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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7 Responses to Catching a Glimpse of History: Still Standing

  1. Toni Morrow says:

    Odd how it doesn’t mention the fact that Cass stole the land from his mother, claiming she was incompetent and sending her and her daughter (whom I descended from) to Coleman, Tx!

    • Sherry Crowell Pfeil Wright says:

      I am an Edwards family descendent.
      My great great great grandparents were Lemuel & Elizabeth Overton Edwards.
      Their daughter,Matilda Frances Edwards, was my great great Grandmother. She was Cass Edwards sister.
      Matilda was 1st married to Creswell & he killed Matilda’s Father, Lemuel, in 1869, which was devastating for her & the rest of the family. Creswell escaped & from what I was told, after a long time was finally caught & put in prison. They had one child together, a girl, my great Grandmother, Etna Laura Creswell. Later Matilda remarried a man , last name, Burford.
      My great grandmother, Etna Laura Creswell, married Ellis L. Swearingen. They had a daughter, my grandmother, Pearl Frances Swearingen. My grandmother married William Hampton Robinson. They had my Mother, Laura Lee Robinson. She married Donald Ray Crowell.

    • hometown says:

      There is a more-detailed post about the murder here.

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