Built in 1880 as lodge hall. First floor soon became a dry goods and grocery store, and second was made into a fine theater by owner, John Henry (1828-97). Here traveling troupes played Shakespeare and dramas of the times. Famous magician Hermann the…

Mark Manning served in the American Revolution from the Halifax District of North Carolina, his native state. He later lived in South Carolina and in Conecuh County, Alabama, and came to Texas at the age of 97 to live with his sons, who had large…

Founded in 1846 by Joseph Werner, a German immigrant., the town of Newport was located several miles east of Riverside in Walker County. The settlement served as a Trinity River port and had its heyday in the late 1850s. Several homes, businesses,…

Born in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, on August 13, 1802, John Slater Besser was a first generation American. His father, Jacob Besser, was a native of Heidelberg, German, and his mother Susannah (Tinsley) Besser hailed from London, England.…

Thomas Henry Ball was born in Northumberland County, Virginia, in 1819, the son of The Rev. David Thomas and Hannah Henry (Gaskins) Ball. Following in his father's footsteps, Ball became a Methodist minister. While serving his first congregation in…

Founded in the 1870s on land owned by Lacy Harrington, this cemetery takes its name from the geologic features of the area. The earliest documented burial is that of Civil War veteran Barney Carroll (1835-1880), although local oral tradition suggests…

A landmark on the "Old Colony Road" between Huntsville and Ryan's Ferry on the Trinity River. Named for Thomas Akin (1828-78), a native of Mississippi, who came to Texas in 1853 with his wife, Ruth Leakey Akin, whom he met and married in Bienville…

As player, manager, team owner, and league president, Andrew "Rube" Foster organized and improved black baseball in America during the 1910s and 1920s. Foster was born in 1879 in the cotton town of Calvert, Texas though his career would quickly take…

Ima Hogg, a collector of American antiques, and architect John Staub collaborated on the mansion's design, combining elements from southern plantations, the Spanish creole architecture of Louisiana, and 18th century Georgian architecture.…

The Fredonian Rebellion was a brief and unsuccessful uprising which, nevertheless, had a profound influence on Texas history. The primary mover behind the rebellion was Haden Edwards, the empresario of Nacogdoches from 1825 to 1826, who was in…

On May 12, 1865, two small outfits of soldiers would engage in what is now considered the final battle of the Civil War. Though the war had officially ended with General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox more than a month before, Union forces…

On September 8, 1863, four Union gunboats and 4,000 troops attacked Fort Griffin, a Confederate position controlling the Sabine River Pass, which divides Texas from Louisiana on the Gulf Coast. The Union was intent upon the conquest of Texas, which…

Professional baseball began as a collection of company teams in the newly industrialized northeast of the 19th century, and through most of the 20th century the pride of industrial cities often stemmed from the exploits of the local team. Houston, as…

The highest ranking Texan in the Confederate government, John Henninger Reagan, proved to be a crucial figure in nineteenth century politics. A leading Texas Democrat, he served not only as Postmaster General of the Confederacy, but also as a United…

Combat operations during World War II occurred far away from the United States, mostly on distant Pacific isles or in European villages. However, a piece of World War II history did happen right here in East Texas. The United States held nearly half…

In 1860, Galveston served as a thriving island port and major commercial hub on the Texas gulf coast. With a population of roughly 7,200, it was the largest city in Texas and was responsible for three-quarters of the state's seaborne cotton exports.…

Born on July 10, 1882, to James and Sarah Hogg in Mineola, Texas, Ima Hogg watched her father rise to the pinnacle of Texas politics before turning his hand to business. She became the lady of the house at thirteen, following her mother’s early…

From the 1930s until the 1950s the Diboll Dragons contributed to the entertainment and community pride of the African American population of Diboll. Southern Pine Lumber Company drove the creation and growth of Diboll, establishing the town's schools…

During World II, Nazis not only threatened Europe, but held some influence in East Texas where thousands of prisoners of war (POWs) were held. During the war, the United States held nearly half a million Axis POWs and Texas housed roughly ten percent…

Born in Virginia in 1807, John Bankhead Magruder rose to prominence in the early days of the American Civil War. A notable commander in Virginia, he cemented his place in history with his performance at the Second Battle of Galveston in January…

"If it takes a few days in jail to get equality, I feel it's worth it. I feel that's the least I can do," 19-year-old Mattie Mae Etta Johnson wrote in a letter to her parents shortly after her release from the Marshall jail. The Bishop College junior…

In September 1863, Sabine Pass, the southernmost point of the border between Texas and Louisiana, saw a battle that could best be summarized as unusual. More than 20 warships loaded with dozens of guns and thousands of trained seamen and soldiers…

James Leonard Farmer, Jr., one of the major leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, said that his experiences as a young college student in segregated Marshall led him to "participate in a movement that would try to bring about change." Born in…

No longer standing, the Sheppard-Watts Hospital served the health and medical needs of Marshall's African American community for more than 40 years. East Texas native James R. Sheppard, M.D., opened the Sheppard Sanitarium, as the hospital was first…

Imperial Sugar Company is the oldest extant business in Texas. Started in 1843 in Sugar Land, a place named for the product the company processes, the company's changing ownership marked its early history. In the 1840s, Nathaniel F. Williams…

As one of the nation's largest urban areas and ports, Houston is home to the 68th highest crime rate in the U.S. The Houston Police Department is the primary police force in the Houston area. In 1841, the growing crime issue in Houston necessitated…

In June 1927, W.T. Carter, Jr. opened an airfield named after himself through his company, Houston Airport Corporation. Ten years later the City of Houston, using federal Public Works Administration funds, purchased W.T. Carter Field and renamed it…