Emmanuel “Mannen” Clements, Sr. – A Bad Texas Hombre

Emmanuel Clements, Sr.

Emmanuel Clements, Sr.

Emmanuel “Mannen” Clements, Sr. was a rancher, outlaw, and gunfighter, who headed up the violent and ruthless Clements family in McCulloch County, Texas.

Mannen and his brothers, John Gibson “Gip,” James and Joseph were brought up on a cattle ranch south of Smiley, Texas in Gonzales County, Texas. In 1871, John Wesley Hardin, a cousin of the Clements, visited their ranch and participated in a cattle drive to Kansas with Mannen and James Clements. During the drive, Mannen killed brothers Adolph and Joseph Shadden, who had disputed his authority just as the herd crossed the Red River into Indian Territory. He was later jailed in Kansas by Bill Hickok but was released at the request of John Wesley Hardin, who had become friends with Hickok.

In October 1872, Mannen helped Hardin to escape from a jail in Gonzales County, Texas jail by slipping him a file, then pulling him between the jagged bars by a lariat. In the years that followed, Mannen, along with brothers Joe, Jim, and Gip participated in the Taylor-Sutton Feud, along with their cousin, Hardin. In 1877 Clements found himself in jail in Austin, Texas along with Hardin, Bill Taylor, Johnny Ringo, and members of the Sam Bass gang.  After John Wesley Hardin was sent to prison, Mannen was one of the few people that ever visited him while he was there. He also helped Hardin’s wife, Jane, and their children.

Jim Miller, infamous killer

Jim Miller, infamous killer

By 1880 Clements was suspected of cattle rustling, and he had accumulated vast horse and cattle herds on his McCulloch County Ranch. About two years later, Clements hired none other than Killin’ Jim Miller to work on his ranch. While there, Miller became good friends with Emmanuel’s son, Emmanuel “Mannie” Clements, Jr., as well as Mannen’s daughter, Sallie. Miller and Mannie Clements would later find themselves embroiled in the Frazer-Miller Feud in Pecos, Texas.

In spite of his past, Mannen Clements ran for sheriff of newly formed Runnels County in early 1877 in a campaign that was hotly contested. Despite his efforts, he lost. On March 29, 1887, Mannen was shot and killed in the Senate Saloon by Ballinger City Marshal, Joseph Townsend. Not long afterward, Townsend was riding home one night when he was swept from the saddle by a shotgun fired out of the dark. The ambusher was never identified, but Jim Miller was widely suspected. Though Townsend survived, he lost an arm.

By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated February 2020.

Also See:

Adventures in the American West

Lawmen of the Old West

Old West Photo Galleries

Outlaws on the Frontier