Barnard, Charles E. (1823–1900)

By: Pearl Andrus

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Charles E. (Uncle Charley) Barnard, pioneer Indian trader, son of Henry B. Barnard, was born at Hartford, Connecticut, on August 10, 1823. At the age of twenty-one he joined his brother, George Barnard, at Tehuacana Trading Post near the site of present-day Waco and subsequently assisted him in operating it and other Indian trading posts along Central Texas rivers. In 1846 at Tehuacana Trading Post George Barnard ransomed a Comanche captive, Juana Cavasos (see BARNARD, JUANA JOSEFINA CAVASOS), daughter of a prominent Spanish family of Matamoros, Mexico. In 1848 Charles married her. In 1849 they established their home at Comanche Peak Trading House on the Brazos River in Hood County. To them were born fourteen children. In 1860 Barnard's Indian customers moved to reservations. He built a huge stone gristmill on the Paluxy River and, nearby, a family home. The town of Glen Rose grew up around it. In 1870 Charles sold the mill and moved back to the Brazos River location, where he had large landholdings. He was a literate gentleman who had one of the finest libraries on the frontier. He gave generously of himself and his considerable means to better his area of Texas. He is credited with contributing substantial funds and slave labor to the construction of housing for Acton Masonic Institute in Hood County. Barnard died at his home on June 22, 1900, and is buried beside Juana in the family plot near their first homesite.

Pearl Andrus, Juana: A Spanish Girl in Central Texas (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1982). W. C. Nunn, Somervell: Story of a Texas County (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1975).
  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Exploration
  • Traders

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Pearl Andrus, “Barnard, Charles E.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994