The significance of the events that occurred at Adobe Walls in the later half of the 19th century can be difficult to appreciate. Legends were born at Adobe Walls. Pivotal battles were fought at Adobe Walls. Yet only a couple of markers are erected to recognize the historic location.
What is certain is the events that took place at this out of the way location deep in the Texas Panhandle helped shape the United States political opinions of Indian relationships and also added to the rich biographies of some Wild West Legends.
Adobe Walls lies in Hutchinson County northeast of Stinnett, Texas. While Google search will identify Adobe Walls as a ghost town, in actuality, Adobe Walls is nothing more than a few granite markers lying mostly hidden under dense prairie grasses. One marker identifies the grave site of William “Billy ” Dixon, one of the “big guns” of Adobe Walls.
For three days in June, 1874, Comanches and Kiowas surrounded the Anglos held up in Adobe Walls. The Native Americans felt confident due to a medicine applied by Isa-tai. This “medicine” would make the warriors bulletproof. This confidence was destroyed on the third day when Billy Dixon took a shot with a Sharps Big Fifty dropping a warrior from his horse nearly one mile away.
Dixon’s storied shot of 7/8 of a mile is celebrated still with events world wide. One could call this shot a miracle or a chance, but one thing is for sure, it put an end to the three day standoff and sent the Comanches and Kiowas on their way.
Today, little is identifiable at Adobe Walls, but one thing that has not changed is the surrounding landscape. A visit to the site will allow an individual to appreciate the vast and empty landscape that has changed little since the late 1800’s. The unobstructed view still allows visitors to appreciate the distance of Billy Dixon’s shot.
The photos below show how little the landscape has changed in the past 45 years.