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Title: Historic Nacogdoches
Author: Blake, Robert Bruce
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber’s note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).





Illustrations by Roy Henderson, Charlotte Baker Montgomery, and
Dr. George L. Crocket.

  This booklet is an enlarged and revised reprint of two earlier
  in 1936 as a part of the Celebration of the Texas Centennial. The
  second booklet was published in 1939 by the Nacogdoches Historical
  Society and dedicated to the memory of Dr. Crocket, who, among the
  other labors of a singularly useful and beneficient life, was an
  untiring student of the history and traditions of East Texas. Since he
  was one of the earliest workers in the field, much material which
  would otherwise have been lost was preserved by Dr. Crocket’s industry
  and enthusiasm. The demand for information concerning Historic
  Nacogdoches has been so great that the supply has been exhausted. Many
  copies have been furnished historians, school children, historical
  societies and people generally interested in the rich, historical
  background of this area. This third edition was financed by the
  Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce and will be supplied free upon

Published by
Nacogdoches Historical Society
and the
Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce

                          _Nacogdoches Speaks_

                         BY KARLE WILSON BAKER
                 (By permission of the Southwest Press)

  I was The Gateway. Here they came, and passed,
  The homespun centaurs with their arms of steel
  And taut heart-strings: wild wills, who thought to deal
  Bare-handed with jade Fortune, tracked at last
  Out of her silken lairs into the vast
  Of a man’s world. They passed, but still I feel
  The dint of hoof, the print of booted heel,
  Like prick of spurs—the shadows that they cast.
  I do not vaunt their valors, or their crimes:
  I tell my secrets only to some lover,
  Some taster of spilled wine and scattered musk.
  But I have not forgotten; and, sometimes,
  The things that I remember arise, and hover,
  A sharper perfume in some April dusk.

    [Illustration: Travellers and Inn]

    [Illustration: Indian on Horse]

                     _Nacogdoches The Indian Town_

For the beginnings of Nacogdoches we must go back to the shadowy times
when heroic figures march with majestic tread across the stage of
tradition, obscured by the mists of centuries. Having no written
language with which to record the glories of their race, the Tejas
Indians recounted the tales of their beginnings around their home fires,
thus passing them down from father to son through the long centuries
before the coming of the Europeans.

Thus it is recounted that in the days of long ago an old Caddo chief
lived on the bank of the Sabine, the river of the cypress trees. To him
twin sons were born: Natchitoches, swarthy of features with straight
black hair and flashing black eyes; and Nacogdoches, fair of complexion
with blue eyes and yellow hair. As the old man neared the end of his
days, before being ushered into the happy hunting-grounds, he called his
two sons into his presence to receive his final blessings. He commanded
that immediately following his death, Natchitoches should gather his
wife and children together, turn his face towards the rising sun, and
after three days’ march should build his home and rear his tribe; while
Nacogdoches was instructed to travel a like distance toward the setting
sun, where he should rear his children and children’s children. Thus the
twin tribes of Nacogdoches and Natchitoches were founded 100 miles
apart, and thus Nacogdoches was the father of the Tejas, the white
Indians of Eastern Texas.

The two tribes were a sufficient distance apart to prevent friction over
their hunting-grounds, and thus through the succeeding centuries they
were ever on friendly terms, the one with the other. This friendly
communication and barter between the tribes was such that they beat out
a broad highway between them and through their confines, which became El
Camino Real, extending from Natchez, on the Father of Waters, to the
Trinity river on the west, through Natchitoches, Louisiana, and
Nacogdoches, Texas.

During the succeeding centuries the Tejas lived on the Redlands,
building comfortable homes around the ceremonial mounds which they had
erected, where they left their wives and children while they pursued the
bison, the deer and the black bear. Then another figure of heroic mold
emerges from the mists of the past, when Red Feather rules his people.

The story of Red Feather is delightfully recounted by Miss Adina de
Zavala, of San Antonio, Texas, in her “Origin of the Red Bird.” Red
Feather taught his people the gentle arts of husbandry—the cultivation
of Indian corn, beans, peas, melons and pumpkins; taught the women to
make preserves of the fruit of the persimmon tree, and to store the
fruits of the soil and the chase in their homes for winter. Great was
the mourning when Chief Red Feather died; while his subjects reverently
laid his body to rest on the chief mound in Nacogdoches, his spirit
soared upward on the crimson wings of the first red bird, and hovered in
the majestic trees above the mounds, as if guarding his people from

Less than fifty years after Columbus sighted America, Hernando De Soto,
in the winter of 1541-42, penetrated as far west as Nacogdoches, where
he spent the winter, sending out scouting parties further west in search
for the seven cities of the Cibolo. He remained in Nacogdoches because
he found here a well-settled, hospitable Indian town, with an
agricultural population, having well-built homes, provided with
comfortable furnishings.

Nearly eighty years after De Soto’s visit, on the borderline between
tradition and history, came the ministration of Mother Maria de Jesus de
Agreda, “the angel in blue,” teaching the Tejas tribes the Christian
religion, in 1620. So great was the influence of this saintly woman that
in 1690 the chief of the Tejas told Massanet that they wished to do as
she had done, and even wanted to be buried in blue garments.

The first definite description of Nacogdoches and its aboriginal
population is in the account of LaSalle’s visit here in 1685. On this
visit Robert Sieur de LaSalle became desperately ill and remained in
Nacogdoches for a month, recuperating from disease. Here the Frenchman
received such hospitable treatment at the hands of the natives that four
of his men deserted and remained here when LaSalle started back to Fort
St. Louis.

LaSalle found numerous evidences of prior contact with both French and
Spanish here. Perhaps the Indian traditions pointed to the presence here
of DeSoto and Coronado, and the traditional appearances of Mother Maria
de Agreda, already referred to.

DeLeon and his followers, in 1691-1692, made the first serious attempts
to educate the Tejas Indians in European ways by taking several of the
young members of the tribes back to the College of Zacatecas in Mexico.
Among these were two children of the chief of the Hainai Indians, living
near what is now known as the Goodman Crossing on the Angelina river,
about eighteen miles southwest of Nacogdoches. The young man, who
afterwards became head chief of the Hasinai Confederation, the Spaniards
named Bernadino, which name was also given to his father, the chief; the
young woman they named Angelina, and the river was named for her. She
also acted as interpreter between the Indians and the Spanish explorers,
including the followers of Captain Ramon in 1716, and those of the
Marquis de Aguayo in 1721.

                         First White Settlement

The first permanent European settlement in the town of Nacogdoches was
made in June, 1716, when Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus founded the
Mission Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Nacogdoches on what is now North
street, overlooking the valley of the Banito, “little bath.” The
Spaniards named the town Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Nacogdoches.

In the struggle between the French and Spanish for mastery of Eastern
Texas (called the Province of the New Philippines), the Mission
Guadalupe had an eventful history. Deserted at times but never
permanently abandoned, it finally decayed and its very site was utterly
forgotten, though the information concerning its location has been
preserved in the ancient Spanish parchments of our Nacogdoches archives.

