HISTORY OF THE CUNNINGHAM FAMILY
Compiled by F. Lee Lawrence (Elizabeth’s Family) for the 100th Reunion in 1989
Updated in 2017 for the 128th Reunion
In 1839-1840 James (1816-1894) and Susannah Tate (1817-1899) Cunningham came to the Republic of Texas from Alabama and settled in the Red River District. Though the sources disagree, James was probably born in Warren County, Tennessee. Susannah is also shown to have been born in the same county. Since Cunningham is a Scotch Highlander surname, it seems curious that James’ father was born in Ireland as Alma Cox reported in her Cunningham Genealogy. However, the Celtic kingdoms of Scotland, Ireland and Wales shared a common culture and centuries of English oppression. The members of this Gaelic society had been moving back and forth between Scotland and Ireland for a thousand years. It is agreed among historians that comparatively few Scots immigrated directly to America from the Highlands. Most of them migrated first to Ireland from where a wave of half a million transplanted Scots then immigrated to America in the century before the American Revolution. Nearly all of these immigrants, refugees from famines and English persecution, landed at the southern ports or Philadelphia. It is probable that James’ father was part of this migration.
James, a twin, had a classic Scottish coloration of red hair and beard with fair skin. Susannah, on the other hand, was dark haired and black eyed. It is not known from where the Tates immigrated to America, but they were in Virginia before the Revolution. Susannah’s mother was a Connelly of Irish extraction. Perhaps this helps explain Susannah’s lively ways.
She and James married February 14, 1835, after which he served in the army during the Florida Indian wars, being discharged July 21, 1838, at Fort Payne, Alabama. They had two young children (Aaron and Elizabeth) born in Alabama and ten more children (David H., Richard T., John V., William H., James W., Joseph J., Thomas A., George W., Mary Jane and Unity Ann) were born in Texas, making twelve in all. All twelve lived to ripe old ages which was remarkable in those days of infant mortality.1
Their original 640 acre patent was located in an area which was eventually to become present day Morris County.2 In 1841-2, this area between the Sulphur River and Cypress Bayou from the western Louisiana border was designated as Paschal County by the Fifth Congress of the Republic of Texas. The act did not provide for representation in Congress, and the following year the Supreme Court ruled that its creation was unconstitutional. Because it was not in existence long enough for the creation of records, it was known as a “Ghost County”, one of the few in Texas. An act dissolving Pashcal County divided the area between Red River and Bowie Counties and in due course Cass, Titus, Hopkins and Morris Counties were created out of the Paschal area.3
James developed malaria in East Texas in the 1840’s and moved his family to several locations in Central Texas until 1855 when in September they moved to what is now Comanche County and settled on Mountain Creek, a tributary of the South Leon River.* The area into which they moved in 1855 was a wilderness referred to as “the upper Leon River Country” and they were preceded there by only about ten or fifteen families.4 It is more than coincidental that many of these families were neighbors of the Cunningham’s in Williamson County; the Richard Tankersley’s had even been next door neighbors in East Texas in 1840. The Cunningham’s and the other widely scattered settlers have been called the entering wedge of Anglo-American occupation of the plains. Southern Comanche County is the point where the Cross Timbers joins the Plains. Since there were no residences between southern Comanche County and El Paso at the time the Cunningham’s built their house, they were the western edge of Texas settlement. The home which they built there is the oldest house still standing in Comanche County and is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. The house and ranch were sold in 1900 but were purchased in 1985 by a descendant of James and Susannah who, with his wife, restored the old residence to its original appearance. It is a splendid example of an early Central Texas ranch house built by the occupants who resided there nearly half a century. Neighbors used the Cunningham house as a strong point in which to gather and “fort up” when marauding Indians were prowling nearby. It was also known to have been pressed into service as a schoolhouse in 1862 and again in 1863.5
Still evident today are remnants of the old stone fences serving as a reminder of the abundance of stone as building and fencing material in the early days of Central Texas. They selected a beautiful valley and built the house in the low land so that they could dig a shallow water well and also have water from the nearby creek for their stock and domestic uses. Livestock ran on the open range then making it necessary to fence the cultivated fields to protect crops from grazing animals. They did not have sufficient rail timber but did have a high hill covered with stone which they used to build stone fences after the style of those in Ireland, Scotland and Yorkshire. That kind of fence cost about $2.50 a rod (16.5 feet) to construct. The first rock fence was not pleasing to James and he had it torn down and rebuilt by young John Bryson in the 1870’s6. Bryson later became the largest landowner in the county. J. B. Allcorn, a succeeding owner, unfortunately sold the stone fences to the Highway Department to be crushed into limestone gravel for the roadbed for nearby State Highway 16. The house is located about two and a half miles from the Cunningham Reunion grounds. The annual reunion is of the descendants of Captain James and Susannah Cunningham and functions through representatives of the descendants of their twelve children, each of whom had a large family.
