The Indian Experience of Mrs. Sarah Jane Keith

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.

Eastland County, Texas

    We are not certain when this episode occurred. But since it happened near the close of the Civil War, it will be reported at this time.

    Mrs. Sarah Jane Keith, wife of Berry (Coon) Keith, and her two children, Halbert, and Lou Quincy, during the lonesome hours of night, were alone in their little log cabin home, which stood near the present town of Desdemonia. She heard Indians around the house, and for fear her two little children would cry, or make a noise, Mrs. Keith sat them down on the dirt floor of their frontier dwelling, softly and quietly, patted the little ones on the head, and this caused them to seem to understand they must be exceedingly still, for they never made a noise. When (Coon) Keith, husband of Mrs. Sarah Jane Keith, arrived home, his wife related what had happened. When he made an investigation, Indian signs were discovered on all sides of the house. On this occasion to be sure, no blood was shed, but this story is related to indicate what many young frontier mothers experienced along the early western frontier.

    Note: Author interviewed: Mrs. Sarah Jane Keith, herself.

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

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