Texas Historical Marker

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Spring Creek School. Established in 1900, a year before Hutchinson County was formally organized, the Spring Creek School is an early and significant part of the county's educational heritage. In that year, W. B. Haile and other area ranchers collected funds to buy materials to build the first schoolhouse. Located on the Harvey Ranch near Spring Creek, the schoolhouse served 13 students, taught by Mrs. L. S. Ford that first, 60-day school year. In 1901, the Hutchinson County commissioners court divided the county into four school districts, Spring Creek being named district #4. At that time, schools were under the supervision of a superintendent of county education, who by 1903 was W. B. Haile. When the area's population shifted, the first schoolhouse was moved to Haile Ranch and later to the Terry Ranch before becoming too small for the number of students enrolled. It was replaced sometime before 1930; this second building burned in 1932 but was rebuilt. The next building, a red brick structure, was completed in 1938 and offered the students and teachers six classrooms, a gymnasium-auditorium and a library. In 1949, the White Deer Creek School District consolidated with Spring Creek. At the turn of the 21st century, the Spring Creek School retained its status as an independent school district, serving this rural part of Hutchinson County. Administrators have directed strong educational and extra-curricular programs throughout the school's history. (2001) #12442

?, Borger vicinity, TX, United States

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Dr. Jack Shackelford (March 20, 1790 - January 22, 1857) Physician and military commander, Jack Shackelford, was born in Richmond, Virginia. He earned an M.D. degree and in 1811, moved to Winnsboro, South Carolina, where he opened his first practice and met Maria Youngue, whom he married. Shackelford enlisted in the Army during the War of 1812, where he served on Andrew Jackson's staff and was wounded at Charleston. After the war, he moved his family to Alabama, where he continued to practice medicine, owned a cotton plantation and served in the State Senate. In 1835, Shackelford raised a company of nearly 70 volunteers (approximately half of the male population of Courtland, AL), his eldest son, Fortunatus, and two nephews, to join in the Texas War for Independence. The group, which became known as the Red Rovers, came under command of Col. James Fannin. During the battle of Coleto, Dr. Shackelford's orders saved numerous lives. Unfortunately, most of the survivors were executed on March 27, 1836; Dr. Shackelford was spared because of his medical training. He cared for Mexican soldiers in Goliad and then in San Antonio. After the battle of San Jacinto, he and Dr. Joseph Barnard escaped; they returned to Goliad to secure burial for the massacre victims, and then to Velasco, where Shackelford obtained an honorable discharge. Dr. Shackelford returned to Alabama after the war. Following Maria's death in 1842, he married Martha Chardevoyne. Although he never became a resident, Dr. Shackelford maintained close ties to friends and former military comrades living in Texas. His notes about Col. Fannin and the events of Coleto and Goliad remain important accounts. In 1858, Shackelford County was established and named in honor of the contributions and sacrifices he made for the Texas cause. (2010) Marker is the property of the State of Texas

389 S 2nd St, Albany, TX, United States

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Odd Fellows Hall. Erected in 1875. Third meeting place for Sherman Lodge #45 since organization Sept. 27, 1854. Center of community activity: opened a school (74 students) 11 years before first city public school. At June 21, 1862 meeting all members except one elderly brother left for Confederate service. This meeting was not officially closed until war's end. Three Grand Masters of Texas and 1 Sovereign Grand Master of the World came from membership. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1965 #7414

