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North Texas Star

July 2015

Willkommen to

Gone to Texas Chasing Our Tales


Outdoors Along the Brazos

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 2



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North Texas Star

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 3


Trailing Beeves, Part II
By Don Price

David May
Lindsay Burge
Mary Gray
Kailie Trigg
Susie Howell


to James Edward McEvoy &

Mary Jane Wallace
By Sue Seibert



Elizabeth Patton Crockett

By Jim Dillard


By Wynelle CaItlin

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 4


along the


Trailing Beeves, PART II

wo of the better known trail drivers started

right here in Palo Pinto County. Their names
were Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight,
pioneers of future stockmen, the cattle industry as we
know it today.
At one time Oliver Loving and his family lived 10
miles north of present-day Mineral Wells. Charles
Goodnight lived with his family about
12 miles north/northwest of Mineral
Wells, as the crow flies, in an early settlement named Black Springs, which is
called Oran today.
There is a granite State of Texas
Centennial 1836-1936 rock marker at
the foundation of Loving's homestead,
attesting to this fact; there are three
State of Texas Historical Markers in
Oran, attesting to the facts that Charles
Goodnight, a bachelor at the time, lived
there. His mother rests in the Oran
Cemetery today.
The peak years of trailing beeves
after the Civil War were from 18661885, about 20 years, a lot of stampeding, perhaps the most colorful time, the
most exciting time in the history of all
nations, trailing countless longhorns to
northern markets.
Dodge City and Ogallala, Abilene
and Cheyenne, Fort Sumner and
Denver... and Miles City, just to name a
few shipping points during the heyday ... a time when
a $4 beef in Black Springs brought $40 in Boston.
These trail-driving days saw some 10 million beeves
delivered to Indian reservations and railheads. It was a
big world, involving 32,000 to 35,000 drovers and
cooks, wranglers and trail bosses during this 20-year
crest of excitement splashed with both color and
In a span covering some three years, we've read
approximately 100 titles of authentic longhorn trails of
the Old West, non-fiction, some of which are partly
What is so amazing is that in the alphabetical indices
of most of these books (I'll say 85 percent), Palo Pinto
County is mentioned more than any other county in
the United States.
The Palo Pinto region is listed more than any other

region (area) in the United States. The names of Oliver

Loving and Charles Goodnight are more frequently
mentioned than any other names of stockmen during
the trailblazing epoch of non-fiction publications pertaining to the trailing of longhorn cattle to market after
the Civil War (after Appomattox).
These books pertaining to The Era of Trailing
Longhorns After the Civil
War have been published by
the largest houses in the publishing world, based largely in
New York and Chicago. TimeLife Books, in its beautifully
illustrated The Cowboys has
an entire chapter on Charles
Goodnight. He is referred to as
The Father of Cowboys. His
partner Oliver Loving earned
the sobriquet The Dean of
Trail Drivers.
Unfortunately Loving was
just 54 years old when a
Comanche war party attacked
him on the Pecos River. His
wound turned to gangrene and
he died in about two weeks at
Fort Sumner. His partner, C.
Goodnight, had the body reinterred in Weatherford a few
months later.
Tough-as-a-boot, Charles
Goodnight survived, his year of passing 1929 (he was
93 years old), and he was buried at Goodnight, Texas.
But both men had gathered beeves in the Palo Pinto
region; both had lived a few miles north/northwest of
present day Mineral Wells at one time. There are several historical markers attesting to these facts ten miles
north of our city, as the crow flies.
At a certain time the Palo Pinto region was considered the finest ranchinxg area around. The open range
was lush with grass along the Brazos River and its
tributaries, such as Keechi and Ioni and Palo Pinto
creeks. Furthermore, it was thought the limestone
country north of present day Brad and Pickwich (inundated) held the strongest grass.
Unquestionably, Palo Pinto produced more noted
cowmen than other frontier regions: the Cowdens ... C.
Goodnight ... Lovings ... George Webb and Lum

