United States / Corsicana, TX

all or unphotographed
Site of Tuckertown. Oil was discovered in Corsicana on June 19, 1894, during the drilling of a water well, setting off the oil boom in Texas. In the ensuing years, oil developers, lease hounds, rough-necks, businessmen, bootleggers, prostitutes, gamblers and other adventurers rushed to Corsicana and the rich fields to the southeast. A number of small boomtowns sprang up after oil was discovered in the Powell field around this site. Tuckertown was the largest of the oil boomtowns in this area. Percy T. Fullwood (1891-1958) of Corsicana had a small grocery on land leased from Corsicana attorney William J. Mckie, who drafted the charter for the Texas Company (Texaco) in 1902. Fullwood and Harry L. Tucker, a town site promoter, formed a partnership in 1923. They sold lots around the store on both sides of the gravel road to Beaumont (now Farm-to-Market Road 637.) Within two months, 3,000 people were living in the tents, houses and shanties of Tuckertown. It exemplified the freewheeling, often unruly life of the Navarro County oil boomtowns. In October 1923 a fire burned most of the north side of town, but the residents rebuilt. In November, the Powell field was completely drilled, and no new digging could be done. Another fire in February 1924 did further damage to Tuckertown. The field continued to decline, and by 1931 most structures in Tuckertown had been torn down. The last grocery store, located in what was once a house, was converted to a barn in 1935. Tuckertown was the center of the earliest and largest oil production in Powell field, which produced about 186,000,000 barrels of oil. By the end of the 20th century, its location was obscured by pasture. (2000) #12341

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

George Taylor Jester. (1846-1922) Lieutenant governor of Texas (1894-1898), also father of Beauford Jester, a later Texas governor. As a boy, came from Illinois to Corsicana in a two-horse wagon. Worked on courthouse, first brick building in area, for 50 cents a day. At 18, joined Confederate army but Lee surrendered same year. Married twice, had 5 children. "Clerked" for dry-goods store and traded in cotton before helping form Jester Brothers Bank in 1881. Served as representative (1890-1892) and senator (1892-1894) from Ninth District in Texas Legislature. Was one of the founders of Southern Methodist University.

609 W. 7th St., Corsicana, TX, United States

Subjects
Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church. Established before the Civil War by pioneer area settlers, this congregation first met in a schoolhouse on the property of William Harvey Beeman (1817-1860), a member of the Mercer Colony. Early services were conducted by Methodist circuit riders, including the Rev. J. E. Ferguson, the father of Texas Governor James E. Ferguson. In 1870 the congregation purchased a building site (2 mi. SW) in conjuction with a local Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Known as Goshen, the eighteen-acre tract was also used for camp meetings. Usually held after the harvesting of crops, the religious meetings often lasted several weeks. Church trustees acquired property at this site in 1877 from the estate of Jubilee Lafayette McKinney (1810-1872). A grove of oak trees here was the possible inspiration for the congregational name. Services were first conducted in a brush arbor and later in a frame sanctuary, which was replaced by a newer structure in 1905. Membership of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church has included many pioneer area families and leaders of the surrounding area. #11623

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Collin Street Bakery. Opened two blocks north of this site in 1896, by August Weidmann, an immigrant baker from Wiesbaden, Germany, and W. T. McElwee, a local cotton buyer. Combining the talents of a baker whose pride and joy was baking a better cake with the flare of a man whose business ability had a touch of the sensational was a move that resulted in a most unusual and successful business enterprise. One of Weidmann's few assets was an unknown cake recipe. This was to become the famous original "deluxe fruitcake," today shipped to every state in the United States and to many foreign countries. McElwee, a lover of sports and the theatre, built a rooming house over the bakery in 1906, and invited visiting baseball players, circus performers and vaudeville troupes to stay there. Soon guests were having fruitcakes shipped to friends in remote places. Employees at the bakery during this era recall visits from Will Rogers, Enrico Caruso, John J. McGraw, "Gentlemen Jim" Corbett and many other celebrities. They also recall the day the great circus showman, John Ringling, and many of his famous performers stopped in an ordered Christmas cakes sent to their many friends in distant lands. #11601

