NameSarah Jane Mills
Death28 Sep 1870, McMullen Co. TX Age: 33
ChildrenIda Alice (1863-1937)
 Adolphus (1865-1870)
 Tommy (1867-)
Notes for Thomas Wesley (Spouse 1)
Thomas Stringfield, his wife, and a son (Adolphus) were killed by Indians in McMullen Co TX in 1870. Another son (Tommy) was captured and carried away and their daughter Ida was left for dead.186 Following is taken from pages 233-234:

“Then I remembered that Rudelle (Mills) Davis had once written that her uncle and aunt the Thomas Stringfields (he was son of Milton Stringfield and Rhoda Rhodes), had been murdered by indians. I called Rudelle in El Paso and she sent me material from "Captured by the Apaches - Forty Years with this Savage Band of Indians: A True Story by Two Braids" (Tommy Stringfield) who was taken captive in 1870, and liberated in 1909. She also enclosed with her mailing an account of the death of Mrs. Ida (Stringfield) Hatfield from Marvin Hunter's "Frontier Times" and genealogical data relating to the family of her paternal great grandparents, James C and Malinda (Moody) Mills. Briefly, Nancy Ann Mills m Talman (Hugh) Hobbs, Sarah Jane Mills m Thomas Stringfield, Ara C Mills m John Bradford Burris, James K D Mills m Sally (Bailey) Hill and Alexander Worth Mills (Rudelle's grandfather) m Polly West. Rudelle's father and Ida were first cousins.

"According to the account in the Frontier Times, in Sept of 1870, Thomas Stringfield with his wife and three little children {Ida - 8, Dolphus - 6, and Tommy - 4} were attacked by a band of about fifty men, Indians and Mexicans, while going from Pleasanton to their home in McMullen county. The parents were killed; the little girl was horribly lanced with spears, thrown into a patch of prickly pear, and left for dead; and the boys were carried away.

"Rudelle's personal account is "When I was about 12 yrs old, Ida Stringfield Hatfield came to see us and stayed several days. She told us of the massacre, showed us her wounds, and was very bitter about the Indian "Two Braids" who had come to live with her for several months, claiming to be her long lost brother Tommy. She felt that he was simply gathering information to write his book and make some money. She did feel that since he knew so much about the family that he had known her brother somewhere and had heard from him various facts about the family. My father, Van Mills, and I telephoned Sadie Hatfield [daughter of Ida] at College Station in the early 1970's and had a long talk with her. She knew very little about James C Mills and Malinda. She did say that her mother, after Two Braids arrival in Texas, made a trip to Oklahoma and found his Indian wife and the wife said he was born and raised in Oklahoma. My grandfather (according to my father) said that Tommy Stringfield had blue eyes and Two Braids had brown eyes."

"She goes on to say that she has an picture post card of Two Braids in which, though dressed in Indian fashion, he looks more white than Indian. {I have that picture and one of his daughter as well. They look Indian to me.} .......

".......In the 18 chapter book, from which Rudelle sent me only a typed sampling, Two Braids recounts his version of the Stringfield massacre and the Indians killing of little Dolphus {he was found along side the trail a few days later by the tracking/resecue party}. There's also his story of life with the Indians, huis escape when Geronimo was captured, and after his learning that he was a white captive, his searching for and his discovery of his origins. He gives the date of birth for Thomas Wesly Stringfield (father) as 16 Oct 1837 in Springfield IL, and says the family came to Texas about 1848.

"There is contained in Two Braids book an affadavit executed by Ara (Mills) Burris to the effect that she was convinced that he was indeed her cousin Tommy Stringfield. Two Braids goes so far as to say that Mrs. Burris recognized him when he was performing at a circus at which she was a spectator in San Antonio."

The site of the Stringfield massacre is marked by a Texas historical marker, as follows:984

“On Sept. 28, 1870, the Thomas W. Stringfield family was ambushed by Indians and bandits raiding from Mexico. Overtaken in their horse-drawn wagon, the victims ran for a nearby house, but did not reach it. Thomas and wife Sarah Jane were stabbed and shot to death. Six-year-old son Adolphus was also murdered, but the fate of Thomas, 4 years, was never known. The survivor, 8-year-old Ida Alice, fought to avoid capture. She was then speared 7 times, trampled by the raiders' horses, and left for dead. She was later rescued and lived until 1937.”

For location of the marker, from Tilden, take Highway 16 about 23 miles to Route 624, go west about 2.5 miles to rest stop.
Last Modified 23 Jul 2003Created 21 Dec 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh