Savages Massacre Mr. and Mrs. James McKinney and 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.

Parker County, Texas

    As related in the preceding section, Jim McKinney married a daughter of Isaac Briscoe and a sister of Mrs. Joe Fowler. They lived in the southeastern part of Jack County, and were returning home from Springtown, in Parker county. They had been to mill, and to visit their relatives, J.W. Donathan and family. About noon, Jim McKinney, wife and children reached a spring known as Jenkins Water. Jno. M. Frazier was at the spring at the time, and Mr. McKinney watered his oxen, filled the water kegs, and then started on his way. When Jim McKinney and his family had gone about two miles further west, and were very near the home of Isaac Briscoe, several savages suddenly surrounded their ox-wagon. Jim McKinney, who had traded his pistol for provisions, only had an old gun which refused to shoot. Mr. and Mrs. McKinney were slaughtered and handled in the most inhuman manner, and their baby was also killed. A daughter about six years old, probably named Mary Alice, was carried away by the savages, and murdered when they reached the vicinity of the present town of Bridgeport, in Wise County, a third child, Joe McKinney, was unharmed. He soon wandered away in the woods, where he became lost. The next day after the massacre, Euriah Perkins, while hunting horses, which no doubt, had been stolen by the savages, saw the tracks of a barefooted baby in the sand. In a short time, by following the infant's trail, he came upon a little two-year old boy wandering in the woods. The little fellow said, "I want my Ma." He was taken to Springtown and identified as Joe McKinney. Since the citizens felt sure that little Joe's parents had been killed, a posse of men repaired to the place where Joe McKinney was found, and in a short time discovered where the Indians had murdered Jim McKinney and his wife, just across the branch from the Briscoe home. Little Joe McKinney was found about four hundred yards from the place his parents were killed.

    Jim McKinney, wife and baby were buried in the same grave at Old Goshan, about fourteen miles north and west of Weatherford.

    It was indeed very unusual that Jim McKinney and his family were massacred so near the place where Isaac Briscoe and his family had been slaughtered only a short time before.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Joe Fowler, brother-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Jim McKinney. Few people suffered so severely by the onslaughts of the savages as did Uncle Joe. The Indians butchered his own family in 1860, killed his father and mother-in-law, and carried their children into captivity, in 1866, and shortly afterwards, near the former location of the Briscoe home, they also killed Jim McKinney and his wife, and three children. Author also interviewed Jno M. Frazier, who was at the springs when Jim McKinney and his family stopped; Dole Miller, A.M. Lasater, Jim Wood, Bud Ham, A.C. Tackett, and others who lived in Parker, Jack and adjoining counties at the time.

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

Doyle Marshall states in his book, A Cry Unheard:

Of the brothers, sisters, and parents of Joe and Elizabeth Brisco Fowler, the Indians in three different attacks killed eight, wounded five, tortured one, and captured five. In spite of the heartache at the hands of the raiding Indians, experienced by the determined young pioneer family, Joe and Elizabeth apparently still considered that the advantages of living on the North Texas frontier outweighed the risks, so continued to live there throughout the remaining years that Indians raided the settlements.

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