Crockett County Historical Markers

Texas Brazos Trail Region

Map of Crockett County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Chihuahua Trail and Escondido Water Hole | Comstock-Ozona Stage Stand, Site of | Crockett County | Crockett County Courthouse | Crockett County Museum | Crockett, David | Fort Lancaster, C.S.A. | Fort Lancaster State Historical Park | Fort Lancaster, Ruins of | Government Road, Old | High Lonesome Stage Stand | Hoover, Laura and William Peery | Howard's Well

Chihuahua Trail and Escondido Water Hole

Marker Title: The Chihuahua Trail and Escondido Water Hole
Address: Fort Lancaster State Historic Park
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: Visitor's Center Parking Area, Fort Lancaster SH Park, 36 miles west of Ozona Via IH-10 and US 290.
Marker Text: The Chihuahua Trail was opened by segments, but was not called by this name until the 19th century. A small part of the route, along the nearby Pecos River, was followed by the Spaniard Gaspar Castano de Sosa in 1590, during an expedition to New Mexico. By 1850, the trail was finally extended to connect the city of Chihuahua and the Texas Gulf Coast, by way of San Antonio. Gold seekers going to California found it practical because it touched at all known water holes in this rugged terrain. Heaviest use of the trail came during the mid-1870s, when freighters transported tons of silver and copper from the state of Chihuahua for shipment to the eastern U.S. One of the landmarks along the Chihuahua Trail in this part of western Texas was Escondido ("Hidden") water hole, seven miles southeast of Fort Lancaster. A small, deep well in the side of a rugged canyon, this water source was very hard to find, but saved the lives of many travelers. However, it is flanked by rock cairns marking the graves of some who died near the water hole of accidents or disease.

Comstock-Ozona Stage Stand, Site of

Marker Title: Comstock-Ozona Stage Stand, Site of
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: on SH 163, about 20 miles south of Ozona
Marker Text: Flagstone ruins nearby mark site of early 1900's stage stand, first stop on passenger and mail line connecting Ozona with Southern Pacific railhead at Comstock--80 miles distant. When stage pulled in about 8:30 A.M. (having left Ozona at 5:00) agent had fresh horses in harness for next 20-mile run. Agent's family lived in tent with a flagstone floor. Other structures here were rock pens for a pig and cow and probably a corral for horses. Automobile replaced stage about 1914, but wagon ruts are still visible.

Crockett County

Marker Title: Crockett County
Address: Courthouse Grounds
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: on Courthouse grounds, corner of 11th and Avenue D, Ozona.
Marker Text: Formed from Bexar Territory Created January 22, 1875 Organized July 7, 1891. Named in honor of David Crockett 1786-1836. Member of the United States Congress from Tennessee Killed at the Alamo Ozona, County Seat.

Crockett County Courthouse

Marker Title: Crockett County Courthouse
Address: Avenue D and 11th St.
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: on Avenue D, near corner of Avenue D and 11th Street, Ozona.
Marker Text: Built 1902. Second courthouse for county. American Gothic architecture, planned by Oscar Ruffini, San Angelo. Material is fine stone quarried nearby on Meyer and Couch properties. Cost $30,000. Early day community social center. Used for cowboy dances, box suppers, Christmas trees, roundup celebrations. In 1909 arc light was added to steeple, to signal sheriff and guide travelers to town. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1966.

Crockett County Museum

Museum Name: Crockett County Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1444
City: Ozona
Zip Code: 76943
Street Address: 404 11th Street
Area Code: 915
Phone: 392-2837
County: Crockett
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Natural History, Archeology, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Crockett, David

Marker Title: Crockett, David
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Marker Location: on Courthouse grounds, corner of 11th and Avenue D, Ozona.
Marker Text: Was born in Tennessee on August 17, 1786 Participated in the Creek Indian Campaign 1813-1814 Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives 1821-1823. United States Congressman from Tennessee 1827-1831 and 1833-1835 Arrived in Texas in January 1836 Died a hero at the Alamo March the Sixth 1836. .. Be sure you are right - then go ahead ..

Fort Lancaster, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Fort Lancaster, C.S.A.
Address: Courthouse Grounds
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: on Courthouse grounds, corner of 11th and Avenue D, Ozona.
Marker Text: Site 33 miles west on US 90. Upon US surrender Texas Forts start of Civil War, made part Confederate far western frontier line. Occupied by 2nd Texas cavalry. On supply line to and from Arizona-New Mexico Campaign 1861-62, intended to make Confederacy an ocean to ocean nation. When regular patrols to guard supply trains and check Indian activities grew dull, life spiced by camp newspaper and nightly sport of shooting pesky coyotes. A memorial to Texans who served the Confederacy Erected by the State of Texas 1963

Fort Lancaster State Historical Park

Museum Name: Fort Lancaster State Historical Park
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 306
City: Sheffield
Zip Code: 79781
Street Address: 8 miles East on US 290
Area Code: 915
Phone: 836-4391
County: Crockett
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Military, Aviation, Natural History, Archeology, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives, Other

