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164 chapter 12 “More Blood” After reaching Loyal Valley, Ringo and Cooley separated. Ringo returned to Long Mountain in Llano County where the Farris family hid him for some time. Cooley went on to Fredericksburg where he stopped to eat at the Nimitz Hotel. Accounts from this point differ. Gamel relates in his memoirs that Cooley was heading for Blanco County where he had friends. After he finished eating at the hotel, he purchased a bottle of whiskey. When he got twelve miles out of Fredericksburg, he rode up to a fellow’s house by the name of Moore and got down off his horse and laid down and said, “Moore, I am an awful sick man,” and in a few minutes he was dead. It was supposed that there was poison in the whiskey he purchased . . . 1 Newspapers made no mention of poison. The Dallas Daily Herald reported simply that Cooley “died of congestion of the brain” near Fredericksburg.2 The Houston Daily Telegraph provided additional details. Blanco, June 10, 1876. The notorious Scott Cooley died this morning about one o’clock, at the house of Esquire D. Maddox, nine miles north of Blanco, of brain fever.3 165 “More Blood” In later years, rancher Max Gipson would recall that “Wid” Felps, who considered Cooley a likable man, found him raving in a tree. He brought him to the home of Dan Maddox where Cooley died in considerable agony. The symptoms described by the family story are symptomatic of a metallic poisoning.4 Cooley’s death on June 10, 1876, marks the traditional end of the Hoo Doo War. Cooley’s death closed a chapter in the feud, but it was not the end of hostilities. He had succeeded in his aims, however. Cooley had brought terror to Mason and helped destroy the organized Hoo Doos in the county. Those he held most responsible for the death of Tim Williamson were either dead or had fled the state. With Cooley’s death, the fire and unrelenting hatred he brought to the feud were gone. This, combined with the withdrawal of Baird and his forces, left only the mob and the cattle thieves as organized forces in the area. On the same day Cooley died, an anonymous writer signing himself STOCK RAISER penned a letter to the San Antonio Herald. The letter provides clear evidence that despite the exit of Baird and his allies from the feud, trouble was still anticipated in the region over the cattle. Two-thirds and perhaps three-fourths of the killing and hanging done in Western Texas during the last two or three years grew out of the illegal handling of cattle, and we cannot reasonably hope for permanent peace and prosperity in our stock raising sections, to anything like the degree we would have, if the law were sustained until the people of these sections open their eyes to their own interest and first put their own houses in order and fit themselves to assist in arranging their neighbors premises. For thieves to undertake to make honest men of others is not practicable, and there is no doubt but that nine tenths of the men are violating the law in some way either by branding calves not their own, killing meat not their own, selling cattle without the Power of Attorney the law requires them to have from the owner, changing ear marks and brands, 166 Chapter 12 road branding cattle not tallied and inspected, and driving them out of the country, deliberately stealing whole herds of cattle irrespective of law or ownership, or blotching out brands or counter branding and branding cattle not their own without authority, or in some way violating the law in regard to cattle. Stock Raiser further complained that branding calves, killing beef, and selling cattle without the knowledge and consent of the owner were “almost utterly overlooked.” The letter went on to state that men committing these crimes “are received and toasted in society as honest men.” There are men in the country who never bought a cow in their lives who now have large stocks, and they get them by branding other peoples stock entirely, and if you will show me a man who cow hunts or lives in the country away from a butcher shop who does not brand calves or eat meat not his own and contrary to law, I will show you nine men to one that does do it. . . . Justice must be dealt...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781574413977
Related ISBN
9781574412048
MARC Record
OCLC
133095060
Pages
360
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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