This page contains Research Notes only.

Cloud-Farr Articles

(Received before July 2019 from Waller County Historical Museum & modified.)

Waller County Historical Museum
Mailing Address: PO Box 1748, Brookshire, TX 77423
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U.T. Center for American History — C. Barker Texas History Collection

We don't know much about Joseph Farr. The August 22, 1883 issue of the Galveston Daily News reported:

The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, August 22, 1883, p. 1, col. 6.


Improvement Notes — Official Election Returns, Etc.

[Special Telegram to The News.]

HEMPSTEAD, August 21. — Our city is still improving. The Baptists have the lumber on the ground for the erection of a new church.

Some twenty or thirty bales of new cotton have been sold in this market.

The tax assessor's rolls show considerable increase in taxable property of the county.

The official returns from the county election on the amendments are as follows: For the amendments, 363; against the amendments, 88. Majority for the amendments, 325.

The old Waller County Courier, it is said, will be revived and issued about the 1st of September. It will be devoted to the interests of Hempstead and Waller county. The Courier will be under the management of its former editor — Mr. Joseph H. Farr — who handles the quill with ability.

Times are still, dull and but little doing in the mercantile business of the city.

The weather is hot and dry.

Some sickness in the eastern part of the county, but as a general thing the city and county are very healthy.

"Waller County Courier ... will be revived", Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 1883, p. 1, col. 6.

The August 24, 1883 issue of the Galveston Daily News (p. 1) had this about him:

The Galveston Daily News, Friday, Aug. 24, 1883, p. 1, col. 5.

Hon. Wm. C. Cole, mayor of Hempstead, and Mr. Joseph Farr, who is soon to resume the publication of the Hempstead Courier, are in the city to-day. This morning Mayor Cole presented to the National Base-ball club a fine base ball on behalf of the admirers of the club in Hempstead. The presentation was made by Mr. Farr and received by Mr. W.H. Coyle, the president and manager of the club.

"Hon. Wm. C. Cole, mayor of Hempstead, and Mr. Joseph Farr", Galveston Daily News, Friday, Aug. 24, 1883, p. 1, col. 5.

Mr. Joseph Farr had married Miss Sarah Texana Cloud, daughter of Henry George Washington "H. G. W." Cloud and Mary T. Bateman. Mr. Farr was the eldest of six children by William H. Farr (1810 VA) and Harriet VanVactor who apparently died shortly after his birth. He remarried 1842 Mary Violet Forsythe (1817 KY) who gave birth to his half-brother, the youngest of the children. Napoleon B. "N. B., Nap" Farr married Elizabeth Cassie "Bettie" Cloud, the younger sister of Sarah Texana Cloud.

Mr. Farr's father-in-law, H. G. W. "Wash" Cloud had been tax assessor and collector for neighboring Austin county in previous years though he had been blind since he was 21 years old. His mother-law, Mary Bateman Cloud, was H. G. W. Cloud's second wife. H. G. W.'s first wife, who died in 1838, was Mary Adeline "Polly" McDade, a first cousin to the current sheriff of Waller county and James W.J. Cloud, Farr's brother-in-law, was a justice of the peace in that county.

Three years later, the newspaper articles tell a terrible story:

The San Antonio Daily Light, Thursday, May 6, 1886, p. 3, col. 2.


. . . .

J.H. Farr, editor of the Hempstead Chronicle, was shot and killed on yesterday by James Cloud, a justice of the peace. They were brothers-in-law, and the shooting grew out of an old family feud.

"J. H. Farr, editor of the Hempstead Chronicle, shot and killed", San Antonio Daily Light, Thursday, May 6, 1886, p. 3, col. 2.

The San Antonio Daily Express, Thursday, May 6, 1886, p. 4, col. 4.


A Newspaper Man Killed by a Justice of the Peace.

Mr. C. W. Newnam, of the Express composing rooms, received a telegram yesterday from Hempstead informing him that his brother-in-law, J. H. Farr, editor of the Chronicle, had been shot and killed by James Cloud, a justice of the peace. No further particulars were given of the unfortunate affair other than as above stated. Mr. Newnam will leave San Antonio for Hempstead to investigate the killing today. Farr was an old Confederate soldier, a member of Sibley's celebrated brigade when it made their famous march from New Mexico to San Antonio, almost naked and starved, and is said to have been a good man and brave.

"A Newspaper Man Killed by a Justice of the Peace.", San Antonio Daily Express, Thursday, May 6, 1886, p. 4, col. 4.

Galveston Daily News, Thursday, May 7, 1886, p. 5, col. 4.


Editor Farr Shot and Killed by Justice of the Peace Cloud.

Special to The News.

HEMPSTEAD, May 5. — This afternoon about 1 o'clock, J. J. Cloud, justice of the peace of this precinct, shot and killed Joseph H. Farr, the editor of the Courier. The apparent cause of the killing is said to be the publication of editorials in the Courier reflecting on the official record of county officers, and Cloud is said to have been found behind in his accounts about $1000 by the late finance committee. The whole assembly of citizens and visiting firemen were thrown into great confusion by the tragedy. Speakers alluded to the act from the rostrum of the Pavilion, and the throng dispersed with sad faces and saddened hearts. Major H. Boone was present and intended to address the citizens at 2 o'clock, but after the sad affair he declined to speak. An inquest was held on the body of deceased at 3 o'clock. Mr. Farr leaves a wife and three children. The community is greatly excited over the affair.

"Editor Farr Shot and Killed by Justice of the Peace Cloud", Galveston Daily News, Thursday, May 6, 1886, p. 5, col. 4.

Galveston Daily News, Thursday, May 8, 1886, p. 2, col. 4.


HEMPSTEAD, May 7. — The inquest on the killing of J.H. Farr is concluded and the verdict rendered in accordance with the facts heretofore published. The examining trial is now in progress and the evidence discloses that Farr was shot in the back without warning. Cloud claims that the publications in the Courier had nothing to do with the homicide, but that he was actuated by the animus of an old quarrel. The widowed wife is Cloud's sister.

"The inquest on the killing of J.H. Farr is concluded", Galveston Daily News, Saturday, May 8, 1886, p. 2, col. 3.

The San Antonio Daily Light, Tuesday, May 11, 1886, p. 4, col. 2.

Mr. C. W. Newnan (sic - Newnam), well-known in San Antonio Typographical circles, has just returned from Hempstead, where he was called hurriedly in regard to the shooting of his brother-in-law, Farr. He says several citizens of Hempstead, all crack shots, say they will be on hand to take part in the State Shooting tournament.

"C. W. Newnam ... returned to San Antonio.", San Antonio Daily Light, Tuesday, May 11, 1886, p. 4, col. 2.

** (Charles W. Newnam-153639) (On the 1880 census, C. W. Newman is living in Hempstead and his occupation is listed as editor, so he may have worked for or with his brother-in-law Joe Farr.)

Were the reports correct? Did the killing really have nothing to do with the newspaper or what was published in it? That may be the case, but later violence did center around opinions expressed in a newspaper that followed the Courier, the Advance Guard. Did Joe Farr publish something in the Courier that pushed Jim Cloud over the edge?

The newspaper articles give differing accounts of the killing and reasons for it:

The Janesville Daily Gazette, Janesville, Wisconsin, Thursday, May 6, 1886, p. 2, col. 5.

An Editor Shot Dead.

GALVESTON, Tex., May 6. — At Hempstead, Wednesday, Joseph H. Farr, editor of the Courier, was shot dead by J.J. Cloud, a justice of the peace. Farr had published a statement that Cloud was $1,000 short in his accounts with the county. Cloud was arrested.

(Also see the Daily Chronicle, Marshall, Michigan, and the Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kansas and others of the same day.)

"An Editor Shot Dead.", Janesville Daily Gazette (Janesville, WI), Thursday, May 6, 1886, p. 2, col. 5.

========== 1888 ==========

The Galveston Daily News,, Sept. 13, 1891, p. 6.