Fort Lancaster, Ruins of

Marker Title: Fort Lancaster, Ruins of
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: at the ruins of Fort Lancaster, 36 miles west of Ozona via I-10 and US 290.
Marker Text: Established in 1855 by the United States Government as a protection to travelers and mail on the overland route from San Antonio to San Diego. Abandoned in 1861. Reoccupied in 1868 for a short time. Established August 20, 1855. By United States Government. One half-mile above the junction of Live Oak Creek with the Pecos River in present Crockett County. Garrisoned by U.S. Second Cavalry who protected travellers and mail on the San Antonio - El Paso Military Road. Fort was abandoned March 18, 1861, after Texas seceded from the Union. Reoccupied by Federal troops, 1868, for a short time. At Pecos River, just south of Hwy. 290 river bridge, is one of the most used Texas pioneer fords. Ruts made by wagon wheels sliding downhill are plainly visible. (new marker that is now missing -1966-) behind TxDot Ozona Office on SH 163 N in scrapyard - poor, star and plate missing

Government Road, Old

Marker Title: Government Road, Old
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: Lancaster Hill Roadside Park, 30.5 miles west of Ozona on Hwy. 290 (via I-10).
Marker Text: Route of march and troop supply on Texas frontier. Followed in part pre-Columbian Indian trails and "Old Chihuahua Trail" that ran from San Antonio to El Paso and Mexico. In 1840s this was extended to Gulf Coast Port of Indianola where imported goods arrived from the United States and Europe, and were freighted out to be exchanged in Chihuahua for ore of silver and gold, leather goods, and other products. In 1848 water holes and camp sites were marked as this road was re-charted for use of U.S. troops sent to protect Texas frontiers from Indian invasions. Army posts were built along this road: Fort Clark, between San Antonio and Del Rio, 1852; Fort Davis, in the Davis Mountains, 1854; Camp Lancaster, at this site, became Fort Lancaster in 1856. Camp Hudson and Fort Stockton were founded in 1857 and 1859. With all the army traffic, trail won new name of "Government Road." Pioneer settlers, adventurers, California-bound gold seekers--even camel trains in government service--traveled this road in spite of frequent encounters with Comanches, Apaches, Kiowas, and other Indians. The Army finally stationed troops in continuous picket line from San Antonio to El Paso. However, it was not until 1870 that relatively safe passage was assured.

High Lonesome Stage Stand

Marker Title: High Lonesome Stage Stand
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: Roadside Park on SH 163, about 9 miles north of Ozona
Marker Text: First station after leaving Ozona on the San Angelo-Ozona mail line. Here, at the 20-mile point of an 86-mile run, fresh horses awaited. The stand, built in 1902, served one of Texas' last commercial stage lines. Ten horses were kept here, as at the three other stations: Shoeingstand (where the horses were reshod each six weeks), Sherwood, and Knickerbocker. Frequent riders were whiskey drummers (peddlers), lightning rod salesmen and preachers. Automobiles (1908) and finally the railroad (1910) put the "hacks" on this line out of business.

Hoover, Laura and William Peery

Marker Title: Hoover, Laura and William Peery
City: Hoover Divide
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1981
Marker Location: from Ozona take I-10 west to US 290, go southwest about 4 miles to CR 406, go south about 16 miles to Marker (at intersection with CR 409) (marker is on CR 406).
Marker Text: Although Indians, Spaniards, wagon trains, and military expeditions crossed through this area earlier, the first permanent settlers in present-day Crockett County were native Texans Laura (McNutt) (1862-1941) and William Peery Hoover (1854-1922), who settled here in 1881. Traveling by way of the Devils River and Beaver Lake, they migrated to this area with two children and 200 head of longhorn cattle. Their first home, constructed of cedar pickets, was located under a bluff overlooking the Pecos River. The Hoovers had fourteen children, five of whom died in infancy. Isolated, the family had to be self-sufficient, since supply trips to the nearest towns, over 75 miles away, took several days. Laura and William Hoover steadily acquired land and their holdings grew to over 100,000 acres. Their cattle were identified by the "Hoo" brand. The Hoovers later moved to present-day Ozona (50 miles northeast) and became active in the development of the community. William was instrumental in the formation of Crockett County and helped organize the Ozona National Bank. 100 years after the Hoovers settled in this area, much of their land is still owned by descendants.

Howard's Well

Marker Title: Howard's Well
City: Ozona
County: Crockett
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: Visitor's Center Parking Area, Fort Lancaster SH Park 36 miles west of Ozona via IH-10 and US 290
Marker Text: First known to civilized men in the 18th century, when, according to legend, Franciscan Padre Alvarez prayed for water to ease his thirst, put down his staff, and saw a spring gush forth from the ground. This landmark of western travel was named for its rediscoverer, Richard A. Howard of San Antonio, an ex-Texas Ranger. Howard and other men, along with 15 Delaware Indian guides, made up an expedition sent out in 1848 under Col. John Coffee Hays to map a wagon road from San Antonio to El Paso. Although aided by the discovery of the well, the expedition failed, turning back in a state of near-starvation. In 1849 the US Army made its maps of the route, with Howard along as a guide. Many forty-niners went this way to the California gold rush. In 1853 the first regular San Antonio to El Paso mail line was routed by way of the well. So were many later ventures. Although white travelers seldom caught sight of them, Indians frequented the well. There on April 20, 1872, Comanches and Kiowas surprised a large wagon train led by a man named Gonzales, and killed 16 persons. This was one of the events that led to the US Government's cancellation of hunting permits for reservation Indians.


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