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Murder of Mrs. Mary Alexander

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Kerr County, Texas

Mrs. Alexander and her daughters, Mrs. W.C. (Nancy) Wachter, were alone at their home on the south prong of the Guadalupe, about thirteen miles southwest of Ingram. John J. Alexander had gone to Spring Creek, in Gillespie County, about forty miles to the northeast. W.C. Wachter had driven an ox-team pulling a load of shingles to Fredericksburg. The shingles had been made out of the beautiful cypress timber that grew along the Guadalupe. C. Alexander, a son of Mrs. Mary Alexander, and an African were about one-half mile away, making shingles under a bluff. The day was February 2, 1868. The dogs were charging so Mrs. Wachter went to the door with a smoothing iron. When an Indian appeared, she knocked him down with her weapon, and fled. Mrs. Mary Alexander ran a different direction, and the Indians killed her when she left the house. Mrs. W.C. Wachter had only gone a short distance toward her brother, when she too was shot in the shoulder, causing her to fall behind a log, where she lay until the Indians were gone. No doubt, the savages thought she had been slain. She then jumped up and hurried to her brother, C. Alexander and the African, both of whom were poorly armed. They rushed to the home of Leinweiber, where only women and children were found. From here they went to the home of Fritz Tegner. When relief returned, the Alexander home was a heaping pile of ashes, and the body of Mrs. Mary Alexander lay on a cold winter ground, badly burned.

Note: Author interviewed a daughter of Mrs. W.C. Wachter, Lafayette Nichols, and others who lived in that section of the state at the time.

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

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