m. 30 May 1799
m. abt 1853
Facts and Events
Many publications name Weakley County, Tennessee, as the birthplace of Henry Stout. However, the first families settled there in 1819, and there is no mention of Stout's there at that early date. Weakley county was formed in 1823, nearly 25 years after his birth. The 1850 census incorrectly gives Washington county, Tennessee, as his birthplace.
He migrated to Illinois c.1816 (reportedly to get away from his father, who was something of a tyrant), where he remained only briefly before moving on to Arkansas. In 1819, he moved with his family from Hempstead County, Arkansas, to Pecan Point on the north side of the Red River. Shortly thereafter, he crossed the river and settled at the site of Jonesboro.
He apparently traveled by himself to Nacogdoches, where he got caught up in the collapse of the Long Expedition and was briefly detained by Spanish authorities. After his release, he returned to his family on the Red River.
In March 1838, he testified before the commissioners of the land office as to his date of arrival in Texas, and that he was therefore entitled to a league and a labor of land, which he received. He conveyed his land certificate (for the site of Clarksville, almost 3,700 acres) to Mrs. Isabella H. Clark. She then began donating town lots to settlers, merchants, and churches to promote development. She soon became a leading political, financial, and social leader in the community.
He appears to have moved from Red River County to Wood County early in 1850. (He is mentioned as a judge in January 1850 but has not been found in the 1850 census there. And he is recorded as having served a term as Sheriff of Wood County, 1850-52.) In 1855, he was elected to the 6th Texas legislature from Dist. 18 (Wood & Van Zandt Counties). He enlisted at the outbreak of the Civil War and was elected 2d Lieut. for Co. B, 10th Texas Cavalry, but quickly received a medical discharge on grounds of age and disability.
Van Zandt County, Texas, 1850 census:
Precinct 4, Wood County, Texas, 1860 census: Post Office: Holley Springs
Precinct 4, Wood County, Texas, 1870 census: Post Office: Quitman
Wood County, Texas, 1880 census:
Dallas Morning News, 31 Dec 1890:
CAPTAIN HENRY STOUT by Pat Benjamin Clark
Formerly I spoke of that great old character, Henry Stout. Here I desire to relate an incident in his life’s career that proved his ability as a scout or guide. John B. Denton, for whom the beautiful City of Denton and Denton County, Texas, were named, at the time of this happening, lived in the City of Clarksville. Mr. Denton was out on the western frontier, together with Henry Stout and others from this section of the state, on a scouting expedition, and they were ambushed by the Comanche Indians and Mr. Denton was killed. The same volley that killed Mr. Denton also shot the flint lock off of Henry Stout’s rifle. This was in 1841.
Some thirty years later, to prove the knowledge Henry Stout had of this part of Texas, he boarded the train at Clarksville, went out to Denton County, and was finally able to locate the grave of Mr. Denton which was positively identified by some things they had purposely buried with the body. Old Uncle Henry Stout, as he was affectionately called, told me himself of this happening, and stated that his greatest trouble in locating the grave of Mr. Denton was the fact that the railroad was there, which to him marred the whole beauty of the country.
Another time while on a scouting expedition this faithful old guide, Henry Stout, came near meeting his death at the hands of the Comanche savages by being shot late one evening out on the headwater of the northern prong of the Trinity River. An Indian had hidden in a small thicket of dogwood bushes and as Henry Stout rode up the Indian rose and shot his arrow. Stout wheeled off his horse, but the arrow with a flint-rock head went through his buckskin trousers and embedded itself in the thigh of his left leg so deeply that with all his strength he was unable to pull it out. He was afraid to cut it out with his knife for fear he would sever a blood vessel and bleed to death. He cut the arrow down close to his leg to keep down the vibration which would aggravate the wound. He then mounted his horse and turned toward Ft. Towson, a distance of approximately 180 miles and procured there the services of an army surgeon, who cut the arrow head out of his leg. I marvel at this man’s stamina, and wonder if we have men of this same type in the present age. I saw the scar on his leg from which the arrow had been removed.
