Mark and Billy travel to the “Spur Capital of Texas” in Gatesville to investigate a home built in the late 1800’s. Who keeps terrorizing the current residents? Are the original owners to blame?
Gatesville, TX is located in Coryell County which is on the Leon river eighty miles north of Austin in the central part of the county. In the early 1880s residents of Gatesville gave $30,000 and land to the Texas and St. Louis Railway so that rail service could be extended to their town. The Waco-to-Gatesville section of the railroad was completed in 1882, opening Coryell County to outside markets and making Gatesville the county’s major shipping and supply center.
By 1884 the town had steam grist and sawmills – cotton gins filled the cotton belt trains while, several assorted businesses blossomed the area. Churches, schools and even two weekly newspapers began to serve an estimated population of 600. In January of 1889, The Gatesville State School for Boys opened. It was the first juvenile corrections facility with 68 boys being incarcerated for petty crimes and homelessness. Although there were good intentions for the Gatesville School, it became a torture chamber consisting of long periods in solitary confinement, stoop labor, fights between gangs, beatings perpetrated by staff members, and sexual assaulting at the facility.
In the middle of field near the former Gatesville School for Boys, there is a stone fence, and within this fence lie the graves of 16 children who lost their lives because of the torture that they endured while attending the school. The graveyard and former boys school are located on land now owned by the Texas Depart of Criminal Justice, and situated within close proximity to the Ward Home. Today, the land has been turned into several prisons for men and woman.
In 1839, Thomas Kinsey and his wife Sarah Jane McNutt moved to Gatesville, Texas from Alabama. He was a farmer, a blacksmith and printer and once owned the Gatesville Star newspaper. Thomas was also a veteran who once served in the War of 1812. They had a total of 14 children some of which have died under terrible circumstances. Peter Kinsey was killed by lightning, George Kinsey was murdered by his wives suitor while in Alabama, and twins Roland and Lunsford perished in a prairie fire they accidentally caused.
Its the history of the Kinsey family that brings us to this home. Their son Elisha Kinsey lived here with his wife Amelia Catherine White and their children. It is now currently occupied by the Ward family, and ever since that purchase the Ward household has been haunted by the unknown. Who keeps terrorizing the current residents? Are the original owners to blame?
The Ward Home Episode:
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Images By: Beverly Barrett
Images By: Beverly Barrett
Producers | Billy Driver, Mark Morrow
Camera Operators | Billy Driver, Mark Morrow
Editor | Billy Driver
Research | Billy Driver, Mark Morrow
Writers | Billy Driver, Mark Morrow
Additional Camera & Still Photography | Beverly Barrett
History Consultant | Erin O’ Wallace
Produced By | Radio Star Video
Music | “The Laughing Song” by George W. Johnson