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David D. Lovell (d. 1875)


The story of Lovell’s death from the River Falls Advance of May 11, 1875:


Particulars of the Tragedy
Which Culminated in the
Death of Doctor David D.
Lovell at Carrizo, Texas,
April 19, 1875.

(The following is a copy of a written letter from Mrs. T. W. Gillette, which was written to the parents and friends of Doctor D. D> Lovell, a brief account of whose murder we gave a short time since.  It will be read with deep interest by every friend of the deceased.—EDS. ADVANCE.)

CARRIZO, TEXAS, April 22, 1875.

Mr. & Mrs. Lovell :—Your daughter, David’s wife, wishes me to write you the sad, sad new she cannot tell you.  David is no more.  Monday morning, (the 19th,) about six o’clock,  David got up,  taking little Freddie,  whom he worshiped,  down into the store with him,  so that his mother might sleep a little longer.  Very soon she was aroused by his cry,  which was enough to move heaven and earth.  She rushed down to the store,  saw him with a villain hold of each arm,  others shooting him through and through.  She plead,  as best she could,  you know,  for his dear life.  When she saw all was of no avail,  she flew to Freddie who was feeding chickens in the yard just behind her.  With him in her arms she opened a gate which at any other time she could scarcely have done with free arms;  she ran around the high stone wall (past two robbers) to my door,  which was at the back of the house and my room is a part of the same building.  I,  who was alone with my two children,  was glad enough to see her,  for I had heard every cry from the poor Doctor,  and looked out of the window and saw the Mexicans and knew what it all meant,  for only a few weeks ago the Doctor had driven off a band of these same men,  who came there to kill and rob him.

As your son’s wife was coming to my door,  she saw Mexicans in the ranch and begged of them to come and help.  But the robbers had told,  if they moved they would shoot them.  So with a ranch full of men (not white men, or they could never have stood and heard that cry) your son,  brave as a lion,  had to meet them alone,  ten or twelve of them.  They came to my room.  I opened the door while Mrs. Lovelt with her boy in her arms begged and prayed of them to spare the children and women.  They said,  yes;   but give us money.  I had only a few dollars which made them angry.  She saved me then for I know no Spanish,  and she assured them all I had was with the Doctors’s money,  and they had it and that my husband was away.  She said this is such a manner that they could but believe she told them the truth.  Then they looked through my trunks and left us.  She started then to her husband as she wished to long before,  but I said,  I know not one word of Spanish,  and cannot talk to them, and they may kill us all — your boy and all;  besides they would have killed her,  if she had been in their way.  She found her husband so covered with blood that scarcely a spot of clean flesh was to be seen.  She closed his eyes and the men of the ranch carried him to his room.  Oh,  thank God that you did not have to see his look of agony,  which we know was caused by his thoughts of her and her boy,  for he never feared for himself.  They cut his clothes off,  and in that brave breast and head were six horrid holes, and one wicked knife cut.  His last words in Spanish,  after pleading of them to spare lives and take all else,  were, My God!  My God!  –over and over again.

the wretches turned every thing in the house inside out,  took all of value,  took all the money in the store and all the good there were of any great value.  The Doctor had been converting everything as fast as he could into money, in order to put it into sheep,  as he had gone into partnership with my husband,  who is now off locating land for sheep.  The Doctor was anxious to get away from this part of the country.  Every one knew the Mexicans meant to kill him,  for he was the only man in the country that they feared,  and they knew he never feared them.  My husband will be here in a few days,  and do all in a man’s power for her.  He will try and save all that can be saved for her and her boy.  She says if they can save any thing for his child it is the most she asks for new.  You can feel for her as no one else can,  but she is not without friends here.  your son was known so well,  his friends came from far and near to see what could be done;  but none of them can bring back her comfort and stay in this life.  Thank God she is able to say,  “God is good,”  and if she can always say that in the future,  it is her only comfort.  Little Freddie is a bright,  interesting child,  and God great that he may be all and in all to his dear mother.  No man ever loved his child better.  It was idolatry.  He could never do enough for him,  and now if a good God will only grant that he may be allowed to come and guard his wife and boy,  all may be well again.

Your son was an old army friend of my husband.  They corresponded,  and both times your son went North he visited us.  We came here in December.  I do not know as there is any more to say.  Words are weak things in such terrible times as these.  No one away from here can ever imagine the horrible,  wicked,  cruel deed,  or the heart breaking sight that your son’s wife saw that morning when all without was so quiet and beautiful.

With great respect,

L. A. Gillette

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