The following story is from the book, History of Jack County, by Thomas F. Horton.
Statement of the Killing of John Russell (married) and Ab Russell, Brothers, at Postoak in Jack County, Texas, in November, 1880.
The Steeds and Russells were kin and reunited in Texas after the Civil War.
The following is from the book, Ninety-Four Years in Jack County, by Ida lasater Huckabay.
Paul P. Steed, Sr. (pictured right)
Paul P. Steed at Farm in Groom, Texas 1920
The following account by Paul P. Steed, Sr. is from the book, Ninety-Four Years in Jack County, by Ida Lasater Huckabay.
Beginning and continuing on from 1878 and depending on memory and such records as I have been able to obtain is the following narrative written:
"Backward, turn backward, oh, Time in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight."
Memory is treacherous and many oversights perhaps may be made. After Springdale, the next community of note as I remember was Post Oak. In the year 1878, in co-partnership with Mr. S.O. Callahan, we operated a tin-shop in Jacksboro-Mr. Callahan, the tinner, I the road man and peddled tin-ware among the farmers over Jack County. These farm houses were not very numerous at that time. In 1878 I camped one night at Post Oak. A Doctor Voluntine had a small general store there, a few residences were in and around the place. A little later came a Mr. Kirk who put in a good-sized stock of general merchandise and did considerable business. A Mr. White, Mr. Kirk's son-in-law, put in a nice stock of drugs; later came Steed and Evans who opened an elaborate stock of general merchandise; a Mr. Eli Catlin operated a blacksmith shop-he was quite an artisan and could make anything from a horse-shoe nail to a full-rigged well machinery ready for operation; a commodious school house; many handsome residences graced the town, peopled with a citizenship not excelled elsewhere. Of course churches were organized and services regularly held. Located about seventeen miles north of Jacksboro, in Jack County, on the main highway from Jacksboro to Henrietta, in the center of a rich body of farming land. Farmers were not slow in settling around about, and now a rural population of no mean proportion supports the town. A Mr. G.L. Harlan, the chief merchant, operates a general stock of merchandise, amply sufficient to accommodate the trade. Mr. J.W. Reynolds, as chief clerk, with additional clerks, the customers receive ready attention, -the scene of a busy small emporium; blacksmith shop, garages, etc. About two miles south of the town on the highway is a well-cared for cemetery where repose their dead-first settlers-Captain Steed, the patriarch, his son, Needham, M.A. Epps, Dr. Farber, Grandpa Gore, Jeff Brothers, G.W. West, E.P. Coston, Bob Horn, J.W. Lawrence, -Spangler, Dr. Richards, Jesse Smith, Dr. Burton, W.N. Cooper, Nath Moore, Jake Chester, T.D. Glazner, Henry Nelson, Dr. Younger-here memory fails.
Paul P. Steed
Paul P. Steed
I.H. (Isham) Steed was my grandfather. They left Talladega, Alabama, just after the Civil War. They came by ox-wagon to Texas, stopping for a time at Pittsburg, Texas; then on to Gainesville, Texas, and finally came to Post Oak about 1870 or '71. Grandfather I.H. Steed had been some sort of an officer in the Confederate Army. They waited 6 weeks at the Mississippi River for their turn on the Ferry, so great was the migration to the West, and a new country. They had been well fixed in Alabama, and the war left them penniless, almost. The entire trip to Pittsburg took six months. My father was then a small boy, but old enough to remember. In Gainesville, Grandfather Steed engaged in freighting with oxen from Gainesville to Jefferson, Texas, which was the head of navigation for several years. They then moved to the vicinity of Post Oak, Texas. They acquired land and the cemetery there was taken out of grandfather's farm. He and Grandmother Steed, and several other Steeds including my father's first wife, are buried there in the center of the cemetery, under the largest cedar trees in the same. I often asked father why, after passing all the good lands in Texas, they finally located in Jack County, and, of all places, around Post Oak. The answer was simple: They were pioneers, and in the cattle business. Their two fundamental needs were wood and water. Post Oak vicinity offered an abundance of both.
Paul P. Steed, Cumberland University
Law School Graduate, 1916
Paul Steed & Anice White, 1917
Grandfather Steed did have charge of relief work during the big drouth. I have heard them talk of it, also of trouble with Indians. My father when he became around 18 years old took a herd of stock cattle and grazed them on the open range for three years, staying with them day after day. It was the sale of these cattle that put him in business. During the three years he ranged them as far west as about where Quanah now is located, and in between, drifting on the free range where the grass and water were best.
Upon selling out this string of cattle, he engaged in the mercantile business in Post Oak with a man named Evans, firm name of Steed & Evans. Evans ran the store, father engaged in the business of running and buying cattle. He first fenced the pasture just east of Post Oak, and it was this fence that was cut by the wire cutters, and is mentioned in various books, stories, and folklore of the day. The old fence can still be seen just north and east of the town, with the wires cut and repaired between every post clear around the four section pasture. All the neighbors came in and helped repair it the next day. Father always said that some of those who cut it, joined in repairing it. All his life he refused to tell me who did it. Yet he well knew, as did mother.
Paul P. Steed, 1918
Ellington Field, near Houston,
Trained in a biplane called the "Jennt"
Just across the street from Steed & Evans in Post Oak, the Russell Bros. ran a general store, like father's-general merchandise, outfitting buffalo hunters, cowmen etc. They were both murdered by the Dalton Gang and are buried in the adjoining lot to grandfather in Post Oak Cemetery.
My mother taught in Jacksboro School as a substitute some six months one time, during the time that the Fort was being operated. A Dr. Pistol once practiced in Jacksboro, later moved to Seymour where he spent the rest of his life. Dr. J.D. Thweatt or (Theatt) was the doctor at my birth, which was April 28th, 1894, in Post Oak at the location just across the street from the Spangler home. The Spangler home was sold to them by my father just after his first wife died.
George Russell ran the gin, the first I believe in Post Oak.
Dr. Theatt or (Thweatt) above mentioned moved to Garza County and died there while I was County Attorney in that County.
Steed & Evans burned out when I was about two years of age. We moved to Baylor County and on to where Groom, Texas is now located, in 1903, and have been there ever since. We were there before the town or the railroad. We children still own the lands that father purchased from the State and from others. After about 35 years absence, I returned to Jack County and with Joe Cooper opened the Steed-Cooper field, also the Worsham-Steed field in Jack County. The first is now designated as the Steed field and the Worsham-Steed field (S.E. of Jacksboro on Flowers & Sewell) by the R.R. Commission of Texas. Myself and associates developed with about 30 wells, some eight or ten other leases in Jack County. My eldest son still operates them.
My grandfather was the first president of an American law class (Cumberland, Tennessee) born west of the Mississippi. He was appointed county attorney and was on a job serving a writ in Post, Texas where he met and fell in love with my grandmother. They married and he went to work for an oil company, moving to Wichita Falls to lease property.
My dad, Netum Steed (far right), returned from World War II to join his father in the oil business.
Netum Andrew Steed (bottom left) at a gathering of American Wildcatters
Leader in the oil community, he served as president of the Texas Independent and Royalty Owners Association, often appearing in front of Congress in Washington, D.C.
He warned of the dangers to National Security of our dependence on foreign oil. He helped John Tower win Lyndon Johnson's senate seat, Texas' first elected Republican since Reconstruction.
Netum Steed (right) arriving in Washington D.C. with newly elected Senator John Tower
Fort Tour Systems, Inc.