A History of the J A Ranch
A HISTORY OF THE J A RANCH
HARLEY TRUE BURTON
THE INDIAN SCARE OF 1890
In November, 1890, during the fall roundup, S. H. Vaughn,
manager of the Rocking Chair Ranch, which was located in what
is now Collingsworth County with headquarters where the town
of Wellington now is, with his men, was rounding up some cattle.'
It was very dry, and the herd stirred up a great deal of dust. Be-
tween sundown and dark the cowboys shot a beef, built a fire and
made a great deal of noise. This cloud of dust and fire, com-
mingled with the noise and shooting, frightened a woman nearby
who was at home alone with her two small children.2 Thinking
the cowboys were Indians, she hurriedly placed her two children
on a horse and made a dash to the nearest neighbor, Huddleson
She was so badly frightened that she lost one of the children
off the horse and did not miss it until she arrived at the Huddleson
home.3 She told the Huddlesons that a large band of Indians
was coming. Mr. Huddleson, after hiding the women and chil-
dren, made a dash to Salsbury, the nearest town, which was on
the Fort Worth & Denver Railroad about five miles from the
present town of Memphis, to spread the news and to get help.
In doing this he ran his horse to death.4
The telegraph operator at Salsbury was evidently a great joker
and did not believe Huddleson's report or was so badly frightened
that he lost his wits, because he sent telegraphic messages far and
wide, some of which were as follows : "I can see them fighting
about a mile from town." "They are still fighting about half a
Interview with Henry W. Taylor, Clarendon, Texas.
"Interview with T. D. Hobart, Pampa, Texas.
8Interview with T. D. Hobart, Pampa, Texas.
'Interview with T. D. Hobart, Pampa, Texas.
5Joe Horn, who was at Salsbury at the time, says that the operator
sent messages all the next day similar to these.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101088/. Accessed July 7, 2015.