Parker County Today May 2018 - Page 26

in Springtown James McKinney had made a very bad decision: he’d trad- ed his pistol for provisions, leaving him powerless to defend his family against the merciless raiders. The body of the McKinneys’ six-year-old daughter was later found on the trail leading north out of the settlements near present-day Bridgeport. Those of the family killed in the incident were buried in a single grave in Goshen Cemetery, about three miles west of Springtown. The surviving three-year-old boy, Joe, was raised in Springtown and later lived in Jacksboro. “Although Issac Brisco had left Jack County because of the county’s vulnerability to Indian attacks, he found no refuge from the red men’s wrath in his new location in North Parker County.” In 1866, the year following his daughter’s family’s slaughter, he and his wife were also killed and scalped. As a population center, Agnes never amounted to much, at its peak home to no more than 100 people. Historians blame it on the railroad. “The residents of the Agnes community like so many of the early settlers expected the railroad to come through and bring prosper- ity and growth. The railroad was not to be and the hopes of ever having one there caused some to move into the larger cities for work. Those that stayed lived modestly and invested their time into agriculture. As roads and vehicles made travel more acces- sible the younger folks got jobs in the larger cities. The farmers and ranch- ers stayed on, but ultimately the land began to be sold.” (Parker County Historical Commission) Named after Agnes Mull, the daughter of a prominent physician, the community was granted a post office in 1879 and lost it in 1907. Life in old-time Agnes was typical Congratulations, Graduates Financial Advisor . 300 South Main Street Ste 200 Weatherford, TX 76086 817-596-5841 Member SIPC 809 809 S. S. MAIN MAIN ST ST WEATHERFORD, WEATHERFORD, TX. 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When traveling by horse, his medicines and instruments were carried in saddle pockets. In 1909, he purchased the first car in Agnes, a Model T Ford touring car.” (PCHC) In those days doctors received patients at home or travelled to the homes of the ailing. Farmers hauled their cotton, corn and oats to Agnes’ gristmill and cotton gin for processing. They also utilized a local blacksmith and shopped at Barnard’s General Store. Religion played a prominent part in the settlers’ lives with Agnes’ two churches providing framework for both spiritual and social activities. “Sunday school was held in both churches every Sunday morning, and all across the area the people could hear the tolling of the church bells, which reminded them to go to the house of the Lord for worship. On one Sunday of each month there was a preacher of each church who came by horse and buggy from other towns to give long sermons. Somehow they arranged their schedules so that there wouldn’t be preaching at both churches on the same day. From the windows of one church, the folks would watch for the other group to walk the short distance down the gravel road to join them for the church service. During the summer, each church held revivals—two services daily for two weeks. Often, during the summer, the only breeze was made by the constant movement of palm leaf fans. Despite the summer work and heat, these dedicated Christian folks gathered together faithfully. A baptism often took place in a pond south of the churches near the Agnes school.” (PCHC) Agnes remained a widely dispersed community throughout the 20th century and continues to exist as one of countless “wide spots” in the road that Texas drivers pass through regularly, mostly oblivious to the past or even presence of the pastoral little places. The voice was that of a nude three- year-old boy who ran from the men when he found neither of them was his father. The child’s body had been scratched with briars, and his side had been lanced by the Indians. The only explanation offered by the child was that the ‘booger-man did it.’” The startled settlers carried the boy to their wives who plucked briars and thorns from the poor child and dressed his wounds and clothed him. The men returned to the saddle to search for other tracks or victims. “Returning to the place where the young victim had been discov- ered, the settlers, with others, traced the footprints for about four hundred yards, where they found the ox-wagon, one of the oxen with an arrow in it, and the bodies of James McKinney, Cynthia, and their baby. Both James and Cynthia had been scalped.” Settlers later learned that while 25