History of Sanger and of Bolivar from which it originated
By Alma Lain Chambers

There was no Sanger until the Santa Fe began stringing its rails. The coming of the railroad made towns and unmade towns. It created Sanger and doomed Bolivar to a village for the rest of its days. But the story of Sanger rightfully begins with Bolivar and other nearby settlements since practically all of the first Sanger inhabitants came from them.

To gather all the threads of history into a whole cloth called history requites the combined and untiring efforts of many who are willing to contribute their help as a labor of love for such work pays no royalty except in the joy it gives us to preserve for our children the shadows of their forefathers in word pictures of the past. We can do a little reminiscing with thanks to those who "remembered when" and to those parents and grandparents who "wrote things down".

The time has surely come when the people of Texas should take more care in preserving the evidences of their own history. Every day old landmarks are destroyed, every day valuable papers are lost which record the deeds and the manner of living of early Texana. So much is already irretrievably lost; we should bestir ourselves while there is time and memory left for these things. Very few are left who can say that their parents came to Texas in wagon trains; that their Grandfathers fought at San Jacinto, built log cabins and blazed roads through the forests.

It was in 1849 after gold was discovered in California, that the great migration began. One imaginative artist shows an emigrant train in 1850 wagon to wagon clear across the continent. The southern route across came through North Texas. It is said that the first trains followed the buffalo trails. Many stopped along the way and others returned to the rich lands that they remembered crossing when the gold diggings failed in California as it did for so many. Trading posts were set up along the routes where there was wood and water and some protection from the hostile Indians who became more and more hostile as they were pushed farther and farther west.

The trading post begat a tavern, the tavern begat a smithy, the smithy begat a wagon yard and soon a bustling little village of 50 or 60 permanent residents arose. Then, when the red man spread his war paint and smeared blood on the wagon trails, the government built a fort. This was how Bolivar was born in 1852, one of six government forts in Denton County. The Bolivar settlement ran in a shoe-string like formation up Clear Creek, above and below the fort. The first store was built by Dr. Daily, doctor, preacher and carpenter. When he soon became too busy to run the store, Sam McAdams took over. He had come from Collin County with relatives the Gambills, Simpsons, Coopers and Curtsingers. People traveled in groups of relatives and neighbors for company and for protection from the Indians. The Gobers settled north of Bolivar and J. H. Gober was captain of the Indian fighters in that direction while Bob and Crow Wright had the south settlement covered.

After the War between the States, the wagons started again. They were slowed by the carpetbaggers, but eventually the stream began to flow more 81 rapidly than ever. Bolivar flourished and at one time had 2 hotels, 2 stage lines, a flourmill, the first in Denton County, a sawmill and a cotton gin. Farmers took up land in all directions. In 1867, the government established a telegraph line from Sherman to Fort Belknap in Young County. A road paralled the line called the "Wire Road". There was a stagecoach that made regular runs on this road for 15 years. There was already the stage line from Gainesville to Denton. The stop in Bolivar was at the Sartin Hotel, a two-story long rambling house in the shape of an ell. Half-way station for this line was at the Cash place on Duck Creek about three miles north of Bolivar and an older settlement. Here the horses were changed. The stagecoach carried the passengers, the mail and sometimes the money for which the stage was "Held Up" by such as Sam Bass.

Settlers coming in this period were Samuel R. Lain from Delta County, whose land ran down to the town on the north. He gave the land for the school when it began to expand in 1884. His neighbor to the west was J. M. Gary, county commissioner for many years, and further to the northwest the Waide settlement of 5 brothers and the Nances led by "Squire Nance", one of the founders of the first bank in Denton and the first county commissioner which place he held for 18 years, followed by J. M. Gary. Others were Ben Bentley, the Garrisons, Arnold and John, who got their land for service in the Mexican War. Farther up Clear Creek the Foresters, Lock and Turner had been established as long as the Bolivar settlement.

