John C. Riggs (1825-1859)

Born: 1825

Married: Elizabeth Jane Johnson, age 21, 9 Dec 1847

Died: 16 Mar 1859, Coryell County, Texas


A second son, John C. (Casey?) Riggs, was born in 1825.  We have no day or month of birth or place of birth for him.  It has been speculated that he was born in Marion County, Alabama, but Tuscaloosa and Pickens Counties are also possibilities. The traditional naming pattern is that the second son is named after the mother’s father.  That is why we think that the John Casey, Sr., that owned land in Marion County, near land owned by Thomas Riggs, is probably the father of Rhoda.

John C., age 23, married Elizabeth Jane Johnson, age 21, 9 Dec 1847 in Independence County Arkansas.  They had land next to his father in Izard County Arkansas.  Their children were Rhoda Elizabeth b. 1849, Margaret Ann b. 1853, William Carroll b. 1856, and John Roland b. 1858.

John and Jane moved to Texas sometime between 1856 and 1858, settling near Sugar Loaf Mountain in Coryell County.  Their home is now located on the military range of Fort Hood.  On 16 Mar 1859 John and Jane were massacred by some Indians leaving behind them 4 children.  The two girls were carried off by the Indians but later dropped by the wayside.  The two little boys were found by their dead parents.  The children were all taken back to Arkansas to be raised by their grandparents.

At the time of their deaths John and Jane were buried near their home in Coryell County.  When the area became the Fort Hood military area, their graves were moved to a cemetery in Kileen, Texas.

The history of this family is written in the book “Chicosa Bill”.  This book is a compilation of journals kept by their son, William Carroll Riggs.


(In publishing this story we do not condone the violence of this time. We are simply publishing our family history as we learned it.)