Today in Texas History – July 1

From the Annals of the Mob  – In 1850, a mob of angry soldiers burned down the store of John M. Hunter in Fredericksburg.  Hunter was one of the organizers of Gillespie County and its first county clerk.  He kept the county’s records in his log store. Hunter had several confrontations with the soldiers from Fort Martin Scott.  He once ejected a soldier named Kingston from his store – knocking him down with an ax handle, Kingston, in revenge, mistakenly shot and killed a German resident that night. The soldier was arrested and jailed, but was lynched before he could be tried.

On June 30, 1850, Hunter refused to sell whiskey to a soldier named Dole who became abusive.  The hot-headed Hunter killed him with a stab to the chest. The next night a mob of angry soldiers returned, but Hunter had wisely fled town. The soldiers burned down his store, destroying all the county records up to that time. Several townspeople attempted to salvage the records, but the soldiers prevented them. Apparently neither Hunter nor the soldiers were punished for their crimes.   Hunter returned and quickly built a new store on the same block.

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