This family feud simmered quite awhile before it ended in the early 1900’s in eastern New Mexico, in an area now known as Quay County. The feud began in east Texas during the Civil War when the two patriarchs of the Spikes and Gholson families crossed paths, or should I say just “crossed.”
John Wesley Spikes (see this week’s Tombstone Tuesday article here in case you missed it) was a member of the Texas 12th Cavalry, whose job was rounding up draft evaders. During the Civil War men were often recruited with the “point-of-a-gun” rather than willingly join the cause.
One day in 1864, Samuel Gholson was in the town of Kaufman (Spikes lived in the county at the time as well) stocking up on supplies when he was approached by one of Spikes’ men. Sam Gholson was the son of Albert Gholson who fought Mexico for Texas independence years before. Sam, who rode with the Texas Rangers, had also distinguished himself in the Indian wars. His family’s illustrious history apparently made no impression on Spikes’ men.
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