John Henry Brown.

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from them and followed that road till she ap-
proached the premises of Dr. Davidson, but, very
prudently fearing to go to the house lest she again
might fall into the hands of her captors, took shel-
ter in a ravine, covered with brush, and there
remained till morning came and she discovered
white persons in possession of the house. She then
hastened to it, having suffered much from cold
durilig the night.

The Indians had divided into two or more parties
and covered considerable territory. They captured
horses from St. Clair, Jones, Newton, Gilbert and
others southwest of Gainesville, and killed some.
They seem to have become bewildered, as during
the night they halted on the west bank of Elm
creek, immediately below the farm of Samuel Doss
and within a mile of Gainesville and remained there
about three hours. Yet, while this was transpiring,
another party, as discovered next day, had halted
and built a fire a mile above town on the east side
of the creek, and another party, or scouts from one
of these two, had entered the town, apparently
without knowing of its existence, for they hurriedly
left it, crossed the creek and either by design or



accident joined the party near Doss' place, making
such communication to them as to cause much ex-
citement and confusion. Mrs. Shegogg, taking ad-
vantage of this and the darkness of the night, man-
aged to escape and secrete herself till morning,
when almost nude and suffering greatly from cold,
she found refuge in Mr. Doss' house. The Indians
hastily retired as she escaped. The party that had
been in town had left so hurriedly that they left sev-
eral of their horses, with saddles on, one of which
was found next morning at the door of the hotel
stable — another with saddle, moccaains and other
Indian outfit, was in the yard of Mr. Patton, in a
few hundredjards of the court house — and various
articles of Indian toilet were found in different
parts of the town ; yet the inhabitants slept the
sleep of security, unconscious of the murderous
wretches being in the country till morning revealed
these facts, followed by the appearance and recital
of Mrs. Shegogg, who had not only been robbed of
most of her apparel, but also of her beautiful suit
of hair, clipped close to the scalp.

Near the time of the killing of Mr. Manascos, they
had captured two children of W. G, Manascos, and
a negro boy. Prior to that, on Clear creek, they
had robbed the houses of Joseph Wilson, Mr. Mc-
Crackin and Washington Williams, burning the two
former, and at the time of killing Mr. and Mrs.
Fitzpatrick, captured three of their children. Mrs.
Parkhill and children, in connection with the murder
of their husband and father, successfully secreted
themselves and escaped. In all seventeen women
and children were carried into brutal captivity in
the midst of winter and a cold period for that sea-
son, and being, without doubt, deprived of most of
their clothing, must have suffered greatly. Of
their ultimate fate I am not advised.

The citizens collected and did all in their power
to overhaul and chastise the enemy and recover the
captives, but the severity of the weather, the gen-
eral poverty of the people in munitions of war
at that dark period of reconstruction, when some
of the most favored leaders of the people were
ostracised by the military despotism enthroned at
Austin and New Orleans, and when a majority of
the men felt bound to stand by their own families
during such a raid, abundantly accounts for their
inability to wreak vengeance on the raiders. It
was one of those blood-curdling desolations follow-
ing the war when, with abundance of troops,
munitions and supplies, the army, to the disgust
of its honorable officers and men, was diverted
from its mission of protection to the people against
wild and bloody savages, to that of espionage and

constabulary duties for the annoyance, the arrest
and the imprisonment of men whose only offense,
as a general fact, had been fidelity to their own
State and section during the war, and who were
honored in becoming objects of vengeance to the
creatures then suddenly risen to the surface as
petty and (thank God) ephemeral rulers of a peo-
ple by the respectable and honorable portion of
whom they were despised ; and by none more than
by honorable officers of the army and civilians who
had been consistent Union men from convictions of
duty. Those classes never ceased'to realize that in
a mighty issue, involving millions of people on both
sides, American freemen might differ and die in
their convictions, without being tainted with treason
or inBdelitj' to human liberty. They left that soul-
less manifestation of littleness of heart, weakness of
intellect and meanness of spirit to such as chose to
follow the vocation of spy, informer and perse-

