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T A L E S
O U R
The “Rags to Riches”
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 2
Mary Jo Watson
North Texas Star
The Life & Times of John Tarleton
ZACHARIAH E. COOMBES
CHASING OUR TALES
Serving Parker County
Over Fifty Years
Online Obituaries and Condolences:
“Serving every family as if you are a part of our own.”
Norma Plowman, James R. Plowman, Manager
CHASING OUR TALE
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 3
This is the eighth and final article in a series based on
a daily diary kept by Zachariah Ellis Coombes, school
teacher at the Brazos Indian Reservation in Young
County, Texas, between Oct. 7, 1858, and April 27,
nly a few Indian students were now
arriving daily for school at the
Brazos Indian Reservation and the
outlook for the school to exist much longer
was dim. There were already measures being
taken at administrative levels in Washington
and Austin to discontinue the Indian reserva-
tion experiment in Texas and move all the
Indians onto reservations in Indian Territory.
Civil unrest over the issue was reaching a boil-
ing point as an organized group of local land-
owners, cowmen and angry citizens threatened
to take the matter into their own hands.
Even with his tenure as school teacher at the Brazos
Indian Reservation nearing its end during April 1859,
Zachariah diligently continued his duties. On April 18
Captain Ross’ 7-year-old daughter Kate Ross visited the
school for a short time. Her 10-year-old sister, Ann, had
been a student at the school during 1858. The following
day Coombes observed two of Captain Plummer’s men
shackled with ball and chain sweeping off the lot around
the agency buildings. They had been in chains and
forced to do menial service for the past six months as
punishment for desertion. Although Zachariah under-
stood the necessity for subordination and adherence to
duty of military personnel, he thought this punishment
was excessive and cruel.
That evening Zachariah observed many of the Indians
making preparations to leave on a campaign against the
Comanches. A party of 67 warriors including 15 from
each tribe represented at the reserve plus several
Delaware were going on the raid. One
of his scholars and good friend Dave
was also going with the group and
promised to present Zachariah a horse
should he capture at least five from the
Comanches. Dave remarked that he had
always enjoyed hospitality and friend-
ship when he came to the Coombes’
house and never left without being fed.
Zachariah speculated he would likely
never see Dave again and probably did
Alexander Newcomb, another friend
of Zachariah’s, also left with the raiding
party. Before leaving he asked Coombes
to write a letter to his sister in New
York informing her of his whereabouts,
health and intentions. George Christopher and William
Wallace were guests for supper at Coombes’ house that
On April 20, Zachariah took passage on the stage to
Belknap to attend the regular meeting of the Masonic
Lodge, U.D. of A.F.B.A.M.D, where he served as pre-
siding officer. The meeting was held on the Wednesday
after the full moon in each month. He recorded in his
diary that “… after perambulating the streets for some
time and purchasing a pair of pants and 5 lbs. of sugar,
took supper at the Fisher House. They met and held their
regular communication and after the regular business of
the lodge proceeded to have lodge of instruction.”
The stage driver roused Zachariah early the next
morning and by 8 a.m. they were back at the Brazos
agency. Although the round trip to Belknap to attend the
lodge meeting had cost him $21, he resolved to continue
to incur the expense for the benefit of the Order for the
short time he had left at the reserve.
Zachariah learned in a letter received at the agency
from United States Senator John Hemphill (who had
been appointed to succeed Sam Houston when his term
expired in March 1859) and Guy Morrison Bryan
(United States Representative of the Western District of
Texas in the 35th Congress) that all Indians on the Texas
reserves would be relocated across Red River as soon as
preparations could be made to receive them.
To Coombes this was great news, not only for the ben-
efit of the Indians but for him and his family. It would
also lessen the likelihood of an invasion against the res-
ervations by the mob being assembled nearby. To
Zachariah it seemed that his efforts had largely gone
unappreciated by individuals in positions of authority at
the agency. With little support and less than adequate
facilities for carrying on the school, he now looked opti-
mistically toward the future. “Having discharged my
duty truthfully I am ready and willing to go hence at the
On Saturday April 23, 1859, Zachariah attended to his
normal duties of securing and processing the ration of
beef for his house and the school. He received a letter
from John M. Crockett on Masonic matters. John
Crockett at that time was a three-term mayor of Dallas
and first master of the Tannehill Masonic Lodge of
Dallas. J. M. Crockett would later be elected Lieutenant
Governor of Texas in 1861. In a copy of the Dallas
Herald Zachariah read the obituary and eulogy of his
good friend J. W. Latimer who had recently died.
On Sunday Zachariah went looking for his horse that
had wandered off and “after a tedious walk” found
Please see page 4
By Jim Dillard
Zachariah E. Coombes:
Frontier Teacher on the Brazos Indian Reservation
Zachariah Ellis Coombes (1833-1895)
(Photo courtesy of the Grand Royal Arch of Texas)
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 4
From page 3
him and brought him back to his home. From there he
mounted him and went cow hunting but again with no
success. When he returned home he found his wife “has
a chill and of course complaining.” On the way in he
had met two armed men on the trail that were looking for
runaway slaves belonging to Charles Turner. They were
alarmed to encounter Coombes accompanied by Indians.
In 1849 Charles Turner was a ranger captain in the
command of Colonel Middleton T. Johnson that led
Major Ripley Arnold and his dragoons to the location at
the forks of the Trinity River where Fort Worth would be
built. During the Civil War, rather than surrender his
gold for Confederate notes, he buried it under a tree now
know as the Turner Oak located in the Greenwood
Cemetery in Fort Worth. He dug it up after the war and
helped rebuild the town of Fort Worth.
At the start of the next week’s school session, atten-
dance increased somewhat but the students were “looser
from the long continued rest.” Mrs. Sloan, wife of the
school teacher at the Comanche reservation, and her son
visited the school. She informed Coombes that her hus-
band’s salary had been reduced during the last quarter
from $200 to $125 and the wages of Colonel Lepper and
Major Neighbors had also been reduced.
On April 26th, 1859, Coombes listened as Choctaw
Tom recounted his grief and sorrows to Captain Ross
over the killing of his family members and friends while
they slept in their hunting camp in Palo Pinto County.
They had been attacked while
on an authorized hunt off the
reservation by Peter Garland
and a group of men from Erath
County during December 1858.
A letter was brought to Captain
Ross by Mr. Darnell from
Captain Preston Witt informing
him that he must keep his
Indians on the reserves. Witt
had served during the Mexican
War and was the first prominent
settler in Addison, Texas where he and his twin brother
had built an ox-powered grist mill on White Rock Creek.
