Indians Attack the Home of Mrs. R.H. Kincheloe
During October of 1866, Mr. and Mrs. Kincheloe and their children, lived in a picket home about three miles east of Utopia. A Mr. Borland, his wife and children, lived on Mr. Kincheloe's place, about 100 yards away. R.H. Kincheloe and Borland, had gone to the ranch of Jas. B. Davenport, who lived about nine miles to the northwest, for the purpose of helping thresh wheat. Inasmuch as no Indians had been reported for some time, the women folks were left at home unprotected, excepting by a Mexican sheepherder employed by Mr. Kincheloe. Mr. and Mrs. Kincheloe's frontier cabin was not chinked and daubed, and as a consequence, there were cracks within the walls.
Late one evening three Indians appeared near the Kincheloe home, where Mr. Borland and her two daughters were staying while Mr. Borland was away. But the Indians were driven off by four vicious dogs. Again and again, during the silent hours of night, the dogs continued to bark.
Early next morning, three Indians appeared again near the Kincheloe home, and this time roped a horse near the gate. Since the Mexican did not show himself, the Indians soon saw the women and children were unprotected. Somehow the Indians evaded the vicious dogs, and in a short time were charging toward the house. Mrs. R.H. Kincheloe took a seven-shooting Spencer rifle her husband had brought back from the army, and with this she several times caused the Indians to fall back. Mr. Kincheloe had never explained to her just how to manipulate this weapon. So it seems the Indians finally discovered the rifle would no shoot. They ventured closer and closer. John Ella, the sixteen year old daughter of Mrs. Borland, managed to leave the house, jump off a nearby cliff, and hide in the brush. George Ann, a fourteen year old daughter of Mrs. Borland, crawled under the bed where John, Charlie, Buddy, and Eliza Kincheloe, were hiding. When the Indians apparently discovered that Mrs. Kincheloe was unable to shoot her gun, they finally ventured up to the cabin and through the cracks of the wall began driving arrows in her body. Her little son John, who was about seven or eight years old, was doing all he could to pull the arrows out, and at the same time trying to protect himself under the bed. In a short time, the heroic Mrs. Kincheloe was wounded about twelve times, and when the Indians discovered she had begun to weaken, they pushed open the door. The blood-thirsty scoundrels, not being satisfied with the many wounds they had inflicted in Mrs. Kincheloe's body, speared her under the shoulder. She now handed the gun to Mrs. Borland, whom the Indians shot and almost instantly killed. Mrs. Kincheloe fell upon the dirt floor and it so happened she lay in such a way, her wounds bled outward instead of inward.
After the Indians had gone, little Johnny Kincheloe and George Ann Borland went to the home of a Mr. Snow, who lived on the Sabinal, about two miles away, to convey the sad news. In due time, relief began to arrive, but practically all were of the opinion that Mrs. Kincheloe, who had been so badly butchered, had no chance to recover. But she was brave and told her husband when he arrived, and others, that she was going to get well. We are pleased to report that this heroic frontier mother did recover and lived for forty or more years, but her old scars never ceased to annoy her.
Note: Author personally interviewed: Capt. J.C. Ware, of Waresville, a brother of Mrs. R.H. Kincheloe; also interviewed others who were living in that section at the time. Mrs. McConnell, the author's wife, and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Bryan met Mrs. Kincheloe about twenty-five years ago, at old Dixieland, on the Pecos, and heard her several times personally, relate the story.
Further Reference. Texas Indian Fighters, by A.J. Sowell.
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.