Lambshead and Daws Crossing on the Clear Fork Comanche Reservation (1855-1859)

This is Lambshead, one of the oldest ranches in the area. It was first built by J.A. Matthews. It lies south of the old Butterfield Stage Route. You could get from St. Louis, MO to San Francisco, CA in 25 days using this route.

This is Daws Crossing where Robert E. Lee signed a peace treaty with the Comanche…for as long as that lasted. It was the site of the main Comanche village at that time. Unfortunately, nothing of the old village is left. This is also where cattle crossed going north on the Western Cattle Trail up to Dodge City. We had a picnic lunch right here on the banks of the river and as we ate we thought about the long violent history of this place.

Part of the Comanche Reservation and Lambshead. The main reservation was mostly north of Lambshead but encompassed Daws Corssing.

The country side is very different today than it was back then and a western writer has to be aware of that. At one time all this was open prairie with an occasional mesquite tree grove. But as the land become “civilized” all the prairie dogs were killed. They used to eat the green mesquite shoots before they became trees. Also, farmers and ranchers started to put out prairie fires. Fire was  a renewing force which kept the prairie open. Now you are hard pressed to find good open prairie anywhere in the vicinity of Fort Griffin or Lambshead.

4 Replies to “Lambshead and Daws Crossing on the Clear Fork Comanche Reservation (1855-1859)”

  1. The Daw’s Crossing photo speaks volumes to this old country girl-daughter-of-Mississippi-cattle-farmer-who-wished-he-could-have-driven-cattle-with-“Wagon Train”-crew! Such are dreams. Such are frontiers of the heart! I have confidence you will be able to draw very effective word pictures for us of the wide-open prairie of yesteryear in your writing, K.M.

  2. I grew up in Munday, Texas and worked in summer on a large ranch and wheat farm in Throckmorton County. It’s hard to believe, but I NEVER knew any of this history of the Clear Fork until very recently—and I am 72 years old. Beautiful photos.

  3. Hi, My maiden name is Helen Margaret Daws. My grandmother was Margaret McKeichan Daws. Her family immigrated from Scotland in 1873. She was born 1895. Much of this land was purchased by Donald McKeichan, a successful sheep and cattle rancher. The original crossing of the Clear Fork of the Brazos is a short distance to the south of Daws Crossing. It was McKeichan Crossing. It is now not accessible on private land! I am not sure if either were actually on the Butterfield Stage route.

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