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|43.||i.||NANCY EPPES9 CHISUM, b. January 22, 1822, Tennessee; d. January 06, 1869, TX, Fannin Co., USA.|
|44.||ii.||JAMES THOMAS CHISUM, b. September 25, 1827; d. March 12, 1908, Artesia, NM.|
|iii.||THOMAS JEFFERSON CHISUM, b. Abt. 1830; d. Abt. 1866.|
Notes for THOMAS JEFFERSON CHISUM:|
Never married. Jeff served in the Civil War out of Lamar Co. TX.
In Lamar Co., TX census of 1860 a mulatto family lives next door to
Jefferson Chisum. The mother Sarah Chisum was listed as a domestic and
her six children were Levi, Harrison, Martha, Clinton and Thomas . No
other Chisums lived nearby. Marilyn Lynch , Sayer OK says she has not
yet been able to establish if these were Jeff's children.
Lillie Casy wrote of Cow John and Jeff: " He (Cow John) always felt a
responsibility for the rest of his brothers and his first thoughts we re
their welfare. His devotion to his brother Jeff, who was afflicted with
epilepsy, was particularly affectionate. Everywhere he went, he managed
it so that Jeff should be well cared for when not under his watchful eye."
Mr. Neville wrote a column for the Paris newspapers in the 1930's and
40's and perhaps longer. Wright Press of Paris, Texas published two
volumes of Mr. Nevill's columns (Backward Glances) which revolved a round
the pioneer days.
The edition dated 11 Dec. 1931 reads: "In a paper published about this
time (Feb. 1859) there are some advertisements that would be deemed odd
at least if published today in the newspapers. One is by Turner B .
Edmondson, long a prominent Paris citizen and once an early-day may or of
Paris, who some years later was shot and killed by a young man whom he
had whipped in a fit of temper. Mr. Edmondson advertises the Traveler's
Inn, a hotel in Paris and
states that he is prepared to care for the traveling public in as good
style as any hotel in the state, at the foot of the advertisement is :
P. S. No humbugs or bedbugs entertained at this establishment."
Jeff's killing of Turner Edmundson is lightly touched in "First Church of
Paris," which included Edmundson and his wife as making a donation of
land for the Shady Grove Camp Ground to a Methodist congregation.
"...Edmundson, by the way was a rough, big character of a man who
provoked Jeff Chisum's wrath in 1863. During an argument over a boundary
line, he beat
Claiborne Chisum's son fiercely. When Jeff recovered, he went to town
with his shotgun and killed the former Paris Mayor. Chisum was acquitted
of the murder charges. Paris was quickly erasing that sleepy-town image."
Note by Marilyn Lynch/Sayer OK(Ask Skip Steely about Jeff shooting at his
|iv.||ALEXANDER CHISUM, b. Abt. 1830, TN, USA.|
|45.||v.||PITSER MILLER CHISUM, b. February 28, 1834, TN, USA; d. January 02, 1910, Paris, TX, Lamar Co., USA.|
|vi.||ROBERT CHISUM, b. Abt. 1836.|
Notes for ROBERT CHISUM:|
Died young (other researchers credit this son to Cynthia)
|vii.||COW JOHN JOHN SIMPSON CHISUM, b. August 17, 1827, Hardeman Co., TN; d. December 23, 1884, Eureka Springs, Carroll Co., Arkansas.|
Notes for COW JOHN JOHN SIMPSON CHISUM:|
John Simpson CHISUM was never married.
John Simpson CHISUM, the reputed "cattle king of America" for a number of years, and who was involved in the "Lincoln County Wars" in New Mexico in 1878-79.
John never married, but it has been said that he had three children by Jensie, a Negro slave.
Her children were:
Meady b. 1857, d. 1949, m. John D. Jones in 1875 and they had children:
Eugie who m. a Thomas.
