Sherman attorney Roger Sanders discusses the life and legacy of William Quantrill and his band of followers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 17, at the Allen Public Library. Quantrill’s Raiders, which included the infamous Jesse and Frank James and McKinney’s own James “Woot” and Francis “Tuck” Hill who were cousins to the James brothers, camped out in North Texas during the Civil War. In 1864, Quantrill and his gang lynched Collin County Chief Justice J. M. McReynolds and Sheriff James L Read in Tyler, Texas. Thus, the impact of Quantrill’s lawlessness was felt close to home.
Allen pioneer George Washington Ford (Uncle Wash) recalled his experience of meeting up with the Quantrill gang at his family's home place near what is now the Joe Farmer Recreation Center. In an interview with F. Thompson, a writer for the McKinney Democrat who interviewed early Collin county pioneers, Wash recounted these encounters with Quantrill. The area made a tempting hideout because of the surrounding thickets, the springs along Mustang Branch were noted for not running dry, and there was sufficient distance east of the known stage routes.
Acclaimed historian Rick Miller who wrote the definitive biography of the train robber Sam Bass declared, “Quantrill is an interesting guy; he has been painted as everything from a barbaric terrorist to a legitimate Confederate officer who loved his mother.”
Roger Sanders became interested in Quantrill when he learned that the torching of the Grayson County courthouse in 1930 that left a black man dead might have been the result of the Quantrill legacy.
The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.