Killing of Daniel Wainscott and Jack Kilgore

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.

Montague County, Texas

    John Willingham and Bob Wainscott were building new homes on Denton Creek, about ten miles south of Montague, and had already moved their families into this new territory. September 5, 1858, which was Sunday, Daniel Wainscott and family, Bob Wainscott and family, and Jack Kilgore and family, and a total crowd of about 37 men, women, and children, decided to go over to the new homes of John Willingham and Bob Wainscott. Most of them rode in an ox-wagon, but some walked; and Daniel Wainscott and Jack Kilgore were walking considerably in the lead. When the crowd was within a quarter of a mile of the new homes, seven demons of the forest dashed upon them. The two men in advance rushed back toward the wagon, and they were slain shortly afterward. This, no doubt, was the first real bloodshed in Montague County, and since the Indians had theretofore been comparatively peaceable, the killing of Daniel Wainscott and Jack Kilgore, of course, caused much consternation among the remaining crowd. Cash McDonald was wounded in the arm, but the little child he was carrying was uninjured. It seems that Bob Wainscott was also wounded, and his wife, thinking her husband was killed, made her retreat into the timber.

    The Indians, on this occasion, provoked the difficulty and fired the first shot, almost before the settlers were aware of their presence. Daniel Wainscott took a chair from the wagon and knocked an Indian from his horse before he himself was killed. Mrs. Bob Wainscott was found the second or third day after this difficulty wandering through the woods. Messrs. Wainscott and Kilgore were buried on the bank of Denton Creek near where they were killed.

    Ref.: Before writing this article, the author interviewed W.A. (Bud) Morris, J. Bryant, and others who were living in Montague County at the time or shortly afterwards. History of Montague County by Mrs. W.R. Potter. Reports conflict but we have given what we believe to be the correct version.

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

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