This hardy clan became one of the most vigorous and influential in Comanche County. After the county was organized in 1856, the oldest daughter, Elizabeth, married a member of another early family in what was the first wedding performed in Comanche County. It was reported that everyone then in the County was invited to the wedding and fanfare at Mountain Creek and all attended the two-day event.7
The Comanche newspapers have claimed that more Sheriffs came out of this family than perhaps any other in the United States. The first Sheriff of Comanche County was James and Susannah’s son-in-law, T.J. Holmsley. Their sons David, William and James W. all served as Sheriffs of Comanche County. The youngest son, George, was the first Sheriff of Mills County and their son, John, was the long-time Sheriff in Abilene, Taylor County. A grandson, Jack Cunningham, also served as a Sheriff of Comanche County and another grandson, Kinlock Cunningham, was a Texas Ranger Captain whose exploits on the border of Mexico are legendary.8
The Cunningham’s gained greatest fame in Central Texas as aggressive and fearless Indian fighters. With the onset of depredations by the Comanche’s against the Northwest Texas frontier settlements in the late 1850’s Comanche County was “in great alarm”. Settlers were being murdered and horribly mutilated and their livestock driven off by the Indians. In June 1858 James Cunningham consented to organize a volunteer company to protect the Comanche County area and reported to Governor H.R. Runnels that the company had been enrolled, was in service and he elected to its command.9
From the organization of the county in 1856 until the cessation of depredations in the early 1870’s the Cunninghams were involved in virtually every Indian battle which took place in or emanated from Comanche County. The fights in which they took part which have been documented were Rush Creek, Buffalo Gap, Tater Hill, Blanket Creek, Salt Mountain, Brown Creek, Cow House Creek, Dove Creek, and Hog Creek. The records of many other engagements with the Indians have undoubtedly been lost in the passage of time.
During the Civil War, in the absence of Federal Troops, Indian raids became more frequent and devastating on the Northwest Texas frontier. Most families left Comanche County rather than continue to endure the hardships and dangers brought about by these raids. However, the Cunninghams remained and in 1861James was elected Captain of a Comanche County Company of frontiersmen. In 1864 he was again elected Captain of the Comanche County Company of the 2nd Frontier District commanded by Major George B. Erath. The 1864 muster roll shows James as a forty-eight year old Captain, his sons, David H., 3rd Lieutenant and Aaron and Richard T. as Privates.10 Later muster rolls show young John V. and William also as Privates.
One of the hardest fights which occurred along the Northwest Texas frontier in which the Cunninghams participated was at Buffalo Gap. Men from Comanche, Hamilton and Coryell Counties followed a band of marauding Indians until they reached a point near the town of Buffalo Gap. They overtook the Comanches about 9:00 a.m. and engaged in a conflict which Uncle Dick Cunningham described as “one of the worst fighting bunch of Indians that was ever encountered.” The first engagement of the day was apparently a standoff and the second skirmish occurred on a little cedar mountain near the present town of Cedar Gap where the Indians made a desperate charge against the settlers. Still a third fight followed in which the Comanches and the frontiersmen fought hand-to-hand encounters. Several of the settlers were painfully wounded as were the Indians and at dark both parties camped within one-half mile of each other and under the shadows of darkness slipped to the same spring for water.
