What Really Happened
Thank you to the Comanche County Historical Museum for sharing the following information on one of their displays. I was so fascinated by this story that I used part of it in my second book—A Texas Promise—but I changed the names and the ending (for creative purposes). This is what really happened:
“Arcadia (Kate) Matilda Campbell was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Campbell. She was the first Anglo girl born in what would later be known as Comanche County. She was born in 1855. Her father was one of three men (early settlers) appointed by the governor of Texas for the purpose of organizing the new county.
The Campbell home site was only a short distance southeast of the present site of the City of Comanche.
At the time that Kate Campbell was born, the Campbell homestead was several miles northwest of the settlement of Cora, which would become the first county seat of Comanche County, in 1856.
While Kate was still an infant, on a day when her father, C.C. Campbell was away from the home working in the fields, a band of friendly Indians (thought to be Waco Indians), visited the Campbell homestead. Mrs. Campbell shared some of the family’s food supply with the Indians who had communicated to her that they were hungry.
Mrs. Campbell noticed that the Indians were paying much attention to the Campbell infant (Kate), asleep in a basket upon the hearth of the Campbell fireplace.
After the Indians had departed, Mrs. Campbell left Kate asleep, in the basket, and went down to a nearby spring to get water.
When she returned, she was horrified to see that Kate was missing from her bed, and an Indian infant, in a cradle board, was placed upon the hearth.
After sounding the alarm that Kate had been kidnapped, Mr. Campbell and some nearby settlers tracked the band of Indians to their encampment a short distance away.
When the search party arrived at the Indian camp, they found the entire group of Indians gathered around little Kate, admiring her. The Indians claimed that they had not stolen little Kate, but had made a fair trade for her.
The babies were exchanged and Kate lived a long life, married and raised children. Kate Campbell Anderson is buried at Indian Creek Cemetery, four miles east of the City of Comanche.” (The story above was written and distributed by museum volunteers).
According to further research online, it appears that Kate married John Patrick Anderson in 1875 in Comanche County. She died in October of 1914 and is buried at Indian Creek Cemetery in Comanche County.