Charles Goodnight

Slaughter ... Daltons and Cuertons ... Hittsons ... the

Stuarts and Strawns ... Carters and Beldings ... the
Harts, Reynolds and Matthews ... Costellos ... Harrises
... Metcalfes ... and there were many other ranchers
who moved on west, but they STARTED in the Palo
Pinto region.
Just letting a modern reader know of a miniscule
segment of the cattle industry in the Palo Pinto region
starting in the late 1860s, the George Webb Slaughter
descendants, after having been in Palo Pinto for only
10 years, had increased their holdings to 10,000 longhorns which they sold to Jim Loving, Oliver's son, for
$6 a head.
Then from 1868 to 1875, the trail-driving Slaughters
took 12,800 beeves up the trail, for which they
received $484,000. The largest single drive of the
Slaughter family was in 1870 when 3,000 head were
driven up the trail and sold for $105,000 a fortune
even for a cattle baron.
Christopher Columbus Slaughter, one of the traildriving sons, paid more in state taxes on his land in
one year than any other man in Texas. He owned
banks in Dallas, gave generously to Dallas hospitals
and was a large donor to Baylor University. Everyone
called him Lum Slaughter.
Kindly please don't forget most of it started in Palo
Pinto County.
The names of Loving and Goodnight became household words in cattlemen's circles throughout the
United States after they'd blazed the GoodnightLoving Trail.
History buffs worldwide recognize the now famous
trail, and most include it in their criteria of the Old
But there's now a big push that will be starting in the
cities San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth to promote
Jesse Chisholm, an active Indian during trail driving
days. So these big cities are naturally promoting the
Chisholm Trail, a Chamber of Commerce push. I'd
read that rancher H.H. Halsell and some of the really
old-time cowmen commented that Charles Goodnight
had worn out more dufflebags than Jesse Chisholm
had socks. And that's not even counting Lum
Slaughter, George Webb Slaughter's son.
Oliver was 23 years older than his partner, so he was
the first to blaze ahead with a vision of a Texas cattle
industry. With this in mind perhaps the trail should
have been named the Loving-Goodnight Trail.

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 5

However, in every history book we've perused on this
subject, more than 100 non-fiction volumes of this Old
West epoch, in the index the entry is always alphabetically listed as the Goodnight-Loving Trail. And it seems
to be listed this way with all book publishers of this
time frame, small and large New York, Chicago,
Boston, Philadelphia.
This great partnership of the two cowmen, Goodnight
and Loving, perhaps started in or near the settlement of
Black Springs.
On one dusty drive, trailing thousands of longhorn
cattle to market, Charles Goodnight thought he heard it
thunder; he reined his horse to listen. The thunder grew
louder, the earth began to vibrate, to tremble, to shake.
Charles Goodnight could hardly believe this rarest of
sights. He was witnessing a mighty herd of bulls, cows
and calves [buffalo]. Goodnight estimated the herd to be
125 miles long and 25 miles wide. It took hours for the
herd of bison to pass before the drovers could proceed.
Perhaps an entire book could be written, covering
nothing but stampedes during an electrical storm.
Drovers never seemed to want for excitement during the
long drive.
The Comanche and Kiowa braves you just knew

they were coming to see you every full moon more than
likely, perhaps not every time but you could almost
count on it.
This Palo Pinto region (Jacksboro, Weatherford, etc.)
was frequented at times by raiding parties who were
skilled with bow and arrow, braves riding at top speed,
releasing arrows from wild mustangs without sacrificing
accuracy. Unbelievable.
Of course, you had trouble sleeping at night. One
wonders why? If they didn't kill you, they'd take your
Comanche and Kiowa braves were proud warriors,
dressed in battle gear, war paint and feathers. Some carried a lance. They were later called
Lords of the Plains, because
they'd mastered the wild mustang
making or turning them into
perhaps the most skillful light
cavalry the world had
ever seen. And they were
proud, oh, they were
Several historians have

recently agreed that Comanches were the fiercest warriors among all tribes. It got so risky during the Civil
War that four families out of five (women and children)
fled to Weatherford for their safety, according to a Waco
(What makes writing an historical essay so difficult is
conflicting information. Factual? Even Google makes
mistakes. You'll have no choice at certain times but to
winnow the chaff, hoping you've made the best judgment
call. You'll want to please everyone, hoping you haven't
opened a can of worms instead.)

