Texas Genealogy Trails Genealogy Trails History Group
Sabine County, Texas
Crime News


An Affray took place in Sabine County, Texas last week in which Willie Quarles, son of Dr. J.W.Quarles was instatnly killed by two brothers named Noble.  It was the second meeting between the parties and young Quarles wounded one of his assailants, perhaps mortally before he was killed. {Source: Nashville Union and American, Nashville, Tenn., March 18, 1869}


Capt. Scott/Conner Family
A terrible fight occurred Friday morning, ten miles below Hemphill, in Sabine County Texas, between Captain Scott and his little company of State rangers on the one side and old Willis Conner and his sons on the other.  Three of the Conner family and one ranger named Rogers were instantly killed, and Captain Scott, and another of his men were badly wounded, if not fatally wounded. {Source: The Salt Lake Herald, Salt Lake City Utah, April 2, 1887}

Connor Family-
One Only of a Family of Outlaws Left-  Another attempt was made Friday night to exterminate the remnant of the Connor family, the notorious outlaws of Sabine County, Texas.  One of the sons was killed early in the week.  In Friday nights fight Fred Connor was shot down, and his gun fell from him.  He then drew his pistol, and fired six shots before he was killed.  Only one of the shots took effect on the posse, shooting off one of the men's fingers.  The next shot from the posse wounded old man Connor.  It is supposed his arm was broken, but he made good his escape.  This same old man escaped before, when the rangers attacked him last spring.  He is over seventy-six years of age, and is now the only one left of the Connor family. {Source: Evening Star, Washington, D.C., Nov. 14, 1887}

Willis Connors, the father of a family of outlaws in eastern Texas, was shot and killed, with his 20-year old grandson at Hemphill, Tex. last Sunday, in fight with the Sheriff's posse.  Connors was the father of nine sons, eight of whom have been killed during the last five years in fights with officers. (Argus and Patriot, Montpelier, Vt., Nov 23, 1887)


Noted Criminal Caught
Hemphill, Tex., Aug 2 - L.L. (Pete) Loggins, alias Dr. R.P. Wright, was brought in today from Little Rock, ARk., by Deputies Sims and Sinclair and jailed.  He had just served a term in Arkansas for bigamy, and the charges against him here are murder, forgery and jail breaking.  He was the leader of the crowd that broke the jail here, in 1885, and set a tliberty the notorious Comser gang of outlaws, who terrorized Texas and Louisiana.  Loggins, or Wright, is well known in Texas and Louisiana from his numerous crimes. [The Daily Herald.(Brownsville, Tex.), August 09, 1892 - KT, Sub by FoFG]


On last Saturday Deputy Sheriff E.W. Teddlie brought in and jailed a man he had arrested in Pollock, who goes by the name of Wm. Chastain, but is supposed to be one Turner Ferguson, wanted in Sabine County Texas for attempt to murder.  He is also thought to be an escaped convict. {Source: The Colfax Chronicle, Colfax, Grant Parish, LA, May 23, 1896}


OUTLINES OF OKLAHOMA:  An officer from Hemphill, Tex., arrived in Cheyenne the other day with requisitions for the two Lackey boys, wanted for bringing stolen property into the territory.  The boys got wind of his coming and skipped. [The Wichita Daily Eagle., August 24, 1898, (Wichita, Kan.)]


Surrendered to the Sheriff
Hemphill, Tex, May 23 - James Brown came in and surrendered to the Sheriff this morning.  He is charged with killing Albert Tatum here five weeks ago. (Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Tex, May 25, 1901)

Sabine County Conviction
Hemphill Texas, August 26- At the session of the district court just closed Will Moore was given a life term for murder, Eugene Hoyle was given six years for rape and of twenty-seven misdemeanor cases there was only one acquittal.
{Source: The Houston Daily Post, Houston Tex, Aug.29, 1902}


Harry White-Bond Fixed at $5,000.
Hemphill, Texas-Harry White was lodged in jail here Saturday night on the charge of Assault.  His victim lives at Bronson, Texas.  White gained admission to the woman's room by climbing in at the window.  He waived the right of an examing trial and his bond was fixed at $5,000.00 which is yet unmade. {Source: Shiner Gazette, Shiner Tex., April 6, 1904}


