Catching a Glimpse of History: Still Standing

If you can identify this building, either (1) you are nine feet tall and jog or ride along the Trinity Trails path between Bellaire Drive and Hulen Street or (2) you are the ghost of Lemuel Edwards.

This is his barn. Lemuel Edwards built it in the 1850s after settling on the Clear Fork of the Trinity in 1848. In 1869 Edwards was murdered by son-in-law James Creswell. The barn may be the oldest structure in town that is still in its original location. Some of the log cabins at Log Cabin Village are older but have been moved to their present location.

The barn is also one of the most obscure structures in town. It is located well inside the fence line of the large Edwards family estate off Bellaire Drive, and it is hidden by trees most of the year. But when the trees are bare, you climb to the top of a bluff above the Trinity Trails path and can catch a glimpse of part of the barn. I held my camera over my head to get this view.

It’s a large wooden barn with a cupola in the center of the roof ridge. The barn was built of rough-hewn timbers and vertical board siding fastened with wooden pegs and square nails.

The barn sits above a seasonal creek that passes seventy-five feet to the west. That creek flows north, passes under the Trinity Trails path, and empties into a much larger creek sixty feet north of the path. The larger creek then flows into the Clear Fork eleven hundred feet to the west. This photo shows the small creek entering the large creek. The cupola of the Edwards barn is in the upper-left corner. Testimony at the murder trial of Creswell in 1883 revealed that Lemuel Edwards’s wife Elizabeth and son Cass had last seen Edwards alive when he left their house on horseback to go cut hay, which he would have stored in this barn. He was found shot in the back of the head in a creek 150-200 yards from the house. One of those two creeks surely was the scene of the murder.

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2 Responses to Catching a Glimpse of History: Still Standing

  1. Dale Hinz says:

    Mikes, Here’s some info I had…
    ‘Lemuel J. Edwards moved his family to Texas from Missouri in 1846, settling along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River determined to carve a homestead from the boundless and untried rough frontier. Growing through the years to span more than 7,000 acres, the Edwards Ranch today represents one of the most exciting and innovative mixed-use developments in Fort Worth.

    The newly annexed state of Texas provided Edwards with a 640 acre land grant in 1848. The following year, the U.S. military established a post on the site of the modern-day city of Fort Worth.’

    The Edwards family welcomed its third son, Casswell Overton Edwards I, to the family in 1851. Cass I ultimately carried the Edwards family legacy into the 20th century as the family cattle and farming business grew and prospered.

    Around 1869, Lemuel and his wife, Elizabeth, divided their land among their remaining children – the elder sons, Thomas and Richard, died during the Civil War. At that time, the Edwards property stretched from present day 7th Street near downtown Fort Worth, southwest along the Clear Fork Valley and on toward the present-day city of Benbrook. (Parcels of the land sold off over the years developed into Mistletoe Heights, Trinity Park, Colonial Country Club, the Fort Worth Zoo, Cityview and Hulen Mall.) Lemuel’s death later the same year left the operation of the family cattle and farming business to Cass and his mother.”

    Family links:
    Spouse:
    Elizabeth Overton Edwards (____ – 1897)

    Note: Killed by his Son-in-law.

    Burial:
    Pioneers Rest Cemetery
    Fort Worth
    Tarrant County
    Texas, USA
    Plot: Block 3 — Lot 45.

    One more relative unknown part of FW History…Good Job…Dale

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Dale. When I researched Lemuel for the first post (about his murder), I was surprised by how little mention he gets in websites about the Edwards family and its legacy. The majority of the attention is given to Lemuel’s descendants (Cass I, Cass II, etc.).

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