Another settlement that contributed many citizens to Sanger was to the east of the town. The Pilot Point settlement was older than Bolivar and between the two was the Sullivan clan. They came in the early 1850s and the settlement was named for them because there were so many of them from the eight sons of Charles Sullivan, the pioneer. Really the Stricklands and Reasoner Jones were first. These families intermarried and many moved to Sanger when it was first formed. A lady from Bolivar said that there was a saying in the early days that Sanger was made up of Sullivans, Readys, and ragweeds. Incidentally, this lady married a Sullivan and moved to Sanger from Bolivar. This brings up the Readys, the only family living on the site that later became Sanger when the railroad was completed in 1887. This was the F. M. Ready who accidentally settled here when confronted by a Texas Norther on their way west. The Readys were from a large group of Kentuckians who took up land in Peters Colony. Many early settlers in Denton were from this group, many of them stopping first in the Gribble Springs community as the McReynolds, Spratts, Duncans, Sprockmans, Peters and Goodes. Others of Kentucky origin came by way of Missouri as the Wilsons, who established the first lumber yard in Denton and in Sanger and the only continuous business in Sanger in 1960.

After the railroad came, the settlers began to come in by train especially from Tennessee. H. D. Greene became an early postmaster and his relatives and friends followed as the Greens, Marions, LeGears, Vaughns, Odoms, and Brownlow Holt, who wrote their deeds, letters back to Tennessee, bringing more settlers and a bookkeeper for the first gin.

The history of most towns is the history of groups of people from the same state or vicinity. There is a group that made up a great number of the farmers of the community when the Metz Ranch from the original Huling land was broken up just before World War I. When Germany became a highly militarized nation, many peace-loving Germans came to America. One group of these settled north of Sanger in the Schmidt community and another south of 82
town in the Blue Mound community, these thrifty and industrious people have added much to the development of the farming community of Sanger.

Groups are named, the Bolivar residents, the Sullivans, the Kentuckians, the Tennessee group and the Germans. These will continue in this history as individual families at more length.

A valuable source of history of Denton County towns is found in the files of the old newspapers of the town and county. The first reference to Sanger is found in the Denton County News in l892 (5 years after the town was formed). To quote: "A pen pusher of the News was in Sanger Saturday and found that place a considerable town. Many improvements have lately been made, the chief of which is the new brick store of Wheeler & Son. Dr. J. C. Rice has just completed a store house and opened a nice stock of drugs. J. E. Henderson is in his new house. Ready, the barber, has moved into a new house, Midler has completed his livery stable, John Johnson will shortly build a hardware store. We were informed that an election will be held Saturday to determine whether the citizens want the town incorporated. Thanks of the News to D. C. Atkins, Dr. Rice, F. M. Ready, John Johnson and Wilson Bros.

J. S. J. Gober was the regular correspondent for the Denton County News. The result of the election for city officers in January 1893 shows the following to be elected: Mayor, W. E. Partlow, Marshal, E. Howard, Aldermen; George Mays, J. H. Stephens, J. R. Phelps, Dr. E. Howard and J. E. Henderson.

Much is written about the artesian wells which were dug in 1893. The first one in the City Park, which was a flowing well, was celebrated by bringing anvils from the blacksmith shop and firing them. By 1895 there were 7 wells in town. Building went on rapidly, for a note is made saying how busy Henry Peters and Andy Wilson were unloading 25 cars of lumber for Wilson Bros. Lumber Co. Two saloons were opened after the town was incorporated. All the business houses faced the railroad. It was a favorite pastime for the cowboys from the Metz Ranch, bolstered no doubt by a refresher from the saloon, to gather in front and lay wagers on every freight train that appeared in view as to whether it would make the grade from the north into Sanger, or would back up and start over. The odds were about even.

In 1895, a fire virtually wiped out Sanger but undaunted, the citizens started over. In 1898, the first bank was opened and in 1900 a two-story 8 room school was finished. The town grew rapidly to 1917, slowed for World War I, again gained in the 20s only to recede in the depression of the early 30s. Ebb and flow is the history of all towns, and Sanger is no exception.

