Hutchinson County Historical Markers

Texas Plains Trail Region

Map of Hutchinson County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Battle of Adobe Walls | Battle of Adobe Walls (2) | First Battle of Adobe Walls | Antelope Creek Ruins | Bents Creek | Drift Fence | Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail | Hutchinson County Courthouse | Hutchinson County Museum | Marcy Trail
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Adobe Walls Fight


Battle of Adobe Walls

Marker Title: Battle of Adobe Walls
City: Borger
County: Hutchinson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: at picnic area 6 miles north of Borger
Marker Text: Fifteen miles to the site of the Battle of Adobe Walls. Fought on November 25, 1864 between Kiowa and Comanche Indians and United States troops commanded by Colonel Christopher Carson, 1809-1868. This was "Kit" Carson's last fight. (1936)

Battle of Adobe Walls

Marker Title: Battle of Adobe Walls
City: Stinnett
County: Hutchinson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from Stinnet take SH 207, north about 11.2 miles, turn east onto county road and continue about 17 miles (road will make several sharp turns) to battle site, several monuments on site
Marker Text: Was fought here November 25, 1864, when Colonel Christopher (Kit) Carson (1809-1868) with a few companies of United States troops under the protection of the Adobe Walls attacked a band of hostile Kiowa and Commanche Indians and killed over 60 braves. This was "Kit" Carson's last fight. (1936)

First Battle of Adobe Walls

Marker Title: First Battle of Adobe Walls
City: Stinnett
County: Hutchinson
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: from Stinnett take SH 207, north to junction with SH 136.
Marker Text: Largest Indian battle in Civil War. 15 miles east, at ruins of Bent's Old Fort, on the Canadian. 3,000 Comanches and Kiowas, allies of the South, met 372 Federals under Colonel Kit Carson, famous scout and mountain man. Though Carson made a brilliant defense - called greatest fight of his career - the Indian won. Some of the same Indians lost in 1874 Battle of Adobe Walls, though they outnumbered 700 to 29 the buffalo hunters whose victory helped open the Panhandle to settlement. (1964)

Antelope Creek Ruins

Marker Title: Antelope Creek Ruins
City: Borger
County: Hutchinson
Year Marker Erected: 1997
Marker Location: 4.5 mi. W of Borger on SH 136
Marker Text: Plains Village Native Americans occupied a series of interconnected rock dwellings near here from about 1200-1500. Called "Texas" first apartment house," the ruins have been the focus of numerous excavations through the years. Made of native dolomite, the rock and slab dwellings averaged about 12 feet by 15 feet in size with a single opening, a long crawlway, on the east side. Other rooms contained a central hearth under four roof-support posts, while smaller rooms were thought to be for storage. Adobe platforms may have been an altar for ceremonial purposes. The ruins are located near a branch of the Canadian River, providing a perennial source of water. The creek bottom soil of sandy loam allowed residents to harvest crops including corn, beans, squash and pumpkin. The semi-sedentary natives also hunted bison, antelope, deer, and small animals as evidenced by the bones and tools found at the site. Artifacts recovered include small arrow points, beveled and oval knives, bone implements, grinding stones, and cord marked ceramics. Considerable information on the artifact assemblage and village structure was gained from the Works Progress Administration excavations from 1938-41 and subsequent interpretive works in 1946. (1997)

Bents Creek

Marker Title: Bents Creek
City: Borger
County: Hutchinson
Year Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Location: from Borger take SH 136 north about 6 miles
Marker Text: Named for Charles (1799-1847) and William Bent (1809-1869), famed for frontier trading with mountain men and "wild" Indians. As early as 1835 they came from their headquarters near present La Junta, Colorado, to trade with the Kiowas and Comanches along the Canadian River, in this vicinity. They built at least three posts along the river and tributary creeks; most permanent post was Fort Adobe, built 1843-1844. In the ruins of this fort (northeast of here) Kit Carson fought his last big Indian battle (1854), and buffalo hunters and Indians fought the Battle of Adobe Walls in 1874. (1971)