When the Spanish settlers began making their homes in the old Indian
town, they found several mounds within the limits of the town, relics of
the centuries of Indian occupation before the coming of the white man.
Three of the larger of these mounds were located on what became the
Nacogdoches University campus, now the high school campus. The
importance of these mounds was not recognized by those who founded the
university, and they were razed in an effort to level the ground of the
campus. Only one now remains, on Mound street, so named because of these
monuments to the antiquity of the town. A large oak tree, whose age has
been estimated at about two hundred years, grows from the summit of this
remaining mound.

                      Nacogdoches—The Spanish Town

With the French cession of Louisiana to Spain in 1764, the necessity for
the Spanish garrison in Nacogdoches ceased; and the town was abandoned
as a military post in 1773, to be refounded by Captain Antonio Gil
Ybarbo and his compatriots in 1779.

    [Illustration: The Red House
     Built in 1827 for accommodation of Mexican officials. See page 23.]

The city of Nacogdoches, as a civic corporation, dates from that year,
in which that sturdy old Spaniard, Ybarbo, conducted his harassed and
bewildered followers from their experimental settlement of Bucareli on
the Trinity river, to the old Mission of Guadalupe. The eastern boundary
of Texas was at that time a shadowy, uncertain quantity, somewhere
between the Sabine and Red rivers. Louisiana belonged to Spain, and the
government was but little concerned to mark out definitely the exact
limitation between its provinces.

Gil Ybarbo recognized the necessity of a commissary for the storing of
military and commercial supplies, and after applying to the authorities
in Mexico for such a building, and growing weary of the endless delays
and red tape, that industrious old Spaniard erected on his own account
what he and his followers called “The Stone House,” now generally
referred to as “The Old Stone Fort.” It was not erected primarily as a
fort, but as a house of commerce; and that has been its main use
throughout its varied history. But the construction of its walls—almost
a yard in thickness—made it practically impregnable to the ordinary
means of offense; so that it naturally became a place of refuge and
haven of safety in the successive perils that visited the old

Gil Ybarbo, ruling his people as a benevolent despot, was officially
known as Lieutenant Governor of the Eastern Province of the New
Philippines and Military Comandante of the Post of Our Mother of the
Pilar of Nacogdoches. He promulgated the first Book of Ordinances for
the government of the city in 1780, the original of which is now in the
Nacogdoches Archives in the Capitol at Austin.

The new city grew apace, and by the beginning of the Nineteenth Century
embraced a population of several hundred souls. In 1792 General Don
Ramon de Castro sent Don Juan Antonio Cortez, captain of cavalry at
LaBahia, to Nacogdoches for the purpose of conducting an investigation
of the irregularities of verbal land grants made by Ybarbo, as well as
of his illegal traffic with the French and Indians. The result of the
investigation was the removal of Ybarbo from his office; he was sent to
Bexar while the investigation proceeded. Don Carlos de Zepeda succeeded
Ybarbo as Lieutenant Governor, and in turn was followed by a succession
of officials who had charge of the public business of the town, and
superintended legal and commercial affairs, in addition to leading what
military expeditions were needed in their infrequent exigencies.
Nacogdoches was at that time the second largest town in Texas.

                              Philip Nolan

In 1800 Nacogdoches was a loyal Spanish town, as was shown by the part
it took in the suppression of Philip Nolan’s expedition. Nolan had been
reared by General James Wilkinson, commander of the United States forces
at Natchez, Mississippi. In furtherance of the schemes of Wilkinson and
Aaron Burr (then Vice President of the United States), Nolan invaded
Texas with a small band of adventurers, on the pretext of horse-trading.
The population of the town were largely behind Lieutenant M. Musquiz and
his Garrison, when they were ordered to pursue and arrest the little
band. Musquiz and his men were accompanied by William Barr, of the
trading firm of Barr and Davenport, who acted as interpreter between the
Spanish and Americans. Lieutenant Bernardo D’Ortolan, a Frenchman by
birth, was left in charge of the garrison here while Musquiz was on his
expedition; during this time he conveyed titles to land to such settlers
as applied for them.

Nolan was overtaken on the banks of the Blanco river, at the block house
he had built, and in the ensuing engagement he was killed and the
remainder of the expedition were captured and brought back to
Nacogdoches. They were placed in the Old Stone Fort, from whence they
were taken prisoners to Mexico; the sole survivor of the band, so far as
history records, was Peter Ellis Bean, one of the most colorful and
resourceful men Texas has seen.

Correspondence found in the possession of Nolan enabled Musquiz to
discover various ramifications of the plot of Nolan, Burr and Wilkinson
among the inhabitants in Nacogdoches. One of the local leaders was a
Spanish woman, Gertrudis Leal, and her husband, Antonio Leal, who were
tried for treason by Musquiz. The priest in charge of Mission Guadalupe,
Padre Bernadino Vallejo, was also one of the conspirators, but the robes
of St. Francis saved him from punishment for his part in the plot.
Samuel Davenport was also found to be in some manner connected with the
affair, but he was shrewd enough to escape being tried, as was also a
man by the name of Cook, who then lived at Nacogdoches.

In the beginning of the new century the purchase of Louisiana by the
United States from the French, in consequence of the Napoleonic upheaval
in Europe, brought about a great change in the political and military
affairs of Nacogdoches. There was great jealousy between the two
countries, and a territorial dispute to be settled before the old status
of somnolent peace could prevail. The Americans built Fort Jesup, west
of Red River, near Natchitoches, and in 1806, Governor Cordero, with
1500 Spanish troops, advanced to Nacogdoches to meet the American threat
across the Sabine. As a result of the negotiations of Governor Cordero
and General Wilkinson, there was formed The Neutral Ground, a strip of
territory lying between the Sabine and the Rio Hondo, over which neither
government exercised dominion, and which consequently became the
rendezvous of the lawless, until the settlement of the present boundary
between Texas and Louisiana.

                  The Mexican Revolution Against Spain

The next band of adventurers found Nacogdoches in a very different
temper. In 1810 the Mexicans rebelled against the government of Spain,
and Nacogdoches lost no time in assisting in the formation of the
Magee-Gutierrez expedition, under the leadership of Lieut. Augustus
Magee, who resigned his position in the United States garrison at Fort
Jesup to take command of the American and Mexican forces in their effort
to throw off the yoke of Spain.

It is said that every able-bodied man east of the Trinity river joined
in this expedition. For a time it prospered, and by 1813 had
successfully driven the Spanish military forces from Eastern Texas and
pursued them to San Antonio, where Governor Manuel Salcedo and most of
the high Spanish officials there were butchered.

One of the interesting incidents of this expedition, to the whole
province as well as to Nacogdoches, was the publication of two
newspapers here, the first ventures of their kind in Texas; the first of
these, “The Gazette,” appeared in May, 1813, while the second, “El
Mejicano,” was published the following month.

Vengeance of Spain was swift, and the Spanish army sent into Texas swept
the inhabitants of Nacogdoches beyond the Sabine and into American
territory, where they remained until 1818-20. Erasmo Seguin was sent by
the new government of Mexico in 1821 to Nacogdoches to invite the old
settlers back to their former homes, as well as to welcome Stephen F.
Austin to Texas.

