Robert E. Nail, Jr. Historical Archives at Old Jail Art Center

Guide to the Fort Griffin Records

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Shackelford County Residents
Title: Fort Griffin Records
Abstract: Printed material, printed biographical material and maps about Fort Griffin, Texas and residents.
Identification: AR.2005.007; AR.2005.017
Quantity: 5 containers; 1.8 cubic feet
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Robert E. Nail, Jr. Archives
Old Jail Art Center, , 201 S. 2nd St., , Albany, TX 76430

Biographical Note

Just after the American Civil War settlers began to make their way west for various reasons. The Shackelford County area of west Texas offered many miles of grassland for grazing cattle. Fort Griffin was established in 1867 to protect settlers from the Comanche and Kiowa. The Fort was abandoned in 1881 following the removal of said Indian nations from the area. In addition to its official purpose, Ft. Griffin also served as escort to wagon trains, offered protection to buffalo hunters and ranchers, surveyed and mapped the wilderness, strung telegraph lines, and gave law and order to the town of Ft. Griffin.

Before law and order took hold in the town of Ft. Griffin, it was considered one of the wildest of the wild west towns. The residents of Ft. Griffin saw legends such as Bat Masterson, Pat Garrett, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, John Sleman, Lottie Deno, Big Nose Kate, and Hurricane Bill. The town was also the headquarters for the buffalo trade in the area. The citizenry of the time envisioned more than just a collection of merchants, soldiers, and outlaws. Residents of Ft. Griffin soon built a school, a Masonic Lodge, organized a county government, and began to chase out the outlaws. They even hosted the second annual meeting of the North Texas Cattle Raisers Association. In the end, however, the town was abandoned shortly after the Fort was closed in 1881.

Scope and Contents

Ft. Griffin records contain official and legal records, printed material and maps relating to the town and military outpost of Fort Griffin, Texas 1867-1881.


The series is arranged by date with the exception of the Biographical Information and undated material, which are arranged alphabetically. Biographical Information may also contain correspondence. The remaining subseries, Military Post of Ft. Griffin, Town of Ft. Griffin, and Ft. Griffin State Park, are arranged by date.


Restrictions on Access

Open to the Public

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Fort Griffin
Fort Griffin State Park
Fort Griffin
Albany, Shackelford County, Texas
American Civil War
Fort Griffin

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

AR.2005.007; AR.2005.017

Alternative Form Available

Fort Griffin Records - Raw XML

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Fort Griffin Records, 1877-1999

Official and Legal Records
Box Folder
4 1 Federal Government Records, 1877-1932
Letters received by the appointment, commission, and personal branch, Adjutant General's Office, 1871-1894
Box Folder
4 2 Mackenzie, Ranald S. (Microfiche), 1862-1885
2 Lawton, Henry W. (Microfiche), 1866-1897
Printed Material
Box Folder
1 1 The Border Command, Col. Martin L. Crimmins, undated
2 Heron abstracts, undated
2 Miscellaneous notes, undated
3 Noted Frontier Towns, undated
4 Early Ft. Griffin called toughest of west Texas towns, Lynn County News, 1932
5 Assorted newspaper articles about Ft. Griffin, 1936-1969, undated
6 Ft. Griffin on the Texas Frontier, Book Review, W.G. Webb, Jr., 1956
7 Fort Griffin, Jim Koethe, 1960
8 A year at Ft. Griffin on the Texas Frontier, Vernon Lynch, 10/1965
9 Custer's last battle, information on cavalry of the period, 8/1966
10 Picturesque Old Ft. Griffin, True West, 10/1972
11 Outpost on the Clear Fort, Texas Highways, 10/1983
12 Ft. Griffin Bell Dedication, Nancy Smith Elementary, 1999
Biographical Information
Box Folder
2 1 Bad Nell, 1955
2 Big Nose Kate, 2002
3 Bragg, J.J., 1978
4 Brock, James L., 1941-1956
5 Brownlee, Andrew, 1875
6 Champlin, W.B., 1942-1944
7 Dasch, John Christopher, 1968
8 Deno, Lottie, (inventory of contents in folder), 1950-1971
9 Dillard, Henry, 1936
10 Grahame, James W., undated
11 Holiday, John H. (Doc), 1945-1993
12 Howarth, Jacob aka Howard, 1935-1949
13 Lee, Robert E., 1857
14 Mackenzie, Col. Ranald, 1967-1990
15 Martin, Bill and Minnie (Hurricane), 1991-1995
16 Martin, Herbert C., 1982
17 Prestidge, J.H., undated
18 Robuck, E.A., 1945; undated
19 Sands, Frank, 1956
20 Shell, Dr. C.C., undated
21 Shock, Floyd, 1930
22 Smith, H.C. (Hank), 1935-1976
23 Soule, George A., undated
24 Tasker, George, 1877
25 Vines, Ellen Winnie, 1963
26 Walsh-Tierney, Mary, 1950
27 Wilhelm, George, 1942-1945
28 Wilson, William, 1881
Box Folder
1 13 Buck Barry's Map of Texas, handwritten, undated
14 Ft. Griffin Area, Aerial Map, undated
15 Ft. Griffin Town, Etta Soule, undated
16 Ft. Griffin Military maps, W.B. Champlin, 1941, undated
17 Clear Fork Area, Frank and Ola Stribling , 1944

Subseries A: Military Post of Ft. Griffin

Printed Material
Box Folder
1 18 Ft. Griffin military maps, Jacob Howarth, undated
Box Folder
3 4 Information on military buildings, undated
Box Folder
1 19 Official army register, 1856
20 Troops stationed at Ft. Griffin, 1867-1881, undated
21 Map of Chief Quartermaster Office, Department of Texas, 1871
22 Indian Records, 1910-1989; undated
23 Indian Incidents, 1937-1993; undated
Box Folder
3 1 Indian Records, 1956-1988; undated
2 Ft. Griffin military report 1870-1874, 1986

Subseries B: Town of Ft. Griffin

Printed Material
Box Folder
3 3 Ft. Griffin Masonic Lodge, undated
4 Information on town buildings, undated
5 Neighborhood and Cemetery maps, undated
6 Notes on early day clothing, undated
7 Song Lyrics, Phillippi's Ball, undated
8 Flood, 6/20/1879
9 Buffalo hunting industry, 1936-1989; undated
10 Information on businesses and houses buildings, 1943-1993; undated
Box Folder
2 19 Abstracts of Title, 1956

Subseries C: Ft. Griffin State Park

Printed Material
Box Folder
3 11 Ft. Griffin, 1936-1971
12 Special Re-evaluation Report, William E. Brown, 1965
13 A proposal for the restoration of Ft. Griffin, 1966
14 Texas Parks and Wildlife, 12/1966
15 Archaeological investigation, 1969
16 Archaeological investigation, 1975
Assorted Printed Material
Box Folder
3 17 Maps of Lambshead, undated
18 Frontier Army Wife , (Not Ft. Griffin), Shamrock, 1959