SAN ANGELO, Texas — Fort Concho is as abundant in history as it is in mystery starting with the first family of Fort Concho, the Griersons.
Colonel Benjamin Grierson, his wife Alice, and their five children have deep roots in Fort Concho that began in 1875 and continued until 1882. Colonel Grierson commanded Fort Concho longer than any other officer.
Fort Concho is allegedly haunted by ghosts from the past some of which include members of the Griersons family, most famously their daughter Edith who died at an early age.
Edith Grierson died when she was just 13 years old from Typhoid Fever in the year 1878. Her apparition has allegedly been witnessed playing her favorite game of jacks on the floor of her bedroom which is also where she took her last breath. It is said her smiling face looks at those that enter before returning to play. Her apparition has also allegedly been seen standing at the top of the staircase, wearing a long peach-colored dress. Thos who have claimed to have seen her have heard distant giggling or her footsteps running up and down the staircase. Records from Fort Concho depict Edith as the “daughter of the regiment.” Her final resting place is in the city’s Fairmount Cemetery, having been moved from the post cemetery by 1900.
Benjamin Henry (Harry) Grierson and Theodore McGregor (George) Grierson were the Griersons youngest sons. Charles Henry Grierson and Robert Kirk Grierson were the oldest sons.
Harry Grierson attended Washington University in St. Louis and settled into ranching near Fort Davis. He was married and then divorced and had no children, passing away in 1934 in Fort Davis.
George Grierson was the last surviving member of the Grierson family having remained a bachelor for his life, and remaining on the Grierson ranch land near Fort Davis where he passed away in 1950.
Charles Grierson was the eldest child and was a young adult by the time his father assumed the command of
Fort Concho in 1875. Charles suffered from bouts of anxiety and depression that got better for a time allowing him to finish his studies at West Point and commission as second lieutenant to his father’s 10th Calvary Regiment. He climbed his way to the rank of Lt. Colonel of the 10th, but he never fully
recovered from the mental illness that also plagued his mother and their bloodline. After a severe mental breakdown Charles retired from active service and spent his last years in institutions until his death in 1928.
Robert Grierson was described as the most outgoing member of the family most noted by his time accompanying his father into far West Texas as part of the campaign against Apache chief Victorio in the summer of 1880. Unfortunately, Robert also suffered from the insanity that was said to have plagued his mother and older brother and spent his last twenty years in institutions until his death in 1922.
Ben and Alice Grierson were childhood friends and despite several separations, they were married in 1854 and spent thirty-four years together.
Colonel Grierson started out pursuing music but because that career path did not prove prosperous for him he volunteered with an Illinois regiment which led him to quickly sweep the ranks to become a Major General by the end of the Civil War. In 1866 Grierson took command of the Buffalo Soldiers for 25 years. Additionally, he built Fort Sill, rebuilt and stabilized Fort Concho, commanded Fort Davis, and oversaw posts in Arizona and New Mexico until he retired in 1891 and passed away in 1911.
Alice Grierson was a school teacher and as the first lady of Fort Concho, she managed not only her own family but the families of the fort. Alice gave birth to seven children however her first two died early on in their childhood. John Kirk died at two years of age and Mary Louisa died before she turned one. Alice passed away in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1888.