Denton County Historical Markers

Texas Lakes Trail Region

Map of Denton County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Bolivar Cemetery | Bolivar, Townsite of | Bridges Cemetery | Chisum Home Site, John Simpson | City of Denton | Denton County | Denton County Courthouse | Denton County Historical Museum, Inc. | Denton, John B. | Flower Mound | Forester Ranch | Gregg Ranch | Hedgcoxe War | Lacy Hotel Site | Lewisville Prehistoric Site | Little Elm, Community of | McCombs Cemetery | Peters Colony | Pilot Point | Pioneer Woman | Roanoke I.O.O.F. Cemetery | Skinner Cemetery | Texas Normal College | Tyson Cemetery
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Frank Coonis | Denton and Montague Counties, Raid Through Cooke, | Big Raid Through Denton, Montague and Wise Counties

Bolivar Cemetery

Marker Title: Bolivar Cemetery
City: Sanger
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1998
Marker Location: FM 455, 3.7 mi. W of IH-35
Marker Text: The town of Bolivar was laid out by Dr. Hiram Daily in 1852 with a burial plot on high ground nearby. Though the site had probably been used as a burial ground for many years, the earliest marked grave is that of 4-month-old Zolly Cofer Waide, who was born and died in 1863. G.A. Grissom, a prominent Bolivar Masonic leader, died in 1876. After his interment, Bolivar Lodge No. 418, A.F. & A.M. and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 221 set aside five newly purchased acres, including the graveyard, for community burials. A decorative fence was installed across the front of the cemetery in that year. Many monuments were erected by the Woodmen of the World organization. Many of the nine adults and eight infants buried in 1892 were victims of a nationwide influenza epidemic. Another influenza epidemic in 1918 claimed more lives. Bolivar citizens of all walks of life were buried here. Some were members of farming and ranching families; others were business people, educators, physicians, and ministers. They include veterans of the Mexican War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Operated by the board of trustees of the Bolivar Cemetery Association, the graveyard continues to serve area residents, many of whom are descendants of those who shaped the history of Bolivar and Denton County. The burial ground remains a record of the pioneer settlers of the area. (1998)

Bolivar, Townsite of

Marker Title: Bolivar, Townsite of
Address: FM 2450 and 455
City: Denton
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: SE corner of the Intersection of FM 2450 and 455
Marker Text: Named indirectly for Simon Bolivar, South American statesman, general and patriot. It might have been called "New Prospect," but for a mug of rum. When town was founded in 1852, a man who had settled here from Bolivar, Tenn., wanted to name the community in honor of his hometown. But a preacher-doctor insisted that it be named New Prospect. An election was called to settle the matter and the Tennessean exchanged mugs of rum for votes, Bolivar won. During the 1800s, Bolivar was the westernmost fort in Denton County and the first settlement west of Collin County. Two stagecoach lines changed horses here. The town thrived and could count three hotels, several stores, a gin, a flour mill, a sawmill, a blacksmith shop, a saloon, a church and a school. It was here that the Texas cattle trail joined the Jesse Chisholm Trail, but it was John Chisum, Texas cattle baron, who had herds here and furnished beef to the Confederacy during the Civil War. Bolivar and the surrounding area were havens for Sam Bass and his men. Two Bolivar men were jailed in 1890 for harboring notorious marauders. Many early settlers (whose descendants still live here) played important roles in development of county.

