was the most important ingredient needed to establish a new town
or settlement? Live water, either at or close by the site. Every
early Panhandle settlement
including Palo Duro, Adobe
Walls, Rifle Pits, Hays, Trujillo, Salinas, Fort
and Old Clarendon were started because of the abundance of water
nearby in springs or creeks. Most of the first arrivals came by
horseback and had no tools or the inclination to dig a hand-dug
This began to change when the first railroads appeared. Why? Because
huge tank cars could haul water to dry settlements, section crew
camps and cattle shipping pens. Old plastered wall cisterns still
show at some of these sites. Once the process of water well drilling
was perfected, a settlement, ranch or a homestead could be founded
anywhere water could be found underground.
Now, more than 130 years later, water is still the most important
ingredient needed for a town, city or a country abode. Some of life's
most precious things never change.
states on June 27, 1874, at daylight, a large force of Indians under
the command of Quanah
Parker attacked the Buffalo Hide hunting camp of Adobe
Walls, located northeast of Borger
just north of the Canadian
Reams of information have been written about the famous battle,
recovered artifacts fill numerous displays in museums, and the battle
participants have been awarded honors and made famous for their
efforts during this famous episode in Panhandle
History also leaves the impression the site seemed to die after
the Indians returned and burned it to the ground. This is not true.
Walls do not burn, only the wooden
portions of the roof and partitions inside were destroyed. In fact,
according to Cleon Roberts, historian and writer from Hereford,
in his article published in a book titled "The Encyclopedia of Buffalo
Hunters and Skinners," Adobe
Walls lived and thrived for about seven more years after the
Indians supposedly left it in ashes.
It seems a stockade (standing adobe walls) was used as a store run
by A.G. Springer in 1875, a year later. James H. Cator, a famous
buffalo hunter and resident living at the nearby Zulu Stockade,
visited the site many times for supplies.
hunters, ranchers, cowboys, mustang hunters and others visiting
for some seven years after the Indian battle, there is no doubt
had an interesting and continuing history and afterlife.
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" September
7 , 2009 Column