1890s Fayette County, Texas News

Please contact volunteer coordinator Rox Ann Johnson to contribute old news articles found in your research.

Many thanks go to Debbie Hanson who transcribed most of the Dallas Morning News articles on this page.

Weimar Mercury
9 Aug 1890, page 3

For some time the hearts of Mr. Henry Hale of Bee county and Miss Deida Goode of our city, daughter of Mr. W. O. Goode, have beat in unison, but parental objections interosed and it was thought that the affair had blown over. While the parents of the young lady were thus resting in fancied security the young people were planning. Monday Mr. Hale went to laGrange and procured a license. That night about half past nine o'clock the lovers quietly stole away to the residence of Mr. J. H. Card, where Judge Hopkins performed the ceremony making the young couple man and wife. The next morning the bride's father hunted up the runaways and brought them back home, where a reconciliation took place.—Flatonia Argus.

La Grange Journal
October 30, 1890

To The Public

On August 17th 1889, Mr. George Mauer turned over to me ten dollars, from sale of old bridge lumber, and took my receipt for same.  I failed to give the county the proper credit, and Mr. Mauer is being held responsible for the omission.  The error was wholly my own, and Mr. M. is in no manner responsible for same.

R. T. Bradshaw, T.F.C.

Referring to the above THE JOURNAL would state that Mr. George Huebner who took up the lumber referred to and replaced it with new, informed THE JOURNAL some time ago that there was between ten thousand and twelve thousand feet of said lumber, and that Mr. Mauer asked him in the presence of Henry Nollkamper, who afterwards purchased it, how much he considered it worth; that he told him he considered it worth at least fifty dollars; that they separated and shortly thereafter the lumber disappeared from where he had piled it, and he afterward learned that Nollkamper bought it for $10; that he had left under the impression that the lumber would be advertised and sold at public auction to the highest bidder.

If there was as much lumber as Mr. Huebner says there was, THE JOURNAL thinks it was worth more than $10 for kindling wood.

Contributed by Rob Brown

Colorado Citizen
19 Mar 1891, page 2

Flatonia Argus: According to the official figures, Fayette county has a population of 31,481, ranking fourteenth in point of numbers. The entire population of Texas is 2,235,230.

Colorado Citizen
26 Mar 1891, page 3

NOTICE is given that arrangements have been made with the railway company to put a special coach on local freight train to LaGrange on the morning of April 9th to return in the evening, for the accommodations of all parties desiring to attend the ceremonies of laying the corner stone of the Fayette county new courthouse on that date. Members of Caledonia lodge desiring to attend are requested to hand in their names to P. J. Oakes, secretary, at earliest convenience. J. J. MANSFIELD,
W. M., Caledonia Lodge, No. 68.

Colorado Citizen
23 Apr 1891, page 2

LaGrange Journal: Colonel Alfred Henderson of Schulenburg was here the day the [courthouse] cornerstone was laid and took his place in the Masonic procession. Being 93 years of age, his participation in the ceremonies was noted and commented upon. Few, if any, of his brethren will reach the age he has. His name and age were written on a sheet of paper and deposited with the other articles in the stone.

Dallas Morning News
25 April, 1891

Texas Patents

Patents granted to citizens of Texas for the week ending April 21, reported through the office of J. F. Beale, solicitor of patents, Washington, D.C.;

Wm. L. Black, Fort McKavitt, combinating pump spring.

John S. Dickey, Blanket; churn power

L. S. Flatau, Tarrant County, whiffletree.

C.F. Hall and F.R. Farrow, Liberty Hill; device for cooling milk and butter.

Thomas Kennedy, Luffalo; wire stretcher.

H.G. Flockman, La Grange; bailing press.

Wm. E. Lindsey, Louisa; derrick

C.R. Wood, Wills Point; washing machine.

Dallas Morning News
27 April, 1891

Sheriff’s Department.

Fayette County

La Grange, Tex., April 26

Strayed from H. Sneider living five miles below Ellinger, was last seen about four miles below La Grange, one light bay horse about 15 hands high, star in face, white hind feet, branded 9 on left thigh/ two more mules, one black, branded J H on left thigh; had on a bell. One yellow looking, about 14 hands high, both young, branded on left front shoulder, split in ear, ears very large. The owner will pay $25 reward for return of said stock to him.

Stolen from L. G. Russeck one black bald face horse, split in left ear, branded RUT connected on right hip. Stolen by a white man about 24 years old. Will pay a liberal reward for the capture of the thief delivered to me. B. L. Zapp sheriff.

La Grange Journal
Thursday, November 12, 1891

Schulenburg Specials

The Schulenburg public school under the management of Prof. Eilers as principal and Misses Willrich and Welhausen as teachers of the primary grade and German, has a daily attendance of more than one hundred students.  Your correspondent was in the school a short while Monday afternoon.  The students acquitted themselves well and seemed to be advancing in their studies very rapidly.
Contributed by Rob Brown
La Grange Journal
November 19, 1891

Meeting of Ex-Confederates

Pursuant to the call published in these columns last week, a number of ex-Confederates held an informal meeting at this place and talked over matters relating to a permanent county organization, and adjourned subject to call without perfecting a permanent organization.

The following gentlemen were present: Capt. R. H. Phelps, Capt. S. Alexander, Jno. T. Harwell, Natt Holman, N. C. Rives, J. H. Schroeder, D. C. Barden, T. S. McIlwaine, C. Michaelis, J. T. Philips, W. H. Thomas, J. W. Trousdale, J. E. Moore, J. E. Barnhill, J. Z. Walker, J. B. Holloway, R. S. Homuth, O. J. Horn, La Grange, Julius Willrich, Charley Schroeder, Bluff; J. E. Hutcheson, S. K. Rainey, Winchester; R. J. Robinson, T. J. Hill, Plum; R. L. McCauley, Engle; G. W. Cole, Muldoon; M. A. Hopkins, Flatonia; M. B. O’Bar, Warrenton; Henry Meyer, Chr. Steinman, Swiss Alp; Max Meitzen, Fayetteville, 33 in all.  Taking into consideration the short notice given of the meeting, the foregoing was a very good representation.  With proper notice the number will be largely increased and an organization perfected without much trouble, which will grow and become a source of much pleasure to the old veterans.
Contributed by Rob Brown

Dallas Morning News
13 December, 1891

Jury Couldn’t Agree

La Grange, Tex.,  Dec. 12, --In the case of the state vs. F. Frazier, which is one of the series of cases brought here on change of venue from Colorado county, the jury was today discharged by the court, being unable to agree upon a verdict. On yesterday the jury came into open court and reported that a bailiff had been communicating evidence to them which they were not entitled to know. The court ordered the sheriff to place a different bailiff in charge of the jury. The charge made by the jury was denied by the officer and the court intimated that he will be granted an opportunity to explain hereafter. The other branch of the same case, viz., Moore, is now on trial.

The long drought is broken at last, as rain has fallen since yesterday and it is still raining.


Dallas Morning News
2 February, 1892

Sheriff’s Department

Fayette County

La Grange, Tex., Jan. 30--Stolen or strayed on last Wednesday night: One bay mare, about 14 hands high, large white spot on face, branded H 3 on the left shoulder, shod all round and had on red cloth halter. Thomas Pool will pay $10 for mare delivered to him at La Grange, and I will pay $10 for the thief delivered to me in any jail. B. L. Zapp, sheriff.

The La Grange Journal
28 Apr 1892

Mr. J. C. Melcher at O'Quinn south of Cedar is building an addition to his store which his son, Louis, will occupy for a photograph gallery.

Mr. A. Loessin at Cedar is also building a saloon, when completed he will give a grand ball.

The La Grange Journal
12 May 1892

The Cedar Mennor Choir intends to give a concert at Cedar this sumer.

The following are the officers, and members, viz: J. Romberg, president, T. Dieckert, secretary; L. Melcher, Jr., treasurer; J. Hausen, director; Dr. A. Koester, ___Mende, George Schaefer, A. Koehler, O. Engle, E. Peschke, C. J. Luck, A. Lampe, William B. Luck, H. Stiefelhagen and A. Loessin.

Dallas Morning News
1 November, 1892

Tales From Texas Towns

South Texas Teacher’s Association

Weimar, Tex., Oct. 30—The South Texas teacher’s association met in this city Saturday with a goodly number of the teachers of this section in attendance. Two sessions—afternoon and night—were held at the opera house, at which several important educational topics were discussed in a very able manner, nearly all the teachers present taking part. The program at the night session was interspersed with a number of vocal and instrumental selections, which did great credit to our local talent, by whom they were rendered.

