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The LEON RIVER SCHOOL in which Miss Elizabeth Ann Whitney was teaching on 11 July, 1867, when the Indians attacked was a private school in a crude log cabin on the south bank of the Leon River on the what would become the Durham Ranch ten months later. It was between CR 213 and CR 216 and approximately six miles northeast of Hamilton. Miss Whitney was killed by the Indians but helped her students escape through a window and in a crack in the floor. The dying Miss Whitney concealed with her skirt the students who were hiding under the floor. Two students, Olivia Barbee and John Kuykendall were taken prisoners. Olivia escaped near the school. Two years later John Kuykendall was found in a northern Indian agency. Although shot with an arrow, Sarah Kuykendall recovered and lived a long life. In 1867 this area was called Warlene Valley. Simon Kuykendall, whose son John was kidnapped by the Indians in the raid, had directed the building of the log school house.


The inscription on Miss Whitney’s tombstone bears these memorial words:


"In memory of Ann Whitney, a frontier school teacher; born in Massachusetts about 1835, killed by the Comanche Indians July 11, 1867. Resting in hope of a glorious resurrection. Erected by the school children of Hamilton County."

Miss Whitney was buried in an unmarked grave near the school in which she was murdered.



People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress