Spence Hardie grew up in the years after the Civil War wanting to be a cowboy. His family ranched in Montague County near Saint Jo not far from the point where the Chisholm Trail crossed the Red River from Texas into Oklahoma and ended up on a ranch in Gunter.
Lee Simmons vowed to avenge the guard murdered in the escape and stop the Barrow gang at any cost. He went to Austin where he met with Governor Miriam A. Ferguson. Simmons explained to her that extraordinary measures had to be taken right away in order to bring the Barrow gang to justice. He told Governor Ferguson that he was the very person to do it. She gave him the special powers he requested for this purpose.