On the 16th of the following June, five months
after the destructive assault on those frontier peo-
ple, a once famous resolution was introduced in the
reconstruction convention at Austin, among thou-
sands of others, specifically and forever disfranchis-
ing a large number of the very men exposed to this
raid, because during the war, and under the laws of
their country at the time, they had belonged to
Gen. Wm. Hudson's Brigade of State troops, whose
chief duty was the protection of the women and
children on the frontier against these barbarian
savages, whose mode of warfare " respected neither
age, sex nor condition." But from that Bedlam
of hate sprang forth a single fact more preciously
freighted with faith in the perpetuity of American
unity and American liberty than a thousand theories
and prophecies by political philosophers. It is the
simple fact that the American heart, as soon as time
for reflection had passed, disdained to tolerate per-
secution for opinion's sake; that the opposin-^
soldiers in the Civil War are long since, friends and
reconciled countrymen ; breaking bread toaetheron
holy days ; voting together as seemeth to them best
now, regardless of the past;, sitting together in the
same sanctuary; counseling together for the com-
mon weal as their conditions are now; partners in
business; their children intermarrying; jointly
burying their deceased comrades; jointly aiding
their unfortunate comrades; and jointly upholding
each other when unjustly assailed. Talk not of
American liberty failing through faction, when con-
fronted with this one ever-present, grand and
heaven-blest fact! Leave that bewai'lin'g whine to
moral dyspeptics and intellectual dwarfs.




Indian Massacres in Parker County, 1858 to 1873.

Tbe first settlements in the present territory of
Parker County were made about 1853-4. The
county was created by the legislature, December
12, 1855, and organized March 2, 1856. It was
long exposed to forays by bands of hostile savages,
and while no important battle was ever fought,
life and property were insecure as late as 1873.
During the existence of the Indian reservation on
the Brazos, in Young County, and especially for
two years prior to the removal of the Indians to
Fort Cobb, north of Red river, in the summer
of 1859, it was alleged, and almost universally
believed by the border people, that many of the rob-
beries and murders were committed by the tribes
resident on the ten miles square embracing that
reservation. That matter will not be discussed
here. The writer was one of five commissioners
deputed by the Governor to investigate that matter,
in 1859, the board consisting of Richard Coke,
John Henry Brown, George B. Erath, Joseph M.
Smith and Dr. Josephus M. Steiner. The writer
also commanded a company of Texas rangers for
some time before and during the removal of the
Indians, to prevent their leaving the reservation
before their removal or committing depredations on
the march. Hence he was well informed on the
existing matters in issue, which, for the moment,
were more or less distorted for political effect. It
is enough here to say that while many exaggerated
or false statements were scattered broadcast over
the country, arousing the people to such a frenzy
as to cause the killing of probably two small par-
ties of unoffending Indians, still it was unques-
tionably true that more or less of the depredations
committed along the frontier, from Red river to the
Guadalupe, were perpetrated by the Indians be-
longing to the one or the other of the two reserva-
tions — the second, at Camp Cooper, on the clear
fork of the Brazos, being exclusively occupied by
a portion of the Comanche tribe — ithiXe on the
other Brazos reservation were various small tribes,
embracing the Wacos, Tehuacanos, Keechis, Ana-
darcoes, Towashes, Toncahuas, lonies, Caddos
and perhaps one or two. others, with a few indi-
viduals, or families of Choctaws, Delawares, Shaw-
nees and others. It is equally true that those
Indians left the localities named with the most
vengeful animosities towards such localities on the
frontier as they believed had been active against
them, and this feeling especially applied to Parker,

Wise, Jack, Palo Pinto, Erath, Comanche and
other outside counties.

It is proposed in this chapter to briefly narrate
the successive massacres in Parker County, in so
far as I have the data, for portions of which I am
indebted to Mr. H. Smythe's history of that

In December, 1859, following the removal of the
Indians, a party of five assaulted, killed and scalped
Mr. John Brown, near his residence about twelve
miles from Weatherford, and drove off eighteen of
his horses. Two miles away they stole seven
horses from Mr. Thompson, and next, with their
number increased to fifty, they appeared at the
house of Mr. Sherman, whose family consisted of
himself, wife and four children. They ordered the
family to leave, promising safety if they did. They
obeyed the mandate and hurried away on foot, but
in half a mile the savages overtook them, seized
Mrs. Sherman, conveyed her back to the house,
committed nameless outrages on her person, shot
numerous arrows into her body, scalped and left her
as dead ; but she survived four days, to detail the
horrors she had undergone.

