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Mrs. John McClaren and Allen Lease

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. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Real County, Texas

    During the early '80's Mr. and Mrs. Lease were living about seven miles north of Leakey. About April 18, 1881, John McClaren had gone over on Cherry Creek, approximately fifteen miles away, after a cow. About ten o'clock in the evening, Allen Lease, an employee, Mrs. John McClaren, and her children, Frank Lou, and Maude McClaren, were working in a garden under a hill, only a short distance from the house. Mrs. McClaren heard some unusual noise at the house. But thinking it were hogs, no one was alarmed. Shortly afterwards, however, the Indians killed Allen Lease, near the foot of the hill. They also mortally wounded Mrs. John McClaren. One of her little girls went after a pillow and quilt for the wounded mother. Five Indians, one of whom was a woman were still in the house. The Indian woman prevented the bucks from molesting the little girl. After the tragedy occurred, Maude McClaren about six years of age, went to the home of a neighbor, G.W. Fisher, and reported what had happened. G.W. Fisher lived about one mile south of the McClaren home.

    In a short time, H.J. Edwards, and about seventeen other citizens were on the Indians' trail. The savages were followed as far as Devil's River but the citizens then went to Ft. Clark, and notified the soldiers about the Indian's raid. The soldiers followed the Indians into Old Mexico, and succeeded in capturing three or four of their number. They brought back one Indian woman, and a boy twelve years of age. They also recovered some of the clothing of Mrs. John McClaren and her family which showed conclusively they caught this particular band of Indians. This bloody raid was the last in this section of the state.

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

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