                          Dr. James Long—1819

The settlement of the boundary dispute between the United States and
Texas on February 22, 1819, by fixing the Sabine river as the boundary,
met with strong opposition in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, as
well as Eastern Texas. The American settlers had contended for the
Neches river as the true boundary, and Dr. James Long, who had married
the daughter of a wealthy planter at Natchez, Mississippi, lost no time
in exploiting his scheme of forming the Republic of Texas. Leaving
Natchez June 17, 1819, with 75 men, he reached Nacogdoches with
approximately 300, including Samuel Davenport, Bernado Guitierrez de
Lara, and many others who had fled in 1813.

Upon reaching Nacogdoches, Long’s forces occupied the Old Stone Fort,
organized a provisional government, and issued a proclamation declaring
Texas a free and independent republic, and another newspaper—the third
in Nacogdoches as well as in Texas—was published by Horatio Bigelow. It
was called “The Mexican Advocate.”

It is very probable that Dr. Long’s expedition would have been
completely successful if it had been organized a year later, after the
revolutionary movement had begun in Spain but in 1819 the royalists were
in control in Mexico; and that fact, together with Long’s division of
his forces after leaving Nacogdoches for the West, so weakened his
fighting units as to cause them to fall an easy prey to the successive
onslaughts of the Spanish Army sent against him under Colonel Perez.

With the capture of his block houses and forts on the Brazos, Trinity
and Red rivers, Mrs. Jane Long, who had been left at Nacogdoches, fled
across the Sabine, and her husband soon followed, thus ending his first
attempt at freeing Texas, in October, 1819.

    [Illustration: Frost Thorne Home—Hart Hotel
    Residence of Texas’ first millionaire. Built 1825. See page 12.]

                      Nacogdoches—The Mexican Town

Under the leadership of Alcalde James Dill Nacogdoches soon regained its
former prestige as the largest town in East Texas, and settlers from the
United States began coming in increasing numbers under the beneficient
colonization laws of the new government in Mexico; but things were much
changed. In 1825 Haden and Benjamin Edwards secured their ill-fated
contract as empresarios. When Edwards began to plant his colonists,
sometimes on land which had once belonged to the Mexican inhabitants and
had been abandoned temporarily in the flight of 1813, the friction
between the Americans and Mexicans increased. On the northwest of them
also had settled a tribe of Cherokee Indians, who claimed the right to
occupy a vast territory which had formerly been the habitation of the
friendly Tejas Indians.

This triangular situation bred distrust and antagonism that at last
broke out into open warfare, and threw the country into the wildest
disorder, in what is known as the Fredonian War in 1826. The coup of
Edwards was at first successful, and he and his followers were able to
seize the “Stone House” and fortify it; but the citizenship of
Nacogdoches and the surrounding country was not behind the movement, and
it was doomed to failure from its inception.

The Fredonian rebellion resulted in many of the prominent citizens of
the town being expelled in 1827—among whom were John S. Roberts, Haden
and Benjamin Edwards, Adolphus Sterne and Martin Parmer. The Mexican
general, Ahumada, who occupied Nacogdoches upon this occasion, was a
genuine diplomat, and with the assistance and advice of Stephen F.
Austin, who came to Nacogdoches with Ahumada, soon had the old town
peaceful again. However, the man whom Ahumada selected as comandante
here proved to be an unfortunate choice, and Colonel Jose de las Piedras
soon aroused the hostility of the American settlers with his
high-handed, arbitrary methods, as was the case with Col. Bradburn at

    [Illustration: Adolphus Sterne Home
    Where Sam Houston was baptized. Standing at corner Lanana and Pilar
    street. See page 22.]

                       The Battle of Nacogdoches

For the real cause of the Battle of Nacogdoches, we must go back to
Bustamente’s Law of April 6, 1830, forbidding further immigration from
the United States, while permitting Europeans to come in unimpeded. Juan
Antonio Padilla had been appointed as commissioner general for granting
land titles in East Texas, assuming his duties on January 1, 1830. Upon
the passage of the law of April 6th, Padilla was unwilling to enforce
its provisions, and in the latter part of April he was ordered by Don
Ramon Musquiz, political chief in Bexar, to be imprisoned and suspended
on a trumped-up-charge of murder.

An outbreak was prevented in Nacogdoches only by prompt action on the
part of Col. Piedras, while the people of Ayish Bayou and the Palo Gacho
met and passed resolutions of an inflammatory nature. Stephen F. Austin
refused to cooperate in this opposition and thus for a time the trouble
was delayed.

The military force in Nacogdoches was doubled during 1830, and passports
of all immigrants going through Nacogdoches for Austin’s colony, which
was exempted by Bustamente’s Decree, were required to be signed by
Austin in person.

Under the dictatorship of Bustamente the military comandantes
continually encroached upon the power of the civil authorities, and
finally, in June, 1832, the settlers at Anahuac rebelled and ousted
Bradburn, Piedras arriving too late with troops from Nacogdoches and
Fort Teran. Becoming alarmed at the rising tide of opposition, Col.
Piedras, upon his return, ordered the people of Nacogdoches to surrender
all their arms. This order was followed immediately by an appeal from
the ayuntamiento in Nacogdoches, issued July 28, 1832, to the
neighboring communities to present an united front against this action;
copies of this resolution were sent to Ayish Bayou, the Palo Gacho,
Tenaha and San Felipe de Austin and met immediate response from all
except San Felipe. Two companies came from the Ayish Bayou settlement,
commanded by Capts. Samuel Davis and Bailey Anderson, one from Sabine
and one from Shelby and Capt. James Bradshaw’s company from the Neches
settlement; while the people of Nacogdoches were led by Alcalde
Encarnacion Chirino. On the morning of August 2, 1832, these forces met
in the eastern outskirts of Nacogdoches and elected Colonel James W.
Bullock as commander-in-chief of approximately 500 men.

Colonel Piedras commanded approximately the same number of Mexican
soldiers, and proceeded to fortify the Stone House, the old Catholic
church and the Red House. An Ultimatum from the settlers for Piedras to
declare in favor of Santa Anna and the Constitution of 1824, or
surrender at discretion to an officer to be selected by Colonel Bullock,
brought forth the answer that none of the demands would be complied
with, and that he was prepared to fight.

Colonel Piedras advanced to meet the Americans and the fighting
commenced in the eastern part of town about eleven o’clock. By noon the
Mexicans had retreated to the business part of town, around the Stone
House. Alexander Horton, a member of the American forces, says: “We were
armed with shotguns and various other guns such as citizens used for
hunting purposes, while the Mexicans were armed with splendid English
muskets; so we turned north and marched down North street. As we began
our march we heard a French horn. When we had gotten about opposite the
Stone House the Mexican cavalry made a furious charge upon us, pouring
upon us a heavy fire of small arms; they advanced to within a few steps
of our lines, but were forced back with considerable loss.” This cavalry
charge met the American force near the Catholic church, which had been
used by Piedras as quarters for his soldiers.

The Mexicans about mid-afternoon were driven out of the Stone House, and
the main body of their army was concentrated in the cuartel or Old Red
House, the older part of which was built of adobe, and almost as strong
as stone; it also had the advantage of several dormer windows on the
second floor, from which sharpshooters could better defend the building.
The fighting continued with unabated fury until night separated the
combatants. Colonel Piedras evacuated Nacogdoches during the night of
the 2nd, under the protecting cloak of a heavy fog, retreating westward
toward the Angelina river.

