The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

While we are writing accounts of the panther, I am reminded of one attacking Allin Trimble’s daughter, Malissa. She furnished the writer an account of it herself, which occurred in 1867 while her father lived on his farm on the south bank of White River in Franklin Township in Marion County, Ark.

"One evening just before sundown," said she, "father and my stepmother sent me to Sarah Lantz’s to borrow some coffee. Mrs. Lantz was a widowed sister of mine and lived at the mouth of Becca’s Branch. I was 11 years old and quite small to my age, but as I went tripping along I did not feel the least afraid. We owned a big brindle cur dog named Trusty which I took along with me. I did not delay time at my sister’s house but hurried on my return home. It was growing a little dusky when I got back to the mouth of Trimble’s Creek. The public road crossed the creek then at the mouth and lead up the bank into the river bottom. Since that time the bed of the creek here has washed out and the road was changed. I had run up the bank and was just passing a thicket of hazle brush with the dog trotting along by my side when without the least warning a panther sprang at me from the edge of the thicket. I saw the animal the moment it made the leap and with a quick movement I contrived to dodge it and the fearful looking beast just brushed my face. The dog sprang up at it before it struck the ground. When it lit on the ground it sprang into the thicket and the dog darted off in pursuit of it. The faithful dog pressed the beast so hard that it went up a bending tree which stood in 15 feet of the road and lay down on the tree trunk and crossed its paws and glared at me. I stood and looked at the ferocious creature a few seconds and turned and fled in terror toward home."

The writer will add that Miss Malissa Trimble is now the wife of Reed Keesee, son of Elias Keesee. They have lived in Keesee Township, Marion County, Ark., many years and raised a large family of children.

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