On the next day the Texans were reinforced and took up the Indian trail which they followed for twenty miles when they found the bodies of nine warriors buried with rock and brush covering their dead bodies. This engagement has been described as one of the most desperate and stubbornly waged fights ever fought along the Texas frontier.11
In February of 1861 the Comanches made an appearance on Rush Creek in Comanche County stealing all the horses that could be found along the Leon River and up Indian Creek and later in the evening making another appearance near the town of Comanche. The following morning the Texans followed the Indians’ trail finding their camp where they had killed several head of cattle including a mule and cow which had been skinned alive and turned loose. The settlers, including the Cunninghams, recovered several stolen horses and again started on the Indians’ trail only to find that the warriors had divided into different bands, depredating, stealing and killing. The minutemen returned to the Indians’ camp to await the expected arrival of the savages. They discovered horsemen coming up the valley and after a fight the Indians retreated toward Comanche. Another group of minutemen coming as reinforcements ran into the same Indians and in the darkness the Indians and the settlers soon mixed up together so badly that one could not be distinguished from the other. A bloody fight followed on the very edge of the village of Comanche during which the McKenzie brothers were wounded – one fatally. The significance of this fight was that during this foray the Comanche Indians stole practically all of the horses in that section of Central Texas and the citizens were left stranded out on the frontier without horses to ride, plow and work their crops. It is reported that nearly a year passed before exhausted supplies were replenished and their horses were replaced. It was a time of great hardship for Comanche County.12
In 1861 or 1862, after the Indians had stolen a large number of horses in the town of Comanche, James Cunningham and several of his sons together with about twelve others followed the Indians’ trail to the headwaters of the Lampasas in Mills County. At this point the rangers came up on nineteen Indians concealed in a ravine. Captain Cunningham sent part of his group to reconnoiter and held the rest of his men in the timber a short distance away. Most of both the settlers and Indians dismounted and fought on the ground during which the rangers dislodged the Indians from the ravine. The Comanches retreated into the timber and eluded the citizens. Captain Cunningham called out “all that will go with me to run the Indians out of the thicket come on.” When they started into the break, the Comanches came out the other side but were pushed back by another group of the rangers who had circled the timber. This maneuver demoralized the Comanches about four of whom were killed. The savages then broke into groups and were pursued for a considerable distance by Captain Cunningham and his men who recovered the body of one of the dead Comanches. They placed the body of this dead Comanche against the sign post on the San Saba and Comanche road as a warning to other hostiles.13
Horses were essential to the lives of the frontier Texans. Dick Cunningham later reported that the Comanches “took our horses until we would have to go as far as Waco to get a saddle horse. We all but slept with the horses, but the Indians never gave up.”14 The Cunninghams did sleep with their horses in the corrals. Regardless of the precautions taken, the Comanches were very good at stealing from under their very noses. In desperation, Captain James and his sons would, on occasion, jump their best horses up into the breezeway of their house holding them overnight in this open picket-ended room.15
Alma Cox related a story about a horse which played a leading role in one of the Indian fights in which the Cunninghams participated. She wrote that Tom Cunningham, one of the youngest boys, when only about twelve or thirteen years of age went along on a pursuit of the Indians mounted on his little sorrel horse, Cooper (Copper?). Young Tom had been instructed to station himself at a safe distance to observe the battle but Cooper had been trained to run into the Indians and bowl them over. Much to the surprise of Tom, Cooper took him racing into the middle of the Indian battle known as “Cow House Creek”. His older brother, John, came to his rescue and extricated him from the battle.16
Susannah, affectionately known all over Comanche County as “Aunt Susie” has been a subject of considerable attention because of her outspoken pioneer spirit. The local historical and newspaper accounts of her life portray her as a brave and scrappy woman who exemplified the finest qualities of the hardy Texas pioneers.
