Joseph William (Peter) Gardner, Indian fighter, traildriver, and rancher, was born in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, on March 26, 1851. The family moved to Texas in 1855 and settled in Atascosa County; in 1861 they proceeded to "Old Frio Town" in Frio County. Gardner became distinguished as a pioneer Indian fighter and traildriver. His most serious encounter with Indians occurred in 1871, when he was injured and taken prisoner by Indians at Lago Cochena in La Salle County. He was left for dead and rescued by his brother, Alexander F. Gardner. After moving to Bigfoot, in Frio County, he was actively engaged in ranching until he was ninety, when a fall from a horse forced him to retire. Gardner married Jennie Holmes in the late 1870s, and the couple had two children. His first wife died in 1882. He married Lucy Lincoln Wingate on August 16, 1883; they had seven children. Gardner, a Mason, helped organize lodges in Frio, Atascosa, and Medina counties. He was also a member of the Old Trail Driver's Association and a stockholder in the first bank organized at Devine. He died December 11, 1942.