Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


November 5, 2012

The Mystery Man

BULLARD — Daingerfield, the pleasant county seat of Morris County, was named for Captain London Daingerfield, supposedly a native of Nova Scotia, but beyond that and a few other facts, Captain Daingerfield remains a mystery man.

Morris County pioneers told stories of finding Daingefield’s millstone and water well, which pre-dated local Anglo-American history. These items were likely made by Acadian settlers from Louisiana, but they returned to the territory because of Indian hostilities.

A spring known locally as Daingerfield Spring was once a popular camp used by Indians such as the Choctaws and Caddoes. Around 1830, Captain Daingerfield and a company of 100 men attacked an Indian village at the spring and, after a long, bloody fight, the Indians were driven away.

Local history says Captain Daingerfield settled his family around the spring, but the Indians retaliated, killing Daingerfield, his wife and children.

The Captain and his family were likely buried nearby with large flat rocks marking their graves. But as the years passed, the cemetery and rocks were moved as new homes were built in the area.

In those days, it was the custom of settlers to plant cedar trees around the graves of their loved ones. Near the spot where the Daingerfields were buried, large cedars are now growing.

The problem of finding more about Captain Daingerfield is compounded by the fact that Morris and the surrounding counties were once a part of Arkansas

Army records in Washington have no record of Daingerfield and, despite the efforts of several historians to unearth more details about the captain, his family and his fellow soldiers, his disappearance remains one of the legendary stories of East Texas.

Some early visitors were not kind to the early town of Daingerfield. William A. McClintock, who passed through the area in 1846, noted in his diary that the town consisted of "three or four cabins scarce fit for pigsties."

But by the early 1850s the town began to grow. Sylvia Academy, a private school for girls, opened around 1850, and in 1852 the Marshall Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church founded Chapel Hill College.

(Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author more than 50 books about East Texas. He can be reached at bob-bowman.com)


Text Only
  • churned ice cream.tif I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

    Good things come to those who wait, especially when homemade ice cream is involved.
    Just ask Carolyn Easter of Wells, who grew up in rural Houston County using a hand-cranked freezer to create the delectable dessert.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gearing up with Jacksonville's Back to School Fair

    A little more than a decade ago, Father Mark Kusmirek learned from a parishioner who worked at JISD that approximately 80 percent of local students were from economically disadvantaged families.

    July 12, 2014

  • WilliePRichardson.tif A friend indeed ... Comedian’s last show honors E.Texas friend

    It certainly makes sense that nationally known comedian Willie P. Richardson’s final gig is a tribute to his friend Pam White.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jacksonville Education Foundation to honor Guinn, Womack

    The Stars at night shine clear and bright, deep in the heart of Jacksonville!  
    Directors and volunteers of the Jacksonville Education Foundation are busy preparing for the third annual “Evening With Our Stars” event set for August 14, 2014.

    June 21, 2014

  • LIV 5-24 swink dancers 2554.tif Dancing their hearts out

    Teams from Swink Studio of Dance have racked up several awards this year as they performed in dance competitions from Tyler to Texarkana, said studio owner Jill Swink.

    May 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • A different route to parenthood provides unexpected blessing

    Love – and motherhood – can come unexpectedly.
    Just ask Jacksonville resident Laura Mullenax, whose foray into the world of adoption with her husband, Tim, began with a challenging start and ended with an unexpected blessing.
    The couple, who are owners of T&L Automotive, are parents to 21-year-old TJ, Tim's son from a previous marriage. However, “we wanted a child between us,” Mullenax said.

    May 10, 2014

  • Mother’s Day a century-old tradition

    This year marks the 100-year anniversary of Mother's Day, when Congress passed a resolution to honor mothers after a multi-year campaign by Anna Jarvis, who wanted to memorialize her mother's lifelong activism, according to the National Women's History Project website.

    May 10, 2014

  • Local reviews ‘Tomato Republic’

    On April 9, I had the privilege and pleasure of seeing the world premiere of The Tomato Republic, a documentary movie about the 2013 Jacksonville, Texas, mayoral election. The film was entered in the Dallas Film Festival within the Texas subjects division.

    April 15, 2014

  • “I am the resurrection and the life”

    For millions of believers throughout the world, Holy Week is considered the high point of the Christian year, because they recall the series of events in Jesus' life that began with a welcome embrace and ended with his death by crucifixion.

    April 12, 2014

  • 'Thespians ‘N Training’ group ready to sign up new talent

    TNT (“Thespians ‘N Training”) theatre arts camp will be offered for the 11th consecutive year by Cherokee Civic Theatre.  TNT 2014 will run July 14-26 at the historic Cherokee Theater.

    April 5, 2014