Jack Smith

Coryell County, Texas

    Late in the evening of September 24, 1865, B.F. Gholson hobbled two horses near the Asa-Langford Ranch, about six hundred yards south of the present town of Evant. They had not been there long when twelve Indians came along and stole the ponies and slipped away without being seen. They then went in a southeasterly direction about sixteen miles and stole horses in the King Community, in Coryell County. From here, the Indians went about ten miles and came upon John and Jack Smith, near the head of Brown's Creek, about twelve miles south of Gatesville. John suggested they run into a nearby thicket, but Jack wanted to make a dash for the home of Jeff Everetts, which was about one mile to the northeast. The two brothers were riding mules, and eating grapes when the Indians came upon them. John ran into a thicket and successfully eluded the savages, but Jack hurried on over the hill with the Indians in hot pursuit. When last seen by his brother, the savages were in the act of roping him, and making the arrows fly thick and fast. It was only a short time until he was killed.

    A little later, however, John, who was still hidden in the thicket, heard other horses, whose riders were speaking English. He looked out and discovered it was citizens from the King Community, where the savages had stolen horses. He related his experience, and all went over the hill where they found Jack dead, scalped, and stripped of most of his clothing. These citizens continued to chase the Indians for the remaining part of the day, and were often in sight, but were never able to get sufficiently close to shoot. Jack Smith was murdered September 26, 1865. He had returned home from the Civil War only a few months before.

    Note: Author interviewed: B.F. Gholson, the veteran old frontiersman whose splendid memory and knowledge of frontier conditions, is recognized by all.

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


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