Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999 Page: 38
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
after Hancock, who was elected in 1866, resigned. The fifth new justice of the peace was
The new constitution was approved, though it did not go into effect immedi-
ately. Most of the newly elected candidates did not take office until May 2, 1870. Shortly
after the election, however, Johnson resigned as sheriff, allowing, on December 30, 1869,
Smith to be appointed to take the spot. Apparently impatient, the military government also
saw fit to make more changes in the lame duck county government. The fourth county
commissioner who had been elected in 1866, Malsch, was removed from office on January
27, 1870, and replaced by William H. Dodd. The same day, Henry Boedeker, who "failed to
qualify" for his commissioners seat, was replaced by Isaac Yates. On February 5, 1870, the
shuffling continued. Glenn resigned as district clerk to take the post of district judge; Tendick,
the district-clerk-elect, was moved into the office early, but kept his job as county clerk.
Jones assumed his office as justice of the peace on April 9, 1870.59
These new officeholders, then, were the men who went down in the public
memory as carpetbaggers and scalawags. Three, Tendick, Wilkinson, and Ziegler, fit the
accepted definition of a carpetbagger. All served in the 30th Missouri Infantry, the United
States Army unit which was posted to the county in July 1865. Tendick was a lieutenant,
Wilkinson a lieutenant colonel and the commanding officer, and Ziegler a captain. All three
remained in the county after their unit was mustered out. Johnson too had recently come
from a state which was part of the Union during the war. He was born in the part of Virginia
which became West Virginia and moved to Colorado County after the war, in March 1868.
At least six of the others, Glenn, Wirtz, Jackson, Schmidt, Boedeker, and Fritz Leyendecker,
had been in the county in 1860. Boedeker was German, and likely had been against seces-
58 Gammel, comp., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 7, pp. 412, 414-415, 428-429; Reconstruc-
tion in Texas, Senate Miscellaneous Document 77, 41st Congress, 2nd Session, 1870 (serial 1408), pp. 38-79;
Special Order 179, July 31, 1869, File 861-2, Adjutant General's Records (RG 401), Archives and Records
Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Galveston Daily News, May 15, 1868; Colorado County Police [Com-
missioners] Court Minutes, Book 1862-1876, pp. 122, 123; Columbus Times, July 4, 1868. Zwiegel was among
the delegates to the June 27, 1868 meeting of Colorado County's Democrats.
59 Special Order 306, December 30, 1869, File 861-11, Special Order 21, January 27, 1870, File 862-
8, Special Order 28, February 5, 1870, File 862-9, Special Order 78, April 9, 1870 File 861-19, all in Adjutant
General's Records (RG 401), Archives and Records Division, Texas State Library, Austin; Colorado County
Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1862-1876, pp. 160, 168. One might wonder why Dodd rather
than one of the recently elected officials, was appointed to complete Malsch's unexpired term. However, be-
cause the existing government called for four county commissioners and the future one for five justices of the
peace, there was no clear successor among the electees to Malsch. Dodd was a sixty year old, small-scale farmer
who had been born in Georgia (see Ninth Census of the United States (1870), Colorado County, Texas, Sched-
ule 1). The attitude of their successors toward the new county officials, and Yates in particular, and is reflected
in a series of pencil notes made in the margins of the commissioners court minutes, probably within ten years of
the events chronicled. In the margin at the place where Yates is first mentioned as a commissioner, the anony-
mous notemaker wrote "the first nigger." In 1997 or 1998, someone erased that note. As of this writing, the other
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999, periodical, January 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151405/m1/38/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.