They were active in a minute-man company organized to
combat Indian depredations in that area.
April 27, 1859 Coombes made the final entry in his
diary. “This day we have been in continued expectations
of Bros. coming up after my family which he did late in
the evening bringing his family with him. And we are
now in a hustle and stir for home.”
On August 1, 1859, a long procession of 370
Comanche Indian men, women, children, along with
numerous horses, mules, hogs and barking dogs stretched
for three miles across the dusty prairie five miles east of
present day Throckmorton. They were being escorted
from the Clear Fork (Comanche) Reservation to the
Wichita Agency in Indian Territory of Oklahoma. The
entourage was led by agent Colonel Leeper and Captain
Gilbert’s company of the First Infantry. Their route
would take them diagonally across present Archer
County to the mouth of the Big Wichita River (Clay
County) on the Red River.
On the same day, Major Neighbors assembled 1,051
Indians three miles north of the Brazos Reservation with
Indian agent Captain Ross and horse and foot soldiers
under Major Thomas and headed north
toward the Red River. The caravan included
Mexican carretas, ambulances and wagons,
teamsters, cattle, mules, oxen, horses and
Indian dogs. They averaged about 20 miles
a day with many Indians walking, some rid-
ing in wagons and others on horseback.
Both groups of Indians arrived the same
day near the mouth of the Big Wichita River
and on August 8, 1859, crossed the Red
River two miles below at Steen’s Crossing.
Neighbors wrote to his wife that the proces-
sion reminded him of the exodus of the
Children of Israel crossing the Red Sea. The
combined group of Indians and their escorts
traveled for seven more days until they
reached their new home on the Washita
River near present-day Fort Cobb,
Oklahoma. On September 1, 1859 Major
Neighbors released 1,420 Indians to Indian
Agent Samuel A. Blain who was acting on
behalf of Superintendent Elias Rector, thus ending the
long trail of trials and tribulations of these Indians on the
Texas frontier. It was reported that many
of the Indians openly wept when
Major Neighbors left them and
returned to Texas.
On September 14, 1859 after
returning from escorting the reser-
vation Indians to Indian Territory,
Major Robert S. Neighbors was
shot in the back and killed on the
streets of Belknap by Ed Cornett.
Cornett was later tracked down
on Salt Creek in Young County
by a group of local minutemen and
given due process of the law by vigilante justice. Robert
S. Neighbors is buried in the public cemetery near Fort
In the spring of 1862 Zachariah entered the
Confederate Army as a member of HYPERLINK “http://
Trezevant C. Hawpe’s Thirty-first Regiment of Texas
Cavalry. Hawpe, who organized the regiment, was elect-
ed its colonel. The unit served under General Thomas C.
Hindman in Indian Territory, Arkansas and Missouri and
fought in the battle of Newtonia, Missouri, in September
1862. Zachariah was promoted to lieutenant in April
1863 and to captain of Company G in June of that year.
Toward the end of 1862 the regiment was dismounted
and sent east of the Mississippi River but returned to the
Trans-Mississippi Department during the winter of 1863-
64 and was remounted. Under Brigade led by Brigadier
General Richard M. Gano and J. E. Harrison, the unit
fought in the battles of Poison Spring near Camden,
Arkansas, on April 18, 1864 and Cabin Creek, located
three miles north of Pensacola, Mayes County,
Oklahoma, on September 19, 1864.
After the war at the age of thirty-three, Coombes was
elected county judge of Dallas County in the election of
June 1866. He would serve in that capacity for only one
year. In November 1867 during the period
of HYPERLINK “http://www.tshaonline.
Reconstruction in Texas, Coombes and the
other Dallas County elected officials (all
Democrats) were removed from office as
“impediments to Reconstruction” after
repeated assertions by the local
Bureau agent that they refused to protect
black lives and property.
Zachariah soon resumed the study of law
and in 1870 began a successful career in the
practice of law. He was first a partner in the
Dallas law firm of Coombes and Brower and
later Good, Brower and Coombes. Coombes
was then a partner for ten years with the
firm of Coombes and Gano. Gano and
Coombes had served together during the
Civil War with the Thirty-first Regiment of
Texas Cavalry. Zachariah maintained an active interest
in politics and was elected an alderman of Dallas in
1871, a delegate to the state Democratic Convention in
May 1884, and elected to the Texas House of
Representatives during the 19th Legislature from 1883-
1885. As a Grand Master Mason, he participated in the
laying of the cornerstone of the new and present Texas
State Capitol building in Austin during its construction in
Zachariah became affiliated with Dallas Masonic
Chapter 47 in 1855 and was a Mason throughout his
adult life. He rose to the highest rank as Grand Master
of Masons of the Royal Arch of Texas from December
11, 1885 to December 17, 1886. Zachariah was a mem-
ber of the Pioneer Association of Dallas County and of
the Christian Church. Seven children were born to
Zachariah and Rebecca. He died on November 25, 1895
and was buried in Dallas in the Western Heights
Cemetery. Rebecca Finch Bedford Coombes died in
Dallas on December 28, 1884. Many of their descen-
dants continue to live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
(Sources: The Diary Of A Frontiersman by Z. E.
Coombs; Heap Many Indian Chiefs by Roy Holt, Empire
of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne, The Handbook of
Texas Online, Lambshead Before Interwoven: A Texas
Range Chronicle 1848-1878 by Frances M. Holden, Rip
Ford’s Texas by John Salmon Ford; Frontier Defense in
the Civil War by David P. Smith, Live of “Big Foot”
Wallace by A. J. Sowell, and many other internet website.
A special thanks to Ted and Nancy Paup for providing a
copy of Zachariah E. Coombes’ published diary.
Coombes was Nancy Paup’s great-great grandfather.)
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 5
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ver the years I
have found many
through the Internet, but I
haven’t met many double
cousins who I didn’t know
However, after my last column, I heard
from a double cousin who lives about 25
miles away on the other side of
Weatherford. Here is his email:
“Hello Ms Seibert,
“My name is Marcus D. Carter, in
Weatherford, TX, and I just read
‘Chasing Our Tales’ in the current issue
of the “North Texas Star.’ The names
Levin and Robert Devon Routh caught
my eye, as they are ancestors on my
paternal side. In fact I believe you and I
are distant cousins through the Rouths.
