​​​Clay County 1890 Jail Museum 

 

Gotlieb Koozier

This story is reproduced from a printed article by Lucille Glascow in The Clay County Leader titled Museum Memories and is derived from the papers of Jo Anne and Bill Glassford donated to the Museum, and from the Court Records provided by District Clerk J. Don Slagel. A Times Record News article by Frank Hall, Times Staff Correspondent, titled "White Horse, Kiowa Chief, indicted in Clay County in 1874 for murder". This data has been edited for space to include here.


    

In 1874 a Clay County Grand Jury indicted White Horse, leader of the Kiowas, for the murder of pioneer Henrietta settler, Gotlieb Koozer, and the kidnapping of his wife and several of their children. Apparently, Mr. Koozier did not believe in carrying weapons, and believed friendship with the Indians would protect him. There is no record that White Horse was ever located, or brought to justice.


In Reverend J.J. Methveth's book, "Andele, or the Mexican-Kiowa Captive" published in the late "1890's" he describes the situation thusly: "...a band of Kiowas went to the home of Gotlieb Koozier, in Texas. Mr. Koozier was not aware of the Indians approach till he saw them in the yard, and being defenseless, he decided it was best to show a friendly spirit toward them, so he went to meet them and offered his hand in friendship. Two of them took hold of his hands at the same time in apparent friendship, while another, stepping a little to one side, shot him through the heart. They scalped him and then went into the house, and destroyed what they found there. They took Mrs. Koozier and her five children, one a young lady, one small girl and three boys, and also a young man by the name of Martin Kilgore, who was about 14 years of age, and started back to the reservation. As soon as the news of this outrage was received at Fort Sill, Agent Tatum determined to rescue the prisoners and punish, if possible, the depredators.  He announced to the Indians what he had heard, and declared that he would never issue any more government supplies to them till the prisoners were brought in. They demanded a ransom, for two years before, they had been paid $1500 each for some captives.


On the 18th of August, the Indians giving up any idea of fighting, and bringing their women and children with them, brought in two of the Koozier family, Miss Koozier and her little sister. The little one, who had not seen her mother in several days, began to cry, but was forced to hush. Indians do not allow their captives to cry. The soldiers became indignant and stepped forward to take the captives, but in an instant the Indians pointed a  dagger at the heart of the girls. The Indians took the girls away, but seeing that they could not change Agent Tatum from his purpose, by 11 o'clock the two girls and two boys were delivered to him. A Mexican Kiowa had the mother and he was stubborn and insisted upon a ransom, "a mule and a carbine."


Having delivered the other four prisoners, the Indians called for the supplies, but were told none would be issued until all were returned. Very soon, Mrs. Koozier and the other boy were brought in, but the other boy was left out on the reservation. Agent Tatum paid $100 apiece for the captives, reasoning that in the future he did not want marauding Indians to just kill their captives. Later, M.B. Kilgore was brought in.


Three days later Colonel Grierson sent a detachment of soldiers to conduct Mrs. Koozier and her children to Montague, Texas, to reach her home safely.


Just what became of the Koozier family after their release by the Indians has been lost in the dim recesses of the past, but several hold the belief that they found their way back to Illinois, from when Mrs. Koosier had come to Texas, and where they sought to forget the terrible experiences of the Indian raid and their subsequent days as captives.