F. C. Brown and family lived about one and one-half miles east of
Parson J. J. Hamilton's home, and in the same community. Mr. Brown,
serving as a soldier in the Confederate army, was gone. Mrs. Harriette
Brown, his wife, and their eight children remained at home. The children's
names and approximate ages were: Sarah, 16; Martha Ann, 13; Jane,
11; Elizabeth, 10; Moie, 8; Joseph, 5; and twin babies, ten months
old, named Tennessee and Estell.
Moie Brown, Tennessee Brown Philips, and Elizabeth Jane Brown Pickard
During the preceding night Sarah dreamed the Indians killed her mother;
and so strongly was she impressed with the dream, Sarah prevailed
on Mrs. Brown to have their neighbor, Mr. Gattling, a gunsmith who
lived about 300 yards north, to repair a broken rifle. Mrs. Brown
took the gun to the Gattling home early in the morning. But since
Mr. Gattling was away, the mother left the rifle at the Gattling residence.
When the Indians were killing Wm. and Stewart Hamilton, they were
seen by Mrs. Brown and some of her children. But at the time only
thought the Indians cowmen. Joseph Brown was a short distance from
the house, on Patrick's Creek, watching Wm. Welch and family wash
Joseph Shotwell Brown
Shortly afterwards, the Indians came to the Brown residence and for
the first time the citizens knew the horsemen were warriors instead
of cowmen. Mrs. Brown sent Elizabeth down to the creek to notify Mr.
Welch and family, and Joseph. But Mr. Welch had already discovered
the savages, scattered his family, and made himself and two negro
boys conspicuous for the purpose of decoying the red man away. The
savages followed them for a short distance, and then turned back for
what they considered a more valuable prey.
When Elizabeth attempted to return home, she was captured by the
savages and placed on a horse behind an Indian.
As the savages approached, Sarah started toward the home of Mr. Gattling
with Tennessee, one of the ten month old twins, and was followed by
the Indians, who shot her with an arrow under the right shoulder,
near the spine. Sarah then quit the road and went into a nearby thicket,
and in her wounded condition finally reached the Gattling home with
the twin baby. Jane Brown, who is now Mrs. Newt Pickard, of Weatherford,
had already preceded Sarah, with Estell, the other ten month's old
twin. Martha Ann and Moie had also gone to the Gattling home. Sarah
knew that Jane was ahead with the other twin. But Mrs. Brown did not,
and thinking, perhaps, her infant baby, Estell was still sleeping
on the bed, Mrs. Brown turned back toward their home to get the other
baby. Sarah, too, could have reached the Gattling home without being
injured. But she lingered behind and was repeatedly telling her mother
the other twin was ahead. Mrs. Brown however, in her dilemma did not
hear, but hurried back toward the Brown home. This pioneer mother
was shot nine times, and killed almost instantly. The savages, however,
did not scalp her, perhaps, because she had black hair. Since all
Indians are black-headed, as a rule, they are much less inclined to
scalp a person whose head is covered with hair the color of their
own. After Mrs. Brown had been killed, and the house vacated, the
savages ripped open feather and straw beds, took the ticking, bed
clothes, and such other trinkets that happened to suit their fancy.
While this was being done, and Indian said to Elizabeth, Good Barbeshela.
Elizabeth, however, a few seconds later realized her opportune time
had come, so she jumped from behind the Indian, and started in a run
toward the Gattling home. One Indian exclaimed, She is gone! She is
gone! So this little girl, 10 years of age, was followed by a savage,
shot in the hip, but made her escape. There were approximately ten
Indians in this raiding party, and they next appeared at the Gattling
home. A war-widowed daughter of Mr. Welch, and Mrs. Ellis who, also,
had a baby, a baby of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Welch, and Mrs. Gattling and
her daughter, Sif, were already at the Gattling residence with no
men to protect them, for Mr. Gattling was away. Martha Ann Brown,
a girl 13 years of age, had always heard that the savages would not
enter a house when the door was shut and guns drawn. And since Mr.
Gattling was a gunsmith, she picked up an old gun barrel and stuck
it through a port hole beside the door. She then cursed and told the
Indians that if they did not leave, she would shoot their brains out.
Before she made the statement, the Indians had already begun to dismount.
But after the savages saw the gun barrel and heard what she said,
they again mounted their horses and rode away. They next appeared
at the home of Mr. Beachman, who lived a short distance below Parson
J. J. Hamilton's tanning vat. Here the warriors killed Mr. Beachman's
dog, but did no further damage. Elizabeth recovered from her wound,
but Sarah died about five weeks later. The frontier citizens of this
settlement were greatly bewildered after this catastrophe occurred.
Mrs. Welch, with a child of her own, and a child of her step-daughter,
Mrs. Rebecca Ellis, came to the Gattling home before the Indians were
hardly out of sight. Mrs. Ellis, also, went to the Brown home and
hid with her child under the floor. But the Indians had already done
their dirty work, and rapidly riding away.
Note: Before writing this section the author personally interviewed
Mrs. Jane (Brown) Pickard, who carried Estell, the 10 month's old
twin; James and Sam Newberry; George Hill; and several others who
were living in Parker county at the time.
J.W. Wilbarger provides another version of the two incidents in his book, Indian Depredations in Texas: