of the 1869
Indian Raid

The New York Times, New York, New York
June 26, 1869


The Massacre of Thirteen Persons on Saline River--Murder of Nearly a Whole Family.

From the Leavenworth (Kansas) Times & Conservative, June 20.

Transcribed and donated by Mike Day.

We received a call yesterday from Mr. THOMAS ALDERDICE, who resides-or did reside, before his family was murdered and property destroyed by the Indians-on the Saline River, about one and a half miles below the mouth of Spillman Creek. His home was thirty-three miles from Salina and twenty-four miles from Ellsworth-the latter being the nearest town to which he live.
On Sunday, the 30th of last May, as Mr. ALDERDICE was returning from a trip to Salina, and when about three miles from his home, he heard that a band of Indians had been into the settlement and murdered a large number of people, and destroyed considerable property. On arriving at his home he found it deserted, and was almost paralyzed with grief at finding one of his children, six years of age, dead on the ground, with four bullets in his body, and another of his children dead, shot with five arrows. A third child had five arrows wounds in his body, one entering the back to the depth of five inches. The wounded one is now lying at Mr. ZEIGLER’S house on Saline River, alive and doing well. Mrs. ALDERDICE, and her babe, aged 8 months, were carried away by the Indians.
It seems that the Indians – who are supposed to have been members of the Dog Soldier and of Cheyennes – came upon the settlement about an hour before dark. The divided into bands of from five to seven, and made simultaneous attacks from different localities. Mr. WEITZEL, a farmer, who lived about two miles from Mr. ALDERDICE’S house, was murdered, along with a comrade, and Mrs. WEITZEL, was carried off by the savages, in company with the wife of our informant. The WEITZEL’S were from Hanover, and had only been in the country two months. A Danish man and wife were murdered on Spillman Creek, about seven miles from the mouth. A silversmith from Chicago, named PETERSON, had his head mashed with his own ax, and was shot through he heart with an arrow. They tried to burn his house, but were frustrated in all their attempts to destroy it. A young boy named HARRISON, about 15 years old, was shot through the head with an arrow, and had his head mashed with a war club, which was found beside his body, broken in two. A boy named SMOOTS, about 13 years old, was shot through the body, and no hopes of his recovery are entertained, as the dart of the arrow is supposed to be still sticking in his lungs. The house of Thomas NOONE was attacked and the assailants driven off by three Swedes, two of the Indians being wounded. The house of WILLIAM HENDRICKSON was saved by the heroism of two women – Mrs. HENDRICKSON and Mrs. GREEN – who fired on the savages several times, and finally drove them away. When the Indians were after young SMOOTS, a boy aged 12 and another, aged 9, started to the rescue, the older carrying the gun and the younger the ammunition. They kept the murderers away and prevented them from killing SMOOTS.
Thirteen persons in all were killed, and all the movable property in the settlement destroyed or carried away.
Mr. ALDERDICE came to Kansas about six years ago and has been living out there where his family was murdered, for some time past. Mr. ALDERDICE is here to make complaints in person to the military, and see if any assistance can be rendered him in looking for his wife and child. He has scouted the country for a considerable distance around the scenes of the outrages and gives it as his opinion that the savages have not left this section of the country, but are still prowling around in bands of from four to eight.

[2008 transcribers notes]

  • "one of his children, six years of age," - John Daily.
  • "another of his children dead, shot with five arrows." – Frank Alderdice
  • "A third child had five arrows wounds in his body," - Willis Daily.
  • "Mr. ZEIGLER’S house" – This was his father – in-law, Michael Zigler. (others buried here)
  • "Mrs. ALDERDICE," - Susanna Zigler – Daily
  • "her babe, aged 8 months," - this was Alice Alderdice..
  • "Mr. WEITZEL," - George Weichell
  • "Mrs. WEITZEL, was carried off" – Maria Weichell, later Mantz
  • "The WEITZEL’S were from Hanover," - He was Swiss, she Bavarian.
  • "A silversmith from Chicago, named PETERSON," - Otto Peterson
  • "A young boy named HARRISON," - James "Harrison" Strange
  • "A boy named SMOOTS," - Robert "Arthur" Schmutz.
  • "Mrs. HENDRICKSON" – Elizabeth (Strange) Hendrickson
  • "Mrs. GREEN" – Josephine "Jodie" Dart (Mrs. George Green).
  • "When the Indians were after young SMOOTS, a boy aged 12 and another, aged 9, started to the rescue," - these were Stranges, brothers of James "Harrison" Strange.

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