Brazos River Indian Reservation
SH 16 in Graham
In February 1854 the Texas legislature designated
12 Spanish leagues (or 53,136 acres) of land to be maintained
as Indian reservations by the federal government. In August 1854,
Major Robert S. Neighbors, United States supervising Indian agent,
and Captain Randolph B. Marcy, of the United States Army, made
surveys in both Spanish and American measurements; American dimensions
were platted, totaling 69,120 acres. In the 8-league tract here
in Young County-on either side of the Brazos River-were placed
tribes of Anadarko, Caddo, Tehuacana, Tonkawa, Waco and others,
together with splinter groups of the Cherokees, Choctaws, Delawares,
Shawnees and some other remnants. The southern Comanches had
their 4-league reservation about 45 miles to the west.
Under the guidance of United States agents, the
Indians of the Brazos River Reservation made much progress in
agriculture, stock raising and other arts of civilization. Drouth
and other adversities, however, led to closing of the reservations.
Emptied in 1859 when the Indians were removed to
vicinity of present Anadarko, Oklahoma, lands of the reservation
reverted to the state, and were opened to the pre-emption of
Texas citizens in 1873.
became the seat of the District Court that included most of Comancheria.
It remained the center of power until vigilantism flared during
the Marlow Brothers incident. Another John Wayne movie, "The
Sons of Katie Elder," was based on that occurrence. Like
the movie, there were originally four brothers. The two not pictured
were killed in a shoot-out and are buried at a little cemetery
just north of Hwy. 16 on Ranch Road 1191. The remaining brothers
and their mother moved to Crested Butte where they were employed
as sheriff's deputies. Eventually Texas Rangers were dispatched
to bring the boys back to Texas for trial. The brothers and Rangers
confronted each other at the train station where all shook left
hands while their rights lingered above their pistol grips and
remained so until they went to lunch at their mother's home where
she insisted everyone disarm before eating. The Colorado governor's
order arrived at the end of the meal, forbidding the Rangers
from taking the boys back to Texas. For once, at least in this
instance, the Rangers did not get their men.