Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fox Hunter

We had a change in weather last week and it got down to the 50s at night. I guess that makes animals do things they normally wouldn't. Saturday morning I took our dogs out for a walk and turned them loose in a 3 acre field next to the neighborhood lake and a busy walking trail. I like to let them run around in the field and tire themselves out so I don't have to do it.

When they got to the middle they found a surprise in the tall grass.  A Red Fox had dug out a small hole and was laying in it, waiting for his breakfast to come by. He didn't expect two 80 lb dogs and they sure didn't expect him.

Bowden & Hunter
After all three animals ran around for a while they stopped to stare at each other. None of them had done this dance before.

I was able to get the dogs back on their leash and the fox made his exit with only his reputation as a hunter diminished by the encounter. Our dogs were proud of themselves but still hungry too after their first fox hunt.

It reminded me of stories about my wife's grandfather. Ivy Wilson Lawrence was born in 1887 and died in 1965 in middle Tennessee. He was the son of Eli Lewis Lawrence and Lassie Hall. He farmed some and had a sawmill he would move from place to place, where ever someone needed trees made into lumber but his enduring reputation is as a fox hunter.

Ivy Wilson Lawrence

He didn't shoot the foxes and the dogs didn't catch them. In fact, apparently Ivy rarely even saw the fox. It was truly the hunt that gave the thrill for both Ivy and his dogs. His son told me he never went fox hunting with him so the only memories of the fox hunts are from two of the older grand kids.

They said when they went out, in the early 1960s he would setup a small camp, let the dogs out and sit there by the fire until the dogs came back in the morning. He would stay up all night listening to the dogs barking and apparently that was a commentary only he understood on where the dogs were located and how close or not the fox was. The grand kids would normally sleep through most of the hunt and the next morning the dogs were back and they would all head home.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

AARP driver

I have an 80+ year old driver in the family, who's name I won't mention. Most of the family would just as soon see this person give up the car keys. So far it hasn't happened but the multiple dents in the family car as well as in those parked nearby would probably be good reason.
Dallas Morning News Sept 28, 1923

I found a interesting driving story about my wife's great, great grandfather.

William Smith Telford was 86 years old when his motoring skills were reported in the local paper. Abilene Texas must not have had a lot of floats in the County Fair parade on September 27, 1923 when he was given a prize for being the oldest driver of a car in the parade.

William Telford was a Civil War veteran and there weren't a lot of them still around at the time so maybe that is why he won the prize.

The festivities included special recognition for Abilene Christian College and apparently Telford drove his car as part of the college festivities.

Both he and his wife were long time members of the Church of Christ and supporters of the college.

William Smith Telford
The article in the Dallas Morning News also mentions the supper planned for the local Ku Klux Klan as part of the Fair schedule. Apparently the meal for the KKK was being provided by the City, not something you see everyday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On this date

It is always interesting to find a story about something and realize it happened on about the same date you discovered the event. I came across this newspaper article about my gg grandfather, William Rowell. It tells of an encounter he had with a band of Indians 174 years ago today.

On September 11, 1838 William Rowell was the Captain of a Florida Militia Company in the Second Florida Seminole War. Rowell moved to the Sunshine State from South Carolina in the prior decade to settle what he must have thought to be prime, uninhabited land.

Instead the early Florida settlers found the land full of Native Americans who sometimes didn't appreciate those they considered illegal alien invaders. Yes, illegal immigrants were considered a problem by the residents of the Sunshine State back then too.

I've found other newspaper articles about Captain Rowell's company but this was the first one I found in a Florida newspaper. The Floridian was published in Tallahassee, Florida from 1831 to 1848. The article has so much detail I wonder if Captain Rowell did an interview or if he had a PR man along.

The location of this encounter is shown as the head of the tide water of the Econfenee River, what we call the Ecofina today. It is located in Taylor County, just west of Perry, Florida where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

Floridian Sept 22, 1838

 "Tiger Tail" aka Thlocklo-Tustenuggee was one of the more successful Chiefs among the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes during the 2nd Indian war. He was from the Tallahassee area and one of the last to surrender in 1842. There are conflicting accounts of what happened to him after that. I found newspaper articles saying he committed suicide rather than be sent west to Oklahoma, another said he died of disease in a Mobile, Alabama prison and others say he was turned loose after the war, lived to be 90 years old and died of old age in 1881 in Miami, Florida.

Company of Rowells - 2012

If the Miami story is true, William Rowell would have lived to be about the same age and died about the same time as his former adversary.

I received this photo via Facebook recently from some of my Rowell cousins who were out on the Ecofina river. I doubt they knew their ancestor had been chasing Tiger Tail's band in the same spot 174 years ago.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Just walk away...

I wrote about finding an unusual cause of death listed for a distant relative a while back. William Gannon Fulford was stabbed to death on Christmas Eve 1914 in New Bern, North Carolina.

William Gannon Fulford
I didn't know much about his family so the cause of death listed on his death certificate lead to some more research. I was fortunate to get an assist from a friend in New Bern who did some digging in the newspaper archives at the local library. She found a story from the local paper that told the story.

This is her synopsis:

"There were 3 people involved in the story: Gannon Fulford, Jesse Creel (from Seven Springs, NC) and his daughter, Laura. Gannon had gained access into Mr. Jesse Creel's house at No 3 New South Front St as an unwelcome guest. He was intoxicated. Mr. Creel told Mr. Fulford to "leave" and Mr. Fulford (aged 30) told Mr. Creel (aged 60) that he would leave when he was "ready." An argument between the three people was taken out on to the street when Mr. Creel called Mr. Fulford a "vile name" as Mr. Fulford was being led away by a witness.

Cedar Grove Cemetery New Bern, NC
That is when Mr. Fulford declared that no one was going to talk to him like that and he walked back to confront Mr. Creel and that is when Mr. Creel pulled out a blade and slashed Mr. Fulford across the throat. Mr. Fulford bled to death on the street."

I found an article in the Greensboro,NC paper that had details of Creel's capture.

Greensboro Daily News Dec 28, 1914