Surrounded: The Dead Files

On June 8, 2012, The Dead Files episode “Surrounded” on Travel Channel featured a ghost investigation on some land in Cedar Park, Texas. Regardless of your opinion on ghosts, this episode features some good history about the area including Native Maericans and KKK activites. The show also has great shots of the local flora and fauna giving a nice view of the countryside.

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August Neilson

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From: June E. Tuck (jparks@neto.com)

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Death of August Neilson

This death report from The Southern Intelligencer, May 24, 1866

On Thursday last, John Carlson and August Neilson, neighbors living on Brushy Creek in Williamson County, had a difficulty at Carlson’s house which resulted in the killing of Neilson, who was shot through the head causing instant death. It seems there was an old feud between the parties dating back to the conscript laws during the war. Neilson was a secessionist and was active in having Carlson conscripted, when the latter fled the country and joined the Texas U.S. Cavalry, whilst Neilson went into the rebel service. Since their return home the old quarrel has been renewed with the fatal result above recorded. The matter will undergo investigation, and we forbear comment. But it is proper to ask if these scenes cannot be stopped.

Fightin’ Men of Texas

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Contributed by Sadie Kennedy – August 5, 2005

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Dallas Morning News 7 Oct 1941 page 5

TAYLOR, Texas —

Private Fist Class LEON V. KUHN of Taylor, was graduated from the airplane mechanics course Sept. 27 of the Chanute Field, ILL., branch of the United States Army Air Corps technical schools. Young Kuhn, the son of Mrs. J. G. Kuhn of this city, enlisted in the Air Corps in June, 1940, and is assigned to Hill Field, Ogden Utah.
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WALTER F. FOX, formerly interior decorator with a Dallas furniture store, received the rare distinction for a draftee of having two promotions in five weeks at Fort Sill, Okla, when he was made a technical sergeant assigned to headquarters battery of Field Artillery training center. Post Officials said his rise was rapid for in six months he had risen from a buck private to technical sergeant.

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Two Trainmen Injured

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File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by: Sandra Beaver – September 11, 2007

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The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX
January 11, 1909

TWO TRAINMEN INJURED

Special to The News

Granger, Williamson Co., Tex, Jan 10-Early yesterday morning the Katy switch engine at this point backed into the engine of a through freight on the main track, which badly demolished the engine and three or four freight cards. Engineer M. W. Curry and Fireman R. L. Grizzard of Smithville, who were with the through freight, were slightly injured in jumping. Mr. Curry sustained considerable injury to the ankle joint.

Murder of F.M. Gafford

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Submitted by: (Linda Blum-Barton) Archives@genrecords.org – March 25, 2006

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Charged With An Awful Murder

The Weekly Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia – February 21, 1888

Montgomery, Ala., February 13 — The real facts concerning the horrible murder of F. M. Gafford, a former Alabamian, in Madison county, Texas, a few weeks ago, have been brought to light, and the result is a profound sensation in the state. What makes the affair all the more shocking and sensational is the fact that Peter Peacher, formerly of Montgomery, and a member of one of the best families in the city, and a brother-in-law of Gafford, is charged with the murder and is now in jail. Mrs. Gafford, widow of the murdered man, returned to Alabama a few days ago, and was visited today at Sandy Ridge, Lowndes county, Ala., and in an interview gave the story concerning the tragedy. Gafford left Sandy Ridge for Texas in October, 1882. About the same time Peter Peacher, who had married Gafford’s sister, also moved to Texas, both locating near Madisonville, Madison county. In 1886, Gafford moved with his family to Williamson county, Texas. Meanwhile true bills had been found against Peacher and a man named Alf Whitten, in Madison county, charging them with cattle stealing. Gafford received a summons to appear in a criminal suit against Peacher and Whitten, it being known that he knew something about the crimes. In the spring of last year, Gafford received a letter warning him that he must not attend the trial as a witness against Peacher, and that he had better come to Alabama and get out of the state. Gafford returned to this state, leaving his family in Texas and located at Birmingham. He obtained work on the coke ovens at Pratt mines and remained there several months.

Late in the summer, however, he returned to his former home and family in Texas, thinking that the excitement had blown over. In this he was fatally mistaken.

