Killough Monument and Cemetery
Set in Stone
Located on the outskirts of Jacksonville, Killough Monument and Cemetery, marks the site that is recorded as the both the largest and last Native American attack on white settlers in the East Texas region.
On October 5, 1838, eighteen members of the Killough family were killed during that attack. In the late 1930s, the State of Texas erected the 20-foot stone obelisk in conjunction with the Work Progress Administration (WPA) Project of the Great Depression era. The monument is constructed of native iron ore rock in a signature style congruous with other WPA sites in and around Jacksonville (the iconic Tomato Bowl and the boundary walls of Love’s Lookout, for instance).
Surrounding the base of the obelisk are the victims’ graves, each marked by a flat stone.
In 1965, a state historical marker was dedicated at the site.
To this day, contradictory accounts of the attack abound, particular regarding the purported perpetrators. A mixed bag of tales attribute the attack to Caddos, Coushattas, runaway slaves, Mexicans, Keechis, and every combination betwixt and between. One persistent story tells of a white man masquerading as an Indian (in face paint) as leader of the attack. Survivors of the massacre were convinced that they recognized this man as a former acquaintance from their previous home in Alabama.
A search launched by General Rusk and a detachment of the Texas Army located the “band of attackers” camped near Frankston. Rusk led an attack and “eleven members of the band were killed including a renegade Cherokee named Tail”, according the Texas State Historical Society.
The Killough Monument and Cemetery site is gated, and accessible from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.