John: As you know, one can speculate forever but it is only theory based upon the rather limited information in that one newspaper article. I wouldn't be too quick to lay it at the doorstep of the Klan since that organization was officially disbanded in Texas by its leader in 1869. Furthermore, the authorities in Texas were quite aggressive in preventing and punishing illegal acts by the Klan. Check "The Handbook of Texas Online" at:
As far as threats to Mr. Hunson's family is concerned,do you know for a fact that he even had family and, if so, did they even remain in the area after the incident? I can't find him or any "Hunson" in the 1870 census for McLennan County. Since the article says he was a Dane by birth, I tried a lot of variations thinking the name was butchered (Hunsen, Hanson, Hansen, etc.). I even searched using the given name of Christian, no luck. It doesn't mean he wasn't there at that time, he could have just been missed or I'm not the best census searcher. One could always scroll through the actual images for the entire county and maybe find him.
Perhaps your wife's search in land records will produce results for Hunson. I'm disinclined to believe that a relative newcomer to the area, with no vested interests, would involve himself in such an act. Maybe just a case of bad blood, a feud over real or imagined wrongs, who knows?
I think it was on "Dateline" last night, the saga of neighbors in California who carried on a feud for years. Some of the things they did to each other were so petty as to be laughable. Unfortunately, the feud didn't end on a humorus note, one of them ended up shooting the other fellow and his wife - killing both of them. Yes, truth is stranger than fiction. There are always two sides to every story. Rick