Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: William Julius Maass and son Charles, "Range War Cemetery" on the Dixie Dude Ranch near Bandera, Texas

The Dixie Dude Ranch, near Bandera, Texas, has a so-called "Range War Cemetery" on the grounds. When we visited in July 1998 (more on that in a future post), we hiked out to it one day.  Under a tree, in a small area enclosed by a barbed-wire fence, there were a couple of wooden crosses and a pink granite marker.

Here's what it said on the marker:

Here lie the remains of our great-grandfather, Wm. J. Maass, buried here in 1893 - and his son Charles, killed in a range war in 188?.  Erected with our various Maass relatives Oct. 1985.
Charles Toudouze
Mitchell Anderwald

A little research showed Toudouze (1923-2009) and Anderwald (1920-2010) were second cousins, sharing the same grandfather too, William Julius Maass Jr. (1863-1935).  William Julius Maass Sr. (1821-1893) was a German immigrant who can be found in Bandera County on the 1880 census with his wife Charlotte Oelze Kissling Maass (1839-1907) and sons William Julius Maass Jr. (1863-1935), Albert Maass (born ABT 1866-1868, died 1918), and Charley/Carl (born ABT 1869/70-, died 188?); and daughters Hellena "Lena" Maass (born July 11, 1875) and Albertina "Tina" Maass (Mrs. Charles) Straus (ABT 1878-1919).   An older daughter, Louisa Wilhelmina Maass Eckhart Evans (1862-1945) had married Christian Eckhart in 1877; he was murdered in 1885).  Charlotte also had two children by her first marriage, Adolph Kissling, born about 1860, and Mary Kissling (Mrs. Claus H.) Thick (1858-1953). Charley/Carl is listed as age 10 on the census day of June 24, 1880, and age 1 on the 1870 Census (taken July 25) so he was probably born in late 1869 or early 1870.

An entry for the Maass Family on pages 106-107 of Pioneer History of Bandera County: Seventy-Five Years of Intrepid History, written by J. Marvin Hunter in 1922, states that William Maass Sr. and family moved to Bandera from San Antonio in 1874, "and located on Middle Verde Creek, on the place now occupied by W. W. Whitley."  Whitley was the original owner of the Dixie Dude Ranch.

Interestingly, the book entry doesn't list Charley as one of William Sr.'s sons, but it does list a Reinhardt, with no other information.  Perhaps Charley and Reinhardt are one and the same?

I could not find any information about a range war in Bandera County.  According to a July 26, 2012 article in the Bandera County Courier about the Dixie Dude, Charley was killed by a cattleman wanting to drive his herd across the Maass property.  Fence cutting was common in this part of Texas in the 1880s, and it often resulted in murders. 

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

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