The following visiting teachers were in attendance: Profs. Kirk, Barclay and Morgan, Mrs. Kirk and Misses Willeford, Morgan and Williamson of Flatonia; Prof and Mrs. Binkley and Misses Delany and Fitzgerald of Columbus; Prof. Smiley of Eagle Lake; Prof. Scott of Yokum; Profs. Pitts and Hidebrand of Oakland; Prof. Adams of Hackberry; Prof. Stirling of Schulenburg, Prof. Barnett of Houston; Prof. Flores and Misses Peterson, Ballard and mother of Hallettsville; Misses Ellis, Holman and Boyd of LaGrange. Judge Delany of Columbus and B. K. Benson of Houston were also in attendance.

Dallas Morning News, 24 Nov 1892, page 4


Bastrop’s Brilliant Senator Tramped Eighteen Miles

Bastrop, Texas, Nov. 21—To the News: The fact that the price of cotton has been steadily advancing for several days gives an impetus to business circles very much needed, and the streets are well lined with wagons loaded with the fleecy staple, selling at from 8 1/3 to 2 ½ cents.

The examining board was in session Friday and Saturday with only four applicants for certificates.

The examining trial of Wes Owen, charged with the killing of Clark Oliver on Pin Oak close to the Bastrop and Fayette county line, on October 25, was held here before Esquire Goodman. The prisoner was held in $1000 bond, failing to give which he was committed to jail. All parties were colored.

Dave Snipe, charged with assault with intent to kill on the person of Neal Richard, colored, had his examining trial also. Bond placed at $500; committed to jail in default.

Sam Johnson, charged with theft of cotton, placed under bond of $250.

The city council met in regular session at the mayor’s office on th 7th instant and in addition to other business passed an ordinance against trains being run on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railway of Texas as a greater speed than six miles an hour within the corporate limits, between Piney creek bridge and the residence of Colonel G. W. Jones.

The Hogg men had a grand powwow Tuesday night wherein a faithful few gave expression to their exultant joy and triumph over the result of the election. The crowd was very small and the entire programme was conducted in a solemn mannor – the master of ceremonies with a stern face declaring that the anvils should be fired, no matter whether any body came out to hear them or not, while ever and anon a few feeble Hogg cheers rent the crisp night air.

District court convenes on December 19, with a very full docket and a number of murder cases.

It is said that nearly half the town wants charge of the postoffice and have applied to that effect.

Rev. W. Wooton and wife left Bastrop Friday morning en route to Cameron, whither the Texas conference in session at Calvert sent him for this new conference year. The tender love and best wishes of Bastrop people go with them to their new work, while a hearty welcome awaits the new pastor, Rev.  H. M. Sears and family.

Senator H.M. Garwood, Hon. W.E. Maynard and Attorney Joe B. Price attended court at Smithville last week. Having finished their business, they found themselves left by the train they expected to take. The plucky senator proposed that they walk. At first the others demurred, but finally he persuaded them to try it, and they set out for a walk over a rough road, over a distance of eighteen miles.

At first all went merry as a marriage ball. The senator grew eloquent as with erect form and proud step h looked out upon the lovely scenery, and his companions were much entertained as he pointed out the hills and valleys, with the winding streams, and broad green plains. He declared that it was just glorious to take such a walk, and for a while it seemed that they really were fine pedestrians.

But as they journeyed a change seemed to come over the spirit of their dreams. The plucky senator grew silent, while his step lost its elasticity, and the trio plodded on in pensive energy as the gloom of the evening settled into darkness, and they realized how far from home they were all tired and supperless. The soul for beauty must express itself. As the sun was making the world glorious with his goodnight smile and the Colorado river valley spread itself out before them, Mr. Maynard reminded Mr. Garwood of the glorious scenery.

“The scenery,” panted the senator, “If I can just hold out to get in sight of the top of that Bastrop courthouse I will be satisfied.” Sunset of pink and gold gave place to the dusk of twilight, and that in turn deepened into darkness, and the weary travelers stood by the bridge wondering if it would be safe to venture on it so long, amid such darkness, with the probability of a flying freight train at any moment. And they walked it, but in solemn silence, while the souls of the poets looked not up at the bright stars winking at their own eyes mirrowed (sic) in the water, nor down at the graceful waves making melody under the shadows of the trees. They left Smithville at 2:15 o’clock p.m. and footsore and hungry reached Bastrop at 8 o’clock sadder and probably wiser, for that long hard tramp of eighteen miles.

Transcribed by Judy E. Matejowsky

Weimar Mercury
4 Mar 1893

Now we have this to say about Colonel Alfred Henderson of Schulenburg, Fayette county, Texas, who is "hale and hearty and can also read coarse print:" Was born in Rockingham county, N. C., March 9, 1797, was made a Mason in 1818, and is still a member, of Lyon's lodge, No.__, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, located at Schulenburg. So we see that on March 9, next, he will be 96 years old and will have been a Mason for seventy-five years. We await the announcement of the name of some one who has been a Mason longer than our old hero, Colonel Alfred Henderson.


Weimar Mercury
29 Apr 1893

AN ANCIENT DOCUMENT.—Mr. Seth Ledbeter [Ledbetter] exhibited to the Journal the commission of his grandfather, the late Joel W. Robinson [Robison], as second lieutenant of rangers of the republic of Texas. It is dated in December, 1836, the first year of the republic, and bears the signature of President Sam Houston written in the bold style he used in writing his signature. Next December it will be 57 years since it was issued.

Weimar Mercury
24 June 1893

From the Yoakum Graphic:
Mr. H. Hillman of our city is in possession of a valuable madstone for which he has time and again refused offers of $500 cash. this stone was owned by Dr. Allen, of Flatonia, for twenty years, and Mr. Hillman paid $50 cash for it. Several Yoakumites have been saved from serious illness, and perhaps death, by it. It is said to be an infallible remedy in all cases of poisonous bites, whether inflicted by dog, snake, spider, wolf or anything else. Mr. Hillman says there are at least twenty persons in Texas who owe their lives to this wonderful stone. The stone referred to is of unusual size, weighing nearly a pound. It is shaped something like a beef heart. It is claimed the mad-stones grow in the paunch of the white deer.

on page 2 of same issue:

Monroe Willrich, colored, who lives a few miles south of LaGrange, a few weeks ago was a dangerous man to be at large. At times he was a raving maniac and while in that conition on more than one occasion endeavored to massacre his family and failing in this would make assaults on his own person. Those spells would last only for a short time, and reason becoming enthroned again he would become perfectly harmless. He was afflicted with a tumor which was located in the center of his forehead, and to this he attributed all his trouble. He came to town and consulted Dr. W. W. Lunn, who afer making diagnosis of his case told him the tumor was a bone one, and that it had grown through his skull and was pressing on the brain, which was the cause of his spells of insanity. After bing informed that it could be removed, but that there was some risk to run, that death might ensue, Willrich replied that he preferred death to the life he had ben living. So a time was set for performing the operation and Willrich was promptly on hand. The doctor successfully removed the tumor, assisted by Drs. Ed. Lunn and Walton Moore, in the presence of Drs. J. C. B. Renfro, F. A. Schmitt and Phil. Chapman, and last week Willrich was in town and expressed himself as being all right; that he had no return of any of the symptoms which preceded his crazy spells. He wa apparently very happy over the result.

Weimar Mercury, 8 July 1893

Mose Williams, a colored man 63 years of age, living five miles east of Fayetteville, in Fayette county, has been married twice and had born to him twenty-three children by his first wife, three of whom were boys and twenty girls; by his second wife he had twenty-two children, two of whom were boys and twenty girls, making a total of forty-five children, five boys and forty girls. His youngest child is five years old. Quite an interesting family for one man, we think.

. . . .

Columbus Citizen:
Last Tuesday Mr. Joe Burger of this city and Miss Anna Lutringer of Ellinger neighborhood were married at the Live-oak Hill church, Rev. Father Chlapig officiating. A few friends and relatives only were present at the ceremony. The Citizen extends congratulations and best wishes for a happy future.

. . . .

LaGrange Journal: Married at the residence of the bride's parents, Miss Ada McKinney to Mr. Wm J. Stagner of Muldoon, Rev. George E. Clothier officiating.

Dallas Morning News, 18 Aug 1893, page 4


Schulenburg, Tex. Aug. 16 – Hugo Swoboda, received injuries in a cotton gin today that necessitated the amputation of three of his fingers.

Transcribed by Judy E. Matejowsky

Weimar Mercury
2 Sep 1893, page 2

Houston Post Specials: Schulenburg, August 25.—This morning as Mr. Anton Foster ws passing through his pasture he heard some cries. Approaching the spot, he found a new-born white baby, apparently a few hours old. It is healthy and is being well taken care of. Mr. Foster says there is no telling what Texas land will produce. There is no clue to the unnatural mother.

. . .

