Steve Brannon and Grandma Cohen

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.

Palo Pinto County, Texas

    As usual, those interviewed slightly varied concerning dates, distances, etc., when they related the story of Steve Brannon and Mrs. Cohen. But Mr. Brannon lived a mile or two westward of the present city of Strawn in Palo Pinto County. Grandma Cohen was a widow and one of those splendid frontier mothers, who often acted as a doctor, midwife, nurse, etc., when a physician was not available. Mrs. Brannon was sick. Mr. Brannon, who had been over to the Claytons two or three miles away to get Mrs. Cohen, was returning home and suddenly assaulted by a band of hostile Indians. He was riding horseback, and Grandma Cohen riding behind. They ran for the Brannon ranch, but it was not long before Grandma Cohen had an arrow sticking in her back, causing her much pain. Steve Brannon would occasionally turn on the Indians and draw his gun, which caused them to retreat. Then again he would make a dash towards his home, but the Indians came charging as before. When Mrs. Cohen received another arrow in her back she pleaded with Steve Brannon to let her down but this he refused to do, and kept riding as fast as his horse would go. Fortunately, Mr. Brannon's sons heard him screaming and came to his assistance. The Indians then hastily retreated. Mrs. Cohen recovered, but had she been left to the mercy of the Indians, as she insisted, no doubt, she would have been killed. This episode occurred December 15, 1860, just before Cynthia Ann Parker was captured.

    Note: The author interviewed W.C. McGough, A. Hestalow, and others who lived in this vicinity at that time.

    Further Ref: History of Eastland County, by Mrs. George Langston.

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

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