109 N. Walnut, Sherman, TX, United States

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White Chapel Cemetery. Coleman County was organized in 1867. The landscape in this area included high grasses, pecan and live oak trees. Deer, turkey, bear and antelope roamed freely. Into this wilderness came such pioneers as John Thomas and Julia Gowens Hamilton, Julia's parents G. A. and Rachel Ann Berryman Gowens, and Rachel's father Benjamin Berryman and his family. The group passed Coleman, choosing instead to settle in this locality. The village of White Chapel grew from the efforts of these settlers and their neighbors. The earliest interment on this burial ground was that of Joseph Shipman, who died in 1884. When land was deeded for a school that year, the cemetery was established on the same site. The school, cemetery and community were known as White Chapel. The Rock Crusher School District was created in 1916 and included White Chapel District #44, but White Chapel voters rejected consolidation in 1917. The White Chapel Baptist Church was moved to the school grounds in 1930. In 1936 the Centennial High School District was formed and older grade levels were consolidated into the new organization. In 1951 all White Chapel students were consolidated into the Centennial District. In 1952 the cemetery was granted a separate deed from the school. Pioneer family names represented in the cemetery are Berryman, Brooks, Collier, Fenton, Gowens, Jameson, Kelley, Hamilton, Nelson, Saunders and Stacy. Three Civil War veterans and several members of the U. S. Armed Forces are interred here. The White Chapel Cemetery remains a chronicle of the early settlers of this wilderness. (1999) #11814

?, Coleman, TX, United States

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Masonic Lodge Hall and First Baptist Church. One of the first buildings constructed in Kildare; now the oldest existing one n town. Erected jointly 1878 by the Baptist Church and Jim's Bayou Lodge # 491 A.F. & A.M. Builders were Skillman and Bricker. In continuous use since 1878, structure is of heart cypress, selected for extreme durability. Although church moved in 1950's, building still serves as Lodge Hall and recreation facility. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 169 #9826

?, Kildare, TX, United States

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Dalworthington Gardens The city of Dalworthington Gardens began as a result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Depression-era policies. Roosevelt supported the "back-to-the-land" movement, encouraging urban workers to live on and cultivate rural property. Roosevelt signed the National Industrial Recovery Act into law in 1933; it authorized the establishment of a subsistence homestead program. While visiting the Arlington area, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw this area as a possible site for the Homestead Project. In December 1933, a corporation was formed for a state charter and titled Dalworthington Gardens, Inc. (Combining the names of nearby Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington). Early the next year, the Federal Government bought property south of Arkansas Lane near Arlington. By June, Civil Works Administration workers arrived to clear the area for 80 development sites. Only people from the Dallas or Fort Worth areas would qualify to live in Dalworthington Gardens. By May 1935, most of the construction was complete. However, applicants that moved into the homes had to deal with many issues, including lack of gas, faulty water and sewage piping, and unfenced property. Residents, however, worked together to build a tight-knit community. They soon established a community house that became a center of activity. In 1949, residents petitioned to have the colony incorporated into a town. Today, though surrounded by Arlington and Pantego in the thriving Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Dalworthington Gardens remains the only subsistence homestead project existing as an autonomous community in Texas. 2010 Marker is property of the State of Texas

2600 Roosevelt Dr., Dalworthington Gardens, TX, United States

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Turnersville Cemetery This burial ground served residents of the rural community of Turnersville (originally Buchanan Springs). Settled before the Civil War, Turnersville boasted a cotton gin, stores, a school, and three churches by the 1880s. The interred here include many of these past residents, with ranchers, farmers, merchants, physicians, teachers, ministers, and military veterans among them. Cemetery features include interior fencing, curbing, and grave slabs. A cemetery association formed by 1900, but disbanded in the 1930s. The Turnersville Cemetery Association reorganized in 1953, and still continues to care for the burial ground. Today, the cemetery is one of the few remaining vestiges of the Turnersville community. Historic Texas Cemetery - 2010 Marker is Property of the State of Texas

8060 FM 182, Turnersville, TX, United States

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Post Oak Island Lodge #181, A.F. & A.M.. Settled as early as the 1840s, Post Oak Island was one of this area's earliest communities. There, on September 15, 1855, I.J. Kidd, T. Gatlin, P.A. Middleton, M. Gardner and A.S. Harper established a Masonic lodge. On February 2, 1856, the lodge was officially constituted as Post Oak Island Lodge #181, and by October 1860, lodge members had paid the mortgage on their lodge hall. They moved the hall in 1878 to Sam Smith Springs (Lawhon Springs), and in 1901, they moved it again, to Beaukiss. Despite the relatively small population of Beaukiss, the long-standing institution has maintained a high membership, pulled from the area's dispersed rural communities. (2006) #13604