Post Special: Flatonia, August 29.—At Scott's school house last night, during the progress of a dance, a Bohemian by the name of Boehm cut another Bohemian named Freytag across the abdomen, inflicting a very dangerous wound. The wounded man was brought to town for treatment.

Weimar Mercury, 4 Nov 1893, page 2

A rumor was afloat here last Friday about noon that Liebeknecht's gin at Holman was on fire, and also that a negro cabin near Holman had been burned, but investigation proved both rumors false. The probably foundation was from the fact that a heavy smoke was seen ascending from some point apparently near or at Holman. This smoke was caused from the burning of a large pile of trash and brush on the old Fahrenthold or Tom Hill farm, on Williams' creek.

Dallas Morning News, 13 Dec 1893


La Grange, Fayette Co., Tex.—Dec 12—The case of the state vs. Sam Burkett, charged with the murder of Detective H. C. Hern on the 26th of July last, was given to the jury Saturday night and as yet they have failed to agree.

Dr. Boscow, who was charged with swindling, entered a plea of guilty and was given two years.

Transcribed by Judy E. Matejowsky

Dallas Morning News
29 December 1893

Sheriff’s Department

Fayette County

La Grange, Tex., Dec. 28

Arrest Bishop Gaming, wanted for assault to murder on the 27th. He is 5 feet 11 inches high, weighs 180 pounds, has on a black, medium sized, high crowed hat, has a 41 Colt’s rubber handled six shooter, screw in center of the end of the handle filed off. I hold warrant and will pay $15 for him delivered in any jail in Texas. B. L. Zapp, sheriff Fayette County.

Arrest Mit. Allen for kidnapping a child about 10 months old. Mit Allen is a black negro, about 40 years old, 6 feet high, weighs 200 pounds. I hold warrant. B. L. Zapp, sheriff, Fayette County.


Dallas Morning News
9 February, 1894

Wharton Tragedy

Sheriff Dickson, Fugitive Braddock and H.H. Moore Killed.

Wharton, Wharton Co., Tex.,  Feb. 8

A bloody tragedy occurred about fifteen miles above this place yesterday afternoon in this county in which three men lost their lives, one of whom was Sheriff H. B. Dickson of this county. The facts of the killing, as near as The News correspondent has been able to learn them, are as follows;

Sheriff Townsend of Colorado County had located D. Braddock, the man who killed Constable Townsend at Weimar some time ago, at H. H. Moore’s house and yesterday afternoon Sheriffs Townsend and Dickson in company with Constable C.W. Heartt of this county met at Egypt, about five miles from this place, where their man was in hiding and formed their plans for making the capture. While there Sheriff Dickson received a message from H.H. Moore not to come, but Dickson disregarded the warning. On reaching the place they located their man in a thicket near Moore’s house. As they were attempting to make their way into the thicket Sheriff Dickson, who was slightly in advance, came suddenly upon Braddock, who fired twice with a Winchester, Dickson receiving both bullets. Sheriff Townsend then fired rapidly upon Braddock, killing him.

Sheriff Dickson only lived a short while after being shot. Sheriff Townsend and C.W. Heartt then went to arrest H.H. Moore for harboring a criminal. When asked to surrender by Mr. Heartt he refused and attempted to draw his gun where upon Sheriff Townsend fired and then Heartt, both shots taking effect and killing Moore. Braddock was known to be a desperate man and had sent word to them repeatedly that he would not be taken alive.

The loss of Sheriff Dickson is a blow to this county. He had not been married quite a month and was a daring and fearless officer and was universally beloved. Every business house in town closed today out of respect to his memory.

La Grange, Fayette Co., Tex., Feb. 8

D. Braddock, who killed Sheriff Hamilton Dickson in Wharton County and who in turn was killed himself, was a fugitive from justice, having killed Mr. Townsend of Weimar. The career of young Braddock has been a short but eventful one. He is of good parentage. In 1891 he killed Jim and Anthony Brownlow, for which he was tried and acquitted in November, 1892. The provocation was quite strong. H.H. Moore, who harbored the young man, is also well known here. He was one of the defendants in the Eagle Lake cases, and his case was tried here and he was acquitted.

Dallas Morning News, 12 Feb 1894


Schulenburg, Fayette Co., Tex. Feb 11—Seydler’s storehouse at High Hill, in which the postoffice is located, was burglarized. The safe was blown open and the building set on fire last night. The safe contained about $50 in money, which was stolen. The building, stock of goods and mail were destroyed. Insurance on goods, $2500.

Transcribed by Judy E. Matejowsky


Dallas Morning News
27 February, 1894

Sheriff’s Department

Fayette County

La Grange, Tex., Feb. 26

Arrest Judus Brandt, a German, about 5 feet 3 inches high, weight 140 pounds, large mouth, large head, wore large brim black hat, blue striped jeans pants, blue striped coat and vest. Wanted for theft of a mare, about 16 hands high, 8 years old, blaze face; also sorrel mare branded R S on left shoulder, common saddle. I hold warrant for his arrest. The owner, R. Schmidt, will pay $ 10 for the mare delivered at Haw Creek, Fayette County, and I will pay $10 for the man delivered to me. B. L. Zapp, sheriff, Fayette County.

Dallas Morning News
9 June, 1894

Convictions at LaGrange

LaGrange, Fayette Co., Tex., June 6—The criminal docket of the district court was taken up on Monday and the following cases have been disposed of up to date: Sr. Dravels, assault to murder, two years in the penitentiary; Santiago Roscoe, burglary and theft, seven years; C. Mendez, burglary and theft, four years; Leon Selanes, burglary and theft, four years; Ralph Thompson, burglary and theft, four years; Walter Webb, theft, two years: Henry Henderson, theft, two years; Henry Harrison, theft, two years: Mit Allen, kidnapping, fined $150.

The M. M. church, south, building, which was almost demolished in a storm about two months ago, has been repaired and repainted and will be occupied next Sunday.

Two small negro boys were engaged in a row this evening which resulted in one being seriously stabbed in the back.

Weimar Mercury
30 Jun 1894, page 2

Flatonia cor. LaGrange Journal: On Wednesday night the photograph gallery of Mr. Robertson, which had been but a short time opened, burned down. By strenuous efforts of the citizens the meat market of Mr. R. Ling and the sotre of Mr. Jno. Sloma were saved from combustion.

Dallas Morning News
2 September, 1894

Hall Respited

LaGrange, Fayette Co., Tex., Sept. 1—The negro Albert Hall will be hanged here on next Wednesday, as the governor has telegraphed them he will not commute the sentence. Capt. Ledbetter and Wright Moore have gone to Austin to try the governor once more.

Later- The governor has granted the negro Hall a respite until Sept. 26.


Dallas Morning News, 18 Sep 1894


Grand Celebration at Schulenburg – Six Bands of Music

Schulenburg, Fayette Co., Tex., Sept 17—

The Sons of Hermann had favorable weather yesterday for their anniversary celebration. The crowd was very large. Over 200 people came in on the special train from La Grange. The members of the order met at Turner Hall where they formed a line and with six bands of Music marched through the principal streets to Cedar Park. After the crowd hae eaten dinner Judge A. J. Rosenthal delivered an address in German upon the merits of the order which was received with great applause. Everybody was in good humor and even the candidates present received a cordial welcome. Hon. Miles Crowley arrived at noon. Very few in the crowd had ever met him. County Attorney Walters took charge of him, however, and before the day closed nearly every voter present had been introduced to the democratic nominee for congress and many of them expressed themselves as well pleased with him. A dance, which lasted nearly all night, ended the festivities.


Transcribed by Judy E. Matejowsky

Dallas Morning News
21 September, 1894

Arrested on a Telegram

Temple, Bell Co., Tex., Sept. 20—A son of A. J. Rosenthal of LaGrange is in custody of Marshal Taylor, held on a telegram from his father, who will take him home today. The young man had left Taylor with an opera company and was acting as doorkeeper for the troupe while here.

Dallas Morning News
26 September, 1894

He Will Not Hang

Albert Hall’s Death Sentence Commuted by the Governor of Life Imprisonment

LaGrange, Fayette Co., Tex., Sept. 25—Albert Hall, the negro, will not hang tomorrow. The governor has commuted his sentence to life imprisonment. He received the message with great rejoicing, although he was prepared to die, having made peace with the Lord. The negro had received the sympathy of the whole community for his good behavior during the trial and incarceration, and the people are glad that Fayette county will be spared a hanging.

