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Bastrop Burleson Burnet Panola

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Click here to read a great short story re. Luke Coonan Standifer, son of Ezra Standifer.
It was written by the O. Henry in 1909.
If you have any info. re. Luke for Ezra, please contact me.

Bastrop County:

sqrred.gif (852 bytes) From Stephen F. Austin's Register of Families, edited by Villamae Williams; p. 47
*Contributed by Gladys Sandefur

#225: M. Sandefur & Elizabeth his wife, both age 28; Married; Farmer; Origin: Arkansas; Arrived 1828; Took Oath: 27 January; Total Souls: 2.

sqrred.gif (852 bytes) From The Evolution of a State or Recollections of old Texas days by Noah Smithwick.  This entire book can be found on the web site Lone Star Junction and the excerpt here is printed with their permission.

Noah Smithwick moved to Texas in 1827 and stayed there until moving to California in 1861.  He served as the first postmaster for Webberville, Texas.  The town was named after John Ferdinand Webber in 1853, but was sometimes referred to as Smithwick's before then.

" My nearest neighbor on Brushy was Jimmie Standefer, who lived three miles below me on the creek, his house being a kind of a wayside in for many years for travelers between Austin and points north and west.  The old man came there with a large family and small means, and had a hard time for several years.  He was very devout, but didn't allow that to interfere with business.  One of his sons used to tell a story on the old man that will bear repetition.  Jimmie had domesticated a number of hives of bees, the increase of which he was anxious to save.  Bee-keeping then was not the science it is today; instead of separating the bees, they were allowed to take their own way and time for moving.  This they did by swarming in the spring.  Having noticed an unusual activity among his bees, Jimmie left some of his children to watch them while he went to breakfast.  Before the rather long "grace" was finished his ear caught a suspicious buzzing, which caused him to hurry up the ceremony, but it had to be finished according to custom, though his impatience caused the introduction of a sentence not down in the ritual.  Casting an anxious glance through the door as the concluding sentence fell from his lips, he called to the children: 'Children, ain't them bees a swarmin'? Amen.'"

........But to return to my old friend and neighbor, Jimmie Standefer.  Having a disagreement with one of his neighbors, Jim Lewis, Lewis was relating his grievance to me. 'Yes,' said he, 'I suppose he thinks he'll go to heaven with his long graces; but if his sort can go in at the gate, if I don't scale the wall d___n my soul'".

"After delving along there for years, himself and family working diligently, Standefer got forehanded enough to buy slaves, investing all his savings thus, only a short time before the war, which, of course, again left him stranded.  He and his good wife have gone to their rest, several of their children being now in this state, California."

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Burleson County:

sqrred.gif (852 bytes) Astride the Old San Antonio Road; A History of Burleson Co, TX (a county book) p. 24 says the area was settled by persons in the Sterling C. Robertson Colony. When the Convention of 1845 was called by Anson Jones to consider the joint resolution of the Congress of the United States to annex Texas to the Union, Israel Standefer, who was born in Virginia and who resided in Tenoxtitlan, represented the County of Milam at that convention. The delegates assembled in Austin on July 4, 1845, and approved the offer of annexation by a vote of fifty-five to one. They then proceeded to draft the Constitution of 1845, which not only had to be approved by the people of Texas but also by the Congress of the US. It served the people of Texas until 1861. Dr. Ralph W. Steen has described the Convention of 1845 as "one of the most able body of its kind ever to meet in Texas." (Fort Tenoxtitlan was founded by Mexico as a bulwark against Anglo-American immigration, and this fort and its nearby city were twice proposed for the capital of Texas. It means "Prickly Pear Place." During its brief life patriots who lived there included 5 signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, a martyr of the Alamo siege, and 7 soldiers of the Battle of San Jacinto. As a fort it was abandoned in 1841 after many Indian raids.