Bridges Cemetery

Marker Title: Bridges Cemetery
City: The Colony
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: take South Colony Blvd., until it ends, Cemetery is located in middle of field, The Colony
Marker Text: Bridges settlement, named for the W.A. Bridges family and reportedly the oldest in Denton county, began in 1843 and was a center of activity of the Peters Colony. This cemetery, on land granted to Bridges in 1850, dates to 1855, although illegible stones may be slightly older. Site of the burials of the Bridges and other early immigrant families, stones here document graves of many children and Civil War soldiers. Deeded to the county by F.M. and Sallie Bridges in 1889, the cemetery contains over one hundred sandstone and granite markers. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986

Chisum Home Site, John Simpson

Marker Title: John Simpson Chisum Home Site
Address: Private road
City: Bolivar
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From the intersection of FM 455 and 2450, go north on FM 2450 3 mi. to Chisum Rd., go west on Chisum .6 mi. (sharp curve), then go west on private road 1 mi. across dam.
Marker Text: Here stood the home from 1856 to 1862 of John Simpson Chisum, cattle king. Born, August 16, 1824; Died, September 22, 1884 at Paris, Texas. (3 mi. N of Bolivar, Denton County).

City of Denton

Marker Title: The City of Denton
City: Denton
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1977
Marker Location: Courthouse lawn, corner of Elm and Hickory, Denton.
Marker Text: Pioneers settled this locality in the 1840's. In 1846 the Texas Legislature created Denton county -- one of several carved from the Peters Colony grant. After trying other sites, the voters in 1856 accepted for county seat this tract donated by Hiram Cisco, William Loving, and William Woodruff. The city and county were named for John B. Denton (1806-41), a minister killed while defending frontier settlers. Woodruff, fellow surveyor C.C. Lacy, and attorney Otis Welch platted the townsite. In 1857 city lots were auctioned, the post office opened, and a church was founded. J.M. Blount, Joseph A. Carroll, W.F. Egan, and I.D. Ferguson were pioneer leaders. A cotton gin and plants for making bricks, corn meal, flour and ice soon developed. The "Monitor," a newspaper, began its career in 1868. Sam Bass (1851-78), legendary western outlaw, trained and raced "The Denton Mare" while living and working as a local farm hand. North Texas State University originated here as Texas Normal College in 1890, and Texas Woman's University opened in 1903 as the College of Industrial Arts. Agriculture-related businesses, education, and small factories sustain the economy. The city grew from 1,194 in its first census (1880) to 39,874 by 1970. (1977)

Denton County

Marker Title: Denton County
Address: Courthouse
City: Denton
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: courthouse lawn, corner of Elm and Oak, Denton
Marker Text: Created April 11, 1846 from Fannin County; organized July 13, 1846 with Denton as county seat. Both town and county are named in honor of John B. Denton 1806-1841. Pioneer preacher, lawyer and Indian fighter. First county seat designated as Pinckneyville, 1846. Site selected in 1848 called Alton permanently located at Denton in 1857.

Denton County Courthouse

Marker Title: Denton County Courthouse
Address: Courthouse Square
City: Denton
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: corner of Elm and Hickory, Denton
Marker Text: Built 1896-97. Fifth courthouse for Denton County. First was at Alton, second at Pinckneyville. Third (in Denton) was burned in crime charged to a member of the Sam Bass Gang of outlaws. Walls are native limestone; columns, Burnet County marble. Architecture is free combination of Victorian styles, with French second empire pavilions, fanciful ogival domes. Architect was W.C. Dodson; contractor Tom Lovell is said to have built Utah Capitol. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1970.

Denton County Historical Museum, Inc.

Museum Name: Denton County Historical Museum, Inc.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2800
City: Denton
Zip Code: 76202
Street Address: 110 W. Hickory - 1st floor/Courthouse
Area Code: 817
Phone: 565-8697
County: Denton
Museum Classification: History

Denton, John B.

Marker Title: John B. Denton
City: Denton
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Courthouse Square, corner of Elm and Hickory, Denton.
Marker Text: Born in Tennessee July 26, 1806, came to Texas in January, 1836. As a Methodist circuit rider killed in the Village Creek Indian fight May 24, 1841 in what is now Tarrant County. Named for Gen. Edward H. Tarrant who commanded the volunteers. Denton city and county were named for the pioneer lawyer, preacher, soldier of that name.

