Road Trip Information
On Hwy. 337 to the east, in 1872, three cowboys intending
to join a trail drive to Kansas, stumbled onto a band of Indians near
the mouth of the Big Keechi. The Indians
managed to steal some baggage containing three pairs of white stockings
which cowboys wore to dances. Men's fancy silk stockings were then
unknown in this section. Several nights later, a posse located these
Indians who, unfortunately for six of them, wore the white stockings
on their arms, making themselves excellent targets in the dim lightd.
The exact damage inflicted was not known as the Indians carried off
their dead and wounded, as was their custom.
Probably near 1870, the Slaughter brothers were taking
turns sleeping in a corn crib while the other stood guard in the saddle.
Meanwhile nearby at the Conatser Ranch, George
Dodson was doing likewise with Jack Conatser. George shot an Indian
he saw crawling through the horse herd and grunting like a hog in
an effort to stampede the horses. The boys moved the Indian up on
top of the hill; years later, McConnell found the bones. The next
morning just before dawn, John Slaughter stepped out to see what was
upsetting the chicken house and the dogs. He caught a bullet in the
ribs but managed to struggle back and get his gun. The Indians fled
and he recovered within a few months.
Again on the west side of the highway, in 1863, Mr.
Henry Welty had failed to return home from the field by nightfall
because he had been slain by a band of Indians. John Graves writes
about the unfortunate Mrs. Welty, pregnant and hiding in a darken
cabin, hearing the screech of an owl or the howl of a coyote and wondering
if the sounds aren't actually Indians signaling. Goodnight pointed
out that only the best-trained ear could tell the difference.
In 1865, a handful of cowboys armed with cap and ball
pistols, forced a superior band of Indians to retreat. The only known
injury was Ben Caruthers, who caught an
arrow during the fight.
Further east, in August of 1864, cattlemen around the
Keechi Black Springs community failed to meet for a roundup in Loving's
Valley. The men managed to find each other and prepared and ate their
noon meal at Turkey Creek. At that time,
one of their horses came toward the group with an arrow sticking in
its side. Some of the men raced in the direction the horse came from.
Soon several braves were spotted by the five cattlemen who had begun
the search. One-armed Wilson was riding the best horse. He rode toward
the Indians, who had strung their bows and had crossed the creek,
heading in his direction. Wilson held the bridle reins with his teeth,
using his only good hand to fire his six-shooter. He dropped his gun
and requested someone else loan him one. Sam Ham had caught an Indian
by his long hair but was forced to fall back when he turned to shoot
him. Wilson, now rearmed, shot an Indian off of his horse, causing
his arrows to scatter across the ground. As the Indian bent to gather
them up, Wilson shot him again but he managed an attempt to escape;
only to receive several more shots. The final one administered to
the head by Charlie Goodnight. The rest of the Indians retreated and
the cattlemen recovered nine stolen horses.
In 1869, George Eubanks
and some others were hunting when he was separated from the group
because he had stopped to eat hackberries. Something caused a flock
of wild geese to rise off the prairie and sent George in search of
protection. He got behind a small post oak tree with a trunk no bigger
than eight inches which nonetheless received nine gun shots while
George returned fire in the direction the shots were coming from,
burying eighteen bullets in a rock the raiders were hiding behind.
The continuous firing caused Eubank's four or five companions to hurry
to his assistance, causing the Indian to run away.
East of 337, on the 8th of November, 1870, the Jowell
Brothers and others were hunting cattle in Turkey Creek country
where they had a confrontation with a band of Indians. At first, the
two sides were scattered. Shots were exchanged but no one was hit.
Eventually the cowboys got together and concentrated their fire at
the base of a cottonwood tree where they had seen gun smoke rising.
The Indians then ceased their firing and where seen passing on through
Sometime during or right after the Civil War, Johnny
Eubanks sent his seventeen-year old son, Tom
Eubanks, to represent him in a roundup on the headwaters of Pecan
Bayou. Eventually Johnny learned his son never arrived at the roundup
so he gathered a group of friends and relatives to search for his
missing son. Two dead horses were found in the vicinity where Tom
should have been traveling. After further searching, an Indian was
found buried in the same vicinity and amongst his remains was Tom's
powder horn and belt. Johnny traveled all the way to the Fort Cobb
area of Oklahoma, hoping that his son had been taken captive but to
no avail. Several years later, his son's bones were found near what
would later be called Eubank's Mountain, where the Indian and two
horses were also found. Johnny kept his son's bones until his death,
at which time they were placed with him in his grave.
On April 24, 1869, cowboys of the Ikard outfit overtook
a band of Indians. Both Sam Newberry and John Doss shot Indians and
the boys retrieved some of the Indian's horses and gear, unfortunately
Elbert Doss was killed in the fight.