Sanger seems to have been more law-abiding than some of the early towns of Denton County. Petty thievery is reported by Mr. J. W. Koons who was the reporter in the early 19OOs. He says, "some sneak thief has been stealing our coal and stove wood". However, three of the Dalton gang held up the Santa Fe station and got away in a phaeton and a pair of matched greys stolen from Mr. Cooper of northeast of Sanger. They were apprehended in the Choctaw Nation and returned to Denton. This was said to be the breaking up of the Dalton gang. One item says that businessmen had to sleep in their stores to prevent them from being broken into. On the other hand, an ideal picture of the early days is given by Charles Grafton, editor of the Legal Tender, the first newspaper that has been preserved. The Sanger Sentinel 83 was the first paper that only survived a few copies. In 1898, when the Legal Tender issued its first edition, Mr. Grafton says: "The people are happy and industrious and have all the good things to eat that a rich soil can produce. There are no loafers, no dudes and no wallflowers. No one parts his hair in the middle, and wears beau-catchers, curlicues and pompadours. The main street is crowded almost every day with wagons and the merchants are doing a thriving business, giving more for the dollar than you can get in Gainesville, Fort Worth or Dallas. They can do this because they are not keeping up a system of codfish aristocracy. They are not putting on airs with a lot of dude clerks, buggies, and bicycles, pianos and organs. They have organs in the churches and they do most of their singing there. There is one saloon in Sanger and it opens and closes with the stores and we have never seen it open after 9 o'clock at night. The Mayor, marshal and aldermen have resigned for lack of business and the constable is working on the railroad. (He must have been there when the station was robbed)."

Social life consisted of singings at the homes, picnics, and especially the literary societies. A very popular one was the one organized in 1896 when J. T. Chambers came to teach in Sanger. The favorite recreation, however was going to the station to see the train come through. On Sunday evenings, the entire population turned out. Courting was done here and between trains by walking to Ranger Creek east of town or "walking up the railroad".

Churches were organized as early as 1890, three years after the railroad was finished. The Methodist congregation built the first church building in 1896, which was used by all denominations. The Baptist Church was built in 1898 and the Presbyterian in 1904. History of each church has been written and will be added to this file. Sanger during her 75 years has seen additions, subtractions and divisions, days of sorrow and days of celebration, with famous sons and some not so famous. She has survived Indian raids, three wars and a depression. She is standing firmly planted in the deep rich soil that surrounds her with her head held high in the knowledge and pride of a united citizenship who love her. (Shades of Charles Grafton!)

Given at Wednesday Study Club dinner honoring husbands, Nov. 1955}
Alma Lain Chambers

[Dr. W. W. Sanger of Oklahoma City, Okla. came through Sanger recently and wrote me about the name.]
The town was called Huling at first. There was another town of the name in Texas so it was changed to New Bolivar, but the P. 0. Dept. thought this confusing and it was rejected. By the time this had taken place the railroad was ready to put a name to the town site so they named it Sanger for Sanger Bros. at Dallas without further consulting the "natives". This is thought to be the reason for their selection of the name. In 1881, Sanger Bros. were the best known merchants in the state. 84 Sanger Bros. were established in Texas soon after the Civil War and as the Houston and Texas Central Railroad was built they followed it from one terminus to another, Houston to Waco to Calvert to Dallas. The Santa Fe were anxious for a good town in the north part of Denton County since the county seat of Denton had not made a bid for the railroad and since they owned much Denton County land as was the custom for railroads as they built through a county. The Santa Fe in competition with the H&TC might have been making a bid to Sanger Bros. to come further north in the state. A letter from a civic club to Sanger Bros. when the club was beautifying the park resulted in a gift of $20.00 which is the only recognition so far as can be learned of the namesake of Sanger Bros.

Then he cites a warranty deed dated Feb. 20. 1840 Republic of Texas, County of Jasper, whereby on the consideration of $700.00 cash in hand, Reuben Bebee transfers with all legal wording his right to "my head right in land granted to me as a colonist or the various colonies by right of my emigration to Texas in 1828". After the death of Thomas Huling, his wife as heir has correct deeds made to her of the community property of her husband and herself. Mr. Koons: Community Property, Abstract No. 29, Head right, Reuben Bebee, 4805 Acres, Value $450.00

(Mr. Koons note follows: There is a long list of land certificates, head right certificates in various counties in the state of Texas, ...none of which affects this title and of course is not wanted in this abstract.

