George Armstrong Custer and Elizabeth Bacon Custer

George Armstrong Custer is probably best remembered for the defeat of members of the Seventh Cavalry at the Battle of Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. He was thirty-six years old at the time of his death. Prior to that event, he had enjoyed a mostly successful military career. About ten years after his death, his widow, Elizabeth Bacon Custer, published a book called “Tenting on the Plains” in which she described their military life including the period in which Custer served in Kansas and Texas.

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1896 Wichita Falls Bank Robbery

Captain William Jesse “Bill” McDonald was a celebrated Texas Ranger. He was born in Kemper County, Mississippi to Major Enoch McDonald and Eunice R. Durham McDonald. Enoch enlisted in the Confederate Army early in the Civil War. Bill’s father Enoch was killed in battle at Corinth, Mississippi on October 3, 1862, leaving Eunice, Bill (age 10) and his sister Mary Hana who was about three years older than Bill. The family lived on their Mississippi farm until the end of the war. The farm in Mississippi was destroyed during the war and in 1866, the three moved to Texas to be near to one of Bill’s uncles who lived near Henderson in Rusk County.

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Bill Kelley’s Mine

This is a story of a legendary Big Bend area mine. It is sometimes referred to by other names in newspaper accounts, books and articles. Since Bill Kelley figures into the story, more recently it has been called “Bill Kelly’s Mine.” Mrs. Eugenia H. Chandley wrote about it in the March 22, 1939 edition of the Alpine, Texas Sul Ross Skyline. According to the legend, a young man named Bill Kelley was from the Black Seminoles in Coahuila, Mexico and told some of his relatives of finding a treasure on the Texas side of the Rio Grande. Kelley had told his employers, the Reagan brothers, of coming across an outcropping of stone that shined like gold, while he was holding a herd of horses for them. Kelley chipped off some of the rock, put it in his pack and relayed the news of his find to the Reagans.

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