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 6

Chasing Our Tales

to James Edward McEvoy and Mary Jane Wallace

ack in April, I received a telephone

call from a nice young man
who had a genealogical
question about his Palo Pinto
County ancestors. His name is
Todd McEvoy, and his email is If
you have information for him
please email us both. Heres
the story from our first
email conversation:
I am hoping you can
help me find out more
about my great-greatgrandfather, James
Edward McEvoy, b. abt
1856, d. 12 Feb 1911.
Married Mary Jane
Wallace (daughter of
William Riley "Bill"
Wallace) in Palo Pinto
County on 11 Oct 1883.
I have read that Irish surnames were often misspelled

named Martha Ellen Freeman, whose

mother was a full blood Cherokee.
There were six children born of
this union, the eldest being
Mary Jane Wallace born
June 23, 1863. Mary Jane
met and married James
Edward McEvoy on
October 11, 1883, at
Palo Pinto. James
Edward came over
from Ireland when he
was sixteen, along
with his sister,
Johanna and her husband, Martin J.
The McEvoys
made their home in
Palo Pinto County for

William Riley Wallace

and Martha Ellen Greeman
when arriving to the U.S. That said, he could be listed
as McVoy, McAvoy, MacEvoy, MacVoy, MacAvoy,
Mc Evoy, Mc Voy, Mc Avoy or Mc Voy.
I am also attaching the info I scanned from the
Palo Pinto County history book I found as well as the
Wallace family cemetery location.
My father is Denny McEvoy, his father is James
Ancel McEvoy, his father is James Barney McEvoy
and his father is James Edward McEvoy, who is the
one I have hit a dead-end on.
From an edition of "Palo Pinto County History" I
am quoting the following:
The James Edward McEvoy family story starts in
1861. When William Riley Wallace came to Palo
Pinto County from Mississippi, he settled there,
became a rancher, met and married a half-Indian girl

a few years. After

losing their firstborn,
Martha Ellen,
(named after her
grandmother) and
having two other
children ill, they
came to Henderson
County to take over a
homestead adjoining
what is now the
Clements Boy Scout
Reservation. His sister, Johanna and her
husband lived on a
farm nearby. James


Edward and Mary Jane lost three boys, Michael,

William, and John; also two girls, Josephine and
Evelina, after they moved to Henderson County with
whooping cough and other childhood diseases. Six
other survived; the eldest was Mary Ella (born
December 29, 1889); James Barney (born February
25, 1898); Annie May, (August 2, 1900); Margaret
(Maggie) Pauline, (March 25, 1903); Thomas
Jefferson (July 15, 1906); Katie Arlena (December 23,
James Edward died February 12, 1911, leaving
Mary Jane a widow with five children to rear. They
had no Social Security those days, but with good
neighbors to help and God to lean on, she made it.
She, in turn, helped her neighbors by acting as midwife in times of need, and treating other illnesses with
home remedies she learned from her Indian grandmother.
Mary Ella married John W. Simmons of Henderson
County, and they had five children: Lilla, Leona,
Herman, Nanny May,
and Mary Alice. Lill
was born September
26, 1907, and she
married Larence
Linder. Leona was
born December 14,
1909, and married
Reagan Arthus.
Herman was born
Mary 29, 1911, and
married Dulas Crist.
Nan was born August
1915, and married
Ferris Batchelor.
Mary was born May
20, 1921, and married Bert Hallett.
James Barney
married Allie Mae

Family of William Riley Wallace and Loise Jane

Phillips, children John, Annie, George and Will.

