Commentary: A Sound Thrashing for Irreverence

Don’t mess with bearded strangers in tiny Texas towns.

By T. Lindsay BakerJuly 10, 2015 9:06 am

College Mound, a Kaufman County community so small that all but the most detailed maps don’t even show it, lies off interstate 20 southeast of Terrell. There was a day however, when College Mound boosted a greater population than even its county seat. The community traces its origins to the first half of the 1840s when a number of families from Tennessee, Indiana, and other states settled in the vicinity, they founded the still active College Mound Methodist Church.

A missionary from the east once proposed a college on a hill just north of the church, giving the community its name, but the plans for the school never came to fruition.

Stories are still told about an incident when two saloon keepers from a nearby community came to the Methodist church intent on causing a disturbance. After the services began, the bartenders began talking back and forth, disrupting the services. The minister from the pulpit asked if they desist, but they persisted.

From outside, a bearded stranger appeared at the door. He took off his coat and walked over to one of the tormentors and gave him a sound thrashing. Putting his coat back on, he invited the two men to join the services if they behaved – they declined the offer, but, they never returned to cause anymore trouble.

Lindsay Baker is an author and professor of history at Tarlton State University. He joins The Standard as a production of KTRL – Tarleton Public Radio.