I have been told by (Marilyn Lynch) that none of the evidence points to John being the father of Jensie's children, though her descendants graciously claim him. According to legend John left Jensie in Bonham in the 1860' s when he moved to Concho. Jensie's descendants lived in or near Ft . Worth, TX and were tracked down by Mrs. Clarke for inclusion in the John Chisum book.(Source Marilyn Lynch, Sayer, OK.
It is difficult to write about Cow John considering the numerous publications already done and the movie " CHISUM' which starred John
Wayne. Marilyn relates she will try to hit the high points only in the following narrative:
From Wright Press of Paris, TX is"John Chisum" by Mary W. Clarke. Critiqued as "not the perfect book on Cow John but a good overview based on what others have written." In 1986 Dr. Harwood Hinton of the University of Arizona, said to be the supreme expert on these lines, was working on a book that should be the best book on Cow John Chisum. Skipper Steely will be covering Chisums in an upcoming book.
John spent the first thirteen years of his life on his grandfather's plantation in Hardeman Co., TN. Then he came to Lamar Co., TX with his
family in 1835.
The Lois Horton book reports that John undertook his first business venture while the family lived on Mud Creek. He hauled water from the stream and sold it in the town of Paris. "The Chisholm Trail and Other Routes" says John ran for county clerk of Lamar Co. when he was about twenty-eight years old. He was defeated, but ran a second time two years later and was elected.
The Horton Book continued: "In 1854 he resigned his post as county clerk of Lamar Co. and entered the cattle business with S. K. Fowler. With ranch headquarters in Denton Co., TX the partnership prospered under Chisum's management on a ten year profit sharing contract and became the largest cattle outfit in that part of Texas prior to the Civil War." It would be presumed that John had heard of the fertile cattle country from his father Claiborne who fought there in 1841.
The ranch was located on Clear Creek, west of Buck Creek, in the northeast part of Denton Co. about two miles south of the Cooke Co., T X
line and about six miles east of the line of West Co.
Insert by Marilyn Lynch: (see Charlotte Chisum section for a letter Cow John wrote concerning the difficulties he encountered in Denton Co.)
A section of an unknown and apparently quite old book (perhaps written in the 1930's) was passed on to Marilyn Lynch. Chapter 7 is "John Simpson and His Kin." "He died on Dec 22, 1884 with a chronic malignant disease of the throat and is buried in Paris, Texas, beside his father. He was an Odd Fellow and was buried according to their rituals and a monument was erected." At the time of the writing of this the author said a railroad had been built, running near the hillock on which Cow John and his parents are buried.
Cow John had a ranch about three miles northwest of Bolivar in Denton Co., TX which he began in 1854 he moved to Concho Co., TX on the Concho River. "In Dec. 1866, he took his first herd of cattle across the Pecos at Horsehead Crossing and wintered within six miles of Charles Goodnight during the winters of 1866 and 1867 and he and Goodnight had a co-operative arrangement for six years.
The Goodnight he speaks of is the famous cattleman of the Texas Panhandle.
At the Bolivar ranch John Chisum had unique methods of handling cattle. During the Civil War he had an arrangement with the Confederate Government, to deliver cattle to Shreveport and other places where they might need them. He himself was a homeguard and his cowboys ranged from Fort Worth to the Red River; they were always well armed and helped to protect the white settlers from the Indians.
"The Chisholm Trail and Other Routes" speaks of Bolivar ranch: "..the ranch house is on the crest of a hill and the terrain slopes gently to the west, south and east. The long ridge falls gently to the south and from the ranch house a watcher could spot a redskin half a mile away. Its location was a natural defence against the Indians. Grass was free and all John Chisum needed was enough land for house, garden and feed stuff for a few horses for ready use, water was a necessity and well diggers were few. Finally, he found a man that was anxious to make a trip overland to California. Chisum offered to pay his way over the Overland Trail if he would dig all the wells; the offer was accepted.
John Chisum ruled as an overlord with his retainers. The cattle multiplied, grass was rank and water was fine and there were no rivals. Water and grass were free as the air. There were no fences and few neighbors and each ranch was a feudal manor.