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 7





July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 8

Bomer, and they had one son, James Ancel. Annie Mae married George W.
Jones, and they had three children, Thurman Grady, Donald Ray, and Joyce.
Maggie married Clyde Thomas Gray, and they had three girls, Hazel Violet,
Elva Pauline, and Vera Frances. Thomas Jefferson married Mabel Arthus,
and they had three children: Mary Eugenia, Martin Doyle, and Thomas
Wayne. He later married Edith Bridges, and they had two children, Joe
Michael and Pamela Jane. Katy Arlena married Charles Franklin Rogers, and
they had three children, Gerald (Jack) Hodge, Benny Don (lost in the Korean
conflict in 1950), and Velma June. Written by Mrs. Katy McEvoy Rogers
Todd has also discovered that there is a Wallace family cemetery in Palo
Pinto. The directions are sort of sketchy, but there is a map. It is off
Interstate 20 on the north side of the highway and looks to be just south, off
of the New Salem Road just before it turns south toward the interstate.
I find James and Mary Jane on both the 1900 Census and the 1910 Census.
In both, they were living in Henderson County. James was listed as a farmer
doing general farming. It states both his parents were Irish, and that he
immigrated to the United States in 1873, and both he and Mary Jane could
read and write.
The frustration is that I cannot seem to take the McEvoy family back to
Ireland and, in fact, I cannot bring Johanna McEvoy Fogerty into Texas. I
am really wondering if Johanna was married to a McEvoy when she came to
this country. However, I cannot find her married to a Fogerty.
On the other hand, the Wallace family seems to be somewhat of an open
book. As I stated earlier Mary Jane Wallace was born in Palo Pinto County
in 1865 to William Riley Wallace and Martha Ellen Freeman. She married
James Edward McEvoy in 1883, and to them many children were born. She

died in Henderson, Texas, in 1961, the year after her daughter Ella died.
William Riley Wallace was born in Williamson, Travis County, Texas, in
1844, and died in Dublin, Erath County, Texas, in 1918. He married Martha
Ellen about 1864, and their children included Mary Jane, David Moore,
William Jackson, Rachel Ellen, Melissa Orlenia, Winnary and an infant. He
then married Louisa Jane Ellis, and to them were born John William, Riley
Ann, William Martin, George Washington, Nettie, Floyd, William Wyley,
Bud and Amanda Jane. William Rileys parents were William Wallace and
Rachel Evaston.
William Wallace, the son of William Wallace and Esther, was born in
Arkansas in 1815 and died in 1860 in Karnes, Texas. He and Rachel had six
children, Melvina Jane, John Wesley, Winerva, William Riley, Halberta, and
As you can see from all this, William was a name that shows up over and
over, which, of course, makes genealogy confusing at times. Also from this,
I believe they were Methodists, as they named one child John Wesley.
Williams father, William, was born in 1784 in Bedford, Va., and died in
White Township, Carroll County, Ark., before 1850. He and Esther appear to
have had two children, William and Jackson. It appears that Esther was born
in 1783 in South Carolina and may have died in Texas.
So, there you have about what Todd has on his family. He would really
like to hear from anyone who has information on either family, but he is especially interested in tracing the McEvoy family back to Ireland. Again, his
email is, and my email is
Hope you enjoyed this trip into early Palo Pinto County. If you would like
to submit information about your early family history in this area, please let
me hear from you.

Mary Jane (Wallace) McEvoy and family.

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 9

Where theres smoke...

The Mineral Wells Index is there
getting the story for YOU.


July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 10

Elizabeth Patton Crockett


hen Walt Disney's five-part mini-series on the life of

Davy Crockett burst across the screen of our little black
and white television during 1954 and 1955, I, like every
other kid in town, became infatuated with 6-foot-6 Fess Parker and
his role as the larger-than-life folk hero.
Davy and his sidekick George Russell, played by Buddy Ebson,
brought the legendary Crockett back to life as they portrayed his
early exploits in the hills of Tennessee and rise to fame as a member
of the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
Events of his personal and family life that led to his fame as
revealed in the television series, whether true or not, elevated his
character to icon status.
Just about every kid in the country, and some adults, wanted a
coonskin cap. In 1955, Walt Disney followed up with the live-action
movie, Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier, which was a
compilation of the first three episodes of the earlier mini-series. The
national craze for anything related to Davy Crockett went wild, and
just about everyone went around singing the series' theme song,
"Da-veee, Daa-vy Crockett, king of the wild frontier." Millions of
dollars were spent on coonskin caps and records of The Ballad of
Davy Crockett. Raccoons became scarce and I never got a coonskin cap!
David Crockett's personal and family life would lead him down
many paths throughout his adventurous life. He became wellknown, not only for his skills as a frontiersman, soldier, politician
and storyteller, but also for his core belief to, "Always be sure you
are right, and then go ahead." But like other men of his time, it
would be the strong character of the women in his life that helped
sustain him through the many hard times he would face.
David met his first wife, Polly Finley, in Tennessee at a harvest
festival and declared his intentions to marry her, despite the reluctance of her mother, Jean, to allow it. In his bibliography, Crockett
wrote that Polly "looked sweeter than sugar." Crockett arrived at the
Finley house with a marriage license, justice of the peace and
friends and family, determined to ride off with Polly and marry
her elsewhere.
After her parents begged Crockett to hold the ceremony at their
house, Polly and David were married there at Finley's Gap near
Jefferson, Tenn., on Aug. 16, 1806. They settled on land near Polly's
parents but moved to Franklin County, Tenn., in 1811. During 1811,
David and Polly relocated to Lincoln County and in 1813 to
Franklin County. They had three children: John (1807-1852,)
William (1808-1846) and Margaret (1812-1860.) Polly died in 1815,
having cared for the three children alone much of the time while
David was away in the service with Andrew Jackson fighting in
Indian campaigns or scouting the frontier. Later that year, David
married Elizabeth Patton and began a new family.
Elizabeth Patton was born in Swannanoa, N.C., on May 22, 1788,
to Robert and Rebecca Patton. She married her first cousin James