Then the suit follows in detail with the accusation that the following lot holders did not have a clear title to their lots.

Mrs. E. Huling
W. A. Garrison
M. B. Huling
B. S. Gay
J. W. Jagoe
J. W. Hall
J. R. Sullivan
B. W. Hampton
J. W. Sullivan
S. G. Holcomb
R. A. Stephens
E. E. Howard
Mrs. M. M. Carroll
B. D. Jones
Jacob Elsasser
P. F. Saltsman
0. A. Hern
J. H. Hughes
Ed Wilson
Jess Murphey
Mrs. Lorena McDermit & husband
J. A. Johnson
P. F. McDermit
N. P. Kirkland
R. B. Alfree
J. D. McCracken
J. A. Brownlee
Geo. Mayes
W. D. Brockman
N. W. Mayes
J. F. Campbell
B. W. McReynolds
Mrs. S. A. DeWitt
A. J. Nance
M. F. DeWitt
J. W. Nicholson
A. H. Goff
S. B. Peter
W. B. Sartin
J. W. Peter
J. H. Sullivan
W. E. Partlow
G. W. Sullivan
R. S. Seal
J. C. Rice
Pleasant Seal
J. D. Ready
C. E. Brown
W. Wheeler
Mrs. America Sullivan
J. B. Wilson
J. C. Rice Adm. B. 0. Sullivan, ded.
F. T. Wilson Knox and Alexander 85
O. M. White
Mrs. Almonta Abney and her husband William McGee
Dr. J. A. Abney
J. T. Chambers

The greatest asset of the Republic and State of Texas was its vast public domain. Immediately after the establishment of the state, the General Land Office was opened for the management of the land holdings of Texas. Grants were authorized to those who fought at San Jacinto and at Bexar, and to the heirs of the Alamo and Goliad. These were called bounties and donations. Then the head rights of those who came as colonists or to whom land was granted. These grants were called 1st, 2nd and 3rd class head rights.

Reuben Beebee had a head right. He lived in Louisiana and perhaps never came to Texas at all. His land was perhaps located by the "stone dropping" process or was located by Thomas Huling who purchased it from the Beebee heirs.

Thomas Huling was a veteran of the Texas Revolution. During the Revolution, he transported ammunition and provisions for the army, using his own keelboat in mak1ng the trip to and from New Orleans for that purpose. After the Revolution, he served in the Fifth Congress of the Republic of Texas, 1840-41, representing the Jasper District where be then lived. Thomas Huling was granted land for his service and because he "believed in Texas and its future" he purchased many acres from grantees or their he1rs who were ready to sell the "land overrun by Indians". In the book on first patents, Thomas Huling's name appears in many counties with the larger portion in Jasper County and Lampasas County where his grants of "leagues and labors" were centered.
How and when the Beebee heirs sold to Thomas Huling is not known but that they did and the plot included the present town of Sanger is a matter of record. That Huling was an accurate and capable business man is shown by the fact that in 1896, the Beebee heirs that "Texas wasn't so bad after all and they wanted their land back. Mr. J. W. Koons, lawyer at Sanger. says the suit was merely a formality since Mrs. Elizabeth Huling, heir of her late husband, Thomas B. Huling, had all property deeds and records in order. This "unnecessary trial", according to Mr. Koons, is very valuable to us now as historians for the suit names every lot holder in Sanger in 1896. The First National Bank is to be congratulated for preserving these documents and historical segments of it will be published in this series.

Mr. Huling died November 2, 1865 at the Lampasas home where he and his wife, Elizabeth, had moved in 1855. They lived on the Sulphur Fork of the Lampasas River and their home was a haven from the Indian depredations that were prevalent in those days. These were no harder than the Reconstruction days when Elizabeth Huling, along with many Texans lost much property under the carpetbag rule. Elizabeth Hu1ing developed a financial acumen and mental grasp similar to that of her deceased husband and established her estate in various parts of Texas including Denton County.

