26 Chapters
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B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor The University of Chicago Press ePub



Upon leaving Menard head east along Texas Highway 29 to Fort Mason, located on a hill south of Mason.

Mason grew up around the fort and became the county seat in 1861. Mason County was created on January 22, and organized on August 2, 1858. It is said that the first settlers who drifted into the region in 1846 were from John 0. Meusebach’s settlement in Fredericksburg. Because the settlers were beyond the protection of government troops, Meusebach negotiated a treaty with the Comanches to allow his settlers to live in peace. Unfortunately the peace did not last, and the settlers were soon demanding protection.

Fortunately, the United States Army was already developing a plan to establish a chain of forts to provide protection across the Texas frontier. During the 1850s, as settlers began to move into central Texas, an ever-increasing need arose for armed protection against Indian attacks in the region. To this end, the United States army established the forts at approximately fifty-mile intervals to provide a network of defense for the civilian communities. Fort Mason was one of the posts which provided this service.

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B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor The University of Chicago Press ePub



Construction began on Fort McKavett during the summer of 1852, another in a line of new forts established to protect the westward advance of settlers and travelers through central Texas. The post received its name in honor of Captain Henry McKavett, an officer killed on September 21, 1846, during the Battle of Monterrey while serving with the Eighth Infantry during the Mexican War. (Sullivan 1969, 138) Five companies of this same regiment, under the command of Colonel Thomas Staniford, arrived on the banks of the San Saba River in March 1852. Orders issued by General Persifer Smith, military commander in Texas, specified the new post location at the headspring of the San Saba. This was initially adhered to, though by May a more suitable site was chosen approximately two miles downriver which afforded a natural spring and lagoon.

The post was constructed roughly three hundred yards from the lagoon and five hundred yards from the river, providing the fort with an unending supply of water. (Sullivan 1969; Crimmins 1950, 308)

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Fort Bliss

B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor University of North Texas Press PDF


Additional Forts

4:30. Closed Christmas, New Year's, Easter and Thanksgiving. For additional information call 915-568-4518.

E1 Paso





Points of Inmwt:

EI Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1 Civic

Center Plaza

Border Patrol Museum, 4315 Transmountain Road

(Loop 375), Tuesday-Sunday 9-5.

Chamizal National Memorial, Paisano and San

Marcial Streets, daily 8-5.

Concordia Cemetery, Exit 1-10 at Copia, historic cemetery and landmark, includes grave of gunfighter John Wesley Hardin

El Paso Centennial Museum, University of Texas at

El Paso, University Avenue and Wiggins Road, Tuesday-Friday 10-3; Sunday 1:30-5:30

El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center, 401

Wallenberg, 915-833-5656. Open Sunday-Thursday


EI Paso Museum of Art, 1211 Montana Avenue,

Tuesday-Saturday 10-5; Sunday 1-5.

El Paso Museum of History, 1-10 at Loop 375 (Avenue of the Americas), Tuesday-Sunday 9-4:45.

Air Defense Artillery Museum, Fort Bliss, Building

5000, Pleasanton Road near Robert E. Lee Road, daily 9-4:30. Closed Christmas, New Year's, Easter and Thanksgiving.

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B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor The University of Chicago Press ePub



Southward from Jacksboro take Highway 4 to Graford, which takes its name from its position halfway between Graham and Weatherford.

The first settler of the community was George R. Bevers in 1854, who located at Flat Rock Crossing on Big Keechi Creek, three miles east. This became a well-known stopping place on the road between Weatherford and Fort Belknap. Today there is not much in Graford although it is the home of Big Tex porkskins. Other than for the scenic drive, you might want to bypass Graford and go straight to Graham from Jacksboro along Highway 380.

From Graford take either Highway 337, the man direct, route to Graham, or Highway 16 which stays on the Forts Trail along the west side of Possum Kingdom.

Graham was founded in 1872 by Gustavus and Edwin S. Graham, and it soon became a mercantile and milling center. The Cattle Raisers Association of Texas, which was the predecessor of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, was organized here in 1877.

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Fort Stockton

B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor University of North Texas Press PDF


Additional Forts

Environmental Education Center, archeological, historical and natural history profile of the Big Bend region. Departure point for the tours of the Big

Bend Ranch State Natural Area the third Saturday of each month. Tour fee includes meal in the natural area; reservations advisable. 915-424-3327. Open

8-5 daily. Admission.


Fort Stockton, constructed of adobe and named for Robert

Field Stockton, was established by the United States Army on March

23, 1859, at Comanche Springs, which was within the site of the present city of Fort Stockton, for the protection of the mail service, travelers, and freighters. Comanche Springs was a favorite stop on the Comanche Trail to Chihuahua, the Old San Antonio

Road, the Butterfield Overland Mail route, and the San AntonioChihuahua freight-wagon road. Captain Arthur T. Lee, commanding Company C, Eighth Infantry, abandoned the post in April 1861.

The post was reoccupied by Captain Charles L. Pyron, in command of Company B. Second Regiment, Texas Mounted Rifles, until it was abandoned by the Confederates after General Henry

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