One of the Cunninghams’ neighbors, a pioneer Baptist preacher named E.B. Featherston, tells a wonderful story about Susie in his published memoirs. He related that a teenage orphan girl, the daughter of a deceased minister, was living in the Newburg area with abusive foster parents. The child, named Lou, heard that if she took refuge with the Cunninghams, Aunt Susie would protect her. Lou made it to the Cunningham house where she was welcomed and given a bed. In a few days the foster father came to the Cunninghams and demanded the girl from Captain James. The Captain said this was Susie’s business and directed the man to the creek where Susie and Lou were washing clothes. At the spring the man demanded the child. Aunt Susie told him that if Lou wanted to go it was all right with her, but if she wanted to stay, then she had a home with them. The man took the girl by the arm and tried to forcibly drag her away whereupon Aunt Susie hit him twice with the battling stick which they were using in the wash. He turned the child loose and left without her. Lou stayed on to live with the Cunninghams and eventually married their son Thomas with whom she reared a fine family.17
One account of the Hog Creek fight describes an event illustrative of her spirit. Three men were attacked by a large force of Comanches on Mountain Creek. The men rode furiously to escape, but one man named Roach was struck in the back by an arrow from a pursuing Indian. The arrow pierced his lung and pushed through the skin on his breast. Roach escaped his pursuers only to have his mount die from exertion. Roach stumbled afoot toward the nearby cabin where he was carried by an elderly black man to the Cunninghams’. None of the men there dared remove the arrow but Roach reported that Aunt Susie had him laid out of the porch where she pulled out the arrow and then nursed him back to health.18
The morning after the Indians had wounded Roach, Dave Cunningham and about five other citizens from southern Comanche County took the Indian trail, followed it for about eight miles when they came upon some horses staked in the open. Cunningham, who was in command, anticipated a trap or ambush and they returned home for reinforcements. A larger group met at the home of Captain James to make ready for a more effective pursuit. Early the next morning, twenty-three men including three or four of the Cunninghams accompanied by James’ bloodhounds set out in pursuit of the Indian trail. They followed the trail westward to about thirty miles north of Brownwood near the headsprings of Hog Creek where they encountered fifty-two Indians about three o’clock in the afternoon. Dave Cunningham, who was in command, formed a line and charged causing the Indians to make a retreat after about eight of the Indians were killed. The minutemen suffered the loss of only one of their own and one wounded. J.T. DeShields, an early authority of the Texas frontier battles, wrote: “This engagement was said to have been one of the best managed fights that has ever occurred on our frontier, and the honor and management of the well laid plans are due to Captain Dave Cunningham’s skill and energy.”19
An old pioneer recalled that originally there were no farms in the county, “just cattle, cattle everywhere. Meat, game, wild turkeys, etc. formed the chief articles of diet. No vegetables or fruit were raised at first. Finally, Aunt Susie Cunningham had a garden planted and raised the first cabbage and beans grown here.”20
Most of the family has heard the story about the occasion when young Jim Cunningham came to his mother crying that his father, Captain James, and older brothers wouldn’t let him join them in an Indian chase claiming he was too young to handle a gun. When his mother intervened saying she wouldn’t want a son who would not defend his home, Captain Cunningham and the older brothers gave in and let him accompany them.21
Although Susie was quite short, she possessed great physical strength, courage and endurance. A familiar story about her comes from their days in East Texas. James cleared ten acres of bottom land and split rails for a fence but then he was stricken with a terrible case of malaria. Susie proceeded to carry the rails to the clearing, built the fence, cultivated the field and made a crop. Food ran low and a neighbor, needing cloth, promised her all the corn she could carry home in payment of several days weaving for him. When finished, she is said to have carried more than a hundred pounds of corn a mile and a half to her home.
