recognized the Negro and reported it to the judge. He investigated and found the
Negro with the clothes. He asked father and some more men to come up to his house a certain
day, he wanted then for a witness or something like that, but he was going to whip that Negro.
When the time came, they rolled a big, whiskey barrel out and had two Negros to strip him
down to his waist and put him across that barrel. One Negro was made to stand on his head and
one on his feet. Then he made another Negro slave whip him with a big, leather strap. They
whipped him till the blood was running d down his back and when they got through whipping
him, they rubbed salt into the raw, bloody cuts. Oh, it was something terrible. I was just a boy
but this made a terrible impression on me. My uncle's slaves loved him and did'nt leave him
when they were freed, but stayed with him till they died. They went by his name.

"In '82, I went up the trail with a man named Tom King. He was a big, cattle man and a banker.
We had one-thousand head of cattle and were moving them from Greenville to Jones and
Shackelford County in East Texas . Mr. King had bought a big ranch there and this herd was
cows and calves. He was taking them to grass. I drove the chuck wagon and cooked for the
outfit but rode too when it was necessary. There were about fourteen men in all.

"I remember one day I was shoeing a mule while we were resting the cattle at noon. Part of the
men were standing guard and the rest were eating dinner. Charley Moore rode up while I was
holding the mule's foot between my knees. The mule, being a fool, wouldn't stand. Moore came
up behind him and gave him a kick to make him stand up. The mule reared and jumped, jerking
me down. The nails in the shoe were sticking out and very sharp. They cut a gash in my leg
about

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seven or eight inches long and real deep. I carry the brand there yet. ell, when I got up, I was
mad as the devil. I knew that Moore had done this on purpose for he and I had been on terms
that were none too good for several days. I came up with a rasp in my hand that I had been
using to shoe the mule and I threw it at Moore's head with all the force I had. I hit him on the
nose and cut the end of his nose off and it dropped down on his mouth. The boss was standing
there looking on. My leg was bleeding badly and King says, 'Well, we've got to sew that leg up
for Jack is going to bleed to death.' All the kind of thread they had was a spool of ordinary,
sewing thread and that's just what he used. He took about twelve or sixteen stitches in my leg
and put a wet pack on it to get the blood stopped. Then he turned to Moore and sewed his nose
back on but it was always crooked afterward. It was the boss' time to talk then. He said,
'Moore, you knew that mule was a fool. Why did you do that?' Then he turned to us both and
says, 'Now you fellows renew this and I'll set you both afoot out here in this lonely country.' It
was fifty miles or more between ranches.

"Well, we started on and everything went all right till we got to Brownwood. He had a lot of
cows that were given out -- road-foundered -- and and would fight a man on a horse or afoot
either. They had the road brand on them and King's brand, also. When they got too bad, we
would just leave them beside the trail and the next man who came along with a herd would pick
them up and find out who they belonged to and turn them over to King. One day, we had just
eaten dinner and was within a short distance of Brownwood. I was behind, driving the chuck
wagon. One of the cows on ahead was mad and fighting. We met a young man and a little girl in
the road. They were coming from school, I suppose.
 
 

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The man was well dressed. The little girl saw this cow and thought it was a gentle milk cow and
ran ahead to scare her. The cow knocked the child down and had her between her horns on the
ground. The young man ran and caught the cow by the horns and the little girl jumped up and
climbed up on a fence close by. The cow was so weak the man could manage her very well,
although she was churning him around considerably. I knew when they came in sight what would
happen, but I was too far away to prevent it. When I finally got to where they were, the man
says, 'Mister, come and help me. I'm in a hell of a shape!' I says, 'Turn her loose and run and
jump on the fence like the little girl did.' He said, 'No, the cow will catch me and kill me. I wont
risk that.' I said, 'Hell, stand there and hold her all day. I'll drive around.' Then I got out of the
wagon and went and examined the little girl. She wasn't hurt but scared to death. I finally got her
quiet and over some of her scare and turned to the man with language that won't do to repeat
and I says, 'Now, I am going to let you out of this. I'll take this cow and hold her till you get a
start and then I am going to turn her loose.' So I caught the cow by the horns and gave him a
kick in the seat of the pants. He made about two jumps and hit the fence and landed on the
other side. I says, 'Now, I'll show you how to handle a cow.' I caught the old cow by the horn
and the jaw and with a little twist, threw her down. He was very angry and said, 'Mister, I'll kill
that cow before morning.' Sure enough he did. she was missing next morning and the boss sent
one of the boys back to look for her and he found her with two bullet holes in her head. The
boss said he didn't blame him, he would have done the same thing. Well, I had my own fun out
of him.
 
