Wilson S. Keith

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Menard County, Texas

    Wilson S. Keith, who formerly lived in Erath County, moved to Menard County, and, perhaps, bought an interest in, or bought the entire ownership of the old Wilkerson Ranch. During the summer of 1873, he, in company with others, were moving about 6,000 head of cattle to New Mexico. When they were at or near the Horseshoe Bend of the Pecos, Wilson S. Keith and a man named Martin, were ahead of the herd, dismounted and sitting on the banks of the Pecos. Indians slipped up and shot Wilson S. Keith in the ankle. Keith was carried to Southern Rivers, near the present town of Carlsbad, New Mexico, and it became necessary to send back to Ft. Stockton, seventy-five miles away, for a surgeon. For fear he would not arrive, a messenger was also sent to another post about 100 miles away. But both doctors came, and amputated Wilson S. Keith's wounded leg, below the knee. It then became necessary to amputate above the knee. But this did not save him. His death occured August 3, 1873, seven days after he was wounded. Money was sent for an elaborate tombstone, to be placed at the head of his grave, but when it was visited by G.M. Keith in 1884, apparently the money had been mis-appropriated, for only a rude sandstone was at his head.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Stephen Keith, and his sister: and corresponded with G.M. Keith, and Bob Tucker, who were early citizens of Erath Co.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

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