The next morning James Carter, with seventeen volunteers, set out in
pursuit of the Mexican army, overtaking them at Durst lake, and after a
skirmish at that point, Carter and his men went further south, crossing
the Angelina at the Goodman Crossing, and marched northward to the West
side of Durst’s Ferry to oppose the crossing of the Mexican troops. Here
Piedras lost many of his men in an unsuccessful attempt to cross the
river. It was from this event that the name Buckshot Crossing was given
to this place.

During the following morning Colonel Piedras surrendered the command to
Captain Francisco Medina, who in turn declared for Santa Anna and
surrendered to James Carter the entire Mexican force of some four
hundred men.

Col. James Bowie, who reached Nacogdoches a few days after the battle,
agreed to convey the Mexican troops to San Antonio, and in his report
stated that there were 33 Mexicans killed and 17 or 18 wounded; the
Americans losing three men killed and seven wounded.

The Battle of Nacogdoches was the opening gun in the Texas Revolution,
and resulted in the expulsion of all Mexican troops from the territory
east of San Antonio, giving the Texans an opportunity to hold their
Convention without military interference of the enemy.

    [Illustration: Peter Ellis Bean Home
    Built 1829. Standing 4½ miles east of Nacogdoches near Old King’s
    Highway. See page 21.]

                      Growth of American Influence

Nacogdoches now became more and more American in its character. In 1834
the neighboring municipality of San Augustine was organized, and the two
sister towns grew in numbers and influence. Nacogdoches was the capital
of the department of the same name, and held jurisdiction over all the
region east of Trinity River. The alcaldes who presided over the civil
affairs of the municipality from the first reorganization in 1820 had
usually been chosen from among the Mexican people living there, but
after the expulsion of the Mexican troops in 1832 Americans were
selected to fill that office, and the town gradually assumed a character
more American than Mexican. American customs prevailed over those of
former times, and the business fell into the hands of enterprising
merchants and tradesmen from the States. The Indians to the northeast
were impressed by the power and vigor of the new people and left them
unmolested, although they also had increased until they greatly
outnumbered the whites.

Business was thriving, the population was increasing, and new settlers
were coming into the town, or taking up land in the country. Commerce
was greatly aided by the communication with the other colonies in the
interior, and an era of prosperity seemed to have dawned. But in the
midst of all came more political troubles in the republic of Mexico.
Santa Anna, by a rapid series of measures, overturned the constitution
of 1824, under which the settlement of the province by Americans had
begun. The guarantees of liberty seemed to be disappearing. In Austin’s
colony there arose a “war party,” which advocated resistance to these
measures by force of arms. Trouble began to arise at Galveston and at
Anahuac. Still Nacogdoches remained peaceful, hoping even against hope
that all would yet be well.

                               War Clouds

At length, however, the ambition of the Mexican dictator began to unfold
itself, and his designs against the lovers of freedom in Texas became
manifest. Even yet the mind of the people refused to move towards
complete independence. Delegates from the war party at San Felipe
visited the town, and by their persuasion at length convinced the people
that it was in vain to lie still any longer. Then East Texas was ready
to act, and from Nacogdoches and San Augustine armed soldiers set forth
on the long march across the State to the threatened region around San

With the coming of Sam Houston to Nacogdoches in 1833, followed by such
men as General Thomas J. Rusk in 1835; with the backing of Colonel Frost
Thorne, Haden Edwards, Adolphus Sterne, Charles S. Taylor, John S.
Roberts, William G. Logan, Henry Raguet, Dr. James H. Starr, John
Forbes, Kelsey H. Douglass, Wm. B. Ochiltree and a host of others,
Nacogdoches practically financed the Texas Revolution, feeding and
arming the men pouring in from the United States to the defence of the
new Republic.

                            Run-Away Scrape

The tide of war never really rolled near to East Texas. For a time
General Sam Houston was accused of intending to flee through Nacogdoches
to the Sabine, where an American army was supposed to be expecting him,
but he had other designs, which were consummated on the field of San
Jacinto, and the danger was dispelled. East Texas, however, did suffer
the throes of a paroxysm of panic. It was known that Mexican agents were
dispersed among the Cherokee and other Indians north of the settlements.
Reports, highly colored no doubt, were disseminated that these Indians
were about to move in an overwhelming body on the unprotected
settlements, whose men were in the field against the Mexican army, and
wipe out town and countryside alike. Fugitives from the devastated West,
passing through, helped to spread the terror, and so it happened that
the “Run-Away Scrape” came to include both Nacogdoches and San Augustine
in the frantic flight to safety beyond the Sabine.

                              The Republic

The news of victory soon restored the minds of the people to sanity, and
they entered with alacrity into the work of establishing the new
government of the Republic. After the disorganization of the West and
South, which were devastated by the advance of the enemy. East Texas
remained in a position of leadership, and furnished perhaps more than
its share of the prominent officials of the Republic. The towns,
including Nacogdoches, were alive with the discussions of governmental
problems, and the advocacy of the names of the foremost citizens for
high offices. After the repression of Mexican domination, politics arose
to unprecedented heights, and everybody was affected by political
fervor. Among the first officials of the new-formed Republic,
Nacogdoches furnished Sam Houston for President, General Thomas J. Rusk
as Secretary of War; Colonel John Forbes as Commissary General of the

Following the formation of the new government, the business men of
Nacogdoches entered upon a period of expansion, resulting in the laying
out of numerous new towns in the then Nacogdoches county, extending
almost to the Gulf of Mexico on the south and including Dallas on the
north. Among the towns thus formed following the Revolution may be
mentioned Pattonia south of Nacogdoches on the Angelina river, and a
little further south the town of Travis on the same river, Mount
Sterling at the home of John Durst on the Angelina river west of
Nacogdoches, and a few miles further up the river where the present
highway crosses, the town of Angelina where James Durst and his father,
Joe Durst, lived. The original town of Rusk was south of Nacogdoches
where the road to Fort Teran crossed the Angelina river on the Pierre
Roblo grant. Thornville, near the present village of Mahl; Liberty, a
few miles northwest of Douglass; Jackson, built on an island on the
Attoyac not far from where Chireno was later founded. Haden Edwards
founded two towns north of Nacogdoches on the Sabine river, near the
present town of Longview, one of which was named Fredonia, in memory of
his ill-fated revolution, and the other he called Cotton-Plant. In
addition to these ghost towns of long ago, we may mention such towns as
Attoyac, Melrose, Chireno and Douglass, each of which was regularly laid
out in lots and blocks, in anticipation of the boom to come.

                         The Cordova Rebellion

But the war was not over yet. The Mexican army had been defeated and
expelled, but there were enemies at home. The town of Nacogdoches was
aroused to feverish excitement when the preacher and congregation of a
country meeting came in one night with the news that the Mexican
population of the country had risen in arms under the leadership of a
former alcalde, Vicente Cordova, and were on the warpath against the
American citizens. General Rusk at once called for volunteers, and
scouts were sent everywhere to discover the whereabouts of the
insurgents. All the next day their efforts were in vain, but at length
John Durst and a party of scouts under him, came in with the report that
they were encamped across the Angelina river in what is now Cherokee
county, where they were doubtless waiting to join those Indians to make
war against the American settlers. Rusk appealed to the people of San
Augustine and Sabine counties, and within forty-eight hours they began
to arrive, armed and equipped for a campaign. After some delay, caused
by contradictory orders from President Houston, Rusk marched into the
Indian country, where he found that the rebels had gone to other tribes,
and were beyond his reach. He marched to the Cherokee and Shawnee
villages and so impressed them with the readiness with which he had
assembled so considerable a body of soldiers that they readily premised
peace and disavowed any connection with the Mexican insurgents.

