|Birth: ||Feb. 1, 1862|
|Death: ||Feb. 10, 1913|
John was the son of Minerva Pair. The name of his father and maiden name of his mother is unknown. A sister, Nancy, had preceded him in birth by four years. His father fought for the North during the Civil War and was killed. After his death Minerva, moved to AR with John and Nancy.
While in his teens John was exposed to outlaws and the mean disposition of his sister's husband, Houston Hughes. Family sources give the following account. Houston's bad temper was displayed one day when he picked John up by the seat of his pants and shirt collar and threw him off the porch into the yard. John, who was quick tempered, threw his knife and hit Houston in the cheek causing a scar that remained with him the rest of his days.
Houston's older brother, John, was an outlaw, with a $10,000 reward offered for his capture, dead or alive. At one time he had ambushed and killed four preachers, thinking they were part of the posse chasing him.
One night, 15 year old John stood watch while John Hughes and Ben Bookout, another outlaw wanted for murder, were sleeping. A $5,000 reward had been posted for Ben. When he was a teenager he got in a fight another boy, and the boy's dad whipped Ben with a gun rod. Ben promised he would return and kill the boy's dad the day he was twenty-one. True to his word, on his 21st birthday, Ben took his rifle to the man's house and shot and killed him.
When the outlaws woke up, John told them they shouldn't sleep at the same time, saying he could have killed them while they slept and collected the reward money. John Hughes was furious and was going to kill him, but Ben intervened saying the boy was only trying to help them by pointing out the truth.
Later the posse caught up with them at a cave and shot John Hughes in the head, killing him. Ben was shot in the leg and captured. The posse took them to the house of John's mother, Minerva. It was raining hard, and the posse was exhausted. They all went to sleep, leaving one man to guard Ben. After the tired guard fell asleep, Ben stole the sheriff's slicker, gun, and boots and then escaped to Indian Territory. He sent the Sheriff's boots and slicker back with a note saying he would give back his gun when he met him in hell.
Ben later made a new life for himself in Indian Territory, became a responsible citizen, and raised a family. Before his death, at 104, he sent word several times to John Pair, who was also living in Indian Territory, to come see him, that he wanted to talk to him. John would never go. He said if this was the Ben Bookout he knew in AR, he didn't want to know, because he was a wanted man.
When Ben was about to die, he requested John Pair's three sons, Bill, Arthur, and Gus be pallbearers at his funeral. After the service was over, Ben's two sons, Fred and Floyd, sat down with the Pair brothers and told them this story, which they had already heard.
Eliza Angeline Gillian Pair (1862 - 1938)
William Edmund Pair (1887 - 1971)*
Created by: Virginia Brown
Record added: Apr 21, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36161641
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.