Elizabeth Crocket Monument

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 11


July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 12

Patton, son of her father's brother, and they moved to
Gibson County in western Tennessee and had two
children, Margaret Ann and George. Like David
Crockett, James served under Gen. Andrew Jackson
and was critically wounded during
the Creek Indian War at the Battle
of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama in
As James Patton lay dying, he
asked his friend, David Crockett, to
take his belongings and personal
effects back to Tennessee to his wife
Elizabeth. Crockett fulfilled his
dying friends wish and in doing so
met his wife to be. After Crockett's
wife Polly died in 1815, David
remembered his chance meeting
with the widowed Elizabeth Patton
and traveled to Swannanoa, N.C.,
where she had moved with her two
children to live with her father.
Crockett left his three children in
the care of his brother, John, and his wife. After much
wooing, Elizabeth married David and they moved
back to Crockett's home in west Tennessee. David and
Elizabeth would have three additional children:
Robert Patton Crockett (1816-1889), Rebecca Elvira
(Crockett) Halford (1818-1879) and Matilda
(Crockett) Fields (1821-1890.) Elizabeth spent most
of her time taking care of the children and managing
the land and garden while David was away hunting,
guiding, trailblazing, pursuing his political career and
helping settlers locate lands to live on.
In 1817, Crockett moved his family to Lawrence
County to new land and also began his political career
by becoming a commissioner to help survey the new
county's boundary. The state legislature appointed him
justice of the peace of the county, and in 1821 he was
elected to a seat in the Tennessee General Assembly,
representing Lawrence and Hickman counties. After a
flood of the Tennessee River destroyed much of
Crockett's businesses including a mill and distillery,
he moved the family to an 800-acre parcel of land on
the Obion River in Carroll County, Tenn., deeded to
them by Elizabeth's father. He was again elected to
the Tennessee General Assembly in 1823 representing
Carroll, Humphreys, Perry, Henderson, and Madison
counties. He later was elected to the United State
House of Representatives and served for three terms
from 1827 to 1835. While in Washington, D.C., he
lived in a boarding house with other legislators.
Being disgruntled following defeat for re-election
to Congress in 1835 to represent his district in
Tennessee, he wrote a bibliography in collaboration
with Kentucky Congressman Thomas Chilton titled
A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, Written
by Himself. His famous quote from the book, "I told
the people of my district that I would serve them as
faithfully as I had done; but if not, they could go to
hell and I would go to Texas," became the mantra for

his legendary martyrdom in becoming one of Texas'

