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The story of the tragedies which occurred in July, 1867, in the Warlene Valley of Hamilton County was not recorded for two decades.  The first surviving published account comes from J. W. Wilbarger's "Indian Depredations in Texas" which was published in 1889 by Hutchings Printing House in Austin, TX.

Wilbarger  named the Strangeline family as the other victims of the Indian attack which also took the life of  Miss  Elizabeth Ann Whitney.  

More recent research has identified the family as that of Hugh and Rutha Stanaland.  Shadrack Howard (gg-grandfather of Betty Cole Wienke) was buried beside Hugh Stanaland.


 According to Esther Womack's family legend:

Hugh Stanaland was listed in 1860 in  Nachadoches County, TX,  as Hugh Stangeland and wife Nancy (who was Nancy Sherill) and daughter Mary age 2. The spelling of our name was then and still is Stanaland, formerly of Troy, AL and NC.  Nancy (Sherill) Stanaland died after 1860 and Hugh Stanaland married Rutha Underwood, who survived the Indian attack.

This story has been in our family forever. It is even written in a book on Stanalands. My mother, who was a Stanaland, had a letter written to her by Robert Stanaland of Corsicana in 1967 in which he detailed the story almost as it is told on your site.

Of course, as long as I have done genealogy I recognize that all family stories are not true! Someone may have adopted this as our story, but the fact remains that Hugh Stanaland and his family (except for one daughter as the story goes) must have been killed as they disappeared thereafter. I do not know if any notification was sent to anyone in the family. I do not think that Hugh would have just disappeared with his family as he had several brothers in Nacodoches County, TX.

I am wondering if the name of the Strangeline family could have been Stanaland? Or if the Strangeline family's name was somehow documented?

I am researching an often told story in my family and am hoping that you might be able to substantiate it. In 1867 Hugh Stanaland was headed west with his family.

He passed a school house near Hamilton just as Indians had killed the teacher and all the children.

They overtook Hugh and killed him and his family except for one daughter age 12. The Indians put her on a fast horse and she escaped. She was supposedly raised by an uncle near the area.


From: Mary Davis

I am very interested in the Indian raid where Hugh Stanaland was killed. Mr. Stanaland was my grandfather's step-father.  Rutha Stanaland was formerly married to George Washington Underwood in Angelina County.  George died in 1862 when my grandfather was approximately three months old.  Rutha married Hugh Stanaland in Angelina County on September 21, 1865 and they had one child, Dora who was an infant when the family moved from Angelina to Hamilton County.  My grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Underwood and his sister Mary Jane Underwood were safe and the baby, Dora  Stanaland (Stangeline) is shown as an orphan in the home of Sallie Underwood in the 1880 Hamilton County census.  I have been told that Rutha was on one of the Bell county censuses, but I have not gotten that far as yet. 


From Betty (Cole) Wienke

It appears Hugh STANALAND was buried beside the grave of my maternal GG Grandfather Shadrack HOWARD, Jr.  The virus or erroneous data was also included in Mrs. Brent Witty's 1960s Hamilton County Cemetery Book, and was furthered in the latest four volume set of HC Cemetery Records



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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