                          Commercial Expansion

In the meantime the town began to grow. It was the home of many of the
prominent leaders of Texas during the time of the republic, whose
influence was felt in the public affairs of the country. General Thomas
J. Rusk was a citizen of Nacogdoches until his death. Sam Houston
frequently was a resident until his removal to Huntsville. Charles S.
Taylor was very prominent in public affairs. William B. Ochiltree lived
here for a time. Thomas J. Jennings, the elder, lived here until his
removal to Marshall, as did Dr. James H. Starr. James Reily, who was
minister to the United States, had his home here. These are some of the
men more prominent in public life; among private citizens there were
also many whose names were well known throughout the land. Adolphus
Sterne, Archibald Hotchkiss, Henry Raguet and others might be mentioned.
Of the county officers Oscar L. Holmes, Richard Parmalee, Murray Orton,
William Hart and others were prominent. Colonel Haden Edwards, who
returned to Nacogdoches after the bitterness of the Fredonian rebellion
had subsided, was here until his death, and his family continued to live
here for many years afterwards.

    [Illustration: S. M. Orton Home
    Built in 1840.
    Has “Strong Room” built for temporary detention of prisoners by
    Sheriff Orton.]

The invaluable services of Nacogdoches and its people in opening up the
great northern regions of Texas, after the expulsion of the Indians, had
the result, unfortunate for it but inevitable, of diminishing the
population and importance of the town. New centers of agriculture and
trade sprang up and became towns which attracted more and more people to
themselves, and new opportunities presented themselves for business
enterprise. It was easier to fence in the prairies than to clear the
forest lands of East Texas. Many of the citizens of Nacogdoches,
including some of the more prominent persons, removed to other places.

After the annexation of Texas to the United States, Nacogdoches
gradually settled down to the station of one of the many flourishing
towns of the State, and lost the preeminence in political and social
matters which had been its lots from the beginning of its history. With
San Augustine it still continued to be the center of this section of the
State, and the two towns cooperated harmoniously in the development of
the surrounding regions.

Nacogdoches has always been an important social center. Even under
Spanish rule it was noted for the culture of its inhabitants, and during
the residence of the Governor of the State at this place in the
unsettled period after the Louisiana purchase, there was a social life
here that was not unworthy of a larger city. During the third and fourth
decade of the Nineteenth Century social amenities prevailed even through
the confusion of changing political scenes of that time. The Mexican
officers at that time were, as a rule, gentlemen, and the American
immigrants included many persons of high culture and attainments. After
the revolution the social standing of the place grew even stronger. It
was not merely in entertainments and enjoyments that Nacogdoches and San
Augustine set the pace in East Texas; they became centers of learning as
well. Schools flourished, and a refined taste in literary and scholastic
affairs exhibited higher ideals of mental achievements. The University
of Nacogdoches was established in 1845, and attracted many persons who
were desirous of scholastic training.

    [Illustration: Old North Church
    Founded 1838.
    Standing four miles north Nacogdoches. See page 22.]

When the shadow of war fell over the country in 1861, Nacogdoches at
once took her place among those who were ready to offer their belongings
and their lives upon the altar of their country. Her soldiers went to
the front and did gallant service for the cause of the Confederacy. At
home, the women and other non-combatants worked and prayed for the
success and safety of their loved ones far away on the battlefield. But
war brought ruin to the town; the schools were overwhelmed in the
general desolation. Business enterprise was at an end, and the great
stores gave place to little shops, which barely supplied the necessities
of life. The soldiers came home and went back to their farms, but the
old plantations had disappeared and the fields barely produced a living
for their owners and workers. The town itself was reduced to the
proportions of an insignificant village. The people bravely kept up the
traditions of a more affluent existence, but it was a mournful struggle
against untoward conditions.

These conditions prevailed for twenty years, but at length a harbinger
of better times appeared in the shape of a railroad, the Houston East
and West Texas, connecting Houston and Shreveport. It was a narrow-gauge
road, burning wood for fuel and creeping along at an extremely low rate
of speed, but it was the first road to pass through East Texas, where
formerly the wagon and the two-horse hack formed the sole means of
transportation. It brought new business, new people and new ambitions to
the place which soon began to be built up in brick in place of the old
wooden houses of the earlier years. Soon cotton wagons assembled,
bearing bales of wealth, and in the autumn season the streets were
filled with people from surrounding counties selling their crops and
buying supplies.

There was no boom. The town grew gradually and slowly. Greater business
enterprises were undertaken and accomplished and various kinds of
improvements were effected in the way of conveniences of living. For
many years the village spirit remained among the people. Everybody knew
everybody else, and each was interested in the welfare of all. New
churches were erected and a new court house and also, sad to relate, a
new jail. A large lumber mill was erected on the east side of town which
added to the prosperity of the place.

Finally, after the World War, when a number of new teachers colleges
were authorized by the Legislature, the enterprising spirit of the
citizens secured the location of that one named for Stephen F. Austin in
Nacogdoches, and the promise of cultured prosperity evinced in the days
of the Republic, but sadly interrupted by war, was at length realized.
Nacogdoches had now become one of the fairest of the little cities of
Texas and bids a hearty welcome to all comers within her borders.

And so we close the story of Nacogdoches under nine flags: The Lilies of
France with LaSalle in 1685; the Flag of Castile and Aragon of Spain in
1716; the green flag of the Magee-Guitierrez Expedition in 1813; Long’s
flag of the First Republic of Texas in 1819; the white and red flag of
the Republic of Fredonia in 1826; the flag of the Mexican
Republic—1821-1836; the Lone Star Flag of the Republic of Texas; the
Stars and Bars of the Southern Confederacy—1861-1865; and finally the
Stars and Stripes forever.

                _Historical Sites in Nacogdoches County_

    [Illustration: THE OLD STONE FORT
    The above drawing was made from the earliest photograph of the Old
    Stone Fort. The original picture has been re-photographed and the
    reproduction forms a treasured scene in many homes of the city.]

For one hundred fifty years tradition has thrown a veil of romance
around the old building that formerly stood at the corner of Main and
Fredonia streets, facing the northeast corner of the Plaza Principal in
Nacogdoches, where the two main branches of El Camino Real merged.

Even as early as Revolutionary days it was regarded by many as being one
of the old mission buildings, and later years this belief was
strengthened when a wandering sign painter, with the permission of John
S. Roberts, painted a sign for the front of his saloon in the old
structure: “The Old Stone Fort, erected in 1719”.

The Stone House, as it was called in the early records, has a history
more intriguing, more romantic, than any other building in the state of
Texas, not even excluding the Alamo. Over its walls all but one of the
nine flags of Nacogdoches have flown.