 

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"For four or five days after that, nothing of interest happened. By the time, we were miles from
any ranch or house of any kind. One evening we struck camp on a hill. The cattle had all bedded
down. About midnight, it came up a cloud and begin to lighten and thunder. The boss said, "Get
up, boys. All of you get your horses and get around those cattle.' He had a Negro boy along
about sixteen years old, that had been given to the boss when he was small. King had raised the
boy in the saddle. Well, we were all out riding around the herd to try to avoid a stampede and
the Negro boy went to sleep. The same Charley Moore that I had the round with a few days
before, rode up to the boy and hit him across the back with his quirt. The Negro had on an
old-fashioned slicker and it popped like the crack of a rifle. Well, that was all that was needed.
Those cattle was gone with the wind. We were riding as close to the leaders as we could, trying
to hold them together. Now, just over the hill, there was an old road and in this old road, a ditch
had been washed out by the rain. It was about seven or eight feet deep ad twelve or fourteen
feet wide. The cattle was running full speed and going straight for that ditch. When the leader
discovered the ditch, they stopped suddenly. But the others coming on behind, pushed them on
in and they piled in that ditch till it was full and heaped up like a railroad dump. The others
coming on would climb over them and scatter in every direction. It was raining blue snakes and
as dark as it could be. We couldn't tell exactly what was taking place but we were riding as
close to the herd as possible and afterward, we were black and blue from being hit by the horns
of the running cattle. It was just an accident that some of the men were not in the lead of the
cattle and had gone into the ditch first. There

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were about one-hundred and forty head killed right there. Some were crippled and some we
never got back at all. We stayed there a week getting all we could find. We would attend all the
round-ups in the country and that way, we got back several head. We managed to save a few of
the cripples and the boss got some of the ranchers to look after them for him.

"After it was all over, the boss said to Moore, 'If you do another thing like that, you will go back
where you come from quick.' But we didn't have any more trouble till we reached the ranch.
King couldn't get possession of the ranch house so a cousin of mine, [Wiley?] Hale, and a man
named Newt Brisco and myself, lived in a dugout all the winter and looked after the herd till the
next spring. Then King came and brought another herd and a fresh crew of men. King made
[Wiley?] Hale foreman of this ranch and he remained foremen there for thirty-two years.

"I went back to Greensville with King and about fourteen other men. When we reached {Begin
deleted text} Stephen {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten}
Stephens County, {End handwritten} {End inserted text} King says, 'Now, Jack, you go to
the store and buy the grub and me and the rest of the boys will go on down the creek and make
camp. So I went on to the store. Two men owned the store by the name of Duke and Steward.
It was a new store and had a porch without any top on it. An empty barrel was sitting on the
porch with the top out and they had dropped some scantlings in it. They were one-by-threes and
about two and a half feet long. There were several houses close, among them a barber shop.
We were all talking and having a good time. I had gotten the groceries and was getting
cartridges for my pistol. About this time, the Negro boy who had been getting some straps for
his spurs, walked into the store and I said, 'Cumby, put those groceries in the wagon. The boy
picked up

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a sack of flour and threw it over his shoulder and hit a big ceiling-lamp, breaking the lamp
casting and spilling oil all over the floor. Well, Duke came over and began to curse the Negro. I
says, "Now, don't do that. I'll make him clean it up.' Duke says, 'You take up for a damn Negro,
don't you?' I said, 'Yes, he is a good boy and I am traveling with him.' So I told Cumby to clean
it all up. He started in to cleaning it all up and I picked up the groceries and took them to the
wagon myself. About that time the barber come running out of his shop and says, "Hey, Mister,
you better go back in there. They're beating that Negro up.' I jumped out of the wagon and as I
ran in, I grabbed one of those one-by-three pieces of timber out of the barrel. When I got inside,
they had the Negro boy in one corner holding him by the throat and beating him with a bluing
bottle. He was bloody all over. I grabbed Duke by the collar and jerked him back and told him
to stop that. He says, 'You're no better than a damn Negro,' and he called me a name no Texan
will stand for and threw the bottle at me. When he said that, I struck him edgeways with that
plank across the head and cut the scalp loose across his head and it dropped down over his ear.
He dropped to the floor and I thought I knocked his brains out. He went under the counter and I
didn't see him any more. Steward was looking on. I turned to him and said, 'what have you got
to do with this, sir?' He said, 'This!' and threw a fifty-pound scale weight at me. It just brushed
my ear. Then he turned and ran. I threw the scantling at him as he ran and broke his nose with it.

