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A Little MORE Hagerman History –

The Story of Dead Woman Pond

By Laurie Sheppard

Dead Woman Pond is the second pond along Haller's Haven Trail.  Photo by Melinda Hill

On October 9, 1926, Annie Caddell, aged 16, married G. Dewey Ball, aged 28. The couple then resided with Mr. Ball’s father, Frank Ball, on a farm located on a dirt road that runs west alongside Hagerman Cemetery. According to newspaper accounts, on the evening of Sunday, November 21, 1926, the couple left home heading for church in the nearby town of Hagerman, but they never got there. Mr. Ball returned home alone.

At first, Mr. Ball reported that a runaway horse forced their buggy to overturn, gravely injuring his wife and causing her to be thrown into a pond on the side of the road. He covered her body with a coat and hurried the half mile back to his father’s house to seek help. The elder Mr. Ball went for a neighbor who owned an automobile, while G.D. Ball returned to his wife. Mrs. Ball was brought to the house in the automobile and a physician was summoned, but she succumbed to her injuries before he arrived. Mrs. Ball had seven wounds on her head, three of which caused a fracture that extended from her forehead to the back of her skull. 

The next day, Dr. J.A. Wolfe, who was the county physician, said the wounds were caused by a straight blunt instrument and it was not likely they were caused by a horse’s hoofs. Deputy Sheriff Frank Reece of Sherman went to the scene of the reported buggy accident. He found the overturned buggy, but it bore no scratches and the ground was undisturbed. After a brief search nearby, Reece found a two-foot-long stained iron pipe, and he took Mr. Ball into custody.

A preliminary hearing before the Justice of the Peace was held on Tuesday morning and Mr. Ball was remanded to jail without bail. Following the hearing, Mr. Ball said he had loved his wife and had been “going with Annie” for nearly two years. Mrs. Ball was pregnant at the time of her death. Mr. Ball later admitted to causing Mrs. Ball’s injuries and stated, “The reason I struck my wife was because she had threatened to poison me.” He claimed his wife had said if they did not get along, she would poison him.

Mr. Ball was convicted of murdering his young bride on March 19, 1927. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison and died on December 12, 1956, at Rusk State Hospital. He is buried in Hagerman Cemetery.

For those wondering about the geography, the view from Google Earth shows Dead Woman Pond is approximately 1 mile due west of Hagerman Cemetery and the town of Hagerman was located approximately 1 mile south of Dead Woman Pond in what is now Lake Texoma. You can read the various newspaper accounts of this tragic incident at:  https://usgenwebsites.org/TXGrayson/Crime&Punishment/Felony/Ball_GD.html

Refuge Update:

The visitor center is open Monday through Saturday 9-4, Sunday 1-5.  It's a great time to visit the refuge!

Join Us At Our Sunrise Bird Count: The Little Sit

Photo by Melinda Hill

Map to H-Pad   GPS Coordinates: 33.734961, -96.780582

Though there may be water across the low water crossing at Big Mineral Creek, all roads are open.  Do not cross if the water is flowing.

Please register so we may inform you of changes:

Contact Us for more information.

New! For Educators!

Apply for your school field trip for the fall semester today!  First come, first served.

Click for Details

Friends of Hagerman Nature Photo Club Meeting

July 16th @ 1:00pm

Please join us at the Visitor Center on Saturday July 16th for our bi-monthly meeting. Our guest Speaker will be John Spears of Quin Studios who will be presenting on the topic of Shooting Landscapes. He will be including many of his images taken in the National Park System. John will bring a wealth of knowledge from his 45 years of being a professional photographer. As always, guests and visitors are always welcome to the meeting. Hope to see you there.

The Refuge Rocks: The Stars at Night are Big and Bright!

There’s something truly magical to kids about the night sky.  Maybe it’s because they aren’t often out after dark. Or, maybe it’s because the night sky and the patterns of the stars have mystified humans for centuries. If your kids are interested in learning about space and stars...

