Fort Belknap Road Trip

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.

In Stem's Gap at the big bend to the north on 61, Major Stem and his friend Mr. Lepperman, both from Ohio from which Stem had relocated in 1850 after being appointed Special Indian Agent at the Lower Reservation, was killed late in the afternoon. The guilty party's head was turned over to the agency by the beheaded man's brother in a dramatic display of the respect to the letter of the laws of the treaties made with the United States.

In 1873, the Brooks brothers and four of their friends were building a fence when they were run upon by Indians. They opened fire, dropping one attacker and dispersing the rest.

Steadham and Brogdon sighted and chased a couple of Indians and managed to kill one of their horses, forcing them to ride double. At a point during the chase, the Indian on the back jumped off, splitting up their pursuers and eventually escaping.

Bill Holden was killed by Comanches in 1857. The guilty Indian was turned over for execution by the Upper Reservation.

Elijah Skidmore was killed and scalped in his field in September of 1855. A historical marker honoring this pioneer is located five miles south of Graham on Hwy. 67.

On February 13, 1860, several miles south on the west side of Hwy. 67, Parson Tackett's cow came home with an arrow stuck in it. He took his sons in search of the perpetrators and soon found blankets hanging from limbs on the east side of Tackett Mountain. He and his boys began herding their cattle toward the ranch when they were attacked by Chief Piny Chummy and his Comanches near the Belknap/Austin road. One of the boys killed a raider at sixty yards with a old gun that fired a one-ounce ball and the preacher killed the chief with his shotgun while receiving an arrow wound in the foot. His son had an arrowhead stuck above his right eye for four months until he could get to Springtown where a doctor could be found to pull it out.


Join the discussion

Further reading

Recent Comments