Jesse J. Griffith and John S. White

Coryell County, Texas

    During the following day, after the killing of James Knight, and the second day after the massacre of Lucinda Wood and Liddie Lemley, the Indians charged Jesse J. Griffith and John S. White, two primitive Baptist preachers, who lived about six miles east of Hamilton. They were on their way to the home of Col. William Miller who lived about one mile north of the present Coryell City. When these preachers reached a place about four or five miles west of the present town of Turnerville, they saw about eighty head of horses, and stopped to count them. It was then about three or four o'clock in the afternoon.

    Neither Griffith, nor White was armed. But each of them had previously been admonished many times that they should carry weapons of war for protection. But each time such suggestions were made, they held up their Bibles.

    While they were counting these horses, seven or eight Indians came charging toward them. One of the number was redheaded; so again we find the appearance of a redheaded man. The preachers were dressed in a truly frontier fashion. And soon the race for life started with the preachers in the lead. Their long frock tailed coats were flying in the wind and presented a pathetic, yet impressive scene. When they reached a point about two miles west of Turnerville, the Indians overtook the primitive preachers and instructed White to dismount. He refused and was shot in the back. The redskins then turned to Griffith and wounded him several times. And although severely wounded, the two preachers were finally able to get together and reach the timber on the headwaters of the Middle Bosque. Mr. White went to the home of Green Buchanan for assistance. Parson White recovered but carried a portion of a spike until he died. Mr. Griffith lived nine days and then died from the effects of his wounds.

    The author interviewed George White, son of the Rev. John S. White; George Crawford, Dan Holland, and others who were living in this section of the state at the time. Also conferred with Mrs. L.M. Blackwell, who personally saw the Indians chasing the preachers. Vital Statistics of the U.S. Census for 1860.

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

The above story is from Indian Depredations in Texas by J.W. Wilbarger.


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