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FORT LYDAY. Fort Lyday, also known as Lyday's Fort and Fort DeKalb, was built by Isaac Lyday three-fourths of a mile east and a half mile north of Lyday's Crossing on the North Sulphur River in what is now extreme southwestern Lamar County. The site is near Dial in Fannin County. Typical of small private forts on the Texas frontier, Lyday's covered about a quarter acre, with several ten-by-twelve-foot storerooms against its north wall and similarly sized living quarters ranged against the other three. The fort was surrounded by a picket palisade and had a large well in the middle of the parade ground. A livestock corral was located outside the stockade. The fort was constructed in 1836 for the defense of settlers on the river and Cypress Creek and garrisoned late in 1838 by the Red River County Rangers under the command of Capt. William B. Stout. Under the orders of Gen. John H. Dyer, commander of the Fourth Militia Brigade, Stout's men repaired the dilapidated fort and brought in fourteen families for protection from marauding Indians. The fort saw sporadic activity until about 1843, when troubles with Indians in the area at last subsided. Thereafter Fort Lyday was allowed to fall into decay.


Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Gerald S. Pierce, Texas Under Arms: The Camps, Posts, Forts, and Military Towns of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Encino, 1969).

Thomas W. Cutrer


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

Thomas W. Cutrer, "FORT LYDAY," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.