Nineteen years earlier in 1841, John B. Denton, the Captain who had led John's father Claiborne against the Indians and was killed during a battle, had been wrapped in a blanket and placed in a coffin less grave by his men in the southwest part of the present county. When Cow John's cowboys found this grave, John sent for his uncle Ben Bourland. They excavated the body and moved it to the Chisum ranch where it rested until 1901 when the remains were moved to the public square in Denton. Thus a father was witness to the first burial, his son to the second and the third burial surely had at least one Chisum in attendance since it was performed by a committee of pioneers.
" John Chisum drove herds to Shreveport and Little Rock. In going to Little Rock he crossed the Red River northwest of Sherman into Indian Territory and traveled the Red River parallel until he reached Arkansas."
John Chisum was not the founder of the old Chisholm trail which ran through Indian Territory into Kansas. The founder of that trail was Jesse Chisholm, the son of Ignatius Chisholm and a Cherokee maid (Rogers) and is not related to the Chisums we have here.
"The Chisholm Trail and Other Routes continues: " John Chisum's cowboys were about the best and most effective defense squadron that could be called upon in time of danger. Each cowboy was armed with his rifle, six shooter, plenty of ammunition, and could ride like a centaur. Above all, he knew Indians better than the Indians knew themselves...was in itself a frontier battalion that kept the settlers protected to the east of that line that ran from Gainesville to Fort Worth.
While there was no marked trail from Bolivar to Shreveport, John Chisum followed the well-watered, well-grassed route through the counties of Denton, Grayson, Collin, Hunt, Fannin, Upshur, etc. into Mansfield, Shreveport and other headquarters.
There were few trading posts near Bolivar, and John S. Chisum was forced to keep supplies on hand for a large force of cowboys and all their needs...forced to maintain and keep at his ranch a rather full supply incident to a frontier store....John Chisum had two accomplishments that are little known. He was a good fiddler and a good shoemaker."
The Hinton book reads:' In 1873 he moved to his ranch and located at South Springs, five miles south of Roswell, NM and it was here he became the Cattle King of the Southwest with a territory that reached from the Texas line to the mountains of Old Lincoln. Here he reigned as a feudal lord . He was forced, for protection, to employ many fighting men and in the year 1878 was dragged into the Lincoln County War...On the Concho the cattle had a small state to over which to range and in New Mexico he had a territory of over one Hundred miles square and it was truthfully said that his cattle grazed on a thousand hills. In the West he was known as "Honorable John Chisum," but the plow and the rail road and the oncoming small ranchers all forced the grazing territory into private ownership.
John Chisum took his brothers, Pitser, James and Jefferson into new Mexico with him, settling in 1873 near Roswell, NM
Sally the daughter of James, made the trip in the early seventies via San Angelo, Horsehead Crossing and up the Pecos River to keep house for Uncle John."
The following is from a book written by Lillie Casey, whose guardian was James Chisum. Her father apparently a close friend of Cow John's and he took her and her mother under his wing, signing a quit claim deed over to her for some land bordering his South Spring River Ranch in eastern New Mexico.
Marilyn Lynch, received this as a chapter of a book, but without a title page.
"Uncle John was a great lover of flowers...Roses were his especial favorites and he had literally hundreds of them...About twenty feet east of the main house (called The Long House) was a camp house for the cowboys and about fifty feet south of this was a large single-room building that might be used for any purpose the occasion might require. Its chief use when I knew the place was as a dance hall...Uncle John and Uncle Pitzer were both good fiddlers."
There was an irrigation ditch running near the house. "Solid ground was left in the middle of one for an island, to which Uncle Pitzer , for some reason, gave the Biblical name of the Isle of Patmos. It was on this island that the three Chisum brothers planted three weeping willow trees...Each tree was named for one of the brothers, and their being together was a symbol of brotherly feeling for one another. It was a similar feeling which grew so united that they finally grew together."
