Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Mark Jefferson Lindsey (1820-1878) and Mary Ann Harrison — Son Benjamin Dennis Lindsey (1856-1938)

Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas Under Many Flags, vol. 4 (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930), pp. 221-2

B.D. Lindsey was enumerated on the 1860 and 1870 federal censuses in the household of his parents, who were living in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, in 1860, with son B.D. listed in their household as a boy of four, and at Coushatta Chute in Natchitoches Parish in 1870, where he’s 14 and enumerated as a laborer on his father’s farm.[4] The Wharton biography states,[5]

Benjamin D. Lindsey attended common schools in Springville, Louisiana, and was 16 years of age when he left home to make his way in the world.

As a previous posting notes, Springville was not far east of Coushatta Chute, where the Lindsey family is listed on the 1870 federal census, and was a thriving village with store, churches, an academy, and substantial houses in the latter half of the 1850s, though the village withered away after Coushatta was established as the seat of Red River Parish in 1871 and became the trading and mercantile center, as well as the seat of government, for the area.[6]

Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, “One Trip up the Trail,” in The Trail Drivers of Texas (San Antonio: Jackson, 1920), ed. J. Marvin Hunter, vol. 2, pp. 1003-1006, reproduced in Henry C. Lindsey, Mark Lindsey Heritage (Brownwood, Texas, 1982), pp. 55-7

In his autobiography entitled “One Trip up the Trail” in the book The Trail Drivers of Texas, which B.D. Lindsey appears to have written around 1920 when this book was published, he states that he was 17 years old when he left home, and that he went to Texas and first lived with and worked on the farm of his uncle Thomas Madison Lindsey near Waco.[7] He then notes that he had bunked with “Ad Lindsey,” his uncle Thomas’s son Dennis Adam Lindsey, while working on his uncle’s farm, and from Ad, he got the fever to go “up the trail” as a cowboy, since his cousin Ad had done that previously.

As his autobiographical account indicates, “in the early days of February, 1874,” he set out from Waco with Neal Cone and Bill Foster, traveling south on the Austin road, the three having laid in a good supply of brandy peaches. From Austin they went to San Marcos, and as they reached the Blanco River, their money becoming scarce, they took jobs, with B.D. Lindsey planting corn for Billy Owens and then working on the farm of a Mr. Cochran, who lived on the cattle trail.[8]

It was at this point B.D. Lindsey decided to try his hand at cowboying. He hired himself out as a trail driver while telling those organizing the cattle drive that he had experience as a cowboy — when he didn’t. Information supplied by his cousin Ad about his experiences driving cattle allowed B.D. Lindsey to pass himself off as an experienced herder who knew the ropes and the trail, but as the drive got underway, it became apparent he was a total greenhorn. By dint of hard work and persistence, he managed to stay at the job until the drovers reached their destination at the Snyder Ranch in the Black Hills of Wyoming, where he was offered a job on the ranch at a salary of $40 per month. But the climate was too cold for him, so he went with some fellow cowboys to Ellsworth, Kansas, working with cattle there for a month, then took the train to Texas, “well satisfied that I had enough trail driving.”[9]

Robert W. Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches (Dallas, 1972), pp. 83-6

B.D. Lindsey’s biography in Texas Under Many Flags also provides a brief account of his “up the trail” experience, stating that after a year of working on a farm near Waco, in 1874 he “went up over one of the northern trails as a cowboy to Wyoming.”[10] Having found cowboy work so unappealing — though, as his autobiography notes, he admired the virtues of those who did this for a living —he then returned to his uncle’s farm to work until 1880, when he joined the Texas Rangers.[11] Robert W. Stephens’s biography of B.D. Lindsey in Texas Ranger Sketches specifies that it was the Chisholm Trail up which he drove cattle in 1874.[12]

A Dennis Lindsey is listed on the 1880 federal census in McLennan County, Texas, as a farmer heading his household and no one else in the household.[13] It’s possible this is Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, since the census states that Dennis was born in Louisiana. But his age does not match B.D. Lindsey’s age: this Dennis Lindsey is 28 in 1880, whereas B.D. Lindsey would have been 24. This person could also be Thomas Madison Lindsey’s son Dennis Adam, who was 26 in 1880, but born in Alabama and not in Louisiana. Finally, the census states that Dennis Lindsey was married, though no wife is in his household — but neither B.D. nor his cousin Dennis Adam was married at this point.