Flower Mound

Marker Title: Flower Mound
City: Flower Mound
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1984
Marker Location: on Flower Mound Road (FM 3040) just east of intersection with Long Prairie Road (FM 2499), Flower Mound.
Marker Text: Settlers of the Peters Colony named this smooth, dome-shaped hill for the abundant wild flowers that grow on it. Rising fifty feet above the surrounding prairie, Flower Mound, long has been a point of interest in the area. According to local legends, no structure was ever constructed on top of the mound, nor has any tree grown here. Before W. S. Peters began bringing settlers to the land issued him by the Republic of Texas Congress, Wichita Indians inhabited the area. During the 1840s, Peters colonists began moving to the prairie in search of good farmland. In 1844, John R. Wizwell was granted 640 acres of land that included the mound. His widow, Edy, later remarried and sold this land to George L. Beavers. Flower Mound remained in the Beavers family well into the twentieth century. Although the hill has remained in private ownership, it historically has been identified with the community that grew up around it. Flower Mound Presbyterian Church was the first to officially use the name in 1854. Once a sprawling agricultural community, Flower Mound has begun to expand with the urban growth of nearby Dallas and Fort Worth, leaving this formation as a historic reminder of its pioneer days. (1984)

Forester Ranch

Marker Title: Forester Ranch
City: Sanger
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1987
Marker Location: 7.5 miles west of Sanger on FM 455, at entrance to ranch.
Marker Text: William S. Forester brought his family to Denton County from Tennessee in the early 1850s, and established a ranch about 1852. He was assisted in his ranching operation by his sons, one of whom, Sol, was killed by Indians at the age of sixteen while herding cattle on the ranch. Following William Forester's death the ranch was operated by his son, Lock S. Forester (1844-1913). A Confederate veteran, Lock Forester increased the size of the ranch to over 6,000 acres. Under his management the ranch's "Two I Jinglebob" brand became well known. He supervised the ranch interests until 1890, when he moved to Denton. Ed W. Forester, son of Lock Forester, assumed management of the ranch in 1890. In 1913 the ranch was divided into sections, with Lock S. Forester's three children each receiving one-third of the ranch property. Ed Forester became a successful rancher in his own right, raising champion shorthorn cattle as well as quarter horses, sheep, and other livestock. He served two terms as Denton County Commissioner. The Forester Ranch has been an important part of the history of Denton County for over a century. (1987)

Gregg Ranch

Marker Title: Gregg Ranch
City: Denton
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: from IH-35 in Denton, go west on US 380 about 8.6 miles, turn North on Ripy Road (at Muslim Cemetery) proceed about 1.7 miles to entrance of Ranch on west side of road
Marker Text: Darius Gregg (1804-70), who came to Texas from Tennessee in 1827, and fought in the Texas War for Independence, accumulated about 20,000 acres in this area in the early 1850s. Gregg, a surveyor and Houston Realtor, spent several summers here before his death. His son, William Bowen Gregg (1849-89), moved from Houston and operated the ranch in 1870s and early 1880s. Notorious outlaw Sam Bass worked on the ranch, and a frequent summer visitor was Robert Swift, of the well known meat packing family. Of the original ranch, 750 acres are still owned by a Gregg heir. (1973)

Hedgcoxe War

Marker Title: The Hedgcoxe War
City: The Colony
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Location: at the southeast corner of the intersection of Blair Oaks and South Colony Drive, The Colony.
Marker Text: Distribution of land in the Peters Colony of North Texas triggered a dispute known as the Hedgcoxe War. The Texas Emigration and Land Co. organized the colony under an 1841 Republic of Texas law which allowed it to keep one-half of a settler's grant. After protests, this right was repealed, but in Feb. 1852 the company was compensated with 1,088,000 acres of vacant land within the colony. This action angered settlers and speculators with land certificates, who feared that the large grant would lower land values. At that time, the company's unpopular agent, English-born Henry O. Hedgcoxe, operated a land office on nearby Office Creek. On July 12 and 13, 1852, a group of Dallas men broke in and examined the land records. They reported to a meeting in Dallas on July 15 that the company was defrauding the colonists. John J. Good (1827-82), later mayor of Dallas, then led a band of armed men to Hedgcoxe's office. Hedgcoxe escaped, but most of his files were seized and the office burned. After the raid, tensions quickly cooled. The law was amended so that settlers obtained their grants from the state rather than from the company agent. The company kept its land grant, however, and Hedgcoxe returned to help survey the tract. (1975)