"The Chisholm Trail and Other Routes" goes into some detail on Cow John's partnership with Charles Goodnight. "The agreement lasted for three years...The result of which was that the Chisum cattle territory covered a strip fifty miles wide west and east and 180 miles long, making a territory larger than the state of New Jersey..In 1873 John S. Chisum moved his ranch to South Spring on the Pecos River, about five miles southeast of the present town of Roswell, NM. (previously he headquartered for six years at Bosque Grande, about forty miles from the town of Lincoln.) The ranch reached the dignity of a feudal estate. Here he built a rather spacious ranch house, planted shade and fruit trees. It was a combination of an English manor and a Spanish hacienda...Some of Chisum's cowboys had been trained on three ranches, the one near Bolivar in Denton Co., TX the Conch o Ranch and the ranch at Bosque Grande. Each ranch was located in the Indian
country, and on the front line of the frontier. Indians were always a menace.
The Chisum brand was the "rail," a streak from shoulder to thigh, one deemed impossible to alter. Instead of notching the dewlap of the ear, John split the ear itself, causing a portion to dangle. This they called a "Jinglebob."
It is said Cow John referred to himself as Jinglebob John and Boss of the Jinglebob.
"The Chisholm Trail and Other Routes" states: " Men with small herds of cattle, nesters, had entered into New Mexico and settled in the Chisum Territory, mostly west of the Pecos River. Grass and water were free...The small cattlemen claimed that Chisum was trying to crowd them out and the Chisum men claimed that the small herds were mavericking his cattle. The killing of the Englishman, Tunstall in Feb . 1878 was the powder magazine that started the Lincoln County War . The indications are still that Chisum acted on the defensive throughout. While his cowboys were armed and ready for battle, his was largely a campaign of defense. He was not the leader of the faction, but was an ally of the McSween faction. The Lincoln County War ran its course. Billy the Kid was finally slain by Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico on July 14,1881."
The Horton book says of New Mexico, "New settlers arrived who wanted to farm and fence off their lands. The cattlemen who had leased some of the land and used the other land free were angered at this, settlers and their fences, but the farmers were determined as the the cattlemen that they were going to remain in that area. Both sides hired guns. Cow John...hired Billy the Kid whose real name was William H. Bonney, born in New York City in 1859 . Billy the Kid was a cruel cattle thief, who boasted of twenty killings before he was twenty years old. Belated Cow John realized his mistake in hiring him and he enlisted the aid of Sheriff Pat Garrett to help fire him. Billy called on his Mexican sweetheart, and was leaving when Sheriff Garrett and Cow John waylaid and killed him.
It is difficult to judge by today's standards what truly happened in the Lincoln County War. Apparently the only land John actually owned was the Bolivar Ranch in Denton Co.,TX and the ranch grounds in New Mexico..The Concho Co. Ranch where he stayed for three years and the Bosque Grande ranch on the Pecos River near Roswell were based mostly on the doctrine of free grass and free range. Legally, only the home range was titled,the other land was not his.
Billy the Kid. whose reputation was well known at the time. But the times were also different and Cow John was a self-made man and a strong survivor.
The Casey book takes the following view:' ..the difficulties and persecutions he underwent in New Mexico at the hands of those who were
jealous or envious of his prosperity and who used their power and influence to drag this cattle king of the Pecos Valley from his throne..."
John stayed on at South Springs until the summer of 1884. He had a large growth on his neck. Lillie Casey wrote:'He suffered no pain, but the growth was so large and uncomfortable on the left side of his neck that he had to let his right shoulder sag down and incline his head that way . He suffered more from it in his mind, because both his father and his grandfather had died from the same trouble, and he was inclined to feel sure his was to be a similar fate..."
He wrote the following letter to his niece Sallie Robert, dated 30 Aug, 1884.