'I went on outside and told the Negro to get on [?] and go tell King to come up there. As luck
would have it, there wasn't a sheriff or deputy in town. King came and said, 'Ive raised this

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Negro boy from a small child and I know he is a good boy. I will back Hale up in any thing he
has done.' Meantime I was in my wagon and they were throwing rocks at me from every side. I
took out my pistol and fired it in the air several times and they left the scene pronto . In a short
time all the cowboys were there with their six-shooters. The boss turned to me and said in a low
tone of voice, 'Jack you take my horse, (which was a big bay name John) take the Negro boy
and go across the mountains and don't stop till you get to Greenville. If they overtake you, fight
them to a finish.' But they knew which way we went. The boss paid for the lamp. In a short time
the sheriff come in and they watched the camp for two nights. The boss then had a private talk
with the sheriff and told him that Duke and Stewart had started that trouble with Hale and he
was in the right, and the best thing he could do was to drop it. For if you ever take these boys
there will be a hot battle, and there is more than one of them too. There were two ox rangers in
our outfit and the sheriff decided not to go after us.

"We made it fine across the country getting buffallo meat from buffallo hunters and killing deer
and fish, ocasionly stealing a goat. Every once in a while we would stop at a little country store
and get bread. [Well?], we reached Greenville O.K. Marion Hale, my oldest brother was sheriff
of Hunt County at that time. In the meantime, King had sent my brother a telegram saying.
"Jack's had trouble. Watch for telegram from {Begin deleted text} ste {End deleted text}
{Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} Stephens {End handwritten} {End inserted text}
County sheriff, for Jack's arrest. Take care of it. I will be home at an early date.' Sure enough,
my brother had gotten the telegram from the {Begin deleted text} ste {End deleted text}
{Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} Stephens {End handwritten} {End inserted text}
County Sheriff. [?] Marion wired him back. 'Will be on the look-out for him,' and signed, 'Hunt
County Sheriff {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted
text} {Begin deleted text} ot {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten}
Not {End handwritten} {End inserted text} giving his name. Well, the boss and I got at the
courthouse at the very same minute and relate the news to my brother behind closed doors.

"In '83 I went to Williamson County and farmed there for about five

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years on the Dykes farm. One Xmas in Granger, Texas , I remember Jim Curtis killed Little
Buck [Walton?]. The shooting was accidental and Curtis was acquitted. He and several other
boys were in Georgetown attending the trial as we were witnesses in the case. Well, we camped
in the wagon yard and of course were drinking some. The case was not called for several days.
Naturally, we got restless. Bill Dykes, Bob Wilson and my self, get old Dan {Begin inserted
text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} my buggy horse, and put
him to my buggy to take in the town. There was a Jew who had a cheap-John fruit stand out in
the middle of the street. We came around the corner of the court house full speed. Now, Dan
was a high stepper and Dykes said, 'Jack pull him into that damn Jew's fruit stand.' I said,
'Good!' And that is just what we did. Two buggy wheels just took out one side of the stand.
Oranges, pocket knives and money purses went in every direction. As for the Jew he got a good
tumble too. Well, that raised a yell, and here came the town marshall. He took in after us to
arrest us and around and around the court house we went. If the marshall crowded us too fast
for Dan to trot, he laped. Every now and then Dykes would yell, 'Clear the track for Dykes and
Jack! Lay on the buggy whip, Jack!' and I would do it every time he would tell me to. Finally,
they {Begin deleted text} corralled {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} corraled {End handwritten} {End inserted text} us and caught us. Dykes and
me put up the fight and Wilson run. Well, there was a plank fence all around the court house
yard, and steps leading up over the fence into the court house yard. They had to take us over
these steps to get us into the court house yard, for that's where the jail was also. That is where
the fun started. As they would try to force us over these steps, we would brace our feet on the
bottom step, we would give them a hard jerk and land them way back outside the court house
fence. They soon got tired of that and used their six-shooter for clubs. One of the officers cut me
across the head with his gun and I have that scar yet too. We were all skinned and bruised
badly. We saw they had us bested when they

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begin {Begin deleted text} us {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten}
using {End handwritten} {End inserted text} their guns, as we didn't have any. So we
marched on to jail and stayed there till midnight, when we got bond and got out, went to the
doctor. {Begin handwritten} We {End handwritten} got our wounds dressed and paid a fine
of fifty-five-dollars for our fun.

"In the spring of '87, I went up the trail with Crusoe Beard. He took 2,000 head of cattle to the
[?]. I. T. ranch on the plains. There was no town there, just a wide {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} open country. We passed
through Fort Worth and hit the old Chisolm Trail and traveled it for about fifty miles. We made
the trip fine with the exception of a few stampedes. They were all young cattle and they drove
fine. We had four head of horses each. Some were gentle and some were wild. Anyway, we
had to ride them if they pitched or not. As well as I remember, we had twelve/ {Begin inserted
text} men {End inserted text} in the outfit.

