“Glories of Linden: Remarkable Record.”

Could Linden be compared to the fictional town of Mayberry that was made popular by the television series from the 1960s, The Andy Griffith Show?  Mayberry, portrayed as “crime free,” had Andy, as the sheriff, who carried no gun.  Barney, his deputy, had a  gun but only one bullet, which he carried in his shirt pocket.  Otis, the “town drunk,” with his key, let himself into the jailhouse.

Thanks to Gail Dorgan, Linden Heritage Foundation Historian, we have the following article from the Fort Worth Record and Register (Fort Worth, Tex.) January 13, 1906 to make that comparison.  Period photos are provided by Sue Lazara from the collection of Charline Wiley Morris.

“Glories of Linden: Remarkable Record. Not a homicide has ever occurred in the Cass County Metropolis. Days of Desperadoes.  Not a single citizen of that little town has ever been charged with felony”

Cass County Courthouse. The Civil War Monument Dedication, October 1903

Linden, the county seat of Cass County has been on the map of Texas over half a century. It was founded in the early part of 1850.  The first courthouse was a two-story frame structure and now stands about 200 yards north of the original site. It has been used since its removal as a Baptist Church and Masonic Hall. The house has received necessary repairs from time to time and is now in excellent condition. 

Linden c 1910 as seen from the “old road to Daingerfield”

This old town perhaps has a history of which no town in Texas of its age can boast. Founded long before the war and while it was the scene of many stirring events before, during and after that episode and while many desperate characters infested this county just after its close and often visited Linden in squads, headed by such desperate characters as Cullen Baker and others, and while a great deal of whiskey was drank and many brawls were engaged in, yet there never has been a man killed on the streets in Linden. No citizen of Linden ever saw a man shot down or fatally stabbed. There were some street duels, however, but the bullets flew wide of the mark, and no one was ever seriously wounded.

North side of Linden town square, 1911

Not one of her citizens has ever been killed by an accident, save in two or three instances. Not one of her citizens has ever been convicted of crime or had any very serious charges brought against him. Linden has always had and maintained fine educational facilities and many prominent men throughout Texas owe their success in life to the early training received in this little village. This precinct adopted local option in 1878 and has been in the dry column since that time. As yet no railroad has come this way, yet it has always held its own, and today there is not a vacant residence here. The people are, upon the whole, self-sustaining, prosperous, contented, and happy.

As we look upon our world now we yearn for simpler times. Perhaps Linden native, Don Henley, said it best in “The End of the Innocence:”

“Oh, who knows how long this will last, Now we’ve come so far so fast, But somewhere back there in the dust, That same small town in each of us, I need to remember this, So baby, give me just one kiss, And let me take a long last look, before we say goodbye”


5 thoughts on ““Glories of Linden: Remarkable Record.”

  1. Linden and Cass County have a rich historical culture.
    One of the goals of the Linden Heritage Foundation is to share this history.

  2. Thank you Joe for this article and write up! Such a wonderful place to live. Good neighbors, good support of traditional values and folks sharing in the history of this quaint remarkable town. A blessing in todays fast changing times.

  3. This is a very interesting and informative article and the photographs are amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thanks Joe Lovelace for such a remembrance of our special place; our family heritage. The claim of a Mayberry like setting is not so far fetched either, as we had some exceptional lawmen in the county seat during my lifetime. Exceptional lawyers as well for sure!

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