'Dinner in the Stacks' to feature Pylant’s 'Blood Legacy'
By Tarleton State University
Sep 8, 2008

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS—The popular “Dinner in the Stacks” series at Tarleton State University’s Dick Smith Library returns this fall on Sat., Sept. 13. Tickets to the dinner are $17.50 each for the general public and $15 each for members of the Friends of the Dick Smith Library. Appetizers will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m. and dinner starts at 7 p.m.

Hosted by the Friends of the Dick Smith Library, the event will feature “Blood Legacy: The True Story of the Snow Axe Murders” by James Pylant. The book delves into family history and sheds new light on a tale of 20 shocking murders that were fueled by greed, insanity and revenge.

In 1925, Texans were stunned when a young man’s severed head was found in an abandoned farmhouse near Stephenville. An investigation led to ex-convict F. M. Snow and the mysterious disappearances of his wife and mother-in-law.

However, this shocking, bloody saga began nearly 60 years earlier…

Beautiful, vivacious Samantha Jones had a penchant for dangerous men. Her teenage marriage to gambler Amos Smith ended when he was gunned down in a hit orchestrated by his wife’s alleged lover, who was later lynched. The widow then married the abusive Bill Olds, who was later arrested for theft, forgery and murder.

Violence stalked the next generation when Jones’ daughter, Maggie Olds, was twice widowed with the brutal murders of her second and fourth husbands. Yet her unfortunate choice for a fifth husband, F. M. Snow, led to a gruesome, triple tragedy.

James Pylant has edited “American Genealogy Magazine,” worked full time as a professional genealogist in Salt Lake City and served on the advisory board of the Dick Smith Library’s Cross Timbers Historic Images Project. He is a former contest judge for the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors and is currently a consultant for “The Bottom Line.”

For reservations to the presentation and dinner, call (254) 968-9474 or (254) 968-9871. Those wanting to attend are encouraged to make their reservations by noon on Mon., Sept. 8.