The Comanche Chief, Comanche, Texas, 16 October 1879
A HORRIBLE FATE!
A LITTLE BABE WANDERS FROM HOME AND IS LOST IN THE WOODS.
Found Dead, after Four Dayís Searching.
The most pitiful and heartrending affair that has ever occurred in our county, took place last week, several miles south of town, on the Coxís gap road. On Wednesday morning Mrs. SPAGGINS left the house to get some water at a spring, several hundred yards distant, leaving her little child, only twenty-one months hold, at the house. Upon her return to the house, she missed the child and could not find it. She searched everywhere, but in vain. The neighborhood was aroused, and the fact was soon made evident by the little foot-tracks in the path that the toddler had attempted to follow its mother to the spring and had become bewildered and alarmed. The whole neighborhood became aroused, and a thorough search commenced. Again was its trail found and lost, and every moment they expected to find the little fugitive, but were doomed to disappointment. Night fell oíer the scene, and the last sign of the child was found four miles from home. by this time the mother had become frantic with grief, and her agony was heartrending.. At night fires were built and at early dawn the search was resumed with renewed vigor. Morning passed, and the sun hung low in the west, but no new signs were discovered of the child. A messenger was sent to town for reinforcements. Some fifty or sixty men hied to the scene. A search was kept up all night by means of numerous lanterns but with the same fruitless result.
By the next morning some 300 resolute men had gathered and a single line was formed, nearly a mile in length and all day long the country was literally scoured wherever it was in the bounds of reason to supposed the child could have wandered. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick," and many gave up all hope of finding the child alive. Many supposed it had fallen a prey to the numerous wolves, bear and cougars which abound in that country, and were about to give up the search when a piece of its dress was found hanging to a bush, far up on the side of a rugged mountain, and fully five miles from home. This gave the weary hunters new encouragement and vigor. But again the darkness interfered, and the men camped in small groups all over the country. One party slept all night within twenty fee of the dead childís body, where early next morning (Saturday) it was found dead on the mountain side. The body was found lying on its face, and a bush was caught in the back of its dress. The little feet were swelled to twice their natural size. Thorns had pierced its body; and its breast, face, legs and hands were literally scratched to pieces. There is no way telling or even imagining the suffering and misery the little wanderer endured. The child had only been walking four months and had not been weaned from its motherís breast. It would appear impossible to the casual observer for a child to travel over the rough mountains and thickets that this one did. Death, no doubt, was a sweet relief to the little wandererís terrible sufferings.
Sheriff D.H. CUNNINGHAM, Turner BREEDLOVE and James NABERS left for Waco, last Sunday, where they have been summoned as witnesses in the U.S. court, against the parties captured in this county last spring, for counterfeiting.
Messrs. McDERMOTT, and DEATHERAGE have returned from Waco, the U.S. grand jury having failed to find bills against them. It is very evident that the deputy marshal who arrested them was working more for fees than justice, in direct violation of his superiorís orders in regard to arresting parties for unknowingly violating trivial laws.
Byron GREEN looked like the hero of some blood and thunder novel, when he arrived from across the plains the other day. Under the magic influence of WIESís razor he again looks like a white man, however.
The most notable improvement for some time in our little city is the large two-story carriage shop that is being built near the north-east corner of the square, by Mr. L.R. LUPTON. It will be a great benefit to our little city, not only in looks, but by keeping a great deal of money at home, which would otherwise be sent out of the State. Mr. LUPTON first set up a little shop in our town last spring, doing all the work himself. How he employs some five or six hands, and turns out some of the finest work in the State.
The hogs made havoc with Mr. FORDís apple stand, last Sunday night.
©2004 Judith Michaels. This transcription is the generous work of Judy Michaels taken from microfilm held by the Newspaper Collection of the University of Texas at Austin with a microfilm copy at Comanche Public Library. The information may be used for personal research only and not for commercial purposes without specific permission.