Parker County Today December 2017 - Page 33

Millsaps’ stock to their collection of purloined ponies. But he and a freed slave woman who lived in the Millsaps’ household blasted away at the marauders with shotguns, dissuad- ing them from their larcenous designs.

 The Millsaps women were quick to step up when danger threatened. In another attack it was Millsaps’ daugh- ter, Donna Martha, who came to his aid.

 As hired hand, Ed Landrum had hitched horses to a wagon, while Indians who’d concealed themselves in the treeline and behind fencing attacked without warning, killing the young man with little effort. Millsaps and son-in-law Joe Loving opened up on the assailants with a booming reply. As the battle raged and gun smoke filled the air, the daughter, who’d been watching from the cabin, stepped into the fray.

 “Fearing that her father would deplete his supply of ammunition, the fearless Donna dashed from the cabin with an apron-full of cartridges for her father, who admonished her for her reckless bravery and ordered her back into the cabin,” wrote Doyle Marshall in his 1990 book on local Indian activity. “Fortunately, a wayward arrow directed at her missed its mark and penetrated only her clothing. While her mother, Elizabeth Ann Pollard Millsaps, anxiously watched the proceedings from the doorway of the cabin, another misguided arrow pinned her apron to the door-facing.”

 On Oct. 18, 1869, Elizabeth Millsaps gave birth to son Thomas Fuller and a running gun battle between feathered marauders and settlers passed just east of the cabin. Later that day, the bodies of two unfortunate Indians were dragged by ropes into the Millsaps’ yard for the viewing pleasure by incensed settlers tired of the continuous clash of cultures in the county. Both sides nursed wrongs, both real and imag- ined, and lived locked in a conflict that could end but one way — with the destruction of one culture or the other. A few years later the Indians were beaten and attacks in Parker County came to a long-awaited end.

 A bit of Millsap’s frontier history stands to this day. In the early 1990s, the Millsap Heritage Society moved Millsaps’ 1852 double log cabin from a site just west of the village into town. Also preserved is the town’s first post office, the 1877 Benjamin M. Porter cabin.

 The post office opened in 1877 and in 1880, the tracks of the Texas and Pacific arrived. To take full advantage of the railway, three small communities pulled up stakes and moved nearer to the tracks. Joining the Millsap Relay Station under the name “Millsap” were Peck City and Mineral City. By the 1890’s, the town served western Parker County as both a retail and shipping center. At the turn of the century, a dozen busi- nesses, three churches, a bank and a 10-grade school named Millsap College called Millsap home. A weekly paper, the Millsap News, chronicled the young town’s burst of prosperity.

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