For some Karnes County history, visit this Web site:
The Helena Ox-Cart War of 1857.
The gunfight in Helena in 1884 (The Affair in Helena, as it was called then). Two deaths.
The gunfight at Daileyville in 1886 (The Fracas at Daileyville, as it was called then). Five deaths.
The SAAP railroad came in 1886, and forever changed Karnes County. Kenedy, Karnes City, and Runge were created.
The Taylor-Sutton Feud, longest and bloodiest in Texas. An outgrowth of the Civil War. Yankee carpet baggers versus pre-war settlers. It covered six counties and 150 miles. Large bodies of armed angry men on horseback, as in a Western movie. Ambushes and murders. Famous Texas outlaw John Wesley Hardin was involved.
Though this may sound gory, such was life at that time. Karnes County had a state-wide reputation as a lawless place. The railroad developer said “If the line could be run around Karnes County, it would be better for everybody.” The San Antonio newspaper reporter wrote “Six-shooters have been carried openly in this county, and the law has been denied. The county has now an opportunity to place itself on record as a law and order place, but unless a man of courage and judgment is elected to fill the office of Sheriff, county organization ought to be abandoned, and attachment to some adjoining county for judicial purposes ought to be its fate.”
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