401 W. 7th St., Corsicana, TX, United States

James Clinton Neill. Born in 1790 in North Carolina, James Clinton Neill came to Texas in 1831 with Stephen F. Austin's third colony. He settled in Milam County, and represented his neighbors at the Convention of 1833. On September 28, 1835, Neill entered the Texas Army as Captain of artillery, and was promoted to Lt. Colonel in December. He was in charge of artillery at the Siege of Bexar, and soon thereafter was appointed by Sam Houston to the commandancy of San Antonio and the Bexar District, including the fortifications at the Alamo. When he received word in February of illness in his family, Neill left the Alamo in the command of William B. Travis, and so was not among the defenders who lost their lives on March 6. In charge of an artillery unit with Sam Houston's army in April, Neill was wounded in a skirmish on April 20, one day before the Battle of San Jacinto. He was appointed Indian Commissioner in 1844. Neill was living in present Navarro County when it was created from Robertson County in 1846. He and two partners donated land for the county seat. James Clinton Neill and his wife, Margaret Harriet, were the parents of three children. Neill died in March 1848, and is buried in Grimes County. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 #12544

1465 W. 2nd St., Corsicana, TX, United States

Odd Fellow and Rebekah Children's Home. In 1885 the Grand Lodge of Texas, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, founded the I. O. O. F. Widows and Orphans Home, one of the first fraternal orphanages in the state. Corsicana Lodge No. 63 and other local citizens gave 200 acres as a site for the facility. On April 26, 1886, the cornerstone for the first permanent building was laid. Only one child was residing here in 1891, but enrollment and financial support soon increased. The home became a self-contained community with its own independent school district, farm and dairy, power plant, and water supply. Abel Rice Auditorium, built in 1911 when enrollment was over 300, contained a swimming pool and gym, and housed the fine arts department sponsored by the Rebekah lodges. This institution also served as a home for the aged from 1905 until a separate facility opened in Ennis in 1928. After peaking at nearly 400 in the 1920s, enrollment dropped sharply in the 1930s and 1940s. The school closed in 1943, and students began attending Corsicana public schools. Campus buildings were modernized in a 1945 "reconversion program." Renamed in 1948, the Odd Fellow and Rebekah Children's Home has provided care for over 5500 persons. #7241

3400 W. 2nd Ave., Corsicana, TX, United States

Navarro Rifles. During the Civil War, the Navarro Rifles were an infantry company comprised of approximately 87 men from Navarro and surrounding counties. The group formed in Corsicana in July 1861 to join the army of the Confederate States of America. Clinton M. Winkler, a founder of Navarro County, organized the men and served as the unit's initial captain. The group trained near the Navarro County towns of Dresden and Spring Hill, and later Waco (McLennan Co.) and Harrisburg (Harris Co.). Formally designated Company I of the Fourth Texas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the Rifles soon left for war, arriving in Richmond, Virginia in September 1861. Combined with the First and Fifth Texas infantry regiments, the Rifles were part of the brigade of famed Texas general John Bell Hood. They received their baptism of fire in limited action at Yorktown and Eltham's Landing (Virginia) in the spring of 1862. The unit's first major battle was near Richmond, at Turkey Hill and Boatswain Swamp. The impressive Union defensive positions consisted of sharpshooters, infantry and artillery; however, Hood located a weak link in the line. Having given the order to fix bayonets, Hood led the unit in a charge against the Union's first series of breastworks, which they quickly mastered. Moving forward, the Confederates took the Union's second line of defense and topped the hill where they successfully repulsed a Union cavalry unit's counterattack. The unit's casualties over the duration of the war included 19 dead, 59 wounded, and 10 captured. Due to their bravery throughout the war, the unit earned a special place in the heart of Commanding General Robert E. Lee and an honored reputation in their native state. (2007) #13910

3100 W Collin Ave, Corsicana, TX, United States

Early Texas Natural Gas Pipelines. First public use of natural gas began in Texas in 1902, from transmission lines on this street, serving local homes and businesses. These early lines were forerunners of mains that now transport Texas gas to three-fourths of the United States and Mexico. Other natural gas industry pioneer achievements in Navarro County were the first use of meters, in 1905 at Chatfield (12 mi. NE), and first use of gas in pumping oil wells in the Corsicana field, 1906. Developers of Navarro fields expanded to Clay County, and in 1907 were supplying natural gas to Henrietta and Wichita Falls; Fort Worth and Dallas were furnished service in 1909-1910. By 1918 new fields supplied Laredo, San Antonio, Waco. Today Texas is spanned by over 83,000 miles of gas pipelines. A 1918 discovery opened the Amarillo field, soon recognized as the world's foremost gas field -- and point of beginning, during the 1920s, of the first interstate natural gas pipelines. Texas now has 27 pipeline companies exporting gas. Annual production rate is nearly eight trillion cubic feet. A number of wells deliver more than 20 million cubic feet per day. Texas has 42.3 per cent of proven United States natural gas reserves. Incise in base: Early Travel, Communication and Transportation Series, erected by The Moody Foundation #7196

