EARLY SETTLEMENT, Wm. V. Ervin, P.W., Hood County, District #8, No.
words 970, File No. 230, Page No. 1, REFERENCE, CONSULTANT: N.B. Self,
(This report is supplementary to one
submitted several weeks ago based on information furnished by Mr. N.B. Self,
Lipan, Texas; native of Hood County. The name given by Mr. Self which appear in
this report are the names of the people who were in the Indian raids told of in
the first report.)
The initials of Mr. Self's father were D.S.
Mr. Self's uncle, Jackson Holt, with two
other white men, William and John Clark, trailed and routed the Indians who had
stolen a horse belonging to Mr. Self's father as well as horses belonging to
other settlers. The first fight was at Elm Crossing on the Brazos river.
Some of the settlers who took part in the
fight with seven Indians on Robertson Creek in which all the Indians were killed
were: Mr. Self's father, and his uncle S. M. Self and Jackson Holt; other
settlers were John and [Wm.?] Formwalt, A. Z. and Florence Carpenter, Wm.
Johns, [?.] J. W. Powell, and ---- are, who was killed. John Mitchell, Andy
Harris, Wm. Weldon, Jacob Harris, [iley?] Clark of Thorp Spring and father of
Wm. and John Clark were also Indian fighters. When it was necessary for these
men to band together and ride after Indians, horseflesh was not considered.
When one horse gave out, they got another one. They rode in a lope nearly all
the time and carried their pistols almost all the time. They expected to have
to fight the Indians most any time. The seven Indians killed were Comanches. CLICK
HERE to view photo of Indian hideout."I can't see," said [Mr.?]
Self, "what inducement there was for the early settlers to come here. All
risked their lives. I was so young then it did not bother me much, but I can't
see how it was that the Indians let me get by. I have stood in the door of our
cabin and heard the Indians hollering so they could get together: Comanche Peak
was the lookout place for them.
"Mother and myself and my little
brother, four years younger than I, stayed by ourselves many a night when
father would be out on the cattle range. We lived in a little log house about
sixteen feet square, with one door and no windows: there were small holes, one
on each side. I have seen mother stand up at these holes nearly all night
watching and expecting Indians. We had a watchdog, and the way the dog was
barking would be the side mother would watch on. She was well armed with two
pistols and a Sharp's rifle, and she was a good shot. [e?] had a fireplace in
the house. When we were expecting an attack by the Indians we would cover the
fire and blow out the lamp, and use little [tallow?] candles for light.
"This country was full of all kinds of
wild animals. It was hard for us to tell the difference between a panther
hollering and the Indians. [e?] were always glad when we could hear panthers
plain enough to tell it was not Indians.
"We never opened the door until it was
daylight enough for us to see all around the place, and see that there were not
any Indians about. Mother was a brave woman. She seem not to be afraid in the
"Mother would start her spinning when
she got her work done of a morning. I would have made a good-sized man if
mother had not worked me so hard those days. We made out own clothes. We wove
two pieces of cloth a year, one to make our heavy clothes from, and the other
to make shirts, sheets and underwear. I can remeber the first suit of store
bought clothes that I ever had. I was nearly grown, and I sure stepped high.
"One of my cousins by the name of Nathan Holt was killed by the Indians in 1868. He and his brother, Jackson Holt, went about a mile and a half from their home one Sunday evening to get two milk cows. The brothers lived about a mile apart. They found a cow each and started to drive them home. The cow Nathan was driving had a very young calf, and Nathan got off his horse and walked to drive the calf. The cow Jackson found had a large calf which traveled faster than the small calf, and Jackson driving the cow and calf went over a ridge out of sight of his brother. It was not known by Jackson until eight days later when he went to his brother's home that Nathan had not returned. A search was made, and Nathan's body was found about two hundred yards from where Jackson had left him. His horse was gone. Signs showed that Indians had been near the brothers when they found the cows and had killed Nathan. He was scalped, and it looked like he had been knocked down, and died later.
Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal
Writers' Project Collection