Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000 Page: 51
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Consider the Lily: The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas
Though there were also many incidents of black-on-black violence-notably
the killings of Thomas Stanley by William Long on November 20, 1873 and of Lee Henderson
by an unidentified black man in March 1875-blacks, especially those caught in rural areas,
often became the targets of white terrorism. In the last days of 1870, two black men were
shot on the Gonzales Road west of Columbus. The first, Henry Lee, was killed, the second,
Peter Roach, only wounded. Other black men were killed, apparently by whites, in rural
areas in late April or early May 1871, on August 8, 1873, in November 1873, on September
19, 1874, in December 1875, on December 1 and December 22, 1876, and on February 11,
1878. Often, the assailants went unidentified. So too was the assailant who shot a black man
named Alex Harrison in the head in Columbus, killing him, on December 24, 1877. 66
marshal Dallas Stoudenmier, who is said by his biographer, Leon Claire Metz, to have engaged in
gunplay in Colorado County during these years. No evidence of any gun battle involving Dallas
Stoudenmier in Colorado County has been found. In fact, Dallas Stoudenmier lived in Fayette County
in 1870. Metz based his statements on second-hand reports of interviews with persons in 1965, or
nearly one hundred years after the incidents might have occurred. It is possible that the people
interviewed in 1965 confused the Stoudenmier brothers, attributing Colonel Stoudenmier's difficulties
with George Walton to Dallas. Though it is likely that no one alive in 1965 had a direct memory of the
otherwise obscure Stoudenmier family in Colorado County, memories of the family might have been
passed down after a biographical sketch of Dallas Stoudenmier was included in Eugene Cunningham's
1934 book, Triggernometry. Both Cunningham and Metz spell the name "Stoudenmire." The spelling
used herein is that on the marriage licenses of both Stoudenmier brothers and that on Colonel
Stoudenmier's tombstone. He died on July 10, 1927, and is buried in Llano, Texas. Dallas Stoudenmier
was killed in an El Paso gunfight on September 18, 1882. He had gotten married in Colorado County
only seven months earlier. His body was shipped to Alleyton for burial. Though the precise site of the
grave has long been forgotten, in November 1998, a man named Red Underhill erected a tombstone for
the former marshal in the Alleyton Cemetery (see Metz, Dallas Stoudenmire: El Paso Marshal, pp. 29-
30; Cunningham, Triggernometry (New York: The Press of the Pioneers, 1934), pp. 171-188; Dallas
Stoudenmire Vertical File, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, which contains xero-
graphic copies of both marriage certificates and the relevant page from the 1870 census of Fayette
County; Colorado County Citizen, December 28, 1994, November 25, 1998).
66 Galveston Tri-Weekly News, November 21, 1873, November 28, 1873; Fayette County New
Era, November 28, 1873; Houston Daily Union, December 27, 1870, January 2, 1871; Colorado Citi-
zen, September 24, 1874, April 1, 1875, December 16, 1875, September 7, 1876, December 7, 1876,
December 28, 1876, December 27, 1877, February 14, 1878; Colorado County District Court Records,
Criminal Cause File No. 903: State of Texas v. Pete Lyons; Criminal Cause File No. 1105: State of Texas
v James G. Ward; Criminal Cause File No. 1145: State of Texas v. William Long; Criminal Cause File No.
1271: State of Texas v. James Byrne; Camillus Jones to Edmund J. Davis, May 6, 1871, Edmund J. Davis
Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin. The Citizen took different ap-
proaches to its coverage of the murders in December 1876. Of the first victim, Si Hunter, it reported:
"The negro killed is said to be of good character, and no one knows the cause of the difficulty. The
stranger immediately left, and was not pursued, as no clue could be had of his destination." Of the
second, Westley Burford, the Citizen said: "Though the deceased had not the best character, we
object to this mode of getting rid of him."
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000, periodical, January 2000; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151408/m1/51/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.