The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 12
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
bandied about that applicants for purchased lands under the
"seven section act" had "universally perjured themselves," as
intimated by Templeton.
"No truth in it," [he snorted]. "First, if the classification was
false the purchase would be absolutely void and under the law all
money paid forfeited to the State. Next, how could the attorney
general assume hundreds of persons he did not know were de-
liberately committing perjury ?"
"We want the lease law enforced as it is," he continued, and
"have offered year after year to pay the lease money .
Templeton says a fourth of all the school lands are in the Pan-
handle, paying no lease. I would like to know why something is
not said about the other three-fourths not leased. . . . It is
singular that one-fourth in the Panhandle creates so much con-
cern. If the board had allowed the law to stand, the Panhandle
would have paid a 3 years lease by this time. At least 4,000,000
acres were applied for and wanted, and tender of rent money
made. The board refused $160,000 per annum, or about $500,000,
and the Democratic party, holding them to account for the loss,
turned them out of office. Now they want to make a scapegoat
of the Panhandle cattlemen and a victim of . . . the district
Judge. Just note what Templeton says to apologize for the board.
In one place he charges that the failure is owing to the hostile
sentiment to the lease system, which controls the election of officers
and controls at least one district judge. In another he says the
failure is due to deficient legislation, and in another place he says
as to the lease business: 'Every essential matter is left to the
discretion of the board,' which makes the board have discretion
over every essential responsible for its failure."
Goodnight claimed a total of $3,000,000 interest on purchased
lands had been lost by the State, in addition to rentals, and
heartily felt that "The land board can not squirm out of the
responsibility for the loss . . . by attacking a district judge.""
By early February a special committee was considering impeach-
ment and Goodnight sent Major W. M. Walton before it. Old
Buck Walton, as he was known, was a real Texian, an individualist
and a warrior ejected from the Attorney General's office when the
Carpetbaggers took control in 1866. He mixed his law with a
judicious amount of liquor, and wrote the life of Ben Thompson,
noted gun-fighter, on the side."7 Walton read a letter Willis had
"Galveston News, January 24, 1887.
"Goodnight admired him for his courage and ability. See The Gazette,
April 24, 1884.
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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/m1/20/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.