S. G. Coyle was born in Osage County, Missouri, in the year 1882, and came to the state of Texas in the year 1846, and lived in the county in the forks of the Sulphur creek, and looked after stock cattle for Dr. O. S. Davis. He had charge of these cattle until he volunteered to go to the Mexican war. While he was attending these cattle for Dr. Davis a party of ruffians, calling themselves Regulators, came suddenly upon him and gave him instructions to leave the country under the penalty of death. His assistants became alarmed at this imperative command and fled. Mr. Coyle felt he had a duty to perform, and he remained, giving his attention to his promised obligation.
He at once provided himself with suitable weapons and kept them at all times within his reach. He was never disturbed, only occasionally when the gang of outlaws would ride around his camp, which was situated in a deep forest of wilds. Mr. Coyle volunteered for the term of six months. When his time expired, he, in company with a couple of his comrades, started for Hopkins County across an uninhabited country on poor, worn-out horses. They came upon a few people who were engaged in religious services in a camp. They asked for meat and bread. None was to be had whereupon Mr. Coyle observing the hide of a beef, asked permission to buy it, remarking: “We will eat the hide, hair and any.” At this moment a good, kind-hearted woman stepped forward and raised the lid of a rough box saying: “Come here, my hungry friends, and cut off a piece of this middling meat.” Mr. Coyle was jubilant and soon ate to his satisfaction; and he and his comrades left in high glee.
Again the following spring he volunteered to go to Mexico to assist General Taylor at the siege of Monterey. Twice Mr. Coyle volunteered to serve his adopted country as a soldier. In the year 1848 he married Ann Hankins, One child was the result of this union. When this child was about one year old its mother died, and Dr. Davis took charge of the motherless child and nursed and cared for it until Mr. Coyle remarried, which he did in the year 1851. This wife was the widow Lindley, and mother of Jim Andy Lindley, who is a well known citizen of Hopkins County, having reared a large and useful family in the county and lives at this time at Rockdale. Mr. Coyle has lived with this wife forty-seven years. It proved to be a happy marriage. She is dead now.
By this marriage six children were born. Three girls and three boys. Only two of this number are living. Mr. Coyle is now a very old man. He is an octogenarian. He is in feeble health; is waiting to be called to go and meet his companions in their eternal home. He has lived the life of a Christian, and his example as an honest, upright and just man has always been good. A good citizen, a happy neighbor, an affectionate husband, and a devoted father.
He assisted in the blacksmith shop when Robert Hargrave made the first county seal of Hopkins County. This seal was manufactured at old Sulphur Bluff. This improvised seal was placed upon paper and a blow from a mallet or hammer made the impression and rendered good and efficient services until a better one could be obtained.
While Mr. Coyle was a soldier in camp at San Antonio a small band of Indians came into the city with a couple of Spanish girls, whom they had taken captive. They were grown and very beautiful. Col. William Young learned through an interpreter that these Indians had killed the parents of the two young ladies and had another of their sisters in captivity in other quarters, whereupon Col. Young called upon the chief of this band and demanded the release of these girls under the penalty of death in the most tortuous form. The colonel arrested the chief, seated him by a small tree and informed him that unless he sent for and had the sister of these two young ladies brought into his camp at once he should never be allowed to rise from his seat. The next evening she was brought into camp and all three set at liberty and sent to friends.