In the latter part of 1880, B.D. Lindsey joined Captain Dan Roberts’s Company D of the Texas Rangers at Fort McKavett.[14] This was one of the companies of the Frontier Battalion organized in 1874 by Governor Richard Coke to patrol the frontier of southwest Texas.[15] In fact, it was the organization of this battalion in 1874 that was the genesis of the Texas Rangers. B.D. Lindsey’s first cousin Dennis Edward Lindsey would join the same unit of the Texas Rangers in 1887.

B.D. Lindsey’s biography in Texas Under Many Flags summarizes the years he spent as a Texas Ranger in the Frontier Battalion (1880-1887) as follows:[16]

In 1880 he joined the Texas Rangers at Fort McKavett it and was in the service until 1887. That took him over a large section of Western and Southwestern Texas, and it brought him in contact with the bandits and outlaws of that period.

According to Robert Stephens, after enlisting late in 1880 in Captain Roberts’s Company D, B.D. Lindsey served in the company until 31 August 1881, then rejoined the company, now under Captains Lamar (Lamartine Pemberton) Sieker and Frank Jones, on 1 March 1882 in Uvalde County, serving until 30 April 1887 and rising to the rank of first sergeant.[17] Pay stubs, images of which are available online at the website of the Texas State Library and Archives, confirm this information.[18] They show B.D. Lindsey being paid (and signing receipt) for his service in Captain L.P. Sieker’s Co. D of the Frontier Battalion from 30 November 1882 to 31 August 1885, after which the company was under command of Lieutenant Frank Jones, with B.D. Lindsey being discharged from Jones’s company on 30 April 1887. From 31 May 1884 forward, these pay documents list him as a first sergeant. The pay stubs give his date of enlistment in Siecker’s company as 1 September 1882 and not 1 March, as Robert Stephens says.

A number of published works have vignettes of B.D. Lindsey’s service in the Texas Rangers in the 1880s. Frank H. Bushick’s Glamorous Days says that B.D. Lindsey (to whom he gives the title “captain”) saw much service as a peace office and ranger on the border.[19] Bushick describes Lindsey as “unusually tall, straight as an arrow, with a pair of eagle eyes and the hawklike face of a fighting man.”[20] (Robert Stephens notes that B.D. Lindsey was “six feet four inches tall and ramrod straight,” though as we’ll see in a moment, his daughter Marie Bell Youngblood reported that he was 6’ 6 1/8” tall).[21] According to Bushick, B.D. Lindsey needed no field glasses to keep watch: by rising his full length, he could see all over the countryside. Bushick describes Lindsey as “a kindly and true-hearted man, but an absolute stranger to fear.”[22] Robert Stephens echoes this description, indicating that B.D. Lindsey was “a man of gentle disposition…noted for his unquestioned bravery in time of need.”[23] Bob Alexander describes Lindsey as a Louisianan by birth who was “by any man’s gauging a gentleman’s gentleman.”[24]

Bushick recounts a story involving B.D. Lindsey and W.W. (William Wallace) Collier, who would later become a banker in San Antonio and Edinburg , Texas, and a business partner of B.D. Lindsey when they both left the Rangers. This incident occurred when Collier was a private in the ranger ranks under Sergeant Lindsey in 1883.[25] The two stopped at a farm asking if any suspicious characters had been seen. After thinking a while, the farmer replied that he had seen one man whose looks he didn’t like: he looked about like B.D. Lindsey, the farmer stated.[26]

Cabinet card of Co. D, Frontier Battalion, Texas Rangers, 1885, with B.D. Lindsey in center front row, from the Robert G. McCubbin collection, True West Magazine; the photo is featured at the Texas Rangers page of the Bullock Texas State History Museum

On another occasion, on 17 May 1885, while Lindsey was scouting near the Rio Grande looking for escaped Mexican convicts, he spotted two men who looked like the escapees. He ordered them to halt and when they refused, opened fire. A stand-off ensued, and eventually a sheriff from a nearby community, Prudencio Herrera, vouched for the two men and eventually all on both sides were exonerated.[27]  

