Vigilante mob justice ruled the Pioneer days. Even as court systems were put into place, public opinion and brute strength were more than jailers could handle. Though the use for Vigilante justice has passed, it was probably necessary to survive in the wild lands of Texas. A horse was equivalent to what a car is to us today. But much more important in the sparsely populated Texas of the 1800's. A horse was essential to survive in the rough land. The horse's value and necessity made it a serious crime to steal it. An old belief back then was that
"a man coveted his possessions in the west in this order: first his horse, second his rifle, third his dog, and fourth his wife. Steal his wife but beware of the wrath rendered if one was to steal his horse"
I found the Odom graveyard once again through the GEOCACHING web-site. A fella with the handle pipesville placed this virtual gps hide. Pipesville seemed to believe that even though there are two grave markers
"they are both for the same man."But they have different years for the hanging(s). Maybe they buried Horse thieves in the same area of the cemetery. It's a very quaint cemetery right off FM916(N 32° 17.192 W 097° 07.266). Technically it is in Johnson County but maybe a mile East, the way the crow flies, is Ellis County. According to the older looking headstone the Big Oak hanging tree would have been in or very close to Ellis County. If the tree is still there it is on private property because there is no public road 1/2 mile due East of the graves.
Both headstones seem sympathetic towards the "alleged" Horse Thief.
"NAME UNKNOWN ALLEGED HORSE THIEF HUNG BY VIGILANTES IN 1863 ABOUT 1/2 MILE DUE EAST OF HERE IN A BIG OAK TREE"
ROBERT T TUCKER AGE 28 FROM MISSOURI HUNG IN 1861 BY VIGILANTES ALLEGED HORSE THIEF