Texas Historical Marker

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

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

Adjutant's Quarters (Quarters # 20). Erected during the 1873-1875 expansion of Fort Clark to accommodate and support an entire regiment, this structure differs from other quarters on the line in that it is a single dwelling rather than a duplex. The Fifth Regiment of the U. S. Cavalry was garrisoned here from 1921 to 1941 and during that time the regimental adjutant, who performed essential clerical duties for the regimental commander, lived within these walls. The core of this building is a three-room hall and parlor plan composed of adobe, featuring a symmetrical front and stone chimney at each end. Additions were made in 1904 and 1944. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1999 #12001

20 Colony Row, Fort Clark Springs, Brackettville, TX, United States

Turner Hall. (American Legion McBride Post #143) This building was erected by the Schulenburg Turnverein, a German gymnastic club. Built in 1886 on the corner of Summit Street and Upton Avenue (presently U.S. Hwy. 90), Turner Hall, constructed by Henry Bohlman, was the primary community center. Through the years the hall was the site for theatrical performances, musical concerts, social events, and seasonal celebrations. The local American Legion post obtained the hall in 1936 and moved it to Wolters Park in 1937. Turner Hall continues to serve the Schulenburg community as it has for more than a century. #5571

?, Schulenburg, TX, United States

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

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

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

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

Dr. William Renshaw Born in Illinois, William Renshaw studied medicine and set up practice in Sparta, Tennessee. His wife Sarah received from the Mexican government a grant of land in Texas, where her father Samuel Worthington lost his life in a colonization attempt in 1828. Dr. Renshaw traveled to Texas in 1853 to locate this headright, which encompassed many acres of Wise County north of this marker site. Dr. Renshaw returned to Sparta and served two terms in the Tennessee legislature before moving his family to Texas in 1859. The first doctor to settle permanently in Wise County, Dr. Renshaw was often away from home for long periods, with a practice extending from Denton to Jacksboro. The Renshaws organized one of the county’s earliest schools, taught by J. D. White, for their own and neighbor children. After the Civil War, the family moved to Decatur, where Dr. Renshaw and his son Lute opened a drugstore. They were devout Baptists and supported Decatur Baptist College. Dr. Renshaw died in 1887 and was buried at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Decatur. As his 10 children married, each received a portion of the Worthington survey. Two family members still own part of the property. A number of descendants became doctors.

U.S. Route 380 & Decatur County Road 2311, Decatur, TX, United States

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

George Francis Home Dublin Plantation Built by George Francis, who was in 1st Regiment, Volunteers, and in Co. A, 2nd Regiment, Texas Cavalry, during the 1836 Texas War for Independence. In 1848 he brought his wife, Margaret Ann Rector Francis, and their family to Texas, and in 1849 erected this house on York's Creek. At this point is crossing used by San Antonio-to-Bastrop mail Route of 1870. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1968 [plaque #1] The six Confederate sons of George Francis, going from this house to the Civil War, were: Edward, Color Sergeant, 4th Texas Infantry, killed at Chickamauga; George, a surgeon, who died in service at Galveston; John, in the Charles DeMorse Regiment, Texas Cavalry; Joseph, with Sibley's Brigade, which fought 1862 in New Mexico; Pendleton, in Co. A, 4th Regiment, Texas Cavalry, who died in 1864 Battle of Mansfield; Wesley, in Hood's Texas Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. (1968) [plaque #2] #2152

?, Prairie Lea, TX, United States