In the early '70s the Waller County Courier was published by Mr. Joe FARR for several years as an independent newspaper with varying success.  He abandoned the paper in the latter part of the '70s.  In 1885 Messrs. FARR & White resumed the publication of the Courier.  Mr. Joe FARR was at the helm, while Mr. White was the financial backing of the paper.  The paper became sickly and died a slow death.  In 1887 a Mr. Hutchinson published the Ledger.  It, too, went to an early grave.  The press was bought by Mr. E. P. Alsbury, a well known writer, who commenced the publication of the Advance Guard.  It was this paper in which, in April 1888, there appeared an anonymous article which was construed to reflect on Sheriff Tom McDade.  Stephen Alchin fathered the article, which caused one of the bloodiest feuds ever known in Texas.  Deputy Sheriff Dick Chambers, Steven Alchin and ex-Sheriff Tom McDade are in the grave, Jack McDade and Dick Springfield are in the penitentiary, all caused by one harmless article.  The Courier was reorganized by Mr. Reed two years ago.  He struggled hard to make the paper a success, but the public did not support him as perhaps they should have done, and the Courier goes down, to be resurrected perhaps at some future day by someone else.

"One of the bloodiest feuds ever known in Texas." The Galveston Daily News, September 13, 1891, p. 6, col. 3.

The Hutchinson Daily News, Hutchinson, Kansas, April 5, 1888

A Fatal Affray.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., April 4. — Deputy Sheriff Richard C. Chambers was shot and instantly killed here this afternoon by Stephen W. Alchin, a well-known citizen. The latter wrote a communication in a weekly paper, reflecting upon the official conduct of Sheriff McDade and Deputy Chambers. When Chambers met Alchin to-day a quarrel ensued, and both opened fire simultaneously. A bullet pierced Chambers' heart, and Alchin was fatally wounded and cannot live, it is believed, twenty-four hours.

"A Fatal Affray." Hutchinson Daily News (Hutchinson, KS), Thursday, April 5, 1888

— from

The Galveston Daily News, Thursday, April 5, 1888.


Deputy Sheriff Richard C. Chambers Killed by Stephen W. Allchin, Who Is Seriously Wounded — The Details.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex, April 4 — A terrible tragedy was enacted here at 3 o'clock this afternoon, whereby Richard C. Chambers, a son-in-law of Sheriff McDade, and his chief deputy, was shot dead by Stephen W. Allchin, a citizen of the county residing near the city.

The facts are: In last week's issue of the Advance Guard, a weekly paper published here, a communication appeared reflecting quite severely upon the sheriff and his deputies concerning public acts.

The sheriff called on the editor and demanded the name of the author. In a day or two afterward the name was given. Today Deputy Sheriff Chambers and Allchin, the author of the communication, met on the street. A few words were passed and rapid shooting commenced. Reports differ which fired first. Allchin was seriously shot, and Mr. Chambers received a ball through the heart, causing instant death.

Mr. Chambers had his six shooter and Allchin a Winchester rifle, which he always carried strapped to his horse's saddle.

Dr. L. W. Groce is attending the wounded man and pronounces the injury quite serious, though not necessarily fatal, unless inflammation sets in. He can not give an opinion for at least twenty-four hours.

Deputy Sheriff Chambers leaves a young wife and a baby. The deceased was raised in Austin and Waller counties, and was 28 years of age. Mr. Allchin has a wife and daughter. Both men were well known and popular citizens, and sincere regrets are expressed on every hand at the unfortunate and deplorable tragedy.

"Deputy Sheriff Richard C. Chambers Killed by Stephen W. Allchin", Galveston Daily News, Thursday, April 5, 1888, p. 1, col. 4.

The paper was the Hempstead Advance-Guard, begun February 1887, following the death of Joe Farr with the equipment from his Hempstead Courier. E. P. Alsbury purhased the press and supplies from Farr's widoe, Sarah Texana (Cloud) Farr.
Galveston Daily News article about The Hempstead Advance Guard ...

End of my intervention

(As will be seen later, Allchin was wounded but did not die. He also took credit for the article, but there is some question whether he wrote it or strongly concurred with it and dared Chambers to call him on it.)

The San Antonio Daily Light, Friday, April 6, 1888, p. 1.

A terrible tragedy occurred at Hempstead day before yesterday. Richard C. Chambers, deputy sheriff, was shot dead by Stephen W. Allchin. The trouble arose over a newspaper article written by Allchin condemning certain public acts of the deputy sheriff, and his father-in-law, Sheriff McDade.

"Richard C. Chambers, deputy sheriff, shot dead by Stephen W. Allchin", San Antonio Daily Light, Friday, April 6, 1888, p. 1

The Colorado Citizen, Columbus, TX, Thursday, April, 12, 1888, p. 2.

Richard C. Chambers, son-in-law of Sheriff McDade of Waller county, was shot and killed at Hempstead, on Wednesday by Stephen W. Allchin. The latter had written a communication for the Advance Guard reflecting on the sheriff, and Chambers called him to account. Allchin was also seriously wounded.

"Richard C. Chambers, son-in-law of Sheriff McDade, shot and killed at Hempstead", Colorado Citizen (Columbus, TX), Thursday, April 12, 1888, p. 2 col. 4.

Killing at Waller Station.

Hempstead, May 4. — This afternoon Jas. Carroll shot and killed Napoleon Farr at Waller station, about ten miles southeast of Hempstead. Carroll was arrested at his home and brought to town to-night and lodged in jail. Both are white and have families.

"Killing at Waller Station.", Laredo Times, Monday, May 7, 1888, p. 1, top of last column.

The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, May 20, 1888, p. 2.


Stephen W. Allchen, Who Shot Deputy Sheriff Chambers, Killed — Died of Injuries.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., May 19. — Mr. Stephen W. Allchen was shot off his horse and instantly killed at 11 o'clock to-day by Deputy Sheriff Dick Springfield and Mr. Jack McDade, a young farmer. The tragedy took place on the main street of the city, and within a few feet of the spot where Deputy Sheriff Chambers fell by a shot from the Winchester rifle of the deceased on the 4th day of April last. The men were arrested by Sheriff McDade and placed in the county jail.

The circumstances of the former tragedy are probably well known by the readers of The News.

At the time of the tragedy to-day Mr. Allchen (sic: Allchin) had his rifle across his lap. Before the former tragedy and since his recovery from the wound received at that time Mr. Allchen had always carried his rifle, either on horseback or his buggy. He had repeatedly stated to his friends that he did this only for self protection.

Your correspondent interviewed the defendants this evening and they claim that the deceased had threatened their lives on several occasions, and that they believed he would carry out the threats.

The deceased leaves a family. He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and Knights of Honor, and these organizations will inter the remains tomorrow.

"SHOT OFF HIS HORSE", Galveston Daily News, Sunday, May 20, 1888, p. 2

The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, May 23, 1888, p. 1.


The Soldiers at Hempstead to Be Relieved by Others — A Lowering Condition.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., May 22 — Adjutant general King of the state military reached here on the morning Austin train. Consultations were at once made with the county officers and several prominent citizens. He informed your correspondent that there is no danger of serious trouble providing that good management be shown until the excitement be allayed. He returned to Austin on the noon train to report the situation to the governor. He stated as rangers could not be had, one company of military would be ordered here and relieve the Johnston Guards, who have been on duty for the past thirty-six hours.

He further stated that Governor Ross and himself would use every possible exertion to have the trouble settled, and without the least bloodshed.

At present all is quiet in the city. The sheriff's posse is on duty at the court house, and strangers would not suspect anything unusual is going on. There is not a military patrol on the streets, and none is needed.

The excitement seems to be going down slowly. Sheriff McDade justifies his action in calling on the military last night to guard his prisoners, that it was in consequence of inflammatory language used by the two or three speakers at the citizens' meeting held in the afternoon. He also claims that his main object was to prevent a disturbance and general outbreak.

Your correspondent wishes to be impartial, and would not knowingly do injustice to either party to this unfortunate and deplorable state of affairs.

"Soldiers at Hempstead to Be Relieved by Others", Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, May 23, 1888, p. 1, col. 6.

The Galveston Daily News, Saturday, May 26, 1888, p. 5


Arrival of Rangers and Adjutant-General King — Refutation of Charges by the Sheriff.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., May 25. — Captain McMurray, commander of a company of Texas rangers, reached here at noon with a detachment of his veterans.

Adjutant-general King of the state military forces will reach here on the morning Austin train with full instructions from Governor Rose concerning the present condition of affairs in Waller county.

The Johnston Guards are yet on duty at the court-house, where are the headquarters of Sheriff McDade with a strong posse guarding his prisoners.

Everything is quiet and few people are seen daily on the public streets.

