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A Museum of History and Art in historic Lipscomb, Texas
Map 13310 Highway 305 · P.O. Box 5
Lipscomb, Texas 79056
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July 8, 2012

by Virginia Scott


A busy week. We were closed on Wednesday, July 4th, so everyone could enjoy family, parades, and fireworks if they desired or just enjoy the day. We also enjoyed the annual Deutsches Fest with a good parade, wonderful food, and great entertainment.

On Tuesday, July 3, the Dallas and Anna Mayer Exhibit was hung by Dallas and the core team. Their exhibit is an unique and impressive one. It includes some of the biggest paintings we have had displayed and they are not to be missed.

REMINDER: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM : REGISTRATION OPEN NOW. 5th thru 8th graders reserve your slot for four afternoons of fun researching, playwriting, and acting. Call the museum at 806-852-2123 and reserve your place. It promises to be a fun time.


We will finished A. H. Roden's letter to Will Rogers with the story of their trip to the county seat of Day County, OK, Grand. "Court was in session. There had been three killings in Day County that year. Will Hale had killed a "puncher" that had blown in there from New Mex.; Harry Hamilton had killed Ira cooper, and there was still another down near Ioland, and their trials all came up at that term of court at Grand. Well, we decided to go with hale to Grand that afternoon, and, by crossing the River Twice we could cut off about ten miles. which we did. The second crossing was just below Grand about half a mile, so we had to turn back up the river to the town. We had just gotten up the river bank when we heard a noise out to one side among a bunch of Cottonwood trees; we rode out to investigate. When we got out there we found a man tied (or rather chained) to a tree. hale recognized the fellow and says: "Duffy, what in the Devil are you doing here chained to this tree?" Duffy gazed at Hale for a moment and replied: "God, Hale, I ain't no bear nor nobody's pet but shore'n h_ _l they've chained me to this tree!...tell Jake Bull (Jake was the sheriff then) to come down here and let me loose-I'm starving to death for water!" So when we got to town we hunted up Jake bull and told him what this Irishman said. Then Bull told us why he had chained him to the tree. He (Duffy) was a witness in the murder case from Ioland, while he was waiting he got drunk and was disturbing the Court, and as they had no jail the Judge told bull to take him off out of hearing distance and chain him to a tree until he sobered up!- Hale told bull that he thought Duffy was about sober, so Bull went down and got him and brought him into the half -dugout where they were holding court. Bull led Duffy up to the Judge's bench. The Judge stopped all the works and turned to Mr. Duffy and says: "Mr. Duffy, aren't you ashamed of yourself! - come here as a witness in a case, get drunk and have to be chained to a tree! Don't you think I ought to fine you pretty heavy?" Without raising his head Duffy replied: "Yes, Judge, I'm ashamed of myself, and I guess you ought to fine me for it." The Judge looked him square in the eye and says: Mr. Duffy, if you will promise me upon your word and honor as a man that you'll stay sober until we are through with you and this case is ended I'll not fine you. Without a moments hesitation he replied: I'll do it, Judge." "Take him and turn him loose Mr. Sheriff. he turned and followed the Sheriff towards the door. When about half way between the Judge's bench and the door he turned suddenly around and the judge asked: "What is it Mr. Duffy?" "I've got to have ONE more drink" shouted Duffy. The Judge looked him squarely in the eye for a moment and then says. "Just ONE?" "Yes, sir" says Duffy "Just ONE, but I've GOT to have ONE MORE DRINK?" Take him over to the saloon, Mr.Sheriff, and give him ONE DRINK, I followed them over to the saloon just to see if Duffy kept his word, and sure enough he did. He took ONE drink and walked out about fifty yards from the saloon and sat down against a cottonwood tree. Bay this I had gotten very interested in the Irishman so I sauntered out to where he was and asked: "Where do you live Mr. Duffy?" - after spitting a few wads of "cotton" he replied: -"I live twenty mile due East of here-just over in God's country God don't know this place is here!" and some times I've wondered if Duffy wasn't about right! This was the only time I ever saw Temple Houston, youngest son of General Sam Houston. He was representing Harry Hamilton for Killing Ira Cooper. Temple got drunk and fell in the floor when he attempted to address the jury. The jury gave Hamilton 99 years!
The grand jury met. Henry Mangold was Foreman (he was Will Hale's brother-in-law). They failed to bill Hale for killing the N.M. "Puncher". This made Hale feel so good that he carried all the grand jury to the saloon to "set em up" to them.

Wild West Justice! Mr. Roden ended his letter to Will with "I don't know whether you will enjoy reading this narrative or not, but after reading your Sunday's "squib" in which you state that anyone has to explain HOW and WHY they got to Higgins, Texas, decided to write you. And, as busy as you are I hope you find time to read it-if for no other reason than to cause you to reflect on the times before you got in "the lime light" - when you and I were just common "cow-punchers" in the Higgins Country! I get lots of kick out of reading your stuff!" Good luck and best wished from an old ex-cowpuncher friend. "

A great letter.

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