An account of this incident is also in Robert Utley’s Lone Star Justice, which identifies B.D. Lindsey as a sergeant in Captain Lam Sieker’s Co. D when the shoot-out occurred. Utley says that a Ranger was killed in this fracas, and all parties were imprisoned for a time until it could be determined what had happened.[28]  

Bob Alexander provides a detailed account of this same incident in his Lucifer’s Line, Ranger Deaths Along the Texas-Mexico Border.[29] According to Alexander, two men, Bill Dunman and John Grace, had been arrested by the Rangers, and were thought to have escaped from custody before Thanksgiving 1884, with two Spanish-speaking men said to be aiding them, all headed for the Rio Grande. The governor of Texas was intent on seeing them apprehended.

In response, 

Sergeant Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, a fire-breathing no nonsense Texas Ranger who couldn’t and wouldn’t abide sissies, fashioned a squadron of raring-to-go man-hunters to track them down: catch them or kill them.

On the last day of May 1885, B.D. Lindsey set off with six men under his command from Camp San Ambrosia to apprehend the men thought to have escaped and those thought to be abetting them. When the group thought they had spotted the “Mexicans” said to be assisting the outlaws at a creek 80 miles north of Laredo, a shoot-out ensued, with several Rangers shot, Frank Sieker, a brother of the Lamar P. Sieker under whom B.D. Lindsey served in Co. D, being mortally wounded.[30] The two men being pursued were not Mexicans at all, but Texas citizens, and one was only a teen: Apolonio Gonzales and his thirteen-year-old son Pedro.

B.D. Lindsey determined that the Gonzales had sought refuge at the ranch of a Loyas family on the Rio Grande, and being a “pragmatist, not a fool, not a reckless fellow inclined to emotionally slip off the half-cock notch,” he instructed his cadre of rangers to descend from they hill where they had been observing the ranch and approach it calmly. When they did so, they found that the Gonzales had been taken into custody by a deputy of the Webb County sheriff, Pendincia (Prudencia?) Herrera, who wanted to take them to Laredo. B.D. Lindsey wanted them to be turned over to him, so that he could bring them to Carrizo Springs, county seat of Dimmit County.

When Herrera refused to concede, B.D. Lindsey insisted that his group accompany Herrera and the prisoners to Laredo, where they were placed in jail for half an hour and then released, whereupon they filed a formal complaint against the Rangers, saying they had been unlawfully targeted. The Laredo sheriff then incarcerated the Rangers and the Gonzales were allowed to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico. The Rangers were released after twenty-six days in jail, with the case dismissed but the governor regarding the entire incident as an embarrassment, since it was not clear whether the Rangers had justifiably opened fire.

B.D. Lindsey’s 1887 discharge from Texas Rangers, Texas State Library and Archives, Texas Adjutant General Service Records, “Lindsey, B.D.; Frontier Battalion; call number 401-160

After his discharge from the Texas Rangers on 30 April 1887 in Edwards County, B.D. Lindsey spent a year in Uvalde County and then opened a mercantile business at Eagle Pass, according to Wharton’s biography.[31] Stephens says that Lindsey resigned from the Rangers in order to accept a position in the U.S. Customs Service at Eagle Pass, continuing in that capacity for a number of years and raising his children there after he married in 1888.[32] According to Wharton, he was made chief clerk of the Customs department at Eagle Pass in 1894.[33]

In his book Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands, Bob Alexander casts further light on B.D. Lindsey’s life in the years immediately after he left the Rangers in 1887.[34] According to Alexander, by 1889, Lindsey had entered into business with his former comrade-in-arms, W.W. Collier. They had a business called the Tariff Saloons, with a saloon in Eagle Pass operated by Lindsey and one in Uvalde operated by Collier. 

Bexar County, Texas, Marriage Bk. J, p. 210

On 8 November 1888 in San Antonio, B.D. Lindsey married Mary Ellen Mitchell, daughter of John Addison Mitchell and Eleanor Thornhill.[35] A clergyman whose name I cannot quite decipher — J.T. Hatchum? — solemnized the wedding, with Mary Ellen’s father and sister Annette as witnesses, according to the marriage license and return.

