Parker County Today September 2017 - Page 52

our history: PLACES IN PARKER COUNTY’S PAST - Part 5 On the trail of tumbleweed towns and a few rabbits WARNING: The style adopted for these tales lends itself to tangents, i.e., going off on them, with little or no notice. In short: from time to time, “rabbits” will be chased.
 BY MEL W RHODES DELPHINE — 50 I bet you’ve never heard of a Parker County town called Delphine. (Oh, OK. If you’re some history buff who scans the Internet or old materials for fun, you may have heard of Delphine. The rest of us have not.) While I cannot tell you where Delphine stood, it seems clear a post office opened there in March 1858, and equally clear that it closed eight months later in November, 1858, “and S. Olinger was forced to seek other employment.” 

 Some names just “ring a bell,” don’t they? Olinger … Olinger. (Rabbit!) Now, I don’t know if there was any relation, but a Deputy Bob Olinger went down in history out New Mexico way in 1881. (Before a common mistake is made, it should be plainly put that there is absolutely no evidence that S. Olinger of Delphine, Parker County, Texas, moved west, changed his first name or initial and pinned on a tin star.)

 Purportedly, Bob Olinger was one of those heavy- handed lawdog-types who wielded authority in a bullish way, or, to say it plain, he was a bully. William Bonney didn’t care for him, but then outlaws generally take a dim view of those hired to interfere with their outlawry. Bob Olinger’s tangle with Bonney, a.k.a., Billy the Kid, is the stuff of legend, the lore of the Old West.

 At the time of their run-in, Billy, having been found guilty of a Sheriff Brady’s mu