Hunter and Green

    1898 February 11: (Sherman Daily Register)  A Sherman Man. Bob Hunter Killed at Bonham. Said to 
Be a Smith. Perhaps the Truth. Description of The 
Dead Man Recalls That of Another Man. 
    Sheriff Ridling, the plucky sheriff of Fannin county 
who engaged in the deadly duel with William Green and Bob Hunter yesterday morning, resulting in the death of both outlaws, wired the Sheriff’s office today that Hunter 
is believed to be a Sherman man whose name is Smith. 
    Ridling was informed to this effect by the wife of Green, who says Hunter confided the fact to her. Only 
last week she says he received a letter with a Sherman post mark and believed to have been written by his 
relatives here. 
    The office here was inclined to believe this, as the description furnished of Hunter or Smith tallies with that 
of a man arrested here some six or seven months ago 
on a trivial charge. The name of the man in question was also Smith and the officers are inclined to believe that he and the dead man were one and the same. 
    Hunter is described as a man about 22 or 25 years old, weighing between 160 to 165 pounds, 5 feet, 10 or 
11 inches in height, with blue eyes and of a rather sandy complexion. He wore a small, light mustache, and his hair when worn long was inclined to curl. 
    It is thought that this description may serve as a 
clue to his identity should it be true that he has relatives living here.
    1898 February 12: (SDR) Perhaps Hunter Was the Fannin County Outlaw’s Name After All. D. W. Holman,
state agent for the Chicago Portrait company with headquarters here, called at the sheriff’s office after reading the description of the dead Fannin county outlaw, Bob Hunter or Smith, and is much inclined to believe that he knew the dead man. 
    Mr. Hollman says the description fits a young fellow by the name of Hunter whose father is now at Gainesville working for the portrait company. If this is the case he believes the young fellow who left here shortly after the departure of his father, had considerable money as he was pretty well assured at the time that he was contemplating a boot legging expedition into the Territory. 

    1898 February 15: (SDR) Milstead Dies. The Fannin County Deputy Succumbs to His Wounds. Bonham, Texas. February 14. Mr. T. E. Milstead died today at 8:30 a.m. at his home in the western part of the city.... Mr. Milstead was wounded last Thursday at Mulberry, twenty miles north of here, while trying to effect the arrest of Will Green and Bob Hunter who were wanted for misdemeanors. During the battle which ensued Green and Hunter were killed and Milstead received five wounds. 
    [Commissioners’ Court was meeting] In respect to the memory of T. E. Milstead, Constable of Precinct No. 1, who, when in the discharge of his official duties, was shot to death by the hands of desperadoes on last Thursday morning, from the effects of which he died Monday at 8:30 A.M. today, the court adjourned to attend in a body the funeral services.

“Backward Glances”
by A. W. Neville
    Several years before he was called by death, Tom White told me the story of one of the gun battles that used to be rather frequent in this section.... It was just breaking day when the officers rode up to the one-room shack. Bridge and Milstead were to go to the door, and Paris and Riding to the window in the rear to stop the thieves if they tried to slip out that way. 
    Bridge knocked on the door but got no response until he knocked again, when the door opened and he started to step inside but a shot from the pistol of one of the thieves struck him and knocked him down. Milstead stepped over his fellow officer and into the room and both thieves fired at him. He grappled one of them and in the twisting about they were thrown onto the one bed in which were a woman and a baby. 
    It was Hunter that was wrestling with Milstead, and Green was standing, revolver in hand, pointed at the door, expecting the other officers to come in. Bridge, though badly wounded by the shot that knocked him down, crawled into the room unobserved in the smoke and confusion, propped himself against the wall and fired at Green, the bullet striking the thief in the forehead and killing him instantly. Bridge then crawled over toward the bed, where Milstead and Hunter were struggling, and putting his pistol against the back of Hunter’s head blew out the thief’s brains and the battle ended. Riding and Paris broke into the room through the window in the meantime, and found their brother officers apparently dying. 
    Milstead had been shot eight times, six of the wounds being in his body and two in the neck and head. The officers were taken out of the house and one of the uninjured rode to Bonham, about eighteen miles, for help. A hack came after several hours and the two wounded men were taken to Bonham. Milstead lived several days but died without becoming conscious. Bridge was treated by his brother, a doctor who lived near Bonham, and recovered. He afterwards was elected sheriff of Fannin County and was chief of police in Bonham several years. 
    The bodies of the outlaws showed Green was shot only once, the bullet from Bridge’s gun having finished him, but Hunter had a wound in the body, probably from Milstead’s pistol when they were struggling with each other. The woman and the baby were not injured. It was one of the deadliest encounters ever happening in this section. 

Mulberry Gun Battle Described in Copy Feb. 17, 1898, Fannin County Favorite.

    [undated newspaper clipping]  A story of the gun battle in the Mulberry community in which Constable T. E. Milstead was fatally wounded and Bob Hunter and Will Green were killed is told in a copy of the Fannin County Favorite dated Feb. 17, 1898. 
    Constable Milstead and Deputy Sheriffs Charlie Bridge, Daily Paris and Junius Ridling went to the home of Will Green to arrest Green and Hunter. In the gun battle that followed, Green and Hunter were killed and Constable Milstead was fatally wounded, succumbing to his wounds several days later. 
    The copy of the paper was found in a trunk of Mrs. Jesse Cox, grandmother of C. R. Scott of Bonham. It had been addressed to her husband, Jesse Cox, who was operating a store and gin at Ruben, south of Honey Grove. 
    Deputy Sheriff Bridge was a brother of Mrs. Cox and was later elected sheriff of Fannin County [from 1906 to 1910]. 
1897 December 15: Schuyler M. Eubank became postmaster in Mulberry.
Then an Affidavit of “complaint” was sworn by R. F. Cockburn
“this 25th day of January, 1898.”
State witnesses were R. F. Pattison, Dan Price, Bud Provens and R. F. Cockburn.

	...the 26th day of December A.D. 1897, one Will Green did...go...into and near the post office in the town of Mulberry...and did...rudely display a deadly weapon, to wit a pistol, in a manner calculated to disturb the inhabitants....


“In school at Mulberry,
watching burials in the cemetery,
I knew a short bois d’arc post near the fence.
It marked the single grave of
‘Hunter and Green.’
The post is gone, the fence moved back,
to make more room,
but I remember and have placed this stone
in exchange for a parcel of land.”

— “I am Gregory” (1996)