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The duel at Snider Mill

Pike County is a storehouse of legends, lore and lies. And, what better time to pull them out and strow them around than during Pike County’s Bicentennial year.

So, it’s storytelling time.

Just who shared this story is uncertain. Because of his strong connection to Tennille and his appreciation of local lore, perhaps it was Lenny Trawick. But, lore or lie, this is my memory of the Duel at Tennille’s Snider Mill.

William “Euchee Bill” Davis was a colorful character. He fought in the Creek and Indian War of 1836 and the Battle of Hobdy’s Bridge.

According to legend, during the battle, Euchee Bill was sitting on a fence post watching the Indians come down the Pea River. He started to taunt the Indians and was warned to be quiet. But Euchee Bill keep rattling on until somebody shot him in the mouth. He lost three teeth and the end of his tongue and talked with a lisp the rest of his life.

Euchee Bill went on to earn fame as a duelist. He was the best anywhere around, but he never killed anybody, just shot them in the hand.

Years went by and Euchee Bill was getting too long in the tooth. Folks were afraid that he might accidently shoot and kill somebody or get killed himself. So, the Tennille menfolk came up with an idea that would cure Euchee Bill of dueling, once and for all.

The plan was for Mr. Stubbs, a high-tempered sort, to provoke Euchee Bill into a duel by insulting him.

The working plan was to take the ball out of Euchee Bill’s pistol but leave the powder in. When Euchee Bill fired his shot, Mr. Stubbs was to fall to the ground and pretend he was dead.

The day of the duel, all the village men went out to a sandbed on the Pea River to watch the duel. Euchee Bill and Mr. Stubbs stood back-to-back, marched 10 paces, turned and fired.

Stubbs immediately fell to the ground. Frantically, Euchee Bill went running to him, dropped to Mr. Stubb’s side and cried to the Lord, “Please, let Stubbs live! Please! If you will let him live, I’ll never duel again!”

At that, Stubbs sat straight up, and demand, “We’re all gonna hold you to that, Euchee Bill!”

As far as the legend goes, a shocked and undone Euchee Bill kept his word. He never dueled again. And, so goes the Legend of the Duel at Snider’s Mill.

Editor’s note: The Messenger welcomes the sharing of legends, lore and lies. Call 670-6302 or email jaine.treadwell@troymessenger.com.