Sheriff McDade, over his signature, gives the following explanation of the report circulated over the state that he refused to meet Adjutant-general King in consultation on Wednesday morning last, when the governor sent General King here for that purpose. A Houston paper of to-day contains a special from Austin, repeating the above report and Sheriff McDade asks THE NEWS to give him a chance to answer. He uses these words: "The dispatch in the Post is without the semblance of truth. It is not true that I refused to meet General King, but was notified by the county attorney and justice of the peace that the general would meet me at the court-house, and I remained there to see him and refute the many false rumors circulated by parties who, in my opinion, were trying to bring about a collision which he wished to avert. General King was informed by the above mentioned officers that I was not in charge of the prisoners, and as a matter of course the charges against me in the dispatch mentioned are wholly without foundation.

"L.S. (sic T.S.) McDade, Sheriff Waller Co."

Nobody here can form the least opinion what to-morrow's chapter of Waller county history may turn out, but every good citizen feels confident that everything will be transacted without serious trouble, and this unnecessary, unfortunate and deplorable controversy may be brought to a close by the strong arm of military power.

"AFFAIRS AT HEMPSTEAD." Galveston Daily News, Saturday, May 26, 1888, p. 5

The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, May 30, 1888, p. 2


Dick Springfield and Jack McDade on Trial — Rangers Disarming Trial Auditors.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., May 29. — The preliminary examination of the defendants, Dick Springfield and Jack McDade, charged with murder, commenced this morning. A large number of witnesses were present.

Captain McMurray commands the rangers.

General King thoroughly understand the situation.

The rangers are in charge of the court-house, and guard the stairways at the entrance to the court-room, permitting no one to enter having arms. The rangers occupy the jail building as their quarter, and alone have the prisoners in charge.

One of the counsel engaged informed your correspondent this evening that the case would probably take until Wednesday night to finish.

Constable John Taylor serves the court papers and is active in the discharge of his duties.

Judge Burkhardt is on hand watching intently the current of events. He states that he has seen nothing thus far wherein he deemed it necessary to issue the mandates of the law. His arrival was hailed with delight by the people, who have the greatest confidence in his conservatism and Jacksonian determination to enforce the laws of Texas.

District Attorney Hannay is crowding the prosecution in his fair, able and courageous manner. Major Boon, leading counsel for the defense, is putting in his best licks for his clients.

Everything is quiet and by the vigilance of the superior officers it is believed will continue.

A section boss near the city came to town last night and filled up with corn juice. He became brave, having a double-barreled shotgun and, it is charged, two pistols. This morning Roadmaster Whyte of the western branch of the Central discharged him from the service of the company. Soon afterward a squad of mounted rangers escorted him to the county jail, where he now rests.

The rangers are now searching for a score or more of brevet so-called deputy sheriffs, who have been taking observations in town during the past three days.

"COMMENCED AT HEMPSTEAD." Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, May 30, 1888, p. 2, col. 4.

The Galveston Daily News, Sat, June 2, 1888, p. 2.


Will Not Be Concluded This Week — Witnesses for the Defense.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., June 1. — There is no possibility of concluding the preliminary examination of Springfield and McDade, charged with murder, this week. A large number of witnesses for the defendants are yet to be heard, and the state will call several in rebuttal.

The strongest evidence thus far for the defendants was sworn to by Allchin's foreman, a colored man named Taylor, and Charles Nash of Bastrop county. They testified to hearing Allchin make serious threats, the former against McDade, the latter against Springfield. Both witnesses testified that the threats heard were immediately repeated to each of the defendants by the witnesses. Thus far the testimony has not been corroborated.

T.H. Flood, summoned for the defense, testified that Allchin fitted him to come to town on a certain day, saying they were going to settle the matter without a fuss if they could. Allchin also stated that he had heard of threats that had been made against him. He also said he wanted to have peace and wanted to settle the fuss without any more racket or trouble.

General Bedell, Joe Nass, Justice Duer, Deputy Sheriff Lipscomb, Ed Watson, W. Kimbrough and several others testified in behalf of the defendants to-day.

The attorneys on both sides contest strongly every inch of ground.

"THE TRIAL AT HEMPSTEAD - Will Not Be Concluded This Week", Galveston Daily News, Saturday, June 2, 1888, p. 11, col. 3.

The Galveston Dai News,, June 7, 1888, p. 5.


The Attorneys of Springfield and McDade Have Made Application.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., June 6. — Mr. A.J. Harvey, one of the attorneys of Springfield and McDade, residing here, has received a telegram from his partner, now at Caldwell, that Judge McFarland, now holding the Burleson county district court, on a petition from the defendant's attorneys, had granted a writ of habeas corpus, returnable on Monday, the 11th day of June. The former plan was to take the case to the court of appeals at once for a decision on account of the district judge being engaged with his court, but he concluded to review the case.

It was agreed that the evidence recorded in the examination before the Justice's court should alone be reviewed by the judge. The case will probably take only one day to decide.

"WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS.", Galveston Daily News, Thursday, June 7, 1888, p. 5, col. 4-5.

The San Antonio Daily Express, Thursday, June 28, 1888, p. 4.


The following cases were decided this morning:

Affirmed — ... Ex-parte R. T. Springfield and Jack McDade vs. State, Waller; ....

"Court of Appeals.", San Antonio Daily Express, Thursday, June 28, 1888, p. 4, col. 1.

The Galveston Daily News, Saturday, June 30, 1888


Defendant's Statement of the Case — What will be the Judgement?

[From Briefs for the Appellants, by Bassett, Muse & Muse, of Counsel.]


The appellants McDade and Springfield were charged with the murder of Stephen Allchin, in Waller county, on the 29th of May last. On the preliminary hearing, had before a justice of the peace of that county, they were committed without bail to the custody of the sheriff of Washington county. They sued out a writ of habeas corpus before Hon. J.B. McFarland, district judge, who made the writ returnable before the district court of Burleson county, then in session at Caldwell. On the hearing the applicants were denied bail and they appeal.

The papers and proceedings were certified by the clerk of the district court of Burleson county to the clerks of Waller county, by whom the transcript is made out and certified to this court, in accordance with the rule indicated in ex parte Barrier, 17 C.A. 585,m 587.

The only error assigned to us is to the effect that the court below erred in denying the relators the privilege of bail and in remanding them into the custody of the respondent without bail, because upon the whole case the proof was not evident beyond a reasonable doubt that the relators had committed a capital offense. [R. p. 125]


By consent the habeas corpus was tried on the record of the evidence taken in the examining court, supplemented by the testimony of a few additional witnesses, which may be summarized as follows:

On Saturday, the 29th of May, 1888, at about 11 o'clock a.m., in the town of Hempstead, Waller county, Stephen Allchin was shot and killed by the relators McDade and Springfield. The homicide occurred on Main street, one of the principal thoroughfares of the town, and was witnessed by a large number of persons, over fifty of whom were examined, and their testimony will be found in the record. Allchin was at the time sitting on his horse, in front of Zeismer's (sic - Zeisner's) saloon, which was one of a row of brick buildings facing east on Main street. The street is 100 feet wide, including a plank sidewalk or raised platform of about eight or nine feet in width. The horse was facing the buildings, his head being close to the sidewalk. Allchin was sitting on the horse with his right leg thrown over the animal's neck, or the pummel of the saddle. He had a winchester rifle resting on his lap between his body and the pummel. The muzzle of the gun was pointing in a southerly direction. The relators come (sic) from a southerly direction and fired on him from the sidewalk in front of Haveman's building.

Zeismer's saloon, in front of which the homicide occurred, is the second in the series of buildings known as the Haveman block. Haveman's is on the southeast corner; next to it, on the north, is Zeismer's and next Pointer's, each being about 25 feet wide, as nearly as can be gathered from the evidence.

