The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 286
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
judge. In arranging this appointment for Clarke, Senator Fountain
had overlooked Benjamin F. Williams, who had aided him in his
election. In a state of rage, Williams made an attempt on Fountain's
life. Being attacked, Fountain summoned the authorities to place
Williams under arrest. In the process, Williams shot and killed Judge
Clarke. Williams fled, but was overtaken, shot and killed by Albert
French, a member of the posse who pursued him.
According to one account, Williams, was under the influence of
liquor in Ben Dowell's Saloon when he provoked the argument
with Fountain and Clarke. Williams first turned on Senator Foun-
tain, firing a gun and wounding him. Judge Clarke then ordered
Albert French to arrest Williams, but Williams killed Clarke before
the enraged lawyer could be stopped. After the posse had overtaken
Williams, French shot him in the right side and the eye. Williams
died within twenty minutes.
In relation to elections, it appears that in 1883 when the county
seat was changed from Ysleta to El Paso, the voting strength of
El Paso was about three hundred, but the county seat vote was
2,252 to 475 in favor of El Paso. The explanation is that many
of the citizens of Juarez (formerly the Mexican town of El Paso
del Norte) were vitally interested in the welfare of their neigh-
boring town immediately across the Rio Grande and lent their
neighbors a helping hand with the voting. This was an instance
of the frontier good neighbor policy.
The chief value of the book and its stated purpose is to note
those events and record the names of those persons who contrib-
uted to the growth and development of an interesting historic
area and did their full share in bringing law and order to a tur-
bulent frontier community. This purpose the author accom-
plishes in a highly competent fashion by recording pertinent
events from the time of the Spanish alcalde through the days of
Juan Marie Ponce de Leon, who as late as 1849 exercised some
authority north of the Rio Grande as Perfecto of El Paso del
Norte for Mexico, to the days of Robert E. Thomason, United
States District Judge for the Western District of Texas. Too much
of local Texas history is disappearing because it is recorded only
in the slippery memory of man. The present volume is the result
of an effort well worthwhile and the El Paso area in particular
should be and undoubtedly is grateful that it was undertaken.
The volume itself is an attractive one, well printed and well
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/328/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.