(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.