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No Hope for Heaven, No Fear of Hell: The Stafford-Townsend Feud of Colorado County, Texas, 1871-1911

Description: Two family names have come to be associated with the violence that plagued Colorado County, Texas, for decades after the end of the Civil War: the Townsends and the Staffords. Both prominent families amassed wealth and achieved status, but it was their resolve to hold on to both, by whatever means necessary, including extra-legal means, that sparked the feud. Elected office was one of the paths to success, but more important was control of the sheriff’s office, which gave one a decided advantage should the threat of gun violence arise. No Hope for Heaven, No Fear of Hell concentrates on those individual acts of private justice associated with the Stafford and Townsend families. It began with an 1871 shootout in Columbus, followed by the deaths of the Stafford brothers in 1890. The second phase blossomed after 1898 with the assassination of Larkin Hope, and concluded in 1911 with the violent deaths of Marion Hope, Jim Townsend, and Will Clements, all in the space of one month. The contents include: The murders of Bob and John Stafford at the hands of Larkin and Marion Hope -- The seven Townsend brothers (and one sister) of Texas -- Robert Earl Stafford -- The rise of Sam Houston Reese and the assassination of Larkin Hope -- The killings of Sam and Dick Reese -- The terrible affray at Bastrop and the shoot-out at Rosenberg -- The interim -- The 1906 skating rink shoot-out -- The assassination of Jim Coleman -- The deaths of Marion Hope, Will Clements, and Jim Townsend -- Postscript -- Conclusion -- Appendix A. Feud biographies -- Appendix B. Goeppinger interviews -- Appendix C. Report of Ranger Captain Sieker report -- Appendix D. Witness list Stelzig murder trial -- Endnotes.
Date: September 2016
Creator: Kearney, James C.; Stein, Bill & Smallwood, James
Partner: UNT Press