"After we got up on the plains, we came into some tall weeds called milkweeds. There were
worlds of antelope everywhere. One night, {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} one
{End handwritten} {End inserted text} of the boys struck a match while they were on guard
and stampeded the herd. I was riding a big, black horse called Nigger. He was a spoiled horse
and would pitch nearly every time I would get on him. Well, the cattle scattered everywhere.
However, we held the main herd together. Next day we heard of a round-up a few miles from
there so me and one of the other boys rode over there to see if any of our cattle, that had gotten
away, were there. This was just a round-up on the range, no fences, no ranches of any kind.
When we got there, I says to the other boy, 'You cut the cattle out of the main herd,' as he was
riding a good cutting-horse and my horse was a bronc. He brought out several head for me to
hold and had gone back to look for more. I was riding around these to hold them and rode
through a thick bunch of these milk weeds. Up jumped four baby antelope about a week old.
They run right under my horse. He quit the earth. He was a big horse and he had never pitched
like that before. The antelope were young

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and didn't have sense enough to get out of the way. They stayed right under the horse and he
continued to pitch. He killed two of them and broke the shoulder of another. The fourth one
wasn't hurt. He kept on pitching till he was ready to quit. When he did decide to quite, I needed
a breathing spell.

"I saw that one of the little antelope wasn't hurt. But I didn't get off of this horse as I knew I
never would get back on him. I waited till the other boy came back. I said. 'John, I want that
baby antelope to take back to camp.' He said, 'All right, I'll rope 'im.' But he caught him with his
hands. Well, we carried it back. It got as gentle as a goat. We would milk a cow and feed it
milk. It stayed around camp till we were ready to leave. When we started back home the boss
said, 'Jack, give me that antelope. You don't need it. I want it for my family.' I said, 'All right,
Crusoe, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll give it to you if you will set the drinks up to the outfit when
we get back to Snyder and call the antelope Jack .' He said he would and did. Beard kept it till it
was grown and still had it the last time I heard of him five years later."

Part Two Follows.

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{Begin handwritten} [???] {End handwritten} - life sketches

Words

EDITORIAL FIELD COPY

by

Mrs. Florence Angermiller

Page 1

232

From F. C. by

Mrs. Gussie Hale, P. W.

Pioneer Experiences and Tales of Early Days UVALDE COUNTY, DISTRICT #10 PART
TWO

ANDREW JACKSON HALE

Uvalde, Texas .

"On September 1, 1887, I was married to Miss Alice Montgomery of Granger, Texas . We
were married by the justice of the peace, an old man named Van Zant. Well, I didn't belong to
any church but my wife and all her people were Catholics. For about eight months after we were
married, we lived with My wife's father. He would go to mass if it was raining and hailing. One
day her father said to me, 'Jack, I have meant to tell you before-- you and Alice have been
married by the justice of the peace. Now, I want you to be married by the priest; if you don't,
Alice can't commune with the Catholic church.' I told him all right, so he went to Taylor and told
the old priest all about it. Then the time came we went down to the Catholic church. The priest
and two nuns were ready and the priest asked for the wedding ring. And then he says. 'Now,
Jack, you have got to make me some good promises.' I said, 'All right.' He says, 'Your marriage
is no marriage. You are living in adultery. You must be married in the Catholic church, for if you
don't, and there is ever any children born to you, they will be illegitimate.' I said, 'You're a liar!
We have been married legally and it's on record at the court house in Georgetown. And if we
have forty children at a pop, I will not promise to raise a one of them Catholic.' My wife agreed
with me and said I was right. So we left.

"About two months later, I was plowing one day out back of the orchard. My wife came out
and said that 'Old Brother John' (the priest) was in the house.
 
 

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Well, when twelve o'clock came, I didn't go to dinner for I wanted to avoid trouble. As the rest
of the family sat down to the dinner table, my wife's father asked where I was. And she informed
them that I was not coming to dinner. About three o'clock that afternoon, the old priest came out
where I was. He said, 'I want to talk to you about you and Alice getting married.' I said, 'We
have already been married.' He said, 'No, you haven't. You are living in adultry.' Well, when he
said that, fire flew. I had a rope in my hand that was wet and muddy and about three feet long
after it was doubled, and I hit him with it. I hit him once across the shoulders and once across
the seat of the pants. He left immediately. I could see the print of that dirty, wet rope on him till
he got to the house. He went on in the house and talked awful to my wife, told her she was going
to hell if she didn't quit me at once. When she told me what he said to her, I was sorry I didn't
kill him with a monkey wrench while he was out in the orchard.

