Chasing Our Tales - Savages Savaged by Savages

Chasing Our Tales, Savages Savaged by Savages


Do you know Bonnie Doggett? If not, you should meet her. She is a third grade teacher at Houston Elementary School in Mineral Wells, a joyful person with a smile for everyone, and a terribly exciting story about her family which takes place in both Palo Pinto and Parker Counties.

Knowing I write for the Painted Post Crossroads, Bonnie asked one day if I knew about the time her great-grandmother was wounded by the Comanches.

I didn't know the story, so she told it to me, and I would like to pass it on to you.

If you are not aware, Western Parker County and Palo PInto County was an area for some of the major Comanche/settler altercations on the Texas frontier. I am sure everyone reading this has heard of Cynthia Ann Parker and Quannah, and Bonnie's story is a similar one.

It appears that on 2 March 1866 Sam and James Volentine Savage, ages 5 and 6, were taken by Comanches who left their father, Bolin Savage (1833-1866), dead at his Parker County homestead on Sanchez Creek a little south of the present Bethel community, southwest of Weatherford. These Indians then headed west to Patrick Creek, raiding the homestead of Bolin's bother James (1826-1866) , who was also killed.

At James' place, the Indians captured five-year-old Jennie and two-year-old Jim Savage. Bonnie's great-grandmother, Arrena, then eleven, tried desperately to pull little Jim from one of the Indian ponies, only to be stabbed with a lance which broke off and was left lodged in her arm. Bonnie tells that Arrena always wore clothing which covered this grisly scar.

The Comanches then proceeded northwest from the Savage farms, and at one point left little Jim, probably because he was making so much noise crying.

The band of about twenty rode past the R. C. Newberry place and on to the Palo Pinto/Parker County line where they attempted to steal horses from Fuller Millsaps' farm on Rock Creek. They were unsuccessful as Millsaps and a recently freed slave woman drove them away with shotguns.

The Comanches proceeded on through the Dan Kidwell Cut on present U. S. Highway 180 east of Mineral Wells, passed about two miles north of the present Sturdivant community, and then up the route which is now Southeast/Northeast 6th Avenue in Mineral Wells to "The Cove", where they camped.

From Palo Pinto County, the Indians went on north to the Arbuckle Mountains in present Oklahoma.

In November of same year the Savage children were rescued by John Fields of McKinney, who traded his silver trimmed saddle and bridle and his horse for the children. They were taken to Denton and subsequently returned to their families.

Sam Savage (1861-1851) and his wife, Arizona (Zona) Pierce Savage (1859-1938), were married by Judge J. C. Lynch, Mineral Wells' founder. They are buried in the Staggs Prairie Cemetery three miles northeas àt of Mineral Wells.

Sam's brother, James V. Savage (b. 1860) first married L. E. Kidwell. He later married Emma Frances Ballenger (1869-1928). They lived in Swearingen, Texas, in Cottle County.


You know, it must have been frightening to the newly arrived settlers of this area...our Cross Timbers, where trees grew so thickly that it was almost impossible to drive wagons and ride horses through it. And to discover behind a lot of those trees were Comanches or Kiowas.

But strong people came, survived, settled this land, and became the ancestor founders of a wonderful area in Texas....Parker and Palo Pinto Counties.

The Savage family is one of our earliest families. This particular branch descended from one John Savage who was born about 1775 in North Carolina. He married Casseyan (Cassandra) Stephens in 1829, and he died in Cass County, Missouri, in 1850.

Casseyan Savage is listed on the Missouri 1850 Federal Census Index in Cass County, page 98.

I'm going to take a leap in faith here, which I have told all of you not to do in genealogy. My leap in faith is in no way proof, and if you are studying Savage genealogy, you must prove this before we can say it is so.

The leap is that the James Volentine Savage who was captured by the Comanches in 1866 is "likely" the great-grandson of these folks: James Savage and Mary Volentine who were married in Nash County, North Carolina 16 August 1866. A few more details of the marriage are that B. J. Christopher was the bondsman, B. H. Sorsby was a witness, and the marriage was performed by Russel Tucker.

Is all this true? Well, of course the marriage between James and Mary is fact, but if they were ancestors of James Volentine, just seems likely, especially with the Volentine name coming from North Carolina.

Here, now, are other interesting Savage tidbits. There was a John Savage who was listed as a lieutenant serving under Colonel George Washington at Fort Necessity in 1754 during the French and Indian Wars. This Savage, for his service under Col. Washington, was rewarded a bounty of land in southwestern Virginia in present Wayne County, West Virginia, by Governor Dinwiddle of Virginia.

Another interesting connection is with the Stephens family, for as John Savage married Casseyan Stephens, James Savage, also in the Carolinas, married Mary "Polly" Stephens (1817-1849) about 1789. This Savage's parents were William Savage and Mary Robins.

The origin of the Savage name is from the French, spelled Sauvage--as it still is in France and French Canada. It probably came to the British Isles with William the Conquerer in 1066. The name means barbarian.

The family name spread across England, Ireland, and Scotland. In Ireland, under the leadership of "Strongbow" the Savage family was given land in the Newton Ards peninsula.

Here are a few other facts about our local Savages. On 1 February 1864, Bolin Savage entered Company D, Precinct NO. 1, Parker Country, First Frontier District, Major William Quayle, commanding, Texas State Troops, as a private, as did James.

They had come to Texas about 1859 when James purchased land in Parker. There is no record of Bolin having ever owned land in the area.