For information and registration, visit:

Registration Required

Things That Don't Go Bump in the Night: The Fascinating World of Bats With Bryon Clark

Saturday, July 9, 2022, 10:00am in the Visitor Center Lecture Room

Bryon has been a nature enthusiast since growing up on the family farm in southern Iowa. He has a B.A. in Biology from Central College in Iowa, a M.S. in Biology from Western Illinois University, and a Ph.D. in Biology from Kansas State University. He also completed postdoctoral studies at Oklahoma State University before accepting a position at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1990. Bryon started his 30-year career at Southeastern as an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and ended it as the University’s Interim President. Bryon is the current President of the Friends of Hagerman Board and a Texas Master Naturalist with the Bluestem Chapter. He enjoys sharing stories about mammals and the environment to anyone that will listen. Bryon has always had a keen interest in nature, wildlife photography, and 

travel; since his retirement, he has more time to devote to these endeavors. He lives southeast of Sherman with his spouse Margaret Avard, and they have one son who is attending the University of Miami.

Bryon will discuss how he became interested in bats, past research projects, and anecdotal stories from over 40 years of studying these interesting creatures. Bats are found throughout the world, but because of their nocturnal habits, people often times have misconceptions regarding this unique group of mammals. The talk will include an overview of bat characteristics and what separates them from other groups of mammals. Specific topics discussed will include the distribution, habitats, diet, movements, and diversity of bats. Even though the presentation will focus on the species found in Texas, the talk will also include facts about bats from across the United States and throughout the world.

Come, Take a Tour on the Wildlife Explorer!

Enjoy a ninety minute tram tour of Wildlife Drive aboard our open-air Wildlife Explorer.  Learn about the fascinating history of the displaced town of Hagerman while watching for an abundance of wildlife.

  • Lots of stops for bird-watching and photography.   
  • Guided tours are weather permitting and seating is limited. 
  • Standbys are accepted if space permits. 
  • Recommended for age 6 - adult. 
  • Bring your binoculars or borrow ours.
  • Meet at the visitor center 15 minutes before departure. 
  • Free, funded by donations and powered by volunteers.

Puddles' Craft Corner


By Cindy Steele, Master Naturalist


Are you someone who thinks snakes are really cool, or do they freak you out a bit? Even if you're not the biggest snake fan, you'll be able to appreciate the fascinating types found in our world. In fact, there are over 3,000 different species of snakes, and they live on every single continent except for Antarctica. Snakes are... 

Birding with Jack

Updated, Weekly Census Results

By Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, Mike Petrick and

Dr. Wayne Meyer (Pictured Right)

Each Tuesday a team of experienced birders, including Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, traverse 35 miles of refuge roads and hiking trails, documenting every bird they encounter. This Bird Census is reported to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in research, and each week we will bring you a link to their actual bird count, and a summary of their adventures.

 See Jack's notes and latest  Census Results       

Shop Amazon Smile to Support the Friends of Hagerman

Amazon SmileDid you know that you can support the Friends of Hagerman while shopping on Amazon? If you shop on Amazon using this Amazon Smile link, the Friends will receive 0.5% of eligible purchases. Simply go to smile.amazon.com and sign in with your Amazon account. Under "Your Account" select "Change your Amazon Smile Charity" and enter "Friends of Hagerman" in the charity search box. Once your results appear, select the Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge Foundation. Every time you make a purchase on Amazon Smile, the Friends will get a donation. Thanks for helping us make Hagerman a great wildlife refuge!

Kroger: Stop by the customer service desk at Kroger and link your Kroger Card to the Friends of Hagerman: the Friends will get rewards for every dollar you spend, at no cost to you.

Thank You

To Our Contributors:

Jack Chiles,  Laurie Sheppard, Cindy Steele

Refuge Manager: Kathy Whaley

Deputy Refuge Manager: Paul Balkenbush

Visitor Services Manager: Spencer Beard 

Editor: Hanna Houser 

Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation

6465 Refuge Road, Sherman, TX 75092

Phone: 903-786-2826

Contact Us  



Friends of Hagerman NWR

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year, drive on any road unless gated.

Admission to the refuge, parking and most events/activities are funded by donations and powered by volunteers. 

6465 Refuge Road

Sherman, TX 75092

Contact Us


Kroger: Stop by the customer service desk at Kroger and link your Kroger Card to the Friends of Hagerman: the Friends will get rewards for every dollar you spend, at no cost to you.

Please add friendsofhagerman@gmail.com to your contacts to ensure delivery of registration confirmations, account information and the Featherless Flyer 

Special thanks to Nancy Miller for the amazing photo of the Visitor Center

See you at the refuge! 

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