116 S. Main St., Corsicana, TX, United States

YMCA of Corsicana. The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) of Corsicana was organized in 1884 and was one of only two YMCAs in the state at that time. E. W. (Wiley) Johnson served as first president of the organization that met in a room over the First National Bank offices. Meetings later were held in the Dyers Dry Goods building at 107 South Main. In 1913, during the presidency of Frank Neal Drane, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a building at the corner of Fifth and Twelfth streets, which was occupied by the YMCA until this structure was completed in 1968. Many of Corsicana's prominent citizens and businessmen have been members of this YMCA. In its objective to promote the physical and spiritual development of the young men of the town, the YMCA provided a swimming pool, gymnasium, jogging track, a large meeting room, and lodging. In 1934, women were first allowed to use these facilities for two days a week from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Throughout its history, the YMCA has provided service and leadership to the city of Corsicana. Its particular concern for returning servicemen has been a source of pride for this significant organization. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 #11651

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Capt. Charles Henry Allyn. New York native Charles Henry Allyn (1842-1918) came to Texas in 1868, after having served as a captain in the Union army during the Civil War. Capt. Allyn arrived in Corsicana with his wife, Angela (Aldrich), in 1871. As a Corsicana businessman, he assisted in the organization of the First National Bank, local savings and loan companies, and the cotton mill. Allyn served as a member of the city council before holding a two-year term as Corsicana's mayor from 1888 to 1890. Capt. Allyn was also active in civic, educational, and church activities. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 #6226

7th Ave & Beaton St., Corsicana, TX, United States

First Baptist Church of Corsicana. Originally known as the United Baptist Church, this fellowship was established through the leadership of the Rev. Noah Turner Byars, a pioneer preacher and founder of the Trinity River Baptist Association. The church organizational meeting was conducted in 1848 with early Texas Baptist leaders Judge R. E. B. Baylor and the Rev. Z. N. Morrell presiding. Worship services were first held in a community building shared with the local Presbyterian and Methodist congregations. In 1865, during the pastorate of the Rev. S. G. Mullins, the members moved to a vacant store at the corner of Third Avenue and Eleventh Street, where they worshiped for ten years. Sanctuaries were constructed at two other sites before the church moved to this location in 1901. An educational building, added later, was named for an early member and benefactor, Kate Stiteler McKie. Prominent pastors here have included the Rev. W. B. Bagby, first Southern Baptist missionary to Brazil, and the Rev. J. Howard Williams, later president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Active in mission work, the church has served as sponsor for four area congregations: Memorial, Calvary, Northside, and Iglesia Bautista Calvario. #7193

510 W. Collin St., Corsicana, TX, United States

Scales-Fortson House. This residence was constructed in the 1890s by H. L. Scales, owner of a local gin and cottonseed oil mill. In 1911 it was purchased by John Thompson, president of the Corsicana National Bank. It became the home of banker and landowner Joe B. Fortson in the 1920s and remained in his family until 1976. The galleried house features Victorian and classical revival detailing and interior woodwork of walnut, maple, and redwood. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1980 #11633

220 N 14th, Corsicana, TX, United States

Temple Beth-El. The earliest Jewish settlers in Corsicana arrived in 1871, the year rail lines were built to the area. In 1898 a group of reformed Jews established Temple Beth-El. Two years later they built this house of worship, which features two distinctive octagonal towers with onion-shaped domes. Corsicana's Jewish residents have made many significant contributions to the city's growth and development, and the Temple now serves as a reminder of their rich heritage. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981 #11642