Hemphill, Tex, Apr 26 - Last Sunday morning about two and a half miles northwest of Geneva, Tex, a shooting scrape occurred between John Bolton and Bill McCoy (both colored), which resulted in the death of Bolton.  McCoy is now in jail at this place.  His bond has been fixed at $500. (Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Tex, Apr 28, 1905)

Tobe Buckner-
Hemphill, Texas:  Tobe Buckner, colored, is now in jail here, charged with criminally assaulting Mrs. Huffin, white, Sunday morning.  He was arrested soon after committing the crime by Sheriff Arnold and was hurried to jail.  There is great excitement among the citizens. {Source: Shiner Gazette, Shiner, Tex., Oct. 4, 1905}


Slaughter of Negroes - Nine Killed At Hemphill, Tex. on Sunday Night
Wholesale Lynchings follow the Murder of Two Whitemen
Houston, Texas, June 22 - Last night nine negroes met death at the hands of a mob in the vicinity of Hemphill, Sabine county.  Today both races secured arms and the tension is such tonight that a race clash appears imminent.  The dead are:  Jerry Evans, aged 22;  Will Johnson, 24;  Mose Spillman, 24;  Cleveland Williams, 27;  William Manuel, 25; Frank Williams, 22;  two unknown men and William McCoy. The lynching followed the killing of two white men by negroes two weeks ago.   Hugh Dean and several other white men visited a negro church and school house where a dance was in progress, probably in quest of liquor, it being the custom of some of the negroes to sell whisky during the progress of such affairs. During the evening Dean killed six  negroes and  was held for the killing. At the preliminary examination the evidence tended to show that a plot had been formed at the dance to kill Dean.
   On Saturday last Aaron A. Johnson, a prominent farmer, was assassinated while seated at the dining table with his wife and child, the bullet being fired through a window. For this crime Perry Price, a negro, was arrested and it is stated, confessed,  implicating Robert Wright, a relative of one of the negroes held for Dean's murder. Price declared that he offered $50 to kill Johnson.
    Then followed the forming of a mob last night, the overpowering of the jailer at Hemphill and the lynching of six negroes held for the murder of Dean. Five were hanged to the same tree, while another attempted to escape and was shot to death.  Later  in   the  night  William McCoy, another negro, was shot and killed while standing at the gate of the Johnson home, and this morning the bodies of two more negroes were found in the creek bottom.
    Price, the negro who confessed to the killing of Johnson, and the man implicated, were taken to Beaumont for safe keeping under the guard of a military company of St. Augustine. Sabine county is situated in the most remote part of the eastern section of the state, with sparse railroad and telegraph facilities. [Arizona republican.(Phoenix, Ariz.), June 23, 1908- KT, Sub by FoFG]

Hemphill County Tragedy
A.M. Johnson, a Young White Man, was Assassinated- Hemphill, Sabine County Texas-June 21- A.M. Johnson, a young white man living near Geneva, in this county, was shot and killed last night about 9 o'clock by a negro.  A colored man, who goes by the name of Pelican Fox, has been arrested.  Johnson was in his room and was preparing to go to bed and was sitting near his wife and baby, when the negro slipped up and fired a load of buckshot through an open window, the load taking effect in Johnson's head, killing him instantly.  Sheriff Arnold and two rangers, who had been stationed at San Augustine for some time, arrived on the scene this morning and arrested the negro.  About one hundred men were at the scene of the crime this morning, but the officers succeeded in evading them and carried the negro to San Augustine and placed him in jail at that place. {Source: Palestine Daily Herald, Palestine Tex., June 22, 1908}
Robert Wright Must Hang-
Hemphill, Texas, Oct. 28-  In the case of the State of Texas vs Robert Wright, which has been on trial in the district court of this county for several days, the jury returned a verdict today finding the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree and assessing his penalty at death.  Wright was charged with the murder of Aaron Johnson at his home near Geneva, in this county on the night of June 20 last. {Source Palestine Daily Herald, Palestine Tex, October 30, 1908}