Built as a private enterprise by Antonio Gil Ybarbo in 1779, as a
trading post, it soon became the most important building in the New
Philippines. In 1801 Lieut. Musquiz brought Peter Ellis Bean and the
remainder of Philip Nolan’s expedition and placed them in the Old Stone
Fort, where they remained for thirty days.

Cordero, governor of the Province of Texas, together with General
Herrera and 1300 Spanish troops, had his headquarters in the stone house
when the treaty creating the “Neutral Ground” was agreed upon on
November 6, 1806. For three months it was the seat of government of the
Eastern Provinces of Spain, when Governor Manuel de Salcedo was here in
the summer of 1810.

Magee and Gutierrez proclaimed their republican government from the old
building in 1813; as did Dr. James Long on August 14, 1819. Again it
became the capitol of the Fredonian Government, and on December 23,
1826, the Fredonian flag was raised over its walls.

Following the collapse of the Fredonian republic, the old building was
occupied as a home by John Durst, and the happy laughter of little
children resounded within its walls. Louis O. and Miss Benigna Durst
were born in the old house, inherited by Durst from his foster-father
Samuel Davenport, who purchased the property in 1806.

In 1831 John Durst moved to his new home on the Angelina river and the
Old Stone Fort was sold to Juan Mora, the district judge, and Vicente
Cordova, district attorney under the Mexican regime, in 1834. The
official records were again placed in the old building, where they
remained until a courthouse was built in 1840.

Within its walls the oath of allegiance was administered by the Mexican
authorities to such celebrities as James Bowie, Thomas J. Rusk, Sam
Houston and David Crockett. Around its walls the forces of Bustamente
and Santa Anna vied for supremacy on August 2, 1832, at the Battle of
Nacogdoches. Then in the spring of 1836, the stone walls of the old
building seemed a bulwark of safety to the few brave souls who refused
to flee from threatened Indian massacre in the Runaway Scrape.

On March 17, 1837, the first regular term of district court under the
republic assembled in the Old Stone Fort, followed by a special term in
August of the same year, presided over by “Three-legged” Willie, with a
pistol as his gavel, at which time General Thomas J. Rusk delivered one
of his famous orations, which has been preserved to us in our court

Even the transfer of title to the old house from Vicente Cordova brings
an element of tragedy and in some respects even comedy. Cordova was the
leader in the so-called Cordova Rebellion in 1838, in which Zechariah
Fenley was murdered and one of his slaves taken away. Following this, in
1840, Rebecca Fenley filed suit for damages against Cordova, not for the
death of her husband, but for the loss of her slave. Cordova was a
fugitive and a judgment against him for $1500 resulted in a sale of his
half-interest in the Old Stone Fort under execution, being purchased by
Rebecca Fenley, who was a daughter of Mrs. John S. Roberts.

The Old Stone Fort remained in the Roberts family until it was purchased
by Perkins Brothers in 1901; after which it was torn down, the material
given to the Cum Concilio Club of Nacogdoches, who used the stones in
the erection of the Stone Fort Memorial in 1907 at the northwest corner
of Washington Square, where it remained as a museum until 1936, when the
State of Texas again used the material from the Old Stone Fort in the
erection of the present Replica of the Old Stone Fort on the beautiful
campus of Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College at the intersection
of Griffith and Clark Boulevards.

    Replica of the Old Stone Fort, erected by the State of Texas as a
    part of its Centennial program, 1936. It stands on the campus of the
    Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College and is maintained by the
    State as a museum.]

THE MISSIONS AND PRESIDIO.—During the summer of 1716, under the
direction of Captain Don Domingo Ramon, three missions and a presidio
were erected in the present Nacogdoches county. The Presidio Nuestra
Senora de los Dolores, built in 1716, was repaired and enlarged by the
Marquis de Aguayo in 1721, and abandoned about 1730. Built by the
Spanish government as a fort and headquarters for soldiers guarding the
East Texas Missions and the borders of the New Philippines, it
overlooked Los Terreros or Mill creek, near the intersection of the
Lower Douglass road with the road from Douglass to Wells.

The Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purissima Concepcion was built 1.25
miles northeast of Goodman crossing of the Angelina river, near “two
bubbling springs” in the heart of the Hainai Indian village. In 1731
this mission was moved to San Antonio where it now stands.

The Mission San Jose de los Nazonis was built 2.6 miles northeast of the
present town of Cushing, overlooking Dill creek. In 1731 this mission
was also removed to San Antonio, where it was called San Juan

Mission Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe was founded at the same time on the
west side of North street in Nacogdoches, overlooking Banito creek,
which was called “the creek of the mission.” This mission was never
permanently abandoned until it was replaced by the church which stood on
the little plaza in front of the present court house, built in 1802. The
third Catholic church was formerly the home of Nathaniel Norris at the
northwest corner of Hospital and North streets. The fourth church was
the Sacred Heart church on Pecan street, built in 1847 under the
influence of Bishop J. N. Odin; which was in turn replaced by the
present Sacred Heart church, built in 1937 on a portion of the homestead
of Judge Charles S. Taylor on North street, the house of the old Sacred
Heart church being rebuilt about eight miles south of Nacogdoches as the
Fern Lake church. The sites of the presidio and missions have been
appropriately marked by the State of Texas.

OLD STAGE STAND NEAR CHIRENO.—On Highway 21 about two miles west of the
town of Chireno is a very old house on the north side of the road. It
was built in the early forties of last century by Mr. James B. Johnson,
who was the first mayor of San Augustine. It was used as a halfway
station between San Augustine and Nacogdoches for the old Concord
coaches used at that time for mail and passenger service. Here the
horses were changed and passengers had meals. Another station on the
same coach line stands in the town of Douglass, fourteen miles west of

EYES OF FATHER MARGIL.—The old Spanish legend relates that in the first
year after the Mission Guadalupe was built there was a great drouth and
water was scarce. Father Margil went out in faith and smote the rock on
the bank of LaNana creek, which had completely dried up, and two
unfailing springs gushed out. They were called “Los Ojos de Padre
Margil,” The Eyes of Father Margil, and are located in what was formerly
known as Mims Park, now a pasture in the rear of the J. R. Gray

RESIDENCE OF PETER ELLIS BEAN.—One of the members of Nolan’s expedition;
was captured by Lieut. Musquiz and held prisoner many years in Mexico.
During the Revolution under Morelos he made his escape and joined the
revolutionary forces. Settled in East Texas and had several homes there.
One of these was on the Carrizo creek, on the upper Melrose road, four
and one-fourth miles east of Nacogdoches. Marked by the State of Texas.

OAK GROVE CEMETERY.—The State of Texas has placed granite markers at the
graves of the four signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence who
are buried in this cemetery: Thomas J. Rusk, Charles S. Taylor and John
S. Roberts, who represented the Municipality of Nacogdoches, and William
Clark, who represented Sabine District. The graves of the following
veterans of the Battle of San Jacinto have also been marked: E. E.
Hamilton, Capt. Hayden Arnold. Markers have been placed at the graves of
Haden Edwards, empresario and leader of the Fredonians, and his wife,
Susan Beal Edwards; General Kelsey Harris Douglass, commander-in-chief
of the forces that drove the Indians out of East Texas in 1839; Dr.
Robert Anderson Irion, Secretary of State in the Cabinet of Sam Houston,
first president of the Republic of Texas, and Thos. Y. Buford.