“One of my ancestors was Charles
Lambert Carter, son of Williamson Carter
and Anna P. Sullivan. Charles was killed
by a horse in Mineral Wells. He is buried
in Indian Creek Cemetery. Elmira
Florence Routh was Williamson’s daugh-
ter-in-law, married to Williamson
“Do you have any records showing
what Charles was doing in Mineral
Wells? Who he was working for? Who
he was living with? I haven’t been able
to connect him with anyone liv-
ing in Mineral Wells at the
time. If you can provide me
with any information, I would
appreciate it. If you are interested
in any information I might have,
please let me know. I will certain-
ly be glad to answer your ques-
“Best Regards and Good
I responded to Marcus with this
“Lora Day Routh Bowden was
my grandmother. Her daughter,
Rose Elizabeth Bowden Ficke,
was my mother.
Please see page 8
ng for? Who
n’t been able
Carters, Bowdens, Rouths and Banners
By Sue Seibert
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 7
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From page 6
As to Charles Lambert (C.L.) Carter, I have not
had time to look much, but here are some things:
(Find-a-grave is a wonderful source.) This shows
his grave at Indian Creek. My grandson transcribed
Indian Creek for his Eagle Project.”
I also asked Marcus if he knew our local CPA,
Charles Carter, and he replied:
“Sorry, but I’m not related to Charles Carter –
that I know of.
“Let me see if I can put this string together where
it makes some sense. If my records are wrong, I
know you will tell me. Here goes:
“I’m Marcus Dee Carter
Father: Marcus Alanson Carter
Father of Marcus Alanson: Herbert Edwin
Mother: Sallie Lotspeich
Father of Herbert Edwin Carter: Williamson
Mother: Elmira Florence Routh
Father of Elmira: Levin Routh
Brother of Elmira: Robert Devon (Uncle Bob)
“Pause right here while I go get another cup of
coffee. OK, now let’s go again:
“Williamson Johnson Carter and Elmira Florence
Routh’s fourth child was Eugenia Florence Carter.
Eugenia married William J. Oscar Bowden.
Eugenia and William’s second child was Jimmie
Rose Elizabeth Bowden (Your Mom) is the sec-
ond cousin of Jimmie Olene Bowden.
Marcus Dee Carter is the first cousin once
removed of Jimmie Olene Bowden.
Jimmie Olene Bowden married Hugh Benjamin
Hugh Benjamin Lotspeich and Sallie Lotspeich
are siblings. . Sallie is my parernal grandmother.
Sallie and Jimmie Olene were sister’s-in-law.
By the way, Aunt Olene was an absolute peach of a
woman, and I dearly loved her.
“Doesn’t this double us up, cousin wise?”
I responded, and he said:
“Thanks for the confirmation and the referral! (I
sent me the e-mail of a mutual cousin on the
Bowden side who does great genealogy.) No, I
don’t mind if you use the information in your col-
umn. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of Aunt
Olene. I have a Lotspeich family photo from the
early 1900s (about 1907, because my dad is a baby
in it) you are welcome to, but there are only 3
Carters and a herd of Lotspeiches. Uncle Ben is
there. I will look further to see if I have any of
interest to you.
“How far back do you go with your Rouths? I
have going back to about 1023 (Richard de
Surdeval). A lot of the info is pretty skimpy, but it’s
yours if you like. Much comes from Ancestry,
‘Hamilton and Light Families.’
“We should get together. My paternal grandpar-
ents lived in Mineral Wells when Dad was born in
1907. He and I argued a lot over the pronunciation
of Palo Pinto County. He said it was pronounced
‘Paler Pinner.’ Of course, I just argued to stir him
up and it was good natured arguing. He always
won the argument when he’d say, ‘Dammit, Boy,
who was born there, you or me?’ Marcus”
Now, isn’t that great! I just wish I could find
proof that old Levin Routh, our great-great-grand-
father, was born. As I have said over the years, I
can take you to his grave and prove he died, but I
cannot prove he was born; so for the sake of
Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and
other things, it is as if he sprung from the ground
I found this about William Bowden, our ancestor,
on the myfolks.org site,http://www.myfolks.org/
php?personID=I2202&tree=Brewer-Lanier. The site
says that William Bowden fought in the
Revolutionary War. He was born in 1742 in North
Carolina, then moved to Georgia (probably
Oglethorpe County) in 1784, and then on to Maury
County, Tenn., in 1818, where he died about
1833/1834. William volunteered in the American
Army under the command of General Pickins in
early January 1781, for 8 weeks. He lived in Surry
County, Tenn., at this time. In the fall of that year
he volunteered in the South Carolina Line under
Captain Nelson for 5 months and 11 days. He
applied for a pension in Maury County on 17 June
1833, when he gave his age as 91 years. He was
William and his wife Martha/Mary Ann had a
son named John Bowden who was married to
Elizabeth A. Blackburn. John and Elizabeth had a
son named James who was married to Elizabeth
McAnally whose ancestor was Charles McAnally
who was my first patriot when I joined the DAR.
Charles McAnally, born Sept. 11,1731, was one
of the great men to assist in the establishment of
Stokes County, N.C. He was an Indian fighter, a
Revolutionary War hero, wheelwright, and farmer.
His father’s name was also Charles McAnally. His
wife’s name was Ruhamah (Mercy) Houston. His
children were: John, who married Ann ?, Sarah,
who married Joseph Banner, Jesse who married
Please see page 10
Fr From om ppag ag ageee 666
AAAs As ttoo CCh Ch Chaarles s s La Lamb mbert (C.L.) Carter, I hav
ha ha h d time to o loo lo look ok ok muchh, but here are some thi
hht http://w /wwww ww wwff .ffiiin inda da d gravee.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?pa
&&G &G &GSSsr=81&GScid id=4 4447&GRid=13514382&
(Find-a-grave is a wwoonderful source.) This sh
his grave at Indian Cr reek. My grandson trans
Indian Creek for his Eagle Project.”
I also asked Marcus if he knew our local C
Ch Ch C ar arle les Carter, and he replied:
“Sorry, bu but I’m no not related to Charles Carte
thh that I know off. .
“L “L “Let et m me see if I can put this string together
it makes s ssoomee sense. If my records are wrong
know yyoouu willl tell me. Here goes:
“I I’m mm MMar arcu cus Dee Carter
F FFaather: MMarcus Alanson Carter
FFatheerr of Marcus Alanson: Herbert Edw
MMot ot ot othhe he her: r Sall e ie Lotspeich
FF Faat athe her oof Her rbbert Edwin Carter: William
Jo Johhnso son Ca art rter
MM Mootherr: Elmi mira Florence Routh
F FFat athe heer r of Ellmira: Levin Routh
BB BBro ro ro roth th ther er ooff EElmira: Robert Devon (Uncle
Ro Ro Ro out ut u h.
