Did you the first Texans lived 250 Million years ago?

Sail-backed Dimetrodons, alive during Earth's Permian period of time.
That's right, ya'll! And they were from right here in Seymour, Texas...

Scientists and fossil hunters have been digging in Baylor County’s Texas red beds—more formally known as Lower Permian bone beds—since the 1870s, unearthing specimens that are on display at The Smithsonian, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, and other museums around the world. Over time, torrential downpours have exposed hillsides of red dirt and sedimentary rock among the semi-arid, short-grass rolling plains. These layers of sediment once were small wetlands. When prehistoric animals died in the wetlands, they were covered in mud and eventually fossilized.

Think that's cool? We have one named after us. Meet, Seymouria.

Seymouria is a fascinating genus of extinct tetrapods that lived during the Permian period, approximately 280 to 265 million years ago. One notable discovery of Seymouria fossils took place in Baylor County, Texas, providing valuable insights into the evolution and characteristics of this ancient amphibian-like creature. The Permian Seymouria is considered a crucial transitional form between amphibians and reptiles, shedding light on the evolutionary history of terrestrial vertebrates.

The Seymouria fossils found in Baylor County reveal a wealth of information about the anatomy and behavior of this species. They possessed a unique combination of reptilian and amphibian features, making them an important puzzle piece in the understanding of tetrapod evolution.


Seymouria had a stout body and robust limbs, suggesting that it was primarily a terrestrial creature. It had a long, slender tail and well-developed limbs with distinct finger and toe bones, indicating that it could support its body weight and move effectively on land.

One striking characteristic of Seymouria is its double-jointed skull, which allowed for both lateral and vertical jaw movements. This adaptation hints at a versatile diet, potentially including a range of prey such as insects, small vertebrates, and possibly even plants. The presence of well-developed teeth further supports this hypothesis, indicating a carnivorous or omnivorous feeding strategy.

The Baylor County Seymouria fossils contribute significantly to our understanding of Permian ecosystems and the diversity of life during that time. They provide evidence of a thriving community of tetrapods, shedding light on the ecological interactions and adaptations of these ancient organisms. The discovery of Seymouria fossils in Baylor County showcases the importance of paleontological research in uncovering the secrets of prehistoric life and expanding our knowledge of evolutionary history.


Before it was Baylor County

Before it was settled, the area that is now Baylor County lay within the range of the Wanderers, a nomadic Comanche band, who relied upon buffalo for food, clothing, shelter, tools, and ornaments. In 1848 special Indian agent Robert S. Neighbors found 250 Comanche, fifty Tonkawa, and ten Wichita lodges on Lewis Creek at the site of present-day Seymour. When the first surveys were made in the area in 1853 the Indians were still using it as a major hunting ground for buffalo, a fact that made settlement nearly impossible. This continued until the final defeat of the Comanches in 1874 by the United States Army and their removal to a reservation in Indian territory

The Red River War

Step into the rugged and untamed lands of Baylor County, Texas, where history echoes through the Red River Valley. Close your eyes and let me take you on a journey through time, back to the era of the Red River War—a tumultuous chapter that unfolded amidst the golden plains and shimmering horizons.

It was a time when the winds whispered tales of conflict and uncertainty, and the Red River itself served as a silent witness to the struggles that unfolded upon its banks. The clash of cultures reverberated across the prairies, as the nomadic tribes of the Southern Plains fiercely defended their ancestral lands against the relentless westward expansion.

In this land of boundless skies and unforgiving terrain, the Red River War emerged as a poignant battle for survival and sovereignty. The Comanche, Kiowa, Southern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes formed a formidable alliance, their spirit unyielding, as they stood as one against the encroaching forces of change.

From their tribal encampments, painted warriors rode forth like thunderstorms, their steeds galloping across the sun-kissed plains, their war cries echoing across the canyons. They were the guardians of a way of life, protectors of traditions that danced in harmony with the land and the rhythms of nature.

But the settlers, driven by dreams of a new life and the pursuit of Manifest Destiny, sought to claim these lands as their own. Homesteaders, cowboys, and soldiers descended upon the region, their resolve fueled by a belief in progress and the lure of untapped riches.

The clash was inevitable, like two mighty rivers colliding. The Red River War burst forth with a furious intensity, testing the limits of human resilience and the complexities of coexistence. Battles were waged with passion and desperation, leaving scars etched upon the landscapes and the hearts of those who fought.

But amidst the turmoil, a spark of understanding flickered in the darkness. Visionaries on both sides sought a path to peace, recognizing the futility of endless conflict. Leaders emerged, their voices a bridge between cultures, their hands extended in the hope of finding common ground.

Slowly, like the sunrise after a long night, the Red River War began to fade into memory. Boundaries were drawn, treaties were signed, and a fragile peace settled upon the land. The echoes of battle were replaced by the sounds of progress—the whir of windmills, the rumble of wagons, and the laughter of children playing on the open prairie.

Today, as you stand on the banks of the Red River in Baylor County, Texas, the echoes of that turbulent era may be faint, but they are never forgotten. The spirit of resilience and the pursuit of understanding remain woven into the fabric of this land, reminding us of the enduring power of unity and the need to honor the stories of those who came before us.

So, let the wind carry your imagination back in time, and let the legacy of the Red River War inspire you to embrace the beauty of diversity and the richness of history. Baylor County stands as a testament to the human spirit's capacity for growth and transformation, where the past intertwines with the present, guiding us towards a future where understanding and compassion prevail.