The Tree That Saved One Family’s Life on the Texas Frontier
Martin V. Fleming and his father arrived in East Texas from Georgia in the early 1850s. The U.S. government was offering to grant portions of unsettled land referred to as “Indian Country” to settlers who were willing to move west and establish communities for others.
So in 1854, they decided to explore unsettled lands to the west. They embarked on the trip to evaluate whether the land was fertile and worthy of risking their lives to settle.
They spent their first night under the live oak that later became known as the Fleming Oak. During the night, they were attacked by Comanche Indians who shot flurry after flurry of arrows into the live oak. The Flemings used the trunk of the large tree to hide behind as the Comanches tried to shoot them with their arrows.
With cover provided by the tree and by occasionally firing their rifles in the general direction of the Indians, the Flemings were able to fend off the attackers. They somehow survived until daylight when the Comanches gave up the fight and left.
A Fleming Saves the Oak
When the county seat was established at Comanche, this live oak was chosen as the site to locate the courthouse. In 1911, the city leaders decided to pave the courthouse square and and told workers to cut down the large oak that had saved the Flemings’ lives.
“Uncle Mart” Fleming heard about the plans to destroy the tree and told the leaders he was not going to allow it. He even threatened to use his #10 on anyone who so much as touched the tree.
Although it is unclear whether he was referring to his 10-gauge shotgun or his size 10 boots, his threats convinced city leaders to leave the live oak standing and instead pave the stones in a circle around it.
The Fleming Oak still stands today and can be found on southwest corner of the courthouse square in Comanche, Texas.
Planting and caring for your Legendary Tree is easy — see the Tree Care page for more information. The saplings we sell are just over a year old, approaching 3 feet tall, and in 1 gallon containers. They are shipped in a well-designed, eco-friendly recycled paper box. We use FedEx ground and guarantee arrival within 5 business days of your order.