Brazos Indian Reservation 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.

A few miles north and to the right of 254, past the intersection with 1191, June 16, 1871, W. B. Slaughter and his cowboys had a joint round-up with Goodnight and Loving's outfits and camped near each other on Dillingham Prairie near Rock Creek. On the morning of the seventeenth, the Indians charged Goodnight's outfit. During the fighting, Loving's brother-in-law, Charlie Rivers, had emptied his six-shooters and was reaching for his rifle when he was hit in the lung and died.

A few miles north and to the right of Hwy. 16, in 1870, John Crow was plowing when he was attacked and killed by several Indians in plain view of his family. His son, William Crow, was killed the year before at the famous Salt Creek Fight.

On the left (west) on Hwy, 16 on the way to Graham, Colonel Baylor, publisher of the Jacksboro newspaper, The White Man, brought together men from a dozen counties to attack the Indians on the Texas reservations. On May 23rd, 1859, his men entered the Lower Reservation, where a few Indians fell victim to the mob. Part of Baylor's force splintered off to attack Camp Cooper at the Comanche or Upper Reservation, in order to capture its artillery piece. The balance of the attackers skirmished with the reservation Indians but for the most part, did not engage the United States soldiers. The mob soon lost its taste for confrontation at the forts and most of the men packed up and returned to their respective counties in the east. Ranger "Rip" Ford was charged with straightening out the mess and though he had good evidence against many of the local ranchers, he refused to take action. This incident convinced higher authority that the Indians would be safer if they were relocated in Indian Territory and the land that had made up the reservations was sold to the white settlers. Agent Neighbors was ordered to relocate the Indians. When he returned to Fort Belknap, he was ambushed and killed in the street by a man named Cornett and another self-proclaimed Indian hater. Ford didn't pursue this incident officially either but supposedly the Rangers were responsible for these murderers receiving their just fate.

In 1873, the Thompkins Brothers and a few others scared off seven or eight Indians they had run upon.

Further south toward Breckenridge, the following depredations occurred. Joe Curtis' slave was returning from Picketville and was mortally wounded by several Indians. Henry Jones was murdered while preparing to start to school at old Picketville. George Bishop, fourteen years old, was out driving in cow ponies when several Indians took him captive and murdered him.

Off to the west, Ben Peobles was out hunting horses early one morning when chased by Indians. When he was only three hundred yards from his destination, he received a mortal wound and died almost instantly. The Indians scalped him and pinned him to the ground with arrows.

Still to the west, Josephus and Frank Browning were murdered by Indians while out searching for cattle.

Stockton, a young man from the east, was out alone rounding up calves and horses when he was murdered by Indians. He had been dead two or three days before anyone knew he had been killed.

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.

Breckenridge/Hwy. 67 Blood Trail Map

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