The Red Man liked this section of Texas, now known as
Palo Pinto County. Far back in his day and time it was ideal for
his living purposes, it was mountainous and had many waterways that made
it topographically ideal for his livelihood. Wild game was
plentiful and here he lived, hunted, played and fought, until banished
in the 1860's.
The six tribes reported to have lived in this section were the Anadarkos,
Ioni, Caddo, Waco, Keechi and Tawacionis. These tribes were united
in two separate bands, with each governed by a head chief and each tribe
also having its own chief. Chief of the Ioni tribe was Towysh, of
the Caddo tribe was Haddebar. These tribes were united under Chief
Jose Maria, who was also chief of his tribe, the Anadarkos. Chief
of the Keechi tribe was Chachetuck and the chief of the Tawaconis was
Ocherash, and these tribes were united under Acaquash, Chief of the Waco
tribe. In the six tribes were 1240 Indians and of this number
about 240 were warriors.
In June, 1851. Col. Sam Cooper, assistant Adjutant General of the United
States, accompanied by Major Sibby and a small company of dragoons,
visited the Indian Village on the Brazos on a tour of inspection.
The record of his trip is a most interesting one. The party left
Ft. Graham on the Brazos in the western hill country, traveling
northwesterly. They passed Comanche Peak in Hood County, crossed
the Brazos below Littlefield Bend near Parker-Palo Pinto County
line. Located here was the valley of the Ioni Village.
Fourteen miles father the party reached Ioni Village Bend where they
camped for a while. They crossed the river on the north side of
the bend and traveled across the prairie to the northeast of where Palo
Pinto now stands. They crossed the Brazos again below the mouth of
Eagle Creek and continued to Loving Creek where they ate. The
Keechi Village was the next stop at Bone Bend. They crossed the
Comanche trail a few miles from here, the trail that led to Red River,
to the Washita settlement and used by the Comanche in driving stolen
horses and mules from one section of the country to buyers in another
Col. Cooper thought the establishment of a military post near the Caddo
Village where the trail passed would check this traffic. A small
band of Delawares and Shawnees were camped on the left bank of the
Brazos, two miles from Barnard's trading house.
The Indians in this section were said by many of the old timers and
subsequent historians to have been perhaps the most friendly in the
state. Those living in nearby counties were not as friendly as the
ones living here. The Indians remained friendly until around 1859
when a band of Indians on a hunting party were attacked by an officer,
Captain Garland and a squad of twenty men. After the skirmish four
Indian men, three Indian women were killed and the rest wounded.
That ended friendly relationships with the whites until the Indians left
the county. This was the beginning of their attacks.