Murders, arrests and outlaws are all things that make up the Old West. Recently a true-life story which includes all these elements and more has been published, and one of the co-authors, Ed Walker, is a Brownwood resident.
The story titled “Guilty… But Not As Charged,” revolves around the life of Noah Wilkerson, a West Texas Rancher who lived in Coleman County and became entangled in a debatable conviction in the late 1800s. Walker is the great grandson of Wilkerson’s father-in-law.
“Originally I was mainly interested in the main character of the book. He is the husband of my grandfather’s sister,” Walker said, “I remember my mother talking about how Noah was the black sheep of the family and that he was pretty rough and a mean fellow.”
As the story goes, Wilkerson who lived the quiet existence of a successful cattle and horse rancher, had his life suddenly interrupted when he was arrested and convicted of a murder that he may or may not have committed.
After escaping jail with a price on his head, leaving his wife and nine children behind, Wilkerson ended up in Wyoming where he eventually died at the wrong end of a lawman’s gun.
Walker along with two other co-authors, Helen Wilkerson and Marilyn Read, all still reside in West Texas and are all related to the book’s main character. They spent years researching their family’s history as well as hours interviewing family members after learning about Noah Wilkerson’s story.
“I became interested in the story as soon as I got word of it,” Walker said, “When I began researching I first met Noah’s grandson who lives in Winters. He started me out with some information and pictures.”
After Walker began his extensive research, he met the other two family members of Noah Wilkerson who would eventually become his co-authors. Although Walker started the research and writing of the book, Helen Wilkerson and Read quickly joined in to finish the book. The trio are hoping to have a book signing and public release soon.
“I want to get together and do a signing and present the book to the public,” Walker said, “I don’t want to do it without the other two, you know. We are in this together.”
“Guilty… But Not As Charged” is published by Zone Press, an imprint of Rogers Publishing & Consulting, Inc. The 228-page paperback book is now available at www.zonepress.com and several other book retailers including.