The Haveman block is 250 feet long and 125 feet deep. It is bounded on the north by Austin street and on the south by Bremond street, each of which is 80 feet wide; on the east it is bounded by Main street, which is 100 feet wide, and on the west by a 90 foot alley, [R., p. 53] Allchin was within 40 or 50 feet of the south end of the block. It is in evidence that the relators had come from the rear of Wheeler's saloon, which is in the next block on the north, two or three minutes before the shooting; that they crossed Austin street with shotguns in their hands, and entered the alley in the rear of the Haveman block, through which they passed, south, 250 feet into Bremond street, and thence east to the southeast corner of Haveman's building, on Main street. At this point they turned north, mounting the platform or sidewalk, and walking up it some six or eight feet, or six or eight steps, to the point at which the shooting commenced. Allchin was about thirty or forty feet from them when the first shots were fired. At the first fire the horse, which had been struck in the neck, turned and ran up the street north, or northeast, some twenty or thirty feet, when two other shots were fired by defendants, and Allchin fell to the ground, his gun falling with and under him. After falling he raised himself and turned partly round when the defendants advanced upon him and shot him with their pistols. There were seven or eight shots fired, all of them by the defendants. The first four shots were fired from shot-guns loaded with buck-shot, the others from six-shooters. The first two shots took effect in Allchin's left side; the next two were fired from the rear, and took effect in his back.

There had previously been a deadly feud between the Allchin and the McDade parties in Waller county, the deceased being the head of the former and the defendants being members of the latter party, in the course of which, a few weeks before the shooting now under investigation, the deceased Allchin had killed Chambers, one of the McDade party. The head of the McDade party was Captain T.S. McDade, the sheriff of the county, and the defendants were his deputies. Under the license which the law gave them, they were accustomed to carry pistols on their persons. Allchin and his party were habitually accustomed to carry Winchester rifles wherever they went, and threats on their part to kill, and plots to bring on a difficulty for the purpose of killing the defendants, had been freely made and conveyed to them. It appears also that Allchin was in constant apprehension of being attacked by the defendants, and said he had heard they had threatened to kill him; but no witness testifies to the making of any such threat, or of any threats by the defendants. Without attempting to distribute the blame among the parties to this unfortunate vendetta it may be stated generally that there were brave and determined men on both sides, each thoroughly convinced of the murderous purpose of the others and apt therefore to construe even the most innocent movement into a hostile demonstration. The state of feeling between them was such that an armed collision was imminent whenever the parties met, and seems to have been anticipated by the public generally.

The theory of the state is that the killing was upon express malice, in support of which reliance is had upon the state of feeling shown to have existed between the hostile parties (though none of it is traced by competent evidence, to either of these defendants personally); on the fact that the defendants had shot-guns in their hands when seen a few minutes before the shooting crossing Austin street and going into the alley; that the first shots were delivered from shot-guns, and that instead of passing by a direct line from Wheeler's corner to the point at which the first shots were fired, near the south end of the Haveman block, along the front of the buildings, they had gone through the alley in the rear and around the block whereby the secured the advantage of position, and were enabled to take the deceased by surprise. As conducing to show express malice, stress is also laid on the fact that the last shots were fired after Allchin had fallen mortally wounded, and on the further fact, to which there is, however, a conflict of evidence, that the defendant McDade said to his uncle after the shooting was over, "We got him, Uncle Tom." Some other intemperate language of the defendants, in the heat of the moment, directed at certain of Allchin's party who were supposed to be concealed in neighboring houses, are also claimed to justify the inference of malice.

Looking to the case for the prosecution alone, the evidence of express malice, though sufficient to constitute the "proof evident" required by the constitution to support the judgement refusing bail; but when we come to consider the rebutting evidence produced by the relators, it will appear that the circumstances are all consistent with the theory that they had gone to the place at which the shooting occurred in the execution of their duty as officers of the law; that the meeting with Allchin was entirely casual and unexpected, and that the shooting was in justifiable self-defense, or was, in an event, done under such circumstances as to reduce the offense, if any, from murder on express malice to manslaughter or murder on malice implied.

The regulators were, as we have seen, deputy sheriffs of Waller county. Shortly before the shooting, they had received from the sheriff of Montgomery county a request for the arrest of a man named Bynum, a desperate character who had committed an atrocious murder in Montgomery, and was supposed to have taken refuge in Waller county, where he had relatives. A description of the fugitive was given in the letter which closed with a suggestion of great caution in effecting the arrest on account of the desperate character of the party. The court is requested in this connection to read the letter, which is found on page 115 of the transcript. Its genuineness is admitted by the prosecution. (d. Ibid]

A few minutes before the shooting, the witness Lauraine, who had just read the letter from the sheriff of Montgomery county, remarked to the relator, Springfield, that a man answering to the discription (sic) given in the letter was then at Haveman's corner. Springfield requested witness to go back with him to arrest the man, which the witness declined to do. R., pp. 91, 92. Springfield then went to the relator, McDade, and asked him to go with him and help make the arrest. This was some ten or fifteen minutes before the shooting. R., p. 110. At what point the secured the shotguns does not appear. They were first seen with the guns near the rear end of Wheeler's saloon, and in the act of crossing the street toward the alley. If Allchin was then at the place at which he was killed, as the preponderance of the evidence indicates that he was, it does not appear that the relators saw him or even knew he was in town. Upon the theory that they were going to arrest the man from Montgomery county who was supposed to be at Haveman's corner, their going through the alley and approaching him from the south side of the block is accounted for.

It was only a prudent precaution, under the circumstances. R. p. 92. The guns are accounted for in the same way. They were less likely than pistols to attract the attention of the party they were going to arrest, and were not less efficient in securing his submission.

It is to be noticed that the defendants did not fire from behind the corner of Haveman's building, as they could and certainly would have done had they gone there for purpose of killing Allchin, but that they turned the corner and walked up the platform, eight or ten feet, being themselves fully exposed and without protection, to within thirty of forty feet of the deceased, before they began to shoot.

Allchin was at the time sitting on his horse, with his right leg thrown over the saddle or the animal's neck, and his gun, a Winchester rifle, resting on his lap between his body and the pummel of his saddle. His side was toward them, and the muzzle of his gun was pointing at them.

The testimony of several witnesses for the defendants, which is practically uncontradicted, is to the effect that as the defendants stepped upon the platform at Haveman's corner Allchin took his leg quickly from the neck of his horse (R., p. 70), picked up his gun (R., pp. 107, 87), his hand being already upon it (R. p. 110), and at the same moment someone hallooed "Look out," and the defendants commenced firing.

The witnesses for the prosecution saw Allchin's hands a few moments later, but they did not see them at the critical moment when the defendants raised their guns and before they fired. It is comparatively of little consequence what was the position of his gun or his hands at the later stages of the difficulty.

The witness Avera had shaken hands with Allchin a few moments before and was still within a few feet of him, talking to Burton, Allchin's gun was then across his lap, with his right hand upon it, his left hand holding the reins. The witness did not see deceased at the moment of the shots, having jumped into Haveman's store at the cry, "Look out." "I cannot say he raised his gun, I was not looking right at him, but he had the stock of the gun in his hand and had the reins in his left hand." [R., pp. 110, 111.]

Taylor says he saw the defendants as they got to the gallery at Haveman's. They had guns in their hands. As they stepped on the gallery Allchin's gun was in his lap pointing south toward them. Allchin took up his gun and the reins in his hands all at the same time. Somebody hallooed, "Look out," and the firing commenced. "Allchin's gun was elevated before any shot was fired by defendants." * * * "I could not see if his gun was brought to his shoulder, but it was brought toward his shoulder." [R., p. 107.]

Watson, who was north of the parties, had his back turned toward them at the time of the first shot. He turned at the report and saw Allchin with his gun in his hands. [R., p. 87.]

Allchin's gun, a Winchester rifle, which is short and heavy, was carried with him on the horse from the point at which the first shots were delivered to the point at which he fell, a distance of fifteen or twenty steps, the horse being in a lope or trot. It only fell from the horse when he did, his body resting partly on it. Watson says he saw Allchin as he was in the act of falling from the horse, at which time he still had the gun in his hand. [R., p. 88.] When examined immediately afterward, the gun was at half-cock according to one witness (It., p. 117), and at full cock according to another. [R., p. 77.] The lever used in withdrawing one cartridge and inserting the other was pushed forward to nearly a perpendicular position. The extractor had apparently slipped off the cartridge and failed to withdraw it. There was one cartridge in the gun and another in the carriage which carries the cartridge from the magazine to the barrel. [R., p. 77.] The cartridge which was in the gun had an indentation in the cap, as though some hard substance, such as the hammer would be, had pressed against it. [R., p. 44.]

Only the day before the killing of Allchin had told witness Taylor, who was in his employ, that he did not intend for Dick Springfield and Jack McDade to both pass him on the sidewalk at once, and if the did he was going to "thin them out." [R., p. 71.]

