John Wesley Hardin, Outlaw (1853-1895)

Reported in the Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas Saturday August 25, 1877:
A Texas Desperado

WHITING, -ALA, August 24. – Today, as the train was leaving Pensacola, the sheriff, with a posse, boarded the cars to assist two Texas officials to arrest the notorious John Wesley Hardin, who is said to have committed twenty-seven murders, and for whose body four thousand dollars has been offered by the Legislature of Texas. His last murder in Texas was the killing of the sheriff of Comanche County. He has lived in the State of Florida for years as John Swain. Being related to the county officers he has escaped arrest. About twenty shots were fired in making the arrest.

Hardin’s companion, named Mann, who held a pistol in his hand, was killed.”

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The Preacher and the Police Chief

117 years ago today, the paragraph below appeared in the Bryan, Texas Eagle: “The Gun of Rev. George W. Truett Goes Off Accidentally While Hunting. Dallas, Feb. 5. – J. C. Arnold, chief of police of this city, was accidentally shot yesterday near Cleburne, Tex., while hunting, by Rev. George W. Truett, pastor of the First Baptist church here. The gun of the minister was accidentally discharged, sending a load of birdshot into Captain Arnold’s leg. The wound is not considered dangerous.”

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The Generosity of the John G. Hardin Family

The life of John G. Hardin was typical of many Texans who came to the state with little or nothing and remained for the rest of their lives. John G. Hardin was born in the Mississippi in 1854. His family relocated to Tennessee shortly thereafter. When he reached the age of 21, he came to Texas on a visit with his father. His father returned to Tennessee while John remained.

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