My Many Interests

Monday, March 22, 2021

Mexican Gold and Captain Stout

Stout, Texas. Google pulls it up on a map, but it's only an intersection in the middle of East Texas. A few houses, pastures and plenty of woods. But at one time it was a small community named after a pretty interesting fellow.

It was brought to my attention one night while out singing karaoke. A friend had mentioned reading some of my other stuff and loved the idea of rambling around East Texas, but she loved hearing long lost stories about the people that populated this area two centuries or so back. And one of those stories was about Stout and the rumor of Mexican gold.

There isn't a lot of info about the gold heist. All that I can find is that a group of Americans stole a mule train load of payroll from the Mexican Army. As they made their way through the area, the Mexicans were hot on their trail and so they buried it as quickly as they could somewhere south of Stout. Though some folks have made to look for it, no one has found it and it remains hidden. I did a little figuring and using some really fuzzy math figured that those mules were probably carrying just under a million dollars worth back then, but it would be almost seventy-five million today. That's enough to make me wanna break out some shovels and a metal detector. Again, not enough info to make a real go of it, but it did introduce me to a very colorful local gentleman by the name of Captain Henry B. Stout.

Captain Henry B. Stout was from Tennessee and came with his wife and a newborn to settle in Texas back in the early 1800's. After reading some of the news articles from over the years about him, they could make a movie about this man. He was an explorer, adventurer, settler, bear hunter and much more. He was a Texas Ranger at one time, the first sheriff of Wood County, veteran of the Texas Revolution and the Confederacy, and served in the Texas House of Representatives. It's not known if he actually 
built the community of Stout, but he did live nearby with a grist mill and freight hauling company that he ran between Wood County and Jefferson. There are several stories of him fighting bear with only a knife. He even rode with David Crockett hunting buffalo and even helped plan Crockett's last route to the Alamo. This is one man that I wish I could have met.

With all of this info, me and The Kid loaded up in the car shortly after the blizzard started thawing out and we made our trip south on 312 out of Winnsboro. We came to the intersection of 312 and 4640 and aside from a few houses, there's not much that says "Hey, this was a settlement at one time." 

We continued our journey another three miles or so down to 2088 and hung a left headed to Perryville. Just a mile further and on the right is a little park with the Stout Family cemetery on a hill overlooking it. With a chill in the air and the ground a little soggy from all of the snow and rain, we made our way up and into the fenced in site. There is a historical marker at the end near the road. It's a beautiful little overlook and if I were to want a place to settle my weary bones when it was all over, this would be a nice spot. Many descendants are buried here, but if you walk to the center of the cemetery, you'll come across Captain Stout's grave marker. It's new, and some of the others that haven't been replaced are so weather-worn that it's hard to read them. Some markers are nothing but flat stones set on end in the dirt.

It's amazing how much information is hiding in that little dash between the birth and death date. Thankfully books have been preserved and stories have made it to the internet for reading, because truly these are adventures that need to be remembered. And this is why The Kid and I like to ramble, to find these stories and see the evidence that is left behind.