It was a bright early fall day in 1874 in Coryell County, Texas. J. Snow, formally of the state of Mississippi, had four or five years earlier moved his wife and younger brother to the former Robertson colony, which was now named after a Texas Ranger that had been killed by Comanches. Mr. Snow was the proud father of twin daughters born shortly after arriving in Texas.
He had built a small but sturdy dogtrot cabin out of rough hewn post oak logs on a slight bluff that overlooked Cowhouse Creek and what would later become the community of Pidcoke. The Snows had brought few large possessions with them from Mississippi with the exception of a longleaf pine trundle bed that was constructed so as to be easily taken down and put back together. Mr. Snow and the other new settlers started cattle herds by rounding up or buying feral Spanish cattle that still held out in the dense bottomlands and oak mottes. They lived off beef, a milk cow, small vegetable gardens and wheat they grew in the temporally fertile soils around the creek. A mill had recently been completed up stream on the creek to grind wheat into flour. A typical meal was fried beef, biscuits with butter, buttermilk and occasionally beans or turnips.
Anyway, on that bright January morning Mr. Snow and the other men of the small new community set out at first light for Ft. Gates, twenty miles away, with a herd of steers to sell. They planned their trips away from home on the new moon when nights were dark and the still dreaded Comanches were more apt to stay close to their campfires. The massacre at Parkers Fort, a relatively short distance to the northeast, and the kidnapping of Cynthia Ann Parker and many other white children by the Comanches, even though thirty years in the past, was still fresh in the minds of the new settlers.
The men had been gone about three hours when Mrs. Snow, sewing a new shirt for her husband, noticed the dog fiercely barking out by the lean-to barn. Looking out the window she saw two Comanche braves hobbling the remaining horses in the cedar post corral. She rapidly grabbed up the twins, pulled out the trundle bed and hid them and herself by somehow sliding the trundle back under the double bed. When the Comanches were satisfied that no one was around to challenge them they entered the cabin, knocking over tables and chairs, looking for anything of value. Not understanding the concept of a trundle bed they didn't know to pull out the sleeping drawer. They brought the three remaining Snow horses over to the cabin and loaded them down with foodstuffs, pots and pans, articles of clothing, a shotgun and a precious hooked rug that had made the trip from Mississippi. Whooping and letting loose with fierce cries of pride at a successful raid the Comanches galloped the loaded down horses north back to Palo Duro Canyon. The incessant barking of the family dog, which the Indians miraculously chose not to kill, apparently was distracting enough that they didn't hear the muffled sobs of the two little girls in the trundle bed.
Shortly thereafter Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie and the 4 th Calvary attacked the winter camp of Comanches, Kiowa and Cheyenne in Palo Duro Canyon, completely routing the assembled Indians, destroying their camps, their winter supplies and either taking or slaughtering the Indian's horses. The Indians that were not killed escaped out onto the plains without provisions or mounts. They were left with no choice but to return to the reservation at Ft. Sill in Oklahoma. A year later the last free Comanches led by Cynthia Ann Parkers son, Quanah, surrendered and moved onto the reservation at Fort Sill.
Mrs. Snow that hid herself and her twin daughters away in the trundle bed was my Great Great Grandmother. She probably never knew that she was one of the last white settlers to be threatened by the Great Comanche Nation in Central Texas.
The only successful treaty ever signed between Native Americans and European settlers was ratified twenty-five miles down the road from me in Fredericksburg between the German settlers and the Comanche. There is a new battle going on between Indians and Whites in Texas. Checkout the link below: