The Haunted House on Red River

Hunter, J. Marvin. "The Haunted House on Red River," Frontier Times Vol. 2 No. 3 (December, 1924), pp 17-19, 31. Bandera, Texas.

When the Langford band reached the bushes, they found that their horses had already retreated to the woods. Bell was desperately wounded. Realizing that his only hope lay in reaching a surgeon, he mounted the horse taken the night before from Larkin and made a reckless dash to go to Durant. When within a short distance of that place, he reached an Indian's hut, where he died during the day. Mack Stephens and Wilbur lay concealed till the next day. A wagon loaded with lumber passing by on the way to Big Blue carried them away. In a short time Stephens was killed by a negro in Creek Nation. Thede DeGraffenreid made his way on foot to friends in Choctaw Nation, near Walnut Grove. He never returned to the Chickasaw Nation, nor to the sacred precincts of Thief Neck again.

Lee Langford was desperately wounded. He lay concealed in the thick growth of brushwood till late in the afternoon. Realizing that he must have human aid or die, he staggered to his feet and set out in search of some human habitation. He had not gone far when he was picked up by a white man named Dodd, who had a Choctaw family, and carried to his house and such aid as they could give was extended to him.

As stated above, the party of which young Larkin was a member went two days journey down Red River into the Choctaw Nation. On the third or fourth day, as they were returning, the men from Carpenter's Bluff stopped at Dodd's house. Upon learning who they were, Dodd told the party that he had six or eight fine horses claimed by the thieves in his pasture and that Lee Langford was at that time in Dodd's house, wounded, and well nigh dead.

Larkin and his party took possession of both Langford and the horses. Langford, notwithstanding the severity of his wound, was placed upon a horse and made to accompany the party from Carpenter's Bluff on the journey home.

When the captors reached home, Lee Langford was given into the hands of the sheriff of Grayson County and incarcerated in Sherman jail. The wound proved so severe that it was necessary to amputate his arm. At the next term of district court in Grayson County, he was convicted of burglarizing a store several years prior to the time of which I write.

On the journey from Dodd's to his old home, he made full confession regarding the haunted house and the stolen horse. He said that he and his associates had rendezvoused for years at the Dock Carter home and till our coming had little trouble in keeping up a deterrent sentiment among the Indians of that locality.

The horse had been stolen near Granbury, Hood County, and though advertised for months, the notice had never caught the eye of the owner.

Several years after this, I met a number of men who took part in this adventure and was told that Thede DeGraffenreid had never been seen again in Grayson County and Lee Langford was serving his time in the state prison at Huntsville. The friends of whom I speak also said that the old Carter mansion was burned a few years after it was vacated by us.

[ previous ]

home | overview | mother | father | photos | archives | resources | timelines