Prominent Stockman Killed by Son-
Plainview, Texas May 24- J.M. Muncy, a prominent stockman of Lockney, was found dead in bed this morning with a bullet hole through his head.  His twelve year old son Elbert is said to have confessed the shooting, and is being held pending the coroners verdict. {Source: Bryan Dail Eagle and Pilot, Bryan, TX, May 24, 1913}


Given Life Term in Prison
Hemphill, Tex - The jury in the case of the state vs. Jim Yarborough Monday returned a verdict of guilty and assessed his punishment at confinement in the penitentiary for life.  Yarborough was charged with criminal assault. [The Rice Belt Journal. (Welsh, Calcasieu Parish, La.)], May 01, 1914]


Must Answer 11 Year Old Charge
Program of J.W. Hardy, Charged with Double Killing, Frustrated by His Arrest
Hemphill, Tex., Sept. 22 - Voluntary surrender of J.W. (Johnson) Hardy to answer to charges of killing two men by the names by the names of Gentry and McFearson, in Montgomery County about eleven years ago, was balked when officers placed him under arrest at Bronson Saturday.
    The men killed, it is alleged, were trespassing on his property at the time. Attorneys W.R. Cousins of Hemphill and J. A Dickerson of Bronson of counsel for Hardy, had just returned from Conroe and Houston, where they had made arrangements for their client's surrender when the arrest occurred. Hardy has many friends and relatives in Sabine and San Augustine Counties. [Bryan Daily Eagle and Pilot (Bryan, Tex.), September 22, 1915 - KT, Sub by FoFG]


Negro Kills Sheriff of Sabine County-
Hemphill, Texas, Jan. 17- In a pistol duel with Tim Battle, negro, Sheriff C.B. Bright of Sabine county was killed.  The negro, was wanted on a charge of killing two men in Louisianna, was killed by deputies who accompanied Bright. {Source: Fort Worth Star Telegram, Fort Worth, TX, Jan. 17, 1918}

County Treasurer is Killed at Hemphill-
Hemphill, Texas, Oct. 27-  L.M. Ritter, County Treasurer of Sabine County was shot and killed this morning as he stood in the door of the courthouse.  Immediately following the shooting Farley Williams, a Deputy Sheriff, surrendered and was taken into custody. {Source: Dallas Morning News, Dallas Tex., Oct.28, 1921}

Woman is Charged Killing Husband-
Mrs. Hiram Knox is arrested at her home in Hemphill
Beaumont Texas, Jan. 1-  Mrs. Hiram Knox was arrested this morning at her home in Hemphill, Sabine County, Texas, charged with the killing of her husband, who was found dead in his room on the morning of Nov. 26 with a bullet hole through his brain.  The arrest was made by Sheriff Alford just before he retired from office today.  A complaint charging murder was filed against Mrs. Knox shorthly after 10 o'clock by the County Attorney.  She is being held in the Sabine County Jail, bond not having been fixed.  It is known that numerous friends throughout East Texas are willing to make whatever bond is necessary to secure her release.
     The Coroner investigated the circumstances and returned a verdict of murder about ten days ago.  No statement was made by the Coroner other than in his opionion the millionaire lumberman came to his death by a pistol wound inflicted by unidentified person.
Preliminary Hearing Wednesday-
     Mrs. Knox will be given a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning at Hemphill before Justice of Peace W.H. Pratt.  Hiram Knox was one of the wealthiest men in the lumber business having inherited an estate worth nearly $10,000.00 and the Knoxes were known for their liberality.  Mrs. Knox gave with a lavish hand at Christmas time to all the children of Hemphill and of the Knox sawmill city of East Mayfield, where they resided.  She continued the custom this season.  Mrs. Knox built the Bronson and Hemphill Railroad to gratify the wishes of her neighbors.  Many times she imported theatrical troops to entertain their employes.
     In the operation of the railroad and the sawmill she was the dominant spirit.  She paid off the men and did all things required of a general manager.  In addition to this she looked after the retail lumber yard at Mission. {Source: Dallas Morning News, Dalles Tex, January 2, 1923}

