Decatur County Journal-Iowa
Thursday, August 23, l9l7
After Fifty Years Government Pays Damage Caused by Sioux Indians.
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A case which takes the people of this section back to about the close of the Civil War and which is well known history to nearly all of our older citizens, was settled in the District Court at Corydon on Monday of last week, wherein payment was made on a claim for damages caused by destruction of property and stock belonging to HAMILTON GARTON, by Sioux Indians in western Nebraska, in the early 60ties(sic). The history of the massacre is well known here on account of the fact that all the parties connected with the unfortunate raid were residents of this section where many of their descendants still reside, HAMILTON GARTON, his son, young SELBY and a father of the late HARVE GASKILL, of this place, were the members of the party killed in the raid and the two LAUGHLINS, mentioned below, who escaped, were HARVE and DICK LAUGHLIN, who lived here, the latter of whom is still living, but now in a decrepit condition and an inmate of the County Home, says the Lineville Tribune.
The following account of the raid and destruction of the overland freight train owned by MR. GARTON and the massacre of most of those of the party, and the successful prosecution of the claim for damages by the heirs of MR. GARTON, was taken from the Corydon Democrat of last week:
"MR. GARTON, who was one of the largest landowners of the county at that time, and a prominent citizen, and had secured a contract from the government to transport freight across the plains.He outfitted with quite a number of oxen and mules.MR. GARTON with a number of drivers whom he employed from the Clio and Lineville neighborhood, included two brothers, named LAUGHLIN and a young man named SELBY, made upon a wagon train and drove from St. Joe, from which place they were to haul freight to the Rocky Mountain region.At St. Joe they were incorporated in a large wagon train, it being necessary to have large trains to protect each other from the Indians.When about fifty miles east of Denver, MR. GARTON's section of the train, which was in the rear, was the last in the water hole to water the stock and were late in leaving the water hole, so much so that the balance of the train had gone on a few miles to camp for the night.
While at the water hole, the remainder of the train was surrounded by Indians, who were in hiding in the gullies close by and attacked the party with tomahawks and knives.It is reported that GARTON warned his men not to fight, thinking when the Indians were discovered, it being supposed they were peaceable.Young SELBY killed four Indians with his six-shooter, while the LAUGHLIN boy unhitched a running horse which was tied to a wagon, and pulled his brother, who was sick, from the wagon, across the horse and made escape.It is said SELBY was overpowered and taken prisoner, the balance of the party being killed and all the property burned.
It is supposed young SELBY was taken with the Indians and burned at the stake, as it was found where the Indians has thus tortured a man.The two LAUGHLIN boys were the only survivors of the party and they succeeded in joining the main train.
Letters of administration were issued on the estate of HAMILTON B. GARTON in Wayne County, after it was known he had been killed and a claim put in to the government for $l7,000, the value of the stock and property destroyed by the Indians.This has been in the United States Court of Claims for fifty years having been rejected once and reopened and recently the Court allowed $6,000 as payment in full of the claim, this amount being paid to the heirs of MR. GARTON, the principal one being his son, E.P. GARTON, of Clio, who has prosecuted the claim for over fifty years."