The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise from Seguin, Texas on October 28, 1992 · Page 10
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The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise from Seguin, Texas · Page 10

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Seguin, Texas
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Wednesday, October 28, 1992
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Page 10
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Page 10 - Wednesday, October 28, 1992 - The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise - Seguin, Texas Jennifer is waiting for visitors at McDow waterhole 'i The McDow waterhole on Green's Creek in Erath County, Texas, is — from all appearances, at l<5ast — the ideal place for a picnic. The quiet creek, funning across 'gravel bars and widening into a deep, clear, ircc-shadcd pool, is beautiful to look at — from a distance. About 20 years ago I went to MeDow Waterhole. The horse I was ridihg was an old, steady marc, not prone to shy. I'm glad I'm a good horseman — if I hadn't been, I'd have been thrown. The marc definitely wanted no part of that place. '<''!; walked, finally, to the water. It was 1 quiet — eerily so. The only sounds were the soft rustle of the water over the gravel bars, the whisper of the breeze in the leaves, and •tha-jinglc of my spurs. No birds. No crickets. Only the water, the leaves, 'and my spurs. .It's cool there. The breeze through the trees feels good on a hot Texas day. The water is cool and 'inviting. The grass is — or was, 20 years ago — lush and green. " u i didn't stay long. The hair on my arms and the back of my neck kept rising and prickling. I saw nothing. I f^lixomething. something was watching me — waiting. I wasn't sure what it was wailing for. I knew instinctively — a.s you do know if you've lived, from time to time, on the edge of danger — that whatever the something was, it didn't wish me well. I left — and I haven't been back. ; .Don't picnic at the McDow. And, above all — if you value your sanity and perhaps your life as 'well — don't spend a night camping on its grassy, inviting banks. You won't be alone — and you definitely don't want to meet what you'll have for company. A little over a century ago now Charlie Pap worth brought his wife Jennifer, his young son Hunter, and his infant daughter to the McDow waterhole to settle and live. They came from Alabama, or at least local legend holds they did. They built a small house — more of a cabin — near the banks of Green's Creek. The foundations of that cabin, overgrown with brush and weeds, arc still there. Skeptics claim the cabin ruins arc the only trace of the Papworth family still remaining in 20th Century Erath County. Skeptics — at least living near the McDow — are few and far between. Erath County lies, today, southwest of Fort Worth, pretty much off the beaten path to or from anywhere in particular. The main north-south road, U.S. 281, was once a major artery but today has fairly well succumbed to competition from the Interstate to the east. Stcphenville is the county seat, and is home to Tarleton State, once a junior college, now part of the A&M system. The major industries used to be dairy- farming, cattle, and petroleum. With the bust in cattle and oil-and-gas, it isn't doing too well these days. In the 1880s Erath County was "frontier," and had a reputation for lawlessness. There was a band of local outlaws — horse and cattle thieves, mostly, who weren't above looting an unprotected homestead if tihey could find one — who had the local law buffaloed. They dressed, often, as Indians. It was usually easier (and safer) to attribute their crimes to "Indians." It wasn't long after Charlie and Jennifer arrived that Charlie, for reasons not recorded in local memory, was called back to Alabama. He left his wife and children at ihcir new home on Green's Creek! Jenny and the kids were supposed to spend the days at their place, the nights with neighbors a couple of miles away. One evening Jennifer and her children's didh't make it to the neighbors'. The next morning the neighbors went to investigate. The house was wrecked inside, looted, and blood was spattered on the walls and floors. There were no bodies to be found. "Indians got them." That, at least, was the safest assumption. Charlie came home from Alabama to find his home destroyed and his family apparently murdered "by Indians." Then — out of the brush — came eight-year-old Hunter Papworth, and he wasn't talking about Indians. A bunch of men — white men, but dressed as Indians — came to the house, he said. He recognized some of them, and named them to his father. Hunter got away into the brush while they were brutalizing his mother. He didn't sec what they did to his mother and sister — or at least didn't want to say if he did. He claimed not to know what became of their bodies. Charlie Papworth went to the law. He made accusations and named names — and after several narrow escapes from ambushes and one from a lynch mob (led, local legend holds, by the very men who raped and murdered his wife) he took his young son and quit the country. The problem, or so the outlaws thought, was solved. Any witness not dead was scared off. They could rest easy. They reckoned without Jenny! New scoring booth JIM OSBORN N .,-v" "». JIM OSBORN 633 