Early Settlements
(The Luke Roberts Family — 1821)

Taken from Loose Leaves of the History of Lamar County
Article appeared in The Paris News on Thursday, May 19, 1921

The first settlement of families inside the present territory of Lamar county was made near the mouth of Pine creek. It is claimed that the exact location is on the west bank of that stream and about one mile south of Red river. It is said by George Wright that the settlement was composed of five families, John and Luke Roberts, two families by the name of Mason and the fifth being J. G. W. Pierson. Mr. Wright says that this settlement was made about 1820, and that "in 1823 the Indians surprised and killed all of Luke Roberts' family, negroes and all, except two sons who were afterwards killed, and of the Masons all of the old people were killed at the same time." Uncle Mart Ragsdale, speaking of the same incident, says "The first settler was one Roberts (given name not remembered) who in 1819 located a farm on the west side of Pine creek one mile south of Red river. In 1821 he was killed by Indians and his brother, five nephews and three cousins followed the savages to their village."

He then recalls the details of a battle which followed resulting in the death of all the white men.
The Historical Society has never considered this story complete. In the first place Mansel Mason, who was one of the families of Masons, married a Ragsdale and was therefore of kin to Uncle Mart Ragsdale yet he makes no mention of the death of the Masons, while George Wright says that the old people (probably meaning the parents) among the Masons were killed at the same time with Luke Roberts' family. In fact, Uncle Mart Ragsdale says that only one Roberts family made such a settlement. It is know that the J. G. W. Pierson family were not killed since Pierson performed patriotic service as a soldier. In fact he was one of the captains in the ill-fated Somerville expedition, was taken prisoner at the battle of Mier, endured all the hardships of the numerous journeys, ran the gauntlet of the jar of white and black beans and was finally discharged in 1844 with the very last of the Mier prisoners.

There is probably no doubt that the Roberts settlement at Pine creek was the first but fuller and more definite details of those composing it and of their fate—what became of the survivors, etc., would be particularly appreciated.

Any historical information is always greatly appreciated.

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