Parker County Today August 2016 - Page 89

encountered Joe Henson and John Murphy on their way to Weatherford for the cornerstone ceremony. A dead-run pursuit ensued as the settlers turned their mounts homeward and rode for their lives. The Indians were unable to overtake the two men who upon making it home changed for fresh mounts and rallied volunteers to strike out after the raiders. Back on Campbell’s Prairie the riders found John Lopp hanging in a live oak, murdered and scalped. The Indians were easy to follow because they drove before them a herd of purloined horses and mules which left behind a distinctive trail. Settlers overtook them near Advance in the northwestern part of the county not far from Slipdown Mountain. Disgruntled Indians raiding south from the reservations often entered the area via this high ground, the highest point in Parker County, indeed, in the whole Fort Worth-Dallas area. Located near present-day Poolville, east of the Advance Community, today Slipdown Mountain is covered with cedars and oaks, but in frontier times a vast prairie grassland carpeted the slope. From there raiders could see for miles and plot their forays before they would “slip down” the mountain to thieve horses and occasionally kill homesteaders they considered to be thieves of another sort — greedy newcomers who felt they had to “own” the land. Once discovered, the Indians abandoned their hoofed plunder and escaped into a cave on the west side of Slipdown Mountain, a cavity in the side of a ravine. The settlers built a fire in the mouth of the cave and soon the smoke-choked marauders came running out. The whites killed but one of the eleven, an Indian flush with scalps and trinkets. Under a hail of arrows and bullets one of the settlers crawled to where the dead Indian lay, attached a rope to his foot and heaved him out of the fray. Unable to remove a ring from his trophy’s hand, he whacked off the finger. He divvied up various other items among the volunteers but kept for himself the brave’s scalp and tomahawk. Over the years he used the weapon to dispatch skunks foolish enough to seek an easy meal in his chicken house. Indian raids plagued the county five more years, the last recorded attack coming in 1874. Once fear of Indian depredations had passed thousands began to flood into the area and the agricultural economy began to prosper. But those who lived through those years of bloody cultural conflict on the plains and prairies never forgot the mounted terror that occasionally slipped down into frontier Parker County.  Sources: • The Frontier Times, November 1929, April 1930 • A New History of Parker County, 1906 • Historical Sketches of Parker County and Weatherford, Texas, by Henry Smythe, 1877 • History of Parker County, Parker County Historical Commission, Weatherford, Texas, 1980 • A Cry Unheard: The Story of Indian Attacks In And Aro und Parker County, Texas, 1858-1872, by Doyle Marshall. Serving Parker County for over 60 years Photo by Megan Parks Norma Plowman | Misty Plowman-Engel | James R. Plowman 913 N. Elm St., Weatherford, TX 76086 | 817-594-2747 | 800-593-2747 | New Location Opening Soon: 4941 E. I-20 North | Willow Park, TX 76087 AUGUST 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY Our goal is to serve every family as if they are a part of our own. 87