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Kyle, Texas
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April 24, 2013     Hays Free Press
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Hays Free Press a April 24, 2013 NEIGHBORS Page 5C + .i A union soldier under ~ strict orders to take the .L .Lmost wanted man in American history alive fired the fatal shot on Apr. 26, 1865 that silenced John Wilkes Booth forever. All but the historically ignorant know this story by heart. OnApr. 14, 1865, five days after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, a 26-year-old member of the "first family of the American stage" murdered Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. The epic manhunt ended 12 days later on aVirginia farm with the death of the first presidential assassin. That, in a nutshell, is the of- ficial story. But what if it's not true? Is it possible that John Wilkes Booth lived to see the twentieth century and even spent part of his extended exile in Texas? Like most Americans north and south of the Mason-Dix- on line, Finis L. Bates never questioned the official version of Booth's fate. The young Tennessean was too busy trying to make a go of his law practice at Granbury a day's ride southwest of Fort Worth. Not until the early 1870's, IIS WEEK IN that is, when a man walked into his office and introduced himself as John St. Helen. The nervous stranger said he tended bar in nearby Glen Rose and recently had been ordered to appear before a federal judge in Tyler for serv- ing alcohol without a license. St. Helen frankly admitted that was not his real name and went on to tell the at- torney that under no circum- stances could he risk revealing his true identity in open court. Bates, who had many clients living under aliases, eased the worried bartender's mind by explaining the matter could be resolved without showing his face in East Texas. St. Helen moved to Gran- bury a little while later, and the two became better acquainted. Lawyer Bates noticed, among other curious things, that the well-spoken barkeep always seemed to have "more money than was warranted by his stock in trade" and possessed an intimate knowledge of "every detail of theatrical work." He could, in fact, recite most of Shakespeare's plays from memory. Bates rushed to the bed- side of his friend and cus- tomer late one night in 1877. Gravely ill and barely able to talk between desperate gasps for breath, St. Helen believed he was at Death's door. He asked his attorney to remove a tintype from underneath his pillow. Bates obliged giving what he presumed to be an image of a younger St. Helen just a quick glance. In the event of his de- raise, which St. Helen thought was imminent, would Bates send the tintype along with a description of the circum- stances to a Mr. Edwin Booth in Baltimore? Never one to deny a last request, the lawyer promised to do so. Seconds before losing con- sciousness, St. Helen suddenly grabbed Bates by the arm. It was high time he knew his real name - John Wilkes Booth, the Lincoln assassin. Bates dismissed the death- bed confession as the delir- ium of a dying man. But St. Helen did not die, and once he was back on his feet he invited his confessor to take a long walk with him. Bates expected St. Helen to retract his bi- zarre revelation, if he remem- bered it at all, but to his surprise he stuck by his statement. For the rest of the afternoon, St. Helen filled in the blanks for his spellbound companion. Another southern sympa- thizer, who did not resemble him in the slightest but hap- pened to have Booth's diary on him, perished in his place that night in Virginia. Free to resume his flight with no one hot on his heels, he headed west and did not stop until he reached the Indian Territory. Booth wandered through the West before going into hiding in Mexico disguised