Early Settlers in Lamar County

Taken from Loose Leaves of the History of Lamar County
Article appeared in The Paris News on Saturday, June 18, 1921

In the year 1820 was made what was probably the first permanent settlement within the present bounds of Lamar County. At that time John and Luke Roberts with their families by the name of Mason, settled on the south bank of Red River, above the mouth of Kiamitia, the exact location of which I was not able to ascertain further than Luke Roberts located on the west bank of Pine Creek, about one mile south of the river. This location was selected against the advice of friends lower down the river, and probably within less than a year from the date of the settlement Luke Roberts' family, even including the negro slaves with the exception of two sons and the older members of the Mason families were killed in a raid made by the Indians who came down with unexpected fury upon the trusting settlers. As soon as the dead were buried John Roberts add his sons and the remaining two sons of Luke Roberts, together with a few friends, went in pursuit of the Indians. After having located their village, at what place I have never been able to learn, they succeeded in enticing the savage by imitating the call of turkeys in the vicinity of their villages and killed several of them. The discharge of firearms attracted the entire village and a furious and relentless battle followed. The Indians were held at bay as long as the ammunition of the white settlers lasted. When it gave out, a hand to hand fight ensued in which it is said that all of the white men perished. Many Indians were killed, and while the penalty paid was terrific in life and blood, the settlers had peace after this battle for a considerable length of time.

The Historical Association has not been able to determine whether the Roberts settlement was broken up by this Indian raid or whether it was re-enforced and other settlers came to their rescue and thus perpetuated the settlement, which was in all probability the first made within the present bounds of Lamar County.

It will be recalled in the this connection that five years earlier than this John Emberson, Sr., together with three or four companions, spent the winter and spring of 1815-16 on Emberson Lake in the northwest portion of the county hunting and trapping; that Emberson came with his family and made a permanent settlement within a mile of the location of his original camp, in 1823 or 24.

The Historical Association is quite anxious to learn of other settlements which may perchance antedate either of these, or also learn further particulars and secure more definite and detailed information concerning these two.

It has been suggested, though we have not been able to secure any proof to that effect, that Sam Fulton made a settlement at or near Arthur City as early as 1818.

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