Desperados – The Life of Tom Varnell – and yes, he killed a man here in Hubbard.
The ARLINGTON JOURNAL, Arlington, Texas. Thursday July 30, 1903 –
Tom P. Varnell a somewhat notorious character was shot and killed at Abbott, Hill County, on the 26 of July, 1903, by Oscar Ferguson. Varnell had heretofore killed two men and served one term in the penitentiary. For years he has been one of the Hill county‘s bad men. Son of Isaac (Ike) A Varnell and Francis LaDocia Crawford.In 1880 at age 18 Tom P shot and killed A P Fisher in revenge for his father’s death in 1876. He shot and killed Jonas Hagar Land at age 21 in Hubbard City in 1883 after being caught by Land with his 16 year old daughter. After two years on the run he was captured in New Mexico and several trials later was convicted and spent 9 years in the Texas State Pen. He was released on Jan 19, 1902 and was pardoned at the recommendation of State Senator S C Upshaw, who had been his criminal attorney when he was convicted.
Six months later he killed a Mexican, Frenchy Rauls, in the Oklahoma Territory, and was sentenced to 10 years. The conviction was appealed, bail was set and Tom P returned to Texas.On July 26, 1903 he was shot and killed by Oscar Ferguson in Abbott, Texas, to “protect the honor” of Oscar’s sister. Oscar was tried for murder, but found not guilty. His father Isaac Alexander Varnell was murdered on New Years Day in 1876. His brother Isaac Napoleon Varnell was gunned down in 1867 at the age of 17 by a 16 year old. Death and misery followed Tom during his short life of 41 years.
Thomas Powhattan “Tom P” Varnell
BIRTH 13 Feb 1862 Hill County, Texas, USA
DEATH 26 Jul 1903 (aged 41)Abbott, Hill County, Texas, USA
BURIAL Hillsboro City Cemetery Hillsboro, Hill County, Texas, USA
PLOT Section 11
For the book about his life – https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Ps-Fiddle-True…/dp/0984185739
Jonas Hagar Land is buried here in Hubbard in Fairview Cemetery.