208 S. 15th St., Corsicana, TX, United States

St. John's Episcopal Church. This church was established in 1871 following Episcopal missionary efforts which began in the Corsicana area in the 1850s. Started as a mission, St. John's was organized under the leadership of the Rev. Virginius Gee. In 1874 the first church building was constructed at this site on property donated by E. J. and W. S. Simkins. The parish was formally organized two years later. An Episcopal school, the first in the Dallas Diocese, operated here during the 1940s. Actively involved in the area, the parish also sponsors St. Alban's Mission in Hubbard (27 mi. SW). #11632

101 N 14th St, Corsicana, TX, United States

Navarro County Courthouse, Corsicana, Texas Historical Marker Navarro County was created in 1846 by an act of the first Texas Legislature. It was named for early statesman Jose Antonio Navarro (1795-1871), a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The first county seat was established at the home of William R. Howe, an early settler on the Chambers Creek in present-day Ellis County. In 1848, Corsicana was designated the seat of government, and temporary offices were set up in the home of pioneer Hampton McKinney. The second temporary courthouse for Navarro County was a log cabin located on the corner of West First Avenue and Twelfth Street. A second courthouse, built at this site in 1853, burned in 1855, requiring the construction of a third building. In 1880, Austin architect F. E. Ruffini designed a fourth courthouse for Navarro County. The elaborately ornate building proved too small for the needs of the growing county, and a shifting foundation caused the structure to be condemned in 1904. The present courthouse was designed by architect J. E. Flanders of Dallas. Constructed of red Burnet granite and gray brick, it was completed in 1905. The Beaux Arts Classical Revival structure features a clock dome and a pedimental entryway with free-standing Ionic columns. #7236

300 West 3rd Avenue, Corsicana, TX, United States

Thomas Ingles Smith. (1800-1848) Thomas Ingles Smith was born in 1800 in Virginia and was a soldier in the War of 1812 in a company commanded by his father, General Bird B. Smith. Smith arrived in Texas late in 1836, and soon enlisted in the Republic of Texas army under Gen Felix Huston. He was wounded in the Battle of the Salado in September 1842. In December of that year President Sam Houston sent a small group of Rangers under the command of Smith and Eli Chandler to move the archives of the Republic to Washington-on-the-Brazos. The citizens of Austin, in a show of force, prevented the move in what became known as the Archive War. By 1843 Smith was living along Chambers Creek in present Ellis County, and in 1844 was a Texas Ranger and Indian Scout. He commanded the Robertson County Rangers along the frontier in 1845. As commissioner to negotiate with the Indians, he signed the last treaty made by the Republic of Texas. Fort Smith, one of a line of fortifications from the Colorado to Red River, was established in 1846 and named for Thomas I. Smith. Along with two partners, he gave land for the townsite of Corsicana, and was a member of the commission to locate the Navarro County seat in 1848. He died in Austin in March 1848. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 #11637

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Corsicana in 1860-1872. A center of patriotism especially committed to the Southern cause. After the Nov. 1860 presidential election, citizens lowered the Stars and Stripes and ran up the Texas flag on the Courthouse. Early in 1861 influential men beat drums on the Square to recruit soldiers for the Confederacy. Some 450 Navarro County men enlisted. These included two officers who made outstanding records, Cols. Roger Q. Mills and Clinton M. Winkler. In the Courthouse, county commissioners appropriated funds for arms and ammunition and for support of soldiers' families. In 1864, civilians -- including old men, women and children -- helped stock a Confederate Quartermaster Depot which was located in a store building on this corner. After the Confederate surrender in 1865, Federal troops under Lt. A. R. Chaffee camped on this corner to enforce peace terms. One civilian resisting the troops was John Wesley Hardin, then only 16, and not yet a celebrated gunman. But he notched his pistol in a fight with soldiers 10 miles south of town. The Texas Democratic Convention met in Corsicana in 1872, after Federal troops withdrew, and made plans whereby military despotism was replaced by civilian control of state government by bona fide Texans. Incise on base: Marker Sponsored By: Corley Funeral Home #11605

418 N. 13th St., Corsicana, TX, United States

R. N. White First County Clerk-First Corsicana Postmaster. A native of South Carolina, Robert Newton White (1810-1891) moved his family to this area in 1845. One year later Navarro County was created and White was elected the first County clerk, a position he held for ten years. During that time he also served as the first Corsicana postmaster, 1849-52. A civic leader, White was instrumental in persuading railroads to build lines to the city and also helped start a Cumberland Presbyterian Church here. His first Corsicana home, a log cabin, was constructed at this site. #11646

