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Stories by author "Texas Historical Marker": 21

The Huntsville Branch Railway was a "tap" rail line which was chartered as the Huntsville Branch Railway Company in 1871. Support of a railroad through Huntsville was split in the community for a number of reasons. Concerns about loss of business and…

Following emancipation, many African Americans sought a place to gather and worship, and they formed churches. The Western Grove Baptist church was founded in 1885 and is the oldest African American church in New Waverly. The church began as Eastern…

Buck Foster Cemetery, also known as Foster or Loma Cemetery, is located about twelve miles west of Huntsville in the eastern part of the Loma Community. The cemetery was officially created when William Harrison "Buck" Foster (1835-1908) sold 100…

In 1867, Huntsville Methodists and Baptists shared the Union Church. Two years later, the Baptists built a separate church in the Rogersville neighborhood called First Missionary Baptist Church, which was organized by Reverend J.J. Rhinehardt with…

Noted for being Huntsville's oldest African American neighborhood, Rogersville is roughly situated between 7th and 10th Streets and Old Madisonville Road and Avenue N. Micajah C. Rogers, Huntsville's first mayor, originally owned most of the land and…

Oilman and Huntsville native Robert A. Josey donated funding for the construction of this log structure in 1933. Additional funding was obtained from the federal government's Civil Works Administration (CWA), and Gibbs Brothers and Company donated…

Bath Cemetery, near Union Hill Church, was established in the 1870s. The earliest recorded burila is that of William Arnold in 1877. The burial ground has served the Bath Community, locally called Possum Walk, since that time, and area residents and…

James Addison Baker was born to Jane Saxton and Elijah Adam Baker on March 3, 1821 near Huntsville, Alabama.  He was admitted to the Bar in 1843 and wed Caroline Hightower in 1849.  She died in 1852, and he moved that year to join her family…

Austin Hall, the original building of Austin College, erected in 1851 and used continuously for educational purposes by Austin College to 1876, by a private academy from 1876 to 1879, and by Sam Houston State University from 1879. The Presbyterian…

German immigrant Baldwin Boettcher established a sawmill at Westfield, north of Houston, in 1898, along the International and Great Northern rail line. Boettcher and his mill workers produced 15,000 board feet of yellow pine, gum and cypress lumber…

Successful businesswoman Sallie E. Gibbs was born Sarah Elizabeth Smith in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on October 18, 1844 to Mary Washington (Ledbetter) and Thomas Jefferson Smith. Her parents operated a large plantation, and she received tutoring…

April 13, 1805 - September 29, 1867 Doctor Pleasant Williams Kittrell, a statesman in North Carolina and Alabama, moved with his family to Texas in 1850. While serving two terms in the Texas Legislature, the doctor authored the bill to establish…

Kentucky native Pleasant Gray and his wife Hannah (Holshouser) left Tennessee with their two children in 1834 and in 1835 settled here on land granted to them as part of Mexico's colonization effort. At that time natural springs located nearby served…

Celebrations of "Juneteenth"--the anniversary of the June 19, 1865 emancipation of Texas slaves--were first held in homes and churches. Later, festivities took place outdoors. By 1915, Huntsville blacks, led by former slave Jane Ward (d. 1933), had…

According to local tradition this cemetery was established by deed in 1853 to prevent people of mixed Native American and pioneer American heritage from being buried in other area cemeteries. The first person known to be buried here was Martha…

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…

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.…

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…

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