Talk of Wilson County TX Historic Towns

by Barbara J. Wood
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Creed Taylor

A former Texas Ranger ...  Creed Taylor was a fascinating character. He didn't write down his life experiences yet he told them to others. "Forgotten Hero A Story of Creed Taylor" written by David Huffstetler is another version of Creed Taylor's life by word.

The Creed Taylor House

The Creed Taylor House in Wilson County, Texas, was photographed around 1895.  It was purchased by the Lorenz Estate founder John Peter Lorenz in 1878.

Family members in the picture: Standing on the porch left to right -Eunice Ware, John Peter Lorenz, Wilhelmina K. Schell Lorenz, Leana Lorenz, Katie Lorenz Lightfoot, John Peter Lorenz    standing on the ground left to right - Willie Lightfoot, Pearl Lorenz, Oliver Lightfoot, and Adolph Houseton

John Peter Lorenz & Wilhelminia K Shell Lorenz were the great grandparents of Laura Swiess.

The old Creed Taylor house burned down in 1938 when my grandparents John Peter Lorenz and Susan Catherine Damron Lorenz were living in it.  My father, John Peter Lorenz and his two older sisters, Myrtle and Hazel Lorenz grew up in the house.  I have attached a picture of the ruins.  When my grandparents rebuilt their home, they built it between the two chimneys that were left standing.

The land is still owned by the original founder, John Peter Lorenz's, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.

COURTESY of Laura Lorenz Swiess


Creed Taylor settled in what became Wilson County, Texas, on land adjacent to Daniel Bird. After the Texas Revolution, he built a log cabin on his Ecleto ranch. It was built of logs fourteen inches in diameter and stood until a few years ago. Creed was a lover and follower of race horses.

In about the year 1869, the Indians made several raids through this immediate vicinity. Winter time was coming on in the mountains and they were coming out of the mountains into the low country. A white man and a black boy were riding, the white man on a horse and the black boy on a mule, from the creek to the old Applewhite house on the west side of our present day town. The white man could easily have ridden away from the Indians but the black boy's mule was stubborn and refused to go. As the Indians approached they started shooting. The white man was forced to leave the black boy and flee to the house. The Indians captured the black  boy and killed him. They went by the old Applewhite house. The white man immediately rode to town and gave the alarm. A band of men were organized and immediately took after the Indians. These men, Creed Taylor as the leader, caught up with the Indians near where the depot stands now. The Indians had circled the town and were heading back toward the river. The Indians all carried rifles and most of the men withdrew when they saw the number of Indians which were about thirty and saw how well armed they were.

Creed Taylor, however, was an old Indian fighter and a very brave man. He pulled his six shooter and started alone in hot pursuit after the Indians. He killed several Indians and forced them to drop the black boy's body.

A few years later the Indians made a raid through this county and stole about thirty head of horses. Creed Taylor, organized a band of men and started in pursuit. After they had trailed the Indians for some ten miles, they lost the trail. All of the men but Taylor, and Sutherland, turned back. Taylor, was very determined to find the Indians because they had stolen his finest racing mare. The two men came upon the Indians at a crossing known as Indian crossing, where the highway crosses the river between Stockdale, and La Vernia. The men hid in the bushes until the Indians had made camp and were settled for the night. The Indians herd the horses in a small space and made their beds around them. Taylor, as I have said before was a very brave man and an experienced Indian fighter, he crept through the line of Indians and untied all the horses. He got on his racing mare, turned her head toward La Vernia, fired his pistol and headed for home. The other horses followed close behind. It is said the fights were numerous between the white men and the Indians at the old Indian Crossing. Many graves both white and Indian marked the crossing in the early days.

Taylor Gang

Taylor Gang – Seize and Destroy Orders.... La Vernia Wilson County Texas ...

Office S.A.C. BR & C
Seguin, Texas, July 4, 1867

Lieut. J. T. Kirkman
A.A.A. Genrl
Galveston, Texas

The case of killing at Lavernia, Wilson Co. by Creed Taylor's band of outlaws was taken hold of by General Mason at San Antonio in my absence before a General Court Martial at Austin. On my return, I immediately made an investigation and found that five men of Taylor's party raised a difficulty with the African American, jumped their horses into his yard beat him with their quirts, he on attempting to escape is run from field to field by the five men they shooting at him,  having run him down, made him lie down when they shot him several times through the head and body and beat him so as to disfigure him fearfully with their six shooters. They remained about town for some time before leaving for San Antonio where they remained for two days. I consulted with General Mason who was investigating the case.

The citizens who saw the murder could give no information, nor in fact, cannot tell you the true state of affairs. I am satisfied that sufficient evidence might be obtained to convict some of the party.  The old man Taylor knows the five men concerned one being as much guilty as the other, all being engaged in the chase for the African American. This band estimated from twenty to fifty is a terror to Wilson County and in fact the whole country around.

Very Respectfully
Your Obnt Servt
Geo. W. Smith
Bvt. Maj. USA

Headquarters, Bureau R. F. and A. L.
State of Texas
Galveston, Texas, July 16, 1867

Respectfully returned to Bvt. Maj. G. W. Smith, S.A.C.
At Seguin, Texas

It is of great importance that this band of outlaws should be destroyed and captured. Resort to extreme measures if necessary. If they escape, seize their property, if they have any and sell it as a fine. You will be sustained in any course you may take to accomplish the desired object.

By Command of Bv't Maj. Gen. Charles Griffin

(Sgd) J. T. Kirkman,
1st Lieutenant and A.A.A.G

(Courtesy of Allen and Regina Kosub of "LOST TEXAS ROADS" )