Cornudas 1904

This excerpt was taken from The Hudspeth County Herald, a January 2012 article Sag-Ashus – Cornudas Tales

Ole Sag’s great uncle, B. Tom Homsley, was born on a farm near Maverick, Texas on Oct. 22, 1893, and by 1904 he was living at Cornudas, in the Territory of New Mexico, with his older sister Mary and her husband Joe Neely.

“I started living with Mary and Joe Neely at the Cornudas and this is where we had several interesting experiences. This mountain had a lot of wild life such as panthers (mountain lions), coyotes, deer, wild cats, skunks, lots of rabbits, squirrels, quail, and last but not least law-dodgers.

We, like the Indians, had a little garden up on the side of the mountain a hundred yards from the house. Water ran off the rocks and wet the dirt where we raised lettuce, radishes, and onions. The garden was very small, but it produced well. We know that the Indians who were there raised some corn, because we found some corn cobs in a cave that were 4 inches long. There were some pretty late Indian activities there at the mountain. In 1880 a Texas Ranger and a Russian man were killed and a Texas Ranger, named Santiago Cooper, from Ysleta, was sent at times to settle Indian uprisings in the area. His name with the date 1879, is written on a rock in a cave around on the east side of the mountain from the big cave where the house was located. The Stephens boys related this story and told how Santiago wrote his name. They loosened the wagon wheel, found a stick and stuck it into the grease, and he wrote his name with this black grease.

As I mentioned before, I went to Cornudas in 1904 and lived with Joe and Mary Neely. Joe worked for Dan Stephens, who owned the Cornudas at the time. There had been a log house there at the Cornudas for 30-40 years. It was made out of logs from the old Butterfield Stageline Station. These logs had been hauled from Weed. I don’t know how long white people lived there before 1904. George McVay lived there during the 1890s.

Just inside this cave there was a man buried in a shallow grave with his boots on. When we went there, the toes of his boots were sticking out above the ground. A man fixed the boots so it did not happen again. There were other graves about 150 yards from the house around the mountain to the west. One was Mrs. Tenney’s, another was a cow thief’s, another was Mrs. Rey’s, and the last was an unknown girl who got real sick and died while passing through. The sides of the wagon were taken off to make Mrs. Tenney’s coffin. Some of the boards of the chicken house were used to make Mrs. Rey’s coffin.”


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