Johnson, Proffitt and Carrollton

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
Carlton-Johnson-Proffitt Grave Historical Marker

Marker Title: Carlton-Johnson-Proffitt Grave
Address: US 380, West of Newcastle
City: Newcastle
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: US 380, 8 mi west of Newcastle, Roadside Area.
Marker Text: In memory of Patrick Euell Proffitt, Rice Carlton, and Rueben Johnson, three 19 year old boys killed in one of the Elm Creek Indian raids, July 17, 1867.

Common Grave Historical Marker

Marker Title: Common Grave
Address: US 380 West of Newcastle
City: Newcastle
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: US 380, 8 mi. W. of Newcastle; In Proffitt Cemetery.
Marker Text: Three youths slain by Indians in an Elm Creek raid, July 17, 1867: Rice Carlton, Age 19; Reuben Johnson, born 1847, son of J. Allen Johnson; Patrick Euell Proffitt, born March 7, 1848, son of Robert S. Proffitt. John Proffitt, a brother, was donor of cemetery tract.

Proffitt Cemetery Historical Marker

Marker Title: Proffitt Cemetery
Address: US 380, W of Newcastle
City: Newcastle
Year Marker Erected: 1990
Marker Location: From Newcastle, take US 380 about 8 mi west to Roadside Cemetery.
Marker Text: Members of the Robert Smith Proffitt family came to this area about 1862 and established homes. A son, John Proffitt (1846-1925), amassed large land-holdings and built a gin and other businesses. The developing community was named Proffitt. At its height it boasted homes, a post office, school, retail businesses, a Methodist church, and Baptist church. On July 17, 1867, three young men were killed in an Indian raid near this site. They were buried in a common grave on John Proffitt's land about one mile south of town. Theirs was the first burial in the community graveyard which became know as the Proffitt Cemetery. The cemetery contains both marked and unmarked graves of area pioneers. The numerous interments of infants and children illustrate the often harsh conditions of frontier life. The largest number of burials occurred in the years between 1910 and 1920, and include many victims of the World War I-era influenza epidemic. Also buried here are veterans of the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Maintained by a cemetery association, this historic graveyard stands as memorial to Young County pioneers.

    Reuben Johnson, Ewell Proffitt, and Rias Carrollton, were branding cattle at the old Fitzpatrick Ranch, where the Indians made their early appearance during 1864. About ten o'clock in the morning, July 17, 1867, seventy-five Indians came dashing toward them. The boys succeeded in retreating about three-fourths of a mile, but the young men were soon killed. The raid is often mentioned as the "Elm Creek Raid Number Two," because it resembled in many respects, the Big Young County Raid, of 1864.

    After the killing of Reuben Johnson, Ewell Proffitt and Rias Carrollton, five Indians appeared at the Hamby Ranch, and encountered Roland Johnson, Jno. H. Cochran, and Tom Hamby. When these citizens presented their guns, the Indians dashed away, but succeeded in driving off Hamby's horses. Rolland Johnson's family ran down and hid in the same cave that protected them during the Big Young County Raid, of 1864. After causing considerable excitement and stealing several horses, the savages withdrew, leaving the dead bodies of Reuben Johnson, Ewell Proffitt and Rias Carrollton, as a token of peace, and confirmation of the many treaties they had made.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Mann Johnson, Henry Williams, J.B. Terrell, J.M. Peveler, John Marlin, and others, who lived on this section of the frontier at the time.

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

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