"After that, I sold out and we moved to Rockport, Texas and lived there six months. While we
were there, a little priest came out to the house. They had written him from {Begin deleted text}
Willia {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} Williamson {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} County. He told me his business at once and/ {Begin
inserted text} said {End inserted text} if I would be married by the priest, he would not ask
that the children be brought up Catholics. I agreed to this and we were remarried by him right
there. We had one small baby and he asked if he could christen the baby and I said yes.

"After that, we left Rockport and went to Cameron County. On the way we had to cross a reef
about twelve or fifteen feet wide and it had posts on each side with big sign boards saying, 'Stay
between these posts.' We drove on to this one day about twelve o'clock. And before we could
get across it, the tide had come in and the water was belly-deep to the oxen. And before we got
off of that reef, the water was high enough to swim the

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lead steers. The two next to the wagon managed to reach bottom by the weight of the load,
holding them down. The water was way up in the ed of the wagon and the steers became
frightened and begin to try to turn around. I knew if they did they would turn the wagon over in
the deep water. So I jumped out into water over waist deep and caught the lead steer by the
horns and stopped them. About that time some men come along and helped us lead them out on
the other side to land. We spent the night in Corpus Christi and was on our way early next
morning traveling right down the bay toward {Begin deleted text} Bronsville {End deleted
text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} Brownsville {End handwritten} {End
inserted text}

"One night it came time to make camp. We had an old man traveling with us by the name of
Myers. He says, 'Here is the place to camp right here under this big live- {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} oak {End handwritten} {End inserted text} tree.' It was an immense
tree. I said, 'No {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End
inserted text} it is dangerous to camp under that tree. It has too many large limbs on it. I want
to go up on that hill, where that live- {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} oak {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} thicket is, to camp.' So we did. I left him and my wife and
baby at camp, picked up my gun and went out to try to kill a deer. It got dark, came up a big
cloud and begin to lighten and thunder and I got lost. Didn't find my way back to camp till eleven
o'clock that night. Well, it came one of the hardest rains and windstorms and such lightening I
never saw. I was wet as I could be and didn't now where I was at all. Rattlesnakes! My [lord?],
they were every where. It was dark as a dungeon. I got ma a long stick and beat in front of me
and when I would hear a snake rattle, I'd go around him and go on. Once it lightning and I saw a
big tree and climbed it to see if I could see a light. Well, they knew I was lost so the old man had
sense enough to hang a lantern high above the top of the wagon so I could see the light. I saw
the light behind me and went toward it. Every once in a while, I would climb a tree to keep my
direction. I finally reached the light and to my surprise I was at my own camp, for I had thought
this light must be a ranch house somewhere. Well, the lightning hit that big live- {Begin inserted
text} {Begin handwritten} oak {End handwritten} {End inserted text} tree where the old
man had wanted to camp and split it right

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down the middle. I said, 'Now {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten}
{End inserted text} who's the wise man?' He said, 'By God, Jack, you are a regular Solomon.'

"We stayed there all next day drying out our [bedding?]. There was a lake of water not far from
there so I went down there and found a great bunch of young ducks. They could swim but too
young to fly. They were everywhere on the water and in the grass. I caught them with my hands
and put them in a sack. Fat! They were like butter and the best meat I have ever eaten in my life
life. We had more ducks than we could use and turned part of them loose.

"Along the road we saw sand hills sometimes drifting up so high it would cover a ranch house
and big live-oak trees. We landed on the King ranch and lived there three years. I farmed and
made four bales of cotton during the three years. The failure was due to drouth.

"About that time a man named Gibson came in there and came to see me about going to work
on the stage line driving it from the King ranch to Brownsville a fifty-mile drive. Well, Gibson
spent the night with me and we went 'fire hunting.' I knew the country well. So we started out
about ten o'clock and went to a lagoon of water where I knew the deer always come in. He had
never killed a deer so I gave him the head light and gun. When we got within about forty yards
of the water, he stopped and says, 'I see some eyes.' I looked over his shoulder and says, 'yes,
that eyes.' So he cut down. When he did, fire flew in every direction. He had shot into some
Mexicans' camp fire who had camped there and were stealing cattle from the King ranch. They
left there pronto , and so did we. I said, 'Put out that head light quick,' for I knew what we had
run into. We went back the next day and found pieces of rope, durk knives and pieces of meat
the Mexicans had run off and left. They thought we were Texas rangers. We notified Ed
Raymond, the foreman of the King ranch, and he went down and got the meat. The town of
Raymondville took its name from this man, Raymond.

