FERD L. WILLIAMíS STORY
 

This article appeared in a Jacksonville newspaper July 22, 1921, eighty three years after the 1838 Killough Family Massacre.  It is interesting to read what some one elseís memory was of the story of the massacre that was passed down to him.  His uncle, Owen C. Williams, was married to Mary "Polly" Killough.  It mentions that Mexicans were also in the marauding group.  FERD is the correct spelling for the speakerís name.


THRILLING STORY OF EARLY DAYS HERE

The recent death of Mr. Ferd L. Williams brought to light an interesting story told by him six years ago of the trials and struggles of the early settlers of this section [northeastern Texas].  Finding Mr. Williams in a reminiscent mood one day, a friend had his story taken down by a stenographer and we give it to you just as he told it and as it was read at his funeral last Tuesday:

"I was born in Blount county, East Tennessee, on February 8, 1834, and in 1838 [his family] started for Texas, landing in Nacogdoches county on April 4, 1839.  I lived there until 1844, and then came to Cherokee county.  In 1845 we settled at the mouth of One-Arm Creek, near Pinetown.  This creek was named for an old Indian who had only one arm - - - - - - I lived a rough life in those days, my occupation being the hauling of goods from Shreveport in a ox wagon. - - - - - - I enlisted at Rusk in the Civil War - - - - - - -moved in 1876 up to my present home six miles south of Jacksonville.

"Owen C. Williams, an uncle of mine, lived on the outer edge of the Killough settlement near Larissa [not founded as a colony and later a town until 1846] in 1838 when the Indian massacre occurred, but he and his family, with the exception of one daughter, Elizabeth, escaped.  When the massacre took place, Aunt Polly and Elizabeth were on their way to the home of Isaac Killough, Aunt Pollyís father, when she met her brother Allen and his family running from the Indians.  They wanted her to go with them into the woods, but she returned home.  Elizabeth went with Allen and his family and was never heard of again.  In this party were Allen Killough, his wife, several children, his sister, Elizabeth Killough, and Elizabeth Williams, none of thom were ever seen or heard from again.

"Aunt Polly went home and found her husband sitting in the yard, down with rheumatism.  Elbert Williams, his brother, was present and had become alarmed and already had three horses caught when she returned. Together Elbert and Aunt Polly saddled the horses, and they with Uncle Owen and three children escaped.  The Indians were in sight, shooting and hollering, as they took to the horses.

"Before they left, Aunt Polly ran into the house and got three pocket books.  These belonged to Owen, Elbert and Barakias (Kias, we called him, for short.) Kias was killed in the massacre and it was he who took Aunt Narcissaís infant (Captain Billy Killough) from her to carry, she being small.  When the Indians crowded them, Aunt Urcey told him to leave them and try to make his escape, but he told them he could not do so, for the Indians would kill the women, too.  She insisted, telling him the Mexicans had promised to take care of the women, and he gave the baby back to its mother and tried to escape; got out of sight, but the Indians found him, and he was never seen again either.  There were three women, wives of Samuel, Isaac, and Isaac, Jr., Killough, together with the infant who made their escape to Fort Lacy and they were accompanied by a fice dog [same as a feist dog, meaning a small mongrel dog, a cur, a mutt, especially one that is ill-tempered and considered worthless].

"I have in my possession one of the pocket books that Aunt Polly took from the trunk on the day of the massacre.  Uncle Elbert got two of the pocket books and kept them for a number of years, and gave me one of them when I was about grown.  He was not positive whether it was his or his brotherís, as they were alike.  [It is not known where the pocket books are now.]

"Uncle Isaac Killough and his wife, Aunt Urcey, were father and mother or father-in-law and mother-in-law or grandfather and grandmother to every one in their settlement, except the two young Williams, Elbert and Kias. Neither of the latter were married.

"When the members of the family who survived the massacre first went back after General Rusk had driven the Indians out, we visited them often; we were then living at Douglas in Nacogdoches county.  We would visit Nathaniel Killoughís home, Aunt Polly Williams and Aunt Jane Sullivan, the latter being the former wife of Isaac Killough, Jr., marrying Sullivan in Nacogdoches county after her husband's death, and before returning to the old home.  Aunt Polly was a sister to Allen Killough.  When Nathaniel Killough returned, he settled on Allenís place. Aunt Polly never went back to her old home, but I think lived on Sam Killoughís place.  Aunt Jane settled back on the place where she had formerly lived."

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The pocket book referred to in the above story is now [1921] in the possession of Mr. J. D. Williams of this city, a son of the deceased.



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