“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Albany in Shackelford County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Frontier Town of Fort Griffin

Frontier Town of Fort Griffin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2016
1. Frontier Town of Fort Griffin Marker
Inscription. In the 19th century, the U.S. government established forts along Texas’ frontier to protect pioneers. By the early 1850s, Col. Jesse Stem farmed along the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, and Thomas Lambshead established his Clear Fork farm. As others moved to the area, troops at Camp Cooper in present-day Throckmorton County, including then-Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee, provided military defense. Camp Cooper closed at the start of the Civil War in 1861. After the war, the U.S. Army established Camp Wilson, later renamed Fort Griffin, near this site in 1867.
     Fort Griffin sat on the high ground above the river. A settlement developed between it and the water’s edge. The town, known also as “the Flat,” included merchants, cattlemen and their families. Its permanent populace supported a newspaper, the Fort Griffin Echo, as well as an academy, Masonic lodge and several stores and saloons. A rough element of cowboys, gamblers and renegades mixed with black and white troops to form a lawless scene. Among those attracted to the town were Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Lottie Deno, Big Nose Kate, Hurricane Bill and Hurricane Minnie.
     Fort Griffin was a stop for buffalo hide trade, and hides awaiting shipment crowded town lots. Located along the Western Cattle Trail, it included immigrant residents from several countries.
Marker near Reconstructed Town Site of Fort Griffin image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2016
2. Marker near Reconstructed Town Site of Fort Griffin
Replica buildings and the original civil jail of the town of Fort Griffin are located north of the marker
Due to the distance from governmental authority, area residents formed Shackelford County in 1874. The town’s population steadily declined after Albany became the county seat and the terminus of the Texas Central Railroad. Notable local businesses included the Beehive saloon, the Conrad and Rath store, the Glesk boot shop and the Occidental hotel. The fort closed in 1881, but elements of the town remained in operation into the mid-20th century. The school consolidated with the Albany District in 1942.
Erected 2004 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13028.)
Location. 32° 55.924′ N, 99° 13.804′ W. Marker is near Albany, Texas, in Shackelford County. Marker is on County Road 184 0.6 miles west of U.S. 283, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Albany TX 76430, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Western Cattle Trail Crossings at Fort Griffin (here, next to this marker); Fort Griffin Civil Jail (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Family Forts, C.S.A. (approx. 0.8 miles away); Bush Knob Massacre (approx. 12.4 miles away);
View to West on County Road 184 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2016
3. View to West on County Road 184
Marker at intersection of CR 184 (that goes right) and Lambshead Ranch road (that goes left)
Lt. Col. William E. Dyess (approx. 13.8 miles away); Lieutenant Colonel William Edwin Dyess (approx. 13.8 miles away); Trinity Episcopal Church (approx. 14.5 miles away); Site of the Reynolds Presbyterian Academy (approx. 14.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Albany.
Also see . . .
1. Fort Griffin, TX. From the Texas State Historical Association’s “Handbook of Texas Online”. (Submitted on April 5, 2016.) 

2. The Post on Government Hill. From the Texas Beyond History website, an extensive web page with photos, illustrations, and maps of Fort Griffin, the town of Fort Griffin, and the Western Trail. (Submitted on April 5, 2016.) 
Categories. Forts, CastlesSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 146 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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