Manuscripts/Mixed Material [A. Harry Williams]
Edward Townsend P.W.
District # 8
page no. 1
A. Harry Williams (personal interview)
In 1865, there was only one village in the southern part of what is known as McLennan County. It consisted of one small store, a blacksmith shop, and church was held occasionally out under some Live Oak Trees. The principal merchandise sold was brandied cherries, Hostetter Bitters, tobacco, and groceries. This village was then known as Masterville, now Bruceville, Texas. There were not many people living in its trade territory and these people were joined together for offensive and defensive purposes.
During the war, bushwhackers, army deserters and other bad and dangerous characters drifted into this part of the country. At this time, E. Tom Cox, a great hunter, lived at Masterville. One of his neighbors, Henry Williams owned a few negroes. Cox and Williams trained the dogs by having them run one of these negroes. These dogs were very useful in deer hunts. In a deer hunt, old Roller, the leader of the pack, chased the deer into the hidden camp of these outlaws in one of the upper marsh thickets on South Cow Bayou. The outlaws recognized the dog as being one of Tom Cox's “negro dogs” and killed him. They decided that Cox was out after them with the dogs, so they sent him a warning note, which was dropped in a store in Waco village where Cox and Williams were known to trade. The note stated: " We have heard and we know you have been hunting and trying to run us [down?] with “negro dogs”. So we are sending you this note and now warning you that if you three D—D—D— don't leave this county and that at once, we will shoot your d——- hides so full of holes that they won't hold corn shucks.” This open note was signed by a dozen of these known bad men. The store keeper put a boy on a horse to take the note to Cox and Williams and their close companion, Bill Long.