In June, 1860, Josephus Browning was killed
and Frank Browning wounded on the Clear Fork
of the Brazos. At that time several citizens of
Weatherford were in that section and pursued the
murderers. The party consisted of John R. Bay-
lor, George W. Baylor (of Weatherford), Elias
Hale, Minn Wright and John Dawson. On the
5th day of June, 1860, they overtook the Indians
on Paint creek and boldly attacked them, killing
nine and putting the remainder to flight. As attest-
ations of their achievment they scalped their
victims and carried the evidence thereof into the
settlements, along with sundry trophies won on
the occasion.

In the spring of 1861 a party of eleven Indians
attacked David Stinson, Budd Slover, John
Slover, — Boyd and — McMahon, a scout from
Capt. M. D. Tackett's Company, a few miles
north of Jacksboro, but they were speedily re-
pulsed, with the loss of one Indian killed and one
wounded. On the next day, William Youngblood,
a citizen, was killed and scalped, near his home,
by a party of nine Indians. The five rangers
named, reinforced by James Gilleland, Angle
Price, — Parmer and others, pursued and attacked
the enemy, and killed a warrior and recovered the



scalp of Youngblood, which was conveyed to his
late residence in time to be placed in its natural posi-
tion before the burial.

In the summer of 1861, a party of Indians on
Grindstone creek attacked two young men named
William Washington and John Killen, while stock
hunting. They killed Mr. Killen while Washington
escaped severely wounded, but recovered after
prolonged suffering.

In the same summer Mrs. John Brown, living on
Grindstone creek and having twin babies, started
to visit a neighbor, s&e carrying one and a' young
girl the other infant. The girl was some distance
ahead, when the Indians appeared, and reached the
neighbor's house. Mrs. Brown retreated to her
own house and entered it, but was closely followed
by the murderous wretches, by whom she was
killed and scalped. The infant, however, was left

Prior to these tragedies, in January, 1861, Mrs.
Woods and her two sisters, the Miss'es Lemley, of
Parker County, were ruthlessly assailed by five sav-
ages, who murdered and scalped the former lady,
and shockingly wounded the young ladies, leaving
them as dead, but after great suffering, under the
assiduous treatment of Dr. J. P. Volintine they

In September, 1861, the house of Jas. Brown, on
the Jacksboro road, in his temporary absence, was
attacked by a small party of Indians, but they were
repulsed and driven off by Mrs. Brown, who under-
stood the use of five arms and used them most

In the beginning of 1863, William and Stewart,
sons of Eev. John Hamilton, living in the valley
of Patrick's creek, while near their home, were
murdered, scalped and otherwise mutilated.

On the same day the house of Mrs. F. C. Brown,
in the same neighborhood, was attacked and the
lady killed. Her daughter, Sarah, aged sixteen,
and another fourteen years of age, on their return
home from the house of a neighbor, were both
wounded, but escaped — Sarah to die of her
wounds — the younger sister to recover.

A Mr, Berry, while at work in his field on Sanchez
creek, in September, 1864, was killed by a squad
of Indians.

In those same days of insecurity and bloodshed,
a child was captured and carried into captivity from
the home of Hugh O. Blackwell, but was subse-
quently recovered at Fort Cobb, in the Indian
Territory. But soon after his return home from
the disbanded Confederate army in 186.5 Mr. Black-
well himself, while returning home from Jacksboro,

was killed by a party of these prowling assassins
and scalped.

In the same year Henry Maxwell was murdered
by a similar band on his farm near te Brazos


In June, 1865, Fuller Milsap was attacked by
two savages near his house, seeing which, his
heroic daughter, Donnie (subsequently Mrs. Jesse
Hitson), ran to him with a supply of ammunition,
when her brave father rebuked her temerity, but
must have felt an exalted pride in such a daughter,
who had on former occasions exhibited similar
courage, and was once shot through her clothing.
Honored be her name in her mountain home, far
away in Colorado ! The father triumphed over his
foes, and they fled.

In July, 1865, in a fight with a small party of
Indians in Meek's prairie, A. J. Gorman was
killed, about a month after reaching home from the
Confederate army. Charles Rivers and his other
companions repulsed the attacking party.

