|Welcome to the “My Place” page
My name is Scott
I run the Rope and Wire website.
My original idea for this page was to give those living in the country the opportunity to tell others about the things that made their farm or ranch so special.
Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that either no one likes to brag or no one lives on a farm or a ranch. Whatever the case, no one submitted an article so I felt it was high time to try something different.
So for now this will be literally “My Place.” I’ll use this page to post a western blog or short articles. They will either be mine, or possibly one from a contributing R&W community member.
The theme will remain Western but the content will change weekly, or there about.
If you click on any of the links to past blog's, you can return to this page by clicking on the My Place button across from my picture.
I hope you enjoy it but if not, might I suggest you “stroll the grounds.” Read a story or watch a movie.
Thanks for visiting.
by Mike Cox
Every Monday morning in Texas’ larger communities, parking around courthouses is hard to find as another wave of prospective jury members respond to their summons.
But in early Texas, the judicial system performed its necessary work on a much-less regular basis. When court convened, an event that sometimes only happened once every few months, it was a big deal.
When a court date approached, a county seat town filled with lawyers and litigants, prosecutors and defendants, witnesses in both civil and criminal causes, potential jurors, the curious and those only interested in making a buck or two off everyone else.
Such was the case when court was set to convene in Paris, seat of Lamar County, in the summer of 1851. Organized in 1840 when Texas was still a republic, Lamar County had nearly 4,000 citizens, with another 1,085 slaves. One of the free residents was a gentleman named Tucker.
Tucker, not otherwise identified in the newspaper account of what soon transpired, operated a popular inn and tavern in Paris. With court in session, Tucker (a Lamar County history lists a Fleming Tucker and Goodman Tucker as residents at the time) always enjoyed a brisk business.
So many members of the Bar being in town, more than a few of them leaned against another kind of bar the night before the presiding judge would be gavel court to order. But with cases to present or fight against in the morning, the conviviality eventually died down.
“Mr. Tucker and his numerous guests retired to their beds at their usual hour,” the Bonham Advertiser politely assumed, “and, after a night of profound and undisturbed slumber, woke, every mother’s son of them coatless and pantaloonless. Some daring thief had entered their sleeping apartments, and had abstracted and carried off every rag of clothing belonging to every soul in the house.”
The crime came to light slowly as individuals awoke to find they had nothing but their hats and long johns to wear for that day’s proceedings.
To their credit, most of Tucker’s guests saw the humor in what had happened, “laughing long and heartily at the ridiculous figure each other cut while shying and dodging about in search of his missing clothing.”
Lady justice may have been blind, but not the residents of Paris, who must have wondered why so many red-faced lawyers were slipping around in their underwear. But before long, someone found the purloined pantaloons and other items of apparel stacked in the courthouse square. Soon, however, what had all the earmarks of a practical joke became much less funny, a crime not only against the peace and dignity of the state but the North Texas legal establishment.
“Every pocket,” the newspaper reported, “had been rummaged, every red cent takenall were empty. Several emigrants had lost all their money, and the lawyers attending the court were reduced to a par with the clients who had the day before lined their pockets for them.”
More than $400 had been stolen, a lot of money in ante bellum in Texas. Never identified, the thief got off scot free without the benefit of counsel.