FORT CHADBOURNE, TX
FORT CHADBOURNE, TEXAS. The Fort Chadbourne community is on a local road and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line, about eight miles north of Bronte and four miles southwest of old Fort Chadbourne in northeastern Coke County. A small settlement grew up in the area during the 1850s, and a post office operated there from January 1859 to November 1866. After the Civil War, settlers first gathered around the fort but soon established a new town some four miles to the southwest. The Fort Chadbourne post office was reinstated in October 1879. In 1892 the town reported the post office, a general store, and twenty-five citizens. The community was moved about one mile east to a new townsite donated by W. D. McDonald when the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient built through the county about 1910. Soon the settlement had a newspaper, a hotel, a store, a bank, a gin, a school, and two churches; by 1917 it reported a population of sixty-five. By the 1940s, however, only two businesses and a population of fifty were reported. Eventually the school was consolidated with that of Bronte, and the post office closed for good in 1942. Fort Chadbourne had a population of fifty during the 1950s and 1960s; by the 1980s county maps showed only a railroad station at the site, with a cemetery nearby.
M. L. Crimmins, "Experiences of an Army Surgeon at Fort Chadbourne," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 15 (1939). John Leeds Kerr and Frank Donovan, Destination Topolobampo: The Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway (San Marino, California: Golden West, 1968). Jewell G. Pritchett, From the Top of Old Hayrick: A Narrative History of Coke County (Abilene, Texas: Pritchett, 1980).