Unassuming Marker Memorializes Massacre

A large stone obelisk remembering the victims of a massacre stands at site in rural Cherokee County, Texas.

The lone structure marks the spot of the Killough Massacre, which occurred October 5, 1838. That event is said to have been the largest single attack by Native Americans in East Texas. The site is near the present-day community of Larissa (west of Mount Selman and northwest of Jacksonville, Texas, the county seat) in northwestern Cherokee County.

The 18 victims killed there include Isaac Killough Sr., and members of his extended family who had immigrated to Texas from Alabama, the year before. The land was part of a larger tract originally granted to the Cherokee tribe under Sam Houston and John Forbes's treaty in 1836. The treaty, however, was nullified by the Republic of Texas Senate in December 1837, and portions of the land were sold to the Killoughs and other settlers.

The rescinding of the treaty and the growing incursions of new settlers from the Old South provoked bitter resentments in the Indians and laid the basis for the uprisings in 1838.

The obelisk was constructed as a monument to the dead by the Works Project Administration in the late 1930s. The State of Texas added a historic marker there in 1965. 

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