St. Clair Jones

Perryman Cemetery Historical Marker

Marker Title: Perryman Cemetery
Address: FM 455, NW of Forestburg
City: Forestburg
Year Marker Erected: 1983
Marker Location: From Forestburg take FM 455 about one mile to cemetery.
Marker Text: The first marked grave in this burial ground is than of an infant who died in 1862. Other burials include those of a Mr. Jones, a well-digger killed by Indians in 1863, and Dory Booher and Ben Steadham, former Confederate soldiers who had been captured at Lookout Mountain, Tenn. during the Civil War. In 1883 the cemetery was purchased by Levi Perryman (1839-1921) and deeded to Montague County. A Forestburg community leader, Perryman had been a Confederate soldier, an indian fighter, and sheriff. Still used, this cemetery serves as a reminder of the area's pioneers. (1983)

    About 1862, John Morris, who lived about ten miles southeast of Montague in company with W. A. (Bud) Morris and Andrew Posey, started early in the morning to cut a bee tree about three miles to the northwest. When they returned, John Morris and Andrew Posey walked through the woods, while W. A. (Bud) Morris drove an ox-wagon around the road and hauled the honey and bees. After W. A. Morris reached home, his father sent him horseback to the Wm. Eaves Place. When within three hundred yards of the latter's place, he met six or seven men following an Indian trail. W. A. (Bud) Morris then learned for the first time, that the Indians followed him from the bee tree almost to his home.

    The Indians went about four miles south and stole horses belonging to J. R. Durham. About four o' clock during the afternoon of the same day, the savages killed St. Clair Jones who was returning home from Willa Walla Valley, and perhaps, other points. When Mr. Jones was at the residence of Mr. McCracken, he asked, "Jones, aren't you afraid the Indians will get you riding that kind of a pony." Jones laughed and replied, "Oh, I guess I can talk them out of it, if they run on me." But he was killed before he reached home, and the Valley in which his death occurred, has since been known as Jones Valley. Since Mr. Jones was one of the first settlers of Montague County, a tributary of Duncan Creek on which he settled, has since been known as Jones Branch.

    The citizens finally overtook the savages about dark and about three quarters of a mile from the present Montague County court house. The Indians fled and could not be followed on account of darkness.

    Note: Author personally interviewed W. A. (Bud) Morris, who hauled the bees in the ox-wagon; Joe Bryant and others who were living in Montague County at the time.

    Further Ref.: 109, Pioneer Days in the Southwest.

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


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