Indians Charge the Hamilton Home
Marker Title: Kiowa Raid on Walnut Creek
Address: FM 730 & SH 199 intersection
Year Marker Erected: 1983
Marker Location: FM 730 R.O.W. East side, about .75 W.
of intersection of FM 730 & SH 199, Azle.
Marker Text: In April 1867 a band of about sixty Kiowa
Indians, led by Chiefs Satank and Satanta, raided the home of William
Hamleton on Walnut Creek. Hamleton was away when the Kiowas killed his
wife, Sally, and captured two children, Lavina and Mary. Lavina was
released from captivity after six months, but Mary was given to an Indian
family and grew to adulthood among the Kiowas. Called To-Goam-Gat-Ty,
she became an accepted tribal member and married another captive, Calisay.
The site of the 1867 Kiowa Raid is now under the waters of Eagle Mountain
Reservior (1.4 mi. E) (1983)
Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton lived in Tarrant County, about four miles north
of Azle. Wm. Hamilton had gone to Springtown to mill, and Mrs. Hamilton
and some of her children were at the home alone. Mrs. Hamilton was
weaving on an old-time loom at her log cabin home in the edge of the
timber, when several Indians took them by surprise. Several of the
children were away. Wm. Hamilton Jr. was attending cattle, Mahala,
Eliza, Samuel and John were picking cotton. Sarina Myres, a step-child
of Mr. Hamilton, and Mary and Gus, the infant children of Mr. and
Mrs. Hamilton, were at home with their mother. Mrs. Hamilton was murdered
and her baby partly scalped, but it lived a short time. Sarina Myres,
and Mary Hamilton, half-sisters, were made prisoners. Feather beds
were ripped open and the house robbed of its contents. After traveling
thirty or forty miles, the Indians camped that night somewhere in
Wise County. Little Mary Hamilton had been having chills, so they
wrapped her up warmly, and left her alone in camp the next morning
when the Indians rode away. But she cried so unmercifully, a warrior
returned and murdered the little girl. Sarina Myres was carried to
Oklahoma, and kept in the vicinity of the present Fort Sill, for about
two or three years, and until located by her brother, who brought
This dastardly deed, too horrible to be told, was charged to Satank,
the Bengal tiger of the plains, who murdered himself in 1871 when
he was being brought to Jacksboro to be tried.
Note: Author interviewed: J.B. Sessions and M. Roe of Azle, who
lived in this vicinity at the time of the above murder and shortly
Further Ref.: Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, by Jno. Henry
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by
Joseph Carroll McConnell.
According to further research by Doyle Marshall, from the book, A
Cry Unheard, the story is as follows:
The party left immediately with the captives for their camp in Indian
Territory. Unlike most raiding parties in North Texas who, after committing
depredations, rode rapidly and continuously until they reached sanctuary
north of the Red River, the Kiowa band camped that night in Texas.
Next morning, while breaking camp, the warriors became concerned at
the sight of dust rising from the back trail. Fearing that they were
being pursued by the settlers, the party quickly started for the Red
River. To expedite his escape the captor of Mary Hamleton left her,
wrapped in a blanket, at the campsite. When they soon found that the
dust was caused by a herd of stampeding cattle, the Kiowas relaxed
their pace. Mary's captor told Hah-bay-te that he had left the child
behind and alive. Hah-bay-te thereupon recovered her, took her to
the Kiowa camp, and gave her to this childless daughter.
An-pay-kau-te recalled that when brought into the Kiowa village and
taken from Hah-bay-te's horse, the little blue-eyed, light haired
captive was very lively and ran around camp. She was a happy, good-natured
child and quickly learned to play with the Indian girls. However,
some, when old, recalled that she had a temper, and, when angry, could
"whip them all." She readily learned to speak Kiowa and
soon forgot her native tongue.
At first, Mary Hamleton was called Ta-han, meaning Texan, the most
common name given to captives from Texas. After her adjustment to
the savage way of life and her acceptance by the Kiowas she was given
the name, To-goam-gat-ty, meaning, "the woman who holds the medicine,
standing in the rear of the tipi." She was, however, affectionately
called "To-goam."The two other captive children, Sarina
and Gus, were sold at a military post. When United States government
officials inquired about the "other" child taken in the
raid on the Hamleton home, the Kiowas replied that she had died.
Soon after her capture, To-goam went with her captors to the celebrated
Council of Medicine Lodge Creek, in southern Kansas, where on October
21, 1867 a treaty was made between the Comanches, Kiowas, and Kiowa-Apaches
and the United States. Most of the Kiowas went solely for the purpose
of receiving government annuities. The Kiowas had a good time at the
council, although, due to the language barrier, they seemed to understand
little of what was said. Two things, however, they did understand;
they would be placed on a reservation near the Wichita Mountains,
and all their white captives must be surrendered. To avoid having
to give up their beloved To-goam her foster parents hid the child
out on the prairie-a safe distance from the eyes of the soldiers,
newspaper reports, and government officials.
To-goam was reared in a respected Kiowa family by a loving foster
mother, Tope-kau-da (Oak Tree, or Acorn) and foster father, a warrior
named Tan-goodle, who died a few years after To-goam was taken into
their care. To-goam provided much pleasure and companionship to her
widowed foster mother. The two were seldom separated until the leading
male member of Tope-kau-da's family selected a Mexican captive as
a husband for the girl. After her marriage To-goam often lay in her
tipi and cried for her foster mother, while lonely Tope-kau-da wept
for her "special" child.
As a strong, large-framed young woman, To-goam excelled in horsemanship.
When thrown, while breaking mustangs, she would cheerfully try again
until she succeeded. She was an expert at training and caring for
horses. To-goam also excelled at swimming. When a fine horse, which
was tied to a tree on a rise was threatened by rising floodwaters,
none of the young Kiowa men were willing to risk their lives by swimming
the rushing waters to rescue the animal. To-goam put a knife between
her teeth, jumped into the floodwaters, swam to the rise, and cut
the terrified horse loose. The men were humiliated by her bravery,
but they greatly respected her for the daring rescue.
Although To-goam developed into an envied Kiowa of exceptional strength,
ability, and determination, her Caucasian features served as a source
of distress and humiliation to her. She lived in constant fear that,
because of her Anglo appearance, she might be discovered and taken
from her Kiowa people. Tope-kau-da had taught her to look down when
in the presence of white people so that her blue eyes could not be
seen. Consequently, most whites who saw her thought that she was a
shy little Indian girl. During the winter of 1874-75, when the Kiowas
were compounded in the stone corral at Fort Sill, Tope-kau-da kept
To-goam from being recognized as a white by painting her hair green,
her face red, and keeping her skin covered with a shawl. When officials
several years later discovered that To-goam was a white captive, she
was the wife of a Mexican captive and had children of her own. They
wisely left her with her adopted people.
Although brought up in the religion of the Kiowas, To-goam was converted
to Christianity when the Baptist mission was established at Rainy
Mountain. Thus, her religious affiliation became the same as that
of many of the settlers in the area from whence she had been taken
many years before.
To-goam lived all but five of her sixty-two years as a Kiowa. She
did not remember her life as Mary Hamleton nor where in Texas she
had lived. Upon her death on July 22, 1924, she was buried alongside
her adopted people in the Rainy Mountain Baptist Mission Cemetery.
She was survived by seven children and their many descendants, who
considered themselves Kiowas, although their mother was an Anglo and
their father was a Mexican.