Massacre of Clemmons and Whisler, Fannin County, Texas


By Judge J. P. Simpson

Clearing land for a farm that they might make bread for their families. On starting to work one clay after dinner, Indians who had concealed themselves in the brush near by, charged upon them when about one hundred and fifty yards from the house, screaming and yelling like demons, and cutting off their retreat to the house. They were shot down, tomahawked, scalped, and their bodies terribly mutilated.

The wives of these two victims of Indian barbarity witnessed the entire scene. One of these women attempted to take a gun to her husband, but had to retreat to the house to save herself. The Indians then hiding in the brush again for the purpose of doing more mischief. The two women and children remained in the house until night, when they repaired to the dead bodies of the murdered men.

They did not know but that they themselves would feel the tomahawk and scalping knife, and that the little children be roasted and eaten by the savage cannibals. After drying their tears and quieting their sobs as best they could, they agreed that Mrs. Clemmons and her little children should remain with the dead bodies during the night to keel) them from being devoured by wolves and other beasts of prey, and that Mrs. Whisler should start for the nearest settlement, eight miles off, and give information of the murder. There being no road from their house, Mrs, Whisler followed the dry channel of a branch until she came to a road movers had made in moving to Dr. Throckmorton's neighborhood. She reached a house in safety and gave the alarm.

The thoughts and feelings of Mrs. Clemmons that night never have been, nor never can be described. Alone with her little children in the night, watching over the dead bodies of her husband and Mr. Whisler, every wolf that howled, panther that holloed, or owl that hooted in that dark and lonely wilderness, she imagined to be the Indians coming to murder her and her children. If possible, she would have wept tears of blood that night. After becoming exhausted, she fell asleep, but dreamed that the Indians were scalping her and her children, which aroused her to consciousness to weep and mourn.

Mrs. Whisler having accomplished her mission, the following day the dead were buried and the women and children taken care of Wesley Clemmons was a brother of Ex-Governor Throckmorton's step mother, who is the mother-in-law of the Hon. L. C. Wilson, member of the Legislature from this county, now living in the city of Bonham.

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