Most colonists first settled in this "Three Forks" area of the Trinity River as members of the Peters Colony after 1841. Immigrants from such states as Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee brought with them a tradition of building log shelters.
Land title was granted to settlers who worked at least 15 acres and built "a good and comfortable cabin upon it." This region was abundant in oak, juniper (popularly called cedar), walnut, ash, bois d'arc, and elm trees, which furnished sturdy building timbers.
John Neely Bryan, a colonist from Tennessee, arrived near this site in late 1841 and built a log cabin in 1842. The area's first school and church was built of logs at Farmer's Branch (12 mi. NW) in 1845. J. W. Smith and J. M. Patterson brought goods from Shreveport (184 mi. E) in 1846 for resale at their log store in Dallas.
Milled lumber appeared in Dallas buildings by 1849, and bricks were available by 1860. That year a fire destroyed most of the town's original log cabins.
The nearby cabin was built of cedar logs before 1850, possibly by Kentuckian Gideon Pemberton. It was moved from its original site (7.5 mi. E) in 1926 and rebuilt at several locations, including Bryan's designated courthouse site (1 blk. SW) in 1936, and this block in 1971.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986
Submitted by Gilda Spitz.