Texas Brazos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program


Texas county seats frequently moved from their original sites to more-centralized locations, often along rail lines. That’s what happened in Limestone County, established in 1846 with Springfield as its seat. When the Houston and Central Railroad bypassed Springfield, stopping instead in Groesbeck, the former declined and the latter became the county seat in 1873. In 1924, the fourth courthouse to serve Limestone County rose in Groesbeck. Designed in the Classical Revival style, it was constructed for $300,000 using the latest technology-- reinforced concrete covered with brick and terra cotta.

Just north of town an earlier, powerful story was played out at Old Fort Parker. Here on in1836, a band of Comanche attacked the settlement, killing five men and capturing five women and children. One of those captives was nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker. Parker was famously recaptured by Anglos after living as an adopted Comanche who was married to Chief Peta Nocona and mother of Quanah Parker, chief of the last free plains Comanche. Touring the reconstructed fortification and buildings and learning the details of Parker’s story provides visitors a sense of the struggle between Native Americans and settlers on the Texas frontier.