\I think you are referring to the incident where a Black man was working
for a Comanche county farmer .He had a room, like some farms and ranches
of that day had -like the Bunkhouse of Anderson 64o- Ranch, in corner of
their barn. Photops and comments of the Anderson Bunkhouse and of the
wild times after the wife of the farmer was found dead in her kitchen,
there black man was plowing and the husband was gone. These Calendars
with photos and Bibliography were published by Stephenville Town and
Country Bank in 1990's or sooner.
It seems there were several Mexican drifters and a few Indians drifting
through Erath and Comanche Counties, Some were Indians returning to
Oklahoma after Civil War. When the woman's body was found , a Lynch crew
on horseback rode into Comanche and ran all Mexicans and Negroes out of
town and burned some of their homes. Then the mob grew and started
towards Dublin to run all Blacks and Spanish out of Dublin. Dublin Blacks
and Whites barricaded the Dublin to Comanche road at Dublin City Limits-
they piled outhouses and anything loose around the overturned wagons and
loaded rifles and shotguns sent a message that no one was going to lynch
anyone or burn minority houses and anyone trying would be sent home
dead. The lynch crew vanished somewhere towards Comamche.
Rather strange- first house in present Stephenville was built by a free
Black man a year or two before Mr. Stephen returned to the land and
built a home nearby the first one. Top floor of majestic Movie theatre in
Stephenville was mostly Blacks in 1930-40's , but sometimes
Stephenville area white boys would sit upstairs for a better view .
One Dublin area settler came from Alabama, but before leaving they went
to visit a Black lady and her son , Lee Rice- she was dying and the man
and his wife had two sons his age, and he adopted Lee and brought him to
a Dublin farm. The three boys grew up together. Any old timer in Three
Wqay School District knew Lee Rice, of Chalk Mountain- who ran the Dr.
Cragwall or Malloy's Ranch in Chalk Mountain. Lee would gin his cotton
at Johnsville Gin, and when a housewife brought cotton to be ginned, Lee
, out of respect for his Dublin foster mother, would pull his wagon to
the back of the line and insist the women gin ahead of him. Lee also
filled the silo on his place, which could bee seen for miles down Hwy 67.
he came to all activities held at Johnsville School, like Thanksgiving
and End of School. One of the Meadors- Grady I think, was on the school
board when I was in school there and he and Lee would kill a calf and
start bar b Quint it the night befoire, then , after the meal and
program, all went to basketball court, or play Baseball. Lee played
Baseball with mixed teams of men and older boys.
When Lee was about 12, his foster dad gave him some money- $20.00 or so
and told him he could spend it like he wanted to. His foster dad told him
that the man running one store would sell to him , but if he did, there
were some from Comanche County watching him from across the street and
the store and they would cease trading with the merchant. . He stood and
cried, and would not go in the store. This was the time that the sign on
Comanche County line bluntly expressing which ethnic groups were not
welcome after sundown. That was in my lifetime.
Lee would stop at Johnsville store and if some of us came by from school
he woulkd give us candy. he also was a fair veterinarian and if he heard
someone like the hales had a sick horse or cow, he would be there
When he came to Stephenville for church or shopping, he wore a hat, tie ,
Vest, Dress coat, and sometimes Spats.
Today, I will give you odds tht there are Mexicans and mixed breeds
working on Comanche county dairies and dairy feed intdustries.
Black men from Stephenville slaughterred our calves and packaged it for
Stephenville locker plant, before we had electricity.
As Jimmy Rogers used to sing, 'Time Changes Everything"
Charles A. Wyly
On Thu, 21 Feb 2008 17:03:08 -0600 "Randy Farrar" <farrar(a)airmail.net>
On October 25, 1872, Joseph Brady McDow, Noble Hardin, James Coates,
James Latham, and Lafayette Latham were lynched by 37 men from Erath
and Comanche counties. As a result of this and another incident in
Comanche county five days earlier, Stephenville was placed under
martial law. The Adjutant General, Frank L. Britton, reported on
the condition of affairs in Erath and Comanche counties on December
4, 1872. I have read and been told that Thomas L. Nugent defended
these men, but have found no record of the trial. The original
document is located at Baylor University. I have a copy of the
document that looks like it came out of a book. Has anyone seen the
original document? Does anyone know if any records of the trial
exist? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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