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. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of the Texas Hill Country Trail Region

Southern Texas Map
Numbers 7-11
Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
8-Arroyo Hondo, Battle of | 9-Castro, Henri | 9-Dubuis House | 8-Hondo Creek, Cow Camp Massacre on | 7-Lincoln, Site of Fort | 10-Mountain Valley | 8-Quihi, Town of | 11-Spanish Exploration in Medina County
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Ira Wheat | Wolf, Hoffman and Others | John Schriber | August Rothe | Harm Gerdes | Rube Smith | Zakery Deckert | Mrs. Vance | Walter Richarz and Joe Reff | Valentine Gouley
7-Site of Fort Lincoln

Marker Title: Site of Fort Lincoln
County: Medina
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From D'Hanis about 2 miles northwest on FM 1796, left onto CR 4204.
Marker Text: Est. by the United States Army July 7, 1849 as a link in a chain of posts extending from the Rio Grande to the Red River. Named in honor of Capt. George Lincoln who fell at Buena Vista Feb. 23, 1847. Abandoned July 20, 1852, after the frontier line had advanced further west. 1936

8-Battle of the Arroyo Hondo

Marker Title: Battle of the Arroyo Hondo
City: Hondo
County: Medina
Year Marker Erected: 1992
Marker Location: FM 462, 6.5 miles north of Hondo. From Hondo, take FM 462 North about 6.5 miles to marker.
Marker Text: In 1842 the Mexican Army launched three invasions into Texas to reclaim territory lost during the Texas Revolution. Col. Rafael Vasquez's Army briefly occupied San Antonio in March, and in July Texans fought with Col. Antonio Canales' forces near San Patricio. When Gen. Adrian Woll's Mexican forces advanced through South Texas and captured San Antonio on September 11, Texan volunteers gathered for battle. More than 200 men under the command of Matthew Caldwell assembled at Salado Creek six miles east of the city, where on September 18 they fought with the Mexicn Cavalry. With losses on both sides, the Mexicans returned briefly to San Antonio before beginning their march toward the border. Additional Texan forces marshaled to meet Woll's Army, and on September 21 another battle occurred at Hondo Creek (Arroyo Hondo) near this site. Although Texan and Mexican accounts of the engagement varied considerably, reliable sources indicate that the Texans, plagued by dissension and a lack of clear leadership, failed in their attempt to rout the Mexican forces. The Mexicans returned home and the Texas government, in response to the 1842 invasions, mounted the ill-fated Somervell Expedition later that year. 1992

Karnes' Arroyo Seco Fight: August 10, 1838
8-Cow Camp Massacre on Hondo Creek

Marker Title: Cow Camp Massacre on Hondo Creek
City: Hondo
County: Medina
Year Marker Erected: 1994
Marker Location: 402 N - at North County Line). From Hondo, take 462 North about 19.5 miles to county line.
Marker Text: During the mid-1800s the Texas Hill Country was the site of many hostile encounters, some deadly, between pioneer immigrants whose permanent settlements ran counter to area Native Americans accustomed to unrestrained hunting and gathering. One such encounter occurred near this site on January 27, 1866. Three young men from the area, August Rothe, age 19, George Miller, age 16, and Hubert Weynand, age 12, left their homes near D'Hanis to recover stray livestock, an important task for area farmers and ranchers. They set up camp on Hondo Creek and began the "cow hunt." On the morning of the third day Rothe and Weynand were returning to camp when suddenly Miller appeared running toward them with eight Indians in pursuit. Unable to untie their horses in time to escape on horseback, both Rothe and Miller ran for their lives up a hill; Weynand attempted his escape on horseback. The encounter resulted in Miller's death, Weynand's capture, and Rothe's heroic escape. Weynand was never seen nor heard from again. A scouting party later found Miller's mutilated body but were unable to apprehend the attackers. Contemporary author A.J. Sowell wrote of these events in his book, "Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas. 1994

8-Town of Quihi

Marker Title: Town of Quihi
County: Medina
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: At the dead end of CR 4520, across (south) from Bethlehem Church on FM 2676, Quihi.
Marker Text: Surveyed in October, 1844, by Henry Castro, 1781-1861, distinguished pioneer and colonizer of Texas est. in March,1845. By ten families in charge of Louis Huth, agent for Castro. Many settlers were killed by Indians before 1860. Erected by the state of Texas, 1936.

