Bandera, TX Julian Creek Drowning, 1881


I [sic] 1881 Joseph Winfield, a highly respected citizen of Bandera, was drowned in Julian Creek, about two miles east of Bandera. Mr. Winfield and Will Hamilton were engaged in hauling hay, using four-horse teams. The day before he met his death, Mr. Winfield and young Hamilton had crossed Julian Creek when it was dry, going out to get the loads of hay.

During the night it came a heavy rain, and when they were returning to town with their loads they found the creek running, but it did not seem to be very deep. Hamilton drove into it, and made it across all right, but when Winfield's team reached the main current they became unruly. He was riding his wheel horse and dismounted in mid-stream for some reason or other, and it is believed that one of the horses either kicked or pawed him on the head.

Hamilton went back to assist him, and noticed be was acting rather strange. He brought him to the bank and told him to remain there, and went in after the team. When he got them started out he noticed Winfield in the water again, drowning. He succeeded in getting him out again, but he died in a very short while.

The Medina river was on a big rise at the time, and was up for several days, so that Mr. Winfield's body was buried near where he was drowned. Four years later it was removed to the Catholic cemetery in Bandera.

A young man named Halamuda helped to dig the grave in which to bury Mr. Winfield on Friday. The following Sunday after the burial, Halamuda attempted to cross the Medina river at the Castroville Crossing, now known as the Slab Crossing, and was drowned before he could be rescued. His body was found several weeks later several miles down the river.

Pioneer history of Bandera county, seventy-five years of intrepid history, 1922, page 174-175