Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 79 of 163
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CAPTAINS SKILLMAN AND FRENCH.
Capt. Henry Skillman resided near El Paso for many
years previous to the Civil War. He was a Kentuckian,
a man of magnificent physique, over six feet tall, wearing
long, sandy hair and a beard flowing to his girdle.
He was an Indian fighter, mail contractor, and a guide
and scout for the United States troops and for wagon
trains through the Indian country. He was the Kit
Carson of this section. He was highly esteemed, almost
beloved, by the people of the valley, of both races.
He had one fault. At rare intervals he would get very
drunk and become wild and ride his horse into the stores
and saloons of the village, firing his pistol the while, and
order everybody to close up, as he desired to run the
town himself. Then he would go home and sober up
and come to town, pay the damages and apologize to
every one and then go about his business.
As an offset to this peculiarity he would not allow
any other man to play the same role, when he was
around. Once, when a stranger attempted it, and everybody,
including the peace officers, was terrified, Skillman
was notified, and came up, sober, took away the
ruffian's arms, boxed his jaws, and notified him to leave
town, which he did.
On another occasion, I857, when my brother Anson
had accused two El Paso men of counterfeiting, they
plotted to assassinate him on the street, and then to
swear that the killing was accidental. As they approached
my brother, pretending to be very drunk,
Skillman saw and understood the maneuver, and, spring82
Here’s what’s next.
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Mills, William W. Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills., book, 1901; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6112/m1/79/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .