Indians Celebrate the Fourth of July in Tarrant and Parker Counties

    After stealing horses during the third and fourth of July, 1869, in the vicinity of Ft. Worth, and in the western part of Tarrant county, the Indians appeared at the homes of Wm. and C. B. Rider, who lived on the head of Mary's Creek, and on the old Fort Worth-Belknap road, about fourteen miles east and north of Weatherford. The Indians were discovered by little Annie Rider, who counted eleven in number. Annie and her mother, Mrs. Malissa McClain Rider, concealed themselves up in the attic. The Indians stopped on a edge until they corralled a fine horse of Wm. Rider. Mrs. Rider and her daughter, could hear the horse-bell while the Indians were chasing horses. The savages also fired into the roof of the smoke-house. Wm. and C. B. Rider were both away. Perhaps, they had gone that morning to their ranch on the Wichita River. The Indians passed on to the home of Clinton B. Rider, about one-half mile away, and proceeded on east about one mile where they mortally wounded Wm. Tinnell, just before dark. Wm. Tinnell was traveling alone in a wagon and going west with freight. He was scalped, and the Indians took his horses. When Wm. Tinnell was found, however, he was not yet dead, and was carried to the home of John Kaufman, where he lived for nearly a week before he died. Since it was foggy, the savages camped about two miles west of the C. B. Rider home. A Mexican was the only man present, so he hurriedly mounted a small pony and notified the neighbors, who were soon ready to follow the Indian trail. But it was so foggy and dark they were forced to wait until the next morning.

    The next morning, the Indians proceeded westward, and were followed by at least two different bands of citizens. A posse of men from Tarrant county was on their trail, and the other group of citizens were from Parker.

    The eleven savages killed John Lopp, about one-half mile from his home, and about nine miles northeast of Weatherford. Approximately sixty-two bullet holes were found in Mr. Lopp's body, which was also badly disfigured in other ways. But the Indians hardly completed this dastardly deed, and deadly mark, when Fine Earnest, Henry Gillen, John Robinson, John C. Gillen, and a few others discovered them. These gentlemen were on their way to a Masonic celebration in Weatherford, and to help lay the cornerstone of the Weatherford Masonic Institute. When the savages were seen, however, the citizens had other important duties to perform. The Indians were followed for ten or twelve miles, and near the middle of the afternoon, they finally ran under a little waterfall, about seven miles east of the present town of Whitt, and near the Slip-Down Mountain. One savage was shot down, however, just before he entered this place of concealment. Since the wounded warrior was exceedingly close, Fine Earnest decided to slip up and tie a rope around this warrior so he could be dragged away. But when Fine Earnest touched his foot, the Indians said, "Whauh," and the remaining savages showered Fine Earnest with arrows, forcing him to withdraw. The Indians were kept at bay until dark, when the citizens went away.

    Note: Author personally interviewed Mrs. Annie Rider Moran, who was the little girl that counted the Indians; A. M. Lasater; Dole Miller; Joe Moore; and other early citizens of Parker and Palo Pinto Co.

    Further Ref.: Smythe's Historical Sketch of Parker Co., (1877).

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

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