In October last he received a second summons to appear as a witness in the cattle stealing cases to be tried at the November term of the Madisonville court. He left his home at Corn Hill, Williamson county, on the third of November, going on horseback through the country to Madisonville, a distance of over a hundred miles. He reached Madisonville safely, but the cattle stealing cases were postponed for a week and he left the town about night to go to the home of a friend four or five miles distant. He was never seen again alive.

After he had been missing several weeks his wife wrote to the sheriff at Mondaisville [sic – Madisonville?] making inquiries about her husband, and he could give her no information. On the first of December last, a man named Wells reported at Madisonville that he had found the body of a dead man buried in the sand about two miles from the town. Wells was riding through the woods hunting and was attracted to the dead body by his dog. The sheriff and citizens investigated, and the body was recognized and identified by the clothing as that of Gafford, the missing man. The top of his head had been blown off with a Winchester rifle. The next day the sheriff having received from Mrs. Gafford the letter from Peacher to her husband warning him not to attend the trial, arrested Peacher and his associate, Whitten, on suspicion. The prisoners were given a preliminary trial and Whitten was discharged, but the proof against Peacher was so strong that he was placed in prison, his bond being fixed at $2,500. Mrs. Peacher, wife of the prisoner and sister to the murdered man, remained with her husband throughout the preliminary trial which lasted ten days. Afer her husband was found guilty and put in jail she returned to their home, five miles distant, and was found dead in her house the next morning. She died very suddenly and alone with her five little children, and the general supposition was that she committed suicide.

Peter Peacher, the prisoner who is charged with the brutal murder of his wife’s brother, is a son of Mr. J. A. Peacher, of this city. He has two brothers here and two in Decatur, Alabama — all good men and useful citizens. It seems that when Peacher went to Texas he lost his property and started on the down grade to the dogs and the devil. In Alabama, he had borne a good character and went in the best society. The lady whom he married, and who died in grief over the murder of her brother and the fall of her husband, belongs to one of the first families in Alabama. One of the gang of cattle thieves and robbers, of which Peacher was a member, was shot down in the streets of Madisonville by the outraged and indignant citizens. Threats of lynching induced the authorities to slip Peacher off and he was placed in jail at Anderson, in an adjoining county, for safe keeping, where he will remain till the final trial. His father, Mr. J. A. Peacher, of Montgomery, is now in Texas, caring for Peacher’s motherless children.

Moore-Morris Reunion

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Contributed by Mary Love Berryman – June 17, 2003

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Newspaper Article – Origin or date unknown. Believed to be held in Florence, Williamson Co, TX

The Reunion.

“All’s well that ends well” says Shakespeare, and that might have been said of the reunion of the Moore brothers and sisters at Mr. L. C. Jackson’s Wednesday, Sept. 1st. The party was composed of the families of Messrs J. P. and J. T. Moore, Mrs. S. P. Morris, L. Moore, Jr. and Mrs. S. F. Tomlinson, also Mrs. Mattie Harrison and little son of Seymour, Tex. Others present were, Mr. L. Moore Sr. and family, Mr. Frank Paden, Miss Bettie Miller and Ernest Trible. All were present promptly at 12:30 which was the dinner hour. And this was the first time in twenty-nine years that the Moore Bros. and sisiters had had an opportunity of eating together. The Bros. and sisters were invited to seats at the first table. This was agreeable to all except one Jim Morris, who vowed his intention of leaving if they didn’t give him something to eat. A place was immediately prepared out in the back hall way, which caused some of the neighbors to think there was a colored brother among the Moore’s but such was not the case. There was not room for Jim at the other table. Plenty of nice things to eat were at hand, and seemed to hold out well until Bob Morris and Ernest Trible came in and while there was no fear of shortness, yet some wondered if the boys were going to kill themselves. They made the record, I’m told, of not letting anything pass, and it wasn’t because nothing was passed to them, for the table was nicely served by Mr. John and Miss Mollie Jackson, Misses Mary and Marinda Tomlinson and Clara and Bernice Morris. The evening was spent in talking, gaming, and horseback riding. Shortly after dinner a number of the young people visited the new college building which is near completion. On entering the door we saw a sign on the blackboard which read thus: “No bombs allowed here.” We retraced our steps speedily. The day was spent very pleasantly by all present, the total number being 36.

—— An eye witness