Though the couple married at San Antonio, it appears they lived a number of years following their marriage at Eagle Pass where B.D. Lindsey continued his work with U.S. Customs and where their first four children were born in the years 1889 to 1898: Edna Earl, Marie Bell, Georgia Eleanor, and Homer Mitchell. 

Pay stub, 19 August 1901, for B.D. Lindsey’s Spanish-American war service

As Stephens’s biography indicates, when the U.S. declared war against Spain in 1898, B.D. Lindsey joined Troop M of the 1st Texas Cavalry on 7 May 1898, serving as first lieutenant.[36] He was discharged 14 November 1898 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, where he had been stationed during the war, and after this, the family relocated to San Antonio.[37] A pay stub for that service dated 19 August 1901 shows his family living at 303 S. Pinto Street in San Antonio when he received payment. Wharton’s biography also notes that after his discharge from his Spanish-American service, B.D. Lindsey relocated his family to San Antonio, where he went into business.[38]

The 1900 federal census shows the B.D. Lindsey family enumerated in San Antonio on 8 June.[39] The census reports that B.D. Lindsey was born in January 1856 in Louisiana of Alabama-born parents and was a drummer. Wife Ella was born in June 1865 of Ohio-born parents. The couple had been married 11 years and had four children, all living. In the household were children Georgia, Marie, Edna, and Homer. Brother-in-law William Mitchell, an engineer, was also in the household.

In 1908, B.D. Lindsey was elected to a term as sheriff of Bexar County, serving through 1910.[40] Stephens comments on Lindsey’s period as county sheriff, noting that his “quiet manner” could change to rage when elected officials abused their office. He adds, “That Ben Lindsey was less than enthusiastic about responding to political pressures became evident to all in San Antonio when he administered policy in the Sheriff’s office in keeping with the public trust.”[41]

The 1910 federal census shows the family of B.D. and Ellen/Ella Lindsey in San Antonio, with Benjamin Lindsey’s occupation given as county sheriff.[42] In addition to B.D. and Ellen Lindsey, the household contained their five children, Edna, Georgia, Marie, Homer, and Benjamin Jr., as well as the family’s cook, Candelaria Moncado. This census erroneously states that B.D. Lindsey and his parents were all born in Georgia. The family own their house at 430 Madison Street.

As Wharton notes, after he completed his term as Bexar County sheriff, B.D. Lindsey resumed his business activities, becoming connected with the Federal Land Bank of Houston, where he began work as an appraiser in 1919.[43] In 1924, he became secretary of the Alamo Farm and Loan Association in the Kampmann Building in San Antonio.[44]  

The family of B.D. Lindsey is enumerated on the 1920 federal census again in San Antonio.[45] B.D. Lindsey’s age is 64 and he and his parents were born in Louisiana, according to the census. His occupation is general appraiser (e.g., for the Federal Land Bank of Houston). He owns his house at 3020 W. Commerce Street. Wife Mary Ellen is 54, born in Illinois. Also in the household are children Georgia, Homer, and Benjamin. Homer is working as a newspaper agent.

The final federal census on which B.D. Lindsey is listed is the 1930 census, showing the family continuing to live at 3020 Commerce Street in San Antonio.[46] B.D. Lindsey is 74, born in Louisiana of Louisiana-born parents. He owns his home, worth $10,000, and is secretary-treasurer of a federal land bank and a Spanish War veteran. Wife Mary is 65, born in Illinois. Living in the household is daughter George E. (i.e., Georgia), 36, a bookkeeper for a federal land bank.

“Old Time Texas Ranger Is Dead,” El Paso Herald-Post (2 May 1938), p. 1, col. 7

B.D. Lindsey died at his home on Commerce Street in San Antonio on 2 May 1938. His obituary in El Paso Herald-Post published the same day, entitled “Old Time Texas Ranger Is Dead,” notes that Captain Lindsey had died at 2 A.M. after sitting up late to listen to a radio program, and had called present-day Texas Rangers “a bunch of sissies” for relying on their weapons and not their heads in dealing with people.[47]

His death certificate states that he died of cardiac failure complicated by uremia and a term I cannot make out.[48] The death certificate states that he was born 21 January 1856 in Louisiana, son of Mark Lindsey and a mother whose name the informant, B.D. Lindsey’s widow Ellen, did not know. He was a retired secretary treasurer of Alamo Loan Association at the time of his death.  

