The Hoodoo War was the common name for the Mason County War, which took place in the middle 1870s in the area and arose over the killing and rustling of cattle. This was typified by attacks from vigilantes wearing masks to conceal their identities and to generate terror. These vigilantes essentially took the law into their own hands in an effort to defend against the alleged perpetrators.
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Fort Fisher, as it was known, was set up for a short time on the west bank of the Brazos river near the settlements that would give rise to Waco. It was established by the Texas Rangers to provide security for settlers in 1837 and to the best of our knowledge, it was also abandoned the same year. The outpost was named for William S. Fisher, Secretary of War of the Republic of Texas at the time. Fisher was a long time member of the Texas Army. He would later become a participant in the ill fated Meir Expedition after which he would be captured and imprisoned in Mexico. Fisher passed away around two years after being released from his confinement in Mexico.
(Image credit: wacohistory.org)
Captain Clinton Thomas Peoples was born August 25, 1910 in Bridgeport, Wise County, Texas to William Thomas and Susie May Johnson Baugh Peoples. In Bridgeport, his parents ran a cafe and candy store. The family later moved to the King Ranch where his father managed a section of the ranch. He attended high school in Conroe where they were living at the time.
Charles Drake “Charlie” Ferris was the son of Warren Angus Ferris, a surveyor who laid out the first streets of the old city of Dallas, Texas. Back in 1917, Charlie Ferris was interviewed by a regional newspaper at his home near Capitan in Lincoln County, New Mexico. Among other things, Charlie talked about the capture of two Texas outlaws, James Pitts and Charles Yeager. According to his recollection, previously written up in the old Pennsylvania Grit, Ferris served as a Texas Ranger for about twenty years.
A couple, Jimmy Hollis and Mary Larey, had been on a date after which they had parked on the last road of a subdivision in Texarkana the night of February 22, 1946. At the time, Hollis was 25 and Larey was 19. After a double date to a movie, they had only been parked for about ten minutes when someone walked up to Hollis’ side of the car and shined a flashlight in his eyes. The man with the flashlight ordered the couple to exit the car. Hollis recalled that the man was armed with a gun. The man then demanded that Hollis remove his trousers. Hollis had initially resisted but complied, only to be struck hard in the head either with the gun or some other object. Hollis suffered a fractured skull in the attack. Thinking it was probably a robbery, Larey was scared but pulled Hollis’ billfold out of his trousers to show the man that Hollis had no money. The man then ordered Larey to open her purse. She replied that she didn’t have one and she was knocked to the ground by the assailant after being struck with an object. The man then ordered Larey to get up and run, which she did. The man quickly caught her and bewildered Larey by asking her why she was running. Larey was again knocked to the ground and this time was sexually assaulted. After the attack, the assailant disappeared and Larey was allowed to escape, managing to get to her feet and run to a nearby house.
This battle took place in late 1837 in North Texas involving a group of Texas Rangers and a number of mostly Keeci Indians. According to the various accounts, a Lt. Van Benthuysen was searching the area looking for some stolen horses. After several weeks of scouting, the Rangers encountered the Keeci (also spelled as Kichai and Keechi) at a place known for its appearance, mounds of rock described as rock teepees or rock houses. According to all accounts, the Keeci outnumbered the Rangers several times over, with the Indians amounting to an estimated 150 and the Rangers numbering seventeen or eighteen. The Rangers held out after losing four of their party. Also during the battle, the Indians set off a ring of fire around the troops who escaped on foot through the smoke, but not until having lost ten men, over half their number. Out of their eighteen, four were killed in the battle and six were killed during the escape. They walked and foraged for ten days until reaching a friendly Kickapoo camp near the present city of Dallas where they stayed for a while before returning to safety near Houston.
(Image credit: Waco Tribune Herald)
George Bernard Erath was born in Vienna, Austria in 1813. He was educated at Vienna Polytechnic Institute where he studied liberal arts. Young Erath lived on his own and worked for a few years in Europe, eventually setting sail for America. One of the reasons given for his departure was that he did not want to be drafted into service for the Austrian Army. Whatever his justification for not wanting to serve in Austria, he would show no reluctance whatsoever to fight for the State of Texas. In fact, he spent years doing just that. He arrived in America in the summer of 1832 in New Orleans. He then worked in Cincinnati, Ohio before returning to the South again in Florence, Alabama for a short time. Erath then relocated to Texas in 1833 where he would remain for the rest of his life, entering at Brazoria on the Gulf and settling in Robertson County.