We submit that it reasonably appears from these facts, which are uncontradicted, and which are elicted in great part from hostile witnesses, that Allchin had seen and recognized the defendants as they came upon the sidewalk, and that he had made an attempt, or at least some demonstration which they might reasonably construe into an attempt, to carry out threats of which they had been apprised.

The theory of premeditation is greatly weakened, if not wholly disproved, by the absence of the other members of the McDade party. Captain McDade was, at the time of the shooting, in a remote part of town in conversation with friends. [Li., p. 86.] R.R. McDade was sick in bed (R., p. 67), and Eck McDade was engaged in conversation with the witness Pinkney in front of Wheeler's saloon. [R., p. 46.]

With reference to the shots fired after Allchin had fallen from his horse, it appears that Allchin, who was a very determined and dangerous man, was still struggling and able to raise himself partly from the ground. [R., pp. 35, 25.]

From time to time, through the efforts of Felker, Pinkney and other mutual friends of Allchin and Sheriff McDade, a cessation of hostilities had been agreed on, but only to be afterwards violated or ignored, the parties lacking sufficient confidence in each other to rely upon their compliance with their peaceful engagements. As Allchin expressed it to the witness Callicott, each suspected the other of trying to get the drop on him.

The appellants rely upon the following familiars


1. Under the liberal provisions of our constitution and laws, the granting of bail is the rule, the denial is the exception, Constitution, bill of rights, s??s. —

2. The purpose of a commitment on preliminary trial is not to punish, but to secure the appearance of the accused to abide the action of the grand jury.

3. The presumption of innocence attends the accused through all the stages of the case, and applies to the grade of the offense as well as to his guilt or innocence, until his guilt is established by competent evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. (C.C.P. ?? 7?7.]

4. When any essential fact (as in this case the fact that the killing was upon express malice) is sought to be established by circumstantial evidences, each fact in the chain of facts necessary to the conclusion of guilt must be established beyond every reasonable doubt by the same weight and force of evidence as the main fact itself, and the facts must be so clearly demonstrated as "not only to be consistent with the defendant's guilt, but absolutely inconsistent with any other hypothesis but that of his guilt.

5. The acts of the appellants are to be judged with reference to the facts as they reasonably appeared to them at the time, and not with reference to the condition of things as now made apparent to us in the light of all the evidence.

6. The character of the homicide, whether culpable or not, and if culpable whether bailable or not, is to be determined with reference to the occurrence of the first shots. If justifiable or excusable in firing those, they would have the right to continue the combat until it reasonably appeared to them that their safety had been secured. And so, if guilty of felonious homicide, they would not loose (sic) the benefit of any mitigating circumstances which might tend to reduce the offense to manslaughter or murder in the second degree; or, even if held guilty of murder in the first degree, which might induce the jury to substitute imprisonment for life in lieu of capital punishment.

7. Where, upon the whole testimony ad????d, the court entertains a reasonable doubt whether the relator committed the act, or whether in so doing he was guilty of a capital crime, bail should be granted. [Ex-parte Smith, 23 C. A. 100, 126.]

8. The greater part of the evidence upon which the case was tried by the district judge consisting of the written record of the testimony taken in the examining court, this court is in as good a position as was the court below to judge of the weight and force of the testimony, and will not hold itself bound by the technical rule which requires an affirmance of the judgement in cases of conflicting evidence.

9. In addition to authorities cited in the briefs of associate counsel, we respectfully refer the court to the following:

1. On express malice and circumstantial evidence to establish it: Farrer's case, 42 Tex., 266, 272-274; McDowell's case, 23 C. A. 679.

2. On threats: Howard's case, 23 C. A. 265.

3. On self-defense: Kendall's case, 8 C. A. 569; Penland's case, 19 C. A. 377.

It is respectfully submitted that upon a review of the whole case in the light of principle and authority, the court will find that the purposes of the law will be subserved by submitting the relators to bail. Should bail be granted, the record furnishes the requisite evidence to enable this court to fix the amount of the bond. R. p. 118.


for the relators, Springfield and McDade.

"THE HEMPSTEAD HOMICIDE", Galveston Daily News, Saturday, June 30, 1888, p. 6, col. 1-3.

The Galveston Daily News, Thursday, July 5, 1888, p. 8.

For Safe Keeping.

R.F. (sic) Springfield and Jack McDade, charged with the murder of Stephen W. Alchin, at Hempstead, Waller county, on the 19th of May last, were brought to the city yesterday morning and lodged in the county jail for safe keeping, while the jail at Hempstead is being repaired. Stephen W. Alchin was shot from his horse on the principal street in the town of Hempstead, shortly before noon, near the spot where Deputy Sheriff Chambers was killed by the deceased, on the 4th of April last. Springfield was acting in the capacity of a deputy sheriff at the time of the killing. McDade is a young farmer and a relative of Sheriff McDade. The killing of Chambers and Alchin created such an excitement that the governor found it necessary to order the military to Hempstead to preserve order. The town divided into two armed factions and it was feared that more blood would be shed, despite the presence of the military. Threats were freely made that McDade and Springfield would be lynched, but the presence of a strong guard prevented the attempt being made, and the law will be allowed to take its course.

"R. F. Springfield and Jack McDade ... lodged in the county jail.", Galveston Daily News, Thursday, July 5, 1888, p. 8

Waller County Killing

The Man Who Killed Napoleon Farr is Assassinated.

Hempstead, Texas, July 9 — This morning about 10:00 at Waller station in this county, one Joe Driscoll, an Englishman, shot and instantly killed James Carroll, the man who killed Napoleon Farr at that place some time ago. The particulars are not known, but it is said that Carroll was assassinated. Driscoll is gone. Officers are in pursuit.

"Waller County Killing.", Gainesville Daily Hesperian (Gainesville, TX), Wednesday, July 11, 1888, p. 4, col. 2

The Galveston Daily News, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 1888, p. 4.

To Be Taken to Trial.

Sergeant Derbin and three guards of the state rangers arrived last night to take Springfield and McDade back to Hempstead, where they will be tried for the murder of Allchin. These prisoners have been in the Galveston jail since July 5. The circumstances of this killing are well known, as it attracted considerable attention at the time.

"To Be Taken to Trial.", Galveston Daily News, Tuesday, Sep. 4, 1888, p. 4

The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 1888, p. 4.


Springfield and McDade in Court — The Grand Jury Chosen.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., September 4. — The prisoners Springfield and McDade were met at the depot by a great crowd, mostly people there for curiosity. They were immediately taken into Judge Burkhart's court, and the work of completing the grand jury finished. The prisoners objected to one juror only. Two or three were objected to for several reasons by the defendants' attorneys and the district attorney.

The prisoners are in charge of the full force of the rangers, and they are confined in the iron cells in the county jail. Sheriff McDade is attending to the court excepting this particular case, which is now in charge of Sergeant Durbin.

There are a great many people in town, as usual during the sessions of the courts, but there is no excitement at all.

The grand jury is composed of good men, and it is said that they have a great deal of work to do.

"PRISONERS AT HEMPSTEAD.", Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, Sep. 5, 1888, p. 4

The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 1888, p. 1.


Sheriff McDade Resigns as Sheriff and Withdraws from the Race.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., September 6 — Attorney-general Hogg returned to Austin on the 11:15 train to-day. Your correspondent boarded the same train for the purpose of getting the reportorial auger at work on the general concerning the state of affairs in Waller county. He had been hard at work for forty-eight hours, and interesting news for the public was expected. General Hogg declined to say a word concerning the business transacted, but stated that District Attorney Hannay would give the desired information this evening. He also stated that the Waller county troubles were ended and that peace, law and order and quiet would hereafter prevail, and that the county would soon rank among the most law-abiding and prosperous counties in the state.

Leaving the general at Burton, your correspondent changed trains and was soon holding an interview with the district attorney here. He stated that on account of peace and harmonizing county affairs Sheriff Thomas S. McDade had tendered his resignation and that the county commissioners' court would convene to-morrow morning for the purpose of choosing his successor.

The criminal docket will not be taken up now until Monday morning next, and the whole machinery of the district court will be in working order.

Everybody here rejoices at the bright prospects of Waller county and the cessation of the unfortunate trouble of the past.

The readers of THE NEWS will be fully posted of events as they are developed daily. General Hogg gives the credit of the settlement of the troubles to District Attorney Hannay and several conservative citizens of the county.

