William J.] 1829-1908 [Maltby.

Captain Jeff; or, Frontier life in Texas with the Texas Rangers; some unwritten history and facts in the thrilling experiences of frontier life online

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Online LibraryWilliam J.] 1829-1908 [MaltbyCaptain Jeff; or, Frontier life in Texas with the Texas Rangers; some unwritten history and facts in the thrilling experiences of frontier life → online text (page 14 of 14)
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of yourself and family. We come to let you know that such a
country as Texas does exist, that its people are law-abiding and moral,
that they welcome you to come, that your religion or politics will not
debar you from the best society. But come to make two blades of grass
grow where only one grew before, not expecting to gather grapes
of thorns or figs of thistles, but expecting each tree and vine will
bring forth fruit after its own kind, when properly cared for and
planted. To all such we say: Come; we pledge to you a country


where you can sit down under your own vine and fig tree, where
none can or dare to molest.

Texas rolled into Chicago Sunday night on wheels. It came in
three large red railroad coaches, which were hauled along the Atchi-
son, Topeka and Santa Fe tracks to Sixteenth street. There the
three cars stood all day yesterday, blinding the vision of people that
flashed by in passenger trains. Some time to-day the cars will be
dragged further into the city and by to-night may be resting on
the lake front if Stuyvesant Fish makes no objection. Yesterday old
Capt. W. J. Maltby, who went into the ' Eio Grande country in
1850, and for a long while commanded a troop of the State rangers
along that ragged and reckless frontier, wrapped his arm around an ear
of corn in one of the cars, and said, "Yes suh, we raise something
in Texas now besides h 1." Captain M&ltby, after tumbling about
with six-shooters on his hips for a quarter of a century, has now settled
down on one of the farms he owns in the Abilene country, and is
one of the famous and successful horticulturists and agriculturists in
the big, sprawling State. The Capt'n has charge of the coaches of
the Texas exhibit. The display is made by the Texas Eeal Estate
Association and will be rolled around the country for a whole year.
Col. W. B. Slosson, director and manager of the association, is in
charge, and there are living with him on the coaches : Emigrant
Agent T. A. Wilkinson, of the Eio Grande Bailway ; ex-Governor B, B.
Hubbard, who lectures on the exhibit; W. M. Fagle, the press agent,
and W. E. Boberts, nephew and private secretary of the governor
and advertising distributer. Captain Maltby is likewise on the red
train and also all over it.


Something of Everything.

There is everything in those cars. There are products from the
Texas plains and the Texas penitentiaries; from the Texas fields and
the Texas factories. The products are of this year's growth, and -con-
tain specimens of corn, cotton, wheat, oats, rye, barley, walnut, white
and red oak, bois d'arc, whatever that is, cedar, gum, dogwood, ash,
holly, persimmon, plum, pine, maple, water-live-oak, white hickory
and slippery elm wood. Then there are grey granite, sandstone and
limestone, hydraulic limestone, fire clay, lignite, vegetable marl, red
and yellow ochre, brown laminate, brown hematite, coal, brick and
vitrified or paving brick, iron ore from 40 to 67, mill iron, silver
gray, mottled and car wheels. There are also articles representing
the manufacture of leather and blankets, all the grades of cotton goods,
flour, packing and canning house products. And right beside these
ranged along through the cars are apples, peaches, pears, plums,
grapes, quinces, beans, tomatoes, okra, onions, peppers, bananas,
oranges, lemons, cucumbers and muskmelons. Captain Maltby has a
muskmelon raised on his farm, which is three feet long and he doesn't
brag on it either. He has it sealed in a jar now. It was growing
when he started but it grew so fast and furiously that the people on
the car couldn't breathe. The Cap'n also had some growing grapes
when the train left Galveston three weeks ago, but in coming out of
Lincoln, II!., the other day, the colonel left the door open, tho
vines ran out, wrapped themselves a~uv,ut the telegraph wires, and dur-
ing the electric shock which the inhabitants of the car received, the
vines grew so rapidly that they dragged the train back into Spring-