“Pau use e rig ght here while I go get another cu
coffee e. OOK, , now let’s go again:
“W ““Willi iaamson Johnson Carter and Elmira Fl
RRout uth’ h’s fourth child was Eugenia Florence C
Eugenia married William J. Oscar Bowde
Eugeniia and William’s second child was J
Olene e Bowd w en.
Ro Rose Elizabeth Bowden (Your Mom) is th
on ond d co cousin of Jimmie Olene Bowden.
Marcus Dee Carter is the first cousin once
re emoved of Jimmie Olene Bowden.
Jimmmie ie O Olene ne BBowden married Hugh Ben
Lo Lots ts tspe pe p ic ich. h
Hu Hugh gh Benjammin Lotspeich and Sallie Lots
are ssibl bliings. . Saallie is my parernal grandmot
(See e abo bove)
SSa alllie and nd Jimmie Olene were sister’s-in-
BBy By By tt the he wway, Aunt Olene was an absolute peac
wo wo wo oma ma ma man, n, n and I dearly loved her.
“Doeesn sn sn’t ’t this double us up, cousin wise?”
I re esp spon onde ded, and he said:
““Tha hanks for the confirmation and the referr
sent nt mmee th the e e-mail of a mutual cousin on the
Bo Bo Bowd wd wd wden en en en ssssid id id ideee e h who does great genealogy.) No,
don’t mindd if f you use the information in your
umn. Unforrttu una n telly, I don’t have a photo of A
Olene. I hav ave a Lo ots tsppeich family photo from
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 9
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March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 10
From page 8
Elizabeth Morgan, Mary who married
Constantine Ladd (his second wife), Lois
who married John Evans, Ruth who mar-
ried Torrence Burns, and Hannah
(Ruhamah) who married Joshua Horner.
Sometime after 1763, Charles settled
north of the Moravians and bought land
and livestock on “Old Field Creek” in
Rowan, now Stokes County, N.C. In
1772 he bought 120 acres on Town Fork
Creek. He was a captain in the North
Carolina Militia during the
Revolutionary War. His list of accom-
plishments include:1773 & 1774 repre-
sented Surry County in Provincial
Assembly for the Colony; member of the
court in the 11th year of the reign of
King George III; 1776 Justice of the
Peace; 1778 Coroner for Surry County
(Surry was divided into two counties in
1790 and became Surry and Stokes);
1779-89 was chairman and/or member
of Court of Pleas & Quarters at various
times; 1782 was a trustee for Surry
County; 1788 was a member of a com-
mittee to help assist finding a site for the
State Capitol; and he served as an
assemblyman for Surry County. He was
very well educated and apparently well-
to-do, because he was a bondsman. He
died Aug. 7,1810, and is buried with his
wife on the south side of the Dan River
Here is an interesting story about the
family. Sarah, the youngest daughter of
Joseph Banner and Sarah McAnally, “...
was the little girl,” [unclear as to how
old she really was – some records show
she was actually a “lady”] “stolen by the
Indians and taken up the Yadkin River
(riding behind a brave on his pony). She
shredded her apron to leave a trail. This
was discovered so she was forced to
remove her clothes, taken into camp
nude. She was found. Charles McAnally
took off his overcoat, held it before his
eyes, walked to the girl, wrapped her in
the coat and carried her back home rid-
ing behind him on his horse.” [There is
question as to which Charles McAnally
actually rescued her]. “It could well have
been Captain Charles McAnally who
rescued her, but it was Captain Charles’
grandson, Charles McAnally, who mar-
ried her (son of Jesse McAnally and
Interestingly, the Joseph Banner spo-
ken of in the story was the ancestor of
my first husband, so I suppose this
makes him and me cousins! Wonder if
that makes our three daughters double
cousins to themselves! Here is an inter-
esting site for more Banner history:
Finally, I heard from another Bowden
cousin, John Casall, who is correspond-
ing with Marcus but whom I have
known for years.
“I had wondered why Eugenia Carter
Bowden was buried in Routh Cemetery,
this answers that mystery.
“William J. Oscar Bowden was the
son of Charles Winston Bowden and
Mary Jane Austin. He was born in Pope
Co., AR and died in Alvarado, Johnson
His sister Hattie Ethel Bowden mar-
ried Lord Byron Routh.
“I do not know much about William J.
Oscar Bowden other than that he was
married three times;
Eugenia Carter Aug 22, 1895, Hallie
Jernigan July 11, 1906, and Lola Ruth
“The children listed in the obituary
Jimmie Olene Bowden Lotspeich, Mabel
Walker Bowden Blount, Lola Bowden
Patton, and J. C. Bowden.
“J.C. Bowden was the son of Hallie
Jernigan 10 May 1910 - 29 Oct 1993. He
lived in Burkett, Coleman Co., Texas.
He had no children, and the farm now
belongs to an Adams nephew. It was just
J.C., though he is often confused with a
cousin Joseph Carter Bowden who also
lived in Coleman, Co.
“Mabel Walker Bowden Blount was
the daughter of Eugenia Carter. June 29,
1896 - Feb 7, 1967, Married Edward Y.
“Jimmie Olene Bowden Lotspeich was
the daughter of Eugenia Carter 29 Sept
1899 - 28 Aug 1989.
“Lola Bowden Patton was the daugh-
ter of Hallie Jernigan.
“The living brother’s listed in the obit-
uary were Dr. Andrew McTiere
‘Mack’ Bowden, Dr. Homer Charles
Bowden, and Nolie Winston Bowden.
“Brownwood Bulletin, 19 Aug 1962,
“W. O. BOWDEN OF ALVARADO
“Funeral services for W.O. Bowden,
about 90, of Alvarado, will be conducted
at 4 p.m. today in the First Methodist
Church of Alvarado with burial to follow
“He died at 1:40 p.m. Saturday in a
hospital there. A retired druggist, he for-
merly lived in May. He was the son of
the late Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Bowden of
“Survivors include four children, J.C.
Bowden of Cross Plains, Mrs. Ben
Lotspeich of Fort Worth, Mrs. E.Y.
Blount of San Antonio, Mrs. James
Patton of Tucumcari, N.M.; three broth-
ers, Dr. A.M. Bowden of May, Dr. A.C.
Bowden of Byrds, N.W. Bowden of
Brownwood; and three grandchildren.”
Can you answer any of the Carter
questions? If so, please send an e-mail
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 11
Azle • Springtown • Mineral Wells • Weatherford
Cremation Services • Pre-Need Plans
Our family serving your family since 1908
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 12
penny-pincher of the first
order, John Tarleton walked
nearly everywhere he went,
often dressed as a tramp. Despite his
disheveled appearance, Mr. Tarleton
had a profound impact upon this geog-
raphy, this North Texas region.