9-Henri Castro

Marker Title: Henri Castro
City: Castroville
County: Medina
Year Marker Erected: 1994
Marker Location: Located at September Square, bordered by US 90, Alamo Street, Lafayette Street, and Fiorella Street, Castroville.
Marker Text: Henri Castro, a native of Bayonne, France, and the descendant of Portuguese nobility, served briefly in Napoleon's French Army. In 1813 he married Marie Amelia Mathias. He later immigrated to the United States and in 1827 became a naturalized U.S. Citizen. He returned to Frane in 1838 and joined the banking house of Lafitte and Company. While there he helped negotiate a loan for the Republic of Texas for which a grateful President Sam Houston later appointed him Texas' General Consul in Paris. Between 1843 and 1847 Castro administered, as Empresario, the settlement of at least 2,134 European colonists in this area. Castro eventually exhausted his own personal wealth to sustain his colonial effort. His extraordinary dedication to his colonists has led many to compare him favorably to the legendary Stephen F. Austin. Henri and Marie lived in Castroville with their four foster children. By 1860, however, the family was living in San Antonio. Henri and his son, Lorrenzo, traveled to Eagle Pass to run a family mercantile business. On his way to France in 1865, Castro was diverted to Monterrey, Mexico, where he became ill and died. He was buried in Monterrey in 1865. In 1876 the newly created Castro County, Texas, was named for Henri Castro. 1994

9-Dubuis House

Marker Title: Dubuis House
County: Medina
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: On Angelo Street across from St. Louis Church, Castroville.
Marker Text: The two original rooms in this house were erected 1847 by Father Claude M. Dubuis, from Lyons, France, aided by Father Chazelle (who soon died of typhus). Father Dubuis, the first priest in Castro's colony, was captured twice by Comanches in 1847, but escaped unharmed. He alter was Bishop of Texas. This house replaced a picket hut. It was first example of French-Alsation Architecture in Castroville. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1966. Incise in base: Restored 1965 by Mr. & Mrs. G.G. Gillette.

10-Mountain Valley

Marker Title: Mountain Valley
County: Medina
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: On Medina Dam.
Marker Text: Established in 1854 by 16 families of mormons under the leadership of Lyman Wight (1796-1858). They abandoned their homes and mills in 1858 as the result of Indian pepredations. Their lands are now beneath the waters of Medina Lake. Erected by the State of Texas - 1936.

11-Spanish Exploration in Medina County

Marker Title: Spanish Exploration in Medina County
City: Devine
County: Medina
Year Marker Erected: 1989
Marker Location: Three miles north of Devine on 173 (Route).
Marker Text: By 1531 Spain ruled present Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, half of South America, and much of the United States. The desire to claim new lands north of the Rio Grande led to continuous Spanish expeditions through present Texas during the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries. The expedition of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca traveled through Texas between 1526 and 1537, exploring and mapping the unknown territory. Later Spanish expeditions, which established missions, presidios (forts), and townships, included those led by Alonso de Leon; Father Manuel de la Cruz; Father Juan La Rios and Fernando del Bosque; Domingo Teran de los Rios; and Father Isidro de Espinosa. At least twenty Spanish expeditions led by soldiers, missionaries, and settlers crossed present Medina County before 1844. Detailed descriptions of the area appear in the official accounts of many of the expeditions. Many of the county's geographical features retain the names given them by Spanish explorers of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries. Spanish names associated with early settlements, sites, rivers, and streams serve as reminders of the rich Spanish heritage of the area now known as Medina County. 1989

Harm Gerdes

    It was about 1865, while out hunting his horse, the Indians killed Harm Gerdes, who lived on the Cuihi, in Medina County. They found him about two miles east of this home, where he had been mortally lanced by the savages, who caught him unarmed, although he was an excellent shot, and marksman.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Bud Neuman, Joe Nay, and others who lived in this section at the time.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

John Schriber

    John Schriber who lived near D'Hanis, in Medina County, left his home one morning in 1861, on a mule in search of oxen. Later during the same day, the mule returned without Schriber and with an arrow sticking in its side. A searching party was sent out, and Mr. Schriber was found dead and scalped where he had been massacred by the Indians.

Mrs. Vance

    About 1869, Mrs. Vance, who lived at Wandenburg, on the Verde, in Medina County, was away from home and was killed by the Indians. She was found three miles to the north.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Ned Neuman and Joe Ney, who lived in Medina Co., at the time.

Rube Smith

    Rube Smith, who lived near the Hondo, and about ten miles southeast of the town of Hondo, while hunting stock alone during 1866, a short distance from his home, was killed by the savages.

    Ref. Author interviewed Joe Ney.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

Zakery Deckert

    During 1867, the Indians killed Zakery Deckert who lived at D'Hanis, in Medina County, and who was out hunting oxen. He was found about 15 miles southeast of his home.

    Note: Author interviewed: Joe Ney, who lived in that section at the time.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

Valentine Gouley

About 1871, the Indians killed Valentine Gouley, about five miles southwest of Castroville, while hunting his horses.

Note: Interviewed: Bud Newman and Joe Ney, who then lived in Medina County.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

Walter Richarz and Joe Reff

    About 1871, Walter Richarz and Joe Reff were going from their home near D'Hanis, in Medina County, to old Fort Lincoln, where H.J. Richarz, father of Walter Richarz, was camped. When they were about seven miles west of Sabinal, and just west of Dinner Creek, in Uvalde County, the two were killed by Indians, who took their horses and pack-mules.

    Note: Author interviewed: Joe Ney, of Hondo.

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