Mr. McDade has also withdrawn from the race for sheriff at the November election.

"Sheriff McDade Resigns as Sheriff and Withdraws from the Race..", Galveston Daily News, Friday, Sep. 7, 1888, p. 1

The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 1888, p. 7.


Tom McDade, ex-sheriff of Hempstead, and Kinch Collins of Austin county came in town to-day and visited the prisoners Springfield and McDade, confined in the jail here on a charge of the murder of Steve Allchin at Hempstead.

"PRISONERS VISITED.", Galveston Daily News, Monday, Sep. 17, 1888, p. 7

The San Antonio Daily Light, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 1888, p. 1, col. 2.

Lewis McDade, a prominent colored republican, is shot and killed at Hempstead by a concealed assassin..

"Lewis McDade killed.", San Antonio Daily Light, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 1888, p. 1, col. 2.

The Galveston Daily News,



HEMPSTEAD, Tex., November 26 — Captain Thomas S. McDade, former sheriff of Waller county, was assassinated at his home in this city to-night. No clew (sic) to the perpetrator of the dastardly deed.

"BRUTAL ASSASSINATION.", Galveston Daily News, Tuesday, Nov 27, 1888

The San Antonio Daily Express, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1888, p. 4.


Arrest for the Murder of Ex-Sheriff McDade — Strong Circumstantial Evidence.

HEMPSTEAD, November 27. — [Special.] — Joe Blassingame, Jr., was arrested here this morning on strong circumstantial evidence for the assassination of ex-Sheriff T. S. McDade last evening.  The track of the horse ridden by the assassin was followed to where Blassingame lives, three-quarters of a mile from the scene of the tragedy.  Also the footprints were measured and corresponded with the boot worn by the party arrested.  A double-barrel shotgun was found in the house with one barrel freshly discharged.  The load of the other barrel was drawn and the shot found to compare exactly with that taken from the body of the deceased.  Blassingame's examination comes up tomorrow.

"Arrest for the Murder of Ex-Sheriff McDade.", The San Antonio Daily Express, Wednesday, November 28, 1888, p. 4, col. 2.

The San Antonio Daily Express, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1888, p. 4.


Concerning the Assassination of Ex-Sheriff McDade.

HOUSTON, November 27. — [Special.] — The assassination of ex-sheriff Thomas S. McDade near Hempstead last night has caused considerable comment in this city, where the deceased is well known. From all that can be learned, it seems that the murdered man left the bedside of one of his children, who was sick, for the purpose of going to the cistern to get the little sufferer a drink of water. He had hardly closed the door as he went outside when the cowardly wretch in concealment turned his gun loose on the unsuspected victim, who fell mortally wounded and soon afterwards died.

The assassin must have left the scene of his terrible deed at once after firing the fatal shot, as a number of citizens hastened to Mr. McDade's home upon hearing the report of the gun, but no trace of the villain could be found.

This morning at 1 o'clock Sheriff George Ellis received a telegram from Deputy Sheriff Thornton, of Waller county, asking for the loan of bloodhounds to trail the murderer. Sheriff Ellis wired back that he had no hounds, but that they could doubtless be obtained either at Cunningham or Ellis sugar plantations in Fort Bend county.

The reporter called at the county jail this morning, and visited Jack McDade, a nephew of the murdered man, who with Dick Springfield is under indictment for the killing of Allchin in Hempstead some months ago. Young McDade was a deputy under his uncle towards the close of the latter's administration. To the reporter he intimated the belief that the assassination of his uncle was instigated by thirst for vengeance on the part of Allchin's friends. Be this as it may, however, the murder of poor McDade was cowardly, cold-blooded and dastardly. He was elected sheriff fourteen years ago, and for seven consecutive times the people of Waller county evidenced their confidence in him by re-electing him. In September last he resigned the position and retired to private life. He was known as a brave and efficient officer, and commanded the highest respect of his fellow citizens.

"Concerning the Assassination of Ex-Sheriff McDade.", The San Antonio Daily Express, Wednesday, November 28, 1888, p. 4, col. 3.

The New York Times, November 28, 1888, Wednesday Page 9, 34 words
HEMPSTEAD, Texas, Nov. 27. — Capt. Thomas S. McDade, formerly Sheriff of Waller County, was assassinated at his home here last night. There is no clue to the perpetrators of the crime.

The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1888, p. 1.



Strong Circumstantial Evidence Led to His Detention — How the Dreadful Deed Was Committed — Burglars In San Antonio — Other Crimes.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., November 27. — This morning Joseph Blassingame, Jr., was arrested on strong circumstantial evidence and charged with the assassination of ex-Sheriff Captain Thomas S. McDade, assassinated at his home in this city last night. The assassin was mounted on horseback, and after riding up to the back garden fence broke off two or three pickets, and after walking through the garden concealed himself near the well. Captain McDade walked out to the well for some water for his son, who is sick in bed, and as he stepped out a shot was fired, filling his body with buckshot.

The horse was tracked this morning to where Blassingame stopped last night, about three-quarters of a mile from where the tragedy took place.

The footprints were measured, corresponding with the boots worn by the party arrested.

A double barrel shotgun was found in the house and showed one barrel had been freshly discharged. The load in the other barrel was taken out, and the shot compared exactly with those that were taken from the body of the murdered man.

Blassingame's examining trial will be heard to-morrow.

Captain Thomas S. McDade has been sheriff of Waller county for the last twelve or fifteen years. He was well thought of and his large number of friends mourn his loss. Peace to his ashes.

"YOUNG MAN UNDER ARREST CHARGED WITH THE CRIME.", Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1888, p. 1

The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, Dec. 2, 1888, p. 5.


The December term of the criminal court for Harris county will convene on Monday, December 3, Judge Cleveland of Galveston presiding. There are not as many cases on the docket as usual, and with the exception of the Springfield and McDade murder cases, removed here on a change of venue from Waller county, the others are for the most part misdemeanors.

"CRIMINAL COURT." Galveston Daily News, Sunday, Dec. 2, 1888, p. 3, col. 2.

The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, Dec. 2, 1888, p. 5.



Strong Circumstantial Evidence and Developments Expected — Opium Smuggling Case — Mail Carrier Killed — Brood (?) of Scoundrels — Texas Crimes.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., December 1. — The fact has been developed to-day that the investigation which has taken place during the week condemning the murder of Captain McDade was a coroner's inquest presided over by Justice of the Peace C. D. Robinson.

The case was concluded this evening, the coroner deciding that cicumstantial and other evidence produced on the trial compelled him to hold Joseph Blassingame, Jr., for further investigation, and therefore the defendant was remanded to jail.

The preliminary examination of the defendant will be commenced on Monday next.  Messrs. L. S. Reese and A. C. Tompkins are defending, and District Attorney Harry is assisted in the prosecution by County Attorney Lipscomb.

Your correspondent stated in a special published in yesterday's NEWS that the circumstantial evidence produced on the trial was weak, etc.  The district attorney took exceptions to this statement and in a note says: "There never was stronger circumstantial evidence of the guilt of any individual that has been developed up to date."

Thus the case now stands.  Startling evidence, it is said, will be produced at the trial next week, and public opinion will probably again be mystified as to the guilty party.  The officers of the law are working hard to ferret out the perpetrator of the awful crime, and if the mystery can be solved they will be sure to find it out.

Several counterfeit silver dollars have been discovered in circulation here.  They are not well executed and can be easily detected.

"JOSEPH BLASSINGAME HELD BY THE CORONER FOR INVESTIGATION", The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, December 2, 1888, p. 5, col. 3.

The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, Dec. 9, 1888, p. 2.

The Cases of Joe Blassingame and Springfield and McDade — Local Notes.

HEMPSTEAD, Tex., December 8. — Judge Burkhart will come here on Monday next for the purpose of hearing the case of Joe Blassingame, charged with the murder of ex-Sheriff McDade, on a writ of habeas corpus.

The sheriff and his deputies are busily engaged in hunting up and attaching another large batch of witnesses to attend the trial of Springfield and McDade at Houston on Thursday next. Nearly 100 will go there.

Dr. Van B. Thornton has purchased the R.R. McDade property here, and will remove from his country home to the city.

The Waller County Courier will be revived next Saturday under the management of Mrs. Farr and her nephew, Mr. William Newnam. This will make two papers published here. The new venture is promised a liberal amount of advertisements by the merchants, and will also probably receive all the county official printing, which will amount to a handsome sum yearly.

