Tommie Hunter
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In Remembrance of

Tommie Hunter
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Rose Spray

This is a story as told to me when I was a boy in Crosby County:

The ranches on the Plains were fixing to start the Spring roundup. One outfit was camped near the Collett Springs in the southeast part of the county. Another outfit was coming in to join them that night. The cowboys had arranged a signal of firing when the second outfit got near the camp. Tommie Hunter and Bruce Wilson were in their beds talking, when they heard shots from the incoming cowboys. Bruice Wilson raised up to answer with his gun, just as Tommie Hunter raised up with his just behind his friend. Bruce raised his gun high but a little back and when he shot, it got his friend right through the stomach.

The dying cowboy begged for water, just a drink from the cool Collett spring, but he wanted to drink it from the spring, not in a dipper someone would bring to him. The cowboys made a stretcher and in the night they carried the boy up the gradual slope to the spring on the side of the hill. They carefully turned him over so he could get the precious water on his thirsting tongue at the spring he loved so well and that had given him many a cool drink of water. But this time the water did not refresh, for the cowboy soon died, away from mother and home and away from a doctor. The cowboy was brought to Emma and buried, where he awaits in the little peaceful cemetery with the pioneers of Crosby County the judgment day.

By J. Lowell Witt, Amarillo, Texas

Source: "Through the Years, A History of Crosby County, Texas" by Nellie Witt Spikes and Temple Ann Ellis ©1951; The Naylor Company, San Antonio, Texas

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