B.B. Lee News Articles
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We learn that the appointments for county officers of Austin county are as follows: C. B. Oney, Chief Justice; N. Cloyd, Sheriff; J. R. Montgomery, District Clerk; Mr. Matthews, present incumbent, County Clerk; B. B. Lee, Assessor and Collector; John Bell, County Treasurer; F. J. Cook, Notary Public; W. S. Wright, Justice of the Peace.
(The officers were not elected but rather appointed by the governor.)
"Austin county officers", The Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, (Houston, TX), Monday, September 4, 1865, p. 2, col. 2.
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— PARTY. — We have another party to chronicle for Christmas week. A very pleasant gathering assembled at Mr. B. B. Lee's house, some three miles from town, Thursday, Dec. 26, at which nearly all Hempstead was present, as the house was filled so full that all those present could hardly get in the house much less dance. The festivities were kept up until nearly daylight, giving us another proof that the old song —
"We'll dance all night -
Till broad daylight.
And go home with the girls in the morning" -
has not been forgotten; at least it looked so to us.
"Party at B. B. Lee's", The Texas Countryman (Hempstead, TX), Saturday, January 4, 1868, Vol. 7, No. 34, Ed. 1, p. 3, col. 2.
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FATAL SHOOTING AFFAIR — On last Wednesday evening about 4 o'clock, Mr. B. B. Lee was shot and killed by Mr. Joseph Farr, in the saloon kept by Mr. G. H. Wheeler. We have heard several causes assigned for the commission of the deed by Farr, but as they are so much at variance we refrain from giving additional publicity to them rather than do an injustice to either party. Mr. Lee was shot in four different places, and expired in a few moments. Lee was a married man, and leaves a devoted wife to mourn his loss. The Coroner's jury returned a verdict that Mr. B. B. Lee came to his death by reason of wounds inflicted by a pistol in the hands of Mr. Joseph Farr. Mr. Farr, after the shooting, mounted a horse and left town, without being arrested, and is still at large.
As Mr. Farr will doubtless be tried by a jury of his countrymen, we suspend any opinion on the subject.
"Fatal Shooting Affair", The Texas Countryman) (Hempstead, TX), Wednesday, April 29, 1868, Vol. 7, No. 50, Ed. 1, p. 3, col. 2.
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Killing at Pilot Grove, — We learn that on last week, Bob Lee and a young Dixon killed Peacock and Sanders, at or near Pilot Grove, in this county. we learn nothing of the particulars. If our citizens would take some interest as they transpire in their immediate neighborhood, we would be enabled to give a correct account, but it is impossible for us on mere rumor to give full and accurate reports. We hope our friends will take some interest in keeping us posted on items of interest as they transpire. — Sherman Courier.
"Killing at Pilot Grove." The Dallas Herald, (Dallas, TX), Saturday, May 2, 1868, p. 2, col. 1.
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The Countryman reports that on Wednesday afternoon last Mr. B.B. Lee was shot and killed by Mr. Joseph Farr, in the saloon kept by Mr. G.H. Wheeler at Hempstead. Farr left, and has not been arrested.
"Mr. B. B. Lee was shot and killed by Mr. Joseph Farr", Galveston Daily News, Saturday, May 2, 1868, p. 1
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LETTER FROM TEXAS.
Crime in Texas — No Law Respected — Depredations of the Indians — The Crops — The Texas and New Orleans Railfoad — The Memphis and El Paso Railrod — Hint to Memphis — The State Constitutional Convention — Inducements to Immigrants, Etc., Etc.
Special Correspondence of the Memphis Post.]
HEMPSTEAD, TEXAS, April 27, 1868..
Editors Post: Another day has been added to the catalogue of recorded time, and no friendly has brought me a Post. What am I to think? .... (not transcribed)
I see with great pleasure that my old roommate and valued friend, Reuben Dailey, has been made a Justice of the Peace. I feel assured he will honor the position.