Captain J.D. Montgomery of this city, assistant sergeant-at-arms of the lower house of the last legislature, has received letters from nearly every one of the old members, and also many new ones, pledging their support to him for the same position at the next session. His well-known courtesy, competency and energy shown at the last session has made strong friends of those knowing him.

Quite a large number of old citizens of the county have removed or are preparing to change their residences in the near future. This is probably caused by the deplorable troubles which have so long agitated and excited the people. Politics and political questions — the ins and the outs continually grasping for supremacy — have been the main cause of all the troubles and also a score of new-made graves.

Were it not for the fact that Hempstead was an important railroad junction, with a roundhouse for the locomotives of the Western division of the Houston and Texas Central railway and a large corps of employees, who are paid a large sum of money monthly, it would be the deadest railroad town in Texas. nearly all the railroad men own homes, and they do not meddle with politicians, but let them fight out their own quarrels.

The good citizens have not despaired of reform yet, but are using every effort to restore the good name of the county, and hope to be successful.

"The Cases of Joe Blassingame and Springfield and McDade." Galveston Daily News, Sunday, Dec. 9, 1888, p. 2, col. 3.

The Galveston Daily News, Friday, Dec. 14, 1888, p. 5, col. 1.


The cases of the State of Texas against Jack McDade and R. T. Springfield, in which the defendants are charged with the killing of Steve Allchin at Hempstead, were set for trial before the criminal court to-day.  There were not less than 150 people who came down from Hempstead to be present at the trial.  Nearly a hundred of these were witnesses and the rest friends of the parties.  At 10 o'clock the prisoners were escorted from the jail into the court-room by Sheriff Ellis and deputies.  They looked pale, of course but seemed to be enjoying excellent health and wore a cheerful countenance.  The state was represented by District Attorney W. C. Oliver of Hempstead, and the defendants by Judge Gustave Cook, Captain J. C. Hutcheson and Mr. R. J. Thacker.  The court-room was crowded with visitors, mostly from Waller county.

Soon after the preparation for the trial was begun, it was discovered by the defense that two or three important witnesses were absent, one of them being Mr. Felker of Hempstead.  At once the counsel for the defendants asked time to prepare an application for continuance.  In order to give the necessary time, court adjourned to 2 o'clock in the afternoon, when it was reconvened.  The prisoners were in the dock, and by them sat the aged mother, the young wife, the fair sister and sweet children of defendant McDade.

Captain Hutcheson read the motion for a continuance on account of the absence of material testimony, which included proof of the threat said to have been made by Steve Allchin, to kill the defendants.  Judge Cleveland took the motion, and after reading it carefully granted the continuance and set the case for the 13th day of February.

"M'Dade-Springfield Murder Cases." Galveston Daily News, Dec. 14, 1888, p. 5, col. 1.

The Galveston Daily News, Saturday, Feb. 16, 1889, p. 1



Most of the Evidence Strong Against the Prisoner — Ex-County Treasurer-Granted Bail — An Old Man Hanged — Highway Robbery

HOUSTON, Tex., February 15. — To-day the trial of Jack McDade of Waller county, for the killing of Steve Allchin, was resumed. It was nearly 10 o'clock before the first witness of the day was put on the stand. Long before that hour the court room was crowded to its utmost capacity, and Sheriff Ellis placed Deputy John D. Usoner at the door to act as usher and preserve order. The audience was almost equally composed of blacks and whites. The lawyers resumed their accustomed position, and the testimony for the state was resumed.

The following witnesses were examined: R.B. Pointer, L.W. Groce, William Leary, Mrs. Brent Brown, Mrs. Kate Wright, Fritz Zeisner and Gus Miller.

Following Gus Miller came George Burton, whose testimony related to important matters at the time of the shooting.

John Peeples also testified to some important facts as to the position of the men, the rapidity of the shooting and the attitude of the deceased.

Tom Whitman, a policeman, concluded the testimony for the day, and the court adjourned to 9:30 to-morrow morning.

Most of the evidence was strong against the prisoner, going to show that the two men, McDade and Springfield, first fired on the prisoner when he did not see them or was looking toward a store and they were down the street. It showed that they were fifty or sixty-five feet from him and he was on his horse with his shotgun across the saddle in front of him. The weapons they used were shotguns. Some of the witnesses were looking when the shots were fired and others saw deceased when he fell from his horse. The closing examinations by Captain Hutcheson were very rigid and he used testimony taken at the preliminary trial as a guide or assistant. District Attorney R.K. Hanney seemed generally to be satisfied with the testimony given by the witnesses. It is not likely that the state's testimony will all be finished to-morrow (Saturday).

"TRIAL OF JACK M'DADE FOR THE KILLING OF STEVE ALLCHIN." Galveston Daily News, Saturday, Feb. 16, 1889, p. 1, col. 6.

The Galveston Daily News, Saturday, Feb. 17, 1889, p. 1



Particulars of the Shooting and Positions of the Feudists — Evidence of a System of Arbitration Between Factions — General Crime News.

HOUSTON, Tex., February 16 — The McDade murder trial was resumed in the criminal court this morning at the appointed time.  Attorneys Hanney and Hutcheson conducting the case for the state and defense, respectively.  The court-room was crowded.

The witnesses for the state were George Burton, Tite Johnson, C. C. Pye, E. H. Jones, E. Crow and J. L. Parks.

Their testimony was mainly corroborative of the testimony of others who had preceded them.  It was mostly giving particulars of the shooting and the positions of the parties at the time, and also revealing some circumstances that transpired at different times and places previous to the shooting.  In places it seemed very strong, but again revealed discrepancies.

Just after the last witness the attorneys for the state held a consultation and decided that upon the introduction of one important point they would close the testimony for the state.

A recess of ten minutes was given, after the expiration of which the matter was put in testimony, and the court took a recess till 2:30 o'clock for dinner.

Upon the reconvening of court Captain J. C. Hutcheson, before beginning the evidence for the defense, got up and stated to the jury the points that they expected to establish in behalf of his client, one of the chief ones being threats that had been made by Allchin to kill those who killed him.

The first witness on the stand for the defense was James Felker.  After reciting various incidents connected with the killing and sighting conversations held with Allchin, he told of his conversations in particular with Allchin, and witness further related how he had acted as and intermediary party in the matter of a peaceful settlement with any of the McDades with whom he may have a difficulty.  Allchin had promised witness not to carry his winchester while traveling on foot through Hempstead.  He was not to carry the weapon except when he was either on horseback or in a buggy.  The inception of this difficulty was attributed to a letter supposed to be from Allchin to one Chambers.  I doubted that he was the author of that letter and asked him if he was, and he gave an equivocal answer, or, in other words, implied that he knew something about its authorship.  At the time Allchin was killed I noticed him in company with several men.  One was a man named Davidson, and both men had winchesters.  There was also another man in Allchin's company that I noticed named Floyd, also another named Clark.  I believe the inception of the difficulty was Chambers letter.  At my request Allchin promised me he wold discontinue his travels with Davidson.

For the state: I was in the general mercantile and grocery business at the time of the killing.  My negotiations in the peace-making business were with Captain McDade, who guaranteed peace on the part of Jack, Tommy and Dick Springfield.  It was further agreed that if any threats were made by either party and they would be reported to me I would report the same to either party.  In speaking to me of threats of intimations of a fight that he had claimed to receive Mr. Allchin remarked that his understanding of the contract or agreement was that he could carry his winchester when he was either in a buggy or on horseback.  I told him that his understanding was correct.  He said he understood that a plan was being fixed by Jack McDade and Dick Springfield to kill him.  I told him he was a fool and he replied that he had got it too straight, and that while he had confidence in me he had none in them (meaning McDade and Springfield).  At that time Allchin was engaged in the wood business.  He had several drivers and, I think, kept a commissary department.  Neither Captain McDade nor any of the McDades ever reported any threats as having been made by Mr. Allchin.  Subsequently Captain McDade told me that if Allchin appeared on the streets with his winchester the compact would be broken, or, rather, not hold good.  I had never told him he could carry his winchester across his legs.  I never heard of any of the McDade party making any threats toward Allchin.

Question by a juror: "Would you consider Mr. Allchin's carrying of his winchester outside of his scabbard while on horseback a violation of his contract?"

