INDIAN GAP

INDIAN GAP history is filled with Indian lore. "Old settlers say that an Indian chief was killed there years ago in a fight between two tribes of Indians. He was buried on the mountain top where the Gerrell’s monument now stands. Traditionally the mountain top was used for Indian dances and celebrations." John A. McCaleb said "when he was a child there were no trees growing on the top of the mountain, as if it had been used for a dancing ground, and that he had found many Indian arrow heads and beads there." Walter E.R.(Bully) Wilkins, born at Indian Gap in 1919, said that he "skipped hundreds of indian arrow heads on the Cowhouse, because they were chiseled flat and could easily get a‘three to five hopper’ out of most of them.” Tradition also has it, that "the point of the north mountain was used for an Indian lookout. The Comanche Indians used the gap between the mountains as a route for raiding area settlers." 

Indian Gap is approximately eighteen miles west of Hamilton on FM-218 at FM-1702, about a half mile south up the hill on FM-1702, from the Cowhouse Creek. The community is near the Mills and Comanche County lines and in the western corner of Hamilton County.

Dr. John Richard Reiger, born 30 May, 1834, in Carlisle County, KY, came to Hamilton County in May, 1876, and in August, 1876, bought 235 acres of land at School Land Cove from Robert S. Howell. Dr. Reiger, a prominent doctor at Indian Gap, purchased another 100 acres later. Dr. Reiger practiced medicine in both Indian Gap and in Pottsville.
 
Hawley Gerrells settled at Indian Gap in 1877. Hawley was 68 years of age and his wife, Esther (Ladd) was 61 years of age when they arrived at Indian Gap from Mayfield, Grand Traverse County, Michigan. Hawley had been an early pioneer while living in Michigan - in 1874 <<requires ADOBE Acrobat READER>>, he filed an accounting of his 1828 excursion through the wilderness of Michigan. Just three years later (1877) Hawley and Esther continued their pioneering ways in Indian Gap, Texas. Hawley cut rock blocks from the Indian Gap mountain, and constructed a two-story limestone house. From the beginning, Hawley and Esther used their home to the advantage of the Indian Gap community. It was used at different times as a Post Office, Church, School, Store, and Social Center, which stood, albeit in bad condition in its final years until 2005, when what was left of the house, was dismantled and the limestone blocks shipped to a West Coast property for inclusion in the construction of an exclusive "destination" facility for wealthy travelers.

James G. Robinson was named the first postmaster at Indian Gap on 23 January, 1879. He was succeed by Hawley Gerrells on 22 November, 1880. You can see both families on the attached (click on link) 1880 US Census document which will open in this browser- click "Ctrl+" as many times desired to zoom in on the page  - click "BACK" to return to this page.

John Boler, born 22 April, 1827, in Clark County, AL, purchased 240 acres of land on the Cowhouse Creek near Indian Gap in August, 1883. In 1885 Mr. Boler moved to Pottsville to open a store.

Henry Adkins Shipman, who arrived in Hamilton County in November, 1884, opened the townsite of Indian Gap in 1889, moving his store (purchased from Hawley Gerrells) and post office to this townsite in 1892.


Bibliography:
People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.





Indian Gap Cemetery, History, Past Events, Post Office, Cemetery, History, Texas, Arrow newspaper, Comanche Chief Newspaper, Cemetery Association Board, Town
The 1913 Indian Gap School, 2003
Indian Gap Schoolhouse, before 1913
Shown on the left of  the 1907 Indian Gap photo at the top of this page.
Hawley Gerrell's two-story limestone house 2003
Indian Gap Baptist Church 1882
Indian Gap Baptist Church 1997 - Today
University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Arlington, Texas.
Faded lettering reads:
Carl Reinert - Dealer in General Merchandise
Hawley Gerrell's two-story limestone house 2009.
The tree and a few limestone blocks remain. During 2005, what was left of the house, was dismantled and the limestone blocks shipped to a West Coast property for inclusion in the construction of an exclusive "destination" facility for wealthy travelers.
A Few Indian Gap, TX LANDMARKS

HAWLEY and ESTHER (LADD) GERRELLS'
home as completed in 1879
Sketch of 1913 Indian Gap School
People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.
People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.
People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.
People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.
People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.
This website is managed by the Indian Gap Cemetery Association Board




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