Lumber Queen to Answer to Murder - Mrs. Lillian Knox of Hemphill, Tex, Charged with Killing Husband.  She Charges Suicide.
Hemphill, Texas, Jan. 3 - A bullet wound in the back of the head of Hiram Knox, millionaire, and a vial of poison found near his deathbed was responsible for murder charges against his widow, the "Texas lumber queen" the state revealed at the examining trial of Mrs. Lillian Knox today.
   An alleged suicide note alleged to have been written to Knox's mother as a forgery the prosecution contended in developing the sensational evidence against the attractive widow known throughout the state as "Lady Bountiful."
   Hemphill, Tex, Jan. 3 - Mrs. Lillian Knox, "lumber queen" of the southwest, will go into court here today to defend herself in connection with the mysterious death of her millionaire husband.
   While authorities prepared for the preliminary hearing of the attractive widow, police in Beaumont hunted for a man with whom she was alleged to have been friendly.
   Mrs. Knox, who has actively managed the big lumber industry of her estate, has refused to comment on the charges against her and authorities were reticent about the case they would outline at today's hearing.
   The only statement of the accused woman was a declaration of her innocence shortly before she was released under guard to spend the night at her home.
   Knox, who inherited a $10,000,000 estate, was found dead in his bed last November.  Mrs. Knox and her sister told of hearing two revolver shots and a coroner's jury returned a verdict of suicide. (Riverside Daily Press, Riverside, Cal, Jan 3, 1923)

Raiding Officers Return Fire and Cousins are Mortally Wounded-
Hemphill, Sabine County, Texas- Nov. 12-  Virgil and David Powell, young men, cousins were shot to death by officers about ten miles from Hemphill late Tuesday night.  The young men lived in San Augustine County.  Sheriff E. W. Nations and Deputy M. Gill said they were informed some men would attempt to run whiskey and they prepared to be on the lookout.  The Sheriff said he saw a car on a side road, with its lights out.  He and his deputy ordered two men to throw up their hands.  Instead, the Sheriff said one of the men began to shoot.  The officers returned the fire and two men fell, wounded mortally.  The Sheriff said three gallons of moonshine whisky were found in the car.  No charges have been filed against the officers.
{Source: Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX, Nov. 13, 1924}


Man Badly Wounded in Sabine County Affray-
Nacogdoches, Texas March 13- Arthur Derby, 25, was brought to this city late Wednesday seriously wounded, following a shooting affray near Geneva in Sabine County early in the day.  Derby was shot twice and was placed in a Nacogdoches hospital where it was said that he had a slight chance to recover, being severly wounded in the abdoment. {Source: Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX, March 14, 1929}

Hemphill Man Killed, Two Brothers Jailed-
Beaumont, Texas, Feb. 27-  Two brothers Kirby and Rance Russell are held in the Sabine County jail at Hemphill, charged with killing Pole Halbert, 40, in a gun battle Thursday that was the result of a long feud between the two farmer families.  Halbert was slain on the courthouse square, less than ten feet from where his son is alleged to have shot Roy Russell four months ago.  A bystander was wounded.  The feud, which has existed for several years, broke out anew when Roy Russell was killed.  Since then it is said Kirby and Rance Russell have been threatening to revenge their brothers death.  The bystander was not injured seriously. {Source: Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Tex. Feb. 28, 1930)


Texan Killed by Ax; Suspect, 17, is Jailed-
San Augustine Texas, July 22- A suspect, 17, was in the hemphill (Sabine County) jail Monday after Charles Ingle, 27, of Bronson, Sabine County, was killed by a blow from an ax. Ingle, found on a railroad track early Monday by Henry Emmons, died at a Center (Shelby County) hospital.  His skull was fractured.  Deputies followed a bloody trail to Ingle's home, where the fatal fight apparently had occurred.  Ingle's father, Mack Ingle, 56, also is in the Hemphill jail, denied bond on a slaying charge following the death of Ben Garlington two months ago. Funeral services were held at Bronson Monday for Ingle.  He is survived by his parents, four brothers and one sister. {Source: Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX., July 23, 1935}


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