The Texas rangers were organized in 1859 by the State, and a
company was stationed at Brushy Mound, in this county. The commander
of this company was Captain John Scanlon. They received pay from the
State for their services at this time.
Previous to this they had soldiers stationed at Belknap and other
A crisis arose in Montague County when Texas seceded from the
Union. Not only were they called upon to raise companies for the
Confederate service, but after the secession the Federal troops were
with- drawn and the frontier was left practically unprotected from
the Indians. Indian attacks were be- coming so frequent that it
became necessary for the men to organize what was called "minute
men" or "home militia" for the protection of their lives and
This organization was a branch of the Confederate service and
subject to their regulation. After the war these companies
disbanded, and the government put in Northern soldiers. These
companies, however, were not large enough to afford a sufficient
protection to the people.
After the election of Governor Pease he ordered a regiment of
rangers down the frontier to protect the settlers from the Indian
attacks. Bud Morris, who was a State ranger on the frontier during
the war, was made captain of the first company, and Levi Ferryman
was appointed captain of the second company. They were given one
hundred men each.
Scarcely were they organized, and before they had seen any
service, they received orders from General Canby of San Antonio to
disband. Immediately following this Bud Morris went to New Orleans
to interview General Hancock, commander of the Fifth Military
District. He laid before him, in strong terms, a plea for the
protection of the helpless frontier against the merciless Indians.
But all to no purpose. The general replied to his request very
courteously, but told him it was against the policy of the
government to allow Southern men to be in arms, that he would
furnish ample protection. This he failed to do.
Mr. Morris returned and assisted in organizing the home guards
and the settlers defended their homes as best they could. After the
new Constitution was adopted, when every citizen was allowed to
vote, the first officers elected were (so far as could be learned) :
W. T. Wayborne, Sheriff and Collector.
Bud Morris, District and County Clerk.
J. A. Gordon, Chief Justice.
Cattle raising was the principal pursuit for many years. As has
been stated, the Indians were a great drawback to farming. They
would steal the horses, leaving nothing but oxen to plough with, and
many times would kill them. Men ploughed wearing two six-shooters in
their belts and a Spencer rifle on the plow as protection from the
Fannie Bellows Potter - Bowie, Texas)