Gains Blevins was the sixteen old son of Jonathan Blevins who in the early 1870s was traveling on a wagon train with his family and about 27^wagons from Dade County Georgia to Texas.

There were many dangers facing these brave pioneers as they traveled westward in that time period. Among them were Indians and rattlesnakes. If the first two didn’t get ya watch out for other dangers for the west was full of them as the following story will attest.

Each person on the wagon train had responsibilities, right down to the young children. It seems that Gains’ responsibilities were taking care of the horses and watching for rattlesnakes. Next to Indians and lack of water, rattlesnakes were high on the list of life-threatening dangers not only for people but for the stock as well. He was warned time after time, “Stay alert for RATTLERS”!

After the wagon train had made camp one night, Gains had completed his duties for the evening when he had to find a little “privacy” in a plum thicket. He no more than entered the bushes when he ran screaming that he had been bitten by a rattlesnake.

Well, now one must use their imagination as to the chaos this caused and what happened next. Lanterns were lighted as the rattlesnake emergency plan went into action. “Medicinal” whiskey and sharpened knives were found by the women folk as the men folk grabbed axes and guns and headed for the “plum ticket” in search of the snake lest no one else be bitten.

Just as someone caught up with Gains and started to examine the place where the rattler’s fangs entered his “bottom” side; one of his brothers burst from the ticket in a roar of laughter to announce that it had not been a rattlesnake which had bitten Gains but a turkey hen defending her nest that had attacked him.

It seems that sooner or later everyone who was ever to met Gains was told by someone of his “rattlesnake bite” and that to his dying day, it was around to haunt him. (Submitted by Mrs. Frances L. Anderson. Taken from STAR-TELEGRAM, Sunday, June 16, 1996.)

Written by Mrs. Frances L. Anderson Keller, TX

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