D. S. and Marion Hagler

    D. S. and Marion Hagler were camped under a large post oak tree about one mile north of Forrestburg in Montague County, early in June, 1858. They had thirty-five horses staked in the flats nearby; two saddles hanging over their heads in a tree, and D. S. Hagler, his wife and daughter, Marion Hagler and Mrs. Morris, were sleeping near the saddles. They felt secure because of their two vicious dogs; but during the night, the Indians not only stole the horses, but also took the saddles, without alarming either the dogs or these early pioneers. They also took a fine favorite horse staked nearby, making thirty-six in all. John Braden, Wm. Fanning, Joab Faulkner, and one other man, making four, were out on Belknap Creek, at a point about fifteen miles west of Montague; they saw two Indians driving these stolen horses, and rode around for the purpose of making an investigation.

    It was now about ten o'clock in the morning. Shortly afterwards, the two Indians charged the settlers, but when they saw they could not be frightened, the savages dismounted and fortified themselves behind a tree. Mr. Braden's horse was shot by one of these Indians, and this caused the animal to throw it's rider within ten feet of the savage, who painfully plowed an arrow across the forehead of Mr. Braden. For a time, the blow of the arrow stunned him, and the Indians jumped from behind the tree to give him a final shot, but Mr. Braden now regained consciousness, and let this warrior have the full force of his gun. The other Indian had never dismounted, but was riding Marion Hagler's horse in a circle around the whites, and letting his "Wooden pegs" fly thick and fast. But when his companion was killed, this Indian ran away, and the four men took the horses toward home. When the four reached Old Barrel Springs, on the old California Trail, they met a number of settlers following the trail of these two savages. The two parties threw together and went back to see the dead warrior.

    Ref: W. A. (Bud) Morris, a nephew of D. S. Hagler

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


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