as a priest. He returned to the U.S. in 1867 for a clandestine reunion in San Francisco with his mother and older brother Junius. That was followed by a year of teaching school in New Orleans and the eventual change of address to Glen Rose, where John St. Helen was born. At St. Helen's insistence, Bates swore he would keep his secret. That was the easiest promise the attorney ever made because at the time he did not believe a word of the fantastic tale. Soon after their stroll, Bates moved back to Ten- nessee. Over the next two decades, he became a very successful lawyer and a self- made expert on the Lincoln assassination completely con- vinced the Texas bartender had been telling the truth. In January 1903, Bates took the train to Enid, Oklahoma, where according to sensa- tional newspaper reports a suicide victim known locally as "David George" had been positively identified as John Wilkes Booth. Arriving at the funeral parlor, Bates com- pared the facial features of the corpse with the tintype he had held on to all those years and concluded that George, St. Helen and Booth were one and the same. That was the central prem- ise of the 300-page book Finis Bates wrote over the next four years. The Escape and Suicide of lohn Wilkes Booth sold thousands of copies and sparked the speculation that persists to this day. Great gift for someone whose local paper does not carry "This Week in Texas History." A one-year email subscription for only $20.00. Mail a check to "Bartee Haile"at P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549 or order on-line at twith.com B , • • - - ~5 Faith Assembly of God 1030 Main St,, Buda DRUG 203 Railroad Street~ Downtown Buda / STORE ~ ANDSODAFO N~Pharmacy 312"2111 [ ..... Fountain 312-2172J IYour Hometown McDonald's McDonald's of Buda 15359 IH~35, Ste. B RO Box 1364, Buda, TX 78610 512-312-2383 Locally owned and operated by Jimmy and Cindi Ferguson I ROSEBROCK Vv. v.PaU C.NIC [ • 31)-o ol j ~, We are proud to serve this community. J I 'c .................... Log onto www.HaysFreePress.oom NEWS • LETTERS • OBITS S~: ..~ CALENDAR • PHOTO GALLERY . CLASSIFIEDS • SUBSCRIBE First Baptist Church-Buda 104 San Marcos St., Buds First Baptist Church-Kyle 300 W. Center St., Kylo Hays Hills Baptist Church 1401 FM 1626. Buda Stodge Chapel Missionary Baptist Church 709 Sewell, Kyle Southeast Baptist Church 5020 Turnemvitle Rd., Creedmoor Manohaoa Baptist Church Lowden Lane & FM 1626 Immanuel Baptist Church 4000 E. FM 150, 4 miles east of Kyle Center Union BapUst Church Goforth Rd., Buds Primers Mision Sontlsta Mexinana t~yis Baptist ~urch of Driftwood i3540 FM t50 W. Santa Cruz Catholic Church 1100 Main Street. Buda St. Anthony Marie Claret Church 80t N. Budeson, Ky~e St. Michael's Catholic Church S. Old SpaniSh Trail. Uhtand - - -- 4.1-1' Buda-Kyls Church of Christ 3.5 miles south of Buda on FM 2770 Southern Hills Church of Chdst 3740 FM 967. Buds EPISCOPAL St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church 725 RR 967, Buda St. StepheWs Episcopal Church RR 3237 (Wimberley Rd.), Kyle St. Alban's Episcopal Church t1819 IH-35 South EHOVAH'S WlTNE~-_E- Kingdom Hall of Jehovah~ Witnesses FM 2770, Kyle Jehovah's Witnesses Sotah 10802 Manchaca Rd. Menchaca Uving Word Lutheran ELCA 2315 FM 967. Buda Good Shepherd Ministries FM 967. Buda Redeeming Grace Lutheran LCMS FM 1626 & Manchaca Rd.. Manchaca St. John Lutheran, LCMS 20 N. Camino Real (State Hwy. 21), Uhland MET D~ Buds United Methodist Church San Mamos & Elm St. Buda Kyle United Methodist Church Sledge & Lockhart St., Kyle Journey Uited Methodist at Painted Home Pavillion on FM 1626 Paul's United Methodist Church [ 7206 Creedmoor Rd. Creedmoor Manchaca United Methodist Church FM 1626 & Manchaca Rd.. Manchaca Driftwood United Methodist Church RR 150 at County Road 170 N :N- _--S~ ]. . - - _ Monte clel Oliver Christian Center 2400 FM 150 E.. Kyle The Connection Churc~ 1235 S. Loop 4. Buda Antioch Community Church Old Black Colony Rd., Buda Completed & Perfected Faith Church Tobias Elementary. Cafeteria, FM 150, Kyle Kingdom United Christian Church 100 Madison Way, Buds Mission Fellowship Church 200 San Marcos Street. Buds New Covenant Community Chumh 1019 Main Street. Buds (in Dance Unlimited) Generations Church 801 FM 1626 (Elm Grove Eism.), Buds A Fountain of Life Church Tom Green Elementary 1301 Old Goforth Rd., Buda The Fellowship at Plum Creek Meets at Negley Elementary in Plum Creek Word of Life Christian Faith Center 400 Old Post Road. Kyle Mlstoo do CaN do CraYon S. Hwy. 81, Kyle New Life Sanctuary Kyls 188691H 35 North La Quinta Inn Meeting Room St, John's Presbyterian Church 12’20 Hewitt Ln. Manchaca Rrst Prasbytedan Church 410 W. Hutchiso~, San Marcoe, TX 78666 UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST • 1Hnlty United Chuch of Nlsderw~ 13700 Camino Real, Hwy. 2t, Niedarwald Air Conditioning & Heating Service 3 112 Ton Electric R-22 - $3,665.E8 3 1/2 Ton Electric R41G-A • $3,849A6 $500 Credit for Old Unit ~. Lic#TACLB27319E • A-Tech/ f FARMERS" DEBBIE THAMES, AGENT 251 N, FM 1626. Bldg. 2, Ste. C. Buda. Texas 78610 312-1917 TEXAS LEHIGH 1 CEMENT C0, LP3 CENTEX MATERIALS LLC FM 2770, Buda, Texas 295-4801 DIRECTORY OF LOCAL CHURCHES PRIMERA IGLESIA BAUTISTA DE BUDA 104 S, San Marcos Street • 512-295-8768 HORARIO/SCHEDULE Domlago~undsy: Eseaela Dominica~unday School ............................ 9:45 a.m, Culto de P~dicaeiGn/Worship Service ................... I 1:00 a.m, Sean Todos Bien~nidos S [~.Southern.HillsChu::hofChrist I ~hfist Serving Others Baptist ChHrch I/ CO.EWO.S.,~w,..us, 1~ Sunday 9 00am B~ble Class ' 9:15 Traditional Service : lO:OOam Worship .10:45 Contemporary Service 6:OOpm Worship . Classes for all ages at Wednesday 7:00pm Bible Class 9:15 and 10:45 3740 Ranch Road 967 Buda, Texas www.NausMills.or" .... ,hemhil!scoc.0rg(512) 312-5900 All se~'ices are sign-interpreted for the dee# dy for all ages, 9:45 a.m. Worship Service, 10:55 a.m. (English and Spanish) Pastors 4000 East FM 1 SO (4 miles east of Kyle) ' WEDNESDAY: SIIverlo Hernandez (512) 268-5471 Bible Study & Prayer, 7 p rn, and Dr. Dennis Kogor Womens & Mens Group i EVERY OTHER FRIDAY: I Youth Group 6od with A FOUNTAIN OF We are a non- denominational church currently meeting at Tom Green Elementary, 1301 Old Goforth Road in Buda. Services [ Ca11512-393-4460 FreeLunch Sun. 10:30 a.m.or go to Buffet Wed. 7:30 p.m. www.afountain.org Last Sunday of for more into.each month SANTA CRUZ CATHOLIC CHURCH 11 O0 Main Street " Buda,Texas 78610 Office: 512-312-2520 • Fax: 512-295-2034 • http://santacruzcc.org Rev. Kirby D. Garner, Pastor • Ft. Charlie Garza, Ass(Χ:. Pastor CONFESSION OFFICE HOURS Saturdays: 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. MASS SCHEDULE: Saturday evening: 5:30 p.m. Sunday 8: 30 a.m. (Spanish), 1 1 a.m. (English) 5 p.m. (English) • , ,, ;,' First Baptist Church A loving & caring Southern Baptist Church 104 S. San Marcos Street, Buda Buddy Johnson, Pastor • 295-2161 Sunday School ........................................... 9:45 a.m. Morning Worship .................................... 11:00 a.m. Wednesday Bible Study/Youth Activities ...6:00 p.m. AWANA's (Wednesday) .......................... 6:00 p.m. Nursery Provided www.firstbaptistbuda.com • fbcbuda@austi~r~com St. John Lutheran Church of Uhland, LCMS Highway 21, Uhland Bible Study ................. Church Services ............ 20 ..... 9:15 a.m. ..... 10:30 a.m. Pastor: Hey. David Goeke 210-635-8584 • www.stjohnlcmsuhland.org N. Camino Real (State Hwy. 21}. Uhland, Texas 78640 SUNDAYS 10AM O Pastor Mark Pecina 512.803.5909 Buda, TX 78610 FBWC@ymail,c(m~ 1.Smllesso.of~ BibleStudy! 9:45 a.m. Worship: H~ a.m. Pray & Devotion: 1 %