GRAVE OF WILLIAM GOYENS.—Goyens family cemetery, four miles southwest of
Nacogdoches, near Aylitos creek. Only negro to be honored by the State
of Texas with a Centennial marker. Participated in Battle of New
Orleans. Came to Texas in 1821. Indian Agent under Mexican government,
lawyer in Alcalde court. Participated in the Texas Revolution in 1836;
noted for his private charities. Although the Constitution of Republic
and State both forbade the holding of land by negroes, Goyens amassed a
considerable fortune with his land deals and was owner of thousands of
acres of land at his death in 1856. His white wife, whom he married in
1828, is buried by his side.

GRIFFITH PARK.—The park fronting North street and extending from
Caroline street on the south to the southern border of the campus of
Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College on the north. Given to the city
of Nacogdoches by the Griffith heirs in memory of Dr. L. E. Griffith and
his wife, Sarah Jane Clark Griffith, and Dr. Griffith’s brother, Alfred.
Dr. L. E. Griffith came to Nacogdoches from San Augustine about 1850 and
was one of the builders of modern Nacogdoches. The park was dedicated to
Dr. Griffith and the early pioneers of Nacogdoches.

INDIAN MOUNDS.—On the corner of the school campus at Mound and Arnold
streets, was a large Indian Mound 150×75 feet and about fifteen feet
high. On the corner opposite was a circular Mound about 75 feet in
diameter. These Mounds were leveled to make room on the campus. One
small mound still remains on the front lawn of the T. M. Reavley home.
An oak tree of considerable size grows from the summit of it. (See back

OLD NORTH CHURCH.—About four miles north near Highway 35, North Church
was built in 1838, but the congregation had met for some time before the
house was built, under an oak tree, the lower part of the trunk of which
still stands. It was first known as Union church, being intended for two
bodies of Baptists as well as other denominations. It has since become
the property of the Missionary Baptists, who hold regular services
there. The old cemetery contains the graves of many of the early
settlers of Nacogdoches county. Marked by the State of Texas.

ADOLPHUS STERNE’S HOME.—The old home of Adolphus Sterne is situated on
LaNana street, formerly called Sterne street. Built about 1830, in this
house General Sam Houston was baptized into the Roman Catholic church in
May, 1833. Now known as the Hoya home. Marked by the State of Texas.

NACOGDOCHES UNIVERSITY.—The Nacogdoches University was established in
1845, and at first occupied the “Old Red House” on Pilar street. Later
the Sons of Temperance Hall was acquired, and in 1856 the present high
school campus was donated to the University and given the name of
Washington Square. Two buildings were erected—a frame building for the
Female Department of the University, and a brick house for the Male
Department. The brick structure still stands in the center of the group
of buildings. Marked by the State of Texas.

EPISCOPAL CHURCH.—The first Episcopal Church stood on Church street.

OLD SPANISH CEMETERY.—Where the courthouse now stands, was used from
1800 to 1825. The burial place of many of the earliest settlers of
Nacogdoches, among whom was Antonio Gil Ybarbo, founder of Modern
Nacogdoches. Marked by the State of Texas.

THE PROTESTANT ELM.—The noted Elm Tree stood immediately east of the
Southern Pacific freight depot and just south of a brick warehouse now
there. Henry Stephenson preached under this tree in 1819.

HOSPITAL STREET.—The old Spanish hospital, from which the street derives
its name, was situated on the corner of Pecan and Hospital, in front of
the Methodist church. Across Pecan street was the old Cabildo or jail,
built in 1835. Adjoining it on the west was the Hall of the Sons of
Temperance during the period of the Republic of Texas. On the block
where the First Presbyterian church now stands was the old Bull Ring,
where bull fights were held during the Spanish and Mexican regime.

THE OLD SOLEDAD.—Famous throughout East Texas prior to 1800 as the
headquarters of William Barr and Samuel Davenport, Indian traders; was
located on the block on which the Texan Theatre now stands. Marked by
the State of Texas.

THE RED HOUSE.—About 1827 Colonel Piedras, comandante of the Mexican
garrison in Nacogdoches, built a house—part adobe and part frame—on
Pilar street in the block west of the Square, for the accommodation of
his officers and as headquarters for his forces. After the Texas
Revolution this house was sold under execution on a judgment against
Colonel Jose de las Piedras and became the property of Gen. Thomas J.
Rusk. General Rusk made his home there when he first came to Nacogdoches
in 1835, and remained there for eight or nine years. In 1845 the
University of Nacogdoches used it for class rooms. Later it was used by
various parties as an inn.

THOMAS F. McKINNEY.—Site of mercantile establishment of Thomas F.
McKinney—1823-1830. As senior member of the firm of McKinney and
Williams, built first wharf at Galveston. Financial adviser of the
Republic and creator of the Texas Navy. Site marked by the State of

                             Old Home Sites

HOMES IN NACOGDOCHES.—Sites of the following residences of early
settlers of Nacogdoches have been marked by the State of Texas:

James Dill, southeast corner of North and Hospital streets. Pioneer
Indian trader; recognized by King of Spain. First alcalde of
Nacogdoches, 1821. Home built in 1804.

William Clark, Jr., northwest corner Main and North streets, signer of
Texas Declaration of Independence, member Second Congress of the
Republic of Texas. Home originally built by John J. Simpson in 1835,
acquired by Clark in 1840.

Charles S. Taylor, southeast corner North street and Mims avenue. Born
in London, 1808; died in Nacogdoches, November 1, 1865, Signer Texas
Declaration of Independence. Land Commissioner 1833, Chief Justice
Nacogdoches county 1837, Rio Grande Land Commissioner 1854. Home built
before the Texas Revolution.

Don Juan Antonio Padilla, site now occupied by Westminster Presbyterian
church on North street. Born in Nacogdoches on Rancho Santo Domingo;
died in Houston 1839, while there on business. Served as an officer in
the Spanish army; Secretary of State of Coahuila and Texas; Land
Commissioner for Eastern Texas; delegate from Victoria county to the
convention which declared Texas independent; member of deputation that
demanded the surrender of Goliad, and volunteer to the Army of the
Republic before San Antonio. Home built in 1830 on land granted to his

Thomas J. Rusk, opposite campus of Stephen F. Austin State Teachers
college, west side of North street; born 1803, died 1857. Hero of San
Jacinto, Commander-in-Chief of the army 1836. Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court 1839. President of the Constitutional Convention 1845.
United States Senator 1846. Nacogdoches was his home from 1835 to 1857.
Home built about 1844.

Antonio Gil Ybarbo, Main street, site now occupied by Cason-Monk
Hardware store; born 1729, died 1809. Founder of modern Nacogdoches in
1770; builder of Old Stone Fort. This Spanish frontiersman matched wits
with Spanish governors in the interest of the early settlers of this

Sam Houston, site now occupied by the Liberty Hotel. First home owned by
Sam Houston in Texas. Erected by John Forbes, Commissary General of the
Army of San Jacinto, in 1836. Purchased by Sam Houston in 1839.