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Judge John S. Callicutt. John Spencer Callicutt moved to Corsicana in 1886 and opened his law practice. As an active member of the community, Callicutt served on the founding board of the county hospital, as well as the boards of Central State Bank and other businesses. A member of the First Methodist Church, he was active in Masonic activities, including work with handicapped children. In 1935 he was appointed district judge by Gov. Miriam A. Ferguson. Married to the former Evelina Jack, he was the father of seven children. He and his wife are buried in Oakwood Cemetery. (1988) #8282

1244 W 4th Ave., Corsicana, TX, United States

Dunn-Ransom Home. A native of Kentucky, Ewing Eric Dunn (1835-1917) came to Texas in 1850. He served as Navarro County deputy sheriff, 1854-1858, and joined the Confederate army during the Civil War. In 1866 he built the first portion of this frame house. Dunn was county sheriff from 1876 to 1884. S. M. Ransom, a grocer, enlarged the residence in 1890 and added the wraparound porch, fish scale shingling, and stained glass. Five generations of the Ransom family lived here. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981 #11618

1303 W. 4th St., Corsicana, TX, United States

Smith-McCrery Home. Built in 1880, this house originally was the residence of Dr. John R. Smith, who served as the mayor of Corsicana from 1883 until 1885. During his term of office, Smith organized the volunteer fire department and helped Navarro County set up a poor farm at Petty's Chapel, where prisoners without money could work off their fines. In 1898 the home was purchased by Mrs. A. W. McCrery, a widow who brought her ten daughters and her mother-in-law to live here. The house remained in the McCrery family until 1967. #11636

1306 W 4th Ave, Corsicana, TX, United States

Rosenberg Family. Ben Rosenberg (1862-1929) emigrated from Poland to the United States about 1882. After living several years in Waco, he settled in Corsicana about 1890. Rosenberg soon became the proprietor of the Cotton Exchange Saloon and in 1902 opened the Rosenberg Implement Company. Known for his generosity and his interest in civic affairs, Rosenberg also was active in Corsicana's large Jewish community. This home, which he built for his wife, Rachel (Goldberg), and their son, remained in the Rosenberg family for more than fifty years. #11631

1206 W. 4th Ave, Corsicana, TX, United States

Col. Clinton McKamey Winkler. (October 19, 1821--May 13, 1882) Eminent judge, for whom a Texas county was named. Born in North Carolina. Settled in 1840 in the Republic of Texas. Admitted to the Bar (1843), he served 1847-49 in 2nd Texas Legislature. Raising 150 men for Hood's Brigade, he served four years in Confederate army; was wounded at Gettysburg. He was elected to 13th Texas Legislature. At creation of Texas Court of Appeals, he was one of three original justices. Married twice, he had eight children. Recorded 1971 #11649

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Colonel Roger Q. Mills. (1832-1911) Born in Kentucky. Came to Texas 1849. Civic and political leader. Represented Navarro County in Legislature, 1859-60. Joined in call for State Secession Convention, 1861. Joined 3rd Texas Cavalry. Later a colonel in 10th Texas Infantry. Wounded in Tennessee and Georgia battles. A leader in 1871 Democratic Convention held in Corsicana, which started move to end Reconstruction in Texas. Member United States Congress 1873-92. Author Mills Tariff Bill. In U. S. Senate 1892-99. #7231

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Frank Neal Drane. (1862-1938) A Navarro County native, Frank Neal Drane married Florence A. Bingham in 1885 and had two children. He ran a hardware store with his father before becoming president of City National Bank. In 1901 Drane formed the Corsicana Power and Light company. A city alderman and a leader in the Third Avenue Presbyterian church, he wished to share his personal prosperity with fellow citizens. In 1938 he organized the Navarro Community Foundation with E. W. Robinson (1891-1967) as the first director. The fund has benefited wide-ranging endeavors, including Navarro College, founded in 1946. #11615

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Roger Q. Mills Home. Outstanding example plantation architecture. Was long the home of U. S. Senator Roger Quarles Mills (1832-1911). Born in Kentucky, Mills came to Corsicana in 1852. Was colonel in Civil War; served Texas 27 years as congressman, senator. Married: five children. He built northwest section of house in 1856, used some of logs from cabin built on same site in 1847. House was completed 1875. Broad verandas, carriage lamps are reminders of gracious era. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1967 Incise in base: Restored by Mr. and Mrs. Eliot A. Johnston #7230