 As Wharton states,[49]

A man known all over Southwestern Texas, he [B.D. Lindsey] has won a great many warm friendships and the esteem paid a man who has shown ability, courage, and integrity in all the important relationships in life.

“Former Bexar Sheriff and Ranger Dies,” San Antonio Sun, 3 May 1938, reproduced in Henry C. Lindsey, Mark Lindsey Heritage (Brownwood, Texas, 1982), p. 57

Because B.D. Lindsey was a well-known and highly esteemed public figure in Texas, numerous obituaries were published at the time of his death. As noted above, an obituary photocopied in Henry C. Lindsey’s Mark Lindsey Heritage attributed to the San Antonio Sun on 3 May 1938 is entitled “Former Bexar Sheriff and Ranger Dies: B.D. Lindsey, Ex-Trail Driver and Colorful Figure, Is Dead at 82.”[50] The obituary, which has a photograph of B.D. Lindsey in his final years, begins by noting that he was the former Bexar County sheriff, a Texas Ranger, and a trail driver who came to Texas in 1873 and settled with his family there, then going up the trail to Wyoming.  

The obituary also notes his service in the Texas Rangers for seven years, his employment with the customs office, and his Spanish-American war service. The obituary also states that he was sheriff in San Antonio in 1909-10, then worked with the Alamo National Farm Loan Association and the Federal Land Bank of Houston. He was a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal church, the Old Trail Drivers’ Association, and the Odd Fellows. The obituary says that on Benjamin Dennis Lindsey’s 82nd birthday, four generations of his family had gathered to celebrate. Survivors were his widow, daughters Mrs. C.B. Meeks of San Antonio and Mrs. E.R. Youngblood of Austin; sons H.M. Lindsey of Ft. Worth and Ben S. Lindsey of Houston; nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Another obituary in Dallas Morning News on 3 June 1938 entitled “Early Ranger, No Sissy, Dies at San Antonio” reports that B.D. Lindsey was born in Union Parish, Louisiana, and came to Texas in 1873, living first at Waco.[51] The obituary also states, 

Lindsey, former Bexar County Sheriff, trail driver, United States customs officer at Eagle Pass and Lieutenant of cavalry in the Spanish-American War, served in the rangers under Capt. Dan Roberts, part of his service was in the trans-Pecos area where Justice of the Peace Roy Bean held court.  Lindsey had praise for Bean’s judicial procedure.  He also was credited with pacification of Hamilton County feudists in the eighties.  He thought modern officers depended too much on guns and authority and were weak as conciliators of trouble makers.

I have an audio tape of a Lindsey family reunion at Coushatta, Louisiana, in the early 1960s made by Henry Carlton Lindsey (my uncle). In the tape, Mark Jefferson Lindsey, son of B.D. Lindsey’s brother Charles Henry Lindsey, tells a number of stories about “old Uncle Dennis,” whom Mark knew personally. In one story, Mark says that he once visited his uncle Dennis in San Antonio on a very hot day. B.D. Lindsey was lying on a featherbed in a stiflingly hot upstairs bedroom in his house, and appeared not to feel the heat at all, because of his tall, slender build.

In another story, Mark says that B.D. Lindsey was once staying at a hotel as he traveled in Texas. In the hotel lobby, he overheard two women discussing his remarkable height and slimness. One said to the other, “I’ll bet that if that man has a stomachache, he doesn’t know whether it’s a stomachache or a backache.” According to Mark, B.D. Lindsey went up to the two ladies and said very courteously to them — Mark states in an aside that the Lindseys are courteous people most of the time — “Ladies, I overheard you and want you to know that I feel no displeasure about what you said. It’s true that I sometimes have difficulty telling whether my back or my stomach hurts. But one thing I can assure you: I do know whether I’m suffering from the sore throat or the piles.”

Mark also tells how it happened that B.D. Lindsey became an Episcopalian, when he had been raised in a devout Methodist family. He had married an Episcopalian wife, and the rector of her church often came to their house for dinner. On one of these visits, Dennis told the rector he had a few questions he wanted to ask. The rector agreed to entertain Captain Lindsey’s questions.  

