Stories of I.C. Eason, King of the Dog People

by Pittman, Blair


Few people lived in the Neches River bottom as late as 1970. Humans were noticeable only in the occasional cabin or lean-to hunting camps built on the higher river bank ground. Some of these camps belonged to locals known as the Dog People because of their hunting methods—handed down by their ancestors who had found this wilderness shortly before the Civil War—using a local-bred dog called a cur. This type of hunting was a method of survival that often prevented starvation for families during the Depression years.

I.C. Eason grew up in those lean times. His oral stories of generations of Dog People come from around the campfire, from the fishing boat, in front of a potbellied stove.

In the 1970s, Eason made the decision to prove ownership to his land, which, along with most river bottom land, had never had a deed filed on it. With a lawyer, he took on the big companies that wanted to cut the timber, drill for oil, lay pipelines, and put up miles of power lines. All of a sudden, he was in the middle of a big battle, and he soon became known as "The King of the Dog People."

University of North Texas Press, 129 pages
Available in hardcover


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