The crime for which Albert Hall was to have been hanged was the murder of Grant Banks. Hall is a young negro, probably 23 years of age, of modest and unassuming manners and about as intelligent as the average country darkey. He came from Washington county, and at the time he killed Banks had only been in this county about three months. On the night of Oct. 26, 1893, Albert Hall, John Hart and several boys were shooting craps for pecans at a house near Winchester in this county. A dispute arose over the game among the boys, resulting in a fight between Johnny Hart and Albert Hall. The parties were separated by bystanders, Grant Banks holding Hall. It was charged that Banks held him while Hart beat him with a flat iron. This was denied by the Harts, at whose house the fight took place. However, it resulted in hard words between Hall and Banks. The parties soon parted, each going home. Hall claimed, and other witnesses verified his statement, while others denied it, that Banks threatened to kill him and told him (Hall) to go fix himself and meet him on the morrow. Hall that night went to the house of a friend and asked for a pistol, telling him that Banks had threatened to kill him and he (Hall) was afraid of him. He failed to get a gun that night. The next morning he went to the house of Cas Hall and got a Winchester gun for the ostensible purpose of shooting crow. He took the gun, rode about a mile to a field where Banks worked, and finding him seated on a load of corn in a wagon hailed him with “Hello, Grant Banks, how are you fixed?”

“Fixed all right,” came Banks’ answer. Then without another word of warning the Winchester in the hands of Hall commenced it’s deadly work. The first shot struck Johnny Hart, slightly wounding him in the side. County Attorney Wolters informs The News correspondent that the shooting of Hart was treated as an accident by the prosecution. After the first shot Banks jumped from the wagon and ran through a fence, Hall following him and shooting him. He pumped two balls into his fleeing victim’s back, when the latter fell. Hall walked up to him and found Banks not yet dead, but begging him not to shoot any more. Not heeding the prayers of the dying man he shot him again by putting the muzzle of the gun against Banks’ back. When this shot did not immediately end the life he was seeking he beat the dying man with the gun, breaking his neck and fracturing his skull. He beat him until the barrel of the Winchester bent. This was about 10 o’clock in the morning in the presence of at least six witnesses. After the killing he remounted his horse and rode to Winchester, where he surrendered to Justice of the Peace A. Ramsey. He talked as if he had only performed a duty which must be performed.

In 1891 Grant Banks killed “his man,” another negro, in Bastrop county, for which he was tried and acquitted. Many of the negroes were afraid of Grant Banks.

Sheriff Zapp told The News correspondent that he had no better behaved prisoner in the jail than Hall. When seen by The News reporter yesterday he stated that he still hoped for commutation. He looked serious and spoke of his crime with regret, adding, however, “I had to do it or he would have killed me.” He spoke freely of his coming fate and felt sure that he would go to heaven.

Dallas Morning News
9 October, 1894

Saloon Stabbing

LaGrange, Fayette Co., Tex., Oct. 8—Paul Goldammer, a contractor, stabbed an Irishman named Clark several times in the back in a row in a saloon. The wounds are serious, but not necessarily fatal. The difficulty occurred over some money that the Irishman claimed Goldammer owed him for labor performed on the public roads of the county. Goldammer was bound over in the sum of $500 to await the action of the grand jury.

Dallas Morning News
12 February 1895

Catoosa Killing

LaGrange, Fayette Co., Tex., Feb. 11—Sunday’s News contained a telegram outlining the killing of Jim French and Bill McWilliams at Catoosa, L T., by Shirley Wilkins and Sam Irvin. As stated, Mr. Wilkins is a citizen of LaGrange. He is staying on a ranch near Catoosa and on the night of the fight was stopping with his friend Irvin, intending to go to the ranch the next day. He has spent the holidays at home and left here only last Tuesday. In a letter to his mother he states that the desperadoes tried to rob the store when a fight followed and his friend was mortally wounded and the desperadoes killed. Wilkins was born and raised in Fayette county. He is 27 years old and his courage has never been questioned.

Weimar Mercury
16 Mar 1895, page 4

Schulenburg Sticker:
A lodge of Woodmen of the World was organized here last Thursday night with the following officers: Consul commander, C. H. Holland; adviser lieutenant, H. J. Mosig; banker, R. A. Wolters; clerk, B. F. Johnson; escort, G. M. Johnson; watchman, J. D. Clifford, sentry, Paul Breymann; physician, Dr. W. W. Walker; managers, E. Goeth, R. B. Moses and R. T. Ahrens. The lodge starts out with a membership of 17, made up of good material, and it will no doubt be in a flourishing condition in a short while. Meetings are held every first and third Wednesday in each month.

Dallas Morning News
27 May, 1895

Crocker Murder

LaGrange, Fayette Co., Tex., May 26—Gus Colburn was arrested here yesterday evening by the sheriff, charged with complicity in the Crocker murder, in Wharton county. The sheriff acted upon a telegram from the sheriff of Wharton county. Colburn was visiting relatives near LaGrange when arrested. He is a young man. When seen by a News reporter in jail he stoutly denied any knowledge of the crime, further than what the officers had told him since his arrest. Leroy and Jim Martin, who, according to The News dispatches from Wharton, are under arrest for complicity in this affair, also are former residents here.

Weimar Mercury
8 June 1895


Weimar, Tex., June 4. — To the News: In The News of Sunday, June 2, appears a most worthy article in reference to Mme. St. Pierre who was mother superior at the Ursuline convent in the early '60s, and who was a most worthy and noble Christian woman. There is still another who is living and who was a companion of Mme. St. Pierre and is at present a devoted nun of said convent. This notable woman is Mme. St. Augustine, who was known to the world as Miss Mary De Lassanex [de Lassaulx], was raised near Rutersville, Tex., and is the aunt of Mrs. Dr. J. R. Allcorn of Weimar, from whom The News correspondent gets his information. Mme. St. Augustine has been mother superior several times. She entered the [Ursuline] convent only a few months after Mme. St. Pierre's arrival at Galveston and was also one of the sisters who attended the sick, dying and wounded after the ever to be remembered battle at Galveston. She was in the convent then. It was thought that the convent would be bombarded by the federals, who at that time thought that it was only a confederate rendezvous and no federal soldiers inside, Mme. St. Augustine assisted in hunting for a white flag, and as no white domestic could be found in the convent at the time she was present a nun's white skirt was arranged and hoisted over the building in the way of a flag of truce.

Mme. St. Augustine entered the convent when quite a young girl and is now one of the oldest sisters now doing the great deeds of charity in the Ursuline convent at the present time. Should the eye witness tax his memory, he, too, may remember the noble sister who was one of the principal actors during the sad scenes before and after that New Year's morn of 1863.

W. A. BAA[?]

Weimar Mercury
8 June 1895

Simon P. Ford, one of the survivors of the battle of San Jacinto, is said to be in poverty and rags at Muldoon, Fayette county, and must go to the poor farm. The flatonia Argus makes an appeal for aid for the poor patriot. Mr. Ford is 83 years of age.

Weimar Mercury
28 Dec 1895, page 2

The saloon and grocery of Seydler Bros. at Holman was destroyed by fire yesterday morning between 2 and 3 o'clock. The fire was unquestionably of incendiary origin. The scoundrel who did the work either crawled under the building and started the fire near the center, or broke into the building and accomplished his hellish work. The entire building was in flames when discovered. Nothing was saved. The insurance was $1500. Sron suspicions are entertained as to the identity of the guilty party, but no arrest has as yet been made.

Weimar Mercury, 11 Apr 1896, page 1

News Special: LaGrange, Tex., March 29.—A sensation was created here to-day by the announcement that Rev. John E. Green, pastor of the Methodist church, would hold a meeting in the court house yard this afternoon. He kept his word, and at 4 o'clock began his services. He scored the saloon men and declared he would have the Sunday law enforced if he had to invoke the aid of Governor Culberson.

The action of the minister in coming on the square and his denunciation of the saloon men and agitating the Sunday law created a great deal of favorable and unfavorable criticism. The Sunday law never was enforced in Fayette county.

Dallas Morning News
10 Jun 1896

Parr Gets Five Years

LaGrange, Tex., June 9—The jury in the case of Jim Henry Parr, a prominent white man living at Winchester, this county, charged with the murder of Wes Gradington, a negro, returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree and assessed his punishment at five years in the penitentiary.


Dallas Morning News
13 July 1896

The Normal at Flatonia

Special to The News

Flatonia, July 12—The normal school opened today with Prof. G. P. Kinnard, of Huntsville, president; R. P. Kirk, of LaGrange, vice president; M. Menger, of Flatonia, secretary. Thirty-four teachers were enrolled and as many more are expected during the week.


Dallas Morning News
9 Sep 1896

Surrendered to Officers

LaGrange, Fayette Co., Tex., Sept 8—Sheriff Loessin today brought in Will Null, charged with the killing of Stagner at Primm’s Switch yesterday. After the killing Null rode over to Deputy Sheriff Rankin’s and gave up, where Sheriff Loessin found him. His examining trial will be held at this place next Friday.

