Earlier this month I received a call from a lady here in Del Rio and she told me about the following article.
This article was published in the Galveston Daily News Friday December 11, 1891.
I have lived here all my 78 years of life and never heard about this.
The following is some of what happened and why it happened.
HE CONFESSED HIS GUILT AND DIED GAME
When he ascended the flight of steps three windows gave him a view of the crowd below. He asks and received permission to address the crowd.
He said I AM ABOUT TO BE CONDEMNED FOR A CRIME OF WHICH I ACKNOWLEDGE I AM GUILTY.
I killed FRANK WILKINS AND I AM SORRY I DID IT.
He said the gentleman he killed was mean to Mexicans and in a heat of passion killed him.
I am sorry that Mr. Wilton was also killed because he was a good man and treated the Mexicans well.
I am prepared and willing to go. I am not afraid, the only regret I have is leaving my parents in such trouble.
He talked about five minutes. He spoke very clear and firmly.
He was affected by the crowd, some crying but he continued talking.
When pictures were taken, he asked that only his mother and father would see them.
When he finished speaking, he ascended the steps to the trap door.
He asks for one last cigarette and while smoking continued talking very calmy. When he finished smoking, he stepped on the trap door and said I am ready. As he was being tied as they usually do, he turned and bade goodbye to some. He placed the noose around his head and drew it up and said it fits real nicely.
At first, he objected to the black hood but finally consented.
The trap door was sprung about 11:30 and nine minutes later he was pronounced dead. They left him hanging there until 12 and then the body was taken down and turned over to the family for burial.
Before the trap door was sprung the priest prayed and blessed him.
There were windows on three sides of the room. About 25 were in the room and two to three hundred people outside, the crowd was very quiet.
The article went on to tell how and where the crime was committed.
On December the 8th 1890 two bodies were discovered at the store that was run by the owner of the ranch, it was located on their property.
The man had been dead for some time and the indications pointed to three Mexicans who were employees at the ranch.
There was no known reason for the crime, although a lot of people new the way the man treated Mexicans and it was thought to be a murder of revenge.
It was soon discovered that the three Mexicans had fled to Mexico.
There was a lot of time and effort to finding and arresting these three men.
After several months they were able to capture only one of the men and he was brought back for trail.
He was first tried for the murder of Mr. Milton but was acquitted.
He was then tried for the murder of Mr. Wilkins and found guilty and sentenced to death. The other two men accused of this crime were never caught and were never heard from again.
He met his fate coolly and his family made arrangements to play music on the day of his death.
I was not able to write all of this article but I wanted to do it as close as possible for a reason. At one time or another we have all been so upset for some reason that things could have happened to push you or anybody past the edge and when that happens people get hurt or sometimes die. I have always said, treat people the way you want to be treated.
Remember as things are slowly getting better wear you mask and give people the respect you want from them, enjoy my home town of DEL RIO Texas and GOD bless each and every one of you. Thanks to the Val Verde County Library and Victor Cirilo.