Cleburne State Park features flowing springs, dense woods and expansive prairies. The bountiful land attracted Native American foragers for thousands of years.
Much later, as settlers ventured into the area, a number of nomadic tribes passed through.
Settlers established Kimball in the early 1850s at a Brazos River crossing. It was one of the earliest towns in the area of Johnson County and the park.
After the Civil War, South Texas ranchers drove vast herds of cattle to northern markets on the Chisholm Trail, which used this crossing. The area around the present-day park offered a convenient campsite for drovers.
Some communities withered after the heyday of cattle drives, including Kimball.