Lacy Hotel Site

Marker Title: Site of Lacy Hotel
Address: 102 W. Oak
City: Denton
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Text: Charles Christian Lacy (1816 - 70) moved with wife Sarah (Brown) from Kentucky to Texas, 1854; platted Denton townsite, 1855; had what is thought to have been city's first hotel, existent 1858-82, at this site. Before he gained fame as bandit, Sam Bass worked here briefly as a livery stable boy.

Lewisville Prehistoric Site

Marker Title: Lewisville Prehistoric Site
City: Lewisville
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1980
Marker Location: In Sailboard Point off Trotline Road, near the dam, in Lewisville Lake Park, off Lake Park Road, Lewisville.
Marker Text: During the construction of Lewisville Dam in 1950, a number of aboriginal artifacts were unearthed; archeologists conducted several excavations (1952-57) before the waters of Garza-Little Elm Reservoir covered the site. The excavations revealed 21 hearths, vegetable matter, animal bone fragments and lignite (coal) which was used for fuel. Scientific radiocarbon dating techniques indicate the organic material is approximately 12,000 years old. The Lewisville discoveries are similar in age and content to findings at the Clovis site in New Mexico. (1980)

Little Elm, Community of

Marker Title: Little Elm, Community of
City: Little Elm
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Location: sources indicate this marker has been removed and placed in Baird Park on FM 720 near City Hall.
Marker Text: This community is located on land that was part of the original Peters Colony Empresario Grant awarded by the Republic of Texas in 1841. Among the earliest colonists in the vicinity to receive land under the Peters grant were John (d. 1846) and Delilah (1806 - 84) King, who moved from North Carolina in 1844 to settle a 640 acre tract about one mile southwest of this site. Their son, C. C. "Kit" King (1823 - 80), helped organize the first mail service in this area about 1845. When Little Elm Post Office was established in 1852, he was appointed postmaster. Another pioneer resident, William Dickson, was the first elected judge of Denton County, 1848-52. Named for a nearby creek, the community of Little Elm was formed by the consolidation of several small settlements, including Lloyd, Hackberry, Dickson, and Hilltown. As it grew, the town acquired a school, churches, a cotton gin, grocery and drug stores. Further growth accompanied the development of recreational facilities following the creation of Lake Dallas in 1926-26 and Garza-Little Elm Reservoir in the mid-1950s. Construction of the reservoir prompted relocation of many historic structures, roads, and cemeteries, threatened by rising water. The city of Little Elm was incorporated in 1966.

McCombs Cemetery

Marker Title: McCombs Cemetery
City: Flower Mound
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1997
Marker Location: near the intersection of Wager Rd., Bellaire Blvd., and Garden Ridge Rd.
Marker Text: The history of this small community cemetery dates to the 1850s, before Denton was selected as county seat. The site contains graves of early pioneers of the Lewisville-Flower Mound area. Settlers included Nehemiah Wade Boyd (1823-1856), his wife Susan McCombs Boyd (1824-1917), their six children, family matriarch Mary Nowlin McCombs (1803-1867), and members of Nowlin, Sigler and Rivers families who arrived in 1855 from Tennessee. Nehemiah Boyd died suddenly of pneumonia after being chilled by a blue norther while building a log cabin for his family, and was buried on land donated by his brother-in-law, John Mathis McCombs. Susan Boyd later gave birth to their seventh child and first Texan, George Taylor Boyd (1856-1933). Although Nehemiah Boyd's burial was long believed to be the first, archeological evidence suggests as many as 100 individuals may have been buried here and that the site was a community cemetery in use between the 1850s and 1890s. Typically graves were marked with native sandstone or brick. Boyd descendants formed the McCombs Cemetery Association in 1990 to protect the burial site from encroaching development. (1997)

