After camping just two miles south and east of where the Plum Creek emptied into the Platte River on August 7, 1864, the Morton party set out at 6 o'clock in the morning. They had joined with nine other wagons the night before to make a train of 12. Nancy Morton's husband, Thomas, her brother, William Fletcher, and cousin John Fletcher, were also on the trip, and Thomas was asleep as they started out. As Mrs. Morton drove the wagon she saw something approaching, but could not make it out in the distance. Soon she realized it was an Indian attack. All 11 men on the wagon train were killed as Nancy Morton watched. She was wounded by two arrows which she later removed by herself. She and a young boy, Daniel Marble, son of one of the other men on the trip, were taken captive and began a long and violent journey across four states.
After six months and several attempts, Nancy Morton was ransomed from the Indians for a prized horse and some trade goods. She returned to Iowa and within a year she remarried. Later in her life she set down the events of those fright-filled six months, and they form the basis for the massacre book now available from the Dawson County Museum.
Address: Northwest on Highway 23 near Eustis
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