Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 374 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
Missouri, engaged in farming, hotel-keeping, trading
with Indians, etc., until 1839. In 1834 he and
some chosen friends, with their families, settled on
the Indian reservation on the Des Moines river, in
Iowa. The reservation was occupied by the Fox
and Sioux Indians, then under the leadership of
the noted chief, Black Hawk. They immediately
constructed houses, began farming and the community
became known as the " Ross Settlement."
It was here that Col. Peter Ross and ex-Governor
L. S. Ross were born. In 1838, Capt. Ross rented
out his farm, placed his other interests in the hands
of his agent and went to Missouri. In 1839, having
been advised by his physicians to seek a warmer
climate, he came to Texas, where he ever after made
Upon his arrival here he took the oath of allegiance
to the Republic of Texas, which was administered
by Neil McLennan, and thus became entitled
to a head-right of 640 acres of land. He settled
at Old Nashville on the Brazos in Milam County
and planted a small crop of corn and killed buffaloes
to supply his family with food. Leaving his wife
and children at Nashville, he went out with his
nephew, Shapley Woolfolk, to look at the country,
now embraced within the limits of Bell and McLennan
Counties, and, being pleased with it, went back
to Nashville and traded his wagon and horses for
640 acres on the Leon river and 600 acres in
Burleson County. While .at Nashville, the inhabitants
being collected there for protection against
Indians, Capt. Ross proposed to Capt. Monroe and
others to move with him to Little river and form
a settlement, each pledging himself not to leave
unless all left, until a treaty was made with the
Indians. Seven or eight of these men, with their
families, moved to and settled on Capt. Monroe's
league of land in Milam County, thirty-five miles
above Nashville, the nearest white settlement.
This little, but determined colony, had frequent
fights with Indians. A detailed account of Capt.
Ross' experiences in those pioneer days would read
like a thrilling romance, and would fill the pages ol
a large volume. Only a brief sketch, however, car
be presented here. On one occasion the Indian;
raided the settlement by night and stole all th4
horses. Fortunately for the pioneers, a man camn
into the settlement early next day with a number o
mules. Capt. Ross and others at once mounte,
and hastened after the red-skins, who were over
taken on Buggy creek, where a bloody and desper
ate fight ensued. Capt. Ross singled out one bi
Indian, and his nephew, R. S. Woolfolk, anothei
and a hand-to-hand fight with knives followec
Both Indians were killed and their companions wei
also dispatched. All the property stolen was
In 1842 Capt. Ross was a member of Capt. Jack
Hays' company of rangers. In 1845 he sold his
land, on which the town of Cameron now stands,
for a two-horse wagon and a yoke of oxen. He
then moved to Austin, the State capital, in order to
afford his children better educational advantages.
The following year he raised a company of volunteers
for the protection of the frontier, was elected
Captain and in that capacity rendered efficient and
invaluable service to the State. With the Indian
agent, he visited all the hostile tribes on the frontier
in 1848 and assisted in effecting treaties of peace
with them, in consequence of the adoption of which
there was peace between them and the whites for
nearly two years.
In March, 1849, Capt. Ross moved to Waco,
being induced to locate there by the company that
owned the league of land on which Waco is now
situated. They offered to give him four lots and
the ferry privilege and to sell him eighty acres of
land at $1.00 per acre, all of which he accepted.
The town was laid out soon after. He selected his
lots and built a cabin on them. He also bought 200
acres at $2.50 an acre, in addition to the eighty
already mentioned. On the former he spent the
evening of his life, his home being a two-story frame
building, located in a natural grove, filled with
mocking birds, in the extreme south part of Waco.
In 1855 Capt. Ross was appointed Indian agent
and given charge of the various tribes then on
reservations in different parts of the State, which
position he held until 1858. By his diplomacy he
gained the good-will of all the friendly tribes and
they followed his instructions in every way. In 1857
the Comanches, who were always hostile, raided
the settlement and took away a large number of
horses and other valuable property. Capt. Ross
at once organized a force of one hundred of the
best warriors from the friendly tribes, dressed himl
self in the garb of an Indian Chief and took the
? lead in pursuit of the foe. He was joined by Capt.
i Ford, of the United States Army, and soon came
s upon the Comanches' camp, which was deserted. A
e short distance away, however, they discovered the
e Indian thieves secreted in a ravine in full force and
f ready to give battle. Then followed one of the
d most desperate Indian fights which ever occurred
-upon the soil of Texas. Seventy-five Indians were
killed and the property recaptured. During this
g struggle Capt. Ross was singled out by the chief of
r, the Comanches, a powerful warrior, who charged
i. down upon him at the full speed of his horse. The
re Indians covered with their arrows the chief, who,
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/374/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .