Notes and Documents
Coaffacle and tire Iardin 4a
MOLLIE MOORE GODBOLD
THE NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS TOWN OF COMANCHE HAD A
colorful early history. In this history was humor, pathos,
courage and terror, events which show the best in men
and events which show the worst. The most exciting decade in
the history of the town was the 187o's. The most exciting year
was 1874, when Charlie Webb, a deputy sheriff of Brown County,
was killed in Comanche by the notorious gunman, John Wesley
One who has read any of the numerous books or articles about
Hardin, has read an account of this killing and its terrible after-
math, which made the shooting of Webb the costliest to the young
gunman of the forty or more men he was said to have killed. One
who has read any of the six or more books about Hardin has
read the story from the viewpoint of the Hardin family, the
author having shaped his account from Hardin's autobiography,
The Life of John Wesley Hardin: As Written By Himself, or from
material furnished by the Hardin family.
But there is a different version to be written. It is that of the
pioneers who were living in Comanche when Webb was killed.
Those best fitted to write this version-men and women who
witnessed or had a part in what they could have told-are dead.
At eighty-four I shall write the story for them as well as I can
from incidents and facts related to me fifty or more years ago
and a few incidents told me recently by some of their descendants.
To get a true picture of Comanche in the 187o's one needs to
know something of the early history of Comanche County.
A heavy toll is demanded of people who undertake the Her-
culean task of converting a wilderness into a homeland. This
must be paid in loneliness, danger, privations, backbreaking toil,
in finding means to solve problems that seem unsolvable, and in
doing things without having adequate tools.
There was no Comanche County when the first of the colonists
settled there in 1854. The land was Comanche territory, the heart
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/. Accessed July 30, 2014.