In November, 1866, while working in his field
on Sanchez creek, Bohlen Savage was butchered
and scalped. His child, eight years old, ran to
him on seeing the assault, and was carried off, to
be recovered two years later at Fort Sill. The
wretches then passed over to Patrick's creek,
where James Savage, a brother of Bohlen, lived,
and where they murdered him with equal brutality.
In August, 1866, William, son of Hiram Wil-
son, of Spring creek, twelve years of age, and
Diana Fulton, aged nine years, were captured.
On the fourth day afterwards, in Palo Pinto
County, Captain Maxwell's Company attacked the
same Indians, killed several, routed the band, and
recovered the two children.

On Rock creek, in April, 1869, Edward Rippey
was attacked a short distance from his home. He
fled towards the house, calling to his wife to bring
the gun. She ran toward him with the weapon,
but before meeting her he was killed, when the
demons slew the devoted wife. In the house was
their only daughter and a boy named Eli Hancock.
This heroic lad quickly barred the door, and with
the arms still in the house, defied and beat off the
blood-stained vandals. On a prior occasion, Mrs.
Rippey, rifle in hand, had successfully held at bay
one of these roving bands.

On the 4th of July, 1869, while returning from
a visit to. a neighbor, Mr. and Mrs. Light were
murdered near their home on Grindstone creek.
Both were scalped, but Mr. Light survived two
days. Their children were at home and thus
escaped a similar fate.

On the 16th of December, 1870, on Turkey creek,



George and Richard Joel repulsed an attack by
twelve Indians. Two hours later the savages fell
in with three gentlemen returning to their home on
the Brazos, from a business trip to Kansas. They
were Marcus L. Dalton (who had nearly $12,000
with him), James Eedfield and James McAster.
They were evidently taken by surprise, speedily
slain and scalped. The freebooters secured five
horses and other effects, but failed to find the
money. They fell in Loving's valley, and their
mutilated bodies were discovered next day by
Green Lassiter, destined himself soon to share a
similar fate. He was horribly butchered in the
Keechi valley a few months later.

On the 23d of April, 1871, in sight of his father's
house, twelve miles west of Weatherford, Linn
Boyd Cranflll, aged fifteen, and son of Isom Cran-
fiU, was mortally wounded by a fleeing party of
savages, in full view of his sister, who gave the
alarm and caused the assassins to flee without
scalping him.

On the 14th of March, 1872, in front of the
house of Fuller Milsap, on Eock creek, Thomas
Landrum was murdered by a party of red demons.
Mr. Milsap and Joseph B. Loving attacked and
pursued the murderers, killing one. It was on this
occasion that the heroic girl, Donnie Milsap, fol-
lowed her father with ammunition and received a
shot through her clothing.

On the 14th of July, 1872, two lads from the
Brazos, enroute to mill in Weatherford, viz., Jack-

son, aged thirteen, a son of Jesse Hale, and Martin
Cathey, aged eighteen (the boys being cousins)
were murdered by another of those bands, so often
appearing on the frontier.

In August, 1873, while standing in his yard, in
the northwest part of Parker County, Geo. W.
McCIusky was instantly killed by an Indian con-
cealed behind an oat stack, and armed, as were
many of these marauders in the years succeeding
the Civil War, with Winchester or other improved

These recitals may embrace inaccuracies in dates
and otherwise, but are believed to be substantially
correct ; but they by no means embrace all the
bloody tragedies enacted in the years named.

Bear in mind that this is only a brief and very
.incomplete recital of a portion of the fiendish
murders in Parker County alone for the fourteen
years from 1859 to 1873. In several other counties,
as Palo Pinto, Wise, Jack, Comanche Brown and
San Saba, the catalogue would be, in a general
average, full as bloody — in some much more so,
in others possibly less. The same calamities fell
upon the southwestern frontier from the San Saba
to the Rio Grande, and also upon the counties of
Cooke, Montague and Clay on Red river.

They are sad memorials of the trials, sufferings
and indomitable courage of those fearless and lion-
hearted men and women, by whom those portions
of Texas were won to peace, to civilization and to

The Heroism of the Dlllard Boys in 1873.