When the Santa Fe Railroad came through the Huling land and it was to be designated as a town site, Mrs. Huling's son-in-law, Mr. Bartlett, who was a surveyor came to Sanger town site and with the aid of the County Surveyor, Elijah Biggerstaff, they laid off the lots. Mrs. Huling had leased the north end of the town to Jack Sullivan, a rancher and cattleman of east of the town site. She deeded to him a plot of several acres to compensate him for his cattle lease and requested him to build a two-story 86 house on it to stimulate lot owners. This house to be a replica of the beautiful home he lived in on the Pilot Point road. He did this and the deeds to this section say "Sullivan Addition".

A large plot in the south part of Sanger was sold to Malachi Hampton and called the Hampton Addition to Sanger. Malachi Hampton came to Sanger in the early 1890s from Van Alystyne, Texas where his father was a drugg1st. He was the son of a pioneer who came to Texas before it was a state and settled in Fannin County. His son, Malachi, a pioneer of the westward movement followed in his father's footsteps. Deeds may say 0P, which is Original Plot Reuben Bebee Survey, or Sullivan Addition or Hampton Addition until we have Easley and other later additions to Sanger.

As we noted in the beginning, we will connect the history with individuals who made Sanger. We perhaps have never given Elizabeth Huling her dues in being the first to encourage the development of Sanger. She donated to the town early church lots, the original plot of the cemetery and the city park. Just now when historical groups all over the state are marking places of note and dedicating them to pioneers who gave them, we in Sanger should surely mark our "Elizabeth Huling City Park" and give it the dignity that it deserves.

E1izabeth Huling was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky in 1820. She was six years old when her mother died and was reared by her uncles and aunts among whom were Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Moppin of Paris, Kentucky, who were going to Texas in 1833 and asked her to come along. They settled near San Augustine, where she attended Mrs. Milton's boarding school. When her uncle died and her aunt returned to Kentucky, Elizabeth Huling chose to remain in Texas with her friends the Carters and the family of X. B. Mudd, then hold1ng the office of sheriff under the Alcalde Almonte. She was an eyewitness of the "Runaway Scrape" and tells of her experiences in an interview given to her by Texas State Historical Assn. in 1892 when she was a member of the first annual meeting of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in Lampasas, Texas.

Elizabeth and Thomas Huling had eleven children and at the time at the interview there were those, all living in Texas. Mrs. Rebecca Huling Hill of Lampasas; Mrs. Almonta Huling Abney or Brownwood; W. M. Huling and Proctor H. Huling of Lampasas; and M. B. Huling of Toyah.

Of this family, Almonta Huling, whose first husband was Mr. Bartlett, the early surveyor of Sanger, and whose second husband was Dr. A. A. Abney, lived in Denton County for a while. Dr. Abney is listed on the list of lot holders in 1896. Mrs. Harry Granaghan of Sanger is a granddaughter of Elizabeth Hul1ng and lives on the original Huling land.

When Sanger was being plotted and lots sold, there was a young school teacher at Green Valley who was a college graduate, a rather unusual accomplishment at that early day, who had also quite a natural inclination and knowledge of law. J. W. Koons was called on more and more to make deeds, appraise the land, provide abstracts, etc. for the new town of Sanger. Early in the 1890s he moved to Sanger, first as a schoolteacher but soon as a full-time lawyer. His accuracy and painstaking ability was 87
most valuable to the county officers and surveyors and he represented most of Sanger citizens when necessary in the county courts.

In 1896, when as he have said the heirs of Reuben Bebee decided to see if they could find a flaw in the land sold to Thomas Hul1ng, Mr. Koons was the attorney for the case. These are some of the most interesting facts about the land of Sanger as Mr. Koons prepared them for his case and then put them for safe keeping in the vault of the bank where they are now kept. How farsighted of this pioneer lawyer of note!

The field notes made by Charles C. Lacy, District Surveyor, John H. Dunham and Hardin Carter, Chain Carriers, dated May 2, 1858, recorded in Book A, p. 128 Surveyor Records of Denton County gives the location and description of the land Surveyor No.29, Head right certificate No. 543, showing one League and Labor for 4605 acres of land patented to the heirs of Reuben Bebee, patent No. 168, Abstract No. 29, Vol. No. 19, Cert. No. 3/43, all given in the description of the Reuben Bebee Survey by J. W. Koons, Abstracter.

