William Ratliff, theft of hogs; indicted September 1876; about 32 years of age, 5 feet 9 inches high, spare built, blue eyes.
James Ratliff, theft of cow, indicted September 1876; 5 feet 6 inches high, will weigh about 185 pounds, light complextion, blue eyes.
George Ratliff, theft of cattle; indicted September 1876; rather heavy built, florid complextion, blue eyes.
Joseph Ratliff, theft of cattle; indicted September 1876; is between 50 and 60 years of age, weighs 175 pounds, very broad shoulders, 5 feet 10 inches high, hair very gray, rather talkative, is the father of James, George and William Rarliff, last seen in Nueces county Texas.
Joseph Ratliff and his sons relocated to Blanco Co. TX. from Louisiana about 1872-75, he bought 5 acres there. Lost track of him until 1880 in Polk Co. Ark. census, living with new wife and his namesake son with his other sons living nearby.
They were in Arkansas in 1880 but were apparently caught and sentenced to 2 years at Huntsville for the boys and 3 years at Rusk for Joseph. I figure that when Joseph was released in 1883, he was near death, as the conditions at the prisons were horrible by today's standards, punishments included bread and water, sitting on a stool for many hours, beating with clubs and whips, and shootings, there was no talking allowed while in the cells, being loaned out to different outfits like the railroads and farms and logging camps.
Joseph died around 1885, his grave has not been found....yet. his boys lived out their lives in Texas and Arkansas and are buried there. This family never served in the war of Rebellion, however, other kinfolk did serve.
However, the boys in Huntsville may have know John Westly Hardin as he was there at the time.
My interest in this line is that I am a Great Grandson of Joseph by one of his many wives