John S. Roberts, on block facing south side of Plaza Principal; born
1796, died 1871. Came to Texas December, 1826. Participated in Fredonian
Rebellion, a leader in the Battle of Nacogdoches 1832; delegate to
Consultation, November 3, 1835; signer of Texas Declaration of
Independence. Home originally built and occupied as a residence by
Samuel Davenport during early years of the Nineteenth Century.

MOUNT STERLING.—Site of town of Mount Sterling; surveyed off for John
Durst in 1837. One of important river ports for Nacogdoches for many
years, at present known as Goodman crossing on the Angelina River. John
Durst residence overlooked the boat landing and used as a refuge for his
and his neighbors’ families during the Indian and Mexican troubles. Site
marked by the State of Texas.

NORTH STREET.—Oldest street north of Mexico. Originally a street in the
Nacogdoches Indian village leading to the road from Nacogdoches to the
Nassonite village near Cushing. On this street the Mission Guadalupe was
built in 1716. Travelled by Spanish missionaries, soldiers and settlers,
French traders and American filibusterers before Anglo-American
colonists came to make Texas their home. Marked by the State of Texas.

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY.—Marker placed by the State of Texas three miles
north of Nacogdoches on east side of Highway 35.

                  _El Camino Real—The King’s Highway_

The old King’s Highway, known to the Spaniards as “El Camino Real,”
which runs through Nacogdoches, San Augustine and Sabine counties, was
followed by La Salle and his men in 1685, at which time they spoke of
this road as being “as well beaten a road as that from Paris to
Orleans.” This road was followed by St. Dennis in 1714, as he was making
his way from Natchitoches on Red River to San Juan Bautista on the Rio
Grande. It was doubtless an Indian trail to the western borders of the
Tejas Indians, probably about the Trinity river, and from there to San
Antonio the best route was determined by use. After the Mexican
Revolution and the coming of the American settlers it was straightened
into a cart-road or Camino Carretera, and was known as the Old San
Antonio Road. State Highway 21 now follows approximately the track of
the old road.

Highway 21 leads east to San Augustine, the sister town to Nacogdoches
from the earliest days, where are the sites of the old Mission of
Dolores, the home of General James Pinckney Henderson, Governor O. M.
Roberts, and many of the prominent men of the Republic of Texas. The
home of Stephen W. Blount, signer of the Texas Declaration of
Independence, many of whose descendants live in Nacogdoches and San
Augustine, was built on the north side of the King’s Highway, and is in
an excellent state of preservation.

Seven miles west of San Augustine on this highway was the home of Thomas
S. McFarland, who laid out the town of San Augustine in 1834. The house
was built about 1830 and was provided with port-holes for shooting
Indians in case of attack.

Pendleton Ferry was the original ferry on the King’s Highway across the
Sabine river; now spanned by a splendid interstate bridge. Not far from
the road is McMahan’s Chapel, the first Methodist Church in Texas, and
the site of old Sabine-town.

                            _Masonic Lodge_

MASONIC LODGE.—Some time in the Spring of 1837, immediately following
the organization of a permanent government in Nacogdoches county, a
movement for the organization of a Masonic lodge began which culminated
in a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana for the Milam Lodge
No. 40, which was dated July 29, 1837.

One of the leaders in the Masonic circles of Nacogdoches was Adolphus
Sterne, who was a past master of a lodge in New Orleans, and also a 32nd
degree Scottish Rite Mason, the first Scottish Rite Mason to come to
Texas. Haden Edwards was also a past master of another lodge. The other
charter members of Milam Lodge No. 40 were: Isaac W. Burton, John H.
Hyde, George A. Nixon, John S. Roberts, Charles H. Sims, Frost Thorn,
Simon Weiss, as Master Masons, and Kelsey H. Douglass and John W. Lowe
as Estered Apprentice and Fellow Craft respectively.

The first meeting of the Lodge under dispensation was held in the Old
Stone Fort on August 16, 1837, with the following present: Haden
Edwards, Master; John H. Hyde, Senior Warden; J. S. Roberts, Junior
Warden; Chas. H. Sims, Treasurer pro tem; Adolphus Sterne, Secretary pro
tem; with George A. Nixon, Simon Weiss and J. W. Lowe, members. The
Charter from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana was granted September 22,
1837, and was received in the Lodge on its meeting November 20, 1837.

Upon suggestions from Holland Lodge No. 36, Houston, Texas, a committee
consisting of Adolphus Sterne, I. W. Burton, Thomas J. Rusk, Charles S.
Taylor and Kelsey Douglass, was appointed to attend a meeting in Houston
to consider the formation of the Grand Lodge of Texas. Their mission was
accomplished in the city of Houston on February, 1838, with the
organization of the Grand Lodge of Texas, and this lodge became Milam
Lodge No. 2.

After the first meeting, the Lodge began using the upper floor of Simon
Weiss’ store for its meeting-place, and during its long history, it held
its meetings in several houses in Nacogdoches, but never succeeded in
building its own permanent home until the completion of its present
Temple in May, 1931, on North Fredonia street.

During the administration of Haden Edwards as Worshipful Master of Milam
Lodge No. 40, one dozen chairs were made for the use of the Lodge, which
were of hickory, turned on an old-fashioned lathe, with seats of
rawhide. These chairs served the Lodge long and faithfully, and have
witnessed the degrees conferred on every Mason made in Milam Lodge for
110 years. In 1914 a resolution was passed, instructing the worshipful
master to present to the old past masters then living and to the sons of
those old pioneers that had passed away, one of these chairs, that they
might be kept as relics and mementos of the long ago. One of them was
retained by the Lodge and now occupies a prominent place in the East,
there to remain for all time to come, never to be used again except it
be by the President of the United States, the governor of Texas, or the
Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas.

Many of the men prominent in the affairs of Texas have been members of
Milam Lodge No. 2, and the minutes show Sam Houston a visitor on more
than one occasion.

                _Texas’ Monument to a Great Empresario_

    Nacogdoches, Texas]

A glimpse of Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College, the Thomas J.
Rusk building on the right. General Rusk made his home in Nacogdoches
from his arrival in Texas in 1834 until his death in 1857. He is buried
in Oak Grove cemetery. The college buildings are located on the Thomas
J. Rusk homestead.

                 _Old Nacogdoches University Building_

    [Illustration: BY VIRGIE SANDERS]

The project of rebuilding the exterior of the historic Nacogdoches
University, as recently proposed by the Nacogdoches school board, is now
partially completed.

The sum allocated by the board has been used discreetly and the
replacement of brick on outside walls, new window frames and panes with
new lumber added supporting the antiquated structure, guarantees safety
to the public school children who play on the hallowed ground of the Old
Nacogdoches University built by subscription with some state aid during
the days of the Texas Republic.

We feel that now is the time to emulate the spirit of the pioneers. Let
us be awakened to this opportunity to complete the noble edifice, making
it available to be used by the citizens as a club center and a museum.

                             Printed in the
                               office of
                       THE HERALD PUBLISHING CO.
                           Nacogdoches, Texas

                            PRICE TEN CENTS
                                PER COPY

    [Illustration: INDIAN MOUND
    Located on Mound Street Opposite High School Building]

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber’s note:

—Silently corrected obvious typographical errors.

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