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Burnet County:

 sqrred.gif (852 bytes) From: The Goodrich Ranch and other Pioneer Ranches of Burnet County by Gavin R. Garret; p. 82: 
The Standifer brothers came to Texas with one of Stephen F. Austin's colonies of settlers.  Jake, Tom, and Will first settled in an area southeast of Austin.  After the death of his first wife, William J. Standifer married Sarah M. Wolf, the daughter of Jacob Wolf.  William was the assignee of eighty acres of the Abel Wilson Survey #653 in the Carlile Place.

William's brother, Tom, married Martha E. O'Hair, who was the daughter of William O'Hair.  They had eight children.  Their third child was named William.  Since William was a twin to James, who died soon after birth, William was later renamed James William Standifer.  In 1899 James William married India Shelby.  Both of them lived for many years in Harley County where James William worked on the famous XIT Ranch.  From 1913 to 1935 the J. W. Standifers owned the entire 1628 acres of the Standifer Tract.  They, too, however, were non-resident owners as their 1926 Homestead Designation instrument described tracts of land made up of surveys located on the waters of Sulphur Creek and on the north side of the Austin and San Saa Road.

James William Standifer bought the Standifer Tract from Joseph Y. O'Hair.  O'Hair, who was Standifer's brother-in-law, had owned the various surveys in the tract for about seventeen years.  It was Joseph who made his mark by helping to build a house that lay about four hundred yards west of the Standifer log house.  Today only the chimney remains.

When J. Y. O'Hair died on January 2, 1928, his will reflected a careful effort to settle the smallest details of his estate.  Among the items to e carried out was his wish to have a tombstone built over his own and his mother's graves.  Another item was fondly addressed to his sister's husband.  It revealed that in the past he had refused J. W. Standifer the opportunity of buying his home in Burnet.  He stipulated that in the future if the house were ever for sale, J. W. Standifer should be given the first chance to buy it."

Panola County:

sqrred.gif (852 bytes) From: The History of Panola County, Texas; Family Biography Section, Bio #109 and Bio #110:
"The Rev. Lemuel Herrin and his brother Abner Herrin were a strong force in the organization of most of the early Baptist churches in East Texas.  They came to Texas from Benton Co., Tennessee.  Lemuel was married to Mary Hendon while his brother was married to Keziah Hendon.  The Hendon sisters were both born in GA and were the daughters of William M. Hendon and Elizabeth Standifer. Mary Hendon married Lemuel Herrin on August 26, 1808 in Oglethorpe Co., GA.  By 1815, the couple had moved to Benton Co., Tennessee.  Keziah Hendon was born ca 1780.  She married Abner Herrin on August 16, 1802 in Oglethorpe Co., GA.  Abner and Keziah lived in Georgia for a few years, then moved to Franklin Co., Tennessee, then to Humphrey Co., Tennessee ca 1840.   Soon after that they moved to Texas, first living near Nacogdoches, but later moving to Panola County.  Lemuel and Mary, also Abner and Keziah, are buried in Old Macedonia Cemetery, west of Carthage, Panola County, Texas.

sqrred.gif (852 bytes) From: The NEWS - Frederick, MD December 19, 1896 (First published in the Galveston News).

Campaigning on Horseback With a Jug of Fireworks

"We used to have some grand old times at the Indian elections in the Chickasaw nation," Colonel I. M. Standifer to The News reporter this morning.  

"I remember a few years ago I defended a Chickasaw for murder.  There was no evidence against him, and I cleared him of the charge, and he made the race for senate in Panola county soon afterward.  I formed an attachment for the man and took an interest in his race.  I went over to the territory on election day.  The voting was done at Rock Springs.  What I would term the young Democratic party of the Chickasaw nation was behind my friend, and in those days it was no great crime to have whisky in the territory, so that men backing my friend had supplied the natives with plenty of the "sinews of war," in the shape of the best brands of liquor.  There was a law in the territory against the Indians having whisky, but the only punishment for the crime was to find the liquor in their possession and break the bottle--that was all the officers could do."