"These hyah yeahs of cawn," said Captain Maltby yesterday,
slapping a oig fat jar in one of the cars, "were raised by me down on
my fahm in the Abilene country this spring. The first plat of six
acres was planted March 15th, the second plat of six acres was
planted April 1st; the third of six acres, April 15th; the fourth of
fci^ acres, May 1st and the fifth of four acre^ May 15th. Theah's nine
varieties of large field corn in that jah suh, and I consider it the
finest exhibit of cawn evah made. I didn't raise it for an exhibit, but
just to keep up a succession of roastin' yeahs. The ground was
sod land, and wasn't cross-broke neitha, suh. It never was plowed
but twice, and then with an ordinary cultivator. Now this hyah yeah
of cawn, suh," continued the captain, taking down a jar with a roasting
ear in it that looked like a squash, "is the largest yeah of cawn in
the world. I raised that myself, suh, and originated it. That
sort of cawn in Texas is known as the Maltby cawn or the Abilene
country nubbin. This yeah has thirty perfect rows on it and the grains
are more than three quarters of an inch long. That's only second
yeah cawn, suh, and ordinary cawn only has about eighteen rows to the
yeah. Then these are nubbins." The captain plays with kernels of
corn that might make a set of false teeth for a horse. These are just
a few features of the exhibit with which these men are inviting
the people from the northwest to Texas.

New Ideas of Texas.

A stuifed tarpon, the largest game fish in the world, stares at their
visitors from the door. This one is five feet eight inches long and
weighs 110 pounds. This, too, is the largest tarpon ever caught that


anybody knows of. It was hooked at Aransas Pass near Rockport.
Then there is a pretty table of inlaid woods, exquisite in its workman-
ship, and contains twenty-nine native Texas woods. It was made
by a convict in the penitentiary, and contains 178,889 pieces of wood.

The vividly "painted cars are strung with mottos. Some of them

Fifty dollar fine and imprisonment for carrying concealed weapons
in Texas.

One sheep ranch in Texas larger than the State of Rhode Island.

No card playing in Texas.

Taxes in Texas 20 cents on the $100.

If reciprocity has thousands for Massachusetts it has millions
for Texas.

Out west is gone. Come to Texas.

Texas laws are better inforced than any other State.

The cars are covered with Texas scenes painted in oil. They will
remain here eight days. Captain M'altby said there wasn't much
liquor drank in Texas any more. Chicago Herald.

The following letter complimentary to Capt. W. J. Maltby was
received Friday:

Petersburg, 111., Aug. 11, 1891.
Messrs. H. Henderson and F. Bompart.

My Dear Sirs : I wish to say in behalf of the "Texas Car Exhibit"
(to which you and others have been and are still warm contributors)
that the accession of my friend and old comrade, Capt. W. J. Maltby,


of Callahan County, to our corps, was a most fortunate circumstance
for all Texas. He is an old Texan and veteran; a soldier of the
Mexican war and a gallant ranger and captain of one of our best
companies during my administration as governor from 1876 to 1879.
and since then, known throughout Texas as one of the most success-
ful farmers and horticulturists in the famous Abilene country of
Western Texas. All these antecedents and qualifications make his of-
ficial connection with these exhibits of "Texas on Wheels" a very
winning card. The exhibit so far has been warmly welcomed and has
excited great inquiry about our whole State. It will bear good fruit.
I am glad of the opportunity of thanking the Abilene friends of
the exhibit for sending us Captain Maltby. Yours truly,


Captain W. J. Maltby, of Abilene, an ex-captain of the State
rangers, is with us, and is doing valiant service in the cause of
Te^as. He never fails to draw a crowd around him when recounting
hb early experiences in Texas, as contrasted with the present. The
fact that he is a "sucker" gives him authority to speak by the book,
and he is listened to with attention. He was born in Sangamon
County, in this State, and to-day he is resting by the smiling waters
of the Sangamon river, the first his eyes ever had sight of.



Admiral, Texas, Jan. 1, 1902.
Col. I. R. Hitt, Colorado City, Texas.

Dear Sir: As per your request, I herewith give you a brief re-
cital of my acquaintance and transactions with the Indians. Since the
year 1836 to the year of 1876, in. my early life, my lines were cast in
close proximity to the five civilized tribes and almost daily from 1836 to
1846 was among them, until I was perfectly familiar with them. In
the year of 1849, I was employed by the acting quartermaster of
the United States army at Fort Smith, Ark., in locating and hauling
supplies to the different government posts, located in the Indian
Nation and Texas, and was in such employ continuously for several
years and while in such employment, I became acquainted with the
friendly or the partly friendly tribes, to-wit: Caddos, Wacoes, Ton-
queays, Lipans, Delawares, etc.