CR 480, Spur 619, Elgin, TX, United States

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P. P. Ackley and the Texas Chisholm Trail. Illinois native Peter Preston Ackley (1858-1940) moved to Texas as a boy. He went on several trail drives in the 1870s and 1880s, bringing cattle from Texas, Nebraska and Canada to Kansas railheads. Starting in the 1920s, Ackley worked to have the Chisholm Trail recognised as a National Highway. In the 1930s he formed the Texas Longhorn Chisholm Trail Association and placed dozens of metal and granite markers along historic cattle trails in several states, Canada and Mexico. Ackley wintered in Donna and placed a trail marker here; a sign outside his house read "End of the Chisholm Trail". His efforts helped to document the era of the cattle drives in the American West.

?, Donna, TX, United States

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Motley County Jail This 2-story jail was erected in 1891, the year Motley County was organized, after County Judge H. H. Campbell and commissioners Dan Browning, A. B. Cooper, J. J. John and W. E. Power awarded a construction contract to local builders J. F. Aiken and J. T. Cornett. Cells were on the top floor of the structure and jailer's living quarters on the lower level. The first courthouse, also built in 1891, later burned, but this jail remains as a symbol of Motley County's frontier heritage.

Motley County Jail, Matador, TX, United States

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Louisiana-Rio Grande Canal Company. Wisconsin native John Closner established the first steam-powered irrigation system in the lower Rio Grande Valley in 1895. Closner successfully grew sugar cane and entered a sample for judging at the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904. The award-winning sugar cane and Closner's promotion of the lower Rio Grande convinced a number of financiers and agriculturists to invest in the region's irrigation and development possibilities. In 1909 H. N. Pharr, J. C. Kelly, John C. Conway, and A. W. Roth formed the Louisiana-Rio Grande (LRG) Canal Company to transform about 40,000 acres of arid land in Hidalgo County into productive farmland. To do this the company built two pumping stations to divert water from the Rio Grande through an elaborate irrigation system to a planned community of small farmsteads. The agricultural success of the LRG Canal Company, its successor the Hidalgo County Water Improvement District #2, and other similar operations in the region resulted in an influx of Anglo farmers and settlers from the midwestern U.S. into this mainly Hispanic region of Texas. The bountiful harvests propelled the Rio Grande Valley to the forefront of Texas agriculture by the mid-20th century and earned the region a reputation as the "winter garden" of Texas. (1995) Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845 - 1995 Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995. #3140

?, Pharr, TX, United States

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Renfro Cemetery #1. John Folkner Renfro, Sr. (1797-1859) and wife, Rebecca Harrison Hicks (1808-1869), moved to Texas in 1839 by wagon from Missouri. In 1840, they settled in this area, known as Renfro Prairie, where they raised ten children and were leaders in the local Methodist church. The family prospered and were helpful to new settlers adjusting to the East Texas life. At least seven members of the family of Moses Warren Spivey (1829-1904), who lived nearby on Bear Creek, share this Renfro burial ground with Berry, Davis, Kirby, Payne and Renfro families. This pioneer cemetery is honored and cared for by the Spivey-Renfro Cemetery Association. #17441

