Will Rivers

Many times one item leads to many more when researching a document. Most old-timers in the Willow Springs area and eastern Parker County tell different versions of a "shoot-out" over a dog with both men dying. Upon finding the story of the shooting in a paper, we now have the details [sorta] but it also makes for more unanswered questions about some of the pioneers. Thru the years I have been given several names as being the men involved, at least this story tells who.


Weatherford Enquirer, Thursday, 3 December 1891


Will Rivers and Bid Froman Fight to the Death

Another death dealing fight occurred in this county nine miles east of Weather- ford Friday morning.

From the best information The Enquirer can gather, Mr. Will Rivers had been putting out poison to kill wolves and on Friday morning he and his wife, her sister and a young man named Kyle were in the pasture hunting the wolf scalps.

Mr. Bid Froman had found his dog dead and was incensed about it. He armed himself with a shot gun and in company with two friends, Messrs Charley Carr and Mr. Rogers, started across Rivers’ pasture to Rivers’ house. He came upon Rivers in the pasture and thus accosted him.

"Oh yes, _____ you, so you have killed my clog have you?" to which Rivers replied "How do you know I did, you can't prove."

Here Froman emptied both barrels of his gun into Rivers’ breast, over fifty buckshot taking effect.

Rivers dropped to his knees and fired twice with a pistol, the first shot taking effect in the head and the other near the center of the breast.

Froman expired instantly, while Rivers lived about two hours.

[here the newspaper retells the story, giving different versions, but essential the information and people are the same]


In checking the newspapers, no further stories are given about the shooting nor about the families.

Bid Froman was Alex S. Froman and he was buried at Willow Springs with a small son that had died in 1886. The Fromans were the parents of six daughters that lived to maturity, but no Froman male descendant survived.

wife then married Capt. David Yeary

WILL RIVERS - this story brought up the question of who was Will Rivers? His mother was Martha S. Williams d/o Wm. H. Williams. In Probate Minute Book 1, p.132-133, Case # 65, Mrs. Martha S. Ferrell, Gdn. was filing subsitute papers for Wm. Rivers, minor child of Charles Rivers, deceased. (1872)

Who was this Charles Rivers? Research shows that Charles E. Rivers who married Susan Mary Loving Ford in 1870 died in Aug. 1871. They had a son, Charles Elliott Rivers born 1871. Susan later married Mack Brown Roach.

Martha Williams marriage to a Charles Rivers would have been about 1859, The tombstone of Will Rivers: born 28 June 1860 died 27 Nov. 1891. To further complicate this, Will Rivers was brought to Weatherford and buried in old Greenwood cemetery near Charles E. Rivers and the Loving family. No evidence has been found of a Rivers/Williams marriage, but Parker County’s burning in the May 1874 Courthouse fire.

Charles E. Rivers was the son of a Charles E. Rivers, in 1850 in Smith Co., TX, in 1870 in Denton Co., TX. 

Will Rivers married Hattie Bledsoe in 1889, in 1893 Hattie mar. J. M. Tinsley.

Charley Carr was married to a daughter of Alex S. Froman on Nov. 8, 1891 her name was Minnie. Mr. Carr’s parents and several siblings are buried in Willow Springs, they were James B. and Martha (Brantley) Carr.

Martha Williams Rivers Ferrell removed to Oklahoma with her Ferrell children.


As stated, research. in one area just opens up more questions in many other Areas and families.

A Texas State Historical Marker is being sought for Willow Springs cemetery, and the research continues to add to the possible burials there. Tile families along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River intermarried greatly. Without the early marriages of Parker County to help solve some of the problems, other sources are depended on.

Perhaps some of the descendants can help with the possible earlier Marriage of Charles E. Rivers, age 26 years when he died of wounds from an Indian fight in 1871.

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