Feuds & Range Wars of Texas
feuds and range
wars were rampant throughout the American West, it seems the
Lone Star State
wins the "prize" for having the most. In virtually every county in the state,
bitter wars were waged, often beginning with a few family members before growing
to include hundreds of men. From disputes rising out of
Civil War sympathies, to
cattle thievery, and old-fashioned arguments between neighbors, the Lone Star
State was not only filled with violence stemming from numerous outlaw factions,
but also from locals killing each other.
Early-Hasley Feud (1865-1869)
- A family feud in Bell County,
became much embittered after the
El Paso Salt War (1877) - A feud
that occurred over the salt flats of the Guadalupe Mountains that culminated in
a bloody battle in the small town of San Elizario.
Horrell-Higgins Feud (1877) - This family feud
grew out of accusations of cattle theft in Lampasas County,
- A political war in Fort Bend
control of the county.
(1867-1871) - One of the best known of all the feuds in
Lee-Peacock Feud in northeast
this was not simply a dispute between families, but a continuation of the
lasting four bloody years after the rest of the nation had laid down their
Mason County War, aka: Hoodoo War
- A battle between rival German immigrants and
native Texans which occurred when large
numbers of cattle began to be killed or go missing.
War, aka: Shelby County Property War (1839-1844) - The first major feud to break out in
Texas was born
Texas’ days as a republic. For years, a strip of land in East
bordered Louisiana and Mexico had been ignored by Spanish, Mexican and
authorities. By the time
Texas became a republic, the swatch of land had
developed into a lawless place where land frauds, cattle rustlers, and killings
Sutton-Taylor Feud (1868-1873) - This family feud that grew out of the
bad times following the
occurred in DeWitt County,
Texas and was
was one of the longest and
bloodiest in the state.
Early-Hasley Feud (1865-1869) - This family feud
in Bell County,
became much embittered after the
Leading the Early faction was John Early, who during the
Civil War, was a
member of the
Texas Home Guard, an organization formed to protect
Texas lands while the
younger men were off fighting the war. For whatever reason, Early abused
an old man named Drew Halsey while his son, Samuel was off to war. When
Sam returned from his service in the Confederate Army, he was incensed at Early's treatment of his father and took the matter in his own hands. In
the meantime, Early had also chosen to become a supporter of the Union
after the Rebels had been defeated.
Texas, the last stronghold of
Confederate forces; however, had thousands of people who still supported
the Confederacy, refusing to adhere to the new ideals and laws implemented
during Reconstruction. Hasley soon became the head of a party of friends
and relatives that openly opposed the Yankees and their forced policies.
Before long, Hasley and his friends, including a man named Jim McRae, a
known outlaw, were accused of all manner of desperate deeds including
thievery and other criminal activities. Early soon convinced the Union
soldiers to "clean out" the Hasley faction. On July 30, 1869, Jim McRae
was ambushed and killed. Afterwards, the Hasley party disbanded;
however, one of the members pursued Dr. Calvin Clark, an Early supporter, into Arkansas and killed him shortly thereafter.
Though the "feud" was over, Sam Hasley continued to have a reputation as
trouble maker. In the fall of 1889, he was drunk and creating a ruckus in
Texas. When Deputy Marshal William "Cap" Light ordered him to go
home, Hasley ignored him and began to ride his horse on the sidewalk,
daring Light to do something about it. Light responded by attempting to
arrest the wayward Hasley. But when Sam pulled his out his gun, Light had
little choice to respond and shot Hasley dead.
of America, updated August, 2015.
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