?, , TX, United States

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Rockland Cemetery, Church and School. Benjamin Thomas Ellis (1825-1870) was born to John I. and Elizabeth Ann (Goolsby) Ellis in Alabama. The family moved to Texas in 1839, and by 1850 he was living with his wife, Martha E. (Shirley) Ellis and their one-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, on the land around this site. Family oral history indicates that the cemetery began as a family graveyard. The land is part of the Benjamin T. Ellis survey. According to oral history, Benjamin Ellis, Jr. (d. 1843) and his wife, Hannah (McHenry) Ellis (d. 1861), parents of John I.Ellis, were among the first people buried on this site. The earliest marked grave is that of their daughter, Nancy M. (Ellis) Milliken, who died in 1862 after the birth of her sixth child. Her husband, John C. Milliken, who was a member of the Texas militia during the Civil War, died in 1868 and is buried next to her. Benjamin T. Ellis, who also served in the Texas militia during the Confederacy, is buried nearby. Rockland Cemetery was deeded to the trustees of the newly organized Rockland Church by J. S. and Ellen l. (Ellis) Burton in 1890. The congregation established a church and school building in front of the cemetery in 1892, and the site became a community social center. It served until about 1900, when it was moved two miles west to be closer to students' homes. Rockland Common School District #13 was created in 1911 and operated until 1939 when students were transferred to Lovelady schools. Official consolidation with Lovelady schools occurred in 1947. The union church continued to hold services in the building until 1942. The cemetery, enlarged in 1992 with a two-acre land donation, continues in use and remains a chronicle of early pioneers. (2000) Incising on reverse: In memory of Eltice Higginbotham Barrier and Joe and Laura Sharp Higginbotham #12375

?, Lovelady, TX, United States

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Woodland Heights Community In the early 20th century, William A. Wilson, with the financial backing of James A. Baker, Jr., Joseph B. Bowles, Rufus Cage and J.M. Cotton, established the Woodland Heights community north of and topographically higher than downtown Houston. Among the partners, William Wilson chose to live on Bayland Street in the Woodland Heights neighborhood. The developers' firm, the William Wilson Realty Company, platted the addition as a streetcar suburb, where residents would commute to and from work and shopping by use of public transportation. Built in the southwestern area of Germantown, the community included water piped into every house, concrete sidewalks, graded streets, and trees and shrubs for beautification purposes. The developers began selling land and constructing houses in 1907. Residents soon organized community institutions, including the Beauchamp Springs Presbyterian, Woodland Baptist and Zion Lutheran Churches, and the Woodland Masonic Lodge #1157, A.F. & A.M. The Woodland Heights Garden Club later developed, which was followed by the Woodland Heights Civic Association. The developers also provided for education by deeding land to the Travis Elementary School (previously Beauchamp Springs Public School). Businesses, including several grocery stores, would also open in the primarily residential neighborhood. Many of the neighborhood's historic structures, built between 1907 and 1925, and reflecting Arts and Crafts and Bungalow styles, remain. The community was later incorporated into Houston, and today, Woodland Heights continues to be a thriving neighborhood. (2008) #14729

?, Houston, TX, United States

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Milam Lodge #2, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Texas. The Masonic Lodge in Nacogdoches is the oldest in the state still operating in its original location. Before the organization of a Grand Lodge in Texas, Louisiana Masons granted dispensation for individual lodges here. Three lodges, Holland (No. 36) of Brazoria, Milam (No. 40) of Nacogdoches, and McFarland (No. 41) of San Augustine, were organized in this way from 1835-37. Nacogdoches' lodge organized on August 16, 1837, honoring with its name Texas revolutionary hero Ben Milam, who was killed during the siege of Bexar. Original members included Isaac W. Burton, Kelsey Douglass, Haden Edwards, John H. Hyde, John W. Lowe, Goerge A. Nixon, John S. Roberts, Adolphus Sterne and Frost Thorne. The newly constituted lodge first met in the Old Stone Fort for three consecutive nights following the chartering ceremony. Charles S. Taylor, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and Thomas J. Rusk, soldier and statesman, were initiated into the lodge that week. Many other significant men in the Republic of Texas were members of Milam Lodge. The Holland, Milam and McFarland Lodges (renumbered No. 1, 2 and 3) organized the Grand Lodge of Texas in December 1837. Promoting education was one of the chief community activities of Freemasons in Texas; the Milam Lodge helped establish and operate Nacogdoches University in 1845. The lodge also supported several local churches and new lodges in cities across Texas. Milam Lodge met in a number of facilities over the years, using its entire building fund to buy war bonds during World War I before finally building its own home in 1931. The Milam Lodge's tradition of community service and charity continues to this day. (2008) Marker is Property of the State of Texas #14133

