Many thanks to John Poole, of Houston, Texas, for this article. (Research credits at end of article.)
"On a full moon night in August, 1874 in Wise County, TX, Indians made a last raid into Wise County. In the early morning, they came upon the cabin of a Mr. Huff. His wife and daughters, Molly and Palestine were killed and scalped. A young son, Jeff, age two, hid behind the well and was not harmed. Mr. Huff and a son, Lum, had gone to another part of the land to work. Later Mr. Huff remarried and is believed to have moved to Oklahoma. His son, Jeff, was left with neighbors to raise."
From the historical marker a the massacre site, "Huff Massacre- An atrocity of 1874, in one last Wise County Indian raids while C.W. Huff and son worked in remote part of land recently settled by the family, Indians killed Mrs. Huff and daughters, Palestine and Molly. Neighbors buried the scalped and mutilated victims in a wagon bed, in one grave." [Note: Often sawed planks were not available and time consuming to make. The wagon bed was probably the only source of sawed planks to make caskets.] "It is said that lumber was later obtained for coffins and the victims were reburied. In 1879 land around plot was given for cemetery by C.W. Huff."
Another account of the massacre comes from the Library of Congress in a project during the depression completed from "old timer's accounts". This story states that the father was at the house during the attack and Lum [Columbus, his son] was riding with the Texas Rangers. The story explains that the father had fled the house to try and get help from the neighbors but was killed in the attempt.
So, who was this Huff family and where did they come from?
From research, the family involved in the massacre was:
William Alexander Huff, father, age 49, b. MO
Serena, wife who was killed, age 49, b. TN
John, son, age 26, b. MO
Charles, son, age 22
Columbus (Lum), son, age 20
Mary (Molly), killed, age 18
Palestine, killed, age 16
In 1860 this family was in Greene Co., MO. William Huff was the son of Alpheus Huff. [in the 1850 census for Greene Co., Mo both William and Alpheus used the last name as Hough.]
The C.W. Huff, the son of Serena Huff who was killed, who gave the land for the cemetery is believed to be Columbus Huff who was called "Lum". He was in the Texas Rangers and his service record restates many of the details of the massacre and connects him the family of William Huff.
A connection of this massacred Huff family to the many Huffs who settled in the Newark area of Wise County before the Civil War has not been established.
This information was researched by Carroll W. Kennedy, Granville Hough, and John Poole. If any researcher desires references or additional information on this Huff family please contact: John Poole, 12011 Carvel, Houston, TX 77072 or E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to main page