Peters Colony

Marker Title: Peters Colony
City: Lewisville
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: 1197 West Main Street (FM 1171) in front of Municipal Building and City Hall, Lewisville.
Marker Text: (within area encompassed by) A reservation of land made under an Empresario contract by the Republic of Texas, 1841. Its purpose was to introduce colonists into this area. Under the first of four contracts, W.S. Peters and 19 partners agreed to introduce 600 families in three years, to furnish each with seed, shot, and a cabin, and also to survey the land. Each family was to receive 640 acres of land free and each single man, 320 acres. Of this, the company could take half for its services. Three later contracts altered terms somewhat, and although the land company underwent several internal upheavals, by 1848 there were approximately 1,800 colonists and their families in the area. Resentment over the company's share of land climaxed in 1852 when settlers drove out the unpopular agent, Henry O. Hedgcoxe, in the so-called "Hedgcoxe War." Because of its success in opening a large area of the frontier and its later effect on Texas land and immigration policy, the law establishing this colony was one of the most important in the Republic. In spite of unusual tumult and hardship, the final Peters Colony area today extends over five counties and encompasses one-fourth of the state's population, including its largest combined metropolitan area. (1970)

Pilot Point

Marker Title: City of Pilot Point
City: Pilot Point
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1978
Marker Location: Town Square, Pilot Point (Main and Washington Streets).
Marker Text: Attracted by fertile land and abundant water and game, pioneers began to settle at this site near the edge of the Cross Timbers region in the late 1840s. The village, first known as Pilot's Point, was named for a high point of timber that served travelers as a landmark. Near an early immigrant trail, Pilot Point was also a stop on the Butterfield State Route. A townsite was platted in 1854 on land originally granted to Charles Smith. Dr. R.W. Edleman (1825-1904) of Missouri came here to launch a medical practice and open a drugstore. James D. Walcott ran the earliest general store and became the first postmaster in 1855. Alphius Knight, a settler from New York, built and conducted the first school in the town. Established by three local residents in 1872, Pilot Point Seminary was later renamed Franklin College and operated here for almost 30 years. In 1878 the town's first newspaper was published and in 1884 a bank opened. A marketing center for farmers and stock raisers, Pilot Point had a grist mill and a cotton gin. The arrival of two railroads, the Texas and Pacific and the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, boosted the local economy in the 1880s. Agriculture and light industry form the base of the town's economy in the 1970s. (1978) Incise on back: Marker sponsored by Chamber of Commerce Researched by: Mavis Burton, Norma Cole, Clifton Irick, Judy Lewellen, Estelle Whitley

Pioneer Woman

Marker Title: Pioneer Woman
City: Denton
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Campus of Texas Woman's University, Denton (corner of Oakland Drive and Pioneer Circle)
Marker Text: Marking a trail in a pathless wilderness, pressing forward with unswerving courage, she met each untried situation with a resourcefulness equal to the need. With a glad heart she brought to her frontier family her homeland's cultural heritage. With delicate spiritual sensitiveness she illumined the dullness of routine and the loneliness of isolation with beauty and with awareness of her value to civilization. Such was the pioneer woman, the unsung saint of the nation's immortals. Jessie H. Humphries

