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Land in Texas

Land records play a large part in helping this writer to annotate The Old Rover book and match up facts about the travels of L.D. Lafferty in Texas. According to records in hand, he first purchases land in Texas in August 1848 — however, he owns a significant amount of property in Arkansas, so one wonders why. He officially leaves Arkansas for Texas in January 1855 and the rest of the purchases happen starting in April-May 1856. An expensive rancho purchased from the San Juan Mission slips through his fingers mysteriously. There’s no official records of land purchased on the Pendencia Creek or the Pintos Creek. The story trickles down to a successful Patent on 160 acres in Uvalde County on Bear Creek.

Seguin Lots
Guadalupe County

Description says “town farm lots in Sequin”. Quantity two purchased August 1848.
Sold July 1874 for $75 to A.J. Fry.
Documents note that L.D. says he does own these two town lots but that a “mistake in recording shows they belong to Wesley D. Lafferty”.
Hmmm. W.D. Lafferty (1813 OH – 1856 TX) is dead by now. He has lived in Fayette County, Texas. A Presbyterian clergyman. Is L.D. pulling a hoax?

Guadalupe College
DeWitt County

507 acres purchased April 1856. 8 miles south of Yorktown. Purchased from Peter Ragsdale, an assignee of Guadalupe College.
Lost via judgement and land sold at public outcry to E.M. Edwards in February 1858 
Documents were executed in Concrete, Texas.

Coleto Creek
DeWitt County

Referred to as the Hoge (Hodge) purchase. Along Coleto Creek 3 miles south of Yorktown. Survey beginning on the north bank of east fork of Coleto Creek …
Bought 480 acres for $1/acre May 1856.
Sold 95 acres in July 1857 to John Roth on East fork of ColetoCreek.
Sold 100 acres in July 1860  to John Range for $200.
Sold 20.5 acres in July 1862 to Moritz Reidel for $21.
167.5 acres of this property is unaccounted for in sales.

Gonzales Road
Bexar / Guadalupe Counties

Acreage on the Gonzales Road (between San Antonio and Gonzales?). Part of Survey 9. Colquhoun and Saltmarsh sold to Rivas. Details of the land descriptions do not add up. “… about 24 miles West of New Braunfels …” and on the Cibolo Creek. But this is a fair chunk of land that Lafferty obviously owned and lost.
No record of purchases or grant to Lafferty.
March 1861: Lost 310 acres via legal judgement by Wilcox and Leigh against Lafferty in Bexar court.
Land sold at public outcry and Henderson Lafferty bought the same property a month after being given the power of attorney.
Lost 279 acres via legal judgement also.

San Juan Rancho
Bexar County

Purchased 377 acres for $2800 in October 1856.
Documents indicate that he may have sold it that same month in consideration for notes amounting to $595 due over 4 years. H.P. Darling involved in this sale; he is murdered in 1860.
This property belonged to the San Juan de Capistrano Mission on the San Antonio River just south of San Antonio.

Ragsdale Purchase
DeWitt County

Ragsdale Bumsted Guadalupe Survey. 15 miles north and 20 miles west of Goliad town.
Purchased 203 acres in September 1857 for $320.25.
Land is very close to Guadalupe College.

Cyrus Donnelly Purchase
DeWitt County

43+ acres from portions of Cyrus Donnelly’s 1280 acre tract. No record of purchase date. Sold in January 1860 for $87.50 by Henderson Lafferty.

Pendencia Creek Ranch
Maverick County

No record of purchase or sale. It could be that L.D. Lafferty and other settlers just occupied the land along the Pendencia Creek and claimed it. He likely did not live there for long, as this was the site of the Lipan attack of September 1859 that left him severely wounded and recuperating for 3 years.

Piedras Pintos Creek
Kinney County

This property was 7 miles west of Brackettville and consisted of stock, ranch house, lot and yards. Source: Cox Lafferty agreement drafted in February 1862. No land records have been found in Maverick, Uvalde or Kinney Counties. Interesting to note: The San Antonio-El Paso Road crossed Piedras Pinto Creek 7.0 miles west of Fort Clarke. The crossing was 8.86 miles east of Maverick Creek and 21.47 miles east of San Felipe Springs. Teamsters, and other travelers and the San Antonio-El Paso Mail and San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line used this crossing as a water stop. May later have been used by the 4th Cavalry as a “grazing camp” for horses.

San Patricio Road
Nueces County

2.5 acres on the San Patricio Road at Corpus Christi. No record of purchase. Could he have inherited this at the death of brother Henderson in 1870? Henderson lived in Corpus Christi for a long time.
Lost the land in October 1874 via judgement.

Bear Creek Patent
Uvalde County

Patent application made by L.D. Lafferty for this 160 acres on October 4, 1878, based on an Act for Benefit Occupants of Public Lands. Survey 249 notes that the land is on the waters of Bear Creek, a Frio River tributary.
Proof of Occupancy affidavit is made by John Henry Lafferty on June 21, 1882 declaring that he and his father have lived on this land for three years, commencing October 3, 1878. Land is adjacent to R.M. Hokkit and Wm Friday.
Only July 16, 1892, a Patent Record is granted to the Heirs of L.D. Lafferty, but does not specifically say that L.D. is deceased.
However, on June 22, 1882, John sells this 160 acres noting in the documents that L.D. is deceased. He pays some of the proceeds to his brother, James C. Lafferty.

Worth noting that this land transaction holds great clues to the ending of the story. L.D. most likely died right here on this land and may be buried in the Bear Creek Cemetery on adjacent Hokkit land. Clues in these documents will lead us to the date of his death. Only John shows up in this area on the 1880 census; as usual, old L.D. has escaped being recorded. John is boarding in the home of Edward J. Hokit (likely living at the edge of his own land). On the 13 pages of the Uvalde County, Precinct 3 census records are many of the major players in this story: Wm Friday, R. Hokkit, Sm. Simpson, several of the Cox families, Ben and Serilda Cox Maples, Elijah and Abraham Kelly, and more.