Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 3, Number 2, May, 1993 Page: 66
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Moore's normally stony demeanor left him. His face cracked into a broad
smile. Many spectators bolted to their feet, but the judge, Hans Teichmueller, calmed
them with an order to the sheriff to maintain order, and then dismissed the jury. Moore
walked out of court a free man, just in time to spend Christmas with his family. Within
a month he left Colorado County, moving to a farm near Spanish Camp in northern
Braddock, scheduled to go on trial in the same courtroom at the same
session, had to wait for his acquittal. His case was continued until the next term, though
Judge Teichmueller did allow him bail of $2500. He would not finally go to trial until
about a year later, at the conclusion of which, on November 29, 1892, he also was found
It did not take Moore long to find his way back into trouble. On June 7, 1892,
less than six months after he won acquittal, he shot and wounded a man named Tom
Mungeria (or Mungia) in Eagle Lake. Mungeria, Moore claimed, had advanced on him
and threatened to draw his pistol, leaving him with no choice but to beat him to the draw
and shoot him. Mungeria survived the incident and Moore, though he was indicted for
assault with intent to murder, again escaped punishment.
A year later he had to fight off another indictment, this one in Wharton
County, for attempting to bribe members of a jury. But that case was dismissed at the
request of the state because of a lack of evidence.
Hatch York, the Weimar city marshal and a well-respected lawman, decided
to make a run for Townsend's sheriff's office in 1892. He made only one campaign
promise, to clean up the pistol carrying and gambling in the Eagle Lake bottom. In the
month before the election, his campaign was bolstered by two more brutal murders in
the bottom. On September 24, 1892, Arthur King shot and killed Frank Williams at
Frazar's Store. King and Williams had argued, but seemingly resolved their differences.
King left but returned with a gun. He shot Williams twice in the leg, then blew his head
off. On October 29, Charles Norris shot Willis Kyle in the head. Kyle survived, though
he was grievously wounded. Norris surrendered to the authorities, was placed under
bond, and returned to his home. On October 31, Kyle's cousin Dick Kyle confronted
Norris, and Norris shot and killed him. But whatever impetus these latest crimes provided
York had dissipated before the ballots were cast on November 8. Townsend won
reelection easily, with 2249 votes to York's 697.
The year 1893 was mostly uneventful for Sheriff Townsend. In February he
broke up a ring of juvenile thieves who had been operating in Columbus for several
months. The four thieves he arrested ranged in age from 11 to 13 and were the sons
of prominent citizens. Two other boys were said to have recently left the group. Most
recently, the gang had stolen two pistols from one store and 2700 cartridges from
another. The sheriff found the four engaged in target practice across the river from
Columbus. They immediately surrendered to him, and confessed to a series of previously
In September, in Weimar searching for a man who was wanted in Harris
County, he stumbled into a nest of gamblers. When the sheriff stepped into the room,
the gamblers scattered, fleeing through every opening, knocking each other over in the
confusion. Only one man failed to escape, the man for whom Townsend had been
searching. Townsend had grabbed him before he could depart. Townsend, though, was
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 3, Number 2, May, 1993, periodical, May 1993; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151388/m1/14/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.