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Dead Tree Dreams

"Beyond Killough Creek" by J. L. Anderson

"Beyond Killough Creek" by J. L. Anderson

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Johnna Anderson is one of our local authors. She spent 15 years researching the Killough Creek Massacre and its aftermath. The book also contains a family tree and a listing of all the real historical figures who make appearances in the story. Killough Creek is between Bullard and Jacksonville off of Hwy 69, making this a fictionalized slice of local history. 

As the Republic of Texas navigates its newly-won independence, the Isaac Killough family arrives from Alabama. Numbering about thirty men, women, and children, they settle on land subject to the Houston-Forbes treaty, amidst Cherokee and Kickapoo Indian villages. When Congress refuses to ratify the treaty, and Vincinte Cordova raises a motley crew of rebels to retake Texas for Mexico, the Killoughs are caught in the center of a maelstrom. On October 5, 1838 their settlement is brutally attacked, with eighteen people being killed or taken captive. Only a handful – mostly women – survive to tell the story, and struggle with the aftermath of the massacre.

Inspired by this true event, the life stories of three massacre survivors are imagined in rich detail. Elizabeth Williams, Elizabeth Killough, and Sarah Jane Williams Killough Sullivan suffer devastating losses of family, identity, and trust. In the aftermath of the attack, they are forced to discover inner reserves of resilience, self-reliance, and courage.

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