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Bravo of the Brazos: John Larn of Fort Griffin, Texas by Robert K. DeArment

By Robert K. DeArment

Greater than a century after his demise in 1878, the mere point out of John Larn’s identify can set off powerful reactions alongside the transparent Fork of the Brazos River in northern Texas. In Bravo of the Brazos, Robert okay. DeArment tells for the 1st time the whole tale of this enigmatic and arguable figure.Larn was once handsome, well-mannered, and delicate round girls and kids. He used to be a winning rancher and well known frontier sheriff. but he was once additionally the charismatic chief of a vigilante committee that liked frequent aid. earlier than his loss of life at age 29, Larn had killed or participated in killing at the least a dozen males.

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Additional resources for Bravo of the Brazos: John Larn of Fort Griffin, Texas

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Stopping on the opposite side, they called across in Spanish. “It soon seemed that they could not understand us, nor we them, so they rode on downstream,” said Comstock. They were barely out of hearing when Laren said: “I believe we ought not let those fellows get away,” and he was backed promptly by Bush and Freeman and Hill and some others, and soon they were saddling their best horses and fording the river. . By this time the Mexicans were out of sight, but 16 BRAVO O F T HE BRAZ O S when they saw that they were followed by horsemen on the run, they turned and came back to meet their pursuers [who] were merciless and without words began shooting.

His close friend and trail-driving partner, James E. Patterson, followed with another band. They joined forces at the Clifton House, a large hotel on the Santa Fe Trail twelve miles below Raton Pass. Thomas L. Stockton, another former Hittson partner, owned and operated the Clifton House, which was also known as the Red River Station. Stockton enlisted a third group of fighting men, including two notorious local gun hands, Robert Clay Allison and John “Chunk” Colbert. Among those upper Brazos stalwarts who signed on for Hittson’s Raid—as it came to be called—were John Larn, the four Wilson brothers, and Tom Atwell.

There was almost another killing the day following Wilson’s death. Bill Hill, like Billie Wilson, was originally from Ohio, and seemed to take the young man’s sudden death particularly hard. At the noon stop he took exception to an offhand remark by Albert Shappell about the dead cowboy. Jerking out his pistol, he fired at Shappell from eight feet away, but missed. The other men jumped between the two and prevented another killing. Larn kept Hill and Shappell separated until tempers cooled. About this time Larn and Bush “perpetrated another dastardly murder,” as Comstock put it.

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