Jack Coldwell

Parker County, Texas

    About 1867, Jack Coldwell, Sam Leonard, J.W. Miller, C.G. Cogbourne, Frank Smith, and perhaps a few others, while out scouting, struck an Indian trail somewhere in the northern part of Parker County. This trail was followed several miles west and the Indians encountered not far from the Parker-Palo Pinto-Wise County line. A running fight followed. But in a short time some of the citizens "shot out," and their captain ordered them to fall back. When they did, the savages turned on the whites. Since the Indians had such overwhelming numbers, in a short time considerable confusion arose, and the whites almost stampeded. Jack Coldwell was killed. Sam Leonard received a paralyzing wound in his shoulder and neck, causing him to fall from his horse. J.W. Miller said that he was going to remain with Leonard, but it seems the captain insisted that they go for the thought Leonard had been killed. But Miller insisted he was going to stay, so a few citizens remained. When they stopped, the Indians turned and went the other way. In a short time, Leonard stated that he could hear, but was paralyzed and could not speak. He wanted to tell his comrades not to leave him. Leonard soon recovered. The citizens made a serious mistake when they retreated.

    Note: Author interviewed Dole Miller, a brother of J.W. Miller, who was in the fight; E.W. McCracken and others who were in that part of the county at the time.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

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