Tarrant County, TXGenWeb

Early Settlers - Before Dido, Texas
(Published Oct. 17, 2002, NW Times-Record)

Contributed by Kenneth Klein
Staff Writer, NW Times-Record

 

The covered wagons lumbered slowly across the field of flowers. They forged across two small creeks feeding into a river. The bluebonnets and Indian paint brushes danced under large oak trees. Their long journey had ended. They had reached their Eden.

The journey had been long and hard, and the families had been getting increasingly tired of the trail. On a good day, they could travel 12 to 15 miles. But if they happened upon inclement weather or a flooded crossing, they could be halted indefinitely. But outriders would ride ahead of the procession, exploring the area ahead for possible dangers, availability of game such as rabbit and deer, as well as a site to camp down each and every night. They dared not travel at night unless there was a full moon. The scouts also kept a watchful eye for Caddo, Tonkawas and Comanches, as they were unwelcome guests in Indian country.

The pioneers set up camp just a few hundred yards inland on the creek and named it Dozier Creek, for one of the families that helped blazed the trail to this spot. The nearby river was called the Arkikosa by the Indians, but it was known as the Trinity River to the Anglos. The Dozier men built a log cabin for their family, and the women began to perform housekeeping and try to restore some stability in their lives. But this new Eden came with a price tag, and fighting for it cost some of the settlers their lives; and Dozier Cemetery was founded. Adjoining the cemetery was a school and church to serve the Doziers and the handful of other settlers in this area. Adam Dozier filed for a state land grant in 1846, and William Dozier owned 320 acres of land. The location of this acreage cannot be established, but it is thought that the majority is now covered by Eagle Mountain Lake. Alexander Dozier received mail at the Dido Post Office between 1874 and 1870, which meant that the Doziers were familiar with the Thurmond family and the Dido community.

Many of us know that the earliest documented family to arrive here was in 1848, when David Thurmond and his family arrived here from Virginia, in this new area that came to be known as Dido. (But we'll cover the Dido Community in a later "Our Corner of the County").

It is strongly believed that the Doziers were the first family to settle in this area, but this can't be confirmed because of lack of documentation. Besides the usual poor record-keeping of the day, there were other problems - Texas would not be a State until December 29th, 1845 and Tarrant County was not created until 1849 (we were part of Navarro County). An outpost to defend against Indian attacks called Fort Worth would not be built until the same year. But if any records did survive, then they were more than likely destroyed in the Tarrant County Courthouse fire of 1876.

There are only telltale remains left of the Dozier family. Dozier Creek and Little Dozier Creek still exist, flowing under Boat Club Road between Possum Lodge and Harbor One Restaurant. The Dozier Cemetery (also known as Harmon Cemetery) still exists today, with about 29 graves marked with rocks. Of these 29 graves, only 21 of the markers have been identified. The oldest marker is that of Abigail Harmon (1806 - 1865). Besides the Dozier family, the Harmons, Simmons and Reeds were large families that tried to settle here.

 

Bibliography
Books: Dido, one hundred eight-four years of community development, Dido Cemetery Association
North of the River, A brief history of North Fort Worth, J'Nell Pate
Fort Worth: Outpost on the Trinity, Oliver Knight
Online: Gage, Duane, Cemeteries in Tarrant County; All known Burial Sites, http://web2.iadfw.net/hdbtdw/tcoburs.htm
Tarrant County TXGenWeb - Harmon Cemetery, www.rootsweb.com/~txtarran
Vanished Town and Communities of Tarrant County, Texas, www.censusdiggins.com


 

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