Born in 1808 in White Mountain, Vt., near the New
Hampshire line, Tarleton was orphaned at age 7 and
taken in by a widowed aunt. At 13 the independent
young man apparently overheard his auntie tell a
neighbor, “John will live around here until I die, then
he will get my money.” Offended by the sentiment
expressed by his aunt, he stuffed a few articles of
clothing into a bag and with 50 cents in his pocket hit
He tried to enlist in the army but was told to “grow
up before applying again.” Not only was he too young,
he was small for his age, as well. In fact, even in adult-
hood he reached only 5 feet 5 inches and weighed just
145 pounds. Piqued by the recruiter’s words, he began
eating raw eggs and beef to, well, grow up.
Learning of his unsuccessful attempt to run off and
join up, his aunt offered him money if he’d return and
work wheat. He accepted and with the $15 he made he
left New England for good.
Tarleton walked to North Carolina where he chopped
wood for a time before moving on to Tennessee where
he applied for a clerk’s position with a mercantile firm.
At first the proprietor turned him down, saying he
wanted a more mature man who would stay with him
for a long period of time. He relented, however, when
Tarleton promised to stay on as long as his services
were desired. He clerked in the store for 40 years, liv-
ing in back of the building.
Tarleton was something of an entrepreneur. While
clerking the young man amassed a good deal of land in
a most unusual way. He found that War of 1812 veter-
ans were more than happy to trade their Bounty
Warrant certificates for articles stocked in the store.
Tarleton accepted the certificates in trade for store
goods that he charged to his personal account. He thus
acquired thousands of acres of land in Arkansas,
Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. At one point he bought
10,000 acres in unsettled West Texas, in Palo Pinto and
Tarleton first saw his Texas land in 1861, and finding
Indians roaming the country he walked south to Waco
where he established a store at 45 Austin Street. He
boarded at the McClelland Hotel and the 1880-1881
Waco City Directory listed him as a “capitalist.”
In Waco he met a woman he would later refer to as
“the Devil’s own grandmother.” The odd affair (he was
60, she 26) began when he spied the young lady on the
way to his store. How could he miss her? She wore a
red hat with a big red feather in it. Tarleton married
well-to-do widow Mary Louisa Johnson in 1876.
Thinking her new husband’s only holding was the
store, she readily agreed to keep their finances sepa-
rate, and a contract to that effect was executed.
From the beginning, it seems the union stood on
shaky ground. A niece recalled Mrs. Tarleton “was a
proud woman entertaining in her three-story home, and
Tarleton was wont to coming in with kindling boxes in
the front door during his wife’s most sedate entertain-
When tax time rolled around the lady with the red
hat — who was worth around $30,000 — found out
her husband was worth many times that. She apparent-
ly tried to get him to divide his wealth with her so they
would be of comparable worth. He did not find her
proposition appealing in the least and refused the split.
One year and a day after the marriage, Tarleton came
home to find Mary Louisa gone. A friend saw a notice
in the St. Louis paper announcing that she was suing
for divorce. He alerted Tarleton, who caught the next
train and arriving the day of the trial presented the pre-
nuptial agreement. The lady with the red hat got her
divorce, but not a penny of Tarleton’s money.
Some years later she began writing him, apparently
still trying to get her hands on his loot. Tarleton kept
his former wife’s letters in a trunk, writing on each
envelope the date he replied.
In a letter dated April 29, 1885, she wrote: “Glad to
hear that you are getting along pretty well in buying
Please see page 13
By Mel Rhodes
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 13
Tarleton himself had been denied an
education and had a keen interest in
seeing that others got one.
The original Stephenville College Building
From page 12
cattle. Hope you will succeed in purchasing all you
want before weather gets hot. I was very much sur-
prised to hear that you own all of your land yet. I have
often wondered who would be the fortunate heir to all
A May 6, 1886, letter read: “Oh, such a man, such a
man, what are you going to do with so many cattle,
land and money. If I should outlive you, I would like to
be your heir.”
In a final letter posted Aug. 17, 1887, in San
Francisco, Mary Louisa said she thought of him often
and had dreamed he was dying in a “small, uncomfort-
able room with no good bed to lie on” and no one to
take care of him. The obvious insinuation was she was
ready to come to his side to hold his hand when he
expired and his money after that.
Tarleton apparently withstood his ex-wife’s feminine
wiles, for there is no record she ever inherited anything
Following the breakup, Tarleton began to think of
leaving Waco for his vast land holdings in Palo Pinto
and Erath counties. In 1880, some three years after the
divorce, true to form, he set out walking for Santo in
Palo Pinto County, a trip of over 100 miles. He carried
a suitcase and umbrella and dressed as a tramp, hiding
his money in the patches on his clothing and in his box-
Upon arriving in this locale he found squatters on his
land and paid them for any improvements they had
made. Failing to generate any interest when he adver-
tised the land for sale, he fenced 10,000 acres and
began raising cattle. It is said he raised 600-700 calves
annually and shipped 400 steers at a time.
Some of his neighbors resented the fence, reportedly
the first in the area, and often cut it or burned gates.
Every day Tarleton would walk the 18-mile perimeter
of his property repairing fence. Finally, he called his
neighbors together and explained that he could and
would continue to repair his fence.
It is said that often as Tarleton and his foreman
looked out over his sea of cattle he would remark that
“these cattle will help educate some poor boys and
girls.” Tarleton himself had been denied an education
and had a keen interest in seeing that others got one.
Neighbors recalled that he routinely paid for up to 10
youths to attend school. He put local authorities on
notice that he would buy clothes and books for any
Near the end, Tarleton summoned his Stephenville
attorney, J.C. George, to his ranch house to modify his
will; he wanted to leave some $85,000 to establish a
college at Palo Pinto, county seat of Palo Pinto County.
George apparently advised his client that Palo Pinto
was not a good location for a college. The railroad had
passed miles south of the small town and it sat in
mountainous terrain. George said he doubted the town
would ever be heavily populated. And he was right. As
if the railroad’s decision to build through the southern
end of the county wasn’t enough, Mineral Wells sprang
up in its far eastern reaches, eventually becoming by far
the largest town in Palo Pinto County.
Having been discouraged from his original plan,
Tarleton suggested Weatherford as the site for his new
college. George reminded him the town already had a
college and proposed Stephenville. Tarleton recounted a
run-in he’d had with the Erath County tax collector,
who’d charged him taxes twice on the same property.
But, at length, George talked the old man into funding a
college at Stephenville.