"Dear Niece, I came here about the 16th instead, and on the 24th I had a operation performed on my throat or jaw where the rising was on my jaw. Some ten months ago this last spring it began to grow, but was not sore but had a hard solid lump and it grew very fast and very large to one side and was still growing very fast so I had it cut off . It was about the size of a beef's kidney...and I can leave for home in a week.
Your Paw and Willie had just left here before I got in, so I did not get to see them. I was told he was going to Arizona, but I got a letter
yesterday from Anderson who came here with me. He went back home and he wrote me from Jim Lains and said James was at Lain's branding cattle. From that I suppose he has changed his notion and was going on the Pecos, but I only judge from his being at Lain's. Robert is at the Ranch looking after matters while I am gone. I regretted to leave home but compelled to have this pet cut out. The doctors say if it had not been cut out it would have killed me in about six months more. He says it was the enlargement of the glands. My best wishes with regards to all, Yours as Ever, John S. Chisum."
John did not return home. He made it only back as far as Las Vegas , NM and had to return to Kansas City. From there he wrote what was probably his last letter.
"Kansas City, Sept 18/24. Miss. Lillie Casey. Mr Dear Lillie, I would have written you long ago but was so weak and poorly and it gave me so much pain to write I would put it off...It was a very delicate operation ...I came through all safe but was very weak from loss of blood , have lost a water bucket full and was kept under the influence of chloroform for one hour...I got to Las Vegas and by that time another tumor had made its appearance and was growing very fast and gave me great pain...doctor thought it best not to cut it out until he could put my system in shape for another would not form...He says he cut this without first cleansing the system...so I am taking medicine by the wholesale and applying the battery twice a day but as yet no change in the tumor. It is about as large as the one I had cut...I am not in good fix for courting the girls as I cannot speak above a whisper...Don't write me as I'm liable to go East. Yours as Ever, John S . Chisum."
John traveled to Eureka Springs, AR to take a course of baths and treatments that might prepare him for another operation. He sent for James to come and stay with him. Lillie Casey wrote: " For a time he seemed to improve at Eureka Springs but in the middle of December he grew rapidly worse. On the 20th of Dec. he died, and in fulfillment of a promise, his body was taken by his brother to Paris, TX and buried in the Chisum lot there on Christmas Day, 1884." He was sixty years old at his death.
The South Spring Ranch became the property of James Chisum and his children, Mrs. Sallie Roberts and her son, Walter and William. The ranch holdings were known at the Jinglebob Company. Pitzer Chisum had sold his share to James at the time of his marriage.
At some point John had put control of the property into the hands of his brother Pitzer by means of a $ 100,000 note. Though Pitzer had sold a share to James and lived on a share he retained, he still held the note at the time of Cow John's death.
A loan from M. J. Farris of Kentucky in the amount of $64,000 was obtained for the running of the ranch. Lillie Casey said of this: "About the same time Uncle Pitzer determined to return to Paris, TX. So he sold out his place to the Jinglebob Company, and in addition, he holds to M. J. Farris the $100,000 note of John Chisum. I do not know the amount Farris paid him but I suppose it was a mere fraction of the face value...M. J. Farris came into control of the situation by virtue of his bank's holding an indebtedness of the Jinglebob Company for approximately $164,000 with perhaps a considerable amount of interest..."
The ranch was lost to the bank of Farris.
More About COW JOHN JOHN SIMPSON CHISUM:|
Burried: Paris, Lamar Co., Texas.
|viii.||LAURA9 CHISUM, b. Abt. 1843.|
Notes for LAURA CHISUM:|
Laura died young
|ix.||MARY SUSAN CHISUM, b. Abt. 1844; d. 1859.|
Notes for MARY SUSAN CHISUM:|
Mary Susan never married
|46.||x.||WILLIAM CHARLES CHISUM, b. October 30, 1849, TX; d. April 16, 1874.|
|47.||xi.||ROBERT CLAIBORNE CHISUM, b. May 10, 1858; d. November 15, 1933.|
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