Bolin was married to Elizabeth Adams Savage (1838-1919). Elizabeth's parents were Jenry and Sarah Adams.

I want to thank Bonnie for bringing the Savage family to my attention. I hope this has enlightened as well as helped some of you in tracing your Savage family genealogy.

You can learn more about the Savages and local Indian depredations by reading A Cry Unheard by Doyle Marshall, 1990, and Palo Pinto County History, Palo Pinto Historical Commission, 1986. These and similar stories are also available on the internet.

Well, on to our queries. I had a call from Leo Bielinski <> who wrote The Back Road to Thurber. He was inquiring about Wilson queries. In addition to the one in Volume 11, there has been one more. It is from John <>: "I am searching for info on Clem Wilson, married to Caroline Sikes. One son William Edward born Palo Pinto,TX 1866. Other children Dan, Charlie, Henry, Lon, Claude, Nat, Maudie, Mattie, Sallie, and Fannie." Let John and Leo know if you can help.

Here is a sharing of family information posted by J. Michael Jones <>. His surname list includes Jones, Cloer, Tackitt, Fargate, and Poteet:

1John Walter JONES b: 11 February 1875 in Dyersburg, Dyer CO., Tenn. d: 02 November 1961 Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto CO., Texas

+Germania Lee CLOER b: 15 June 1872 in Itawamba CO., Miss. d: 14 May 1958 in Mineral Wells,Palo Pinto CO., Texas m: 08 December 1893 in Falls CO., Texas

..2 Marvin (n.m.n.) JONES b: 22 September 1894 in Rosebud, Falls CO., Texas d: 29 May 1983 in Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto CO., Texas


...3 Marvina JONES b: 22 August 1924

...3 Donald Eugene JONES b: 01 June 1926

..*2nd Wife of Marvin (n.m.n.) JONES:


...3 Stanley JONES b: in Floyd CO., Texas

..2 James William JONES b: 15 July 1896 in Rosebud, Falls CO., Texas d: 14 December 1978 in Ponca City, Kay CO.,OK

+Maudie Beatrice DEMPSEY b: 14 February 1903, Clarksville, Red River CO., Texas d: 22 March 1994 in Amarillo, Potter Co., Texas m: 18 October 1921 in Floydada, Floyd CO., Texas

...3 Walter Edwin JONES b: 14 September 1922 in Floydada, Floyd CO., Texas d: 03 November 1983 in San Diego, San Diego CO., CALIF. ...+Almas Anderson b: 01 October 1930 in Bronx, New York m: Bef. 1957

...3 J.(i.o.) P.(i.o.) JONES b: 11 June 1924 in Floydada, Floyd Co., Texas d: 18 March 1966 in Amarillo, Potter Co., Texas

...+Norma Lee SHARP m: 28 January 1945 in Yuma, Yuma Co., Arizona

...*2nd Wife of J.(i.o.) P.(i.o.) JONES:

...+Mary Anice HOLT b: 25 September 1928 in Hylton, Nolan Co., Texas m: 03 February 1946 in Potter Co, Texas

...3 E.(i.o.) P.(i.o.) JONES b: 11 June 1924 in Floydada, Floyd CO., Texas d: 01 January 1997 in Arkansas City, Cowley CO., Kansas

...+Virginia Lee PERKINS b: 04 October 1926 in Grainola, Osage CO., Oklahoma m: 06 January 1945 in Newkirk, Kay CO.,Oklahoma

...3 Joye Darlene JONES b: 20 February 1932 in Petersburg, Hale CO., Texas

...+Billy Eugene MARTIN b: 28 February 1924 in Dallas, TX d: 06 May 1987 m: 10 June 1950 in Clovis, Curry CO., NM

..2 Gertrude JONES b: 30 October 1898 in Falls CO., Texas d: in Falls CO., Texas

..2 Eula JONES b: 25 February 1901 in Falls CO., Texas d: in Falls CO., Texas

..2 Asa A. JONES b: 24 June 1903 in Falls CO. or Runnels CO, Texas d: 25 May 1921 in Floyd CO., Texas

..2 Dorothy Elvera JONES b: 09 November 1906 in Runnels CO., Texas ..

+Horace Lee POTEET b: 30 August 1906 in Madison CO., Texas d: 14 October 1989 in South Bend, Young CO., Texas m: 24 December 1926 in Floyada, Floyd CO., Texas

...3 Horace Eugene POTEET b: 08 December 1927

...3 Marvin Glynn POTEET b: 06 December 1929

...3 Edjuana Joan POTEET b: 29 April 1937

...3 Herschal Ray POTEET b: 14 December 1939

...3 Joe Lee POTEET b: 17 March 1942

...3 Sandra Marquita POTEET b: 03 June 1944

...3 Patrilla Sue POTEET b: 07 March 1948

...3 Sidney Earl POTEET } b: 01 August 1950

..2 Sylvia Maybell JONES b: 05 August 1909 in Merkel, Taylor CO., Texas

..+Samuel WALKER m: 31 December 1927


Please contact J. Michael Jones if you have information to add or question regarding these families.

Thanks for joining me as we chased the tales of Savages captured by Savages! If you have information for any of the folks who have sent in queries, please respond to them or to me, and I will get it to them. Sue Seibert, P. O. Box 61, Mineral Wells TX 76068-0061; <>.

See you next time as we Chase our Tales!


©2001 Sue Seibert, Oak Cottage TX Genealogy, Chasing Our Tales