Search For John B. Denton's Body Part: 1 of 1
This clipping is part of the collection entitled: From Plowshares to Diplomas: Digitizing Early Denton History and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Denton Public Library.
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The Search orJohn B. D
A 1900 Record-Chronicle Ad Helped Historians Fi
An ad appeared in the Denton - know they are his and no mis- by Robert M. Hopkins. Others con-
Record-Chronicle in August 1900 as (This is another in a series take." John S. Chisum. firming this report are the mem-
follows: of historical data collected by The testimony of Robert G. John- hers of the committee from the
"The Pioneer Association of Den- the fDenton County Historical son: Pioneer Assn. of Denton County
ton County wishes to hear from Survey Committee. The books Denton Texas, Oct. 30, 1900. jas follows: C. C. Daugherty, R.
anyone knowing anything relating and papers quoted in this arti- "I was working for John S. Chi- H. Bates, John W. Gober, Judge
to (1) The spot where John B. cle are In possession of a great- sum in 1860. About August of that I. D. Ferguson, James Chisum
Denton lies buried; (2) Whether nephew, W. B. Chambers of year (1860), Mr. Chisum who knew and the Waide brothers.
there is anywhere a portrait of Sanger. Anyone having his- the location of a grave on the The Burial on the courthouse
him; (3) his nativity; and (4) Ev- torical information of any kind north bank of Oliver Creek, some lawn, Denton, O , 1901:W
ery scrap of history of his life and is asked to contact the Denton distance from the water, but still All preparations being comlet-
character. Please report to Wil- City-County Library. in the creek bottom, took with him ed for the burial of Capt. John B.
liam H. Allen, Rock Hill, Tex." James R. Bourland, who was at Denton's remains on the courthouse
In October, 1900 William H. Al- - that time selling goods at Bour- lawn, Denton, in 1901, the
lands Bnd n Re RierandDistrict Court room was ful to
len reported to the executive com- "The son of Caiborne Chisum, land's Bend on Red Rive and
mittee of the Pioneer Assn. of John Chism, was then in Denton Felix McKittrick, and they identi
Denton County saying: County running cattle over most field the grave as that of John B.
"My ad in the Record-Chronicle of the county and that he, the cld- Denton, to the satisfaction of Mr.out h h
brought many and wide responses. er Chisum, had asked his son to Chisum. Soon after this we were
First, may I give you my own look out for the grave from the hunting cattle in the neighborhood ,
personal knowledge and account of explicit markings that had been of the grave and at Mr. Chisum s
my interest in this plan of yours made at the time of his death. order took up the bones. Our par-
to honor the man for whom this Claiborne Chisum died in 1859 ty at the time consisted of John
toS Chisum, Christopher Fitzger
county and city are named. without realizing his hopes for aid , hse pikgwas
"I left my Kentucky home on finding his friend's gravel, an old man whose pick was
the banks of Green River in Oc- "Lused while we raked the dirt away
tober, 1856, and arrived at Culbert er, I preached at John Chisum's Newt Anderson, Patrick O'Ferrell
Ferry, Red River County, Tex., ranchhouse and we talked of find- and myself. And also two Negroes
December 1856. Much to my cha- ing the grave of John B. Denton. Phil and Jiles Chisum. We found
grin, a land fraud took my entire Chism said that he would locate the imprint of the blanket in which
Clsvi o ma.In me fro Jthe grave before his removal to Denton was buried still showing
Clarksville, not many miles from the Concho where he then had in the soil below the remains. We
Red River in 1857. Here I found holdings and cattle. He left the found all the bones except the last
good friends in the Wright and county in 1866. bone of one finer. We found one
Chisum families. Dr. James U the to whc wsge with one
Wright, Clerk of the Territory, "Upon seeing the ad inthe tooth which was plugged with god,
helped me to get a school and paper, John W. Gober, active which we thought further confirm-
Claiborne Chisum, Surveyor of the member of the Pioneer Assn., ed the identity of the remains. We
District, gave me a job carrying sent me a copy of a letter that also noticed that one of the bones
sentence and "they" in the sec- of the arm had been broken and
the chain and compass.
"From Claiborne Chisum, i was living in Roswell, N.M. The healed .So far as I know, no one
learned the story of Captain John letter is dated July 4, 1880." of the party ever had a reasonable
B. Denton. He told me of his This is John S' Chisum's letter doubt about the bones being those
coming to Texas and of his abil- to John W. Gober: of John B. Denton. The bones
were afterwards reburied in a
ity as a preacher and lawyer since "The remains of John B. Den- sperm candle box in the yard at
1837. He remembered every de- ton are buried in a small box, six Mr. Chisum's home near wheie
tail of the Indian fight at Keechi or eight feet from the house at the the town of Bolivar now stands..
Village where he was killed. He southwest corner. From the des- Signed, R. G. Johnson
was a member of a party of In- cription of James Bourland, W. C. FURTHER TESTIMONY
dian fighters under Colonel Tar- Young and Henry Stout of his buri- "I also have letters from the
rant when this happened in May al place, I knew that I had found only two men now living who were
1841. Chisum told me that it was his grave, and being a friend of with Denton when he was killed,
his sad duty to inform his widow Denton's, I took up his remains Rev. Andrew Davis of Waxah-
and six children of the tragedy and carried them home. achie and Col. Sam Sims, now 83
and that he promised her and him- "From many circumstances. I years of age, Rich HiR., Mo.
self that he would one day re- can say that I am positive that I The above testimony has been
move his remains from the un- am not mistaken of their being the' confirmed at length by an article JOHN B
marked grave on Oliver Creek. remains of Captain Denton, but li The Datias News, Sept. 26, 1900 Under TI
nd The rate
overflowing at 1:30 p.m. when the, "This honor is given to Captain
Rev. Wm. H. Allen preached the Denton, not because he was or had
funeral sermon. ever been a citizen of Denton
Three living descendants were County. The county did not even
present, the Rev. J. F. Denton, exist when he was killed. It is not
Weatherford; the Rev. John B. because he lay in the soil of Den-
Denton Jr., Clay County, spns; and ton County for years after he was
a grandson, prof. Wm. Baker of killed in the battle with the Indi-
Ellis County. ans. He is honored because he was
Pallbearers were Messrs. E. B. a lover of humanity, a patriot, a
Orr, L. Willis, J. M. Swisher, John man of great probity, a man endur-
W. Gober, J. H. Hawkins and W. ing hardships and sacrifice to lay
C. Wright. the foundation of this great state.
The Rev. Allen concluded his re- For these reasons his name is giv-
marks as follows: en to a division of its territory."
. DENTON'S GRAVE IN DENTON
he Shade Of Courthouse Lawn Trees
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Search For John B. Denton's Body, clipping, Date Unknown; Denton, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24891/m1/1/?q=denton%20texas: accessed October 1, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library.