On the 7th day of August, 1873, Henry Dillard,
aged about twenty, and his brother Willie, aged
thirteen, made one of those heroic fights and
escapes which approach the marvelous even in the
hazards of frontier life. They lived on the Brazos ;
had been to Fort Griflln with a two-horse wagon
load of produce for sale ; had sold their commodi-
ties and, iifter sitting up late the previous night, in
attendance upon a ball at the fort, were quietly
returning home through an open prairie country.
Henry was armed with a six-shooter and a Win-
chester rifle — Willie with a six-shooting revolver

When about fifteen miles from the fort, Henry,
who had fallen into a partial slumber, was aroused

by loud voices and the tramping of horses. Arous-
ing, he instantly realized that he had driven into a
band of thirty mounted Indians. Each brother
seized his arms and stood on the defensive. The
foremost Indian, abreast of and very near the
wagon, fired at Henry, cutting away one of his
temporal locks and powder-burning his head.
Henry fired twice, but discovering that his balls
failed to penetrate the Indian shields, fired a third
ball lower down, breaking the thigh of an Indian
and the backbone of his horse.

Instructing Willie to follow and be with him,
Henry then sprang from the wagon and determined,
if possible, to reach a branch about a quarter of a
mile distant. The Indians at once formed a circle,



galloping around and firing upon them. "Walking,
running, halting by alternation, the boys fired with
great precision, rarely failing to strike an Indian
or his horse, or both. Very soon the cylinder of
Willie's pistol was knocked out by a ball, and
thenceforward he could only carry cartridges for his
brother. At one time Henry tripped and fell on
his face. An Indian dashed up and dismounted to
scalp him, but while yet on the ground the brave
boy drove a pistol ball through his heart. At
another time Willie called out: "Henry! look
here! " On looking he found the little fellow run-
ning around a mesquite bush, pursued by an Indian
clutching at his clothes, but shot him dead, and the
boys, as before, continued their retreat, the enemy
charging, yelling and firing. The brothers con-
tinued firing, loading, dodging, turning, trotting or
running as opportunity offered, all the while realiz-
ing that to halt was death, and the only haven of
hope was in the thickets on the branch. As they
neared the covert the enemy became more furious,
but the boys, encouraged by their seeming miracu-
lous immunity from death or wounds, and thus
buoyed in the hope of safety, maintained perfect
self-possession, and finally reached the hoped for
refuge. But one savage had preceded them, dis-
mounted, and confronted their entrance. Henry
tried to fire his Winchester at him, but it was empty.
The Indian, seeing this, remounted and charged
upon him, but Henry sent a pistol ball through his
body. The astounded red men, seeing their prey
escape from such fearful odds, seemed awe-stricken.
After a short parley they returned to the wagon,
took the horses and its contents and retired, bear-
ing their dead and wounded, and leaving, five
horses dead on the ground. The day — August
7th, be it remembered — was very hot, and the
boys, following such a contest, came near dying
for water.

When night came the brothers sought the neare s

ranch, some miles away. Mounting horses there
they hurried back to Fort Griffin and reported the
facts to Gen. Buell, U. S. A., commanding that post.
That gentleman promptly dispatched a party of
dragoons in pursuit. The pursuers discovered that
the Indians, bearing northwesterly, had divided into
twoparties, the left hand gang carrying off the killed
and wounded. In two or three days they came
upon a newly deserted camp in which were three
beds of grass gorged with blood. Discovering buz-
zards sailing round a mountain near by, some of
the party ascended it and found three dead Indians,
partially buried on its summit. They also found
in this camp Henry Dillard's memorandum book.
The gallant boy, let it be understood, was among
the pursuers. From this locality, which was about
the head of the Big Wichita, hopeless of over
taking the Indians, the dragoons returned to the

This is among the extraordinary episodes in our
frontier history. It seems almost incredible. The
officer commanding the pursuit, after all his dis-
coveries, asserted that the brothers had killed and
wounded eleven .Indians, besides the five horses
left on the field.

The gentleman to whom I am chiefly indebted
for these details, says that Henry Dillard is a Ken-
tuckian, who came to Texas a boy five or six years
before this occurrence. He is about five feet nine
inches high, slender, erect and quick in movement,
with brown hair, handsome features and clear,
penetrating gray eyes. He afterwards set-
tled on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, near
the scene of this remarkable conflict, and stood as
a good citizen, enjoying the confidence and esteem
of the surrounding country — an acknowledged
hero of modest nature, void of all self-adulation
and averse to recounting his deeds of daring to
others. It is ever pleasant to record the merits of

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 23 of 135)