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FORT SPUNKY, TEXAS. The remnants of the Fort Spunky community are on Farm roads 199 and 2174 and Lake Granbury in the southeastern corner of Hood County. The settlement was originally named Barnardville. In 1849 George Barnardqv built one of a chain of Torrey trading housesqv on the Brazos River at what is now the site of Fort Spunky. George and his brother Charles Barnard,qv the Torrey brothers, and Sam Houston,qv president of the former Republic of Texas,qv invested in this enterprise, thinking that it would improve Indian relations. The post itself, run by Charles Barnard, was built near a spring and beside a settlement of peaceable, agricultural Indians. The trading post lay near well-traveled Indian highways and the prominent landmark Comanche Peak, used by the Indians, especially the Comanches, as a lookout, rallying point, and campground. George and Charles Barnard procured thousands of acres near Comanche Peak and along the Brazos River. A tributary of the Brazos nearby was called George's Creek, and a community by the same name developed in the 1850s as a companion settlement near the trading post. In the mid-1850s the Indians were moved to Fort Belknap by the United States government, and the Barnards' trading post declined. The community acquired the colorful name Fort Spunky because sporadic fistfights broke out in town. The community's post office opened in 1886. The settlement was predominantly an agricultural trade center that took the place of the defunct trading post. About forty residents lived there in 1896. In the early 1900s John D. Armstrong, the postmaster, owned virtually all the businesses, namely the cotton gin, gristmill, general store, blacksmith shop, and feed store. The businesses and post office were gone in the 1980s. The population of Fort Spunky was sixty-five in 1964 and was reported as fifteen from 1966 to 1990.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Viola Block, History of Johnson County and Surrounding Areas (Waco: Texian Press, 1970). Raymond Elliott and Mildred Padon, Of a People and a Creek (Cleburne, Texas: Bennett Printing, 1979). Thomas T. Ewell, History of Hood County (Granbury, Texas: Gaston, 1895; rpt., Granbury Junior Woman's Club, 1956). W. C. Nunn, Somervell: Story of a Texas County (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1975).

Dorothy Leach

 

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