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119 chapter 9 “Intervention Was Necessary” The terror that gripped Mason in the fall of 1875 is almost impossible to comprehend. On October 4 it was rumored that John Baird was in town. The rumor proved false, but it provides glimpses of rampant tales that spread fear in the community.1 At the same time, Clark and his men rode to Loyal Valley and proceeded to terrorize the community . One of the citizens harassed was John O. Meusebach. The mob stormed into his store and shots were fired that grazed his legs. “He did not move a muscle but with a withering gaze looked directly into the faces of the attackers. After a moment his molesters dropped their eyes, turned sheepishly, and rode away.”2 Meusebach’s biographer believed that the attack was committed by the Baird faction during the feud. However, the only documented raid on Loyal Valley was perpetrated by John Clark and the Hoo Doos. Additional insight into the incident is found in a petition to Jones. Sir: The undersigned citizens of Loyal Valley are under the impression that you are in command of the State Troops sent to this county to suppress disturbances and to aid in keeping up peace and good order. Yesterday [October 3] about at dinner time an armed force of 30 to 40 men entered this town and searched nearly every house without our knowing for what pur- 120 Chapter 9 pose. To day just at daybreak we were told that it was a posse of the Sheriff. But as far as we know Sheriff Clark has resigned and the new Sheriff seated has not as yet qualified. We wish to know whether this party searching and disturbing us in our homes is acting under your orders. We are willing cordially to welcome and to cooperate with the Troops under your command and under your orders. We wish you would station a detachment of these State Troops here at this place immediately and we pledge ourselves to aid them all in our power to preserve peace and good order, but we are not willing to submit to the dictates of one party [while] our families [are] being harassed by the repeated searches, and disturbed, and in fear day and night. We have selected a committee of old quiet men, not being implicated in any party strife or feeling to confer with you and respectfully request you to give us notice of a day when we can meet you here and talk with you in reference to this matter . The committe [sic] to consist of myself, Mad[ison] Putman, John P. Moseley, R. G. Stone. Loyal Valley, Mason County, Texas Octbr. 4th 18753 The petition was signed by a number of men, including John O. Meusebach. Contrary to the view of one local historian who considered it a “side issue,” the petition is damning in its implications.4 The mob was desperate to find the killers. The Loyal Valley raid was an attempt by Clark and the mob to maintain control of the county. Anyone not in the mob was considered to be against them. It proved another ill conceived plan on Clark’s part. Jones was also learning hard lessons concerning the feud. The Rangers he had taken to Mason were composed of Company A and nine men from Company D under the command of Sergeant N. O. Reynolds.5 Roberts’ men proved far from impartial as Jones quickly discovered. Like Roberts, they too had made up their minds as to the right and wrong of the matter. Unlike their commander they came 121 “Intervention Was Necessary” down firmly on the side of Scott Cooley. James B. Gillett, a Company D Ranger, recalled in his memoirs that when he arrived in Mason, Jones sent out a number of scouts to hunt Cooley. The scouts proved fruitless, and after two weeks he “learned that nearly the whole of his command, especially the Company D boys who had ranged with Cooley” were in sympathy with the former Ranger. “It was even charged that some of the Company D rangers met Cooley at night on the outskirts of Mason and told him they did not care if he killed every damned Dutchman in Mason County who formed part of the mob that had murdered Williamson.” It was an intolerable situation. Jones addressed the troops and advised them that, while the murder of Tim Williamson had been horrible, it did not justify Cooley’s war...


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