129 N. Fredonia, Nacogdoches, TX, United States

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The Seven Courthouses of Hunt County In 1846, when Hunt County was created, Greenville was chosen as the county seat. Court sessions were held under oak trees at the corner of St. John and Bourland Streets until the first courthouse was built here in 1847. A log cabin, it was located on the west side of the square. It was replaced in 1853 by a 2-story frame courthouse on the northwest corner. The center of the square, which had been reserved for a more substantial building, was used in 1858 for the third courthouse. The first brick structure in the county, it was condemned in 1874. County offices were moved to a building at 2610 Lee Street, purchased from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The fifth courthouse, an ornate red brick building with white stone trim, was constructed here in 1883, thirteen months later it was destroyed by a fire which heavily damaged the town’s commercial district. A new courthouse, which closely resembled the 1883 structure, was built in 1885. In 1928 it was torn down to make room for construction of the present courthouse. The seventh for Hunt County, a formal dedication was held on April 11, 1929, the 83rd anniversary of the county’s founding.

2500 Lee Street, Greenville, TX, United States

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Bob's Oil Well Greenville, Texas native Luther Bedford "Bob" Robertson (1894-1947), a veteran of World War I, came to Matador in the 1920s. He was a gas station attendant in 1932 when he decided to open a service station here. To promote his new business, he built a wooden oil derrick over the station. He patented his design, and in 1939 replaced the wooden derrick with one of steel that reached 84 feet in height and included lights. Robertson was a gifted businessman and promoter, and he used any opportunity to advertise his operation and attract customers. He kept a cage of live rattlesnakes for the amusement of tourists, and from that initial attraction grew a zoo that included lions, monkeys, coyotes, a white buffalo and other animals. He paid long distance truckers to place advertising signs at strategic points across the nation noting the mileage to Bob's Oil Well in Matador, and they became well known to the motoring public. As a result of his success, Robertson enlarged his operation to include a grocery, cafe and garage. In addition to his business skills, Robertson was an active civic leader in Matador. He was particularly interested in recognizing the efforts of those who served in the military during World War II. Bob Robertson died in 1947, and two weeks later a high wind toppled the steel derrick that had been the trademark of his business. His widow, Olga (Cunningham) (d. 1993), restored it two years later with even larger lights. The business did not continue long after, however, and closed in the 1950s. Later efforts to repoen it were short-lived. Today, the site serves as a reminder of a time when such bold roadside architecture was in its infancy and of a man who, through his business, widely promoted his adopted hometown.

Bob's Oil Well, Matador, TX, United States

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Getzendaner Memorial Park Established in 1889, Getzendaner Memorial Park was originally named West End Park as part of Waxahachie’s West End addition. By the early 20th century, it became Chautauqua Park, named for the annual retreat held on its grounds through 1930. Chautauqua assemblies began in western New York in the 19th century as cultural program events, typically held during summer at pastoral settings. From 1900 the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and later local citizens, held Chautauqua retreats here. For two weeks each year, thousands would gather from throughout Texas and Oklahoma for the program, erecting tents for housing on the park grounds. During the assembly, restaurants, a barbershop, a telephone booth and a post office could all be found in the park. In addition, numerous tents served dining, religious and social needs. An auditorium constructed in 1902 replaced the former assembly hall, which the Chautauqua had outgrown. The new structure became the stage for lectures, concerts and other performances. Later, the building would be used for other occasions, such as high school graduations. The park has hosted other events, including a Confederate soldier reunion, which is noteworthy for the participation of W.H. Getzendaner, for whom the park was renamed in 1914. Born in 1834, Getzendaner moved to Waxahachie in 1858 and later served in the Civil War. Residents held many other events at the park over the years, including speaking engagements for orator and presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan in 1909 and humorist Will Rogers in 1927. With historic ties to the early Chautauqua years, the park remains a gather place for civic and religious events.

