The Dallas Journal, Volume 44, 1999 Page: 3
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The Yegua Notch-Cutters
The Dance at Pat Earhart's
A man named Pat Earhart, who was somewhat of an
enigma, lived in the Blue Branch community. No one knew
where he came from. He wore well tailored suits, had a nice
large home, was single, and his farm was well kept and
managed. He had two Negro servants, entertained lavishly,
was a singing teacher and an
accomplished musician on the organ,
fiddle, banjo and guitar. On occasions
when the circuit riding preacher failed
to show up Pat would fill in as preacher.
He apparently did a good job of
Pat often had dances that were open
to all comers. Refreshments were always plentiful; they were
prepared and served by his Negro cook, Rose Carpenter, who
Aunt Rose by the guests. She served punch slightly spiked
with red wine. The jugs of liquor were guarded closely. The
other servant, Steve Carpenter, was also a fiddle and banjo
player. Pat had a hard, fast rule with which all had to comply.
He personally presided over checking in of pistols, rifles,
derringers, shotguns and knives. He kept the key to the lean-
to at the side of the house where the arms were kept. It was
opened only when someone was leaving. There was never any
trouble at his dances. Pat quite often made trips to McDade,
because he kept money on deposit there. He made one of his
trips to town in the middle of the week, instead of the usual
Saturday. After trading at various stores and obtaining his
"aged in charcoal barrels" whiskey from the Nash Brothers'
Rock Saloon, he spent some time visiting with George Milton
and Dr. Vermillion.
Pat announced that in three weeks, on June 27, 1877, he
was giving the largest dance ever. There has never been any
proof that the vigilantes had any part in the planning, because
Pat never talked. Because Pat was a friend of everyone, the
heads of the vigilantes correctly assumed that the men they
wanted most (those considered responsible for some of the
last murders) would not pass up a dance this large. People
arrived before sundown in buggies, wagons, on horseback and
afoot. The music started at 8:30. An hour later, at the first
intermission, people had danced the square dance, the waltz
and the pigeon wing. Aunt Rose served refreshments.
Around two o'clock in the morning the house was quietly
surrounded by masked vigilantes, and the guests discovered
rifles and shotguns sticking through each window. They
handed a list of names to Pat but not a word was spoken. Pat
called out the names-Wade Alsup, John Kuykendall, Young
Floyd, Babe Scott and Jim Floyd. All answered except Jim.
Some say that he went outside to the "back house" and was
there when the vigilantes rode up. But it is unlikely that the
vigilantes would have missed anyone outside. Bemus Turner
said his grandmother, who was a teen aged girl at the time,
and was at the dance, told him that Jim was young and had
not been with the gang very long.
Several of the girls, feeling that he was
Is . , not as bad as the rest of the gang, hid
him between two mattresses7.
Two of the vigilantes tied the
mens' hands behind their backs with
buckskin thongs. The dance guests
were instructed not to leave the house
until daylight. The four men were
taken about 1,500 feet to a large tree and hanged, all from
the same limb. They were buried in a common grave in
Burns Cemetery at Blue.
The tree where these men were hanged stood on
property owned by Bemus Turner for many years. Bemus
reports that the tree finally died several years ago.
1. Cemeteries of Lee County, (Lee County Historical Society, 1988).
2.Harry Eugene Chrisman, The Ladder of Rivers, Revised Edition 1995,
The Dawson County Historical Society (Morris Publishing, Keamey,
Nebraska). pp 84 - 89.
3. Galveston Daily News, 9 December 1883; Photocopy in possession of
4. George King Martin "Land of The Yegua Knobbs" OLD WEST Spring
1969 (Western Publications, Inc. Austin, Texas) pp 3 - 44; Photocopy in
possession of author.
5. George King Martin "Land of The Yegua Knobbs" OLD WEST Spring
1969( Western Publications, Inc. Austin, Texas) pp 3 - 44; Photocopy in
possession of author.
6. Austin Weekly Statesman, 10 August 1876.
7. Taped interview with Bemus Turner 13 September 1997, at his home,
Blue, Lee County, Texas.
The Dallas Journal 1999 3
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 44, 1999, periodical, June 1999; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186858/m1/9/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.