"That was a wild country then. I caught and tamed a leopard cat. He

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was as gentle as a house cat, but I had to keep his claws cut off so he would not get too rough
playing and scratch too hard. One day a man {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} named Tom MeGee {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} and I took my dogs and went hunting.
Well, the dogs found a big bob-cat, and of course he went up a tree. I says, 'Tom, you rope him
and I'll take this big wool sack I have and when you jerk him out of the tree, I'll catch him in this
sack.' He said, 'By God, I'll do it.' Our skeme worked and we sacked our cat. He says, 'We
have him but how will we get him home?' I was riding a mule and I says, 'I'll take him home
behind me on old Pete' I tied him to the saddle behind me and the sack hung down by the mule's
side. So I got on Pete and we started. Well, the cat smelled the mule through this sack and
grabbed him with both claws right in the flank Oh, boy, did that mule pitch! He pitched so hard
he slung the cat in every direction beating me on every side. I finally went off over the mule's
head and the cat right after me. But the cat stayed in the sack. I says, 'We are not going to put
him on that mule again,' so he cut a long pole {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End
handwritten} {End inserted text} put the cat in the middle {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} he took one end and me the other and
we carried him home. Well, my old pet leopard swelled the bob-cat and here he came. I just
opened up the cage and in he went. You never saw such fighting. Fur flew in every direction.
They would roar and fight some more. But the bob-cat finally whipped the leopard because his
claws had been cut off, and I had to take the leopard out of the cage.

"On the King ranch they always bred and raised their own saddle horses. There would be a
stallion and twenty or twenty-five mares about every five or six miles over the ranch. They were
called manados and the saddle horses were called remudas . One day, one of Raymond's ranch
hands reported to him that a Mexican lion or panther was killing the colts in a certain manado on
the ranch. This would often happen and when a lion or panther starts in killing one bunch of
colts, they never stop till they get them all. Raymond

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came to me and says, 'Hale, I'll give you fifteen dollars if you'll take your dogs and go up to that
pasture and kill that panther or whatever is killing those colts.' I says, 'Good! I need that fifteen
dollars, Ed. I'll get him.' So I took my dogs and rode up to the pasture one night about ten
o'clock. I could hear the bell running and my dogs were rearing to go. On all sides of the pasture
there was thick brush, but the center was all open country. ot every one in that country was
Mexicans and I always spoke to my dogs in spanish. I said {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} ' Andale ! Uehile (oo-she-lay)!' and the
dogs were gone. In a few minutes, I heard them on the trail and about that time, I hear the old
panther scream on the other side of the pasture. You could have heard him a mile, he sounded
just like a woman screaming. My horse begin to rear and cut up, and my knees were shaking a
little too. Suddenly, I heard the the horse-bell stop rattling and I knew the dogs were making it
hot for the panther. So I sat sill and listened. All at once, I heard the panther scream about fifty
yards from me. He was coming right toward me. I said 'The Devil!' I wouldn't hit the side of the
house, for I was shaking like I had a '[??]' and my horse was having fits. I turned him toward
home and said, 'Charley, go to camp,' and believe me he did. The farther he run the faster he
got. Well, when I got home my wife says, 'Did you get him?' I said no and told her what
happened. She sure did laugh at me.. But I got a divorce that very night from hunting panthers.

"I drove the stage line two years from the King ranch to Brownsville. I would go to Brownsville
one day, spend the night there and come back to the stage stand the next day. About a month
after I started driving the stage, one day I noticed a fresh mound of dirt out beside the road by a
big, mesquite tree. I knew it had just been dug, for I had never seen it before. I turned my horses
and drove out to it. The hole was about three feet deep, five feet long and {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} two-and a-half feet wide. The
dirt was all on the left

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side of the hole. There was no other evidence of any kind--there/ {Begin inserted text} was
{End inserted text} just the hole. [Hell?], it bothered me, for I didn't know what it was all
about. Were they digging for money or was it a grave? So I drove on into Brownsville and the
next day on my return to the stage stand, I stopped again. I had a passenger with me this time, a
soldier. So he said, 'Lets' stop and investigate it.' When we got there, to my surprise, they had
turned the dirt over the other way and by the side of the dirt was a little {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} round pot. It had been buried so
long it was as thin as a newspaper. You could see it had had money in it for a long time for you
could see the print of the money on the sides of the pot. We could see the tracks of two men
there, but money, man and all were gone. We took some of the pieces of the pot along with us
and people came from miles around to see these pieces of pot and to look at the hole where the
money had been burried.

