by Jewel Cherry
Reprinted from Hood County Genealogical Society Newsletter dated May 1992
Note: The town of Tolar is 16 miles west of Granbury on Highway 377. Miss Cherry, a retired school teacher, is a native of Tolar. Her family was among the early settlers of the area. She composed these notes a few years ago.
The settlement of this area was as early as 1823. The Hood-Somervell Territory was within the area of San Felipe de Austin by official act of the Governor of Coahuila and Texas.
Hood County was within the Comanche Trail; it was from upper Brazos River south.
At this time the area became Hood and Somervell between 1866 – 1875. In 1866 Hood County was made. This was known as Caddo and Comanche Territory.
The first post office in this area was at the south of Comanche Peak, Texas. It was moved to Squaw Creek, Texas (now Tolar in 1870). Settlers were going on northwest to what is now known as Star Hollow, named for Stella Star.
There was one general store or Trading Post in 1870.
There were a few Comanches in this area. The settlement came to grow. Stella Star was caught and killed there. She was an outlaw from Kansas City. She came through this area many times. The small settlement grew and prospered.
In about 1880 a decision was made to change the name from Squaw Creek Station to Tolar in honor of General Tolar. This meeting was led by Colonel W. L. McGaughey who suggested the name be changed to Tolar to honor General Tolar. At one time Tolar enjoyed a great volume of business. It had boardwalks and hitching posts and rails.
Tolar boasted 3 cotton gins, a meat market, restaurants, 2 banks, 2 drug stores, 3 doctors, 2 general stores, 2 hardware stores, 2 lumber yards, one undertaker, 2 barber shops, a hotel, 2 blacksmiths, 2 livery stables, 1 wagonyard, tin shop, post office, 2 printing offices, 2 telephone offices privately owned, high school, 4 churches, a saloon, and two of the best baseball teams (adult). The train came through in 1888.
The Stage Coach Inn was on the Eastland City Road. The watering hole was a permanent hole for deer, buffalo, and wild horses. This place became the home of Henry McIlroy and his wife. Mr. Hightower of Morgan Mill brought the negroes who settled just north of Tolar. There was a school, church, homes, and a cemetery. The cemetery is the only thing left now.
When the first train came to Tolar the station was called Squaw Creek Station. The first agent was Doherty. Colonel W. L. McGaughey was chosen as the leader of affairs. General Tolar got off the train with his puppy he called Tolar.
Many schools had been established around Tolar. They were: Amulet, Neri, Camp, Sandy, Center Point, Rough Creek, Paluxy, Antioch, Asbury, Allison, Hightower (negro), Hayes College (a union of two smaller ones).
The Amulet school, 1870, was a log house, dirt floor, window opening and door hinges were leather. The last teacher was Uncle Joel Archer, father of George Archer. It was closed and became Friendship School and cemetery.
There was a tabernacle (brush arbor) which was covered with cedar. It was a camp area where people with covered wagons came. When it was decided to rebuild, the tall center posts were hauled from East Texas by Mr. John Neeley, [Mr.] Huffstutler, and Jim Cherry. The outside posts came from Braughton oak posts.
Uncle Billy Powell came about 1853. The first white man settled here with his special neighbor, Caddo Indian Jack and his two wives. The squaws were killed here.
Comanche Peak was a special camp and ceremonial ground for the Comanche warriors. The older men, women, and children camped northwest of the Peak on our place. Their camp was also the Stage Coach way, through our grandfather’s place to Star Hollow and Tolar (Squaw Creek).
In 1909 Tolar burned, caused by an explosion in the cleaning and pressing shop.
In 1933 the Bank was robbed and had to be closed. The papers and other materials were sent to Granbury. I was lucky not to be locked in the vault. I stood at the Post Office and saw the robbers leave and recognized them.
In 1939 the last of the rural schools moved to Tolar high School. They put 57 pupils in the 5th and 6th grades. My class. A new building was built.
The last Indian raid through this area came toward Paluxy, back to Tolar, and on to Star Hollow. Five were killed. One young squaw and one young buck got away.
Tolar was to be the county seat, but there was a feud between Granbury and Tolar on this matter. A group from Granbury came to Tolar, took the papers, and as a result Granbury became the county seat.