W.L. Light, Wife, Mary and Baby Dora

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.

Parker County, Texas
Porter Cemetery Historical Marker

Marker Title: Porter Cemetery
Address: US 180, 10 mi. W of Weatherford
City: Weatherford
Year Marker Erected: 1978
Marker Location: From Weatherford, take US 180 about 10 miles west.
Marker Text: Robert Scott Porter (1795-1877), first Parker County Judge, dedicated this land near his cabin as a family cemetery in 1867 after the death of his 3-year-old granddaughter Syrene E. Newberry. Judge Porter's grandson Elbert T. Doss (1847-1869) and the judge's daughter Mary, her husband, W.G. Light, and child were killed by Indians and buried here. This site may contain about 50 burials, but only 28 are identified. The graves of Judge Porter and his wife Nancy Ann (Pearce) (1806-1901) are here. Their daughter Elizabeth Jane Doss Upton (1826-1908) was the last burial. Porter family descendants restored this cemetery in 1976. (1978)

    July 4, 1868, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Light, took their children, Dora, about one years of age, Lee about four, Emma about eight, Sallie about twelve, over to the home of James Newberry, his brother-in-law. James Newberry, however, and his family were about two miles south, at the home of H.R. Moss, another brother-in-law. So Mr. and Mrs. Light and children returned to their own residence. When they needed to go only about one hundred and fifty yards to complete their journey, several Indians dashed out of a black-jack thicket and in a short time thirty-five bullets and arrows had punctured Mrs. Light's clothing. W.L. Light was shot in the chest with a bullet, and was also wounded in the hand and perhaps elsewhere. Dora, the one year old baby, was also slain, and little Emma seriously wounded. Emma, Lee and Sallie, however, hurried on to the house, and closed the door.

    James Newberry, lived about two miles away. Since it was late in the evening, James Newberry and family reached their homes about the same time the Indians charged Mr. and Mrs. Light and children. Shots were heard, so James Newberry, H.R. Moss, Will Crabtree, and Reece Crabtree, went over to the Light home to investigate the shooting. Mr. Light was still alive, but lived only a short time. He requested that they carry the dead bodies of his wife and baby in the house first. The Crabtree boys were sent to the house for quilts. When they reached the dwelling, they heard a noise within, and without entering came back and reported. James Newberry said that he would proceed to the house and call the children by name, and if it were they, they would answer. He did, and the three children, concealed in the dwelling recognized their uncle's voice, and gladly responded to his call. Mrs. Light and the baby were moved to the house first. By this time, Mr. Light's eyes were forever sealed, and his beloved children left in the hands of loved ones. Mrs. Light was scalped, but the Indians, for some unknown reason, did not remove her earrings, nor ring from her hand. In due time, little Emma recovered. Mr. and Mrs. Light, and little Dora were buried in the Porter Graveyard, on Grindstone, only a short distance from their residence, and about twelve miles west of Weatherford, in Parker County.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: James Newberry, mentioned above: his brother, Sam Newberry; W.J. Langley, Dave and S. Littlefield; and others who lived in Palo Pinto and Parker Counties at the time.

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

The following short version of the incident is from the book, Indian Depredations in Texas, by J.W. Wilbarger:

Light story by Wilbarger

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