most famous folk heroes.
At the age of 50, Crockett raised a company of
Tennessee volunteers and began the long journey to
Texas, arriving in Nacogdoches during early January 1836 with fewer
men than he started with. Crockett
not only sought to help Texas obtain
independence from Mexico, he had
ambitions of acquiring a large tract
of land and moving his family there
following the close of the revolution.
He and 65 other men took the
oath of allegiance on Jan. 14, 1836,
before Judge John Forbes of the
Provisional Government of Texas
for six-months service and, within a
few days, departed for San Antonio
de Bexar. Each man was promised
4,600 acres of land as payment for
their service. He arrived at the
Alamo on Feb. 8th and died there on March 6th, leaving behind his wife and children in Tennessee. After
learning of his father's death in Texas, his son, Robert
Patton Crockett, came to Texas and joined the revolution, serving until independence had been secured. He
then returned to Tennessee and was married.
The news of David Crockett's death must have been
devastating to Elizabeth, who once again became a
widow with limited prospects for her future. She
learned that the fledgling Republic of Texas
Legislature of 1837 had granted bounty warrants of
640 acres to the survivors of men killed in the Alamo.
In 1853, eight years after Texas become a state,
Elizabeth, her grown married son, Robert, and his
wife, Matilda, (Porter) George Crockett and her
daughter, Rebecca (Halford), and their respective
families, journeyed to Texas to claim her land.
They made their way to Waxahachie and stayed
there almost a year until a surveyor could be
employed to locate their land in exchange for half the
acreage. The land was eventually located along
Rucker Creek in Johnson County (now Hood
County), some four miles north of the small growing
trading post of Acton, located on the east side of the
Brazos River. In 1854 she received a payment of $24
from State Comptroller James B. Shaw for services
rendered to the Republic of Texas by her late husband.
Robert built a log cabin there where the family
lived until a separate cabin could be built for her. On
the morning of Jan. 31, 1860, while taking a early
morning walk, Elizabeth died at the age of 72 and
was buried in Acton Cemetery. In 1911, Senators O.
S. Lattimore and Pierce Ward introduced legislation
to appropriate $2,000 for the erection of a monument
at her gravesite. Ward had become acquainted with
Robert while he was a student at Granbury Methodist
College in the fall of 1880. Robert, who operated a

David Crockett

toll bridge over the nearby Brazos River, was fond of

telling stories about interesting incidences of his dad's
career. The bill was approved and the monument
unveiled by Elizabeth Crockett's granddaughter in
May 1913.
The 18-foot monument features the statue of a
woman wearing a bonnet and shading her eyes, looking to the west for the return of her husband. In 1949,
the 12-by-21-foot gravesite was designated a state
park and later administered by the Texas Parks and
Wildlife Department as the smallest state park in
Texas. Today, it is maintained by the Historic Sites
Division of the Texas Historical Commission.
Although David Crockett never realized his dream
of becoming a prosperous landowner or advancing his
political career in Texas, he left a legacy of grit and
determination for future Texans to embrace. As
Elizabeth's monument stands tall in the Acton
Cemetery, depicting her longing gaze to the west
looking for the return of her beloved husband, she left
a legacy of loyalty and faithful love for a man for the
ages Da-vee, Daa-ve Crockett, King of the Wild
Sources: Various Internet sources:;;;;;;;
Jim Dillard is a retired wildlife biologist and freelance writer from Mineral Wells. Question/comments

Elizabeth Crocket Monument

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 13


Board Certified Urologist
Dr. Deshmukh is a Fellow of the American College of
Surgeons, and received an MBA from Texas Womens
University in 2009. He recently received his second MBA in
Health Administration at Texas Womens and an MHA in
He is a member of the American Medical Association,
Texas Medical Association, and American Association of
Clinical Urologists.

Womens clinical services provided by Dr. Deshmukh and his staff are:
Dropped bladder
Urinating problems

Genitourinary cancers
Kidney stones

Laser surgery

Clinical services provided for men include:

Prostate problems
Kidney stones

Genitourinary cancers
Urinating problems

Laser surgery

Clinic Locations are: 831 E. Eureka St., Weatherford 76086

1021 Holden St., Glen Rose 76043
202 SW 25th Ave., Suite 500 Mineral Wells 76067
2003 Rockview Dr., Granbury 76049
561 N. Graham St., Stephenville 76401
Appointments Call: 817-599-3690

