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.

Palo Pinto County, Texas
Parker County, Texas

    Mr. and Mrs. Ed Rippey, lived about fourteen miles northwest of Weatherford. One day about noon, she started with lunch toward where her husband was working. She reached the fence, but remembered her husband had instructed her to never go anywhere without a gun. So she went back to the house for firearms, and again started toward her husband. When Mrs. Rippey went about one half mile south, and was near the creek, several Indians dashed up and instructed her to run. But Mrs. Rippey could understand their language, so she said, "I will not do it. If you kill me, I will get one of you, and kill the one that shoots me." The Indians at the time, were very close. During her dilemma, occasioned by the sudden appearance of the savages, Mrs. Rippey opened the bosom of her dress and took a chew of tobacco. This caused the Indians to believe that she was exceedingly cool, and ready to kill the first Indian that fired at her. The savages now felt they were in too close quarters for their own safety, and were really afraid to fire. They said, "If you won't shoot, we won't. So you leave." The Indians fell over on their ponies and went away. When Mrs. Rippey reached her husband, he saw she was considerably excited, and asked his wife why her waist was unbuttoned. Mrs. Rippey then related her experience with the Indians.

Mr. and Mrs. Ed Rippey

    Mr. and Mrs. Ed Rippey lived on the old Weatherford-Belknap road about fourteen miles northwest of Weatherford. Mr. Rippey had distributed some wolf poison. One morning when he heard his dogs continually barking and baying he thought perhaps, they had found a wolf killed by the bait. He took his rifle and started across a little field toward the black-jack timber, to the north, where the dogs were barking. When Mr. Rippey was near the north field fence, about 120 yards from the house, some concealed Indians, shot and broke his leg. He then started toward the house on his all-fours, and the Indians were in pursuit. In his serious condition, he dropped his gun, and as there was no gate going into the field from the house, Mrs. Rippey who was armed, let down the fence and started to meet her husband. Mr. Rippey, however, was killed on the inside of the field before he reached the fence. They then killed Mrs. Rippey and scalped each of them. Mr. and Mrs. Rippey's nephew and niece, Eli Hancock and his sister, who were about twelve and fourteen years of age, were in the house at the time. The little boy and girl were orphan children, who made their home with Mr. and Mrs. Rippey. The children barred the door, and one of them said, "Now don't shoot until the door is broken open." The Indians, however, apparently discovered that the children were armed. After ripping open a feather bed, which was on the front porch, and taking the ticking, the savages went away. The two children then went over to the home of their uncle, Wm. Lowe, and reported that Mr. and Mrs. Rippey had been killed. The two were buried in the Fondron Graveyard, in the western part of Parker County. The news was spread from home to home, and in short time, Joe Moore, John Fondron, Bud Fondron, George Copeland, M.B. Woods, Ed Fondron, a man named Corbitt, and two others, took the Indian trail, and followed it a few miles below Mineral Wells, but were unable to overtake the murderers.

    That night Indians, and it was thought these same Indians, stole horses in Littlefield Bend, on the Brazos. The next day they were seen going up Keechi with a herd of stolen horses.

    Note: Author interviewed: Joe Moore, mentioned above; A.M. Lasater; James Wood; Dole Miller; Joe Browning, who moved into the house about one year after this tragedy; and several others, who lived in Palo Pinto and Parker Counties at the time.

The above stories are from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

During the raid, one of the Rippey's horses jumped the corral and ran forty-two miles to the home of Mrs. Rippey's parents, located near the present-day site of Forest Park Zoo.

Thirteen days before she and her husband were murdered by the Indians, Mrs. Rippey wrote this prophetic letter to her sister, Julia Ann Howard Ellis.

Dier Sister

It is with pleasure that I imbrace the opertunity of Writing to you though I field ashamed & and hardly know how to comence as I have neglected to writ fore so long a time i have nothing much to writ at this time only that I want to see you all very bad & would have writen sooner if i had not been looking fore you all in this fall though I hav give out ever seeing you any more in this World yet I hope that we may meet Beond the grave where the wicked shall seas from truble and the weary air at rest the relations is well so fair as I know we will stirt to ---- in aday or too Jim and fred is gone to Bryan station. Mr. Rippy and I was down at Bryan and I seen the cars running. I took lisey with me Sister I am dooing very well and hav got the best man in the world Sister Oh how I wish that you was all here with me to day. Fred and Nan was to see us twice (over)

Smith doo come and bring Juliann and the children We could talk one week.

This leaves us well and I hope that it may find you all well writ soon and often excuse me for not writing sooner for my will is to do rit.

So I will not weary your good natures with my imperfect squibble any longer.

Your affectionate Sister until Death
Louisa Rippey

Before the Browning's moved in, extra effort was needed to remove the blood stains from the cabin floor. The Brownings also found the front door riddled with six bullet holes put there by the Indians during this massacre. The door was later placed as a museum piece in the Double Log Cabin at Holland's Lake, in Weatherford.
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