Volume 2 , Number 1 , Fall 1964
The writer can remember many stories of the past, passed down to every generation. Many of them are only legends but there is little doubt that many of the stories are true.
This story was told by the late Louis Stanley who was a Pioneer, trapper, hunter and farmer of Taney County. During the Civil War there was a group of men who called themselves bush-whackers. Their motive seemed to be to rob, steal and kill. Several of them claimed to be on the Confederate side, but many of them seemed more interested in their own personal gain than in the cause of the War.
As the story goes, a group of these bushwhackers made their camp just above what is called the "narrows" on Beaver Creek. The camp was in the mouth of what we call the Patterson Hollow. Mr. Stanley had a different name for it from the early days. They built a blockade across the mouth of the hollow to keep in their stolen stock and to make a fort for their own protection. The walls of the hollow were so steep that the horses and cattle could not get away.
Mr. Stanley told another story about this place: just downstream from the hollow, there was a ford across Beaver used by many travelers going from east to west. Once, a long time ago, a group of Spaniards were crossing Beaver at this point when they were attacked by unknown assailants. They were carrying with them gold and silver bars and Spanish coins. Mr. Stanley found some gold coins near this spot which makes us think the story was true. I have seen the coins before they were destroyed in a fire. It was rumored that the gold and silver were buried nearby, or lost in the stream.
I will tell you now of an incident that happened on the Helphrey Bald, back in Baldknobber days. This place was used as a meeting place for the Baldknobbers and, as the story goes, there was a cave where the meetings were held. One young man was very curious to know what they said, but he was caught eavesdropping. They punished him by hanging him by his thumbs for several minutes.
The Baldknobbers intentions were not always bad. John Ray of Forsyth told me this story before he died. There was a man who was reported too lazy to work and would not support his family. Two of the Baldknobbers visited this mans home, offered him a job and requested that he take it. The man was on the job by daylight the next
morning, and for his first days pay, he took home a slab of home-cured bacon and some cornmeal. It was said that the man made a good hand on the farm, and was a much better husband and father after his encounter with the Baldknobbers.
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