The following story is from the book, A Cry
Unheard, by Doyle Marshall:
Bill Heffington, son of Stephen Heffington, who took a
land grant in the Bear Creek community of southeast Parker
County in the mid-1850s, enjoyed the unusual distinction
of having taken two Indian scalps while still a youth. As
a child growing up in the Break Creek community, he was
well aware of the possible danger of Indians lurking in
the area. The senior Heffington, being the only man in the
community with any degree of education, was selected to
be the local part-time school teacher. He received no salary,
but the farms in the community agreed to work his crop while
he conducted school. Since there was no schoolhouse, the
children were taught under a spreading live oak tree near
where the Fort Worth-Cresson road crossed South Bear Creek.
One of the rules of the school required that each boy twelve-years
old and older bring a gun, which was leaned against the
trunk of the tree for protection from possible raiding Indians.
When Bill was sixteen or seventeen years old, word reached
the community that a band of Indians had been detected to
the south, beyond the divide-between the Clear Fork of the
Trinity River and the Brazos River. When a local party was
formed to pursue the intruders, Bill was eager to participate.
The party of volunteers overtook the raiders in the vicinity
of present-day Acton, where a running battle ensued. When
he fired and brought down the only casualty of the skirmish,
Bill alighted from his horse, scalped the victim, and stripped
him of his clothing and paraphernalia of savage warfare,
while the remainder of the party continued to pursue the
raiders. When later asked why he stopped in the heat of
the battle to scalp the Indian, Bill replied that the folks
back in the Bear Creek community would not have believed
his "Indian story" without a scalp for proof.
...Bill Heffington took a second scalp while still a boy
of seventeen. The only youngster ranging with a squad of
eleven men from the southeast corner of Parker County, he
again was credited with the only scalp taken in a battle
with about twenty-five Indians in Palo Pinto County. As
the Indians attempted to reach the safety of the brush,
Heffington moved into a position between an Indian and a
nearby thicket. While several shots and arrows were exchanged,
Heffington felled the Indian with a shot from his rifle.
After the other Indians made good their escape, the squad
returned to the fallen warrior where Heffington again collected
his spoils of war. Later, back at the Bear Creek community,
Bill Heffington's younger brother, Jim, would sometimes
dress in the Indian attire, visit the neighborhood farms,
and "scare the life out of the children."