Few people lived in the Neches River bottom as late as 1970. Man was noticeable only in the occasional cabin or lean-to hunting camps built on the higher river bank ground. Some of these camps belonged to locals known as the Dog People because of their hunting methodshanded down by their ancestors who had found this wilderness shortly before the Civil Warusing a local-bred dog called a cur. The dog was bred for bravery, endurance, and devotion and would run its quarry until it bayed or turned back so the hunter could kill it. This type of huntingnot to be confused with sportwas a method of survival that often prevented starvation for families during the Depression years.
I. C. Eason grew up in those lean times. His oral stories of generations of Dog People come from around the campfire, from the fishing boat, in front of a pot bellied stove. In the 1970s, I. C. Eason made the decision to prove ownership to his land, which, along with most river bottom land, had never had a deed filed on it. With a lawyer he took on the big companies who wanted to cut the timber, drill for oil, lay pipelines and put up miles of power lines. All of a sudden he was in the middle of a big battle, and he soon became known as The King of the Dog People.”