Indian Raid in Hood County
During September of 1869, several Indians passed down Squaw Creek, terrorizing the local citizens, and stole the week's washing at Robt. West's home. John Afton, Robt. West, and others, who lived in this section under the command of Wm. Powell, instead of attempting to follow the Indian trail, repaired to the divide between Squaw and Robinson Creeks, to intercept the savages when they passed out with their caballada of stolen horses. Capt. Powell posted one of his sons in the forks of a live oak tree so he could see when the Indians were coming. From midnight till nearly sun up, the citizens waited the arrival of the savages. But since they had not been seen, Capt. Powell and his men began to think that perhaps the Indians passed out by another route. About this time, Capt. Powell's son, who was in the tree, signaled that the Indians were coming, and inasmuch as daylight was already upon them, the Indians were moving rapidly. When the Indians found themselves intercepted, they turned suddenly to the right, and a running fight followed. The command of white citizens was soon joined by reinforcements. John Clark, who was now with the citizens, and riding a race horse, rushed ahead and shot an Indian's horse in the neck, forcing his rider to dismount. This caused considerable delay among the Other Indians, and when the citizens realized the effect of placing the Indians afoot, they began shooting other horses. And in a short time, had the seven savages on the ground. The Indians then retreated to a ravine that empties into Robinson Creek, and concealed themselves under a little waterfall. Since it was very early in the morning, the news that these Indians were hemmed in, in a little hollow, soon spread far and wide., In a short time, seventy-five or eight men were around them. But it seems it were almost impossible to reach the Indians. Wm. Weir ventured up, and while he was urging others to join him, and make an attack, received a mortal wound in the breast, and died several days later. J. D. McKenzie also received a fatal wound. Evening came, and still the Indians had not been dislodged. But it came a terrific rain, and in a short time the savages forced from their place of hiding by high water, and only their heads could be seen sticking out here and there above the rushing stream. John Toby, a young man, ventured up, and one by one, the Indians were slain when they appeared above the water. In a short time six dead Indians were dragged out of the creek, and a seventh one that was wounded, crawled out on the bank in the brush. When this savage was discovered, he began to plead for his life, and stated that he was a good Indian. But he too, was killed, and none escaped to relate the story. News came from Ft. Sill, however, sometime later, that a lone Indian found his way back to the reservation, and stated that all of his comrades had been killed. Since none escaped from the ravine, it has been generally supposed that before the Indians reached this place of concealment, of of their number, who was lagging along in the rear and acting as a spy, became separated from the others, and escaped. The Indians were, of course, expecting to be pursued from the rear, so it was but natural they would have a spy out in that direction. The report of this spy, however, is unconfirmed, and we cannot vouch for the truthfulness of this part of the story.
Note: Author interviewed: F. M. Peveler; Geo. Hill; W. A. Herring and other early settlers of Hood, Palo Pinto and Parker Counties.
Further Ref.: History of Hood County, by Thomas T. Ewell and
published by Frank Gaston of Granbury.
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.