Susie had all of her twelve children without the assistance of a doctor and never lost a baby.22 One early traveler in Comanche County told that he had obtained overnight lodging at the Cunningham house and noticed Susie was very pregnant. He heard some rustling in the house during the night and upon arising found Susie preparing breakfast with her newborn baby nearby.23
An energetic little woman, Susie is reported to have sat on the porch of the house where she could shell peas and watch her sons work in the fields south of the yard. When one of the boys would stop to rest, she would call out to him to get back to work.
While they were in East Texas, the Cunninghams lived in a log house that had puncheon floors – that is floors made out of split logs – with the smooth side up. The puncheons rested on log sills and had a way of turning at times. Once when they had just finished a meal, James pushed his chair back and the chair leg went through the puncheon crack, and James and his chair went over backwards. As he fell, he kicked the table over and broke every plate and dish they had. They had to eat out of gourds for six weeks until they could send to Shreveport for more dishes.24
According to family tradition there were friendly Indians living along Mountain Creek when the Cunninghams settled there. To what tribe or nation they belonged is not known. There are several stories concerning their habit of begging food from James and Susie who gave them beef from time to time. One story tells of a group of Indians (probably not Comanches) who came to the house asking Susie for food. She agreed but warned them to stay out of her kitchen while she went to fetch the food. One of the braves unwisely wandered into the kitchen to which she responded by felling him with a mighty blow to the head with her skillet. The remaining braves promptly carried him out of the kitchen while apologizing for his stupidity. Many contemporary accounts of that period bear witness to the charity and generosity of the Cunninghams who upon killing a beef every two or three weeks sent notice to all the neighbors inviting them to come get all they wanted.
Despite the frontier hardships, the Cunninghams made progress economically. When the Civil War ended and the men returned home to ranching, the country was full of unbranded cattle. For four years the calves had not been branded and since the West was then unfenced, cattle ran at large and everybody’s were all mixed up. Since there were four and five year old unbranded bulls and cows, nobody could identify their cattle. Captain James estimated that he should have about five hundred head born during the war from his herd and they set out to brand that number. When they had branded five hundred, he stopped the boys from branding any more. One of the sons related many years later that if James had not shown that honesty and fairness, the boys would have branded about eight hundred or so.25
All the sons and daughters settled for a time in the Newburg area of Comanche County. John V. was the first to leave and eventually became the long-time and honored Sheriff at Abilene, Texas. All of the other siblings had nearby ranches. Richard owned the ranch which adjoined James and Susie to the north. Aaron, Dave and Jim had places about three or four miles north while Tom and Bill were close by just northeast of their parents. After a time in the Uvalde area, Elizabeth and her husband, T.J. Holmsley, returned and ranched east of the town of Comanche. Younger daughters, Mary and Unity, married Newburg men and settled nearby. Mary and husband, Joe Neely, lived two or three miles northwest and Unity and husband, J.R. Lewis, were in Newburg where they owned the cotton gin and later moved about a mile southwest of nearby Priddy. Joe and George had places in the extreme southern part of Comanche County five or six miles from the old home place. When Mills County was created in 1887 the area of Comanche County in which they and Unity lived became a part of Mills County. George Cunningham was elected the first Sheriff of Mills County.
James and Susie must have done well for that time since family history tells us that in their later years they called the twelve children in and gave each of them $1,000 in gold which was a magnificent sum in those days.26 James sent several herds of cattle up the trail and had a sizable hog operation in northwestern Comanche County along Jimmy’s Creek, supposedly named for him. James was an original stockholder of the Comanche National Bank which still serves the area. His son-in-law, T.J. Holmsley, was its second president and his great-grandson, Jack Moore, a more recent president.
In 1889, the family gathered at the old home for their first reunion where a photographer took a picture of James and Susie and their twelve children on the porch. The family then met only sporadically until 1900 after the deaths of James in 1894 and Susie in 1899 when there was a spontaneous movement to have annual reunions. Without further ceremony, each of the original twelve children was notified to bring every member of his or her family to the grove between the Aaron and David Cunningham homes on the 15th of August 1901. Accordingly, the family gathered that year and has gathered each year at the same grove since without exception.27 It is believed to be the oldest continuous family reunion in Texas and one of the oldest in the nation.
