Cross Plains was named for the crossings of stagecoaches and military roads prior to the Civil War. It is said that Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant camped with their troops at a grove of live oak trees on the banks of Turkey Creek, which is now known as Treadway Park. East and West Caddo Peaks, located 5 miles west, were used as landmarks by early Indians, soldiers and also by government surveying crews. The town moved from the west banks of Turkey Creek to its present site in January 1911, in anticipation of the coming railroad. On January 11, 1912, the first train arrived, the Texas Central, which was soon to become the Missouri- Kansas-Texas Railroad. Author Robert E. Howard lived in Cross Plains with his family from 1919 until his death in 1936. Howard is best known for "Conan the Barbarian" - a classic character that transcends generations. The Robert E. Howard house has been restored and is open to the public as a museum. Annual events include Howard Days, the Barbarian Festival, an Annual Fourth of July Fest, and an Annual Hunters Feed.