Tarleton died of typhoid fever at age 88, Nov. 16,
1895. John Tarleton College opened in 1898. In 1917,
by an act of the Texas Legislature, it became a state
school — part of the Texas A&M system — and was
renamed John Tarleton Agricultural College. The school
became known as Tarleton State College in 1949 and is
now a four-year college called Tarleton State
University. Many area youths have received their edu-
cations in the halls of learning John Tarleton built.
Before dying, Tarleton made it known he wished to
be buried on his own land, but he was instead interred
in Patillo Cemetery. A Stephenville Empire editorial in
November of 1896 argued that a mere $700 would
finance Tarleton’s exhumation and relocation to the
Stephenville campus bearing his name. It would also,
the editorial suggested, pay for a “handsome monu-
According to the Handbook of Texas On-line, “In
1926 his (Tarleton’s) remains were moved to
Stephenville, where they now rest in a plot adjacent to
the campus marked by a suitable monument erected by
John Tarleton: entrepreneur, benefactor – a true rags-
Sources: Stephenville Museum, Handbook of Texas
On-line & Palo Pinto County History (The
Photo Courtesy of the Dick Smith Library
Archives at Tarleton State University.
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 14
he first time out
with your own
young dog you’ll
work hard to stay up with
him. You’ll be unsure of
him, wondering whether
he’ll get lost or, worse, just
plain run off.
He’ll run smack-dab into every covey of
bobwhites until he learns to work upwind.
Hunting alongside an older, experienced dog
with more “field savvy” will help your young
dog eliminate common mistakes better than
you can teach him yourself.
Then the marble statue, your dog’s first
point. Not quite 6 months old, but then he did
it; and perhaps you’ll remember it forever, a
lot longer than he will. Just wait till you tell
the guys at the coffee shop in the morning!
Maybe it wasn’t classic, and the way you
missed clean with both barrels wasn’t classic
either. We do have short memories, and it’s
understandable if you fail to mention it to the
coffee drinkers, both barrels.
But the memory of that first time afield
with your 6-month-old English setter is
etched deeply, the year of 1969, the time of
abundant moisture and whistling, a-coming
from every direction, “bob w-h-i-te, bob w-h-
i-t-e,” and you wouldn’t even erase your
misses, spoiling the recollection, even if you
could, even if you had the power to do so.
After a few years of hunting in his own
patch, one quail hunter broke away from his
small retail shop downtown two evenings a
week to head toward Village Bend, about 8
or 9 miles southwest of Mineral Wells.
Most of this river bend country is generally
clean, sparse with cedar, post oak and shin-
nery, affording openings for clear shooting. A
grain field is dotted here and there. A veteran
setter adapts quickly and is soon finding
birds in a good year – meaning a lot of gener-
This small retail shop owner had a hunting
buddy living in Village Bend who also owned
an English setter; they would pair up to hunt
a couple of evenings a week.
Always in a leisurely sort of cadence,
never in a hurry, these two friends enjoyed
hunting together, stopping to load a crooked-
stemmed briar or swap brands of chewing
tobacco, while the dogs worked a small trap
of thick grass emitting strong scent, and they
sometimes spend too much time when obvi-
ously the birds aren’t there. But sometimes
they are, and you’ll get the shock of your life
when 15-20 birds erupt from right under your
The two friends learned where the coveys
hung out at certain times of the day – and so
did the setters – as long as the weather was
predictable; however a blue norther changed
the birds’ feeding habits; they were to be
found anywhere, but mostly nowhere.
A couple of large coveys generally stayed
in the trap near the foreman’s rock house,
another covey east of the barn; the southwest
corner of the root-plowed field you could bet
on if only the pair of red-tailed hawks
weren’t to be seen. And the tall grass below
the twin tanks’ dams, each of which was a
favorite spot in the dozer pushed brush. You
could cock an ear to hear the birds whistling
there most evenings.
After a few years in gentle Village Bend
the two hunters learned the likely spots; the
dogs acted as if they were radar controlled as
long as the ground was damp, the scent
Over-and-under 20 gauges coughed #7 ½
or #8 bird shot; doubles, even a triple now
and then, were not uncommon between them.
Please see page 16
By Don Price
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 15
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From page 14
Hunting bag straps weighed heavily on one’s
shoulders, a good feeling.
Gosh, you never tired of watching a pair of set-
ters work singles. And those were the days when
bobwhites were seemingly everywhere in the Palo
But it always seems as if there’s a lull in each
season, when the birds shift habitat a tad, just
enough to affect your game bag in a “big time”
way. You’ll remove your hat to scratch your head.
Buffaloed, the dogs are hunting high and low;
your feet get sore, the scattergun heavy; the dogs
can’t scent, it’s too dry, you start thinking of
excuses, finding faults, the plug tobacco grows
stronger, and why is it always uphill toward home?
There are few thrills in all hunting that will
equal a pair of frozen setters in waning light. Let
us flush the covey, drop a couple, letting the dogs
work singles at sundown. It’s almost like a story-
book finish. Thank you – someone, anyone – for a
glorious part of life.
The following essay appeared in the Nov. 4,
1979, issue of the Mineral Wells Index. It has been
What would you do if your family were starv-
ing? Most hunters obey game laws; however, there
are a few who don’t because of various reasons
beyond their control.
If a man and his family are literally starving to
death, this is all together a different matter, for
most witnesses of an illegal act would find it very
difficult to “blow the whistle” on the game viola-
tor killing a deer out of season to feed his own
Boasting at the campfire to impress his peers,
one well-to-do hunter took several wild turkeys
out of season and delightfully boasted about it,
impressing his friends.
There is something else in life here, something
going as far back as antiquity, a code of ethics;
this code signifies that an honest sportsman
doesn’t cheat on himself; in fact, this thought
never enters his mind. Self-discipline is impera-
No one who pulls the trigger actually breaks the
game laws, a staccato burst of his Browning
Automatic Rifle at a running deer 600 yards away;
or pumps a 12-gauge model 12 Winchester shot-
gun at wild ducks 100 yards high. It is unethical.
A man who maintains a code of ethics is not
tempted to use our road signs as targets for zeroing
his deer rifle. Not only does he not do it, he’s not
even tempted in the first place. He never gives it a
second thought. He doesn’t leave pasture gates
open either, causing the rancher in frustration to
lock it and post it from now on.
Because there is no existing statute doesn’t
mean one should feel free to act indiscriminately,
shooting bobwhites in a huddle on the ground,
mourning doves sitting in a tree, or wild ducks still
on the water. But if a man and his family are liter-
ally starving to death, this plight should be
weighed by a fair-minded judge, a gentleman of
both ethics and wisdom.
