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interesting and thrilling official careers in San Antonio's past history.
John Fitzhenry has lived the life of the great Wild West. In his book of life have been written hundreds of chapters of range and pioneer life as intensely thrilling and exciting as the boldest adventures of "Diamond Dick" or any of the other great Wild West heroes.
"It It was a border town, rough and woolly." With these words the veteran officer begins his narrative of early San Antonio history. "It was the jumping off place for all the desperadoes in the country, when I came down here in '64. San Antonio, 50 years ago, was a cow town of 8,000 souls. The only railroads in Texas were one from Bryan Station to the coast and another from Victoria to Port Lavaca. No one dared live farther west than Fort Clark, about 150 miles west of San Antonio. Beyond there the Indians and such scouts and soldiers as the government saw fit to station on the frontier lived. San Antonio in those days was a rendezvous for Mexican bandits as well as frontier outlaws. The bandits used to hold up a town just as they have done in the past few years, and come up to San Antonio to spend their money. It was so wild in those days we couldn't wear uniforms. The six day policeman wore the clothes of a civilian. If we had worn uniforms of the law there would have been a shooting as soon as we came in sight. A policeman didn't make an arrest, either, as he does today. None of the boys in those days would have stood while a warrant was being read to him. We had to throw them down and tie them, and then read the warrants for their arrest."
Mr. Fitzhenry holds this remarkable record of serving for 50 years as law enforcement officer without having shot a man, or having been shot. Desperadoes and Wild West bandits, famous in early American history, were often seen about San Antonio. The Yeager boys, Pitts, one of Jesse James' former lieutenants, the Suttons and Taylors, of the famous Sutton-Taylor feud, Sam Bass