Henry Eberson and John O. Allen

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. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Young County, Texas

    Henry Eberson and John O. Allen, who were employed by Charlie E. Rivers during May of 1871, left the Rivers' Ranch on Salt Creek Prairie, in the northeastern part of Young County, where so many Indian troubles had occurred, to help hold a herd of horses and cattle. Three other hands were in the lead, and Eberson and Allen were holding the stock in the rear. Eberson and Allen were about one mile from the ranch, and an equal distance from the three remaining hands. Eberson had been riding a mule, and at the time, was sitting on the ground reading a book. John O. Allen was about sixty yards away sitting down with his bridle in his hands, and cleaning one of his pistols. John O. Allen said:

    "We were opposite the Twin Mountains, and were looking for the men with cattle. My horse looked up toward the mountains and I thought he saw the men coming in, but he began to snort, and I knew it was Indians, and I jumped up and saw them coming. I then threw my gun across my left arm and fired at them and jumped into my saddle and started to Henry Eberson. But they split and cut me off from him and my horse turned toward the ranch, which was one mile west. The loose horses turned with me, and about one-half of the Indians ran after me and the horses. The Indians were shooting at me with bullets and arrows and an arrow struck my right middle finger, and one bullet struck my left leg. The gate at the ranch was open and as I passed in, they threw a lance at me, and stuck it in the gate-post, missing me but an inch or two. I then fell off of my horse, bloody, and almost exhausted. Old Spank, my horse, walked across the lot, the foam rolling off of him. The three men that were at the upper end of the herd, hearing the shooting came around the prairie and up the creek, and got to the ranch just after I did. After they washed the blood off of me, I told them that Henry was killed beyond a doubt. They then took me on one of their horses, and they walked and we went back to the trail to get Henry and bring him in. We found fifteen arrows sticking in the ground along the trail, when we got to where I was when the fight began."

    Henry Eberson was stripped and wounded in about fourteen places. He was also scalped, but was still alive, and lived for four days afterwards. He was then buried a short distance from the Rivers' Ranch.

    Note: Author interviewed: John O. Allen, of Cookerville, mentioned above; also interviewed other settlers of Young and Jack Counties.

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

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