The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964

THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LXVII JULY, 1963 No. 1
re rree ozorts i Cordll CoutY
MILDRED WATKINS MEARS
A CROSS THE VAST FORT HOOD MILITARY RESERVATION, THERE
runs a thoroughfare called "The East Range and Sugar
Loaf Mountain Road." It connects North Fort Hood
with South Fort Hood. If this road could talk, it would tell a
strange tale. The scene of the story would be in Coryell County,
and the first chapter would take place during the days of the
Republic of Texas. It would tell of hardy pioneers attempting
to settle this country and of marauding Indians who stole their
stock, burned their log cabins, and killed many of them.
The second chapter would be about a new-born state and a
newly-burdened Federal Government that established a line of
forts from Fort Duncan on the Rio Grande to Coffee's Bend on
Red River to protect these settlers. Among these protective in-
stallations was Fort Gates on the north side of the Leon River
about five miles east of present Gatesville. The road would also
explain that, in order to bring troops and supplies into the new
camp, it was necessary to establish a line of travel across many
miles of unsettled land to connect Fort Gates with the chain of
forts lying south of it; that, when the Indians were driven back
toward the northwest, the fort was moved on to a new location at
Phantom Hill.
The next chapter would be a long one lasting almost a hun-
dred years. It would tell of pioneers moving into the buildings
left vacant at the fort, of settlers pouring into the area along "The
Old Military Road," and of Coryell County being organized. Then
there would be the story of the grain and cotton wagons traveling
the road, of the laughter of children going to school, of buggies
and surreys carrying families to church, of the coming of the
automobile, of tractors, mechanized farm equipment, registered

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/. Accessed July 26, 2014.