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Who murdered Smith Kellum Mclennan Co 1873
Posted by: John Pullman (ID *****3205) Date: June 07, 2009 at 13:11:42
  of 65459

We have been researching the Mclennan county Kellums for some time because we own a very, very small portion of the massive land holdings they owned back then. We have been trying to unravel some mysteries surrounding some business transactions that Marion, Smith and Brother William R were involved in at the time of Smith's Death.

We are forever in debt to Gholson Town Historian, Lelia McDugal and her associates in Gholson Texas for the collection of material they have amassed about the town of Gholson. There is a copy at the Waco City Library in the genealogy section. The Kellums take up several pages in this informative work.

I can send anyone interested a spreadsheet of the purchases and sales of land in the Gholson area owned by Thomas S. (Smith) Kellum, his brother William Riley Kellum, his son by his first wife Marion H Kellum and his son by his second wife James S. Kellum. It is interesting to note that John Puckett his son in law married to Phebie his youngest daughter, was the administrator of Smith Kellum's estate after his murder. Also of interest is that his sister Nancy Kellum Rhuson bought several hundred acres of land from Marion less than a month after Smith Kellums murder.
The records also show that Smith Kellum filed for bankruptcy in 1866. In 1869 he and Marion bought several hundred acres in Nalcisso Dees survey from a man named WJ Clements.
At the same time an attorney representing the owners of a Mexican 11 league land grant which overlapped much of the Kellum holdings was suing everybody in the 80 square mile grant for title. Much of the Joaquin Moreno 11 league grant was actually sold by the Republic of Texas as the University Lands in Northeastern Mclennan County to fund the creation of the University of Texas. The problem arose because the 11 league grant was awarded to Moreno, a secretary to a Mexican Imperial Diplomat, just before the revolution. Those ownership papers were filed with the General land office almost 35 years later. This being after all that land had been given away or sold by the Republic or the state to encourage settlement or pay bills.

In 1927 the Texas State Senate finally passed a law saying that heirs of the owners of the Moreno grant could no longer sue the state for the lost property.
The Texas General land Office land grant data base is a great place to look for stuff like this.

What we have really been taken by was what a couple of hot shots TS and brother William were in the Waco area. There is a plaque on the old Suspension bridge over the Brazos river crediting William with being on the Bridge Board. Unfortunately the newspaper records at the library and at Baylor University only go back to 1874 and we are puzzled by who shot TS Kellum. The only mention we find in the History of Mclennan County is a reference to his Foul Murder at White Rock Creek on the Fort Graham Road.
Also puzzling are 2 court cases which he and Marion were involved in at the time of his murder. We found records of several continuances but no discussion of what the cases were about.

Any how it's way better than old "Dallas", reruns because it really happened to these dynamic people.

If anyone can shed any light as to the identity of the culprit who bushwhacked Smith Kellum I'd appreciate a note.

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