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Big Foot Wallace Drive/Ward Mountain to Granbury

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Hood County, Texas

My trip continues south on Hwy. 4 through Santo, I-20, and Lipan into Granbury. I-20W is the last chance to head out west and catch the Texas Fort-Overland Trail through Abilene. Hwy. 281S willl take you to the Hill Country. Katy Vine of Texas Monthly recently published an article regarding this 281 road trip.

Ward Mountain to Granbury Map

More Stories and Information on Fort Tours Road Trips

Picture of Big Foot Wallace
Big Foot Wallace

Below Lone Camp the road runs along beautiful Palo Pinto Creek Valley whose pecans Big Foot Wallace glowingly praised in an account of his 1837 visit.

Oil wildcatters brought a new kind of boomtown to Texas, and when law and order broke down, a Texas Rangers was often called in to restore peace. In the 1930s, Lone Wolf Gonzaullas, Texas Ranger, single-handedly brought order to lawless Kilgore, continuing his organization's policy of "One Riot, One Ranger." In the middle 50s, Lone Wolf, in one of his last great feats, busted the Hilltop Casino in southwest Tarrant County. Even to this day, no Texan, never mind his wealth or power, is held in higher esteem than a Ranger.

Picture of the Lone Ranger
Clayton Moore preceeded Chuck Norris as Hollywood's leading Ranger (Photo from the book, The Men Who Wear The Star, by Charles M. Robinson, III)

Ranger Jack Hays and Marshall Wyatt Earp, perhaps two of Texas' most famous figures, ended up in California. Hays founded and was first mayor of Oakland while Earp preferred hanging out on the movie sets of Hollywood.

Picture of Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Earp
Picture of Jack Hays
Jack Hays

Imagine the two of them in Los Angeles, still saddled with habits of the frontier, carefully surveying the street before they stepped out of a shaded barroom door, squinting over the other's shoulder, searching for danger up and down Sunset Blvd.

Picture of Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill Cody
Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill Cody

Buffalo Bill Cody and Chief Sitting Bull were the first western movie stars, appearing in an early Thomas Edison production. Cody exemplified the American Cowboy in his actions and dress.

Hoppy Serves a Writ
Hoppy Serves a Writ by Ed Blackburn

The shops surrounding the courthouse in Granbury undoubtedly make the best effort anywhere to represent the look and feel of a turn of the century community following the Indian Wars. On the edge of town stands Comanche Peak, from the beginning a landmark on Texas maps. A Ranger army from the Colorado River settlements failed to find the mountain where they were supposed to rendezvous with a Ranger force from East Texas. Like Phantom Hill, the height is only recognizable from one direction due to the subtle but severe elevation changes typical to North Texas. View to the south of Comanche Peak.

Picture of Granbury Court House
Granbury Court House

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