The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901 Page: 204
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204 Texas Historical A ssociation Quarterly.
tainly demonstrated that, notwithstanding the Keechis were most
inveterate thieves and beggars, they had an eye to beauty of locality,
and an appreciation of a soil that would produce most bountifully
the favorite Indian crop of corn and beans. The village was situ-
ate near the hills on the upper edge of a bottom prairie that
extended down to near the lower or Little Keechi creek. Fine
springs furnished an ample supply of the purest water. The soil of
the prairie was exceedingly fertile, on which grew the richest
grapes, varigated with an almost endless variety of the loveliest
wild flowers. The land on which the village was situated is now a
farm, and the plow share occasionally turns up an old gun barrel
or some other evidence of Indian occupation. Even as late as 1851,
when the writer first saw the place, there was to be seen some evi-
dences of the rude Indian cultivation of a portion of the prairie
contiguous to the village.
When the Americans first crossed the Trinity in 1831 and com-
menced to survey and locate land in the territory of what is now
Leon, the Indians viewed with the greatest curiosity the surveyor
and his instruments. They looked upon him and his assistants
as intruders and thieves, engaged in the theft of the land which
had been theirs and their hunting ground from time immemorial;
and, the surveyor's compass being the instrument by means of
which the theft was accomplished, they called it "the land stealer."
Fort Parker was located in what is now Limestone county,
between the site of the old town of Springfield and the present
town of Groesbeck. After the massacre at this fort in 1833, the few
settlers that were between the Brazos and Trinity and north of the
San Antonio road, all fled for safety east of the Trinity river, and
there is no evidence that there was any permanent settler located in
what is now Leon prior to 1839 or 1840.
In 1836, the San Antonio road, which was the southern boundary
of the county when first organized, from the crossing on the Nava-
sota river to Robbin's Ferry on the Trinity, was thronged and
choked with men, women and children fleeing from the settlements
on the Brazos and Colorado, before the advance of the army of
Santa Anna. These fugitives were terror stricken, some on foot,
some on horseback, and others with any sort of conveyance they
could at the moment press into service. They seemed to be moved
by only one impulse, and that was to reach the Sabine and the terri-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901, periodical, 1901; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101018/m1/226/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.