Roanoke I.O.O.F. Cemetery

Marker Title: Roanoke I.O.O.F. Cemetery
City: Roanoke
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1985
Marker Location: from Roanoke, follow Main Street southeast out of town (pass SH 170) about 1.5 miles to cemetery on north side of road
Marker Text: Although few records exist of the Roanoke I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of Oddfellows) Lodge No. 421, it is known that lodge members purchased land at this site in 1897 for use as a burial ground. Consisting of approximately five and one-half acres, the cemetery always has been maintained as a public graveyard and never was limited to the families of lodge members. Memberships in the Roanoke Lodge eventually were transferred to Denton along with those of other rural I.O.O.F. Lodges. The first person buried here was James DeWitt Pressley, who died in 1897. One tombstone bears an earlier date, however. Mrs. Calvin Abner Sams was buried on family property upon her death in 1882, but she was reinterred in the Roanoke Cemetery in 1914. Near the trunk of the "Hanging Tree" in the northeast section of the graveyard is the burial site of an alleged horse thief, who was hanged there in 1906. Another section was reserved for the families of the crew who worked on the railroad here during the 1920s. A reminder of the area's early history, the cemetery contains the graves of many pioneers, including members of the Sams, Fanning, Cowan, Seagraves, Buell, Lassen, Boutwell, Taylor, Mitchell, and McMahon Families. (1985)

Skinner Cemetery

Marker Title: Skinner Cemetery
City: Pilot Point
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1998
Marker Location: SE corner of US 377 at Strittmatter Rd.
Marker Text: In the early days of Pilot Point, Lucinda (Glasscock) and Richard Skinner set aside a 2.44-acre piece of land to be used as a cemetery. The first recorded burial was that of 5-year-old Josiah Taylor in March of 1858; his father, Josiah Sr., died the following July. Predominantly of Anglo-Saxon Protestant descent, most of those buried here came from Kentucky, Virginia, Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Many were farmers or ranchers. Significant graves include that of J.D. Merchant, Sr., a local businessman who built the first brick building in the area. Also here are several victims of yellow fever, including Prissie and Sarah Wilson, sisters who died within 2 months of one another during the epidemic of 1872 and 1873. Two people named James Graham, born on the same date two years apart, died on the same September day in 1867. Lucinda Skinner, the last charter member of the Pilot Point First Baptist Church, died in 1890. By 1900, there were probably 200 graves in the cemetery. The land was sold by John Skinner to the Skinner Cemetery Association in 1905; the last recorded burial was that of Joe Mylo Phipps, an infant who died in 1928. The Skinner Cemetery remains a vital link to the early settlers of the Pilot Point community. (1998)

Texas Normal College

Marker Title: Texas Normal College
City: Denton
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: northwest corner of courthouse square, corner of Elm and Oak (on furniture bldg. across street from courthouse)
Marker Text: At this site, on the second floor of a hardware store, 70 students enrolled for the first session of Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute, September 16, 1890. The students included 28 Creeks from Indian territory. The city of Denton provided classrooms for the faculty of five under president Joshua C. Chilton, an educator with previous experience and training in Ohio and Indiana. In 1891, the school moved to a building at the present site of North Texas State University. This marker dedicated on 75th Anniversary of the University. (1965)

Tyson Cemetery

Marker Title: Tyson Cemetery
City: Pilot Point
County: Denton
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: from Sanger, go north on IH-35/US 77 about 4.6 miles to FM 3002, go east on 3002 about 5.5 miles to FM 3442, go south on 3442 about 1.4 miles to intersection with CR, go east on CR about 3/4 mile to cemetery.
Marker Text: J.P. Newton (1821-56), a settler from Tennessee, is the earliest known burial in this cemetery. Charles Hammons (1854-64) has the second oldest stone. He was a grandson of another Tennessean, Charles Lee Sullivan (1810-68), a leader in this community. This burial ground, bought 1869 by Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Hammons, Sullivan's son-in-law and daughter, later was donated to the public by James R. Tyson (1829-99), father of Sullivan's daughter-in-law, Angeline Tyson Sullivan. There are 44 Sullivan graves in 1976. An active cemetery association maintains this burial ground (1976)


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