Mr. Koons note at close of extensive papers:

Pretended adverse title to which no one pays any attention and loan companies lend money on land in the Reuben Bebee Survey without regard to this pretended title suit. J. W. Koons Abstractor.

This is a part of the land grant study in Denton County by the Historical Survey Committee.

This one might be interesting to our Krum neighbors. On March 13, l857, Bounty Warrant #782 was issued by F. P. Brewister, acting Attorney General, granting for the State of Texas, 1920 acres to the heirs of Charles Despallier. This grant was made to the heirs of Despallier for his services in the Battle of the Alamo. Charles Despallier was killed defending the Alamo in the year 1836. He was a private, an aid to Travis, who cited him for bravery. His younger brother, Blaz Philip Despallier participated in the storming of Bexar, Dec. 1835. He was a captain in York's Co. Their home was Rapides Parish, La. Their mother Madame Candida Despallier died of cholera with her other son, Victor, before they received their bounty.

A part of this 1920 acre plot became the town of Krum, Texas. A long drawn out suit for the land here is recorded. Texas Archives, Austin, Texas.

The editor of the Sanger Courier is a young man who looks to the future but he also l1kes to look back and recount the way that we have come. He is more than commonly interested in the life of our city in the 77 years of its existence and asks that we have a column in the Sanger paper recounting this history.

To gather all the threads of history of a community and weave them into a whole cloth requ1res the combined and untiring efforts of many who are willing to contribute their help as a labor of love. Such work pays no 88 royalty except in the joy it gives to preserve for our children the shadows of their forefathers in word pictures of the past.

With thanks to those who remembered and to those whose parents and grandparents "wrote things down", we will have from time to time the results of the gathering of the history of Sanger, Texas.

Many items have been extracted from old newspapers from the libraries in Denton as Mr. J. W. Koons and Mr. J. S. J. Gober were quite prolific in their "news items" of Sanger in the 1890s. Mr. Easley has a paper in the bank giving the lot holders in Sanger in 1896; which he has said we might publish.

There was no Sanger until the Santa Fe started stringing its rails. The Legislature in 1873 passed an act incorporating the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad, granting to it sixteen sections per mile of completed road, the road having 32.9 miles in Denton County for which it received 526 sections equal to three-fifths of the amount of land in Denton County. The railroad followed the Chisholm and other trails through Oklahoma and Texas since it was the growing cattle industry that attracted them to the states.

January, 1887, saw the first trains come through Sanger. One family lived here at the time. The family of G. M. Ready who had moved up from Green Valley, heard the railroad was coming and decided to stay. Ready had the first store where the post office was set up for Sanger and Bolivar. The three first business houses fronted the railroad, Ready's Store, Hickey's Hotel and Campbell's Blacksmith Shop.

With dreams of a metropolis in mind, the town was incorporated with Mr. Partlow, the first mayor, though he did more marrying than Mayoring, since he was a justice of the peace, also.

Taxes proved too much for the new town. Borrowing to expand a private business is progress, but in a public business it is considered poor management and waste. Disputes over city planning are as old as the proverbial Rome that wasn't built in a day. Romulus wanted seven hills, perhaps Remus wanted only five, seven would cost too much, so Romulus killed Remus and went on with his seven hills. So the City of Sanger was killed not with a spear but with votes almost before it started. But it continued to grow despite the fact that it could only be called settlement and not a city.

In the County Library is a directory of Texas towns in 1890. Sanger, 1890-91: On Clear Creek, on the GC & SF Railroad in Denton County, 12 miles nw of Denton, the judicial seat and banking point, contains 3 churches and a school, a steam grist mill and gin. Pop. 100

Express: Wells Fargo & Co. Telegraph: Western Union.