"Well, we begin to look around the spot and ran upon two snakes, a big bull-snake and a
rattlesnake. {Begin deleted text} he {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} The {End handwritten} {End inserted text} bull-snake is a blue snake. The
Mexicans say that the bull-snake kill all the rattlesnakes they find and this convinces me they do.
Both snakes were about six feet long. The rattlesnake was coiled with his head about six inches
in the air. The bull-snake was going around and around the rattlesnake but out of striking
distance. Finally the rattlesnake seemed to begin to get sick, as his head would go up and down
but the bull-snake kept on going around. The rattlesnake got so sick that his head dropped over.
The bull-snake came closer and made a jump and caught the rattlesnake by the back of the
neck. Then they begin to wrap around each other and rolled up till they were as round as a
rubber ball and larger than a bushel basket. The bull-snake never did release his hold he had on
the rattlesnake's neck. By that time I had lost all the time I could spare for the road, so we went
on. Next day, I went back and found both snakes dead. One American had come along and
killed them both. But I am con

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confident had they been left alone the bull-snake would have killed the rattlesnake.

"About five months later, I was driving along the road one day and found two Mexicans hanging
to a big post- {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} oak {End handwritten} {End
inserted text} tree, right over the road to Brownsville. They were dead when I found them, so I
drove around them and went on. However I would look back every now and then to see if they
were going to come to life and take after me. When I got to Brownsville, I reported what I had
found. They said, 'Oh, that isn't any thing. There have been more then one-hundred Mexicans
hung o that very tree.' Other Mexicans were sent out to get them and bury them. The next day
when I came back, they were gone. The bark on this big tree had all been worn off on this
certain limb where they were hanging and the people said it was where the ropes had worn the
bark off from men being hanged to it.

"All along beside this road there were a lot of human skulls. Some looked like old people as they
had only a few teeth, and some would have a complete set of teeth. Every once in a while I
would pick up one and carry it to the stage stand. There was one man working on the stage who
was very reglious. He said all these old skulls should be taken and buried. And he was right. The
owner of the stage stand would pick them up and put them on the pickets in the fence, and the
birds would build their nest in them. Well, this man kept on at [?] about burying these skulls till
we got tired of it.

"He always took his clothes to a Mexican family near the stage stand to have them laundered.
He would put his dirty clothes in a valise and take them to be washed and when the washwoman
had finished washing and ironing them, she would pack them back to this valise. So we decided
to have some fun out of him. One day we slipped two of the skulls in his suitcase under his clean
clothes. He took them on up to his stage stand where he spent the night, and when he went to
get his clean clothes he found the skulls in his

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valise. He really got on the war path. When he came back he said he could whip any man on
that line, either with his fists or with a six-shooter. But we all kept quiet. No one knew anything
about it. And he never found out who did it. He said he wouldn't work with a bunch that was so
inhuman. He put in his resignation and quit the job.

"I remember one time a bunch of Mexicans stole some cattle from the King ranch, and started to
take them across the river to Old Mexico. Captain McNally was captain of the rangers at that
time and he got a tip that the Mexicans were coming with the cattle to cross the river at a certain
place. So McNally took his son and waited for them in a thicket of brush. Well, when the
Mexicans came, the rangers made a run on them and killed the entire outfit. Twenty-seven in all.
Then they put ropes on their necks and dragged them up in a pile. The rangers then went back
to Brownsville and sent other Mexicans after them. They dug one big grave several feet long and
buried them all together in this grave. They put a cross at each end of the grave. This was a
warning to the others.

"A man named John Riley was driving the stage with me. This was during the Worlds Fair in
Chicago. And Mrs. Stien, his sister, had gone to the fair. While she was there her brother, John,
took very ill with pneumonia and they wired her to come at once. When she reached my stage
on her return home, I was an hour and a-half late. Half way between my stage stand and
Brownsville was a {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End
inserted text} little store and telegraph office. I says, 'Mrs. Stien, you had better send a wire on
to Edenburg to see how John is getting along.' When the answer came back, her brother was
dead. She sent another wire to hold the body over, that she would reach home a certain time.
Then she turned to me and says, 'Do you think you can get me there in time for the funeral?'
 
 

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I told her I could so we lit out. She says, 'If you can get me there, I'll pay you extra.' I said, 'No,
I can't take any extra pay. It's against the rules of the stage and I would loose my job if I did.
She says, I'll see that you don't loose anything.' When we got within four miles of Brownsville
there was a bad mud hole in the road. There were a lot of stumps in this new road. So one of
my horses stumbled over one of these stumps and fell. Well, when he got up, both horses begin
to kick and run. I pulled up hard on my lines and they both broke. The horses kept running and
suddenly turned the stage over. Then they broke loose from the tongue and ran eighteen miles to
Port Isabel before they stopped. There we were with the stage turned over. You know those
old stages were high and the driver sat up on top of it and the passengers and mail rode back
inside the stage. Well, I had several sacks of mail that would weigh a hundred pounds. The stage
only had one door on one side, and this door was lying on the ground. When it turned over, it
threw me out to one side of the road. I wasn't hurt, just a sprained ankle. When I got back to
the stage Mrs. Stien was up-side-down, with her head and body buried down between these
sacks of mail, and her feet ad legs sticking straight up in the air, 'Are you hurt?' all the answer I
got was just a mumble, for her head was buried too deep in the sacks for her to talk. I was
afraid her neck was broken. The only way I could reach her was through a small window in the
front of the stage, I could only reach my hands and arms through this window as it was too small
for me to get my body through inside the stage. I finally reached through and got a hold of both
ankles and pulled her out. She wasn't hurt but

