The Tale of John Savage

The Tale of John Savage

He was young and rode out west
His brother, east, thinking that was best
Their widowed ma, newly married,
Felt it best if they not tarry.

Fourteen and free of will,
Young John fell in with raiders of Quantrill,
Burning farms and riding fast,
He knew outlawing could not last.

In Bonham, Texas he made his escape-
Took to rustling, got in all manner of scrapes-
Hiding out with fellows, we all know their names-
The Younger boys and brothers James.

Taking his stake and settling a claim,
In Palestine, Texas he choose to remain,
Ranching beeves and raising daughters and sons,
Standing tall in his boots and in his white Stetson.

A community pillar, a newspaper man, his obit read
No mention of past brash deeds better off not said
His portrait as an older gent is hung and held very dear
Glad he wasn’t hanged when young or I would not be here!

*** This is a little story about my great grandfather for the dVerse prompt today.

26 thoughts on “The Tale of John Savage

  1. Love it! But you need to add a verse about his run in with Texas outlaw Sam Bass (way I remember the story our great grand pa recovered his stolen horse from none other than Sam Bass and then made the outlaw re-saddle the horse for him before riding away) — and you could throw in something about modern folks looking for outlaw treasure buried on the Savage ranch too. 🙂 (from K’s brother, Johnny)

  2. great poem — need some more verses about his run in with Sam Bass (the way I remember the story, he recovered his stolen horse from the infamous outlaw and made him re-saddle it too) and also throw something in about secret buried outlaw treasure on his ranch! 🙂

  3. I loved reading this. Then to find out it was your GGDad! Totally cool. It felt like a song to me like one of those great 70s songs where there was a story with a true climax and cadence. Get Sam to sing this one!! love you!

  4. This is so very exciting really. To think your great grandfather hung out with Jesse James – I am suitably impressed. I was always very fascinated with the James Gang. I know they are ‘bad guys,’ but for some odd reason I admired them nonetheless. It really sounds like your great grandfather righted himself as time went on.

    • The James and Youngers ran with Quantrill thru MO and KS wreaking a lot of havoc and bloodshed – after the Civil War, they began robbing banks and trains. There is a great story in my family – Cole Younger was at my great grandfathers house when a posse came to arrest him. My great grandfather told them that he was afraid of any gunfire with the women in the house. So they agreed to let all the women leave on a buckboard – then waited for Younger to come out. But he had dressed as a woman and escaped!

  5. What a neat way to remember him. Thank you so much for sharing this piece of your family history. To have done what he did and survived is really amazing. Glad you are here to share it with us, in cowboy poetry style!

  6. oh wow….the story of your great grandfather…heck…what a story…and glad he changed his life and settled down…so cool… probably you inherited some of his wild and some of his wise genes…smiles

  7. what a wild early life he had eh? lucky to escape…and funny too he became a pillar of society…and your great grandfather…oh wow…that is awesome…bet you got some stories…smiles.

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