When the U.S. Army arrived in 1849 to establish a new post on the western frontier, few of the officers could afford to bring their families out to such a remote and lonely command. A thriving community of soldiers, officers, wives, and children grew as the region gained importance. The early log cabin style quarters on Officers Row were eventually replaced with larger and more elegant residences better suited to the status of their occupants.
From the last decades of the 19th century until World War II, Officers Row was the setting for a vibrant social scene. Isabelle Sparks Kress, reminiscing about her life on the Row as a young woman in the 1870s and 1880s, said that "the social life here was very fine - the social activities were many, and the great garrison, with over one hundred children and young people, was like one big family."
By the early 1900s, visitors to the Row extolled the luxurious ambience of the tree-lined boulevard in front of the "handsome? dwellings, with beautifully kept grounds, all abloom with roses, and with jets of water playing on all the lawns."