Since writing my last our Postmaster, T. G. Patrick (a Mason, Odd Fellow and member of the Loyal League), has been detected in a systematic robbing of the mails (i. e. registered letters), which is supposed to have been going on for the past five or six months. No one knows the exact amount, but it is calculated to be from three to five thousand dollars in specie. This, in connection with the elopement of the telegraph operator, expressman, etc. with twenty-five to thirty thousand dollars, and the terrible murder of B. B. Lee — whose life was insured for five thousand dollars in the St. Louis Mutual Company — has set our little city of Hempstead in a flutter. Added to this the removal of the troops from here on the 24th and 25th instants, has added not a little excitement.
Texas is in a most terribly disorganized state of mind. There is no law or order; murders are of a daily occurrence, of the most brazen bare-facedness. I can not tell you how much the inhabitants long for a change. I do not exaggerate in the least when I say that fully half of the people want Johnson impeached and the country set at rest.
The Indians are still committing the most wanton kind of murders and destruction on the frontier, and the troops are all moving in that direction. Texas will not be thoroughly civilized — those parts of it which are not thickly settled — until railroads shall be built, and not until the State has been recruited from States that are civilized, or from foreign countries, and we all pray for that day soon.
The crops all over the State could not be bettered, and have seldom been excelled in immensity, even if equaled. Most every farmer has planted some cotton, and the fine weather this spring has often made them double their original intentions as to the number of acres " in cotton." Most all have planted " lashings " of corn, and Texas this year will be able to provide the whole of the South with corn for meal and bread. This is no fancy sketch. Look at a map of Texas, and then think what a million of men can do with Texas land, which is at least three times as fruitful as Tennessee land, in cereals, cotton and sugar.
The Texas and N. O. R. R. is at the present time commanding a great deal of attention from all quarters, and every one who has the interest of the State at heart sincerely desires that some men with capital would come forward and put the same into operation. Commanding, as it does, the best and most practicable route of entering the State from without, except by the seaboard, it affords a ready means of making money in a short time, such as is given by that but few railroads in the world. The men who have at present control of the road know nothing about railroading, and, by deterring others from holding an active part, are daily doing more damage to it than can be safely calculated.
New Orleans will, if she persists in the inactive course she has so far adopted, lose as immense amount of money and trade, as other roads in the more northern and eastern parts of the State will be build and the channel of travel change around to your city or St. Louis.
Texas will inevitably become one of the largest grain growing States in the Union, and to that end she is making the most rapid strides; and again, and again I advise the men of Tennessee to watch the chances that surround them and push forward the road that reaches to Texas. Already has Memphis shown herself to be a sturdy rival of New Orleans. Let her keep in the same path, and, as was shown year by year, before the war, in the steadily accumulated receipts of cotton there over New Orleans, so she will be in regard to cotton and the cereals that now and ever have, so far, gone to New Orleans. The apathy that pervades the New Orleans men and merchants is deepening, and Texians think New Orleans is about taking a Rip Van Winkle sleep of a number of years. Advocate the railroad that taps Texas. It will take $3,000,000 to finish the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. Would not a less amount connect the El Paso road with Memphis? Though far away from Memphis, I feel as if I were still one of her citizens. There are too many pleasant memories clustered around the same in my heart for me to cut them asunder in the short space of a few years.
The official registered vote of the State is, or was, 104,240. The number of votes polled was 52,125; the convention has, therefore, been ordered on the 15th or 16th of June, and will be considerably mixed. Great fears are entertained that there will be a majority of rebels in it, and the fears are justly had. The rebels speak with great bitterness about the recent attempt of Congress and the "Yankees" to dismember the State. I am anxious for the movement, as without such action it will not be fit for a decent man to inhabit it, and if it is done, each section will then receive the attention that now is so much needed, and the want of which is seriously being felt all over its broad expanse. Texas is too unwieldy; there are not enough officers, and the few that are here are scattered over such distance that they cannot assist each other if the would. The laws are administered, and are laughed at. Bribery is openly carried on, and this is only one form of the deep-seated wickedness and depravity apparent in every county. There are men all over it who commit murder or any crime in the calendar, and Sheriffs — except in the most populated districts — dare not arrest them; half the attempt to do so fails, and then the matter is dropped, while in two or three months the criminal reappears in the county, and is not arrested. Again, I say, the division of Texas will be the greatest Godsend that has ever overtaken the State. Some say that such division cannot take place, on account of the way in which she was admitted into the Union — i. e., that as it was, so it should be to the "last moment of recorded time;" but, on the other hand, it is claimed that Texas, by her secession, forfeited those rights, and is now (by the same argument) a captured province.
