Barnard's Mill and Art Museum

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Barnard's Mill Museum

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The history of Somervell County begins with a small trading post on the
banks of the Paluxy River now known today as the City of Glen Rose.
The mill started as a water-powered gristmill in 1860 then to a steam-
powered burr mill.  It was sold for $10 and turned into a cotton gin in
1895, a health spa with mineral waters in 1943, a hospital and clinic in
1949, and today a Historical Mill and Art Museum.

 

The Beginning

 

Charles E. Barnard and Herman Quimby enjoyed lucrative trading with the Indians during the years between 1847 and 1855.  By 1860, Barnard had contracted with Milam County for land on the river and began construction of Barnard’s Mill.  The foundation
is 25 feet deep and rests on the bedrock of the Paluxy River.  Oxen from East Texas hauled hand hewn timbers and its great oak beams support the various floors. The three-storied structure is made of native limestone and its water-powered turbine was designed to be the most advanced technologically in the area. The gristmill was capable of turning out the finest flour and corn meal and demand was from as far away as Waco.

 

On the 24th of April, 1874 Charles E. Barnard sold the mill to Major T. C. Jordan of Dallas who took over operation of the mill.  Times were changing and the community was growing. 
The citizens signed a charter
requesting the State
Legislature to establish a
new county and on March
15, 1875, Somervell County
was created.

 

Jordan soon made an
agreement with the leading
citizens and encouraged the building of the first courthouse. Jordan operated the gristmill a few years, but with
changing times he began to
consider adding  a burr mill.
 The operation was by steam and daily business continued until financial problems developed.

 

By 1892 Jordan and his wife were living in the Territory of Arizona. On January 3, 1893, a contract was made and Jordan who sold the mill to A. J Price of Somervell County for the sum of $10.00.  A. J. Price began his operation of the mill and with cotton being a major crop in the area, the cotton gin was installed in 1895 and a steam powered compress was added.

 

The new age had arrived as wagons filled with cotton were hauled through the roads
to the mill.

 

Production ran day and night
during this time. The low hum
of the machinery rocked its
neighbors to sleep and by day
the sound of turning of the
wagon wheels filled the air.
The roads from the mill past
the courthouse and to the bend

of Barnard Street were lined
with wagons filled with the
massive bales of cotton on
their way to the nearest
railroad. A cottonseed silo was
built for storage and every vacant lot in town was filled with cotton bales waiting their turn for delivery.

 

On April 2, 1943, the estate of Mr. Price sold the mill to Dr. J. J. Hanna.  Dr. Hanna had visions of a place of healing waters
and set up a clinic for arthritic patients
using the first floor as a water therapy
room. He considered the mineral
waters from the flowing springs in the
area to be of therapeutic value to
those who suffered from various health problems. World War II intervened and the venture was short-lived. Dr. Hanna
added a wing to the original building
and opened a less specialized
hospital.

 

His daughter, Dr. Mildred Hanna,
became the resident doctor. The hospital filled a great need to the community and during the next few years several doctors came through the doors. In December of 1949, Dr. Roger Marks arrived and set up practice within the hospital. On December 27 1955, the Hanna Family sold the hospital to Dr. Roger Marks and Dr. Robert English. The building became the Marks-English Hospital and Clinic.

 

Dr. Roger E. Marks and Dr. Robert D. English put their lives into the Marks-English Hospital and Clinic. Barnard’s Mill served the hospital well over the years. Some areas were used as the kitchen, the
dining room, and rooms for
therapy and staff. The Marks-
English Hospital and Clinic,
which was located in the
Barnard’s Mill complex, nurtured
the citizens of Somervell County
and surrounding areas.  Dr.
Roger Marks continued his
practice at this location until the

present day hospital was built on
Highway 67.

 

Barnard’s Mill and the old

Marks-English hospital sat vacant most of the next few years. The Marks-English families sold Barnard’s Mill to Richard H. Moore, Jr. Richard Moore bought the Marks-English Hospital and Clinic on August 2, 1979. The facility sat empty for a number of years and over the next seven years he restored and furnished it with antiques from the Federal period to the Eastlake period (1775-1875). He established Barnard’s Mill Art Museum in the old hospital addition and filled it with the art collection from the Fielder Foundation and art works of his private collection.

 

In 2005, Mr. Moore began to explore the idea of making a gift of Barnard’s Mill to an organization he had observed for several years. He wanted to be sure his prize would be protected and enhanced upon and that the organization he chose would be able to have a dream and follow it through.  In 2005, Mr. Moore announced that he had chosen the Somervell History Foundation and presented the Foundation with a deed to Barnard’s Mill. In 2008, he deeded the Art Museum building to the Foundation.

P.O. Box 2537

307 SW Barnard Street

Glen Rose, TX 76043

 

(254) 897-7494