Indians Charge the Hamilton Home

Satank
Kiowa Raid on Walnut Creek Historical Marker

Marker Title: Kiowa Raid on Walnut Creek
Address: FM 730 & SH 199 intersection
City: Azle
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 her home.

    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 afterwards.

    Further Ref.: Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, by Jno. Henry Brown.

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.

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