In a lonely cemetery in Cherokee County stands a rock pyramid commemorating one of the most tragic happenings in East Texas history. It was an incident that was to change the course of the Lone Star State.
On October 5, 1838, a group of renegades attacked and massacred the Killough family in the community of Larissa, near Jacksonville. Eighteen members of the family were killed and/or captured. Only son, Samuel, who lived across the creek from the others, escaped with his family and another woman, a small boy, and his dog escaped by foot down an old Indian trail.
Although historians agree that the attackers were a group of mixed renegades, the Cherokee Indians were blamed for the attack. It was just the excuse that Mirabeau Lamar, second President of The Republic of Texas, was looking for to declare war on the Indians. This led to the expulsion of Indians from the state after a series of bloody battles.
In the 1930s, J.L. Brown, a Jacksonville businessman led a drive to erect a monument to the Killough family. The monument was erected in the Killough Cemetery and stands today as a reminder of a tragic, but historical event.