The reunion has remained basically the same all these years. The family continues the original two day format with a basket picnic supper on the first day and the next morning a breakfast of steak and eggs followed by a barbeque at noon. As early as 1907 a Fort Worth newspaper reported that there were 257 descendants of James and Susie then living and that 167 were present at the reunion that year.28 Attendance currently averages about 225-250 persons. Over 1300 living descendants of James and Susie Cunningham are on the rolls of the current reunion list.
The Cunningham family appointed a Centennial Celebration Committee which for two years planned a Centennial of the 1889 Reunion to be held in August of 1989. Out of concern that the family might outgrow the reunion grounds, additional adjoining acreage was purchased in 1988 to insure sufficient room for the continuation of this annual event. In recognition of this historic reunion the Texas Historical Commission erected a State Marker in 1989 on the reunion grounds.
Family reunions are an institution in the South, particularly in Texas, where they exemplify and symbolize a family’s link with its historic pioneer past. The Cunningham reunion, with its long continuous record of annual meetings, its ownership and maintenance of its own reunion grounds, its roots in an intrepid fighting Texas family exemplifies the ultimate in old pioneer family reunions.
Updates from 1989 to 2017 -
In 2009, at the 120th Cunningham Reunion, the Texas Ranger Foundation installed Ranger Crosses at the gravesites of Captain James, sons Aaron, Dave, Dick, John, William, and grandson Kinlock were Texas Rangers during the frontier days in Texas. Four of the Cunningham Rangers are buried at Newburg Cemetery, two are buried at Albin Cemetery in Comanche County and one is buried in Abilene, Texas. The dedication ceremony was held at Newburg Cemetery with over 350 family members and a dozen Texas Ranger Foundation Officers and members present for the dedication ceremony with many family descendants taking part and honoring this great legacy.
- Alma Meadows Cox, Cunningham Genealogy, (Comanche, 1919), revised, indexed and republished by Natica Holmsley, 1968, Philadelphia, PA; The Comanche Chief, July 8, 1894; June 9, 1899. For a comprehensive study of the complex Celtic culture and the Scotch-Irish immigration to the South, see Grady McWhitney’s Cracker Culture, Celtic Ways in the Old South (Tuscaloosa and London; University of Alabama Press: 1988) 290 pp.
- Deed Records, Morris County, Texas, Patent from Governor Geo. W. Wood to James Cunningham, Volume 44, Page 156, September 12, 1949; General Land Office, Paschal Co., Austin, Texas, James Cunningham Conditional and Unconditional Certificates.
- Jean Connor, A Short History of Morris County, (Dangerfield, Texas: 1975) pp. 3-5
- F.M. Cross, Early Days in Central Texas, (Brownwood, Texas: 1914) p. 44. Eulalia Nabers Wells, Blazing the Way; Tales of Comanche County Pioneers (Blanket, Texas: 1942) pp. 106-107.
- Wells, Blazing the Way, p.45.
- F.H. Obertheir to Lee Laurence, September 2, 1962
- Cos, Cunningham Genealogy.
- Ibid, Note 1; Walter Prescott Web, The Texas Rangers (Boston and New York: 1935) pp. 496-497; The Comanche Chief, November 15, 1937.
- The Indian Papers of Texas and the Southwest 1825-1916, Dorman H. Winfrey and James M. Day, editors, Volume V (Austin: 1966), pp. 244-245.
- Muster Roll of Captain James Cunningham’s Company of the 2nd Frontier District, Texas State Troops, from February 6, 1864 to June 1, 1864, Texas State Archives, Austin.
- Mollie Moore Godbold, Courageous Pioneers: Captain James Cunningham and Family (Austin: 1960) p. 14; Joseph Carroll McConnell, The West Texas Frontier, Volume 2, (Palo Pinto, Texas; Texas Legal Bank and Book Company: 1939) pp. 66-67.
