The Sutton-Taylor Feud: The Deadliest Blood Feud in Texas

By Chuck Parsons | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
The Taylors and the Suttons—
Texas Pioneers

Mrs. Susan Taylor…. and her husband, the late Pitkin
Taylor, were among the earliest settlers of the county, and
were exposed to many dangers from the frequent incursions
of Indians in those early days
.”

—Cuero Star, OCTOBER 30, 1885

During the tumultuous days following the Civil War, Reconstruction and its aftermath, and into the decade of the 1870s, some considered the Taylors as outlaws, but although several were fugitives from the law, the Taylors in truth were Texas pioneers. Grassroots historian C. L. “Doc” Sonnichsen depicted them accurately as “a large tribe” living in DeWitt County. He described the sons and grandsons of patriarch Josiah Taylor Sr. as “American pioneers,” men who “had small opportunity to acquire refinement and culture, but they were much respected by Indian war parties who had occasion to test their shooting ability.” The Taylors “did not have the reputation of being interested in other people’s cattle when such distinction was rare.” They were without a doubt “clannish and quick to resent a wrong to any member of the tribe.” Further, Sonnichsen says, the Taylors “were Southern to the core and too high-spirited to stay out of trouble with the Yankee army of occupation after the surrender.”1 What Doc Sonnichsen

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