The Jowell Brothers and Others Encounter Indians on Turkey Creek

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

    Dick, James, Campbell, Jerry, George Jowell, Beall Locke, and Ben Foster, on the 8th of November, 1870 were hunting cattle in the Turkey Creek country, six or seven miles northwest of the present city of Mineral Wells. Beall Locke was a brother-in-law to the Jowell Brothers, and Ben Foster their nephew. These well known citizens numbered among the first settlers of Palo Pinto County. A long up in the day, the Indians ran on Dick Jowell, who was separated from the others. So he retreated to a large tree, where he made a stand. When the Indians would appear, he drew his six-shooter without firing, and each time, the savages dodged and retreated. Only one or two, however, were after him.

    The remaining twelve Indians were in a hollow, a short distance away. Dick Jowell's brothers soon heard the firing. But when some turkeys flew by, the brothers first thought Dick was trying to shoot a fat gobbler. Shortly afterwards however, they saw Dick being pursued by the Indians, who soon dashed into the brush. The Indians were again seen passing through an opening, and here they fired several shots at the Jowell brothers, Beall Locke and Ben Foster. After the Indians rode into the timber, they continued to fire, and more than once, the citizens could see the smoke rising from the roots of a cottonwood sapling. Dick Jowell, who by this time was joined by the others, said, "The next time the smoke rises from those roots, I am going to shoot." When a gun again fired at this particular spot, true to his statement, Dick Jowell shot, and when he did the Indians ceased their firing. A moment or two later the savages were seen passing on through another opening, and going in an easterly direction, towards the present town of Salesville.

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

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