Fort Tenoxtitlan was first established as part of the military garrisons meant to Mexicanize Texas and stop immigration from the United States following the new law of April 6, 1830. On June 25, 1830 by order of General Manuel De Mier y Teran’s Lt, Col. Jose` Francisco Ruiz was sent from Bexar with 100 cavalrymen with orders to construct a fort about halfway down the Old San Antonio road beside the Brazos River along the route to Nacogdoches. Ruiz established a temporary post on July 13, 1830. He moved the post to a permanent structure on October 17, 1830 about twelve miles above the San Antonio crossing on a high bluff near the west bank of the Brazos River. A spring-fed creek known as Dam Creek was used to divert water to the settlement, Mier Y Teran had originally envisioned Tenoxtitlan as the future capital of Texas, however, this was disregarded.
It was the duty of the garrison to assist with transporting military resources from Bexar to Nacogdoches. Even with the ban against American settlement there were several American immigrants like Francis Smith, who operated a thriving general store at the fort. He traded man-made items with the Indians for buffalo robes and beaver pelts. Soon after the garrison was established a road was constructed from San Felipe to Tenoxtitlan.
Major Sterling C. Robertson from the Texas Association appeared in October 1830 at Tenoxtitlan asking permission for fifty American families to set up their own settlement in the area under an agreement they had with the province of Coahuila and Texas, three months later the government invalidated the contract and ordered the American settlers be turned over to the authorities; Colonel Ruiz sympathizing with the settlers and ignored these orders allowing the settlers to flee and settle into other areas in Texas.
Mier Y Teran committed suicide on July 13, 1832 after his failure to settle Mexicans in the wilderness country of Texas. This led Colonel Ruiz on August 22, 1832 to abandon Tenoxtitlan moving the entire Mexican settlement to Bexar. By December, there were only a few Americans left in the area with the trading post and a small group of settlers remaining in the area for several years; however, after 1860 the entire settlement disappeared.
A granite memorial marker was placed near the site of the fort by the Texas Centennial Commission in 1936 off-Farm road 1362 approximately fourteen miles NE of Caldwell. A second memorial was put up on State Highway 21 five miles east of Caldwell in 1970. Tenoxtitlan was the Aztec name for what is now known as Mexico City. There are hopes from the Burleson County Historical Society along with the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce with the assistance of the State Parks and Wildlife Department to improve access to this historical site, provide a picnic area and restore Fort Tenoxtitlan.