True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 239
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 239
about it, completed Sherman's article and when we got through
Tobe Mitchell closed everything off the front page and next
morning the Post had a magnificent scoop over everybody and
Sherman was reinstated in his old position, of course, but a
few weeks later he quit voluntarily and left town, and I have
never heard of him since. A few months later the Post quit
also and the staff was scattered to the four winds. Some went
to New York, others to Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis and
other places. Mitchell went back to the Globe-Democrat at St.
Louis and died there a few years ago.
A FAMOUS ROBBER,
took a car ride out to Woodland Heights the other day. As
I passed Beauchamp Springs I thought of old man Kirkendall,
one of the famous characters of early days, whose
home was on the hill on the north side of the bayou, not far
from the big spring that used to be just south of the bridge that
crosses White Oak Bayou. Kirkendall was an intelligent, cool,
calculating scoundrel and was the best hated and most feared
man in or near Houston. He was so bold in the manner in
which he stole cattle and horses and committed other depredations
that it was a wonder he was never caught and convicted
for some of his many crimes. He was generally credited 'with
committing every crime except murder and though he was arrested
and tried seven times he always managed to get free.
He was a powerful man. His frame was massive. He was
about five feet seven or eight inches high, broad of shoulder and
as strong as an ox. His right-hand man gas one of his slaves
named Pompey. Had Pompey been free and therefore able to
do as he pleased, he could have made a fortune exhibiting himself
as a giant. He was so tall that one feels inclined to become
indifferent in speaking of his height and to say that he was
either six feet seven inches or seven feet six inches tall. After
seeing him one would be inclined to accept either statement as
true. As a matter of fact he was six feet seven inches and he
was superbly formed in every way. He was loyalty and devotion
itself and absolutely devoid of fear. He knew nothing except
to obey Kirkendall, who had absolute confidence in him,
knowing that he was too courageous to be frightened into giving
any of his dark secrets away.
For years Kirkendall stole cattle, branding those that were
not branded, and changing the brands of those that were, until
he owned one of the largest herds of cattle on Montgomery
prairie, which was north of his home. He did not confine his
operations to stealing cattle and horses, however. When opportunity
presented itself he was a burglar and more than often
he made the opportunity when one did not present itself. He
was a wholesale burglar, too. When he had made his way into
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/239/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .