At the time of this particular raid, there were less than two hundred
families living in Jack County. Since it was reasonably certain the
savages would extend their foray further on into the settlements,
the local citizens hastily dispatched a messenger to Weatherford,
for aid and to alarm the people. At that time John Brown was living
sixteen miles northwest of Weatherford, near Rock Creek, and on the
Weatherford-Jacksboro Road. The messenger reached his home just before
day, November 27, 1860. From Mr. Brown, this "Paul Revere"
of the Western Frontier secured a fresh horse and hurried to Weatherford.
Mr. Brown had about thirty-five head of horses penned in the peach
orchard near the house. About sunrise he saddled one of his slowest
ponies, and started to the home of Mr. Thompson, his neighbor, who
lived about two miles to the West. Since the Indians had not been
previously depredating in that section he told his wife before he
rode away, that the redskins would not come that far south on this
particular raid, but would eventually do so. He then started unarmed
on a slow pony to the Tompson home.
About thirty minutes after Mr. Brown had gone, and before reached
the home of Mr. Thompson, two of his slaves, a Negro woman, and a
boy about fourteen years of age, were on the outside of this yard
a short distance to the southwest of the John Brown home. This house
was newly constructed and was one and a half story "Log Cabin
To their sudden amazement, when they looked up the road towards Jacksboro,
and saw about fifty or sixty Indians riding rapidly towards the house,
the Negro Woman told the boy they must hide or else be killed. This
brave Negro lad said, "No. I'll die with de misses and chilluns."
The Negro woman then ran and hid in the high grass in the peach orchard,
but the boy hurried to the house and related to Mrs. Brown, the Indians
were coming. The approaching warriors could now be plainly seen. Mrs.
Brown hurriedly gathered the following children: Mary, about ten years
of age, John, about eight, Teranna, about five, and Seaph, about two
months old, and took them upstairs. She then closed the trap door.
About this moment it was discovered that Annie, about two and one
half years of age, was missing, So the brave Negro boy named Anthony
Brown, after the Indians had completely surrounded the house, rushed
down stairs in search of Annie. She was found playing in the Negro
cabin, about thirty feet from the house. Annie at the time was dipping
ashes with a spoon. The Negro boy and the colored boy carried little
Annie upstairs. About this time Mrs. Brown heard the rattling of chains,
and since her husbands bridle reins had chains next to the bits, she
thought it was he coming. So she looked out of a window and said,
"Have you come." About that moment she discovered a savage
in the very act of shooting her. So she jerked back only in time to
receive an arrow in her ear. This weapon struck the window facing,
where she had been standing.
During this exciting time, the Indians were also chasing the horses
in the orchard and the Negro woman then hiding in the tall grass later
stated that if she had not been hidden under the tree, the Indians
would have ridden over her several times.
The blood thirsty savages cut the bell from one of the horses, and
started the herd westward toward the home of Mr. Thompson. They had
gone only about one-half mile, when the warriors met Mr. Brown unarmed.
He was soon killed with a lance, and scalped. But it is generally
supposed he wounded one of the warriors with a pocket knife, for evidences
of a wounded Indian were later discovered.
The Indians continued their course westward, crossed the line from
Parker into Palo Pinto County, and next appeared to exact their toll
of human lives, at the home of Ezra Sherman, who lived on Stagg's
Prairie, then known as Betty Prairie, and located a few miles north
and east of the present city of Mineral Wells.
Note: Before writing this article, the author personally interviewed
A. M. Lasater, who on June 8th, 1876, married Annie Brown, the little
daughter playing in the ashes with a spoon when rescued by Anthony,
the Negro boy. Mr. Lasater not only heard his mother-in-law many times
relate this story, but remembers the occurrence himself, for he was
a boy several years of age when this occurred.
Also interviewed Mrs. Wm. Metcalf, Mrs. H. G. Taylor, Mrs. Huse Bevers,
James Wood, E. K. Taylor, Joseph Fowler, Mrs. M. J. Hart, B. L. Ham,
James Eubanks, Mrs. Wm. Porter, and others who were living in Palo
Pinto and Parker County at the time.