William C. Kutch biography

WILLIAM C. KUTCH, one of the honored old pioneers of Jack county and familiarly known as “Uncle Bill,” was born in Maury county, Tennessee, January 21, 1838. In early life his father, Daniel Kutch, a native of Mercer county, Kentucky, removed with his family to the Republic of Texas, making the journey by river to New Orleans, thence by the Red river to Shreveport and by wagon to Texas. Their first camp in this state was made in Shelby county, where they remained until the following October, when they removed to Montgomery county, and from there in 1848 to Smith county. After a time they took up their abode in Parker county, western Texas, where they both died, the mother passing away in March, 1861, the father surviving until June, 1874, when he, too, was called to the home beyond.

William C. Kutch was married to Miss Narcissus McElroy in December, 1854, and continued to make his home in Smith county until in June, 1855, when with his young wife they stretched their tent near the Keechi, in the southwestern part of Jack county, a country then new, wild and unsettled, and the journey thereto was made with a wagon and a yoke of steers. In this county they have every since continued to reside, and there is not now within its boundaries a person who was here at the time of their arrival. Their nearest postoffice and trading post at the time was Birdville, the old county seat of Tarrant county, five miles northeast of the present site of Fort Worth. Mr. Kutch had always despised the name of renter, and his ambition in coming to this new country was to make a home for himself. Starting here with no means, he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of state land and began to accumulate a small bunch of cattle, and as the years passed by he became an extensive stock farmer. He remained on his old place until the 25th of November, 1896, when he was elected county treasurer, and to discharge the duties of that position removed to Jacksboro, which has ever since been the family home, and for six years he continued in that official position. He assisted the surveyors in establishing the lines of the county commissioners. He is one of the best known of the old Indian fighters of Jack county, and although he is often reluctant in telling of the horrors of the Indian raids it is known by all that he was one of the most active participants in the forces organized to fight the savages and protect the homes of the settlers. He still bears the wounds of three Indian arrows in his body. The redskins began their depredations about 1858, and from that time until 1874 they were a constant menace in this section of the state. They killed Mr. Kutch’s aunt and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. James B. Cambeon, and their three children in May, 1858, the tragedy taking place that their home eighteen miles from Mr. Kutch’s, and in those days of horror the latter was known as a bloodhound upon the trail. During the Civil War he enlisted in the Confederate service, becoming a member of Major Quail’s regiment, which was stationed here for protection against the Indians. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kutch are members of the Methodist church, and in their family are four children—Mrs. Manda E. Rather, Daniel Lee (the present sheriff of Collingsworth county), Ira B. and Mrs. Emma Ruth.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, p. 138.