Weimar Mercury
19 Sep 1896, page 2

Schulenburg Sticker: Fayette county has the least delinquent tax list of any county in the state with a population of 40,000.

Weimar Mercury
28 Nov 1896, page 1

La Grange, Texas, November 22.—News reached here yesterday that Mrs. Natt Sawyers, living about four miles from West Point, had been shot. It seems that two parties rode up to their house and asked for some corn, and being refused, they asked for something to eat, which was also refused them, and on riding away they fired several shots into the house, one of which struck Mrs. Sawyers. The wound, however, is not necessarily fatal.

Sheriff Loessin was notified, but up to the present time has made no arrests.

same newspaper, page 5

It is expected that Weimar, Columbus, LaGrange and Schulenburg will have direct connection with Houston and other points in the state, via the Southwestern long-distance telephone line, within the next day or two. The line is now within a mile or two or Columbus.

Weimar Mercury
30 Jan 1897, page 8

Hurrah for our Jakey! The following is clipped from the Austin Evening news: "Representative Jake Wolters of Fayette county is the orator of the house. All of the members haave talked more or less of the Fayette county boy, and his wonderful gift in the art of oratory. He makes a nice talk and is, without doubt, the Thomas of the twenty-fifth legislature.

elsewhere on same page

LaGrange, Texas, January 21. Messrs. Killough & Taylor have received their new machinery for the electric light and water house and have put same in. They run the lights all night now, instead of until 1 o'clock, as formerly. This is quite an improvement, as the new lights are a great deal brighter and give much more light, while the plant is capable of furnishing arc lights, and it is rumored that the town will have arc lights put in on the square.

This is one thing much needed, as the present lights give an entirely too small space of light.

Weimar Mercury, 24 Jul 1897, page 7

LaGrange, Tex., July 20.—Lee Dobbins, an industrious colored farmer, brought to market the first bale of cotton. It netted the owner over 20 cents per pound and was purchased by H. C. Heilig & Co. and sold to H. W. Gurrow & Co.

La Grange Journal, 10 August 1897

Dr. Clifton is in town with his medicine show and is holding forth to large crowds every night.


Work on hte new "Katy" depot has commenced, and LaGrange can soon boast of another depot.


The "Froesche," LaGrange's justly popular singing club, entertained their friends on the Bluff Sunday afternoon.


Dallas Morning News, 31 Aug 1897

Child Badly Burned

Caldwell, Tex., Aug. 30—Friday evening Mrs. Joseph Tolas of LaGrange came to visit her parents, three miles from here, and while supper was being put upon the table her little 5 year old son ran against a bowl of boiling hot gravy, which was emptied in his face, badly burning him from his eyes down to the middle of his body. The little fellow has suffered intensely, but will recover.

Dallas Morning News
13 October, 1897   

LaGrange Matters

LaGrange, Tex., Oct. 9—There is hardly any cotton coming to town now, only seven bales yesterday. Up to date 3979 bales have been weighed by County Weigher J. E. Moore. The compress has repressed 13,960 bales.

The spacious and elegant residence of Mr. B. Otto is nearing completion.

F. Presun is about ready to begin the operation of his new bottling works.

A. F. Loessin is a new applicant for the postmastership at this place. His petition has been signed by a large number of citizens.

The theatrical season will be opened on the 13th instant with the play, “The Heart of Chicago.”

The weather continues hot and exceedingly dry. The frequented streets are in a continuous cloud of dust.

It is now a certainty that this year’s cotton crop in Fayette county will be largely behind that of last year.


Dallas Morning News, 24 November, 1897

LaGrange, Fayette Co., Tex., Nov. 23—A son of Tom Mikulenka, aged 16, was shot in the leg with a shotgun by this brother this evening near West Point. Dr. Cleary and Dr. Lund amputated his leg.


Dallas Morning News, 29 November, 1897

LaGrange, Fayette Co., Tex., Nov. 28—The jury in the Tom Adair case, after being out eighteen hours, rendered a verdict finding Adair guilty of manslaughter, assessing his punishment at two years in the penitentiary.

Dallas Morning News
10 December, 1897

Accidental Shooting

LaGrange, Tex., Dec.8—On Tuesday afternoon Booty Shikers, 8 years old, accidentally shot his cousin, Rosa Beheins, daughter of Henry Beheins, a farmer, residing at Mullins Prairie, this county. The gun was loaded with bird shot. The charge took effect in her wrist, lacerating the flesh, but, breaking no bones.

Weimar Mercury
1 Jan 1898

LaGrange, Tex., Dec. 17.—Quite a romantic marriage took place at the court house. Mr. H. T. Meyer and Mrs. Veronika Meyer were the principals, Judge Jos. Ehlinger officiating. Four years ago they were divorced and now they are reunited. While the judge performed the ceremony their two children stood by them on either side of their parents as witnesses.

. . . .

Smithville Times: Tuesday night a fire occurred at Winchester destroying the Roensch Bros' property of a warehouse, drugstore and general merchandise store to the neighborhood of $13,000, $7,500 insurance. At the time a company was playing in the opera house and the company and audience had a narrow escape. The fire is supposed to have been started by a dog locked up in a room upsetting a lighted lamp.

. . . .

LaGrange, Texas. Dec. 25.—Little Nellie Mann, the 5-year-old daughter of A. S. Mann, met with a serious accident last evening about 5 oc'clock. While in the room with her sister, a year older than herself, and a small colored girl, playing around the fire her clothes caught fire and her mother hearing the screams rushed into the room and taking a foot mat which was lying in front of the door wrapped it around her and extinguished the flames. Her whole back was burned raw and part of her hair was burned to the scalp. She is now suffering agonizing pains. All that medical aid can do is being done for her. It is thought that her injuries will not prove fatal.

Weimar Mercury
8 Jan 1898

Post Special: LaGrange, Texas, January 2.—Frank Carter of the firm of Lane & Carter, doing a livery business here, has sold one-half interest in the business to John White and the business will be continued under the name of Lane & White.

. . . .

Schulenburg, Tex., Dec. 25—Lawrence Kreschel, colored, while preparing to retire last night, was shot with a pistol, fired though a window. He was seriously wounded. A warrant was issued for a negro, who has not yet been arrested.

. . .

LaGrange, Texas., Dec. 30.—Sheriff Loessin went down on the morning train to Fayetteville, returning at noon with John Fields, father of Jasper Fields, who was killed yesterday. Eddy and Sam Fields, two of the sons, are charged with resisting offixcers. Eddy Fields is also chaged with carrying a pistol. Deputy Sheriff Randolph Sladek, who shot and killed Jasper Fields yesterday, had his examining trial today before Justice Bertzer and was placed under a $500 bond, which he readily gave.

. . .

West Point, Texas, December 30.—Walice[sp?] Winkfield and Ernest Hardwick attacked Thomas Sims this morning at the ferry on the Colorado river, between this place and Winchester. Winkfield and Hardwick used baseball bats and Sims got out his knife, cutting Winkfield several times. Dr. Verdra dressed Winkfield's wounds, which the doctor pronounces fatal. Deputy Sheriff Frank Moore carried Sims to LaGrange to await developments. All parties negroes.

. . . .

Muldoon cur. Record: Mrs. Coeth of Schulenburg came to town yesterday evening, and returned today with a baby girl she has taken to raise.

. . . .

LaGrange, Texas, December 30. A lignite mine has been opened and is being operated by Walter P. Calloway of the firm of Calloway & Gorman of Houston, about four miles west of this place on the farm belonging to Mrs. Manton.

Mr. Calloway states that out of thirteen mines which he has operated in this state this is the best he has seen. They have leased a part of the Manton farm for a term of tweny years and will probably work 300 or more men, a large number being at work already. The mines are only a short distance from the Katy road and application has already been made to that company to lay track from the main line to the mines, which will probably be done in the near future. Large orders for the coal have already been received and shipments will be made just as soon as the facilities are at hand. They are burning the coal in the courthouse here now.

Weimar Mercury
15 Jan 1898

LaGrange, Tex., Jan. 4.—Mr. Anton Legler, a merchant of Bridge Valley, who was in town yesterday, while on his way home met with a serious accident. The road being rough, he was thrown out of the buggy, breaking his collar bone and injuring his shoulder. He was picked up in the road by a stranger and carried to his home.

Weimar Mercury
22 Jan 1898

Dr. John F. Thornton of Plum, Tex., came down last Sunday to see the old folks, as well as the young. He assisted Dr. Jas. Byars in surgical operations Monday, returning Tuesday, taking his brother, Dr. L. G. Thornton with him to help him hold the boards of "do nothing" down until some accident happens to lighten the spell. He says the Plum country is very healthy at present—or, in his own words, distressingly so.

. . . .