An ethical hunter not only obeys game laws as
far as limits are concerned, but he never takes
more game than he needs; sometimes he turns
down the legal limit of deer, even though he still
has an unused tag, even though he still has the
chance, when he knows his freezer is already full.
His game is dressed quickly and cleanly, with
none of it wasted, all of it in prime condition; the
skill, caring and understanding of animals are
applied to one of the highest goals: ethics.
1979, issue of the Mineral Wells Index. It has been
gun at wild ducks 100 yards high. It is unethical.
A man who maintains a code of ethics is not
skill, caring and understanding of animals are
applied to one of the highest goals: ethics.
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 17
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March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 18
olitical activist Jim
visited the Occupy Wall
Street camp to see for him-
self if media reports were
accurate. He found they
were not. He reports on his
visit in his latest newsletter.
The set up of the camp sounds like
the Great Peace March I participated
in during 1986.
What he found was a peaceful, non-
violent, well-organized group of pro-
testers using media to call attention to
conditions in this country that need to
A major difference in the Occupy
groups and our Peace March group is
that they have instant communication.
Nineteen-eighty-six was pre-cell
phone, and the only wireless commu-
nications were walkie-talkies and ham
Hightower said the well-organized
Occupy Wall Street camp, which was
in a park, had a main entry “gate.” A
volunteer at a welcome desk greeted
visitors and supporters. There was a
media center, a library, a medical clin-
ic staffed by volunteer health profes-
There was a kitchen, a sanitation
committee, a litter patrol. There was a
a desk where protesters could get such
basics as toothpaste and sign up for
showers and laundry services provided
by area residents.
Tasks were divided into a dozen
working groups of volunteers who
kept the group functioning. The group
had not had to purchase much food as
New Yorkers regularly brought food
donations to the camp.
A space was set aside for assembly
meetings, which took place twice each
day. There was no central leader or
governing body, but everything was
brought up in assemblies and decided
by modified consensus – nine out of
Hightower commented this could be
painfully slow and frustrating, but it
engages and empowers everyone for
the benefit of the whole group, which
is what democracy is supposed to do.
I support the Occupy groups, not
because they use the same well-orga-
nized method the Peace March did,
but because I feel they are younger
people who are calling attention to
pressing needs in this country and are
doing it in a peaceful non-violent fash-
ion despite the way they are being
treated by media and law enforcement
Hightower didn’t say how many
protestors were in the Occupy Wall
Street camp. In our Peace March
group there were always between 500
and 1,000. The numbers varied
according to where we were. Many
people could only come for a month
Our group had a city council form
of governing body, but every decision
was made by consensus. Not modi-
fied, but EVERYONE had to agree. A
different concept when we’re so
accustomed to majority rule, or who
carries the biggest stick or has the
most weapons and manpower.
Yes, it was slow and cumbersome to
abide by consensus. When we were
abandoned by the original sponsor and
left penniless in the desert near
Barstow, CA, the marchers who did
not go home decided, by consensus, to
re-organize and keep walking to
We agreed on certain rules and regu-
lations. We agreed on a city council
form of government for the group.
Please see page 20
by wynelle catlin
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 19
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2103 E. Hubbard º Mineral Wells, Texas 76067 º 940-327-0985
Camp Wolters in Mineral Wells is designated U.S. Army Primary Helicopter School. It was deac-
tivated in 1973 and Fort Rucker, Ala., became the Primary Helicopter School.
MARCH 5, 1836
Texas cattleman Charles Goodnight is born on the family farm is Macoupin County, Ill. At one
time Goodnight operated out of Palo Pinto County, living in the Oran (Black Springs) area with a
herd of cattle in 1857.
MARCH 9, 1921
Strawn, Texas', namesake, Stephen Bethel Strawn, dies in Strawn. After a few years in Eastland
County, he settled permanently in Palo Pinto County in 1860. He came to Texas from Tennessee,
born there April 30, 1837.
MARCH 19, 1895
Palo Pinto County cattleman/pioneer and Baptist preacher George Webb Slaughter dies at Palo
MARCH 22, 1941
Camp Wolters in Mineral Wells ofﬁcially turned over to the U.S. Army. In a ceremony near the
headquarters building, Camp Commander Col. Fay W. Brabson accepted nearly 5,000 keys to post
Watch for our specialsl
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March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 20
From page 18
One of the highly debatable issues was
the mode of walking. Some marchers
wanted to leave camp in a compact
group of marchers, carrying flags. This
would have a greater impact on the
people who saw the March. Some
marchers wanted to go at their own
pace, in smaller groups or strung out
for several miles. This would give
more opportunities to talk to individu-
als we met along the way.
By consensus we decided to have a
city mode, walking as a compact
group, and a country mode, strung out
in smaller groups or alone.
Once, when we were in Pennsylvania
mountains, I needed to go on to camp
to attend to one of my volunteer
chores, so I caught a ride on a shuttle
going on to camp. But I got off the
shuttle 4 miles before our next camp
site, and walked the rest of the way
alone. What a wonderful memory. I
stopped and picked an apple from a
roadside tree, and talked to the horses
that came to the fence to greet me. And
I marveled at the beauty of that moun-
We agreed on no drugs, no alcohol in
camp. Then we agreed that the
mechanics could quietly and discreetly
drink beer while in their bus. They
worked 18-hour days to keep the vehi-
cles and machinery running and never
got to march, and many times missed
We agreed we would not trod on or
trample wildlife or plants.
We agreed on non-violence, in words
We agreed on a lot of issues, but
some we never did. A dress code was
one. Some of us wanted us to look like
a group of campers dressed up in
clothes straight from L.L. Bean. Instead
we were a motley group, with some
marchers who had dreadlocks, and a
group of anarchists, who wore black all
the time and had a black flag at their
And we never agreed on registering,
getting and wearing a badge so our
security personnel could easily recog-
nize group members.
I found the way we reached consen-
sus effective and interesting. The group
assembled to discuss a certain issue.
The rules were that you had to speak
and listen from the heart, you could not
interrupt the speaker or make negative
comments about someone else’s words.
An object was passed around and who-
ever was holding the object had the
I found that if I was listened to while
I honestly expressed how I felt, and
truly listened to how other people felt,
then I could objectively view a situa-
tion. It was easy to agree on what was
best for the group since I wasn‘t trying
to force my agenda on others.
Marcher Gerda Lawrence in the
book, “The Great Peace March,“
explained how the different depart-
ments of the March, manned by volun-
The following is paraphrased or ver-
MOVING THE CITY
Drivers of the big vehicles worked
closely with Maintenance. After a thor-
ough morning check of their equip-
ment, the drivers met to coordinate the
move of the day. Which tractor would
pull which loads, which truck needed
to be serviced, what were the road con-
ditions? Double loading – one tractor
pulling two trailers – was prohibited in
some states. What were the rules?
