The Site of Honey Grove, Fannin County, Texas

 

By Judge J. P. Simpson

In the year 1836, myself and a friend determined to explore and examine the country in Arkansas and Texas, in view of investing in land speculation, if pleased. We' traveled over some fourteen counties in that wild and romantic state, amongst those liberal frontiersmen and hunters, who gave us some exciting and interesting accounts of exciting scenes in Texas, in which they had participated, some 20 years before in their hunting and camping enjoyments, which was not related in collegiate style to us hut was told more in the romantic and frontier dialect of narration, probably with which they were best acquainted.

They stated some 20 years before, they camped and hunted on the south side of Red River, some distance up the stream at a beautiful grove, which was a place of resort for the sportive back-woodsman to gratify his love for that kind of life amongst immense herds of buffalo, antelope, elk and deer, and from the immense quantity of honey found in the timber around and in the grove and along down the creek, they had given it the appropriate name of Honey Grove ; and from the great quantity of water consumed along the creek by those inventors and manufacturers of the sweetest element in nature, they gave the creek the name of Bee, which name it has retained to the present.

In 1837, when moving to the frontier there was no house from where Paris now stands until you reached the west side of Bois d' Arc Creek. When in sight of Honey Grove, I knew that must be the point described by the Arkansas hunters. It arose in majestic grandeur, in the west before, me and the story related to me by the backwoods hunters was fast and fresh in my imagination as when first related, and I felt myself draw the rein and whip to increase our speed. But when I arrived at the point, there lay the buffalo, antelope and elk horns in immense heaps and I changed my opinion of the Arkansas hunters' story, as no tale of Gulliver but matter of fact plainly exhibited before me. In my imagination when looking forward to accumulating years by the hand of time, the energy, industry and perseverance of humanity, I thought I could see portrayed in beauty of location by the hand of nature in design in the future, the building up of a wealthy city of no mean magnitude. But I had lost the boon; another immigrant had unloaded his wagon, and was living in a tent until he could get a home in order for future location of his head right.

But how changed the times then and now. No sociable and friendly neighbors then to visit near the place; no business transactions in commerce or any secular business. But now magnificent dwellings, large supplies of goods, and other articles of comfort and requirement at hand in abundance; the country settled with civilized humanity far and near, but the best of all is we have the Gospel preached unto us and the songs of Zion are heard to echo through our land, and peace and plenty reign supreme.

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