The Johnson-Sims Feud: Romeo and Juliet, West Texas Style - A.C. Greene (Paperback)Bill O'Neal (author)
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One of the best lawyers in West Texas, Judge Cullen Higgins (son of the old feudist Pink Higgins) managed to win acquittal for both Gladys and Sid. In the tradition of Texas feudists since the 1840s, the Sims family sought revenge. Sims' son-in-law, Gee McMeans, led an attack in Sweetwater and shot Billy Johnson's bodyguard, Frank Hamer, twice, while Gladys-by now Mrs. Hamer-fired at another assassin. Hamer shot back, killed McMeans, and was no-billed on the spot by a grand jury watching the shootout through a window. An attempt against Billy Johnson failed, but a three-man team shotgunned the widely respected Cullen Higgins. Texas Rangers and other lawmen caught one of the assassins, extracted a confession, and then prompted his "suicide" in a Sweetwater jail cell.
Publisher: University of North Texas Press,U.S.
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
"Bill O'Neal, prolific author and historian, has added to his long list of well-researched and informative books a new account of a little-known feud bitterly fought in West Texas during the early years of the twentieth century. Texans and others interested in the rich history of Texas will find it fascinating reading."--Robert K. DeArment, author of Bat Masterson and editor of Life of the Marlows
"Raw and brutal, the Johnson-Sims feud is captured for the first time by an author who truly portrays the savage emotions, naked hatred, and stark realities of the feud. This is a gripping tale well told by a skillful historian."--David Johnson, author of John Ringo and The Mason County "Hoo Doo" War
"The author reconstructs the homicide, the events leading to it and its aftermath, in considerable detail, largely through extensive interviews with family members from both sides. The most distinctive feature of the book is not the murder itself, or two related homicides that followed, but the insights gained as to the personalities and attitudes of the relatives affected."--"Journal of the West"
"For scholars interested in frontier violence, ranching, and life in West Texas, this work represents a colorful narrative that places the stories of two families into a larger context."--"Great Plains Quarterly"
"[O'Neal's] meticulous research adds depth to the history of the people and places of West Texas. His descriptions are aided by the extensive illustrations included in the book. . . . Overall, the work provides both a readable guide to anyone interested in the lives of early West Texas cattle ranchers and an absorbing tale of passion, violence, and retribution."--"Southwestern Historical Quarterly"
"A violent, sordid, and utterly fascinating true account, carefully researched and presented with excitement and flair as well as meticulous accuracy."--"Midwest Book Review"
"It was the last traditional family feud in the Lone Star State, a violent and acrimonious West Texas dispute spanning the first two decades of the twentieth century. . . . At first glance, the casual reader might write off this Rolling Plains feud as a minor dispute of little import. The Johnson-Sims conflict, however, boasts star power. One of the main characters in this tale is legendary Texas lawman Frank Hamer, who married Gladys after her rancorous divorce from Ed and helped protect the Johnson clan when things turned ugly. . . . [T]he reader is quickly immersed in the middle of a fascinating and fast-paced narrative."--"New Mexico Historical Review"
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