No Hope for Heaven, No Fear of Hell: The Stafford-Townsend Feud of Colorado County, Texas, 1871-1911

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University of North Texas Press, Sep 15, 2016 - History - 352 pages
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Two family names have come to be associated with the violence that plagued Colorado County, Texas, for decades after the end of the Civil War: the Townsends and the Staffords. Both prominent families amassed wealth and achieved status, but it was their resolve to hold on to both, by whatever means necessary, including extra-legal means, that sparked the feud. Elected office was one of the paths to success, but more important was control of the sheriff’s office, which gave one a decided advantage should the threat of gun violence arise.  No Hope for Heaven, No Fear of Hell concentrates on those individual acts of private justice associated with the Stafford and Townsend families. It began with an 1871 shootout in Columbus, followed by the deaths of the Stafford brothers in 1890. The second phase blossomed after 1898 with the assassination of Larkin Hope, and concluded in 1911 with the violent deaths of Marion Hope, Jim Townsend, and Will Clements, all in the space of one month.
 

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Contents

Introduction
2
1 The Murders of Bob and John Stafford at the Hands of Larkin and Marion Hope
5
2 The Seven Townsend Brothers and One Sister of Texas
21
3 Robert Earl Stafford
39
4 The Rise of Sam Houston Reese and the Assassination of Larkin Hope
61
5 The Killings of Sam and Dick Reese
77
Photo Insert
98
6 The Terrible Affray at Bastrop and the Shootout at Rosenberg
99
8 The 1906 Skating Rink Shootout
127
9 The Assassination of Jim Coleman
135
10 The Deaths of Marion Hope Will Clements and Jim Townsend
145
11 Postscript
151
Appendices
161
Endnotes
211
Bibliography of Sources Used
265
Index
279

7 The Interim
119

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About the author (2016)

James C. Kearney currently teaches at the University of Texas in Austin. He is the author of Nassau Plantation; co-editor of Journey to Texas, 1833; and translator and editor of Friedrichsburg: The Colony of the German Fürstenverein. Bill Stein was director and archivist at the Nesbitt Memorial Library in Columbus. James Smallwood was professor of history at Oklahoma State University and the author of more than twenty books on Texas history.

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