1200 W 2nd Ave, Corsicana, TX, United States

The Molloy Hotel. In 1874, three years after the rail line was laid through Corsicana, lawyer Henry Molloy (1829-1913) had a one-story hotel built to accommodate businessmen and other travelers. Molloy added the second story in 1881. Over the years, the building came to be a center of business and social activity and has been owned by a number of the town's leading citizens, including George T. Jester, father of former Texas Governor Beauford H. Jester. The hotel, which closed in 1975, stands as a reminder of Corsicana's early days as a railroad town. #7233

111 E. Collin, Corsicana, TX, United States

Fire Station No. 2. The Corsicana Volunteer Fire Department was organized in Dec. 1879, with J. J. Strupper as chief. Volunteer fire fighters carried buckets before acquiring hand- and horse-drawn equipment. Fire Station No. 1, located at city hall, was first occupied in 1892 by Chief F. N. Drane, who supervised drilling of artesian wells to supply water. First Station No. 2 was built in 1902 as a substation for west Corsicana. In 1924, after protecting lives and property for 45 years, the volunteer system was replaced by the City Fire Department, which continued to use this building until 1926. #7192

1011 W. 5th Ave., Corsicana, TX, United States

Senator James H. Woods Home. Built 1900 of long leaf pine lumber. Entry paneled in beveled, leaded plate glass. Children had skating rink and gym in attic. Occupied by Senator Woods and family, 1900-1931; by son, 1931-1939. Senator Woods (1858-1931) came to Corsicana from Tennessee, 1873. Became a lawyer; served as city councilman, mayor, commissioner of fire department, director of public library, school trustee. Was State Representative, 1911 to 1919; State Senator, 1919-1923. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967 Restored by Mr. and Mrs. Allen Edens, Jr., 1963 #11650

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Judge E. J. Simkins House. Eldred James Simkins (1838-1902) then of South Carolina, served 4 years in the Confederate army. A brother, William S. Simkins was credited with firing the first shot of the Civil War at Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861. E. J. Simkins moved here in 1871, established a law practice, and built the first rooms of this home in 1873. He was a regent of the University of Texas, 1881-93; served as a state senator, 1887-92; and as a justice on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 1893-95. Simkins helped draft the law creating the Texas Railroad Commission and wrote a noted volume on jurisprudence. #11635

514 W 2nd Ave, Corsicana, TX, United States

Site of Merchants Opera House. At this site in 1891, a group of businessmen built a three-story structure to replace the small Corsicana Opera House above city hall. The Merchants Opera House had stores and offices on the first two floors and a balconied auditorium on the top story. Opulently decorated in the style of the day, the theater seated up to 1000. Plays, minstrel shows, and musical concerts, featuring well-known performers, entertained audiences here. The building was sold, but burned in 1914 before it could be converted into a motion picture theater as planned. #7229

113 S. Beaton St., Corsicana, TX, United States

George Washington Shelton. (Jan. 12, 1814-Nov. 15, 1882) A Texas War for Independence soldier. Born in Virginia. Lived in Tennessee, where he joined 15 other recruits late in 1835 to come to Texas and fight against dictator Santa Anna. Served Jan. 14 to Sept. 18, 1836. Was awarded two land bounties for military duty. Became a pioneer citizen of Navarro County. His wife was Sara Elizabeth Johnson. They had four children: Izora, Ann Madora, George W., Jr., and Emma Tennessee. Recorded, 1967 Presented by family of Raymond Shelton Crawford. #11634

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Corsicana City Jail of 1908. The city's first brick jail, this structure was erected in 1908 adjacent to the city hall on a lot purchased from Rebecca A. Croft, widow of Judge William Croft. On the lower floor were cells and on the top floor the police chief's office, occupied by Will S. Knight, Corsicana's first police chief, 1906-36. His office was moved to the new city hall in 1924 and two more cells added. The facilities were heated by gas in the winter and at times were crowded with as many as 80 prisoners. This building housed the city jail until 1974. #11606

