Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed the snow this week, and you are keeping warm! I know we had a
lot of fun at my house. Daughter Alicia got the 4 wheeler out, and when she and Area Weekly editor
Christina put their heads together, they devised a way for Alicia to pull Christina around in the snow.
I don’t know who had more fun…Christina… …or Alicia!
After being cooped up inside all week, I had to get out!
Sunday dawned a beautiful blue sky day and the wide open
road was calling my name. So, after a trip to church I packed
up the camera and headed out. South on 144, east on 67. I
didn’t care where I was going this week…I was just going.
About half way between Glen Rose and Cleburne I
remembered the Chisholm Trail park, just outside of
Cleburne. That would be my first stop…
Well, I was in for a surprise…the gate was locked! I couldn’t get in!! But, that didn’t stop me from
pulling up on the side of the road and getting a glimpse of what life might have been like during the
Chisholm Trail days, when the cowboys were driving the cattle to market in Kansas. You know, that
sounds like another adventure. I think we’ll have to try and follow some of the old cattle drive trails
when the weather is a little warmer. Who knows what we might find!
||It is the sight of the first county seat in Johnson County –
The area was settled as early as the mid 1840’s when
Charles and George Barnard opened a trading post near
Comanche Peak. Remember? We learned about them
when we went to Glen Rose and visited the mill?? I’ll
tell you a little more about them later today too. We’re
going to stop at a few places they might have been.
Any way, back to the story…
looking at the park and the surrounding area we can see how the original
townsite has been recreated. Where the lake is now – that used to be the Nolan
The story says that the Nolan river was named for a soldier of fortune – Philip Nola was killed in the 1820’s with some of his party. You can see the teepees representing the Indian settlement that was nearby.
From what the stories say, there weren’t any permanent Indian settlements in the
area, although the Tonkawas, Kicapoos, Anadarkos, Caddos and Wacos
hunted in the area. In 1851 they lead an uprising, forcing many of the early
settlers from their homes.
I continued on down the road into Cleburne, there I hit another roadblock!
The courthouse I was going to take a picture of to add to my collection was
under construction. UGGH!!! So, instead of the courthouse “steeple”
against the bright blue sky I had pictured in my head – this is the picture I
Cleburne has a beautiful building that now houses the Layland Museum. I
discovered it years ago, when Aunt Alicia was in Girl Scouts and we took a
trip to Cleburne. I still remember all the wonderful exhibits it has, even
though I didn’t get to go inside this time. But, I did learn something
interesting about it. It was formerly the Carnegie Library. For those of you
who don’t know, Andrew Carnegie was an industrialist and philanthropist,
who lived from 1835-1919. He began his career as a bobbin boy, earning
$1.20 a week. He worked in a telegraph office (who remembers or even
knows now what a telegraph was???) and learned the trade and went to work
for a railroad. After a series of promotions he had an interest in the Pullman
Co. (any one remember Pullman cars? No, not the kind you drive, they were
train cars!). At the age of 33, he had an annual income of $50,000, he’d come a long way from his
bobbin boy days.
He said, “Beyond this never earn, make no effort to increase fortune, but spend the
surplus each year for benevolent purposes.” And as his fortune grew, he followed that belief by donating
more than $350 million to various educational, cultural and peace institutions. The Carnegie Library in
a little town in Texas was the benefactor of one of those donations after the women of the town petitioned the Carnegie Foundation. And because of their dedication, and the generosity of one man, in
1904 we still have this beautiful old building to admire and enjoy.
Cleburne also has some other
interesting sights and another of
my favorites – building murals.
This one is still being painted, so I
can’t wait to go back and visit it
when it is finished…
Soon it was time to head back
home, but not without taking a
detour or two. You know
me…there is no historical marker
safe from my reading, and few
roads not worth exploring.
None the less, I headed back west on Hwy 67, and of course, I couldn’t just
go straight home. There was a historical maker! I had to stop! I had to know what it said! And that
one, lone, historical marker led me down other roads and on to other stories…
As I wandered down
one road, I wondered
what the original
owners of these old
farms would have
thought about the new “neighbor” on the
horizon… Would they have been as
frightened of it as the Indians
were of the first “iron horses”
crossing the countryside?
A little farther down the road is a sign pointing the way to Bono. Well I had to know what is in Bono,
so I took a right on FM2331 and about a mile down the road I found a wide open agricultural
community. Bono was settled in the 1870’s when two families, Calvin Jones and BH Williamson who
donated 20 acres for a townsite. At one time the town had a gin, two stores, two churches, and a school.
All I found on a
Sunday afternoon was a church and community building (along with a lot of cows of course). After wandering around a while, I headed back down to Hwy 67 and a little farther along the road I
found another historical marker … This one told the story of how brothers Charles and George Bernard
formed one of the Torey Trading Posts not too far from here. Remember, I told you about that when we
went to Glen Rose? If you don’t remember, you can go to www.texasoutside.com/twg and you can
read all about them.
||I wandered on down the road, on down to George’s Creek
Cemetery (take the road just behind the historic marker)
and wandered through some of the countryside they first
discovered in the late 1840’s. I imagined it looked much
like it does today – minus the power lines and fences of
course! Instead of the occasional house the land was
scattered with log cabins and a Shawnee-Delaware Indian
Village was nearby.
A few more roads to wander and a few more sites to see; I was
sad when I passed these beautiful deer. They should have been
Ahhh, well, another day is coming to a close and it’s time to
head back to the highway and head for home.
I hope you’ve
enjoyed our trip today as much as I have!!!
Til’ next time ...
P.S. Do you have a story to share or a place you would like me to visit? Would you like to sponsor one of Grandma’s trips to
your special place? E-mail [email protected]
Visit www.texasoutside.com/twg to read more about Grandma’s travels.
© Story and all pictures are copyright of Sharon L. Curry. No portion of this story or pictures may be reproduced in whole or
part without the express written permission of Sharon L. Curry.