Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with random ruminations – Great Grandfather edition

I’m going into some old family history today, people.

My maternal Grandfather J. E. (Ed) Neushafer lived in the East Texas town of  Village Mills, in the height of its lumberjack days. He started as Deputy, and made his way up to Sheriff.  Village Mills was a pretty rough town back then, and he might as well have been in the old west as far as roughnecks and scofflaws existed.

Here’s a pic of him and my Grandmother in their early days.

In 1889,  the lumber mill was churning out 75,000 board feet of lumber a day, and all the lumberjacks and mill workers had a lot of money and no place to spend it except saloons in the little town.

One day, a lumberjack decided to proclaim himself the toughest guy in the town by going from saloon to store to saloon and beating up everyone he saw. Men, women, everyone.

My Grandfather had lost his right arm by then (I have no idea how), and was an unlikely choice to stop the goon, other than shooting him. Instead, he unbuckled his gun-strap, dropped his pistol, and proceeded to beat the tar out of the thug.

With one arm.

After he had the guy handcuffed, he dragged him off to jail, then went home and had dinner.

Here’s the Neushafer house, still standing and being lived in –

He was completely paralyzed by a stoke in the early 1950s, and his wife joined him in the back bedroom when she was paralyzed herself by a stroke in the late 1950s. I can barely remember her (I was less than ten years old), but I vividly remember her telling me stories of the old days, including the huge lumber train wreck on the track that passed in front of their house. (they started off with a shotgun shack, and he built the family home)

To top it all off, the road that passed by their house (and their neighbor’s houses) is still named after him.

So – if I seem to have absolutely no patience for thugs, goons, and assorted Trumpsters, perhaps it’s just inherited.

He was indeed, a great Grandfather.


This portrait is on display in our family room :






4 thoughts on “Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with random ruminations – Great Grandfather edition

  1. I’m trying to do the math and failing. If your grandfather was a sheriff in 1889, he couldn’t have been born much later than 1870. How the heck old are you, if you don’t mind my asking? (I’m not a youngster, and even my grandparents were born after 1900.)

    1. More of a cowboy than a lumberjack. I lived in two worlds simultaneously – as an unpaid hand on my Father’s farm, and living in a 3-bedroom frame house in the Waco suburb of Timbercrest. Two very different worlds to live in at the same time.

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