Post Oak Springs

Hugh Martin (Mart) Childress, Jr., cattle dealer and traildriver, son of Rev. Hugh Martin and Susannah (Watters) Childress, Sr., was born in Bastrop County, Texas, on May 24, 1835. He was the third of four children of a Methodist minister; the eldest son, Lemuel, was killed accidentally at the Alamo before the siege. His parents, both Tennesseans, had migrated in 1832 from Alabama to Bastrop County; the elder Childress served as a militiaman and ranger there and later fought under Edward Burleson at the battle of Salado Creek. By 1856 the family had settled near Camp Colorado in Coleman County. Hugh, Jr., entered the stock business in Lampasas and Brown counties and in 1859–60 won contracts to supply beef to Camp Colorado. In 1861 he started a ranch at Post Oak Springs in western Coleman County and was taxed for 400 cattle valued at $2,000. During the Civil War Childress served with J. J. Callan's minutemen and in Company B under Henry Fossett at Camp Colorado. In January 1865 he fought in the battle of Dove Creek against Kickapoo Indians bound for Mexico. In April he collected cattle to drive to northern markets but lost his horse herd to Comanche raiders. A year later, with his holdings increased to over 8,000 head through purchase and consignment, Childress piloted a small herd from Coleman County to central Iowa. In June 1866 he started 2,500 cattle to Colorado over what became the Goodnight-Loving Trail, but lost both cattle and horses to Indians before reaching the Pecos.

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

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