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.

Stephens County, Texas

    The author interviewed ten or twelve different people, who lived in Stephens County at the time and immediately following the death of Geo. Bishop. But as it frequently occurs, there was considerable variation in the different reports. Two stated he was out after the cows late in the evening. But others report that George was after the horses early in the morning. All excepting one person report he was alone, and all excepting one or two, agree that he was horseback. Nevertheless, we shall report this story as we feel it really occurred.

    About 1870, George Bishop, fourteen years of age, lived on the C.J. Johnson Ranch, on Little Cedar, about five or six miles northwest of Caddo, and about ten miles east and north of Breckenridge, in Stephens County. Early one cold, crispy morning, he was asked to go drive in the cow-ponies, and told to ride one of the fastest horses, then in the lot. He was afraid of this animal, as it was a little wild. So he elected to ride an old, gentle, slow animal. When he was about two miles east of the ranch, on land owned, at this time, by D.W. Deavers, several Indians came charging toward George. Indians were soon riding on each side of him, and headed George into a fallen tree, where he was captured. He was then carried to the brakes of Big Cedar, about two miles away, and killed. Many citizens, in the past, have supposed that the Indians thought they were being pursued, and murdered young George Bishop to prevent his making an outcry. It may have been their intentions, however, to murder George when captured, but felt they had better retreat into the thick timber before doing their deadly work. Or they may have subjected him to the usual Indian cruelties, and when he rebelled, the savages slayed him.

    Nevertheless, when he failed to return, a searching party found where the Indians had run his horse into the tree. George's body was found about two miles further, on the Indian trail, in the brakes of Big Cedar. His mouth was filled with grass, which also caused many to think the Indians were afraid he would make an outcry. Joe Bishop, brother of George, kept the arrows found in George's body for years.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Mrs. Matilda Van Cleve; and her sister Mrs. Julia Scott, who were daughters of Wash De Rossette; Mrs. Boggs; Mrs. Pete Harris; Mrs. Lucy Lindsey; Lish Christesson; B.K. Thompkins; Mrs. Wm. Cain; Lish Carter; and others who lived in Stephens County at the time. Also interviewed D.W. Deaver, who moved into the County a few years afterwards, and who heard John Bishop relate the story. He was also showed the charcoal where the Indians built a fire that morning.

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

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