Muldoon, Texas, January 14.—Crockett Green, a farmer living about four miles west of Muldoon, was poisoned yesterday evening by drinking whisky with strychnine in it. As quickly as he found out that he was poisoned he rushed to his house, swallowed a lot of grease, got on his horse and came to Muldoon in haste. On his arrival here he told Dr. Mitchell what had happened and the doctor began giving him emetics to couteract the poison. Later in the evening Dr. Tutwiler of Flatonia was called to assist Dr. Mitchell. They worked with him all night, and at this time the doctors think he is out of danger.

Dallas Morning News
9 January, 1898

Recent Convictions

LaGrange, Tex., Jan 8—Sheriff Loessin turned over to State Penitentiary Agent Carmichael the following prisoners who were convicted at the last term of court:

Robert Russell, criminal assault, seven years; Francis Herrera, robbery, five years; Abe Paine, colored, horse theft, two years; Oliver Walker, colored, corn stealing, four years; Will Brown, burglary, two years; Wootan Ramsey, colored, disposing of mortgaged property, two years.


Dallas Morning News
15 January, 1898

Struck by a Train

LaGrange, Tex., Jan. 14—Sydney Demus, colored, a section hand on the Katy, while working on the track about five miles east of here, was struck by the noon passenger train and brought here. Attending physicians say he is very much bruised, but think not fatally.

Dallas Morning News
20 January, 1898

A Thousand Dollar Bond

LaGrange, Tex., Jan 17—Dan Ray, charged with administering poison in whiskey to Crockett Green, waived examination today and was placed under $1000 bond.

Weimar Mercury, 29 Jan 1898, page 8

LaGrange, Tex., Jan. 25.—Married today, Mr. Abraham John to Miss Zeche Nemer, both Greek, at the Catholic church, by Rev. Theoclitos (Archimandrite of the orthodox church), Galveston, Tex. A very large crowd attended the ceremonies, which were somewhat of a novelty, no such ceremonies having ever been performed here.

Dallas Morning News
2 March, 1898

The city authorities have a quarantine against the city of Columbus on account of smallpox raging in that town. Guards have been placed on the Southern Pacific in order to protect this city against the epidemic.





Weimar Mercury, 19 Mar 1898, page 6

LaGrange Journal: On last Thursday an old timer, Mr. William Eastland, visited LaGrange. He was born way back in the thirties at the old Eastland home, near where Mr. Nat Holman's elegant home is situated. Scarce a vestige of the old frontier home is left, a sink in the ground, where once there was a well, being about the only thing that remains to mark the spot. Mr. Eastland said the only thing he could recognize in LaGrange, was the old live oak in front of Schuhmacher's bank. Everything else, including the people, had so changed, that the old timer would not believe it to be the same place. The Eastlands were prominent men in the early days, Captain William Eastland being one of the Mier prisoners who drew the black beans at Salado Mexico. The monument in the court house yard bears his name.

Dallas Morning News
20 May, 1898

Given Five Years in the Pen

LaGrange, Tex., May 19—Dan Ray, who was charged with attempted poisoning, was convicted in the district court today and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary.

Weimar Mercury
6 Aug 1898

News Special: Flatonia, Tex., Aug. 2.— Married, at the Methodist Epicopal church, this city, at 2:20 p.m., Mr. Ed A. Arnim and Mrs. Paula Robbins. The bride is the daughter of Mr. Jas. Marburger of Cistern and one of the most popular ladies in the county. Mr. Arnim is in business here.

Weimar Mercury
15 Oct 1898

Schulenburg Sticker: John Koenig of Dubina neighborhood, while in town last Saturday, called around and had his figures moved up. He also informed us that a little stranger arrived at his home on the 16th inst., which completed his first dozen, and that he celebrated his 45th birthday on the 21st.

Weimar Mercury
15 Oct 1898

Ellinger, Texas, October 7.— Mr. W. F. Burrows' cotton gin was destroyed by fire this morning at about 2 o'clock. He had one of the best gins in this county. The fire originated near the boiler in the engine room. Loss about $6000; no insurance. There were about fifty bales of ginned cotton in the yard, which were all saved.

Weimar Mercury
29 Oct 1898

Wednesday morning, Mr. Percy Faison and Miss Juliet Ellis were united in matrimony at the home of the bride's parents on San Antonio street in this city. Rev. J. J. Cramer officiated. Mr. Faison is county attorney of Fayette county, and Miss Juliet is one of our most popular young ladies, daughter of Judge Ellis. The party left at once on the Katy train for La Grange, their future home. The Register extends congratulations to them.—Lockhart Register.

Weimar Mercury
31 Dec 1898

Married, at the Baptist church at Schulenburg Tuesday, Dec. 27, Prof. John Stierling and Miss Stella McKinnon, Rev. T. E. Muse officiating. The MERCURY extends best wishes to the happy young couple.

Schulenburg Sticker: . . .

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, at the residence of the bride's parents, near St. John, Rev. T. W. Glass officiating, Mr. J. E. Smith and Miss Edith Frazier were united in the holy bonds of wedlock.

Weimar Mercury
21 Jan 1899La Grange Journal

Master Henry, son of Mr. Herman Loessin of Blackjack, got his hand badly hurt Christmas night by the explosion of a cannon cracker.— LaGrange News.

. . . .

Mr. Herman (Dick) Loessin and Miss Maude Sledge were married last Thursday at the residence of the bride's parents near Muldoon. The News wishes them long life and happiness. —LaGrange News.

Weimar Mercury
21 Jan 1899

The big hill between Weimar and Holman, near the Hubbard farm, will be cut down soon by the Fayette county authorities. This hill is a long one, and provokingly steep, and it has always been a source of annoyance and cuss-words to those having to traverse same, especially with heavily loaded wagons, and its eradication will be a source of delight and convenience to the traveling public.

Thursday, January 26, 1899

Major George Willrich

The following is from the Houston Post and refers to a well known former resident here:

Major George Willrich of the First Texas, who was recently promoted to his present position from that of captain of company H. was, before entering the volunteer service, a well known lawyer at La Grange.  He was elected captain of the La Grange Light Guards upon its organization on September 16, 1897.  He was educated at St. Mary’s academy, Galveston, where he received a thorough military training, and after leaving college he organized and commanded the Flatonia Grays, and, later, the noted Fayette Light Guard, which was at one time one of the crack companies of the state.  At one of the state drills he was awarded a handsome sword as being the most efficient captain present.  He is possessed of many pleasing traits of character which make him a favorite with all who know him, and the news of his promotion was received with gratification in all parts of the regiment.”

Contributed by Rob Brown

Weimar Mercury
4 Mar 1899, page 2

Last Sunday was the first time in the history of Texas, known to any one living in this county, that a man crossed the Colorado river at LaGrange on the ice. Messrs. C. L. Van Nostrand and A. J. Day accomplished this feat Monday afternoon. The undertaking was quite hazardous, for the ice was only an inch or three-fourths of an inch thick.—LaGrange News.

Dallas Morning News
15 Apr 1899

Fayette County

LaGrange, Tex., April 12—The house of Fritz Kuehn was burglarized and the following articles stolen: One gold filled watch, engine turn case, Elgin movement: one solid gold ring with initials F.K. and M.W. in it; one pair of pointed toe shoes, No. 8. The owner will pay a liberal reward for the return of the articles and I will pay a liberal reward for thief upon conviction. August Loessin, sheriff Fayette county.


Dallas Morning News
27 April, 1899

Head Badly Beaten

LaGrange, Tex., April 26—John Long, section foreman on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas at West Point, ten miles above here, had his head badly beaten up by a negro this morning, who used a rock to knock him down and them stamped him on the face. The negro escaped, but a deputy sheriff is in pursuit. The wounds are not thought to be fatal.

Dallas Morning News
22 May, 1899

Court at LaGrange

LaGrange, Tex., May 19—The case of the state vs. Anton Stavanohoa, charged with the murder of a negro at Engle, in this county, consumed the day in the district court yesterday. The case was given to the jury at 6 o’clock, and after being out ten minutes they brought in a verdict of not guilty.

The case against Jim Stokes, a negro from Flatonia, charged with the murder of another negro, at that place, was taken up this morning and the evidence is all in, but argument is postponed until tomorrow morning, when the case will be given to the jury.


Dallas Morning News
25 May, 1899

Verdict of Not Guilty

LaGrange, Tex., May 24—The case of the state vs. Joe Copeles, charged with the murder of A. T. Reeves at Schulenburg in the fall of 1897, consumed Monday and Tuesday in the district court. The case was given to the jury last night at 8 o’clock and they returned a verdict of not guilty at 2 o’clock this morning.


