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Clint and Jeff Smith captured by Indians


On this day in 1871, brothers Clint and Jeff Smith, ten and eight years old respectively, were captured by Lipans and Comanches while herding sheep near their family's home on Cibolo Creek between San Antonio and Boerne. After an initial rescue effort failed, their father, Capt. Henry Smith, and Capt. John W. Sansom, a cousin, assembled a large body of Texas Rangers and local militia, who, along with a posse led by Capt. Charles Schreiner, pursued the Indians from near Kendalia to Fort Concho in West Texas. The rescue attempt was futile, however, and Clint and Jeff were not returned to their family for another five years. J. Marvin Hunter told the tale of their captivity, laced with predictable adventures, a few inconsistencies, and the names of many prominent chiefs, including Geronimo, in a book entitled The Boy Captives. Hunter interviewed the brothers in their sixties, after they had long enjoyed their fame as "frontier" celebrities and performers of the Old West. Clint died in 1932 and Jeff in 1940.

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