hide. They huddled together in the corner, fright chattering in their teeth and apprehension all but paralyzing them. Each passing second they expected the painted raiders to burst through the cabin door and scale the ladder to the loft. Save a miracle from God, it seemed inevitable. But what they next heard was not the splintering of wood or pounding of fists but the familiar tinkling of a bell. Annie knew the bell to be the one attached to her father’s sleek and fleet-footed racehorse penned in the lot beside the house. Earlier in the day she’d raced him home from her uncle’s place nearby. At first the ringing was sporadic then steady as the Indians drove him from the lot and onto the prairie. Annie and her mother listened as the pounding of hooves and howling became distant and muffled. Carefully they descended from the loft and looking to the prairie south of the house watched as the horsemen chased and finally caught William Rider’s fine horse. Their appreciation of good horseflesh likely spared the Rider women what was often referred to on the Texas frontier as “a fate worse than death.” The Indians had been chased from Tarrant into Parker County by a band of mounted citizens who’d lost them on the West Fork of the Trinity River which was swollen out of banks by the runoff of recent downpours. As the citizens of Weatherford celebrated the Fourth of July 1869, this band of eleven warriors raided the eastern reaches of the county. After stealing the prized horse and scaring Annie and her mother out of their wits, the raiding party rode to Clinton Rider’s place. There they took mules and saddled the racehorse taken from his brother’s place a mile or so away. The marauders attacked but no one was injured. They quickly rode on, soon overtaking an unfortunate teamster named William Tinnell who they mortally wounded and scalped. Tinnell lingered about a week before dying. That Fourth of July was an infamous one for Parker Countians while the band of eleven Indians wreaked havoc in the east, two dozen others entered the western part of the county and raided in the Grindstone Creek and Newberry area. They caught the festive-minded Light family returning home from celebrating the Fourth with neighbors. They killed Mrs. Light and her infant-inarms outright and wounded 9-year-old Emma and young William Lee with arrows. Older sister Sarah Ann hopped a fence and hid in the profusion of a cane field. Bill Light, husband and father, died of his wounds a few hours later. The morning of Monday the 5th, a hot sun poked above the horizon promising a sweltering day in North Central Texas. Area settlers rose early to make Weatherford by 11 o’clock when ceremonies for the laying of the cornerstone of the Weatherford Masonic Institute were scheduled to commence. Despite the oppressive heat and Indian scare, an enormous crowd turned out for the ceremony and 2 o’clock dinner. The Indians who’d raided Mary’s Creek also rose early. By mid-morning they stood upon Campbell Prairie some five miles north of the county seat. There they TEXAS BUTANE CO., INC. Morris & Judy V. (Kemp) White South Side Square • 103 W. Church • Weatherford, Texas 76086 AUGUST 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY Local Phone: 86 8 1 7 5 9 4 2 6 1 2 Propane Sales & Service Since 1958 Metro Phone: 8 1 7 5 9 6 8 7 5 8 “LOCALLY OWNED & FAMILY OPERATED” We are proud to be the oldest continuously family owned propane company in the Area!