The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

On the 22nd of August, 1905, I met Mr. John C. Ross in the Times office, Harrison, Ark., where he related to me an interesting story of a panther. Mr. Ross is an old timer of northwest Arkansas and lived many years in Carroll County. In telling the story of the panther Mr. Ross went on to say that Bruce Boyed who once lived on Long Creek 4 miles below Carrollton was a hunter, stock raiser and slave holder and was of the kind of early day settlers that enjoyed to relate old time stories of wild beasts that infested Carroll County in the pioneer days. Long Creek has a number of fine farms in the creek bottoms and the fertile soil induced a number of families to settle on this stream when Boyed died. Among them were Baily Stone and A. V. Callan, who were sons-in-law of Boyed, the two Estes boys, John and Isaac, and Sid Hulsey. In the year 1866 said Mr. Rose, "my brother Dee Ross was employed by Mr. Boyed to work for him and one day while my brother was there a panther approached the barn and attacked a bunch of Mr. Boyed’s hogs near the barn. The barn stood close to the dwelling. The panther made its appearance soon after sunrise. Boyed owned three mastiff dogs and when the hogs began to rally and make a big noise they left the house yard and darted toward the barn and rushing up to the ferocious and daring beast and put it to flight. The chase was so hot that the panther and pursuing dogs soon reached the creek’s bank where the channel was 60 feet wide from shore to shore and the bank on each side of the creek was 8 feet high, and when the long lithe form of the panther reached the bank the dogs were so close to it that it actually sprang from the top of the bank and alighted on the edge of the bank on the opposite side of the bank from where it had leaped from. As soon as the panther lit on the bank and recovered itself, it sprang upward and caught to a limb of a burr oak tree which was 30 feet above the ground. The creek was flush but not past fording for a horse. The dogs when they reached the edge of the bank plunged down into the water and swam across and kept the frightened panther up the tree until Mr. Boyed could cross the creek on horseback with his gun and shoot the panther."

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