Spradley & Ketchum Descendants

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  • ID: I832
  • Name: Richard H. DUNCAN
  • Surname: Duncan
  • Given Name: Richard H.
  • Nickname: Dick
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 6 Dec 1862 in Leon County, Texas
  • Death: 18 Sep 1891 in Eagle Pass, Texas of execution by hanging
  • Burial: Barnett Cemetery, San Saba, TX
  • _UID: CE7D54918B1DD61191E70050BF0E89AB882C
  • Note:
    In February of 1889, miners from the Seco Mine Company of Eagle Pass, Texas discovered a bod y of a woman in the Rio Grande River, weighted down with a heavy rock. Two days later a depu ty found two more bodies further upstream of a young man and young woman, similarly trussed a nd beaten to death. A forth body of a young girl was found nearby. Texas Ranger Sergeants I ra Aten and John R. Hughes were called in to help with the identification of the bodies and a pprehension of the murderer. By accident, the two Rangers recalled seeing and talking briefl y to a stranger at a camp in Nueches Canyon a week or two earlier. They also recalled seein g the same stranger and another man later, on the Nueches River with a wagon carrying three f emales and a male. The men identified themselves as R. H. Duncan and Walter Landers. One ra nger remembered that it was a Mitchel wagon with "Sold by Joe Clark, San Saba, Texas" printe d on the back. The next day the rangers encountered another wagon whose occupants introuce d themselves as "Old Man" Duncan and Tap Duncan, and claimed to be surprised that "Dick" wa s in the vicinity. In March, the rangers tracked the two men and questioned them, one of who m was driving the same Mitchell wagon, but having no evidence, they were released. Then, on e ranger went to San Saba, talked to the wagon maker and the sheriff, and discovered that a f amily named Williamson, resembling the murder victims, had left San Saba recently to move t o Mexico, and then from another source discovered that R. H. "Dick" Duncan had agreed to bu y the Williamson place before they moved away, and guide them to Mexico. The Ranger then wen t back into town to talk with the San Saba sheriff and discovered that the sheriff had Dick D uncan in jail! The ranger eventually found the store in Bracketsville where the rope was pur chased by Duncan and used to tie the rocks to the victims. Duncan was charged with murder an d sent to Eagle Pass for trial. His brother Tap Duncan, and their father, swore that Dick wa s in Mexico at the time of the murders, but there was too much evidence to believe them. Wal ter Landers was never seen nor heard from again and it was supposed that Duncan murdered hi m so he would not be a witness against him. Dick Duncan was tried, convicted and sentence d by District Court Judge Winchester Kelso?s Court in Maverick County to hang on Friday, Sep tember 18, 1891. The gallows were constructed inside the jail building. On the morning of t he hanging Duncan arose at 8:00, bathed and dressed in a new black suit and black boots. H e ate breakfast calmly. Sheriff Cooke came for him at 11:07 and witnesses said he was very c alm. His last words were "You are handling an innocent man. Years after I'm dead they'll fin d the real murderers". Early the next morning after the hanging Tap Duncan and his father cl aimed the body from the mortuary and took it back to San Saba for burial. He was the first a nd only man legally hung in Eagle Pass.
    - condensed article from
    - The San Saba News & Star, Oct. 16, 1975
    - as reprinted from the Eagle Pass News Guide of Sept 16, 1971
    - with additional information from Timeline of Eagle Pass History, Al Kinsall, 2005

    Nelda Weatherby provided the following information: "There is a grave in the Barnett Cemeter y that I think you would like to know about -- it is that of a notorious outlaw, R.H. (Dick ) Duncan. He was hanged in Eagle Pass for having murdered 4 people. The stone has fallen fro m its base and is located a short distance southeast of the Barnett graves. I had been told a bout this grave and was especially looking for it when I went to the Barnett Cemetery. The in scription is quite interesting:
    R.H. Duncan born in Leon Co., Texas December 6, 1862 / Murdered at Eagle Pass Sept. 18, 189 1 / His last words / I know that God has forgiven me, and I feel / that I have heard from him . Good-by, I hope / we all meet in heaven, I feel that I am going / right there, and feel tha t I will be pardoned / for my sins and washed whiter than snow."
  • Change Date: 29 Dec 2009 at 15:30:42



    Father: Abijah Elam DUNCAN Sr. b: Nov 1829 in Bibb Co., AL
    Mother: Martha Machoga BLANCHARD b: 5 Sep 1824 in Georgia
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