- McConnell, West Texas Frontier, Volume 2 pp. 46-48
- Ibid, pp. 57-58
- Author unknown, “Frontier Days in Comanche County,” typescript, p. 4.
- Cox, Cunningham Genealogy.
- Featherston, E.B. A Pioneer Speaks, (Dallas: 1940), p. 158.
- Pickrell, Annie Doom, A Pioneer Woman in Texas, “Mrs. James Cunningham”, (Austin: 1929) pp. 159-160
- McConnell, West Texas Frontier, Volume 2 pp. 255-256; Wells, Blazing the Way, pp. 141-144; J.W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas, (Austin: 1935) pp. 495-498.
- The Comanche Chief, June 6, 1924, (Article quoting 91 year old Clate Carnes).
- Wells, Blazing the Way, p. 109 and many other sources.
- Cox, Cunningham Genealogy; Wells, Blazing the Way, p. 110-111.
- Godbold, Courageous Pioneers, pp. 7-8.
- F.H. Oberthier to Mrs. Howard Cox, December 4, 1946.
- F.H. Oberthier to Lee Lawrence, July 20, 1961.
- Wells, Blazing the Way, p. 110; The Comanche Chief, August 19, 1982 and other Comanche Chief, articles too numerous to cite; Cox, Cunningham Genealogy.
- S.J. Thomas, “The Cunninghams of Comanche,” Fort Worth Record, August 25, 1907.
The Comanche Chief, Comanche, Texas, newspaper files, 1894 to 1987.
Conner, Jean, A Short History of Morris County, (Dangerfield, Texas: 1975). 48 pp.
Cunningham Genealogy, Alma Meadows Cox, compiler, (Comanche: 1919) revised, indexed and republished by Natica Holmsley, 1968, Philadelphia, Pa.
Cross, F.M., Early Days in Central Texas, (Brownwood: 1914) 133 pp.
Featherston, Edward Baxter, A Pioneer Speaks, (Dallas: Cecil Baugh and Co., 1940) 239 pp.
Godbold, Mollie Moore, Courageous Pioneers: Captain James Cunningham and Family (Austin: 1960) 19 pp.
Lightfoot, Billy, History of Comanche County to 1920 (Masters Thesis, University of Texas, Austin: 1949).
McConnell, Joseph Carroll, The west Texas Frontier, Vol. 1 (Circa 1929), 334 pp.; Vol. 2, (Palo Pinto, Texas: Texas Legal Bank and Book Co. 1939) 348 pp.
Patchwork of Memories: Historical Sketches of Comanche County, Texas, compiled by Heritage Division of Comanche County Bicentennial Committee (Brownwood, Texas; Banner Printing Co.: 1979) 321 pp.
Pickrell, Annie Doom, Pioneer Women in Texas, “Mrs. James Cunningham,” (Austin, Texas; The E.L. Steck Company: 1929) 474 pp.
Pioneer Sketches: Nebraska and Texas, compiled by W. Straley, (Hico, Texas: Hico Printing Co.: 1915) 58 pp.
Texas State Archives, State Library, Austin, Frontier Papers.
Thomas S. J. “Cunninghams of Comanche,” Ft. Worth, Record, 25 August, 1907.
Webb, Walter Prescott, The Texas Rangers, A Century of Frontier Defense (Boston and New York; Houghton Miffln Co.: 1935) 584 pp.
Wells, Eulalie Nabers, Blazing the Way: Tales of Comanche County Pioneers (Blanket, Texas: 1942) 168 pp.
Wilbarger, J.W., Indian Depredations in Texas, (Austin: Hutchings printing House: 1889), Facsimile reprint by The Steck Co., Austin: 1935 672 pp.
The Indian Papers of Texas and the Southwest 1825-1916, Dorman H. Winfrey and James M. Day, editors, Volume V (Austin: 1966), 394 pp.