Mysterious Disappearance of the Christal Brothers
About 1862, John, Richard, Isom and James Christal left their home
in Denton County for a buffalo hunt, at some point in the northwest.
The brothers established their permanent camp on the Wichita River,
near the mouth of Holiday Creek, not a great distance from the present
city of Wichita Falls. At that time bisons were extremely plentiful.
So John and Richard left their brothers, Isom and James, at the camp
to cook supper, while they went out in search of game. Shortly afterward,
a gun was heard to fire, and in a few minutes they heard the report
of a second gun. When dark came, supper was prepared, but John and
Richard had not returned. The two brothers in camp thought perhaps
they were lost, so they gave a large number of vociferous yells, answered
only by the howling wolves. Guns were also fired. The following day
the two brothers had not yet returned. So Isom and James saddled their
horses and took their brothers' trail. Before going a great distance
they found where a buffalo had been killed, and partly skinned, and
also discovered one of the brothers had gone to the creek for a drink.
This was verified by his handkerchief which was hanging on the brush.
About one half mile further on, they also discovered moccasin tracks,
but otherwise no further evidence of their brothers' fate could be
found. After searching for four days, Isom and James returned home
and reported to their parents what had happened. A searching party
of about fifty men then departed to where the boys disappeared. But
neither could they ascertain what had happened to Richard and John,
and their disappearance today still remains an unsolved mystery.
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by
Joseph Carroll McConnell.