Blind Mule Caper
With the coming of the railroad came a new brand of entrepreneurialism. Stock would wander onto the track and be hit by the train. The railroad would then have to settle with the owner for the superb stock lost.
A Cherokee County man saw an opportunity and went out and bought a blind mule as his sacrificial lamb so to speak. Now the mule may have been blind but was not stupid. He could both hear and feel the vibrations caused by the train and get out of the way. Hopefully each day the man would go check on his prize stock. Day after day he would find the mule alive and well. One day when the train engineer looked down the track he spied the mule on the track. He blew his whistle. All the mule did was turn his head in the direction of the sound. Muttering to himself he brought the train to a stop and got out to chase the mule off the tracks. Imagine his surprise to find the hooves of the mule nailed to the track.
The Mixon Panther
Residents around the R. A. Roark area will regale you with stories about a black panther who resides in the back woods. I can't vouch for the authenticity of the panther but do know gators have been seen haunting the waters in the vicinity of the mud creek area.
When Dad was a youth he and Otis Webb came upon a gator on the Eugene Webb property that adjoined Grandpa Roark's property. To this day there are stories of gator sightings.
Currently we have a beaver pound on one of the creeks on the old R. A. Roark home place.
Jacksonville Murders (Coming Soon)
KKK, The Moral Police
When you hear some of the tales about Jacksonville, past and present you see a need for The Moral Police.
One of the episodes I have heard about the KKK in Jacksonville revolves around a citizen who was cheating on his wife. He was waited on by the KKK who pointed out the errors of his ways and told him if he did not straighten up they would tar and feather him. I never heard he was tarred and feathered. Wonder if he straightened up?
Dad would love to tell about a parade the KKK held on the streets in
Jacksonville. He said participants strung themselves out and kept
walking around the block in an attempt to make it appear they had more members
than they actually did. One member was a tall man in excess of six feet,
no robe in any way could mask his identity. Simple little clues like
shoes, rings, watches, voices are dead give aways.
Rusk State Penitentiary (1883-1917)
Information regarding the Rusk State Penitentiary can be found in The Handbook of Texas.
As many of the old-timers will tell you one thing
the Penitentiary was know for was the manufacture of Victorian style
furniture. Both my grandmother, her brother, and her-sister-in-law owned
pieces of this furniture. Recently I have located a chair at Olde Town
Antiques, Jacksonville, that has to have come from Rusk for it so resembles my