Marion Lasater, Wess Sheek, and Others Fight on the Head of Dry Creek in Parker County

    Marion Lasater, Wess Sheek, Jim Williams, Dave Rivers, Bill Fancher, Jim Garrison, and others, started east from old Black Springs, which was in Palo Pinto County, to work the road. After going about four miles, they accidentally came upon an Indian trail, which was followed to the head of Dry Creek in Parker County. The citizens were only armed with six-shooters. But Marion Lasater, Dave Rivers, borrowed shotguns, and two rifles. When the trail had been followed about fifteen miles, the whites slipped by an Indian spy on a nearby hill, and succeeded in making a surprise attack on the Indian while eating dinner. Marion Lasater and James Garrison were about one hundred yards in the lead. When they fired, the Indians jumped up and made a run for their horses. But before the savages were on their steeds. Lasater and Garison fired a second time, and the Indian spy, who was on a hill about one hundred and fifty yards away, and who had, perhaps, gone to sleep, was now awake, and in Indian fashion yelling, "Yelp, yelp, yelp, yelp, yelp, yelp," and began throwing his arrows thick and fast. When the savages mounted their steeds, the fight began in earnest, and after the whites had "fired-out," they dropped back to reload. When they did, the pursuing Indians were about to overtake Bill Fancher. So the whites turned on the savages and ran abreast for the purpose of protecting their comrade. The bluff worked well, for the Indians fell back in disorder and, of course, did not realize the guns of the whites were unloaded. When their weapons were again ready for war, the whites made another charge; and when they had "fired-out" again, the citizens retreated. In like manner several charges were made, until the Indians finally made a hasty retreat. Several days later, Scott Fondren found where three or four Indians had been buried in the same grave. So the local citizens felt sure these savages were killed in this particular fight.

    Note: Author interviewed: A. M. Lasater, brother of Marion Lasater, James Wood, Jo Fowler, B. L. Ham, and others who lived in Palo Pinto and Jack Counties at the time.

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

Ben Blackwell

    The different authorities are not in accord concerning the date of this circumstance. But it probably occurred near the close of the Civil War, and will be reported at this time. Blackwell and Harve Sullivan were out in a watermelon patch on Rock Creek in Parker County, about two miles east of the present town of Whitt. When Indians charged upon them, Ben Blackwell was captured, and Harve Sullivan, two or three years older, and about twelve years of age, successfully made his escape. One Indian, however, caught him by this home-knitted yarn suspenders. But Harve seemed to be in a hurry. So he broke his suspenders, outran the savage, and was home in a short time. Dole Miller reported that David White and Negro Brit Johnson were instrumental in recovering Ben Blackwell from the Indians, and returned him to his people.

    Robert "Harve" Harvey (front row, center)

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Dole Miller, A. M. Lasater, and others who lived in Palo Pinto and Parker counties at the time.

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