Parker County Today June 2017 - Page 78

Continued from page 33 Lone Star Church inside / Wes Nations the bottom of the pool. After farms were put in cultiva- tion, the sand washed into the pool and it eventually disappeared. It was the head of Clear Fork of the Trin- ity River.” Though Poolville was not officially founded until the early 1880s, the pool put the area on the map, and around 1870 a man named Jim Taylor opened a saloon and general store. People settled there and the town began to take root. M.L. Scott opened a sawmill on the east side of the pool and about 1879, A.H. “Major” Dunn donated land for a town site. Local children had been learning their lessons in a log farm- house near the pool, but in 1879 settlers erected a new building in town to serve as school and church. In 1883, Poolville became a “real” town and had its very own post office. In 1920, Poolville’s population was estimated at 500; the Great Depression whittled those numbers down. By 1950, only 350 souls called the town home. There were 230 in 1980 and in 1990. But by the 2000s, Poolville began to grow, reaching a population of 520. At the junction of Farm Roads 3107 and 920, today The gruesome scene walloped the searchers with an iron fist. Many were so utterly disturbed that they could not contin- ue the search for little Fremont Blackwell, who they surmised had met a similar fate. Some of the riders followed a trail that looped back up to the Red River, but there the search ended. After nearly a year of captivity in Kansas, 7-year-old Fremont “went native” — he embraced his captor’s ways and speech, learned to loose arrows with sufficient accuracy and was adopted into the tribe. So engrossing was the “Indianiza- tion” of the boy that by the time a white trader ransomed him, Fremont could not remember his own name. Queried about his family, he could only recall that his father’s name was Upton and that he lived near Weatherford in Texas. At length, Fremont reunited with his family, but was not and would never be again the same Parker County boy who’d left out on the back of a Comanche pony a year before. “Considering himself an Indian,” wrote Marshall, “Fremont, like most boy captives, preferred the Comanche tongue and attempted to establish contact with his adopted Comanche people by going to Gourdneck Creek and signaling with calls resembling the hoot of an owl and the howl of a wolf. He sometimes threatened to return to the Comanches. When he became angry with the other Blackwell children he shot them with bow and blunt-tipped arrows until they were ‘blue all over.’” Fremont told his family that the Comanches killed Tommy because he cried. Like the cowbell tossed out on the trail, the child’s shrill cries put the party at risk of being discovered. It was a risk they addressed with sudden and awful brutality. Many such tales could be told of the Slipdown Mountain area where Poolville grew up around a spring-fed pool on the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. The pool for which the town was named was located about a half-mile northeast of the town square and was well known and often visited by drovers and their thirsty herds. According to historictexas.net, “The pool was never dry, and it served as a wash place for the pioneer women. Big herds of cattle watered there on their way to West Texas and New Mexico, as did herds from South Texas as they went up the trail to northern markets. The pool was 200 yards long, running six inches deep at the east end and six to eight feet on the west. It was fed by cold springs in 76 Douible Dose of History: Lone Star Church standing and then razed / Wes Nations Continued on page 94