Palo Pinto Mountains and Indians

Palo Pinto Co., TXGenWeb

1857 Star News Centennial Edition 1957
Section 1 page 5

submitted by Bob Jessup

The Red Man Liked The Palo Pinto Mountains

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 section.

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.



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