Hood County Texas Genealogical Society
TRADING POSTS & LOVE
IN THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
Untitled & Author Unknown
Before annexation [of Texas], Warren's Trading House had been established on the Bosque [River] not a great distance from the present town of Meridian. Browning's Trading House was on the Trinity [River], only a few miles below Bird's Fort, which afterwards became known as Birdville.
The 14th of January, 1843, the Texas Congress passed a law providing for a better and more friendly understanding with the Indians. This act provided for the establishment and maintenance of a series of trading posts extending from the Red River to the Rio Grande; and further providing that the first of these posts be established at or near the south fork of the Trinity, somewhere between the upper and lower cross-timbers. This, of course, would be somewhere in the vicinity of Bird's Fort. The second post was to be established at or near Comanche Peak, now in Hood County.
The nearest post to this peak was, perhaps, Torrey's Trading House, established in the spring of 1844, about eight miles north of the city of Waco, on Tehuacana Creek, by Messrs. George Barnard and David Torrey. This frontier trading post was in existence for a number of years. Robert S. Neighbors and other Indian agents often made this post their headquarters.
A third trading post was to be established at or near old Mission San Saba, in the vicinity of the present town of Menard. The act also provided that [the] fourth trading post be established at Parto Vandero and the fifth, and last, at the junction of the Los Moras and Rio Grande. The last location was in the northern portion of the present Maverick County.
About 1847 George and Charlie Barnard established a trading post near the present town of Fort Spunky in Hood County. This post became known as "Barnard's Trading House" and, like others, did an extensive trade with the Indians and proved to be a profitable industry. But in 1855 when the Indians were located upon the reservations in Young and Throckmorton Counties the trade suddenly ceased. As a consequence, Barnard's Trading House was relocated adjacent to the lower Indian reservation, which lay immediately south of the present city of Graham.
As has already been mentioned, that from time immemorial, it was customary for the Comanches to extend their long forays into Old Mexico for the purpose of stealing, murdering and carrying the Mexican women and children into captivity. These excursions were so regularly made the Indians had well beaten trails leading into Old Mexico from Western Texas. According to reports, on one of these forays they captured a splendid Mexican lady, a member of the family of Cavassas. She remained in captivity for approximately six or eight months and during the time witnessed the killing of another Mexican girl, who like herself, had been captured by the Indians and who was her friend and companion. But amit [sic] the thickest of thorns some time [sic] the sweetest flowers bloom. This splendid lady, who had so greatly suffered while in the hands of the savages, like a wild rose blooming in brush and briers [sic] far from civilization was discovered by Mr. Charlie Barnard, who bartered her from the Indians. Shortly afterwards she became his devoted wife.
Growning [sic] out of this unusual romance the seemingly inevitable again happened. Mrs. Barnard made an effort to communicate with her people in Mexico. Some time later, however, her twin brother accidentally passed her part of the country. The resemblance of the two was at once recognized, and by this means, and no other, after being tossed for many months by the turbulent waves of misfortune, these twins were again united.
Web Page by Virginia Hale