Click to Home
Go To Search

The Town of Pantego was incorporated in its present form with minor later adjustments, on May 22, 1952, after a previous incorporation in June 1949 and a dis-incorporation in February 1952.


Pantego had its origins in the area bounded on the west by present day Handley, on the south by Arkansas Lane, on the east by Jones Drive and Fielder Road, formerly Henry Road, and on the north by the Texas and Pacific Railroad.


Two creeks run from south to north through the area, viz. Rush Creek and Village Creek, formerly Caddo Creek, the latter believed to be named for Indian villages in the area.


The earliest historical reference to the area was the year 1542 when the ill-fated DeSoto Expedition under Luis de Moscoso is believed to have camped in what is now the Village Creek area.  Members of this group were the first white visitors to the area.  The explorers got along fairly well with the various Indian tribes in this area.


Almost three hundred years went by with little history being recorded about the Pantego area. 


After Texas won its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, and particularly after President Mirabeau B. Lamar became President of the Republic of Texas (1838-1841), friction began, or was accelerated, between the Indians and the white settlers.


“On May 24, 1841, General Edward H. Tarrant with 70 men attacked several Indian villages situated along a creek (now called Village Creek) and recovered many horses and much stolen plunder.  Twelve Indians were killed and many wounded.  Of the Texans, Captain John B. Denton was killed.  Captain Henry Stout and Griffin were wounded.”  From the monument on Spur 303, erected in 1936.


In 1841, settlement of what later became Tarrant County began under the provisions of the Peters Colony grant.  New settlers began to arrive and settle in the area about 1843-1844.


On September 29, 1843, Sam Houston and Chiefs of the Indian tribes signed the treaty of Bird’s Fort stating that the Indians were to remain west of the line that passed through the present City of Fort Worth.


After the war with Mexico, 1846 – 1848, many veterans were granted land in Tarrant County, notably Colonel Middleton Tate Johnson from South Carolina who founded Johnson’s Station, southeast of the Pantego area.  His holdings were vast and may have included the Pantego area.  He is sometimes called the father of Tarrant County.


Another prominent early settler was Frederick Forney Foscue, a native of North Carolina, who was a state representative (1849 – 1851) and lawyer in Alabama.  In 1853, Foscue settled in Smith County, Texas.  He was elected to the Texas Legislature serving as a state representative and state senator intermittently from 1859 – 1866.  He supported the Ordinance of Secession.  He served in the Confederacy and was referred to as Colonel Foscue.  Surviving records of the Confederacy list F. F. Foscue as a Captain who served as Enrolling Officer in one of the Confederate Congressional Districts in East Texas.  He could have been promoted to a higher rank.  Records of the Trans-Mississippi Region headquartered in Shreveport, Louisiana, were burned in 1865 and the last 1½ years of records were thus destroyed.  There was a custom also that anyone from second lieutenant and up was called Colonel.  There are some notable exceptions to this practice in which those who served as privates in the War were called Colonel afterward.  There was also the possibility that Foscue was a member of a veterans group which perpetuated military titles in the hierarchy of the organization.  In any event Foscue was known as Colonel Foscue.  He married his first cousin Mary Jane Foscue.  She did not like Texas and returned to Alabama.  She obtained a divorce from Colonel Foscue and died February 5, 1896, in Alabama.  Colonel Foscue married twice after he and Mary Jane were divorced.  His surviving widow was Mary Ann Floyd Foscue.


It is uncertain when Colonel Foscue came to Tarrant County.  Benjamin Foscue, Frederick’s father sold his property in Coosa County, Alabama, in 1848 and, moved to Jefferson, Texas.  Colonel Foscue began acquiring land in the Pantego area after the Civil War – perhaps from Colonel Middleton Tate Johnson.  (All records of Tarrant County were destroyed in a fire in March 1876.)


Colonel Foscue bought land and reportedly accumulated 3,360 acres.  He also sold land and rented some on shares.  He was a dominant figure in the settlement of the Pantego area and should be regarded as the first Pantego land developer.


Tradition holds that Colonel Foscue had a loyal and trusted Indian friend named Pantego.  When fellow tribesmen were moving to Indian Territory, present day Oklahoma, Indians stopped at the Foscue plantation and demanded that Pantego accompany them.  Pantego refused and was murdered on the spot, supposedly by hanging.  He and his wife and family were supposedly buried on Briarwood Hill or in the Westbury Square area.


Colonel Foscue continued his strong support of the community.  On December 20, 1883, Frederick Forney Foscue donated one acre of his land in trust for school purposes.  The $1.00 nominal consideration was paid by the Trustees of the Pantego school community.  Tradition holds that the school was to be named Pantego in honor of Colonel Foscue’s loyal and trusted Indian friend.