E. Court, Suite 102 Seguin. TX 78155 512-379-7984 FIELD REPRESENTATIVE Office: 512-379-7984 633 E. Court St., Suite 102 Seguin .Texas 78155 WOODMEN OF THE WORLD LIFE INSURANCE SOCIETY fil-Zofar Temple Presents ;SAEGERT MIDDLE SCHOOL students in Bill Jones' Tech Ed II class as well as selected students ;frfjm Tech Ed I built the covered scoring booth for the Toreador football field, a service- iotfented class project with practical construction application. Students from the Tech Ed II class poured are (from left) Zach Ehlers, Carlos Aldana, John Wallace and Oscar Godina. Richards supports ghild Accident ' reversion Week 3ov. Ann Richards has declared week of Oct. 25-31 as Child :ident Prevention Week in Texas iconjunction wilh the Travelers ^teclive Association of America. [The proclamalion reads as flows: ^Thousands of children each year "et with crippling accidents or "violent deaths on slreets and-highways, on playgrounds, in schools, and in iheir own homes. ? "Through important child safety programs, groups and individuals in pur stale are seeking to save the jives and limbs of boys and girls, and to train our citizens in general to lead safer lives. • "One such program, the National thild Accident Prevention Week, sponsored by Travelers Protective Association of America, will be observed for ihc 47th year this bctober. The program encourages greater public awareness of the preventable tragedies involving children and the need for greater child safely in our slate and nation. J 'The people of Texas should be Encouraged to participate in this val- iiable program and to take all neces- Sary measures to protect the lives &nd safety of Texas children. J 'Therefore, I. Ann W. Richards, Governor of Texas, do hereby pro- fclaim the week of October 25 through October 31, 1992 as Child Accident Prevention Week in Texas 4nd urge the appropriate recognition thereof." J For more information about TPA (all Brad Finch in Beeville at l|$ 12-358-5883. Guadalupe County Fairgrounds, Seguin Thursday, October 29, 1992 4:30 & 7:30 p.m. $6.00 Adults $3.00 Child age 1 -13 Tickets on Sale At Chamber of Commerce Also on Sale at the Gate Pay of Show Stories began to circulate about the house the Papworths once lived in and the McDow waterhole. People saw strange tilings — things they didn't like to talk about. Horses, mules, and dogs didn't like the place. People — especially men — felt uncomfortable there, even in daylight — as though something — something very unpleasant — was waiting there. The first concrete indication came when a man moved into Jenny's house. He was warned — and he scoffed. They found him there one morning, not long after he moved in. The door and the window were bolted from the inside and the window had to be smashed in to let folks in. He was huddled against the back wall, facing the door. His eyes were wide open, his face frozen in an expression of horror. There was a sixshoo- ter in his hand, loaded five beans in the wheel. All five had been fired. There were five bulletholocs in the door, from the inside. They had to break his fingers to get Ihc gun oul of his hand. He was dead, of course — without a mark on his body. Whatever "got" him — without leaving a mark — also entered a sturdy cabin with the door and window bolted from the inside and then left again without disturbing the locks and without leaving any physical trace of its presense. "Jenny," folks said. "Jenny got her first one." "They say" that the leader of the band of "Indians" died in his bed in Dublin — but he didn't die peaceably. As he was dying, he suddenly sat bolt upright in bed and screamed "Oh, my God! Don't let her get me! Don't let her get me!" The man at his bedside looked toward the foot of the bed and saw — something. He'd never talk, in detail, about what he saw there. After the turn of the ceniuryja railroad was built near thi^itc of Jenny's house. There were a lot of unscheduled after-dark stops right about there — a shadowy figure, looking for all the world like a woman carrying a baby, would suddenly appear oh the tracks in front on the engines. The train "hit" her countless times — but no one ever found trace of a body. Jenny? Well into the 20th century two young men — late teens, early 20s — were near Ihc McDow as dark came on. They saw — something. One died very shortly thereafter. The other would never talk, in detail, about what they'd seen — and what had chased them, .at impossible speed, as they whipped and spurred their horses to get away. The only possible trace of Jennifer's Panworth's body, so far as any- oite^recalls, was found in the 1940s. A local man found some small glass buttons — the kind used to fasten women's dresses in the 1880s — in the sand and gravel alongside the McDow, near where a long-caved-in seep well in the gravel bar had once been. McDow waterhole is still there, of course — still cool, trceshaded, and inviting. Don't accept the invitation. Jenny's still there, too — and nobody along Green's Creek believes she's anywhere near through. Sponsored by Alamo Group. OUNTRY STORE Halloween Costume Dance Judging & Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd Places, Saturday, October 3} • 6.00-/ 2.00 Music by TED LA.CEY 372-1952 Bring a finger food and join the fun! 2080 FM 477 104 N.Austin-372-4532 FREE DELIVERY FREE SET-UP

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