At some weigh stations, officials just
shook their heads when a driver
couldn’t produce a registration or per-
mit. Documents might have been
applied for but not received because
mail didn’t always catch up with the
March. Police were usually sympathet-
ic. One driver didn’t know of anyone
ever getting a ticket.
Even after the daily coordination
meeting, plans often had to be changed.
A truck might get stuck in the mud or
have a mechanical breakdown.
On a typical 20-mile day, a driver
would make three trips to the next
camp and put 120 miles on the odome-
ter. During the last months the vehicles
were in bad shape and something was
wrong almost daily.
The coordinator for the day handed
out maps, discussed problems and gave
drivers money for fuel. It took $60 to
fill up a tractor – between $20 and $30
At each new site a marcher, called a
Receiver, directed the drivers. Some
Receivers understood how big rigs
worked, but one asked a driver to move
his trailer sideways 6 inches. Another
couldn’t see why double trailers
couldn’t be backed up.
Receivers worked out the details of
First was where to put the kitchen.
There had to be room for the bladder
which stored graywater. This enormous
container lay flat on a level spot down-
hill from the kitchen and connected to
it with a hose. The back of the dish-
washing trailer needed to face the
kitchen, as did the dry-food trailer.
The gear trailers needed to be as
close as possible to the tent sites so
marchers wouldn’t have to walk so far
to get their tents and sleeping bags.
Two sets of portable toilets were
parked near the tent area and one near
Comm I and InfoCenter had to be
central and next to each other if possi-
ble. They and the kitchen were the hub
of the camp.
Three large orange, blue and red
tents served as town halls. Campscape
volunteers were in charge of putting
up, taking down and repairing these big
tents, a fairly easy job except during
bad weather. Center poles had to be
dropped during high winds and electri-
Each day a different worker served
as supervisor and was responsible for
getting the route map to the next site,
placing the tents correctly according to
the site map and seeing that the tents
were put up and taken down. The tents
were transported to the next site in a
van the supervisor drove. Usually, the
Campscape workers helped clean up
the campsite after the march moved
out, filled in ruts and did what they
called landscaping – hence the name
After the March reorganized, one
marcher volunteered for the food task
force. He had learned to cook in big
quantities when he lived in India for
Another marcher who joined the
food task force had had experience in
large-scale food preparation when she
was doing famine relief work with
Peace Corps in Africa.
The two became coordinators.
Another marcher who slept in the
kitchen had traveled a lot and learned
to live simply. He assumed the task of
making non-dairy food and sprouts. A
young marcher from Germany made
There were not many experienced
cooks among the volunteers. Those
who knew large-scale food preparation
had to be divided between the different
Kitchen duty could be extremely
pressured. Between 300 and 1,000 peo-
ple had to be fed three times daily.
At first the coordinators tried to plan
menus for a week. Donations of food
and leftovers made that impractical.
The breakfast crew of four or five
started work between 2 and 4 a.m..
Please see page 22
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 21
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March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 22
From page 20
They also packed the kitchen up for
moving. Pots and pans and utensils nec-
essary for starting supper had to be
taken from the dishwashing trailer to
the kitchen just in case that trailer
didn’t make it to camp. Then everything
had to be tied down with bungee cords.
The day coordinator who worked
from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. came in after
breakfast to see what food was on hand
and what was needed. He or she helped
pack for the move to the next site and
unpacked when it got there.
Three or four cooks worked on the
evening meal. Barring a hang-up they
could be in the kitchen by noon.
At each new site five or six people
gathered in the prep tent to peel pota-
toes, cut up lettuce, wash fruit, and in
the Midwest, shuck endless ears of
The lunch crew came to the prep area
between 4 and 5 p.m. to get food ready
for lunch the next day to be taken to the
marchers noon rest stop.
Late at night the bakers came in.
There was a regular baking crew, but
sometimes other people got inspired to
bake. They made delicious things for
lunch and whenever we had a border
crossing they baked incredibly large
cakes in the form of the state the March
was leaving. These were shared with
highway patrol and police who had
assisted us. People from peace organi-
zations and others who met us in the
new state also joined for a party.
When we volunteered to work in dif-
ferent departments a young woman who
had been a pastry chef volunteered to
work in food buying. Her friend, trained
as an anthropologist, joined her and the
two managed the department all the
way to Washington.
Much of the food was donated. Some
was purchased from food banks and
other organizations set up to provide
food at cheaper prices.
When approaching a city, the two
would call a church and ask about food
banks. Many times, the pastor would go
with them to a food bank and many
times the church would pay for the
Accounts were established with
wholesale food distributors who deliv-
ered to camp. Always there were dona-
tions of food. Hundreds of loaves of
bread from a bakery. Crates and crates
of blueberries from a grower. Farmers
brought corn, tomatoes, melons, pota-
toes, green beans.
The two coordinators did the major
food buying in two days a week and
walked the other days. They succeeded
in feeding the marchers for $1 per day.
Some of us got thinner, but some actu-
ally gained weight.
The dry foods trailer was the size of a
large moving van. At a weight station,
once, it held 82,000 pounds of rice,
beans, flour, salt and other dry food sta-
A marcher “elected himself” manager
of the vehicle. He built shelves along
the sides and down he middle. Then he
worked out a method of storing food so
it took up the least space. He consulted
with the food buying team about what
was needed and in what quantities.
Sometimes it took 50 pounds of oat-
meal for one breakfast. He estimated
35% of our dry food was donated.
When cooks needed something, he
knew where it was. One of his jobs was
keeping hungry snackers out of the
Cooks prepared meals for vegetari-
ans, non-dairy-vegetarians and omni-
The dishwashing trailer had three
sinks, one for washing, one for rinsing
and one for disinfectant. The march
used real utensils, not throw-aways.
The morning shift was from 6 to 11
a.m., evening from 6 to 10:30 p.m.
These people packed the trailer at one
campsite and unpacked at the next.
Bungee cords kept things in place.
Dishwashing could be done by 14
volunteers each day, but 17 was better.
The job required some strong muscles
for the heavy commercial pots and
Volunteer dishwashers were faithful.
In New York City, many cut short their
sightseeing to perform their in-camp
duties. Most of the dishwashers were
faithful about walking, too. For some,
working on the evening shift didn’t
interfere with marching.
More about the organization of the
camp next week. Then we’ll get back
on the road. Chicago next!
March 2012 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 23
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