Over the next few months, we will be addressing several Texas towns. The stereotypical Texan is seldom gun shy when it comes to settling a difficulty with violence, a mythology reflected in the number of Lone Star Communities with names evocative of rough and tumble ways.
At least five such towns come to mind, Cut and Shoot, Gun Barrel City, Gunsight, Point Blank and Winchester. This issue of Tall Tale will deal with Cut and Shoot.
Cut and Shoot
Of these Second Amendment-esque place names, Cut and Shoot has gotten the most ink over the years. Out-of-state journalists have periodically pointed to this Montgomery County community as having a name particularly representative of Texas’ supposed willingness to resort to violence.
The story goes that the name came from an incident in 1912 that nearly led to bloodshed. Ironically, in all three versions of the tale, the triggering factor was an argument over church-related issues. Some said the inter-congregational tiff concerned the selection of a preacher while others maintained the argument was over how the church steeple should look The third version has it that the barely averted battle had to do with a dispute among church members over land matters.
Supposedly, a young boy nervously watch8ing the building confrontation was heard to say ” I’m going to cut around the corner shoot through the bushes in a minute”.
While that may be the story, the simplicity of the name seems to belie that in Texas, two of the three basic ways to resolve an issue involved cutting or shooting, the third being fisticuffs.