Fort Graham

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Fort Graham, a United States Army post, was established in March 1849 and was occupied on April 17 of that year by Maj. Ripley A. Arnold and companies F and I of the Second Dragoons under command of Bvt. Brig. Gen. William S. Harney, commander of the Frontier District of Texas. The site was near the eastern bank of the Brazos River at Little Bear Creek fourteen miles west of the site of present Hillsboro. According to material in the National Archives, the post was named for James D. Graham of the Corps of Topographical Engineers. Other sources, however, state that it was named for Lt. Col. William M. Graham of the Second Dragoons, who was killed in 1847 at the Mexican War battle of Molino del Rey.

The annexation of Texas and the other territorial gains made by the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had given the United States Army the responsibility for frontier defense and communication in the Southwest. Fort Graham was intended to help anchor the northern frontier defense line between the Towash Indian village and Fort Washita. Arnold's orders directed him to provide escorts for supply trains and travelers, to patrol the countryside as far as the forks of the Trinity, to protect the citizens from hostile incursions by Indians, and to attempt to conciliate the local Indians. During the first months, the men began construction of a number of log and clapboard structures including a commissary, officers' quarters, and a stable. Meanwhile, civilian laborers built a hospital, a carpenter and wheelwright shop, a blacksmith shop, three corncribs, a wagon and mule yard, and a quartermaster's storehouse.

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Sandra L. Myres | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Fort Graham is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Fort Graham is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Robertson)


Latitude: 32.01265380
Longitude: -97.40390420

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated