Indians Disturb Religious Services in the Terrapin Neck Community
Those interviewed differ concerning the data of this difficulty, but it evidently occurred sometime during 1866. One Sunday morning, Rev. Nehemiah Vernon was conducting religious services in the Terrapin Neck Community, about four miles northeast of the present town of Springtown, when the Indians rushed Sug Brown in the church door. Religious services automatically suspended, and in a very short time, James Sanders, Polk and John Matthews, Elmer Blackwell, James Wimberly, James Kerby, Jack and Andy Gore, and several others were in pursuit of the savages, which could be seen from the church. Unfortunately, however, the whites were poorly organized, and soon fell back in disorder. Indians always acted brave when they saw assailants were scared. It was true in this case. They crowded the retreating whites, and succeeding in giving James Sanders a mortal wound. Jno. Matthews received a painful wound with an arrow in the back, and the enemy shot Polk Matthews with a blunt arrow which penetrated from his face to the back of his head under the skin of his scalp. It became necessary to cut the arrow before it could be extracted. Jim Sanders died about the second or third day after he received his fatal injury.
Note: Author personally interviewed: Dole Miller, E. P. Curby, E. W. McCracken, and other pioneer citizens of this section.
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.