Businesses: F. M. Ready, Postmaster
W. B. Brockman, Drugs and Groceries
E. Howard, Physician
J. Howard, Dentist
J. Parvin, Blacksmith 89
Peters Bros., Grist Mill & Gin
J. W. Peters, General Store
F. M. Ready, Hotel
EWH Shelburne, Physician
Wilson Bros. and Partlow, General Store and Lumber

Compared to Bolivar in same record:
Bolivar, population 150.
4 churches, a district school, a steam grist mill, cotton gin, flour mill, mail daily from Sanger, nearest shipping point.

Business at Bolivar:
George Harper, Postmaster
Wm. Chadwell. Carpenter
Chadwell & Gambill, Groceries and Drugs
T. Cook, Blacksmith
Lock Forester, General Store
J. P. Knox, Physician
Knox and Alexander, Druggists
John Mercer, Millwright
Jesse Sartin, Hotel (2 stage lines up to the time the railroad came)
T. Wheeler, Cotton Gin

Land owners registered at Sanger, W. E. Boswell and B. D. Jones while Bolivar had more than 30 listed with land acreage: These included J. F. Curtsinger, L. S. Forester, W. S. Doyle, Fortenberrys, Gibsons, Mrs. Jane Howard, the Wades, Wrights, Gobers, Garrisons, Murphy, Pollard, A. J. Nance, Gustave Ranch, J. P. Knox, Jarvis, Hubbard, Hall, Holcomb and others.

The pioneer is a generality. He embraces a class of individuals having some fundamentals in common, differing widely in others.

Reliable accounts eulogize him. Equally reliable accounts contain little or no praise. Some make him a John Knox in religion, a Franklin in thrift, and a Jefferson in education. Others describe him as having no religion, as being shiftless, ignorant and quarrelsome. Both accounts contain truth. Both accounts contain inaccuracy. These pioneers were individuals. Truth demands that caution is necessary. The best person to tell about him is a descendant. For that reason, Editor Kite and I think that you, the reader, should tell of early events as they directly affected your own family and of their part in such events as the last Indian fight in Denton and Cooke Counties.

The record says that when the Indians made the raid and killed A. H. Fortenberry, they were followed by a group of settlers and driven back to Fort Sill, where they were placed by the Federal Government about 1860.

P. A. Lughinbyhl tells of his father's part in this Indian fight. "The Indian raiders were sighted early in the morning. Demesey Jackson gave the alarm. Chris Lughinbyhl was building the Keep and Terry Mill, a well-known early landmark on the Mill Branch, tributary to Clear Creek. The mill was established by the firm of Keep & Terry and the first grist mill to be established in this part of Denton County. In Oct. 1868 when Chris 90 Lughinbyhl was working on the mill and heard the sound of Indians. He quickly hid in the shavings and lumber piles until they passed. In a few minutes, the posse came by which was following the Indians. Lughinbyhl immediately got his horse, which luckily was Lughinbyhl was working on the mill and heard the sound of Indians. He quickly hid in the shavings and lumber piles until they passed. In a few minutes, the posse came by which was following the Indians. Lughinbyhl immediately got his horse, which luckily was overlooked by the Indians in the haste, and rode with the men, about 100 (30) in number, who followed the Indians who rode as far south as the Denton-Decatur Road when they turned and headed back for Indian Territory." The Record Chronicle gives a list on men on this ride in special edition, 1958, but many are not named and among these is Chris Lughinbyhl. He came to Denton County in its early days and died May 28, 1910 at 1 PM according to the ledger of the late Dr. G. D. Lain.

A settler who was riding hard to join the posse was not so lucky, for A. H. Fortenberry was killed on the prairie north of White's Creek just before he joined the posse.

Mr. Fortenberry served in the War Between the States as a Confederate soldier, came to Texas from Arkansas and in his civil life was a farmer and stockman. When he lost his life, he was one of a company of thirty men who were following 300 Indians in the northwest part of Denton County. (Fort Worth and the Texas Northwest, Vol. 4, p. 454). In Souvenir of Texas, p. 420, the daughter of A. J. Fortenberry, (then Mrs. Jane Howard) says the number of Indians was 600! She also says that the savages piled grass on him, scalped him and burned him to death!

