The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 10
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
carried on under the . .. pretext . .. of punishing the
illegal enclosure of these lands, but it would appear in fact
for the real purpose of securing immunity against punishment
by preordained verdicts of not guilty." Then he told of the suits
brought in Judge Willis' court, not mentioning, however, that
he served notice upon the District Attorney that they must be
brought. He pointed out the ridiculous spectacle of a grand
jury finding bills against itself, and cowmen being tried by their
own cowboys. Manifestly, rings the innuendo, here was intimi-
dation of the court, incompetency on the bench, and collusion
between the accused and those sitting in judgment.12 Perhaps
here at last was vindication for the Board's arbitrary action and
the saving grace for the beleaguered administration. They
jumped upon it like a road-runner upon a June bug.
But to return to the Plains. Around Mobeetie and Tascosa
a considerable element of "free grassers" opposed the big cowmen,
petitioned the Legislature against leasing, raised the question of
intimidation of nesters, and supported their representatives, Jim
Browning and Senator Temple Houston, in their contentions for
the open range. Willis was popular in the "Jumbo District"
and Browning hesitated to run for the bench, but his partner,
Colonel Bill Grigsby decided to make the race. Goodnight threw
his support to Willis, and, holding the balance of power, elected
him, even as his influence two years before, had elevated Wood-
man above Lucius Dills, incumbent in the district attorney's
Sheriff G. W. Arrington supported Willis too, much to the
chagrin of Colonel Grigsby, because both were rabid Southern-
ers-Arrington one of Mosby's guerrillas and Grigsby allegedly
a Quantrell man. He rebuked the sheriff by inquiring if he was
going to support a "damned Yankee" against a rebel. He did,
and to add insult to the Grigsby injury, is reported to have
made a list of Yankees and prohibitionists-a not too voluminous
document-and told the first that Grigsby was a rank rebel and
the latter that he loved his liquor.
When the votes were in Grigsby was as disgusted with Good-
night as Dills had been, and when, a year later, Goodnight, taken
12eport of the Attorney General, State of Texas, 1885-1886, 19-20.
For his own estimate of the act under which the Board operated, and a
defense of its action though not of the law, see the same, pp. 18-19.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935, periodical, 1935; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/m1/18/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.