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Kenney's Fort

Clara Stearns Scarbrough General Entry

Kenney's Fort was at the mouth of Dyer Branch on the south bank of Brushy Creek, sixteen miles north of Austin in Williamson County. It was built in 1839 by San Jacinto veteran Thomas Kenney to protect the outermost settlement on the Colorado River frontier. The small fort was ordinarily defended by five or six armed farmers. It consisted of a single blockhouse and three or four log cabins surrounded by an eight-foot stockade. In 1839–40 government soldiers were stationed at nearby Camp Caldwell, but generally the settlers had to see to their own defense. In August 1840 Joseph Weeks and other settlers successfully defended the fort against Comanche Indians. A retaliatory expedition was planned against the Indians by Felix Huston, major general of the militia, and the fort was renamed Fort Dunnington for Lt. William M. Dunnington, who was killed in the Council House Fight at San Antonio. By November, however, these plans were abandoned, and Fort Dunnington again became Kenney's Fort. In 1841 the Texan Santa Fe expedition assembled at Camp Cazneau, which was located next to the fort. During the Archives War, the state records were surrendered near Kenney's Fort. The only known remnant of the fort is a part of the flagpole. In 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission placed a historical marker a half mile north of the site.

W. K. Makemson, Historical Sketch of First Settlement and Organization of Williamson County (Georgetown, Texas, 1904). Gerald S. Pierce, Texas Under Arms: The Camps, Posts, Forts, and Military Towns of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Encino, 1969). Clara Stearns Scarbrough, Land of Good Water: A Williamson County History (Georgetown, Texas: Williamson County Sun Publishers, 1973). J. W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas (Austin: Hutchings, 1889; rpt., Austin: State House, 1985).

Time Periods:

  • Republic of Texas

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

Clara Stearns Scarbrough, “Kenney's Fort,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 22, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.