Benjamin Van Hook and Mosiac Scaggs

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.

Burnet County, Texas

    During February 1860, Mosiac Scaggs and his family consisted of a wife and eight or nine children. They lived on the North Gabriel in Burnet County about twelve miles south of Lampasas. Benjamin Van Hook lived farther east in the same county or over in Williamson County.

    About ten o'clock in the morning, Benjamin Van Hook was alone and herding horses on the headwaters of the North Gabriel about three miles east of the present town of Lake Victor. He was suddenly charged and murdered by Indians. The warriors then went four or five miles to the southwest where they charged Mosiac Scaggs, also out alone and hunting stock. The Indians chased him for several miles. It is generally supposed he hit his leg during his race for life against a cedar tree with sufficient force to break it. This, no doubt, enable the Indians to overtake him. He was then murdered. The warriors then made a rapid retreat toward the northwest.

    Note: The author personally interviewed Mrs. M.L. Baker, who heard the shots; John Nichols, M.J. Bolt and several others who were living in Burnet, Lampasas and adjoining counties at the time.

    Further Ref.: Vital Statistics of the U.S. Census for 1869.

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

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