Drift Fence

Marker Title: Drift Fence
City: Stinnett
County: Hutchinson
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Location: from Stinnet, take SH 207 north, 10 miles to marker
Marker Text: Famed cattleman Charles Goodnight established one of the first ranches in the Texas Panhandle, the J A Ranch, in 1876. Later that year, Thomas S. Bugbee established the first cattle ranch in Hutchinson County. As a result of soaring beef prices cattle ranching proliferated in this region of the U.S. in the 1880s. The Texas Panhandle, with its open range and expansive grasslands, became the preferred winter grazing site for cattle migrating south from Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas. This seasonal influx of cattle disrupted the practice of area ranchers who went to great lengths to respect adjacent ranch boundaries. Members of the Panhandle Stock Association pooled their resources and in 1882-85 erected barbed wire barriers along a 200-mile stretch of the Panhandle including Hutchinson County to prevent cattle from drifting south into the fertile Canadian River Valley. The "drift fence" worked too well in the winters of 1886 and 1887 when thousands of cattle moving south ahead of strong storms stalled at the fence line and froze or were trampled to death. The staggering losses prompted federal and state legislation which limited fencing on public lands and the "drift fence" was removed or incorporated into private ranch fencing. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995.

Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail

Marker Title: Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail
City: Borger
County: Hutchinson
Year Marker Erected: 1974
Marker Location: in front of gazebo near library and admistration building, Frank Phillips Junior College, 1300 W. Roosevelt, Borger
Marker Text: Josiah Gregg (1806-50) blazed the Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail in 1840 as a shorter route between the U.S. and New Mexico. He crossed this site on March 17, 1840, while returning to Arkansas from a trading expedition to Santa Fe and Chihuahua. In a book, "Commerce of the Prairies", published in 1844, Gregg recommended the new route, which paralleled the Canadian River. Over 2,000 California-bound gold seekers traveled it in 1849. The largest wagon train of that year was accompanied by U.S. Army troops commanded by Captain Randolph B. Marcy (1812-87), who made a survey of the trail for a proposed national wagon road. Marcy's party crossed this site on June 9, 1849. The extensive use of the Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail in the early 1850s caused it to be considered as a favorable route for a transcontinental railroad. Lt. A.W. Whipple of the Army Corps of Engineer surveyed a possible route in the summer of 1853. By the late 1850s, emigrants were traveling a more southern road through El Paso, which was eventually to become the southern railroad route, and the Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail fell into disuse and was finally abandoned. In many places on the Plains, the wagon ruts are still visible in the undisturbed prairie sod. (1974

Hutchinson County Courthouse

Marker Title: Hutchinson County Courthouse
City: Stinnett
County: Hutchinson
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Location: S.H. 207, Courthouse Square, Stinnett
Marker Text: Hutchinson County, named for prominent judge and writer Anderson Hutchinson, was one of 54 counties created out of the District of Bexar in 1876 by the Texas Legislature. It was not until 1901, however, that the county was officially organized. That year a temporary county courthouse was erected in the county seat of Plemons. A permanent courthouse was built in Plemons by contractor E.E. Ackers. Stinnett replaced Plemons as Hutchinson County Seat in 1926. The county courthouse was temporarily housed in an office building in downtown Stinnett in 1926 before this courthouse was erected in 1927 at a time of major oil discoveries in the area. Designed by Amarillo architect W.C. Townes and built by local contractor C.S. Lambie & Company, the Spanish renaissance revival style building also housed the county jail. It features brick construction with cut-stone ornamentation, a 3-bay primary facade with grand entry bay, raised basement with end entries, metal sash windows and second floor window with round-arch stone lintels. Friezes at the east and west entrances of the courthouse depict the petroleum, farm and ranch, and cattle industries, historically the three principal commercial enterprises in the area. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1962.

Hutchinson County Museum

Museum Name: Hutchinson County Museum
Street Address: 618 N. Main
City: Borger
Zip Code: 79007
Area Code: 806
Phone: 273-0130
County: Hutchinson
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Military, Aviation, Natural History, Archeology, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer

Marcy Trail

Marker Title: Marcy Trail
City: Borger
County: Hutchinson
Year Marker Erected: 1956
Marker Location: SH 136, .5 miles west of intersection with SH 207
Marker Text: Captain R.B. Marcy commissioned in 1840 by the Federal government to establish a less hazardous route with good water on an even terrain, to be more direct from Fort Smith thru Santa Fe to the gold fields of California. This historical marker was dedicated on the path by the Rotary Club of Borger Texas, June 19, 1956. (1956)


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