One interesting story of a bear hunt participated in by the early settlers is related by old Uncle Henry Stout. Stout, James Burkham, Isaiah D. Lawson, Sr., L. Hopkins, John Stiles, and perhaps a few others, went to Red River on a bear hunt. After camping on the river for a few days, they decided to move several miles down the stream. Lawson, Stiles and Hopkins were to take all the horses around through the trails in the forest while Burkham and Stout would go down the river in a skiff. It was a very cold, drizzly evening in winter. While Burkham was directing the skiff, Stout watched on the banks for signs of game. At the root of a large tree that had been washed down the river and lodged against the bank Stout saw a large bear. Taking careful aim, he fired but the bullet merely grazed the head of the bear which looked all around and, seeing the men in the skiff, made a lunge for them. Before Stout could reload his gun, the beast had reached the skiff and was climbing in. Stout, a powerful man physically, struck the bear a terrific blow with the barrel of his rifle but instead of killing the bear, the wooden stock of his gun broke and the barrel fell to the bottom of the stream. The blow, however, kept the bear from entering the skiff.
Jumping into the water on the side opposite that of the bear, Stout pulled his bowie knife and, standing in the water shoulder deep, reached over the skiff and struck at the bear with such force that the knife missed the mark. His wrist struck the sharp edge of the skiff and his arm was temporarily paralyzed, the knife dropping into the water. Paying no attention to Burkham who was in the skiff with nothing but a paddle, the beast climbed over the boat after Stout. It was then up to Stout to do some very rapid thinking, so while the bear was climbing over the skiff, he dived under it, staying under the water as long as he could, swimming under it, swimming upstream. In this manner he gained some little advantage of the bear. The bear had to then come upstream in approaching him. Stout could stand on the bottom; the bear having to swim against the current. Having lost both his rifle and bowie knife, Stout had nothing with which to defend himself except a pocketknife with only one blade, and it was broken. By this time the dogs which were with the party on land heard the calls of Stout and Burkham and came to their rescue. As the bear would come in reach, Stout would strike the side of his throat with the broken knife and, at the same time, the dogs would grab him in the ribs. The bear would have to turn and fight the dogs. These operations were repeated for a few times when the men who had heard the noise had arrived and Hopkins shot the bear with his rifle.
Stout then set to work to find the pieces of his broken rifle, which he succeeded in doing, finding the stock had broken in such a way that it left the hammer and trigger intact. Stout, having a wonderful grip, could use the rifle as a man would use a pistol and with this broken gun, he afterwards killed two bears. As Stout often told Dr. Pat B. Clark, while this fight was in progress, the wind changed to the north and came with such force that he thought he would freeze in his wet clothes before he could start a fire.
In the early days, as hereinbefore related, the settlers depended largely upon the bear for fats to be used for cooking purposes. Stout told me, the writer, that he often killed bears that would render up thirty or forty gallons of bear fat.
He also told me of another bear hunt which took place in the canebrake on Red River at Ward’s Lake, above what is now Riverview and below Bryarly. The cane then was so rank and dense that a man could not ride through it on a horse; however, the bears had made trails through the cane and there were quite a number in there. Stout came home after a trip and, being out of ammunition, powder, and lead, and the neighborhood being out of meat, he took his bear dogs and his hunting knife and went to this canebrake for the purpose of killing a bear. He started his bear dogs and then secreted himself behind a large tree by which the bear trail passed, and waited for the bear. One soon came by and, knowing well the nature of the animal, he reached with his knife over the bear’s back and stabbed it to the heart on the side farthest from him. The bear struck, as he knew it would, on the side from which it was wounded. Stout stepped back behind the tree and his game soon bled to death in the trail. As he told of this bear hunt in my presence he turned and looked at me, I then being a small boy, and said, "Now Pat, don’t you try this trick on a bear for you could not do it".