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there we were without a team. I said, 'Old Man Cunningham lives about a mile down the road. If
you can walk that far, he has a nice horse and buggy and he will take you on to Brownsville.'
She said she could walk. On the way down to Old Man Cunninghams, she said, 'How Mr.
Hale, I want you to have my suitcase and all that is in it.' I told her I didn't want her suitcase. But
she insisted, saying there was something in it that I would be proud of. She said she wanted me
to accept it as a gift. Well, when I opened it I found a lot of fine, wine, a {Begin inserted text}
{Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} bottle of whiskey and a nice
{Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} leather
purse with a twenty-dollar bill in it. Besides a lot of women's clothing, which was all very nice. I
took it home and gave it all to my wife except the liquor, I kept that.

"A short time after this I got tired of the stage and left there moving to Cuero. My wife took the
wagon and went on through with a neighbor family who was also moving to Cuero. About a
week later, I started on with a man name Jim Diesman and three Mexicans driving one-hundred
head of cattle through. One day we were driving along and I found a Mexican shawl. It was cold
as everything, so Diesman says, 'Hale, give me that shawl. I have a Mexican girl and I want to
give it to her.' Diesman was a bachelor. I told him no, and put it around my head. Well, it was
full of tiny lice just as black as the shawl. I got [?] good and proper. So I says, 'Jim, I'll tell you
what I'll do. I'll give you this shawl for that old cow of yours that's always breaking away from
the herd.' He says, 'You have traded.' So I slipped off and took a bath and washed my head in
coal-oil and that ended the lice for me. [?] day he says, 'Hale {Begin inserted text} {Begin
handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} I believe this damn shawl is full of lice.'
We examined it and to my {Begin deleted text} supprise {End deleted text} {Begin inserted
text} {Begin handwritten} surprise {End handwritten} {End inserted text} it was. So he
took a coal-oil bath.

"Well, we went on for four or five days and one evening we came

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to a dry creek with a number of big cottonwood trees growing on it. We decided to camp and
kill a calf. There was a cow pen near by and I went out to find the owner of the place to get
permission to pen the cattle in that pen that night. When I found him, he said we could use the
pen as long as we wanted to. Well, we went on and made camp in the bed of this creek. It was
cold and the north wind was blowing hard. We made our beds down on the north side of the fire
so the wind would not blow the sparks and set the bedding on fire. We had this fresh meat in a
box right in camp. When it got dark the wolves begin to' come. They had smelled the meat and
by the way they howled it sounded like the woods was full of them. We all had six-shooters and
would shoot in the direction they were howling. The next morning every piece of the meat was
gone; those wolves had slipped into camp and gotten it all. So we fried bacon for breakfast.
They had all left but one big, old lone wolf. He was about fifty yards away and when he smelled
the bacon {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text}
he begin to howl and his voice was so coarse and gruff, it sounded terrible. I says, 'Boys, that
old scoundrel want our bacon,' and I picked up my pistol and shot. Well, he quit barking. It was
still dark and I had just shot at random. But when it got daylight, we found him a little ways from
camp, dead. My shot had not gone wild, I had hit the wolf just behind the ear and killed him
instantly. I said, 'Jim you owe me the drinks. I sure got him.

"One day we drove up to a little store at [Eioche?]. There was an old German lived there. He
owned a big pasture. However, we were in a lane and in this lane was a bad, washed-out place
so this old German had thrown out about three acres of his pasture into the lane. Isays, 'Now
{Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten} {End inserted text} Diesman,
here is the place to camp. {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} {End handwritten}
{End inserted text} I told the Mexicans to drive the cattle on down in this wide spot in the lane

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to graze. About that time here come the old German. 'He says, 'Say, Mister, what fur you camp
on my ground?' I said, 'Is this your ground?' He said it was and if I camped on it he would kill
and stampede my cattle. When he said that, I had a bridle in my hand, and I hit him over the
head with it. I told him I was going to set up and watch these cattle, and I would kill the first
damn Dutchman that came around. He didn't come back.

"We went on to Victoria and sold the cattle. We had paid five dollars per head for them and we
sold them for ten dollars. Then Diesman went back to Brownsville and I went on and met my
wife at Cuero.

"In 1900 I moved to Uvalde County and settled a place, and have lived here ever since."

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