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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harper in Gillespie County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Site of the McDonald Massacre

 
 
Site of the McDonald Massacre Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, September 13, 2012
1. Site of the McDonald Massacre Marker
Inscription. Pioneer preacher Matthew Taylor and the families of his daughter and two sons moved here in 1863 from their homestead on the Llano River. They built a cabin on this site near the source of the Pedernales River. In August 1864, Matthew and his son Jim returned to the Llano for a load of hay, leaving in charge Eli McDonald, husband of Matthew's daughter Caroline.

On August 8, 1864, at a nearby spring, Jim Taylor's wife Gill was surprised by a band of Kiowas and wounded by an arrow. Before she died, she warned the others, who took refuge in the cabin. After a brief fight, the Indians killed Eli McDonald. They captured his wife Caroline and daughters Mahala and Becky Jane; and Alice, James, and Dorcas, children of Matthew's son Zed. Matthew's wife “Aunt Hannah” escaped and hid in a cave in what is now Harper Community Park.

Matthew and Jim Taylor discovered the tragedy the next day and sought help from Eli McDonald's nephew Monroe. The two victims of the massacre were buried near Spring Creek, twelve miles east of Harper. “Aunt Hannah” was found and reunited with her husband. The captives wandered as far north as Oklahoma with the Kiowa tribe before they were located and ransomed by the U.S. Government.

(addition)
Further research indicates that the raid on the Taylor-McDonald
Site of the McDonald Massacre Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, September 13, 2012
2. Site of the McDonald Massacre Marker
View of marker in context.
home occurred on August 8, 1865.
 
Erected 1976 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 10077.)
 
Location. 30° 17.953′ N, 99° 14.863′ W. Marker is in Harper, Texas, in Gillespie County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 783 and U.S. 290, on the left when traveling south on State Highway 783. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harper TX 78631, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Peter Lutheran Church (approx. 12.3 miles away); Spanish Road to Santa Fe, 1808 (approx. 12.3 miles away); Squaw Creek Primitive Baptist Church (approx. 12.6 miles away); Lange's Mill (approx. 14.3 miles away).
 
Categories. Native AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Harper Community Park image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, September 13, 2012
3. Harper Community Park
Harper Community Park, referenced on the marker, is less than a 1000 feet northwest of the marker. The well that feeds the creek seen here is at the base of tree. See photo of plaque on well.
Harper Community Park image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, September 13, 2012
4. Harper Community Park
A well inside the park has this plaque which reads "Dug by blind Indian Jim & James Dixon, 1882. Rebuilt 1954 by Harper Lions Club"
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 24, 2012, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. This page has been viewed 653 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 24, 2012, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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