Another pioneer who joined this posse was the grandfather of Mrs. Margie Brantley, Mr. Bentley, who hid in a creek bed until the Indians passed and then joined the posse. This reminds us of the stories which the late Mr. Ben Bentley told about early days in Bolivar which will follow in this series.

Town of Sanger, Texas

Origin of land.
In an abstract of title prepared for J. R. Sullivan by J. W. Koons, attorney, November 23, 1907, there is a complete history of land acquisition for the town of Sanger, "formerly called Huling". (This abstract is on file in First National Bank, Sanger, Texas.)

In the district court of Lampasas County, Texas, Dec. 20, 1874, a decree dated Feb. 20, 1874, filed Dec. 14, 1878, recorded Book L Page deed records of Denton, County, Texas contains the following data. This was a petition from Elizabeth Huling, widow of Thomas B. Huling who died Nov. 5, 1865, asking that she be appointed administrator of her husband's estate consisting of "lands, land certificates, headlights in various counties in Texas and also a long list of personal property none of which affects this title (J. W. Koons), except the following:

Property described is as follows:
Abstract No.29, Head right: Reuben Bebee, 4605 Acres.
Certificate of acknowledgment:
The Republic of Texas County of Jasper Feb. 20, 1840
Know all men by these presents that I, Reuben Bebee of the County and Republic aforesaid did for the consideration of $700.00 to me paid in hand by Thomas B. Huling, of the County and Republic aforesaid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do by these presents grant, bargain, sell, alien and convey and confirm unto the said Thomas B. Huling, his heirs and assigns all of my right title and estate of me and my heirs in and to my Headlight in land Granted to me under the Colonist Laws, as a colonist of the various colonies by Emigration to Texas in the year of 1828 and am entitled to one league and labor of land and I do hereby convey the same to the said Huling..............

First lot sales recorded in the abstract.
Mrs. Elizabeth Huling to C. Metz and brother, Cooke County.
" to J. W. French and J. W. Wilson
" to J. R. Sullivan
" to W. E. Partlow, J. B. Wilson, A. M. Wilson
" to Almonta B. Abney, Lampasas County, wife of Dr. J. A. Abney

Note: Almonta B. Abney was daughter of Elizabeth Huling. ALC

Mr. Koons includes in this abstract all papers relating to what he calls "a pretended adverse title which no one pays any attention to". In this suit filed by the heirs of Reuben Bebee in 1896 is a list of lot holders in Sanger of whom the heirs mentioned are complaining:

Mrs. E. Huling, M. B. Huling, J. W. Jagoe, J. R. Sullivan, J. W. Sullivan, R. A. Stephens, Mrs. M. M. Carroll, Jacob Elsasser, 0. A. Hern, Ed Wilson, Mrs. Lorena McDermit and her husband, P. P. McDermit, R. B. Alfree, J. A. Brownlee, W. D. Brockman, J. F. Campbell, S. A. Dewitt (Mrs.), M. F. DeWitt, A. H. Goff, W. A. Garrison, B. S. Gay, J. W. Hall, B. W. Hampton, 92
S. G. Holcomb, E. Howard, B. D. Jones, P. F. Saltsman, J. H. Hughes, Jess Murphy, J. A. Johnson, N. P. Kirkland, J. D. McCracken, George Mays, N. W. Mays, B. W. McReynolds, A. J. Nance, J. W. Nicholson, S. B. Peter, J. W. Peter, W. E. Partlow, R. S. Seal, Pleasant Seale, W. B. Sartin, B. H. Sullivan, G. W. Sullivan, Dr. J. C. Rice, J. D. Ready, W. Wheeler, J. B. Wilson, F. T. Wilson, 0. M. White, C. E. Brown, Mrs. America Sullivan, Knox and Alexander, a firm composed of J. P. Knox and William Alexander, Mrs. Almonta Abney and her husband, Dr. J. A. Abney, William McGee and J. T. Chambers.

{The suits were nullified. The list names the first inhabitants of Sanger and vicinity in 1896. ALC)

Mrs. Elizabeth Huling gave lots for all church buildings in Sanger, Texas, the city park and the original plot of the cemetery. ALC

Full description of this land and all abstracts is in the Texas Archives, Austin, Texas.