I ran across this explanation yesterday:
The La Reunion colonists originally all lived together in a communal village of stone buildings located at the brow of the escarpment, just to the west of where Hampton Road now suddenly starts its downhill descent [just to the east of Cement City near the intersection of Hampton and West Commerce].
This information comes from a gentleman named Jim Burns. Go to page 2 of this link:
You'll also find a very interesting description of the early years of the colony from a letter written by Max Reverchon in 1857.
According to Santerre, in White Cliffs of Dallas:
After its erection this building was used for all the meetings of the directors and the colonists, and also as a fort in which to assemble the women and children whenever there was danger of an Indian raid or attack.
. . .
During the life of the colony only a few instances can be recalled where the Indians became troublesome. No doubt this was due to the large number of colonists. The Indians were very cautious in attacking the settlement, only making an occasional raid when most of the men were at work in the distant fields. Usually these Indians were driven away by the old men and the women, but not until after making inroads on the poultry, and sometimes driving away a few cattle or horses.
On one of the raids, so it was afterward told, the women barricaded themselves in the fort and one of their number had thrown hot water upon an Indian brave who attempted to break into the fort through a small window. According to the many stories afterward related to the colonists, it was at time necessary for all to retire to the fort or to their small homes in order to stand off the marauding bands and to prevent them from burning the buildings. These stories, which were often retold in various versions, while doubtless true, their authenticity has been rather difficult to verify.