207 W. 5th, Corsicana, TX, United States

Samuel R. Frost. (Mar. 1, 1846 - Jan. 1, 1908) A native of Huntsville, Texas, Samuel R. Frost grew up in Navarro County and in 1863 enlisted in the Confederate army. After the Civil War, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1870. In the years that followed, Frost served as Navarro County attorney, county judge, district judge, and state legislator. He and his wife, Mary (Winkler), were the parents of nine children. The town of Frost (20 mi. W) was named in his honor. #7204

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

The Birthplace of the Petroleum Industry. West of the Mississippi River. In this well, drilled by H. G. Johnston, E. H. Akin, and Charles Rittersbacher under contract for a water well for the city of Corsicana in 1894, the first oil in commercial quantities in the mid-continent area was discovered at 1035 feet. #11622

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Jose Antonio Navarro. Lover of liberty. Foe of despotism. Born in San Antonio, Texas, February 27, 1795. Died January 13, 1871 and buried there. Member of the Legislature of Coahuila and Texas, 1821; land commissioner of De Witt's colony 1831 and of Bexar District, 1834-1835; signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, 1836; member of the Congress of the Republic of Texas, 1838-1839; a commissioner of the Santa Fe Expedition, 1841; member of the Constitutional Convention of 1845; senator in the Legislature of Texas, 1846-1849. Navarro County gratefully bears his name. Corsicana was named by him for the isle of his father's birth - Corsica. #7237

300 W. Third Ave., Courthouse grounds, Corsicana, TX, United States

Subjects
Site of the First Courthouse. The Texas Legislature specified that the seat of Navarro County should be called Corsicana; but the location was not secured until 1848, when this site was donated by David R. Mitchell, James C. Neill, and Thomas Smith. Other structures served briefly as quarters for county business; but the fist actual courthouse was a log cabin erected here in 1848. The 15' by 17' building had the judge's stand in one corner and county clerk's table in another. A two-story frame courthouse replaced the cabin in 1853. #7195

223 W. 1st Avenue, Corsicana, TX, United States

Navarro County. Formed from Robertson County. Created April 25, 1846; organized July 13, 1846. Named in honor of Jose Antonio Navarro, 1795-1871, soldier, patriot and statesman, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Member of the Texas Congress 1838. Commissioner on the Santa Fe Expedition, delegate in 1845 to the Constitutional Convention. County seat, Corsicana. #7235

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Samuel Wistar Johnson, M. D.. (1853-1922) A native of Georgia, Samuel W. Johnson established his first medical practice in Atlanta. After moving to Texas and settling in Corsicana, he became a respected community physician and was elected mayor in 1900. During his term in office the public library was established, thanks to the efforts of the city's women's clubs. Johnson was also instrumental in the early oil industry in Corsicana. His first wife, Kate Beaton, died in 1904. In 1910 he married Sarah Pace. Johnson moved to Dallas in 1910 and died there in 1922. He is buried in Corsicana's Oakwood Cemetery. #7221

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Grape Creek Cemetery. G. W. Eliot donated land at this site for a school, Methodist church, parsonage, and graveyard. Burials in the cemetery began about 1881. The Doolen, Duncan, Eliot, Humphries, Metcalf, Rakestraw, Smith, Stokes, Wimberly, and other families lived in the area at that time. The school consolidated with Navarro in 1928 and the building was relocated. The church meetinghouse was destroyed by fire in 1975. The next year a steel tabernacle was erected. It serves as the location for the annual memorial services of the Grape Creek Cemetery Association. #7206

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery. William Harvey Beeman (1817-1860) received a Mercer colony grant of 640 acres in Navarro County and brought his family here in the 1840s. He and pioneer Samuel Hamilton (1820-1900), who owned adjacent property, each gave one acre to establish this cemetery in the 1850s. The first burial was that of Hamilton's infant son in 1859. Both Hamilton and Beeman, a freighter and local justice of the peace, are buried here. Gifts and purchases of additional land have enlarged the cemetery to over 47 acres. #7207

