Killing of Bird Tracy

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{Begin handwritten} [Folk Stuff – Life History?] {End handwritten}


William V. Ervin, P. W.


Hood County,

District 8. {Begin handwritten} [Pioneer History?] {End handwritten}

660 words.

File 240

Page 1. {Begin handwritten} Killing of Bird Tracy {End handwritten} Reference

Consultant – Tom Mullins, Granbury, Texas.(Native of Hood county)

Supplementing a previous report, with William Deering, now deceased, as consultant; giving some incidents in the life of Bird Tracy, who was born and reared in Hood county and lived in the county most of his life up to about the year 1900, this report gives the facts in regard to the killing of Tracy by Sid Carver. Tracy was an extraordinary character of a desperado type as potentially bad as the worst of the notorious outlaws of the western frontier, but he seemed to lack the qualities of leadership and individual enterprise possessed by John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid(Wm. Bonney), Sam Bass, and others. Mr. Mullins, whose statements follow, knew Tracy personally.

“Bird Tracy,” said Mr. Mullins, “was mean. He’d just as soon kill anybody for anything, specially if they made him mad. He killed two men round here. One of thom was old Dan J. W. Parker. Tracy knew Parker had sold some cattle a few days before the murder and robbery occurred, and he knew the old man never put his money in a bank, so him and two of his cronies watched their chance and {Begin deleted text} wayliad {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} {Begin handwritten} waylaid {End handwritten} {End inserted text} the old man and killed and robbed him. They must have got ten or twelve thousand dollars off him.

“Old man Parker was a peculiar old cuss. He wouldn’t have anything to do with anybody unless he knew them pretty well, and if you were talking to him and he saw somebody coming up to you that he didn’t know he’d leave right now. He always wore an old/ {Begin inserted text} (raccoon) {End inserted text} coonskin cap and a deerhide coat and a pair of old duckin pants with every color patch on it you could imagine. He was a scary looking thing to see coming out of the brush. He rode on one of the prettiest horses I ever saw, and I have never seen one like it before or since. It was golden in color with white spots on it.

“Bird Tracy was nearly always in some kind of trouble round here. {Begin handwritten} C12 2/11/41 Texas {End handwritten}

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For months at a time he wouldn’t come into town here because of some meanness he’d been in. If you met him he’d pull his hat down over his face to try to keep you from recognizing him.

“His brother and I had a shooting scrape here on the courthouse square one time, and Bird talked around about how he was going to take the matter up with me, but he left here before he did anything about it, and he was killed while he was away. I guess if he had come back he’d have killed me, or I would have had to kill him.

“He was in Shreveport, Louisiana, when Sid Carver killed him. Sid didn’t live here[/.?] in Granbury, but he would come in here to buy mules and horses, and Bird had helped him make some deals. So when Bird went to Shreveport he told Carver him and a saloonkeeper there could sell a couple of cars of mules for him. So Carver sent the mules, and Tracy and the saloon man billed the two cars of mules to some other place than the one Carver thought they were going to, and Bird and the saloon man, I don’t know his name, sold the mules and beat Carver out of the money. Carver went down there and run an attachment on the saloon and took charge of it. Tracy telephoned Carver [he was?] coming to see him the next morning early at the saloon. Carver told him to come ahead. Carver got there about 6 o’clock and opened the saloon. Tracy came in a little while later, and started talking smart. Carver up with his sixshooter and shot Tracy between the eyes.

“Carver was a good man, and it seems he was also a good shot.”