In the year of 1852 or 1853 a man by the name of Stell or Snell
made a treaty with the Comanches and Kiowas and set up a trading


post on the Clear Fork of the Brazos river half way between the
pests of Belknap and Phantom Hill, about forty miles from either
post. Shortly after Stell or Snell had established his trading post
and had got the aforesaid Indians to the number of 1000 to 2000
to come in,, I visited the camp or trading post in company with
Maj. Albert Sidney Johiiston, who wa$ then paymaster in the
United States army and paid off the troops at the following posts,
to-wit: Fort Crogan in Hamilton valley, Burnett County; Phantom
Hill, Fort Belknap, Fort Graham and Fort Worth. Major John-
ston remained in or at SnelFs or StelPs trading post one day and night
and I studied the Indians very close as they were markedly different
in many respects to any Indians I had ever seen. They did not molest
us in any way but let us leave them in peace, but had they known
the treasure in gold and silver that Major Johnston had with him
this letter never would have been written; in proof, some short
time after they killed Mr. Agent, looted his camp and went back
to their former place and station. In 1855, Major Eough of the
United States Rifle Corps was sent out to guard the road from Fort
Clark to El Paso. I was sent with him. We had a fight with the
Muscalaries Apaches near Eagle Springs, and killed ten of them
and piled them up in one pile, and there was a marked difference
between them and the Indians that I saw at SnelFs or StelPs trad-
ing post in 1856. I quit the United States service and built a stage
stand to keep the men and mules of the Overland Mail that ran
from San Antonio to El Paso. My stand was at Fort Clark. One
night the Indians came in and stole all the mail, mules and all
the horses but one, and that one was mine, and a good one, which
was soon saddled and mounted and the news carried to the com-
manding officer at Fort Clark. He ordered a scout at once and we


took the trail north, pressed it hard for thirty or thirtyfive miles,
overtook them, had a fight with them, killed two of them, one of
them being dressed in my clothes that he had stolen out of the washtub
at Fort Clark. The guide or trailer on this occasion was an old
Mexican that the Comanches had stolen when he was a boy, and
they had made a slave of him for many years. He scalped the
dead Indians; he said they were Comanches and he wanted to get
even with them for their many cruelties while he was their prisoner.
They had the marks and peculiarities of the Indians that I saw
at StelPs or SnelFs trading post. In the year of 1857 I got married
and settled in Burnett County and went to stock raising, and from
that time on to 1876 was more or less in pursuit of Indians and in
that number of years I necessarily saw some dead ones and live ones,
and I pronounce all that I saw the same Indians that Stell or Snell
had made the treaty with, and he said they were Comanches and
Kiowas. In the spring of 1874 the State of Texas raised and equip-
ped a battalion of State rangers. I faised and commanded one of
the companies. My post of duty was over the counties of Brown.
Coleman, Callahan, Runnels, Taylor, Tom Green, etc., and in the
first six months of my service I had six separate engagements with the
same tribes of Indians that I saw in or at StelPs or SnelPs trading

Ask any old settler that you come in contact with if he had ever seen
or heard of the Big Foot Indian that made the big tracks for many
years over the counties of Burnett, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, San
Saba, Coleman, Brown, etc. I myself, as one of a party have run
or trailed him many times before the Civil War, many times during
the Civil War, and on and on till the summer of 1874, when with
my ranger company we met him and his band in Runnels County
and the ranger charge was made in which the noted Big Foot


Indian fell and an old war scarred veteran of sixty or sixty-five years
was mortally wounded, and fell into our hands. I spe.ak the Mexi-
can language and I had a Mexican in my company that spoke good
English. The old wounded Indian spoke good Mexican and he
seemed to be willing and anxious to talk. My men stood around while
myself and Mexican Joe questioned him.

He said that he was a Comanche and his name was Jape or Japee,
that Big Foot, the dead brave was a Kiowa chief, and that they had
left .Fort Sill four or five days before. He said that he or they
had raided the settlements for many years, and that- the many scars
on his person were made by white men in the settlements. He said
he helped to kill Wafford Johnson and family on Dog Branch,
Burnett County, the Blalock or Whitlock family near Llano County,
the Todd family in Mason County, and last, Bill Williams' family in
Brown County, in 1874.

He said that they had carried one of Bill Williams' girls away
off and hung her to a tree, which proved to be as he stated.

The way we put the questions to him in regards the killing of the
different families and his answers led us all to believe at the time
that he helped to do it all, as he could give the direction, the distance,
the locations and the length of time, number killed, etc. He an-
swered every question as readily as he could, but one, and that was.
the name of his Big Foot Chief. He said that he was a Kiowa
chief but his name he would not tell.

We killed Indians of the same tribes while in this service at
different times and they all had nice red blankets branded U. S.
Truly yours, W. J. MALTBY.

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Online LibraryWilliam J.] 1829-1908 [MaltbyCaptain Jeff; or, Frontier life in Texas with the Texas Rangers; some unwritten history and facts in the thrilling experiences of frontier life → online text (page 14 of 14)