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

15th Texas Infantry Companies E and G. Several communities in Navarro County organized military units that saw action in the Civil War. Company E of the 15th Texas Infantry was formed on April 16, 1862, when two squads were combined into one unit under the leadership of Captain Joshua Long Halbert, a prominent Corsicana lawyer. Company G, 15th Texas Infantry, was originally part of William Melton's 13th Texas Infantry, but the company was reorganized during the winter of 1861-1862 as Company G, under the command of Captain Clinton Fouty. The two companies were assigned to Colonel William Speight, and saw action throughout the Trans-Mississippi region, including Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Indian Territory. As they began their journey to Arkansas, the regiment first saw combat on September 29, 1863 at the Battle of Bayou Fordoche, northeast of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After the battle, the 15th Texas saw action at Bayou Bourbeau, which was one of the early skirmishes that led to the Red River Campaign. Although a Confederate victory, the battle took a toll on the soldiers from Navarro County, with 7 killed in action, 22 wounded and 5 missing. Additionally, the group later saw action during the Red River Campaign at the battles of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, Mansura and Yellow Bayou, Louisiana. The campaign resulted in the halting of the Union advance by the Confederate forces, and may have prolonged the war by distracting the Union's efforts to capture Mobile, Alabama. The men of Companies E and G started their journey back to Navarro County on February 20, 1865 and were discharged later that spring. (2009) #15954

3100 W. Collin St., Corsicana, TX, United States

Air Activities of Texas. #15402

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Wesley Chapel Methodist Church. This congregation was established at the forks of Richland and Ash creeks in 1877 by the Rev. Austin Lockhart, an itinerant Methodist minister of the West Texas Conference. Initial services were held in a nearby log schoolhouse and later in a church building near the present-day Pelham Cemetery. New sanctuaries were erected at this site in 1911 and in 1934. Wesley Chapel Methodist Church is an important local institution with a tradition of supporting a Sunday school, choir, and numerous youth and elderly outreach programs and activities for members of the rural Pelham community. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995 #11644

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Pinkston. #15696

3 mi. W. of Corsicana on Hwy. 22, Corsicana, TX, United States

Grange Hall Cemetery. Established to serve the small farming community of Cryer Creek, Grange Hall Cemetery most likely derived its name from the active farmers' organization known as The Grange. The site was used for a burial ground as early as 1872, five years before Navarro County pioneer Samuel Wilson donated the land for a Methodist Church and churchyard. Those buried here include a number of Civil War veterans, area pioneer families, and members of the Mississippi colony who moved here from Meridian, Miss. in 1870. #7205

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

First Methodist Church. Founded 1851; sanctuary built 1871 was not yet consecrated when State Democratic Convention met here 1872 and laid plans to free Texas from Reconstruction rule. First missionary society west of the Mississippi organized here, 1880. H. A. Boaz, ordained here, later became president of Polytechnic College, S. M. U., and a bishop. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1967 #7198

N. 15th at W. 3rd St., Corsicana, TX, United States

The First National Bank of Corsicana. An institution whose history reflects rise of a landmark city. Corsicana was founded about 1850. In 1871, when the Houston & Texas Central gave the town rail connections with national commerce, two former H. & T. C. employees established this bank as a private concern. The men were Capt. James Garitty (1842-1925), experienced as a bank clerk, and Joseph Huey (1827-1904), a tin and hardware dealer. The firm was called Garitty, Huey & Company, and served cotton growers as well as ranchers and cowboys driving cattle to the railroad. By 1886 their business had expanded so greatly that they incorporated and obtained a charter for the First National Bank of Corsicana, with capital of $125,000 and surplus of $75,000. Drilling for a new municipal water well in 1894 brought first major oil and gas discovery in Texas. The pioneer field developed first use in the state of natural gas in lighting and heating, first use of petroleum for railroad locomotives, first use of oil in highway surfacing. Texas' first refinery was built in Corsicana. During and after the years of petroleum industry development, the city gained other business and cultural advantages, with this bank giving aid and leadership in many phases of civic progress. #7200

100 N. Main, Corsicana, TX, United States

Rex Ingram. Dean of American black actors. A Corsicana native, Rex (Clifford) Ingram was the son of Mack and Mamie Ingram. He graduated from Northwestern University before launching his brilliant acting career, which spanned 50 years. Ingram made his screen debut during the era of silent movies in a 1918 "Tarzan" film. He won widespread acclaim for his famous portrayal of "De Lawd" in the 1936 film "Green Pastures." Ingram also appeared on the Broadway stage and in several television productions, bringing his skill and dignity to every performance. He died and was buried in California. #7215

?, Corsicana, TX, United States

Subjects
L. P. Hodge Home. #7214

?, Corsicana, TX, United States