The first question B.D. Lindsey asked was this: “Now, Rector, you know that I can be rough sometimes, and in my younger days I was even rougher. If I join your church, can I still cuss when I want to?” The rector replied, “Well, Captain Lindsey, I’m sure we have some members of the parish who utter a few oaths when provoked.” B.D. Lindsey studied for a while, and then asked, “You know, Rector, I like to have a toddy now and then.” (Mark inserts an aside noting that most Lindseys like a drink now and again.) The rector replied, “Well, Captain Lindsey, we don’t oppose indulging, with moderation. I’m sure we have many in our parish who do indulge now and again.” After thinking about that, B.D. Lindsey then said, “You know, Rector, I like to gamble now and again. If I become an Episcopalian, would that be permitted?” The rector replied, “Well, Captain Lindsey, I’m sure some of our members gamble now and again, in moderation.” B.D. Lindsey studied on this reply for a minute or so and then exclaimed, “Damn it, I think I’ll become an Episcopalian!”

In a 9 August 1979 letter to me, Henry C. Lindsey told me had recently visited Mrs. Marie Bell Lindsey Youngblood, the only living child of Benjamin Dennis Lindsey at that time. Mrs. Youngblood had told him that Benjamin Dennis Lindsey was 6′ 6 1/8″ tall, and that “he always insisted on that 1/8 inch.”

Robert Stephens’s biography of B.D. Lindsey includes a photo of him I saw often as I was growing up, since it hung on the wall of my grandfather’s office and then his bedroom.[52] (The photo is at the head of this posting.) My grandfather was named Benjamin Dennis Lindsey for his uncle of the same name, whom my family always called “old Uncle Dennis.” The photo shows old Uncle Dennis to have been a man with deep-set eyes of a light color, and light hair. His ears are prominent, as is his nose, which is long. He has a moustache and a grave expression. He is wearing a high collar and a suit. According to my uncle Henry C. Lindsey, the original of this photo hangs in the Bexar County courthouse. [53]

Tombstone of B.D. Lindsey, International Order of Odd Fellows cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar Co., Texas, photo uploaded to his Find a Grave memorial page by CynC

Benjamin Dennis Lindsey is buried in block 4, lot 6, space 15 of the International Order of Odd Fellows cemetery at the intersection of North Pine and Paso Hondo in San Antonio. The tombstone identifies him as Captain B.D. Lindsey. I have visited and photographed the tombstone. Buried in front of B.D. and wife Mary Ellen are Ellen’s parents John A. and Eleanor Mitchell. 

Mary Ellen Mitchell Lindsey was born 4 June 1864 in McDonough Co., Illinois. She died in San Antonio on 28 July 1947, aged 83.[54] The Wharton biography of B.D. Lindsey states that Mary Ellen’s family that came from Missouri to Texas.[55] It also indicates that she and B.D. Lindsey had five children: Edna Earl, who married Edward Wright and left a daughter Mary Edna when she died in 1912; George E. Lindsey, a daughter, her father’s secretary; Mary Belle, wife of E.R. Youngblood of Austin, with three children; Homer M. of Ft. Worth, married with one child; and Benjamin S., a graduate of Rice Univ. and a chemist at Humble Oil Company in Houston.

Benjamin Dennis Lindsey was named for his grandfathers Benjamin Harrison and Dennis Lindsey. As I note above, my grandfather, whose father Alexander Cobb Lindsey was a brother of B.D. Lindsey, was named Benjamin Dennis in honor of his uncle, and that name then passed to my father as Junior. I was named, in turn, for my grandfathers William Zachariah Simpson and Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, ending up with the name William Dennis Lindsey. The name Dennis has passed down generation by generation among Lindsey families descending from the young Irish immigrant Dennis Linchey who came to Richmond County, Virginia, in 1718 as an indentured servant, and is the progenitor of this Lindsey family.[56]

So ends this account of the interesting life of “adventure seeking Benjamin Dennis Lindsey,” as Robert Stephens describes him.[57] In a brief subsequent posting, I’ll provide a short account of the children of B.D. Lindsey and Mary Ellen Mitchell.

