Henry Eberson and John O. Allen
Henry Eberson and John O. Allen, who were employed by Charlie E.
Rivers during May of 1871, left the Rivers' Ranch on Salt Creek Prairie,
in the northeastern part of Young County, where so many Indian troubles
had occurred, to help hold a herd of horses and cattle. Three other
hands were in the lead, and Eberson and Allen were holding the stock
in the rear. Eberson and Allen were about one mile from the ranch,
and an equal distance from the three remaining hands. Eberson had
been riding a mule, and at the time, was sitting on the ground reading
a book. John O. Allen was about sixty yards away sitting down with
his bridle in his hands, and cleaning one of his pistols. John O.
"We were opposite the Twin Mountains, and were looking for the
men with cattle. My horse looked up toward the mountains and I thought
he saw the men coming in, but he began to snort, and I knew it was
Indians, and I jumped up and saw them coming. I then threw my gun
across my left arm and fired at them and jumped into my saddle and
started to Henry Eberson. But they split and cut me off from him and
my horse turned toward the ranch, which was one mile west. The loose
horses turned with me, and about one-half of the Indians ran after
me and the horses. The Indians were shooting at me with bullets and
arrows and an arrow struck my right middle finger, and one bullet
struck my left leg. The gate at the ranch was open and as I passed
in, they threw a lance at me, and stuck it in the gate-post, missing
me but an inch or two. I then fell off of my horse, bloody, and almost
exhausted. Old Spank, my horse, walked across the lot, the foam rolling
off of him. The three men that were at the upper end of the herd,
hearing the shooting came around the prairie and up the creek, and
got to the ranch just after I did. After they washed the blood off
of me, I told them that Henry was killed beyond a doubt. They then
took me on one of their horses, and they walked and we went back to
the trail to get Henry and bring him in. We found fifteen arrows sticking
in the ground along the trail, when we got to where I was when the
Henry Eberson was stripped and wounded in about fourteen places.
He was also scalped, but was still alive, and lived for four days
afterwards. He was then buried a short distance from the Rivers' Ranch.
Note: Author interviewed: John O. Allen, of Cookerville, mentioned
above; also interviewed other settlers of Young and Jack Counties.
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by
Joseph Carroll McConnell.