Dallas Morning News
26 May, 1899

Adair Readily Acquitted

LaGrange, Tex., May 25—The case of the state vs. Tom Adair was taken up in the district court this morning. The state failed to make a case and Judge Teichmueller instructed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty. Adair was charged with the murder of Paul Williams near Flatonia about two years ago. At the last spring term of court he was convicted of man-slaughter and given two years in the penitentiary, but on error a new trial was granted.


Dallas Morning News
27 May, 1899

Verdict of Not Guilty

LaGrange, Tex., May 26—In the trial of Frank Vyvjala, charged with the murder of Dr. Taborick at Praha on Dec. 14, last year, the state failing to make out a case, the judge instructed a verdict of not guilty.


Dallas Morning News
28 May, 1899

Death Sentence Passed

LaGrange, Tex., May 27—Today Judge Teichmueller passed the death sentence on Clay Foard, who was convicted at the fall term last year of the murder of an old negro woman named Matilda Winston. The day for the execution was set for Thursday July 20.


Dallas Morning News
31 May, 1899

Verdict Against the County

LaGrange, Tex., May 29—In Justice Ledbetter’s court this morning Drs. Lunn & Lunn recovered a judgment against Fayette County for the sum of $40, the amount prayed for, and the costs of suit. In the early part of 1898 Dr. Lunn was summoned by Justice Ledbetter to hold and autopsy over the body of a negro named Chas. Allen. The commissioners refused to pay the bill and finally on May 17 rejected it in toto, which resulted in the suit. Justice Ledbetter disqualified himself and J. F. Wolters sat as special judge in the case.

Dallas Morning News
4 June, 1899

Shooting in LaGrange

LaGrange, Tex., June 3—Last night at 9 o’clock there was a shooting affray at a saloon, in which Tom Ratigan, with a shotgun, and A. N. Langston, with a pistol, were the principals. Langston was placed under a $500 bond, charged with assault to murder. Several shots were fired. Langston was shot in the left arm, but the wound is not serious.


Weimar Mercury
June 10, 1899

The old Colorado river is on a big rampage, and an overflow of all the lowlands is momentarily expected. This (Friday) morning, with the waters going up rapidly, there is an 18-foot rise at Columbus, a 25-foot rise at LaGrange and Smithville and 29-foot at Bastrop. The water was running over the dam at Austin to the depth of 7 1/2 feet, with a 25-foot rise expected at Austin Thursday night. The partially completed new bridge at Smithville, also the ferry boat, were swept away. A Bohemian farmer near LaGrnage, while trying to lasso the ferry boat, with the rope tied around his waist, was dragged into the river and drowned. other big rises are reported coming down.

La Grange, Texas, June 7.—An assasination upon Rev. A. Cole, a colored Baptist preacher, was attempted near this city in what is known as the Bethsaida settlement, while he was on his way home from church after the night services. The attacking parties hid themselves in a cluster of bushes and when the parson came by riddled the gig in which he was riding with a perfect shower of bullets, though he escaped unhurt. The officers have been diligent in trying to apprehend the guilty parties, but no clue as yet exists. The parson is unable to explain the cause of the attack.

Dallas Morning News
21 July, 1899

Clay Ford Duly Executed

The First Legal Hanging in Fayette County for Twenty Years Was a Success

LaGrange, Tex., July 20—Although Sheriff Loessin had announced that the execution of Clay Ford, the negro condemned to death for the murder of the colored octogenearian, Matilda Winston, would be private, thousands came from all portions of Fayette County to witness the first legal execution in twenty years and the second that ever took place in the history of the county.

Ford bade his aged mother and his wife good bye last night at 11 o’clock and then slept soundly until daylight this morning. He breakfasted and was then shaved and dressed in a suit of black.

At 9 o’clock he asked for pencil and paper, and he wrote a statement, which he gave to his spiritual adviser, Rev. G. W. Townsend. In the statement Ford declared his innocence. It is in effect the same as his speech which he delivered later.

At 10 o’clock Rev. Townsend read to the condemned man from the Bible and sang a hymn. The aged father of Ford, his pastor, Dr. Lindsly, a colored physician, and a few officers spent the morning with him.

Ford’s pastor asked him to pray. On his knees in his cell the negro sent up his last prayer to God. He prayed in earnest and good language, and it was not the prayer of an excited man nor of an enthusiast. He called upon God to witness his innocence and closed with,

“Oh Lord, you know I am innocent. Poor old Matilda, who was a good woman on earth, is with you now, and she knows I did not kill her. When I leave this sinful earth today, take my soul in a chariot of fire to the throne and let me sit by the side of old Matilda.”

His prayer concluded, Dr. Lindsly at 10:35 felt his pulse and found it at 80. Rev. Townsend then assured the condemned man that if he wished to go to heaven he must tell the truth. Ford’s only answer was a claim of innocence.

Sheriff August Loessin informed Ford that there were many people present in town who had come to see him hanged; that only a few could witness his execution. He asked to be permitted to speak to the crowd. He was taken from the cell to the jail door and then addressed the crowd as follows:

“Ladies, gentlemen and friends: This morning seems very, very, very beautiful. This is the prettiest morning of my life. This is the last day that I can stand and look you in the face and see the friends I played with and associated with. I am very proud this morning to see you all here; very proud to look at and talk to everybody this morning. I am here, sentenced to be hanged at a certain hour of the day, and the crime that I am accused of is a very brutish crime, very hideous. There was never a thought that run through this body that in my heart I could commit a crime like that. I want all of you to hear that. But today I pay the death penalty on the gallows for it and I am proud of it. I am in no way guilty. I look the whole world in the face and tell them that I am not the guilty man. I am perfectly innocent of the crime, and my soul is going where all crosses, trials and tribulations are over. They will all be over in a few hours. They will all be done with. I will be there where I can hear all. I will be out of the way. I am going to a place this morning where there are no liars, no disputing, no swearing. The days that I used to walk out on the green, I had a very bright life that I could see. I can say this morning with clean heart, clean hands, that I never ended a person’s life, never put to death. I only had fights and scraps, and though I played cards for amusement, I worked hard for a living. They have accused me of killing old lady Winston. I went there and talked with the old lady, and she talked, and I gave her some pecans, and she was telling me what happened through the past week. Now, today, that I am standing before everybody, I confess that I am innocent of this crime, though I was picked up and convicted before the LaGrange courts without a sign of evidence.

“The man who committed the crime is out and today I must pay the penalty. I am willing and ready to go, because I know the soul will not be lost. They can cheat me out of the breath, out of this outward man, but this inward man, they can not cheat me out of it. God takes that in hand; God rules that. Today I will be with Old Lady Matilda. Today I am going. Today I will be in her company. I will talk to her. I forgive everybody, and everybody that did anything for me I thank them with the greatest gratitude. Today my lips will be chilled in death. It must be. I have got to go.”

”The angels and the archangels and God himself are waiting at the gates. I will walk bravely like a man; the sooner the better for me. I am glad to know that every man under the sun and every woman has got to pay the same debt. This is a debt that no man can get around. This debt has got to be paid and the day is coming when I will meet everybody—all these people. I will meet them in the great getting up morning, when the heavens will be split, when God shall walk out on the four wings of the wind. I will be there this morning. Feel in no way weak. Do not dread dying. Thank you for your attention.”

He spoke in a clear, distinct voice, and not a tremor of voice or movement of muscle betrayed any excitement. He was taken back into the jail, where the death warrant was read to Ford by Sheriff Loessin.

The negro listened attentively while the big-hearted sheriff read with ill concealed emotion. The reading over, his pulse was again tested by Dr. Lindsay and found to be 102. He was then handed a pair of white gloves, which he drew on without assistance, remarking as he did so to a friend; “Wallace, tell all the boys to come to my funeral. It takes place at 3 o’clock this afternoon,” and turning to his pastor: “That’s the hour set for services at the church is it not?”

He then told all the prisoners in the jail goodbye. He had previously thanked all the officers for kindnesses shown him. He walked unassisted to the scaffold in the rear of the jail and ascended the stairs. His pulse now beat 128. On the scaffold Rev. Townsend conducted religious services after which Ford shook hands with all the officers and newspaper men on the scaffold, calling each by name, kissed his aged father, took the hand of his pastor, and thanked him, and with his hand resting in the preacher’s, his eyes looking straight into the eyes of his pastor, his feet upon the trap, he uttered his last words: “ I am not guilty.”

Sheriff Loessin adjusted the black cap, hands and feet were tied, and the rope which first broke the neck of John Shaw at Cleburne was placed around the neck, and quick as a flash, Sheriff Loessin pulled the lever and Clay Ford paid the highest penalty known to the law. The trap was sprung at 11:19. Thirteen minutes later the doctors pronounced Ford dead.

