"The Buffalo Hunt"
One day in the fall of 1862, the four oldest sons, Richard, Ishom, John and James Christal set off on a buffalo hunt further north to supply the
families with meat for the winter. All but James was married and none have been on a buffalo hunt before and had no one along to advise them.
Everything was thought to be fine including the weather and camp was made near the Wichita River.
Richard and John noticed a herd of buffalos moving towards the camp and decided this was an opportunity coming their way.
Little did they know that this wasn't normal behavior for buffalo after they settled in, unless something or someone had disturbed them.
Probably thinking they could make several easy shots, they told their brothers they would return shortly.
Not long after that--shots were heard and those in camp thought Richard or John had succeeded in their goal.
Time passed and it grew dark, still no sign of Richard or John. Ishom and James became worried and decided the brothers were lost
and needed help in finding their way so they built up the fire and even fired their rifles to guide them in. All night they waited
and when morning came Ishom and James rode in the direction they thought their brothers had gone.
After some time they found a handkerchief that belonged to John. Later tracks in a river bed showed evidence that the brothers had been there,
but along with those were moccasin tracks. This doesn't always mean that these were tracks of Indians since others often wore moccasins.
Several days were spent searching for their brothers to no avail. Being both tired and heartbroken, Ishom and James broke camp and set off
for home. When they arrived they quickly told their tale and a large band of men joined in a renewed search. After some time the camp site was
located where they broke up into groups to speed the search. Many miles were covered without seeing any other sign of the two missing brothers.
To this day, it's still a mystery as to what happened to Richard and John Christal. (Richard does share a headstone with his wife, Emily Morris,
in the IOOF Cemetery in Denton, TX. It's presumed to be in memory since his body was never recovered; although why a death date of February 3, 1862
is listed is another mystery).