Yankees Not Welcome In Comanche County

In 1878, Columbus Addison Lee arrived in Comanche County, Texas. He was a Yankee in a county that had supported the Confederacy, and that was a problem at times even though he became a part of the community and even served as a music teacher and a song leader in one of the local churches.

Now obviously, the Lee family was never a slave holding family; however, they did have colored people who worked for them and who came to Comanche County with them.

Jean G. Schnitz of Borne, Texas shared information about her ancestor C.A. Lee. More of Jean’s writings can be found in The Family Saga: A Collection of Texas Family Legends. Her grandmother told her many times of raids on their home that were conducted by masked men who made threats against the family because of their Negro employees.

One day it happened that C.A. Lee was in the town of Desdemona (forever called Hog Town by my own grandfather) when he was warned that a raid was planned against his home that evening and that he should have his employees off of the property.

I assume this happened in the year 1886 since that is the year a black man killed Sally Stephens, resulting in mob action that removed all African Americans from Comanche County. Lee hurried home, loaded a wagon with food and supplies, and gave the horse-drawn wagon and some money to his employees and told them to leave the county for good.

Sure enough, members of the mob knocked on the Lee door that night, demanding to see the Negro employees, who were by that time long gone. Apparently, the mob was not satisfied, coming back several times before realizing that the Negros were indeed gone.

Although none of the Lees were ever harmed in these raids, the family decided to pull up roots. They moved to Seymore during the late 1880s where there was more tolerance toward Yankees.

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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