Tom Starks and His Wife Startle Indians

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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Concho County, Texas

    About 1870, Tom Starks and his wife, started from the mouth of the Concho to Comanche County, to visit Mrs. Starks' people. When they had gone about five miles, Mr. and Mrs. Starks met Rich Coffee, who told them Indians were ahead and they had better turn back. But Mr. Starks, was reared on the frontier, and suggested that they go ahead. They then drove about twenty miles farther, and stopped for the night. The horses were tied, and while supper was being prepared these animals continued to snort. Tom Starks again hitched up his team, and drove to New Quarter Creek, where there was an abundance of timber, and camped for the night. Again the horses continued to snort. So his wife dressed in men's clothes, and they turned the wagon bed upside down. An Indian was always exceedingly skeptical of anything unusual. So this rearrangement of the wagon-bed seemed to startle the savages considerably. For the next morning it was discovered they had completely beaten out a trail around the wagon, about forty yards away. As they rode around this freakish arrangement, the savages evidently decided there was something mysterious. When the break of day arrived, the Indians were gone.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Tom Starks himself.

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

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