Getzendaner Memorial Park, Waxahachie, TX, United States

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Brahan Lodge 226, A.F. & A.M.. Set to work U.D. June 23, 1858. Chartered June 16, 1859. Named for Dr. Robt. W. Brahan. John Rhodes King, first worshipful master. Members included veterans of Texas War for Independence, Mier Expedition, Mexican War, Indian campaigns. They quarried stone, hauled it to site by ox-cart, completed hall 1871. In it churches met; children were educated. Members served in every American war; in Civil War were in Hood's Texas Brigade, Terry's Texas Rangers, Parsons' Texas Cavalry, Cibolo Guards, Mustang Grays -- from Chickamauga to Atlanta to Mansfield to Appomatox. To Brahan Lodge veterans of that war this marker is dedicated: Robert Adams, Irvin H. Armstrong; Thos. H. Barry, James Edwin Beck, Haywood Brahan, Gen. Robt. W. Brahan, Emery C. Barker, M.A. Broach, Sanford Brown; Stephen T. Cook, R.B. Curry, H. Fournah, T.B. Fowler, Ed Frances; W.F. Gardner; Bennett Henderson, Connally F. Henderson, S.L. Herron, David H. Houston, Ross Houston, Russell Houston, J. Humphries; T.D. James, J.T. Johnson, John Rhodes King, W.A. King, Felix A. Knox, V.R. Knox; R.N. Leigh, Robt. Lenox; Levi Maddox, J.G. Maddox, Emil Morosa, Sam H. Milam, Wm. Morris, J.M. Morrison, R.G. Murray, Chas. A. McAlister, Sam W. McClain, Richard D. McGee, G.M. McKay; J.K. New, D.C. Newton, Jas. Newton, N.M. Newton, Wm. Northcraft; C.R. Patton; T.J.C. Reese; Jas. D. Sanders, Wm. D. Scull, J.A. Sharpless, Robt. Sharpless; J.W. Thompson, Eli Toole, Jas. M. Trainer; L.J. Vivian; J.E. Watkins, R.B. Watkins, John A. Wells, L.S. White, Hugh W. Wiseman, Wm. R. Wiseman; Henry Yelvington. (1965) #487

FM 775, La Vernia, TX, United States

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Cresson School Approximately ten years after settlers began moving to this area, Hood County was formed from part of Johnson County in 1866. Cresson was platted in the late 1880s, and surveyor Madison Jones later deeded land at this site for school purposes. Cresson, like many of the rural communities surrounding it, started its school programs in one-room schoolhouses. Cresson's was located just west of this site and was torn down in 1890 when a two-story frame structure was erected here. This schoolhouse was used until 1918, when it was replaced by a larger, red brick building that burned years later in October 1930. Students attended classes at local churches while the school district worked to build a new schoolhouse. The M.l. Wallace & Co. architectural firm from Dallas served as designer, and county school superintendent Victor B. Penuel chose the appearance for the new school building. The yellow-brick, mission revival schoolhouse was completed in 1931, with an auditorium and four large classrooms. Design elements include cartouches and decorative elements in window surrounds. Fund-raisers held during subsequent years added a kitchen and indoor restroom facilities. In July 1965, a severe storm damaged several buildings in Cresson, and lightning struck the school. The central parapet on the main façade, designed to resemble the curved parapet of the Alamo in San Antonio, was damaged and later replaced. After Cresson consolidated with Granbury schools in 1967, the school building sat abandoned; a community group organized in the late 1970s to work for its restoration. Today, the school serves as a community center and as a link to Cresson's early educational programs. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2003

116 North Crook Street, Cresson, TX, United States