Savages Assault the Welch and Alexander Children, West of Springtown

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.

Parker County, Texas

    About 1863, Mr. and Mrs. Jno. Welch and children lived close to the Clear Fork of the Trinity about seven miles west of Springtown, and in the northern part of Parker County. One morning, Mrs. Welch sent her two sons to the home of Mrs. Sallie Alexander for vinegar. When they returned home, the Welch boys requested Mrs. Alexander to permit her little daughter, Lizzie, to accompany them a part of the way.

    The request was granted, and when the three children reached a large live oak tree, about 150 yards from the Alexander house, they stopped in its shade and began to play. This tree was northwest of the Alexander home.

    Several savages suddenly dashed upon them, killed the older Welch boy, lanced the younger in the neck, and were attempting to capture Lizzie, who was running and screaming toward her home; but the appearance of Mrs. Sallie Alexander with a gun, just barely prevented the Indians from catching little Lizzie by her long black hair. At first, Ms. Alexander thought the Indians were white men attempting to scare the children. In a few moments, another horseman, who appeared to be white, came riding in the direction of Mrs. Alexander and the children. The heroic frontier mother exclaimed, "If you are a white man, for God's sake come here!" Mrs. Alexander had already discovered the Welch boy, and heard his dying groans. When the man arrived, it proved to be John Choate, a neighbor, who rendered all aid possible. The older Welch boy died before he could be carried home.

    Note: Author personally interviewed Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Tackett, who lived in that section of Parker County at the time.

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

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