Six Shooter Junction

These pages reflect on-going research about the place known as "Six-Shooter Junction" — 19th century Waller county, Texas and its county seat, Hempstead, Texas and the multiple killings that occurred there during that period.

In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the little east Texas town of Hempstead earned the label "Six-Shooter Junction".  Only thirty years previous, Texas had been a vast, largely uninhabited wilderness occupied primarily by by Indians and wildlife .  Mexico invited foreign nationals to occupy the vast, unpopulated area of the states of Coahuila and Texas beginning with the agreement with Moses Austin and then his son Stephen F. Austin.  The land grant given to Austin was a massive expanse of rich, fertile forests and praires spanning the Colorado and Brazos Rivers, down to the Gulf of Mexico.  Fifteen years later, in 1836, the citizens of Texas, fighting to restore the Mexican constitution of 1824, finally declared its independence from Mexico and the Republic of Texas was formed.  In 1845, Texas was accepted into the United States of America.

(The research here focuses on the chaos in the city of Hempstead and surrounding Austin and Waller counties, primarily the killings and, secondarily, on the part the Cloud, Farr, McDade and Newnam families played in those disturbances.)

The McDade and Cloud families emigrated from Mount Meigs, Alabama beginning in 1836, settling on both sides of the Brazos River on Stephen F. Austin's Grant, where Bellville became the county seat.  Hempstead was organized on the east side of the Brazos river in 1856 in anticipation of the arrival of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad 1 2 from Houston.  The influx of workers and businesses and the violence that accompanied it contributed to the area being dubbed "Six-Shooter Junction".  The unrest following the Civil War and the fact that over half of the residents of the area were blacks, most of them freed slaves, and the political divisions added to the violence of the area.  The central point of this violence, the city of Hempstead, was in Austin County until the region east of the Brazos River was separated in 1873 and became Waller County with Hempstead as its county seat.3  Seven years later, at the 1880 census, Waller county had over 9,000 residents and Hempstead was a busy railroad hub that had grown to 1,651 residents.

The economy of the south had been severely damaged by the Civil War and the Waller county economy was based on agriculture, primarily cotton, and ranching.  The arrival of the railroad provided quicker access to supplies from distant places and easier shipment of cotton and cattle.  The city became a busy hub of activity as people came from the surrounding area to receive and ship items and to buy tickets to travel on the train and merchants opened businesses in Hempstead to serve the increase in visitors to the city.  The hardships they faced along with often intense political and economic divisions and the influx of non-residents, including unscrupulous hustlers, caused friction in the area with predictable violent results.  The Hempstead and Waller county region bore the embarassing nickname of Six-Shooter Junction for almost fifty years, culminating with the killing of congressman John Pinckney, his brother Tom and others inside the county courthouse in 1905.4


Featured Articles:

Allchin-McDade Feud.

Seduction, Betrayal, Retribution.
The true story of Kate McDade & Clifton Vernon Floyd

Marriage of Irene Farr & N.A. Cuny.

Additional Research Material:

List of Deaths & other Disturbances.

The People.

Cloud-Farr Articles.

-

(received from Waller County Historical Museum & modified)

Newspapers:

Bibliography.

19th Century Hempstead Newspapers.

The Timeline.

The Environment & Places.


Folders

Other Pages:

Resources:

Additional Resources:

resource topic image transcription
Stirpes, Vol. 6, No. 3, Sept. 1966, p 104 letters from Mrs. Woodson Francis Tottenham
Stirpes, Vol. 6, No. 3, Sept. 1966, p 105 (letters cont.)
Sarah Pier's diary
Stirpes, Vol. 6, No. 3, Sept. 1966, p 106 Sarah Pier's diary
Stirpes, Vol. 6, No. 3, Sept. 1966, p 107 Sarah Pier's diary cont.
Stirpes, Vol. 6, No. 3, Sept. 1966, p 108 Sarah Pier's diary cont.
Stirpes, Vol. 6, No. 3, Sept. 1966, p 109 Mrs. Lucy Pier's diary
McDade notes from Sarah Pier's diary
Stirpes, Vol. 6, No. 3, Sept. 1966, p 110 McDade notes from Sarah Pier's diary cont.

Footnotes

  1. The New Town Of Hempstead. The Weekly Telegraph, (Houston, TX), Wednesday, February 4, 1857, p. 1, col. 4. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription
  2. Hempstead - For The Civilian. Civilian and Gazette. Weekly, (Galveston, TX), Tuesday, May 19, 1857, p. 1, col. 5. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription
  3. Waller County, TX Christian, Carole E. & Leffler, John, Handbook of Texas Online
  4. Congressman John M. Pinckney Shot Dead The Austin Statesman, (Austin, TX), Tuesday, April 25, 1905, p. 1, col. 3-5. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription

Newspaper articles may be read at Timeline of News Reports.