[1] The birth and death dates are recorded on B.D. Lindsey’s tombstone in Odd Fellows cemetery, San Antonio. I’ve visited the grave and have a photo of the tombstone I made on my visit to it. The same date of birth is given in Benjamin Dennis Lindsey’s biography in Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas Under Many Flags, vol. 4 (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930), pp. 221-2; in his biography in Robert W. Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches (Dallas, 1972), p. 83; and in his autobiography “One Trip up the Trail” in The Trail Drivers of Texas (San Antonio: Jackson, 1920), ed. J. Marvin Hunter, pp. 1003-1006, has an autobiography of Benjamin Dennis Lindsey entitled “One Trip up the Trail.” A photocopy of this autobiography is in Henry C. Lindsey, Mark Lindsey Heritage (Brownwood, Texas, 1982), pp. 55-7. See also B.D. Lindsey’s death certificate — Texas Department of Health, Bexar County, April-June 1938, #21528, online at Ancestry — which also gives these dates of birth and death, stating that he was born in Louisiana (no place in the state specified) and died in San Antonio. His wife Mary Ellen Mitchell Lindsey was informant.

[2] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221.

[3] The immigrant ancestor of this Lindsey family was actually a young Irish indentured servant who seems to have been born in Ireland around 1700, and came to Richmond County, Virginia, in 1718, and was then indentured. His name appears in the court record indenturing him as Dennis Linchey, but the surname spelling shifted to Lindsey at some point in Virginia before he moved to Edgecombe (later Granville) County, North Carolina, where he died in August 1762.

[4] 1860 federal census, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, Orchard Grove post office, ward 6, p. 729 (dwelling and family 291; 13 August); 1870 federal census, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, Coushatta Chute, ward 13, p. 531 (dwelling 22, family 19; 24 June).

[5] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221.

[6] See “Red River Parish,” in Red River Parish, Our Heritage, ed. Red River Parish Heritage Society (Bossier City: Everett, 1989), p. 16.

[7] Lindsey, “One Trip up the Trail,” in Trail Drivers of Texas, p. 1003. For further information, see this previous posting.

[8] Lindsey, “One Trip up the Trail,” in Trail Drivers of Texas, p. 1003.

[9] Ibid., pp. 1004-5.

[10] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 83.

[13] 1880 federal census, p. 272D (no dwelling and family numbers given; ED 120; 19 June).

[14] See Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 85; and Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221. 

[15] (No author named), “Frontier Battalion,” The Handbook of Texas, online at website of Texas State Historical Association. See also Bob Alexander, Winchester Warriors: Texas Rangers of Company D, 1874-1901 (Denton: Univ. of North Texas Press, 2011).

[16] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221.

[17] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 85.

[18] See Texas State Library and Archives, Texas Adjutant General Service Records, “Lindsey, B.D.; Frontier Battalion; call number 401-160.”

[19] Frank H. Bushick, Glamorous Days (San Antonio: Naylor, 1934), p. 236.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 85.

[22] Bushick, Glamorous Days, pp. 236-7.  

[23] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 85.

[24] Bob Alexander, Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands: The Wild West Life of Texas Ranger Captain Frank Jones (Denton: Univ. of North Texas Press, 2015), p. 131.

[25] On Collier as a banker in San Antonio, see Mike Cox, The Texas Rangers: Wearing the Cinco Peso, 1821-1900 (NY: Tom Doherty Associates, 2008), p. 375, also noting that Collier wrote an unpublished memoir entitled “Frontier Days or the Old West as I Remember It.” Collier was also a member of the charter board of Fredericksburg and Northern Railway in 1917: see Victoria S. Murphy, “Fredericksburg and Northern Railway,” Handbook of Texas, online at the website of Texas State Historical Association. Collier became the bank commissioner of the state of Texas in the early 1900s. 

[26] Bushick, Glamorous Days, p. 237.  

[27] Ibid., pp. 237-8.

[28] Robert Utley, Lone Star Justice (NY: Berkley, 2002), pp. 244-6.  

[29] Bob Alexander, Lucifer’s Line, Ranger Deaths Along the Texas-Mexico Border (Denton: Univ. of North Texas Press, 2013), pp. 94-100.

