On The Crush List because…
Devereaux Jarret “Chicken Trotter” Bell.
Those 1830’s and 40’s were a busy time in Texas, full of attacks and massacres and woundings and marches and escapes and something awful called the Black Bean Death Lottery. I didn’t pay much attention to all that back in middle school Texas History class, but I’ve grown to appreciate that history is the mother lode of juicy stories and great names like”Black Bean Death Lottery.”
After a recent meeting at the sweet Latte on the Square, I took a lovely turn around La Grange’s downtown, reading all the markers and snapping sunny photos as I went. Back home, I continued my journey, stumbling along the endless Google Trail until I landed upon a creative gold mine: The 1843 Treaty of Bird’s Fort. You were probably paying attention and remember it from 7th Grade, but if not, just know it’s the peace treaty where several Native American tribes agreed to stop teaming up with the Mexican Government against Texas. Its list of Articles is quite fascinating, but even more intriguing are the names of the tribe “chiefs, headmen and warriors” who signed on to the Treaty. I know, I’ve already given you lists of great names here before, but I’m hoping you have another restaurant or band or baby ferret or ski house to label, because check these out:
- Cherokee: Devereaux Jarret “Chicken Trotter” Bell
- Delaware: Roasting Ear; McCulloch; James St. Lewis
- Chickasaw: Ishteukahtubby
- Waco: Aca Quash; Chetickkaka
- Tawakoni: Kechikaroqua
- Keechi: Kahteahtic
- Caddo: Red Bear, Bichah, Haddahbah
- Anadarko: Jose Maria
- Ioni: Towaash
- Biloxi: Hoyo Tubby
Plus my favorite name of all the Interpreters: Pierce Sobby.
Just off the Square is Victorian Gothic Old Jail. It has, in its day, housed members of the Bonnie and Clyde gang, a lady who would have been the first woman sent to the electric chair had she not starved herself to death while incarcerated there, a few random ghosts and many a jailer and his family. Today it houses the City of La Grange Visitors’ Bureau and yes, I’ll call you if it ever goes condo.