Joel Baggett Killed By Indians

I do not have a photo of Joel Baggett. This is his brother, John, and his family. John was just a toddler when Joel was killed.

I do not have a photo of Joel Baggett. This is his brother, John, and his family. John was just a toddler when Joel was killed.

The Baggett family lived in Cora, Texas in Comanche County. However, the family moved from Cora into what eventually became known as the Baggett Community, leaving vacant their cabin in Cora. According to Bill McCool, when Comanche County was created in 1856, the Baggett cabin became the Comanche County Courthouse, the one known as Old Cora today.

I’m sure this move by Mr. and Mrs. Baggett and their children haunted all of them for the rest of their lives because it was after this move, while away from the more secure community of Cora, that Mrs. Baggett and the children were attacked by Indians. Of course, as was so often the case, Mr. Baggett was not home at the time of the attack.

Years after the attack, E.L. Deaton interviewed Mrs. Baggett. There has been much discussion over the date of the attack; however, I have recorded the entire interview just as Deaton wrote it, in my book, The View From The Old Oak Tree.

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‘On the 3rd day of March, 1860, about four o’clock, after putting supper on to cook and getting some water from the spring, the children being out at play, I laid down to take a little rest.

‘Joe and Bid were in a live oak thicket below the cow-pen. Pretty soon I heard Sarah call out to Joe to open the gate, as her father was coming with the horses, and in the next breath she exclaimed: “Joe, it’s Indians!”

‘At this I got up and went to the door and saw the Indians coming around behind the cow-pen. My daughter, Sarah, aged fourteen years, ran into the yard, and three children ran through the crack of the fence.

‘I asked Sarah where Joe and Bid were. She answered: “Ma, they are in the thicket below the cow-pen; the Indians will kill them!”

‘The three little children ran under the bed, both doors being shut. I got up in a chair and looked through a crack over the door. I saw one of the Indians bridle our horse and hand him over to another one who mounted it. The one that did the bridling then strung his bow and went behind the thicket. I heard my little boy scream, but I could not see him, the thicket obstructing the view.

‘Then one of the Indians threw Bid out so I could see her, then ran up to her with an arrow and commenced to push it through between her ribs, but she pulled it out of his hand and threw it away.

‘The Indians then rode off about one hundred yards southeast of the thicket, stopped and looked back, I suppose for the purpose of seeing whether or not I would open the door, but I did not. I saw Bid get up and start to the house, but I could not see Joe. Turning my eyes back to watch the Indians, I did not see Bid until she crawled to me from under the floor. She said: “Open the door!” I told her to go around to the other door for fear the Indians would come back and kill all of us. I met her at the other door and took her in. The Indians had stripped her of all her clothes and shot her five times, two of the shots going to the hollow.

‘I had Sarah get upon a chair and watch the Indians to see if any of them came back. At that time I had two guns prepared for them if it was necessary to do so. Sarah watched them as long as she could see them. I saw the cattle and hogs coming. The hogs were very bad to tear up anything they found.

As you can see, Elizabeth did grow up, marry, and rear a family.

As you can see, Elizabeth did grow up, marry, and rear a family.

‘I asked Bid where Joe was. She replied: “He is dead. I called him, but he did not answer.” ‘By this time night was coming on and Sarah and myself went out to get the lifeless body of my darling boy.

‘When we got there I saw an arrow sticking in his left shoulder. I tried to pull it out with one hand, but could not, so I put one hand on him and pulled it out with the other. He was scalped and stripped of all his clothes, except a shoe and sock. We picked him up and carried him to the house, where I washed him the best I could, as he was still bleeding, and then wrapped him up in a sheet and laid him out. My husband and his brother, Joel, came home about ten o’clock that night. They had not heard anything about the trouble until they got home. We stayed there all night.

‘The next morning, as soon as it was light, Joel Baggett went to Old Cora to let the people what had happened. About twelve o’clock there came twelve rangers and five other men. The rangers followed the Indians and the five men were John and Fred Tridee, Captain James, Vergil Cross and a Mr. Brown.

‘My daughter, Bid, got well and married Isaac Kuykendall. She has nine children and now lives at Santa Anna, Coleman County, Texas.’”

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After the attack the family moved back to Cora and into their again vacant cabin. By this time the county seat had been moved into the newly created town of Comanche, and the courthouse was once again just a cabin. (again, according to McCool)

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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