Millie Durgan

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

    When David White and African Britt ransomed the four members of the Britt's family and Mrs. Fritzpatrick, they were told by the Indians Little Millie Durgan was dead. But Britt's wife, Mary, and children stated that Millie was alive.

    Government agents and others for years, made an exhaustive attempt to find her. But all efforts failed.

    Because of their fondness for little Millie, the Indians invariably kept this infant frontier child in concealment.

    When captured, she was only eighteen month of age. She grew to womanhood out among the wild tribes of the plains, and became an Indian in every respect excepting, of course, this devoted mother of the prairies retained the flesh and blood of her ancestors.

    Years passed. The Indian wars of the West vanished like a storm. Hostile tribes ceased their restlessness and became quiet and calm. Covered wagons moved westward, and moving herds of black and wooly bison relinquished the broad open ranges to bald faced cattle and the farmers plow. And Little Millie Durgan passed into oblivion and became lost to civilization.

    Sixty six years after the Big Young County Raid an Indian woman, half white, made her appearance on the grounds of the post Oak Mission near Lawton, Oklahoma at a celebration honoring Quanah Parker.

    She stated that her mother, like Cynthia Ann Parker was also white and had been captured by Indians when only a very small child. This Indian lady appealed to the citizens to assist in locating her mother's long lost people. After the details of her mother's capture, had been related as best she could, Mr. Ratcliff stated that the white lady was evidently Millie Durgan, who had been gone sixty six years. Jack Wood advised that Mr. Henry Williams Sr., who was in the big Young County Raid could further substantiate her identity and furnish the details of the raid.

    Mr. Henry Williams was contacted at his home in Newcastle, and played a noble part in helping to prove this white mother, who had been with the Indians sixty six years, was, in fact, the long lost Millie Durgan. Her identity was further substantiated by signs and records kept by the Indians since 1832.

    Millie Durgan was adopted by Aparian Crow, an Indian chief. She was married three times to Indian husbands.

    It was the author's pleasure to personally meet Millie Durgan on such occasions and to also meet George Hunt her Indian son-in-law, and his wife and daughters, who were, of course, the daughter and granddaughters of Millie Durgan.

    Eight or nine children and a large number of grandchildren survive her.

    Little Millie Durgan, lost among the Plains Indians for sixty six years now peacefully sleeps in the land she loved and long lived. And wild birds and the balmy western breeze, sings songs of peace and harmony over her lovely grave.

    Note: Before writing this section, the author several times personally interviewed Millie Durgan; her son-in-law, George Hunt, who acted as interpretor, and his wife and daughters, and Henry Williams mentioned above.

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

Join the discussion

Further reading

Recent Comments