Young County History 1922
Young County History Written in 1922
Young County may probably be considered the cornerstone in the history and development of Northwest Texas. For many years the Young Land District and the Young District Court comprised a jurisdiction greater than that of many states in the Union. Around the nucleus of a military post, settlement at Fort Belknap was begun during the '50s. The county was created by the Legislature hi 1856 and a county government instituted, but as a result of the depredations of the savages, organization was abandoned in 1864. It was during the '70s and early '80s, before any railroads were built into Northwest Texas, that Young County exercised so extensive an official relation with the yast district to the north and west. In April, 1874, the county government was permanently organized, after a lapse of ten years.
Two years after the establishment of the military post at Fort Worth, owing to the continued advance of settlers, a new line of frontier had to be drawn, and in 1850 the government directed the establishment of two forts, one of which was Fort Belknap, on the Brazos River in what is Young County, and the other Fort Phantom Hill, on the Clear Fork of the Brazos in the southeastern part of what is now Jones County. The first company of soldiers reached Fort Belknap in November, 1850.
Besides its importance in protecting the line of frontier Belknap was a center of population during the '50s. In "Information About Texas," published about 1857, Fort Belknap and the surrounding country are thus described : "Young County is the extreme northwest county of the state. It was formed by the Legislature of 1856-57 out of Cooke. Fort Belknap and Indian Reservation are within its limits. Following the beaten track from Fort Graham in Hill County to Fort Belknap, you will, after a tedious journey through the Cross Timbers, reach a range of rugged but open hills, with the Brazos meandering through the narrow valley. Fort Belknap may be seen in the distance. It is a situation of considerable importance, has a spacious magazine. comfortable quarters for the troops and buildings for the officers. Below the fort is a fine spring and a well of considerable depth, affording abundance of water.
"South of the fort half a mile is the county seat. Follow a trail from Fort Belknap about twelve miles in a southeast direction and you come to the villages of Wacos and Tonkawas upon the Indian Reservation. At the distance of a mile is the large trading house of Charles Barnard and the residence of the Indian Agent. Six miles further you come to the villages of the Delawares, Caddoes and Shawnees. The valley of the Clear Fork of the Brazos is already settled as far up as Camp Cooper. During the year 1856 about 2,500 acres of land were under cultivation in this county, and there are several thousand head of stock in the county. The market is good, but limited at present to Fort Belknap and Camp Cooper."