Capture of the Lehman Children

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.

Mason County, Texas
Capture of the Lehman Children

    During May of 1869, Mrs. Phillip Buchmier sent her children from the rock home, about twenty miles south and east of Mason, to a little patch near the house for the purpose of scaring the birds out of the grain field. After the children performed their mission and were playing leisurely along toward the house during a fine May day, several Apaches captured Herman and Willie Lehman, and their little sister. The Lehman children were Mrs. Buchmier's posterity by a former husband. After Herman and Willie Lehman were captured, they refused to go and held tenaciously to some small timber in the edge of the field. This forced some of the savages to release one of the Lehman girls so they could help get the boys on horses behind Indians. When they did, Minnie Lehman grabbed her little sister and hurried toward the house. The savages would have captured the fleeing girls had it not been for their brave mother, who drove the Apaches away with a gun.

    After the Indians left the Buchmier home in the Loyal Valley section, they subjected the Lehman boys to the usual cruelties administered by Indians to their captives. They also offered Herman and Willie Lehman raw meat, a delicate Indian diet.

    The Indians were pursued by the rangers and when they were crowded somewhere in Tom Green County, an Indian warrior released Willie Lehman, who happened to miss the rangers and walked down the Fredericksburg-Concho road for two days without food and water. But according to reports, finally met a Mr. Ground, who lived on the Pedernales in Gillespie County.

    About the next light moon after Herman and Willie Lehman were carried away, the savages again appeared at the home of Phillip Buchmier. Again, Phillip Buchmier was away and Mrs. Buchmier and children unprotected at home. After storming the dwelling and throwing obstacles in the windows, one savage tried to get in the house but the deadly aim of Mrs. Lehman was too severe for him. They took some of her clothes and after showing some of them to Herman, reported that his mother had been killed. No doubt, this was done for the purpose of mitigating his desires to return to Texas from his Indian captivity in New Mexico.

    After this last raid, Peter Crenwelge moved Phillip Buchmier and his family to Loyal Valley.

    Herman Lehman remained in the hands of the Indians for approximately nine years, and no one will make a mistake in reading a detailed account of his experiences which have been published in book form.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Peter Crenwelge, mentioned above, W.J. Nixon; Charles Wartenbach; Mrs. Kidd; and several others who lived in Mason and Gillespie Counties at the time.

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

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