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    ADOBE WALLS, TEXAS

    Texas Ghost Town
    Hutchinson County, Texas Panhandle
    17 miles NE of Stinnett
    28 miles NE of Borger
    78 miles NE of Amarillo
    Just north of the Canadian River
    Population: between unknown and zero

    Adobe Walls Area Hotels: Borger Hotels | Amarillo Hotels
    Hutchinson County Tx Highway Markers
    Hutchinson County Highway Markers
    located in a Road Side Park 6 miles north of Borger.

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008

    A Visit to Adobe Walls

    History in a Pecan Shell

    The name Adobe Walls has been applied to several trading posts north of the Canadian River.

    Fort Adobe
    The earliest date is given as 1843 and the first structure appeared around 1845-46 when an 80 foot square adobe structure was built and aptly called Fort Adobe.

    Indian misbehavior forced the post to close by 1848. Attempts were made to reestablish the post, but it was finally blown up in frustration, providing the Panhandle with its first landmark ruins.

    First Battle of Adobe Walls (See Markers)
    In 1865 the First Battle of Adobe Walls was fought when Colonel “Kit” Carson and his force of 335 men (with 75 Indian allies) fought hostile Kiowas, with assorted Apaches, Comanches, and Arapahoes near the ruins. The casualties were three dead with 15 wounded for the Army and Indian casualties were estimated to be 60 killed or wounded.
    (See
    Kit Carson at Adobe Walls by Clay Coppedge
    The First Battle of Adobe Walls featured a man who was a legend in his own time and who was actually deserving of that reputation... more)

    Second Battle of Adobe Walls (See Markers)
    Ten years later, Dodge City, Kansas merchants opened a trading post/ restaurant/ saloon a mile from the original ruins. Trade with the area’s buffalo hunters flourished until June 1874 when the Second Battle of Adobe Walls took place. The main building was constructed of sod - in the fashion of Kansas buildings - and although the complex was overwhelmed by a force estimated between 300 to over a thousand Indians, the defenders held their own with only three dead (one an accident after the fight was over). The post was abandoned.
    (See Veteran Recounts Battle of Adobe Walls by Mike Cox
    Fifty years earlier, surrounded by hundreds of hostile Indians, Andrew Johnson and the other occupants of the Panhandle trading post and buffalo hunter’s camp called Adobe Walls fought desperately for their lives... more)

    Later the Turkey Track Ranch made its headquarters near the original site. Former Army scout and survivor of the 1874 fight, Billy Dixon built a house at the ruins of Fort Adobe. In 1887 Dixon’s house became the community post office and Dixon became postmaster.

    Adobe Walls as touted as an up and coming settlement in an attempt to recruit settlers, but in truth it never truly developed. The population never exceeded 20 throughout the 20th Century.

    A Visit to Adobe Walls

    Photographer's Note:
    "All there is to be seen of Adobe Walls are Markers and Monuments. Some are on the Stinnett-Spearman highway and the rest are at the site. There are no structures or remains of any kind to be seen." - Barclay Gibson, January 28, 2009

    First Battle Of Adobe Walls Site / Markers

    Texas First Battle Of Adobe Walls Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Historical Marker Text
    First Battle of Adobe Walls
    Largest Indian battle in Civil War. 15 miles east, at ruins of Bent's Old Fort, on the Canadian.

    3,000 Comanches and Kiowas, allies of the South, met 372 Federals under Colonel Kit Carson, famous scout and mountain man. Though Carson made a brilliant defense - called greatest fight of his career - the Indian won.

    Some of the same Indians lost in 1874 Battle of Adobe Walls, though they outnumbered 700 to 29 the buffalo hunters whose victory helped open the Panhandle to settlement.

    (1964)
    Battle of Adobe Walls Texas Centennial  Marker
    Battle of Adobe Walls site, Texas Centennial marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    First Battle of Adobe Walls site
    First Battle Of Adobe Walls Site
    Photo courtesy Erick Whetstone, 4-22-04
    Hutchinson County - Battle of Adobe Walls Centennial Marker
    Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2010

    See Battle of Adobe Walls Centennial Marker >
    Located on private property about 1/4 mile west of the other markers
    Second Battle of Adobe Walls - Battle Ground Marker
    June 27, 1874
    Texas June27-1874 Adobe Walls Battle Ground Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Second Battle of Adobe Walls Battle Ground Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Marker in Momory of The Indian Warriors
    Who Fell in The Second Battle of Adobe Walls

    June 27, 1874
    Second Battle Adobe Walls Indian Warriors Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Second Battle Adobe Walls Indian Warriors Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Subject: Battle of Adobe Walls

    "The Indians did make a comment as they were leaving the scene of Adobe Walls.
    I am surprised that it isn't noted (That I could find.)

    Maybe I know because I am part Caddo. but, when I visited the location in 1966 with my dad, he told me this. Due to the distance from the mounds that the bullet traveled and found it's high ground mark to the North, that one Chief stated: "Shoot today, Kill tomorrow."

    In 1966 when we visited, the mounds were only about 2 feet high, I have not been back since. The walls were formed in a small square as best that I could tell. The location on the North side of the Canadian River was located near a bend in the river that turned in a southerly direction. There were a few Cottonwood trees near the river and a Texas plaque on a metal post stating the information about the 1874 battle." - Cal Hunt, February 03, 2011
    Archeological Site

    The Panhandle-Plains Historical Society acquired six-acres of the 1874 site in 1923 and archeological digs have turned up a trove of artifacts. The site is on the National Register and is Texas state archeological landmark.

    Adobe Walls Area Hotels:
    Borger Hotels | Amarillo Hotels
    William Dixon
    Indian Scout 6 US Cavalry
    William Dixon,  Battle of Adobe Walls, Texas Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    William Dixon Indian Scout Indian Wars Medal of Honor marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    William Dixon 1850-1913 marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008

    From "Water needed for towns" by Delbert Trew

    History 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 River.

    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.

    History also leaves the impression the site seemed to die after the Indians returned and burned it to the ground. This is not true. Adobe 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.

    With buffalo hunters, ranchers, cowboys, mustang hunters and others visiting for some seven years after the Indian battle, there is no doubt Adobe Walls had an interesting and continuing history and afterlife.
    © Delbert Trew

    Hutchinson County Tx Bents Creek Marker
    Bents Creek Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
    Related Articles:

  • Bird's Creek by Clay Coppedge
    "Sometimes history remembers the marksman and other times it's the victim whose name attaches itself to historical immortality. The deciding factor is who writes the history, and the history of the Old West was not written by the Indians.

    That's why frontiersman Billy Dixon's famous rifle shot in 1874 at the Battle of Adobe Walls has become part of western history and mythology. It's known as the shot of the century..." more

  • Veteran Recounts Battle of Adobe Walls by Mike Cox
    "Fifty years earlier, surrounded by hundreds of hostile Indians, Andrew Johnson and the other occupants of the Panhandle trading post and buffalo hunter’s camp called Adobe Walls fought desperately for their lives..." more

  • Kit Carson at Adobe Walls by Clay Coppedge
    "The First Battle of Adobe Walls ... featured a man who was a legend in his own time and who was actually deserving of that reputation..." more
  • Hutchinson County Texas 1907 postal map
    1907 Hutchinson County postal map showing Adobe Walls
    (Above "ON" in "HUTCHINSON")
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.

    Adobe Walls Area Hotels:
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    Adobe Walls , Texas
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