When Matilda Winston was murdered her 7 year old grandchild, Oro Winston, was also cruelly beaten and left for dead, but the child lived, and today, with it’s mother, witnessed the execution of the man who the law said committed the heinous crime. This was Sheriff Loessin’s first hanging, and Fayette county’s big sheriff felt it deeply. The execution was carried out without a hitch and the coolest man there appeared to be Clay Ford.

The crime for which the negro, Clay Ford, was hanged here today was on of the most heinous which has ever been committed in Fayette County. In the suburbs of town, near the Missouri, Kansas and Texas track, lived Matilda Winston, an old colored woman, about 80 years of age, with her 6 year old grand daughter, Oro Winston. At about 8 o’clock on Monday evening, the 28th day of November, last year, news reached the officers that just a few minutes before some one had entered the cabin and had killed both the old woman and the little girl. Upon investigation it was found that the old woman and little girl had both been struck on the head with some heavy instrument, which rendered both unconscious, and from which injuries the old woman died a few days later. Near the cabin was found a fish plate, bloody and evidently the instrument used by the assassin. Deputy Sheriff Will Loessin set to work at once to find some clue, and learning that Clay Ford, who was then employed picking cotton near Holman, in this county, had been seen loitering near the premises just a few minutes before the crime, and finding that he had ridden through town on a mule just shortly afterward, coming from the direction of the Winston home, he began inquiry and found that Ford had been in town since Saturday evening, that on Sunday and Monday he had attempted to borrow money from various persons, saying that he was broke. It was learned that before leaving town on the night of the crime, Ford stopped at a negro saloon and gambling house for about half an hour, where he displayed money, drinking and gambling considerably. On leaving there he was traced in the direction of Holman, and it was learned that he paid a woman, whom he had met on the road, $4. At 4 o’clock on the morning of the 29th he was arrested near Holman by the deputy sheriff, brought to town and placed in jail. When arrested he had $15 in currency besides some silver money. The jacket he wore had a spot of blood on the front about the size of a 25 cent piece. Before the old woman’s death she became sufficiently conscious to let it be known that she had some money, about $20, wrapped in a rag and concealed between the mattresses of the bed. Clay Ford was the only one who knew where her money was, as he had borrowed $4 on that Saturday afternoon before.

District court being in session at the time. Judge Teichmueller, after the death of the old woman, reconvened the grand jury on Dec. 6 to investigate the case, which resulted in the indictment against Ford for the murder of Matilda Winston. The trial of the case began on Saturday, Dec. 10, and the jury brought in a verdict of guilty, assessing the death penalty on the following Monday, Dec. 12. Ford claimed his innocence, but the chain of circumstantial evidence, without a missing link, which was thrown around him made the verdict which was returned inevitable. The bloody jacket was introduced, and the shoes which he wore when arrested were identified under oath by a number of  witnesses as those worn by the man who left tracks in the cotton patch as he ran from the direction of the Winston cabin. It was also proven that he had no money late in the afternoon on the day of the crime, and that the $15, a $10 bill and a $5 bill, found on his person when arrested were the denominations of the two bills stolen from the old woman. His nervous actions when told of the crime and many other circumstances pointed him out as the guilty party beyond any reasonable doubt.

The case was appealed to the court of criminal appeals and affirmed by that court.

Ford was a saddle colored negro, 5 feet 9 inches in height and 24 years old. He was the son of respectable parents, but seemed to have always been wayward, spending most of his time gambling and loafing in company with the lowest types of his race.


Dallas Morning News
2 August, 1899

Capt. Willrich Declined

La Grange, Tex., July 31—George Willrich of this city, late major of the First Texas Volunteer Infantry was tendered a First Lieutenancy in the volunteer army now being trained for service in the Philippines, but he refused to accept the appointment.

There have been forty three applications for the pensions under the Texas pension law filed with County Judge Joseph Ehlinger.


Dallas Morning News
18 August, 1899

Eaten By An Alligator

That Is the Probable Fate of an Aged Fayette County Negress

LaGrange, Tex., Aug. 16—Charles Bittner, Sr., a prominent farmer of the Holman neighborhood, living about twelve miles from town, relates a strange story, as follows:

A negro woman nearly 100 years of age, living on his place, disappeared one day last week, and a search being instituted, her shoes and head rags were found on the bank of Gar Lake, a few hundred yards from her cabin. There were also evidences of something having been dragged into the lake.

Her body was afterward taken from the lake, but one limb had been entirely eaten off. It is supposed that she laid down near the lake to take a nap and was dragged into it by a large alligator, as they are known to infest the lake.


Dallas Morning News
20 August, 1899

Deaths from Diphtheria

LaGrange, Tex., Aug. 19—Dr. Clark of Schulenburg telephoned County Judge Ehlinger late this evening that diphtheria had broken out in epidemic form on Middle Creek, five miles from Schulenburg, and that quarantine might be necessary. Twelve cases are reported and four deaths already. County Health Physician McKinney telephoned Dr. Clark to engage a trained nurse and have guards placed around infected houses.


Dallas Morning News
6 September, 1899

Scarlet Fever Excitement

LaGrange, Tex., Sept. 4—On account of the scarlet fever excitement there were no Sunday schools in session here yesterday. It had been decided to postpone the opening of the city schools for a week or so, but as only one case of the fever has been reported, and that one is now convalescent, having no fever today. It is thought that all danger of the disease spreading is over. And the schools will open tomorrow.


Dallas Morning News
8 September, 1899

Scarlet Fever Closes Schools

LaGrange, Tex., Sept. 6—The city schools today closed indefinitely as a precautionary measure on account of scarlet fever excitement. There are several suspicious cases. There was one death today, the victim being Lite Zapp, aged about 11 years, son of ex-sheriff B. L. Zapp.


Dallas Morning News
21 September, 1899

Shot in His Field

LaGrange, Tex., Sept 20—Sheriff Loessin received a telephone message today stating that Enoch Needham, a one-armed farmer living near Stellar, this county, had been shot by an unknown party while working in his field about 6 o’clock yesterday evening. A load of buckshot took effect in the crippled arm. Deputy Sheriff Loessin left for Stellar before noon. As yet there is no clue to the perpetrator of the deed.


Dallas Morning News
23 October, 1899

Will Declared Void

LaGrange, Tex., Oct. 21—The case of John R. Adams, by his next friend, vs. Livingston et al to set aside the probate of Mrs. Eliza Adams’ will was tried in the county court today. The plaintiff recovered judgement in the cause, setting aside the probate of the will and declaring it null and void. The defendant gave notice of appeal to the district court.

The San Antonio Daily Express, 6 Nov 1899, page 5

In Flatonia.

The Week in the Swell Circles of the Town.

Flatonia, Tex., Nov 3.—Col. A. H. Decherd, the hosiery man, spent a day here last week.
J. B. Leyendecker is now holding the position of night operator at this place.
C. H. Faires spent Tuesday and Wednesday in San Antonio.
James Marburger of Cisterna was in town Monday.
J. S. Beckham passed through the City in route to his home at Victoria from California.
Mr. & Mrs. Nat Williams spent a day here this week on their way to Shiner to attend the fair.
Dan G. Laitimer is again in the City, having accepted a position at the new union depot as night operator.
Messrs. W. C. Koch, G. H. Mehner and V. J. Starry spent several days at the Fair this week.
Mrs. Dr. Chapman of Winchester spent Wednesday here.
Mrs. Byers of Columbus visited Mrs. B. P. Bludworth.
Chris Stafflers of Orange is here with the home folks.
Miss Mary Faires of Westpoint school is at home with the old folks.
Hon. W. T. Burns of Houston, accompanied by his son, Coke, spent Sunday here.
A theater in Schulenburg, something which Flatonia does not enjoy now, drew quite an aggregation of our citizens in that up-to-date town met Sunday night."

Contributed by Cheryl Cookj Singleton.

Dallas Morning News
7 December, 1899

Convictions of LaGrange

LaGrange, Tex, Dec. 6—The following convictions were had in the district court today: June Frazier, horse theft, four cases, given two years in each case; Alex Haywood, horse theft, three years; Will Collins, assault to murder, two years. All three are negroes.


Dallas Morning News
9 December, 1899

Continued the Case

LaGrange, Tex., Dec. 8—The case of the state vs. John Riley, in the district court, set for today, was continued by the state on account of material witnesses being absent. The defendant is the city marshal, and is charged with the killing of Tom Ratigan here last August.


Dallas Morning News
10 December, 1899

Court at LaGrange

LaGrange, Tex., Dec 9—In the district court today William Fonzy, colored, was convicted in four cases and given two years in the penitentiary in each case. Judge Teichmueller today granted a new trial to Clarence Emerson, a negro who was convicted Thursday of assault to outrage, on the ground that the evidence did not support the verdict of the jury.