Monday, September 22, 2014

THE LAST INDIAN RAID IN PARKER COUNTY, TEXAS





Until a year ago, I’d lived in Parker County, Texas. You know that as someone who loves history, I searched out facts about the area’s past. One of the stories that fascinated me was the story of three children captured in the county’s last Indian raid in 1872.

At one time I did considerable research on this tale with the thought of turning it into a children’s book. I decided the facts were too gruesome for children. Well, at least for their parents’ approval.

Currently, I’m recovering from ankle reconstruction and can’t search through my notes. I’m stuck in bed with my foot elevated for another couple of weeks. So, my story for you will be based on memory.

Sam Savage and his family farmed on Sanchez Creek. His aunt and uncle farmed across the creek.  A group of raiding Comanche rode through. Sam’s father and oldest brother were killed in the field where they were working. Mrs. Savage got the girls inside. One girl who was fifteen was shot with an arrow as she scooped up her sister. They barely reached the house in time to bar the door. I would have been afraid the house would have been set on fire, but the Comanche were after horses—and small children.

Sam was six and his brother John was eight. The two boys were captured. The Comanche then crossed the creek and killed the boys’ aunt and uncle and captured four-year-old Mary, their cousin. Their captors did not capture other children on this raid.

When they camped for the night, the children were given raw liver and forced to eat. They gagged and vomited but were shown no patience. During the night, John escaped and started home. He was recaptured and the soles of his feet slit so he would be unable to walk or run and no longer be able to sneak out of camp.



The three children lived with the Comanche in Oklahoma Territory for eighteen months. A trader spotted three white children in the camp. He traded everything he had with him, including his saddle and saddlebags, to rescue the three youngsters. The trader took them to Fort Worth in an attempt to identify the kids and reunite them with their families.

By this time, Mary spoke only Comanche and could not even communicate in English. The boys were able to give their names. Eventually, they were reunited with Mrs. Savage and what was left of their family.

I don’t remember (if I knew) what happened to Mary or John, but Sam remained in the area. He married a Pawnee woman and lived near Mineral Wells for the rest of his life. I found this story fascinating and hope you will also.


Caroline Clemmons is the author of MAIL-ORDER PROMISE, the first in the duet set titled MAIL-ORDER TANGLE, a western historical romance. She and her husband and their menagerie of rescued pets live near Fort Worth in cowboy country.

4 comments:

Cathy Brockman said...

Ilove to read your stories this was intriguing. I hope your foot is better soon

Unknown said...

WOW this is really fascinating, not only is it fascinating i am relieved. I have found something of what seems to be a stone weapon. A stone handled war club.
I haven't had the stone looked at, i contacted a guy in the big leagues regarding artifacts, he informed me ( after reading my location) which is Parker County, that he only deals with flint and spearheads. I thought well that's like being a mechanic and only dealing with Ferraris. Anyways, knowing Indians were on Sanchez Creek is the best information to have read, i knew .. but now i knowww!!
Misscasas8494@gmail.com

Kathy Savage said...

Sam Savage is my husband's great grandfather and according to the family stories he was a real character. Sam and Arizona were married by the founder of Mineral Wells. Arizona apparently didn't like traveling salesmen and she would come out of the house waiving a pan and giving an Indian war yell. There was a time that the base at Mineral Wells was used for training during World War II and sometimes Sam would go out there and play his fiddle and tell the story of his capture, which many people did not believe, they just thought he was an old man making stuff up. Little did they know that he had lived every word.

Unknown said...

Sam Savage was my great great grandfather. My grandma was Christine Savage one of Sams grandchildren. I'd love to talk with you about our family ill find out what my granmas dads name was he was one of Sam's children. You can find me on fb as Donna Tuton blonde hair and an american abd rebel flag in my profile pic.