Early days of Reuben Vaughn
Palo Pinto Story
Submitted by Flo J. Dickey

PALO PINTO STORY by Mary Whatley Clark   page 16
"More about the Pioneers" Uncle Reuben Vaughn

"In December 1891, Uncle Reuben Vaughan, the first settler in the
county, was living in Christian, near Graford. His family urged him to
write a sketch about his early days in Texas. Following are excerpts
from that sketch which were loaned to the writer by Mrs. John Scudder
of Graford, a ganddaughter."

" I left Alabama for Texas October 27, 1852, landed in Denton
County, Texas. I stayed there nearly two years. The state gave
me 320 acres of land under the preemption law. I sold it for
$500. 00. I then moved to the Keechi country in Sept. 1854.
There was then no counties west of Cook, Denton, and Tarrant.
My object for locating in a wild country was to raise stock. My
nearest neighbors were then 24 miles east. There were plenty
of Indians then roaming over the country, but all were friendly.
They were mostly located on reservations along the upper
Brazos. I found it necessary, for the safety of myself and family,
to cultivate their friendship, give them something to eat, and
trade with them. Sometimes I would loan them my gun and let
them have ammunition. They never failed to bring my gun
home at the time appointed. Sometimes when I would be out
from home, cow hunting, I would meet up with banks of them.
They would form a circle.  I would go into it an smoke the pipe
of peace with them. In those days I had many warm friends
among those Indians.

Mollie (Vaughn) Fryar was then our baby {Mary Whatley Clark note:
1855}There was one old Indian woman who seemed to love the
child very much.  She would come to our home, watch the
baby and keep the flies off her.

One time she was absent for sometime, then returned with a
pair of moccasins all beaded in Indian style and took up the
child and put them on her.

There was one Indian that we hired to cow hunt with me, to
show me the lay of the country, the gaps through the
mountains, the crossing in the streams, etc.

Page 406:

Reuben VAUGHN was born in St. Clair Co., Alabama 20 Dec.
1819. He was one of nine children of Stephen and Mary NAIL VAUGHAN.  Stephen VAUGHAN was born in North Carolina
in 1788, he was living in Fayetteville, Lincoln Co., Tennessee,
when he enlisted in the army during the War of 1812. Mary
NAIL was born in Tennessee in 1795, possibly Lincoln Co.
Her father, Matthew NAIL was born in Amherst Co., Virginia
in 1755 and served seven years in the Revolutionary War with General Washington's army and with the Georgia Militia
during the Carolina campaigns. He was captured by the British
and confined on a prison ship for several months before he
escaped. Among the more than 125 men who signed the
document in 1857 contending that Indian Agent Major
Robert S. Neighbors had failed to keep the reservation Indians (mostly Comanches) in line and the frontier peace had not been maintained were: Oliver LOVING, Reuben VAUGHAN, John TAYLOR, William l. LASATER, etal.

The maternal grandfather of Margaret VAUGHAN was Major Jonathan BIRD who came from Marion Co., Alabama to Bowie
Co., Texas following the Texas Revolution and served with the Republic of Texas frontier forces.

After General Edward H. Tarrant defeated large Indian Force at Village Creek (near present Arlington, Texas in 1841), he commissioned Major Bird to construct a fort. Bird's fort was established near the present site of Birdville, Tarrant Co., in

NOTE: On highway 157 in Tarrant Co. between Euless and Arlington there is a Historical marker which states that it is the
site of Bird's Fort.

Any questions, suggestions,corrections, and/or additional information,
contact me, Linda CONAWAY Welden at:


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