The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 188
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
quarters which by army regulations were to be only of stone or brick.
Turnley cottages were portable and inexpensive, yet superior to the
tent. Since there was little timber in the areas for which they were
designed, they were completely prefabricated units and were shipped
all over the West from St. Louis. The "kit" included glazed sashes and
blinds, and the doors came complete with locks and keys. it took three
men about four hours to erect and completely finish them. It is no
wonder they were so popular for temporary or permanent shelter.
Frame construction at forts varied little from other nineteenth-
century carpentry work. Since most forts were located near streams,
they consequently had enough sturdy cottonwood for framing and
structural members. Most forts also had their own sawmills for other
unfinished wood members.'" Mill lumber and trim made of pine were
brought from the San Antonio Quartermaster Supply Depot. Fasten-
ers were usually square nails shipped from San Antonio, but spikes
and wedges were very common as fasteners for heavy timber members.
During the Reconstruction period many of the posts were aban-
doned by the army and were used by Indians and outlaws or simply
allowed to fall into decay. Frame structures deteriorated or were
hauled away by settlers. Stone structures served as barns until their
roofs fell in. When the Indian menace to West Texas had ended and
cattlemen began to drive their herds westward the troops remaining
in Texas settled into a routine of garrison life that included few if
any building projects. Railroads began bypassing the forts, and the
remaining encampments became an increasingly unnecessary expense.
By June, 1891, almost all forts had been ordered abandoned. Others
had been lucky and towns had grown up around their walls. It is
not surprising that many a "village green" in Texas was once the
protective fort's ceremonial parade ground. Even this reprieve from
oblivion was precarious, however, because community pride and
government soon gave rise to the construction of courthouses, and
their squares became new focuses for the towns.
4"Graham, Texas Historic Forts, IV, 13.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/200/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.