Nov 18 2014

The Cottage Hill Gang

The funeral was held in the small stone chapel built by the Polish Silesians of St. Hedwig in 1868. The priest presiding over the funeral was the Reverend Ladislas Tyskiewicz. He recorded the burial in St. Hedwig church records and indicated that Dr. McMahon was from Lavernia. But a dark cloud hung over the service…. violence came out of the Post Oaks. Here is what the San Antonio Express reported on July 17, 1880:

Rising Rascals…Wilson County’s Band of Twelve – Their Goal Near at Hand. 

A portion of Wilson County, from all accounts, is infested by a band of lunatics…. youngsters who think it is big to bulldoze and a bully thing to shoot at people. The complaints have been numerous about the conduct of these chaps, who number twelve to fifteen, and though efforts have been made to get their names, they have not yet been handed in.

Some time ago, while driving east of the city, J. J. Stevens and Sam Bennett were fired at, “just for fun”. By two youths named Gregg and Adams, one of who has since fled the country. While the other rests under a serious charge.

It is such fellows as these two who “take” Lavernia, Wilson County and St. Hedwig, and other places. Neasom who murdered Bean and Dr. McMahon, in Wilson County, is said to be backed by this gang, and some say that the murderer is even still in the country, sustained and fed by these youthful rascals. 

When the funeral of Dr. McMahon took place at St. Hedwig, several of the gang were present, all of whom were armed with revolvers, which seem to have met the eyes of almost everybody but those of the officers. The youngsters at the funeral blowed about their ability to protect Neasom, and no one attempted to shut their mouths. The names of good families of Wilson county are associated with the conduct of these youngsters, who are evidently egging law-abiding people on to desperation. 

In Guadalupe, the feeling runs high, and in eastern Bexar County it is no less intense, and unless the people of Wilson can control their own rascals, it is probable that a volunteer company of determined men from Bexar and Guadalupe counties, who are injured by the acts of these youngsters, will invade Wilson and sweep these fellows out of existence. 

They have invaded St. Hedwig, this county, and have done as they pleased, cowards that they are, and they have threatened the lives of some of the best citizens of Wilson county because they testified against them in a justice court. 

Major Montgomery, captain of the minute men, has been shot at by one of this gang, a renegade from this county by the name of Rowley, who received in return from the Major’s son, Pressley a charge from a weapon, which quieted him. They are the sworn enemies of the Major, however, and promise to end his career yet. They have boasted that Neasom, the murderer, could not be taken alive, thus showing that they are in intercourse with him, and they declare their intention to do just as they please, themselves, regardless of the laws, or those who are suppose to see that they are enforced.