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 14

Willkommen to



Panorama view
Willkommen au unserer ranch was the greeting
I received when I recently visited Petra and Mike
Kagi at their Valley View Guest Ranch in southern
Palo Pinto County.
The multilingual couple from Switzerland could
also have greeted me in French, Italian, English or
Texan, which they have decided is a language all its
The transplanted Texans grew up in Switzerland,
where multiple languages are the norm, but they met
in Santo 12 years ago. Mike was managing a guest
ranch there. Petra was vacationing from her job in
insurance in Switzerland.
She liked the warmth of Texans and
the climate she was tired of
snow and cold, and

people in insurance are always mad. She and Mike

fell in love, married and lived in different parts of
this country and in Switzerland, but Texas kept tugging at them. Two years ago, they came back and
opened their 40-acre guest ranch, which is atop
Chesnut Mountain with a spectacular view of the
valley below.
In the evenings, their guests can relax in the hot
tub, which is a few steps from the ranch house patio,
and watch a beautiful sunset or, as it gets dark, look
up at an open sky full of stars.
A few steps down from the hot tub is a fire pit,

surrounded by rocks that double as seats. With a

blazing fire on chilly evenings, it's ideal for storytelling or sing-songs. A few more steps lead to the
inviting blue waters of a swimming pool.
The ranch house patio is also a favorite place for
sunset watching, as are the patios behind each of the
rustic cabins, which are reached via graveled pathways through the woods. The cabins are not rustic
inside they have very nice baths, living and sleeping areas, all decorated in country western theme.
A multitude of activities are available to guests
such as western-style horseback riding, learning to
lasso with a rope, testing marksmanship at the rifle
range, fishing in a nearby pond and
hiking the nature trails.

Luftansicht Valley View Ranch

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 15

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 16

H. Wedding

There are also tours by motor bike or ATV, sightseeing excursions to Dallas, Fort Worth, Possum Kingdom Lake or visiting
the nearby communities, which are smaller.
Partaking of the delicious home-cooked meals cowboy food
if guests are from Europe or other parts of the world (Petra uses
recipes from the Palo Pinto cookbook for authenticity) Swiss
if they're from this country.
Mike and Petra offer a Swiss-brand of hospitality on a Texas
ranch with cowboy atmosphere. Rocco, the black lab, comes to
greet each visitor. Princess, Madison, Shawnee and Allie, the
horses, don't want to be left out. They come to the fence to say
hello or caper across the pasture.
Mojo and Athena, the cows, and their calves graze placidly on
the lush grass, or lie contentedly chewing their cuds. The potbellied pigs. Miss Piggie and Rosie like attention, but Scamp
and Diva just go about their rat-killing.
Petra is a Reiki practitioner.
Tentative plans for the future include a health spa weekend.
I went from Mineral Wells to Valley View Ranch, which is a
pleasant drive. South on U.S. Highway 281 nearly to Interstate
20, turn right on Brazos Road. Go through the quaint village of
Brazos, with its old-fashioned homes. Stay on the highway to
Chesnut Mountain Road. Turn right, and follow the winding,
twisting road up the mountainside, reminiscent of Colorado
highways. Atop the mountain, which was named for early settlers of same name, go past ranch gates some fancy, some
plain jane until you come to a large, wooden gate with the
Valley View Ranch logo.
The ranch road goes past a large barn and past the rustic cabins to the ranch house, where I was greeted by the Swiss hosts,
pretty petite Petra and handsome athletic Mike, both sporting
that tan that only people from the mountains have.
As I was leaving Mike admired my car, a classic '92 Olds 88.
He's a classic car enthusiast, obtaining and sending classic cars
overseas for customers.
The goodbye words, Autwiedosehen followed me as I
drove away (translations from German, welcome to our ranch
and goodbye, come back.)


Princess and Petra

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 17

Star Classifieds

14,500 copies distributed monthly in Parker, Palo Pinto, Hood, Johnson, Jack & Young counties. Get your ad seen call (940) 327-0838, (817) 645-8093, (817) 598-0857

435 Livestock


455 Misc. Merchandise

Pipe & Sucker Rods
Varner Pipe, LLC.
3290 Ranger Hwy,
Weatherford, TX 76088
Humate Enhanced!!!
Field-Home Fertilizer Program.
Applied Liquid $21.00 per acre
Dry Mix $12.50 per acre

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868 General Services

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Jobs OK
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(940) 745-5077



Mendoza House
Leveling & Foundation
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Re-level also Brick Homes
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30 years experience.
Reasonable Rates.

Manuel Mendoza
Weatherford Mineral Wells

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July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 18

July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 19

Graham Trailer Company

203 State Hwy 67 Graham, TX 76450

940-550-5977 940-549-0078
Jackie Bishop
Rubber Fl ailer
10 year



July 2015 NORTH TEXAS STAR Page 20

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