The Penateka, or "honey eaters," were the southernmost band of Comanches; their range extended from the Edwards Plateau to the beginnings of central Texas rivers. The nomadic Comanches followed buffalo as they migrated, depending on the animals for food, clothing and shelter. They also relied on horses and were unmatched in their horsemanship. A major Comanche trail passed through the Camp Verde area.
Settlement west of here was avoided due to fear of the Penatekas. By the 1840s, Texas Rangers had some success against the Comanches and in 1855, the U.S. Army's Second Cavalry reduced raiding in the area; the division had outposts at Camp Verde and Camp Ives in Kerr county. Some of the Penateka Comanches were moved a year earlier to a reservation in what is now Throckmorton County; the group was later moved to the Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
Other Penatekas continued to raid the county sporadically through the 1870s. After the Red River War (1874-75), the Comanches were forced onto a reservation established by the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge Creek. Reservation life changed the entire societal structure for the formerly nomadic Comanches. In 1901, their reservation was broken up into allotments, and as many moved away in following years, the group dispersed. In the 1960s, the Comanches worked to rebuild their society and today they are united by common culture across geographic divides.