Colonies coming to Texas can now get, from societies in operation in Houston and elsewhere, grants of lands for almost a trifle, and in some counties where immigration has been backward so far, A No. 1 lands can be had for nothing, so that they come and settle.
The Indians are committing terrible outrages at Fort Mason, about one hundred miles from San Antonio, in Llamo (sic) county, Castroville, Legion Valley, Lampasses (sic), and in fact all over the immense frontier. Without division it cannot be properly guarded, and I hope you will use your best endeavors to have it done. To be sure the States made from it will be all Radical, but Texas would be all the better for that.
I heard the other day that Dr. P. P. Fraim's son, Dr. Bose Fraim, is now in Waco ..... (not transcribed)
The times are extremely dull here just now, with every prospect of being so until fall. The farmers have, however, got the best kind of a stand of both cotton and corn, and are now engaged in shearing their sheep. The Texas wool is yearly improving, both in quality and quantity, and vast quantities of it will be shipped North this season; more, probably, than has been for years. It commands a good price. It does not cost anything to keep sheep, and they do not have to "weathered over the winter" in Texas at all.
The aptness of Texas soil is shown in the fact that there are probably over five hundred farmers in the State who produce their own coffee, rice and tobacco. Fruit will be plenty this year (the first year in three) as the trees are even now beginning to break down with their load. Dewberries are here by the thousand bushels at fifty cents per bushel. It is a wonder some firm do not start in drying them.
Texas is a great grape country, different kinds growing here perfectly wild. I purchased sixty-five dollars worth of Ives' seedling, Concord, Iona and ten other of the best kinds, besides a lot of currants, Jucunda,, strawberries, raspberries and other fine fruit, and have on my place here one of the finest gardens in the State, and Tennessee cannot equal it.
The unsettled condition of the State, the lawlessness of the people, and the non-enforcing of the laws, together with its great width and breadth, are the things that are retarding its prosperity and growth. For, as I before said, the land is the richest and best in the United States; all you have to do is to plant, and what you do plant will grow, even without cultivation.
In regard to beeves. Why don't the Little Rock and all other Arkansas men and farmers import more of our beeves into their State? Would it not pay for Tennesseeans to get their beef cattle in Texas instead of Illinois and other Western States? Are they aware that good Texas cattle can be got anywhere in the State, of the very best too, for from seven to ten dollars, specie, per head? Great quantities are being sent North by way of Kansas, and bought by you from Western drovers.
"Letter from Texas - B.B. Lee murder, etc.", Memphis Evening Post, Wednesday, May 6, 1868, p. 1, col. 2-3.
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B. B. Lee was killed in Hempstead a few days ago, by a man named Farr. Lee was drunk and cursed and abused Farr, who after asking if his words were intended for him and receiving an affirmative anaswer, stepped back and shot Lee four times killing him instantly.
"B. B. Lee killed in Hempstead.", The Texas Republican) (Marshall, Texas, Saturday, May 9, 1868, p. 2, col. 7.
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The St. Louis Mutual Life Insurance Company, have recently paid two policies in Austin County, one of James W. McDade, deceased, of $10,000 and the other of B. B. Lee, dec'd. of $5,000. This is one of the most responsible Companies in the United States, and are punctual in the payment of their policies. We would advise all who desire to insure their lives, to do so with the St. Louis Mutual Life Insurance Company, as they can have no doubt about the punctual payment of their policy. They do up business strictly and correctly. Messrs Dolen & Price of Houston, are the Agents for the Company.
"Life insurance payout on lives of Jas. W. McDade and B. B. Lee." The Texas Countryman, Friday, December 25, 1868, p. 2, col. 4.