[30] See Chuck Parsons, “19th Century Shining Stars: The Sieker Brothers: A Quartet of Texas Rangers,” Texas Ranger Dispatch Magazine (2005), online at the magazine’s website.

[31] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221. 

[32] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 85. See also U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor, Official Register of the United States, Containing a List of the Officers and Employees in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service, 1895,vol. 1,  p. 211, online at Ancestry; and 1897, vol. 1, p. 213, online at Ancestry.

[33] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221.

[34] Alexander, Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands, p. 239.

[35] Bexar County, Texas, Marriage Bk. J, p. 210.

[36] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 85. See also Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221; NARA, General Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers who Served During the War with Spain, M871, RG 94, online at Fold3; and NARA, Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900, T289, RG 15, also online at Fold3.

[37] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 85

[38] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221. In his Glamorous Days, Bushick also notes that Benjamin Dennis Lindsey moved to San Antonio in later years and was elected to a term as sheriff (pp. 237-8).  

[39] 1900 federal census, Bexar County, Texas, San Antonio, precinct 4, p. 122A (dwelling and family 303; ED 83; 303 Santo Pinto St.; 8 June).

[40] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 85; Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221. “Lindsey Out for Sheriff,” Austin American-Statesman (27 January 1908), p. 4, col. 7, says that he had announced his campaign for sheriff of Bexar County. El Paso Herald (10 November 1908), p. 8, col. 3, states that B.D. Lindsey had won the sheriff’s election by 1700 votes.

[41] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, pp. 85-6.

[42] 1910 federal census, Bexar County, Texas, San Antonio, ward 8, p. 10B (dwelling 177, family 208; ED 60; 21 April). The census shows the family living at 430 Madison Street.

[43] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221. See also his obituary, “Former Bexar Sheriff and Ranger Dies,” San Antonio Sun, 3 May 1938, reproduced in Henry C. Lindsey, Mark Lindsey Heritage, p. 57. I have not been able to locate a newspaper in San Antonio called San Antonio Sun.

[44] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 221.

[45] 1920 federal census, Bexar County, Texas, San Antonio, Buena Vista township, p. 2A (dwelling 31, family 34; ED 40; 3020 W. Commerce St.; 2 January).

[46] 1930 federal census, Bexar County, Texas, San Antonio, 2nd ward, p. 81 (dwelling 29, family 41; ED 15-37; 3020 Commerce St., 29/41; April 4).

[47] “Old Time Texas Ranger Is Dead,” El Paso Herald-Post (2 May 1938), p. 1, col. 7. 

[48] Texas Department of Health Services, Death Certificates, Bexar County, 1938, April-June, #21528; online at Ancestry.

[49] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 222.

[50] See supra, n. 40. Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, also states (p. 221) that Benjamin Dennis Lindsey belonged to the Spanish-American War [Association?], the Old Trail Drivers and Texas Pioneers Associations, and the Odd Fellows. This source states that he was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal church, rather than the St. Mark’s Episcopal church mentioned in the San Antonio Sun obituary.

[51] “Early Ranger, No Sissy, Dies at San Antonio,” Dallas Morning News (3 June 1938). The obituary is transcribed by Shawn Martin at the USGenweb site of Union Parish, Louisiana. See also San Antonio Express (2 May 1938); “Ex Ranger, Austin Woman’s Father Dies,” Austin American-Statesman (2 May 1938), p. 1, col. 4; “Benjamin D. Lindsey Dies in San Antonio,” Shreveport Journal (4 May 1938), p. 7, col. 7; and “Comes to End of Trail,” (3 May 1938), p. 1, col. 5.

[52] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 84.

[53] This photo appears in an article entitled “Bexar County Officials Begin Term,” in the San Antonio Express (3 December 1908), p. 3, col. 2, when B.D. Lindsey’s election as sheriff had been announced.

[54] I have a copy of her obituary from an undated issue of San Antonio Express. Another obituary is in Austin American-Statesman (29 July 1947), p. 3, col. 5.

[55] Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, p. 222.

[56] See supra, n. 3. 

[57] Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches, p. 83.

3 thoughts on “Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Mark Jefferson Lindsey (1820-1878) and Mary Ann Harrison — Son Benjamin Dennis Lindsey (1856-1938)

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