The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 56
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the winter range of the Comanche Indians. The colonists-
the sturdy "briar-breakers" who broke the trail for those who
would follow-were shut off from communication with settle-
ments to the east by poor roads and lack of mail service. The
nearest railroad was 3oo miles away. The nearest market where
general merchandise could be bought, Houston, was the same
distance. The only recognized wagon road in the country was the
military road laid out by Army engineers in 1849 or 1850, over
which supplies were hauled from Fort Gates in Coryell County
northwestward to Forts Griffin and Belknap. To obtain foodstuffs
and material not produced in the county-among these salt, sugar,
coffee, meal, flour, boots, shoes, and such cloth as the women
were not able to weave on homemade looms-it was necessary to
make a round trip of approximately three hundred miles.
The trips were not made in high-powered cars over super-
highways. They were made in tar-pole wagons drawn by five or
six yoke of oxen over roads that were merely two deep ruts
with stumps here and there down the middle. Streams had to
be crossed which had no bridges. Sometimes on the return trips
men who had been away from home for two or three months
would get within a few miles of the settlement for which they
were bound, only to find the Leon River on a rampage. They
would have to camp for several weeks while waiting for the river
to get low enough to ford. Meanwhile, their families, having
run out of flour or meal, had not tasted bread for a month.
In I858, the need to change the location of the county seat
from the settlement of Cora to a place nearer the center of the
county led to the birth of Comanche. By that time there were
about ten small settlements in the county. These were some
distance apart and covered considerable territory, land being
cheap and the colonists wanting plenty of elbow room. A family
that lived within thirty miles of another was looked on as a
Though the Indians had not put out a welcome mat when the
whites began coming into the county, it was not until 1857 that
they showed hostility toward the settlers. This started with raids
in which the Indians stole the livestock, mainly the horses, of
the settlers. The raids increased in frequency and became mur-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/76/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.