"My Indian friend had a supply of intoxicants staked out on the prairie, and whenever his friends wanted a drink we would mount some of the fast horses at the polls and circle around over the prairie to get a drink.  The officers were vigilant and watched our movements like a hawk watching a chicken, and we would no sooner be in the saddle than four officers, mounted on fast horses, would be preparing to follow us.  When we would gallop across the prairie, they would also make a move.  The only plan we had for getting a drink was to have one of the swift Indian riders go in advance of the others, and as he rode at breakneck speed he would lean from his saddle until his hand would reach the ground, and at the covering where the whisky was located he would make a sudden dart and run his fingers through the handle of the jug, lifting it to his saddle; then, slowing up, he would allow us who were behind to catch up with him and then pass the jug around to all to drink, which we were compelled to do while our horses were going at a sharp gallop with the officers close behind."

"As soon as the jug had been passed around, the man mounted on the fleet horse would take it and speed ahead, skirt around a patch of timber, get to a new place out of sight of the officers and bury it under the leaves, then hastily mounting his horse, he would be off to rejoin us.  It took a man who was an expert rider to get a drink under those circumstances, and I have seen some riding on such occasions that would put all the Wild West shows in the country to shame.  It is slightly different from that in the territory now, and if a man gets caught with a bottle of whisky passing it around under any circumstances Uncle Sam takes a hand and the guilty party is good for a trip over the road."

"Was your friend elected to the senate, Colonel Standifer?"
"Certainly.  A man with the genius and ability he had for getting a drink could not be kept down in Politics."_____Gavleston News.

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Tarrant County

sqrred.gif (852 bytes) Pub. The Marion Star (OH)
October 9, 1902 (Thurs)
Fort Worth, TX.--Pink Higgins and Billy Standifer, cowboys, fought a desperate Winchester duel on the Spur Ranch at close range Wednesday.  Twelve shots were fired.  Standifer was shot through the heart and fell from his bronco.  Higgins escaped injury, although his animal was killed under him.  Higgins surrendered.

Carol's note: Billy was no match for Pink Higgins, although it appears he put up a good fight!  As a hired range rider with a duty to protect his employer's cattle, Higgins once came upon a man who had killed an animal and was about to skin it.  Higgins shot him, and cutting open the cow, put the body of his victim inside; after which he rode into town and told the officers that if they would go to the place they would find a freak of nature--a cow giving birth to a man.  Higgins killed several TX men.  (From Six Years with the Texas Rangers by James B. Gillett.

sqrred.gif (852 bytes) Pub. The Wichita Daily Times (TX)
June 2, 1918
Fort Worth, TX. -- JUNE 1--Word has reached relatives here of the death Friday of Ike Standifer, former prominent Texas legislator and politician.  He practiced law in Denison and Houston many years before going to the Pacific Coast.
(See Ike Standifer's biography)

sqrred.gif (852 bytes) Pub. Wichita Weekly Times, Wichita Falls, TX, December 29., 1910

Former Engineer Complains Against The Fort Worth and Denver

Claiming that he lost his position as a railroad engineer through a conspiracy and a federation that was formed against him by fellow employees, T. B. Sandifer has brought suit for damages against the Fort Worth & Denver City Railway Company.  The suit was filed in the district clerk's office Saturday afternoon and is out of the ordinary inasmuch as the amount of damages desired is not declared.

Sandifer sets forth in his petition that he was employed by the Denver road in 1904 and later was promoted the position as engineer.  He claims that he was discharged from his position as engineer May 26, 1910, and that the discharge was brought about by a frame-up against him.  

In his petition he claims that on more than one occasion he was ordered to run a train in, disobedience of the laws of the state, and that when he refused to comply with the demands made by his superiors he was roundly criticized.  He claims that in April, 1909, he was instructed to take a train outside of the Fort Worth yard limit, but had to refuse because he had no train orders from either the dispatcher or trainmaster.  He says that on another occasion he was told to take a new run after finishing up a fifteen-hour trick, and he refused.  He cites a Texas statue in this instance.

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