"Yes, I would."

In subsequent examination witness said that Mr. Allchin's carrying his rifle in a scabbard was not in conformity with that gentleman's general habit.  Captain Allchin's reputation as an expert marksman with a winchester was quite good.

The examination of the witness was continued for some time, the testimony frequently being interspersed with sparring for legal points by the respective counsel.

He was followed by Phil ?Duer?, who was justice of the peace at the time. He did not witness the killing, but found the winchester that Allchin had when killed. He got it not immediately but shortly after the killing. He saw two cartridges in the gun when he got it, one that seemed partly thrown from the barrel with the impressing of the hammer on it as if it had been snapped upon, the other still in the barrel and the guard of the trigger pulled open. He also testified at length covering the agreement between the two factions, McDade's and Allchin's, on the subject of how and under what circumstances guns could be carried, one of the principal restrictions being not to carry it walking along the streets, except to take if from a house or buggy into a house or the reverse.

It was also stated that efforts had been made by some of the witnesses to get Allchin to put up his winchester on one occasion when he had it in the town of Hempstead carrying it on the sidewalk, on which occasion he admitted that he was probably wrong in doing it.

The testimony of A. G. Lipscomb was chiefly concerning the place, agreement between the two factions, and the subsequent violation of it by Allchin who was considered a bad man.

R.R. McDade also testified concerning the place, compact and subsequent threats, and the method resorted to by means of peacemakers to keep down a collision.

It was shown that each side had a peacemaker or commissioner to confer with their friends whenever any threats were made or heard of as coming from the other side, and to convey it to the opposition and find out the truth in shape of a denial or affirmation.

R. R. McDade was a relative of the prisoner and was the last witness on the stand.  After his testimony Judge Cleveland adjourned the court to Monday morning, when it will again be resumed.

Many of the witnesses returned to their homes in Waller county to be here Monday morning.

The trial will hardly be concluded before the major portion of next week has been numbered with the past.

"TRIAL OF JACK M'DADE", Galveston Daily News, Sunday, February 17, 1889, p. 1, col. 6 to p. 2, col. 1.

The Galveston Daily News, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 1889, p. 1




HOUSTON, Tex., February 18. — It was a few minutes after 10 o'clock this morning when the criminal district court, Judge Cleveland presiding, was convened and the testimony for the defense in the McDade murder case resumed.  As on previous days, the court-room was crowded to its utmost.  After everything was in readiness Captain Hutcheson, one of the defendant's lawyers, read the following letter from Sheriff R. Simonton of Montgomery, dated May 15: "Look out for and arrest a man by name of Bynum, who committed a murder in this county on the 12th.  He has a dark complexion, black mustache, weight about 140 pounds, wears about No. 7 shoe, eyes a little sore.  If you come across him be very cautious.   R. D. SIMONTON."

Claude Laurain being sworn said: I was deputy sheriff at the time of the shooting.  Yes, sir, that is the letter of Sheriff Simonton.  I came down from Austin on the day of the shooting at Hempstead, Springfield gave or showed me the letter.  I came to Hempstead that morning and went home and got breakfast.  I went down to Haveman's corner and saw a man leaning against the corner post.  He answered the description in the letter and I told Springfield so.  I then went to the depot and a negro porter told me of the shooting.  I went to George Burton's my wife's father, for breakfast.  It was between 10 and 10:30 o'clock that the shooting occurred.  The Haveman corner, next to Fritz Zeisner's saloon, is meant.

Cross-examination: I staid at the passenger depot till 8 o'clock.  The distance to the jail was 300 yards.  I went there and from there to Mr. Burton's.  I remained there some time, took a nap, then came to Haveman's and there saw the stranger.  I never saw him before.  He was a stranger to me.  From that time it was about ten minutes till I saw Dick Springfield at Ingram's corner.  I don't know that any one else was present.  Yes, there were many strangers present, passing through on account of the Austin drill.  It was a common thing to see strangers there at that time.  I never saw the man before nor since.  Don't know that I would know him now.  He was dark complexioned, dark mustache and hair.  Didn't notice his eyes.  I simply saw a dark complexioned man answering the description.  Neither rough or genteel looking.  Between the two.  I went home first.  Was living at Mr. Felker's.  I passed close to him.  We were both on the sidewalk.  He was on foot.  I did not stop, but passed on.

Mr. Willis testified that he heard Allchin threaten Springfield's life, but not communicate to anyone until after the death of Allchin.

Mr. Wood testified that Captain T. S. McDade bore a reputation as a peaceable and law abiding citizen in the community.  He knew Jack McDade and never heard anything against him.  He had heard Allchin and some other persons practicing with winchesters about three weeks before the killing.  Saw Allchin a day or so before he was killed, and he had his winchester with him.  It was unusual for persons to practice with winchesters in the country.  Allchin was considered a quiet, peacable citizen.  He had the reputation of being a very brave man.  From his own knowledge he knew nothing about the contract between Allchin and McDade.

M. A. Cuney said Jack McDade's gun was a hammerless shotgun.

D. Floyd testified that he stopped from Friday until Tuesday at Allchin's house.  Allchin asked him to stay as he expected a difficulty.  Frank Davidson and several others were at Allchin's house.  Allchin had arranged with his friends to bring about a difficulty on Saturday.  Davidson was to go with Allchin.  Davidson was to go to the lower end of the county after Jack Quillan and bring him to Hempstead.  Allchin told witness to come to town, that he thought the difficulty with the McDades would be settled, and that he wanted it settled without trouble if possible, but that he thought either he or Jack McDade would bit the dust.  Allchin told witness of threats that the McDades had made against Allchin.  If he had stated on preliminary examination that Allchin had told him that Davidson was to begin the difficulty by running through the streets of Hempstead yelling "Hurrah for Allchin," he would state it again.  He did not go to Hempstead on Saturday on account of business.  Allchin asked him to come and bring a winchester.  He borrowed the winchester to kill rabbits.  If he stated on the habeas corpus case at Caldwell that he was to bring the winchester to Hempstead with him on Saturday he would state it again.  He is the husband of the sister of the man who is charged with the murder of Captain Tom McDade (sic -- this is incorrect, see Ed. note below).

(Ed. note: Stephen Allchin was not "the husband of the sister of the man" who killed ex-sheriff McDade.  He was step-father of the woman who was married to that man. He was second husband of Amanda Duck. Her daughter, Allchin's step-daughter, Savanah Duck was married to Joe Blasingame Jr., who was charged with the murder of T.S. McDade. Blassingame had four sisters, but none married Allchin.)

For the state J. J. Loggins testified that he did not hear R. T. Springfield say to Phil Suer with an oath that Allchin tried to kill me, but I got him.  Springfield was speaking in a loud voice, and if he had said it I think I would have heard him.

The other witnesses who testified were Frank Lipscomb, James Abrea, H. J. Harvey, N. A. Cuney, M. Gloeck and George Arnold.

The last named testified as to the reputation of Arnold, to whom he did not give a bad reputation.  Floeck gave expert testimony as a gunsmith on the condition of Allchin's Winchester rifle, which he held in his hand illustrating with two cartridges what the gun could do on the point of holding a cartridge in the carriage and showing one in the barrel.

It was in rebuttal.  It is believed this evening that all of the testimony will be finished to-morrow, perhaps by dinner time.

There are at least fifty who have not yet been examined, but the attorneys express the opinion that they will not be put on the stand.  Many were brought to rebut testimony, but will not be used.

The lawyers have not yet agreed upon the order in which they will speak.  The court will reconvene at 9 o'clock to-morrow morning.

"TRIAL OF JACK M'DADE", Galveston Daily News, Tuesday, February 19, 1889, p. 1, col. 5.


Thomas Sewell McDade, b. Montgomery Co., AL married Margaret (Maggie)J. Bouldin, who was born in Madison Co., AL. She was the daughter of W. Graves and Elizabeth P. (Hammond) Bouldin. Thos S. McDade was Capt. in Waller's Battalion, Green's Brigade, C.S.A. serving the entire time. Later he was Sheriff, also Tax Collector of Waller Co., TX for many years. He died in 1888

(this link no longer works:)

It is replaced by "Texas State Genealogical Society. Stirpes, Volume 6, Number 3, September 1966": McDade Family, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History

Google Books - Ten Texas Feuds

Google Books - Ten Texas Feuds, p. 174