Hunt County Historical Markers

Texas Lakes Trail Region

Map of Hunt County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Central National Road of The Republic of Texas | Colony Line Road, Route of Old | Greenville | Hunt County Courthouse, 1929 | Seven Courthouses of Hunt County | Lake Tawakoni | Martin, Benjamin D. | Murphy, Audie | Murphy, Birthplace of Audie | Murphy Room, Audie | Old National Road Crossing | Headwaters of the Sabine River

Central National Road of The Republic of Texas

Marker Title: Central National Road of The Republic of Texas
City: Greenville
Year Marker Erected: 1926
Marker Location: US 69, 6 mi. N. at Kellogg
Marker Text: Surveyed and established by virtue of an act of the Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1844, running from the Trinity River to the Red River. It crossed the highway near this point.

"An Old Road is the Soul of the Past."
Route of Old Colony Line Road

Marker Title: Route of Old Colony Line Road
City: Greenville
County: Hunt
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: US 380, 2 mi. west of Greenville
Marker Text: Early travel artery. Followed the north boundary line of the Chas. F. Mercer colony, a 6,500-square-mile tract granted to Mercer in 1844 by Sam Houston (President of the Republic of Texas) for purpose of bringing colonists into Texas. Southern half of Hunt County once lay in this pioneer colony. Over the road came ox-wagons from Jefferson to supply stores in Greenville, McKinney, Dallas, Fort Worth and the frontier. Settlers from the Old South traveled it in a steady stream of covered wagons. Highway 24 today traces part of the road.

Greenville

Marker Title: Greenville
City: Greenville
Year Marker Erected: 2001
Marker Location: Municipal Building, 2821 Washington St.
Marker Text: In 1846, the Texas legislature created Hunt County and specified that Greenville would be the name of the county seat, honoring Texas War for Independence veteran Thomas J. Green. Voters ultimately selected this location, on land donated by Tennessee surveyor McQuinney Howell Wright, for the new community of Greenville. The townsite was platted in May 1846 and the first lots were sold at auction the following January, although Wright did not file the deed officially conveying his land until March 22, 1850. Albert G. Hamilton served as first mayor after the town incorporated in 1852. Unlike most north central Texas counties, Hunt County voted in favor of secession during the national crisis in the 1860s. Economic hardship, occasions of violence, and occupation by federal troops characterized the Civil War and Reconstruction period in Greenville. The arrival of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad in October 1880 was a watershed in Greenville's history. The railroad provided cotton farmers with easier shipping access, and cotton production and processing became major economic activities. New businesses and service industries, including banks, hotels, street cars, and the state's first municipally owned electric utility, developed to serve the growing community. Greenville was home to Majors Army Air Field and three colleges in the 20th century. Its location at the crossroads of major state and national highways helped Greenville develop over the years to become an industrial and trade center in northeast Texas.

Hunt County Courthouse, 1929

Marker Title: Hunt County Courthouse, 1929
Address: 2507 Lee at Stonewall St.
City: Greenville
County: Hunt
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Text: Built in 1929 as the seventh Hunt County Courthouse, this building was designed by W. R. Ragsdale & Sons of Greenville and Page Brothers of Austin. The 6-story building depicts a transition from classical revival to art deco architecture. It features solid masonry construction, stone steps leading to triple-arched doorways at the main entries, decorative terra cotta detailing and metal sash windows. It remains the seat of county government. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1995

Seven Courthouses of Hunt County

Marker Title: The Seven Courthouses of Hunt County
Address: Courthouse Lawn, Stonewall at Lee St.
City: Greenville
County: Hunt
Year Marker Erected: 1982
Marker Text: In 1846, when Hunt County was created, Greenville was chosen as the county seat. Court sessions were held under oak trees at the corner of St. John and Bourland streets until the first courthouse was built here in 1847. A log cabin, it was located on the west side of the square. It was replaced in 1853 by a 2-story frame courthouse on the northwest corner. The center of the square, which had been reserved for a more substantial building, was used in 1858 for the third courthouse. The first brick structure in the county, it was condemned in 1874. County offices were moved to a building at 2610 Lee Street, purchased from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The fifth courthouse, an ornate red brick building with white stone trim, was constructed here in 1883. Thirteen months later it was destroyed by a fire which heavily damaged the town's commercial district. A new courthouse, which closely resembled the 1883 structure, was built in 1885. In 1928 it was torn down to make room for construction of the present courthouse, the seventh for Hunt County. A formal dedication was held on April 11, 1929, the 83rd anniversary of the county's founding.

Lake Tawakoni

Marker Title: Lake Tawakoni
Address: SH 276 at Tomahawk Road
City: West Tawakoni
County: Hunt
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Text: One of the largest lakes wholly within Texas. Completed 1960, it covers 36,700 acres. Impounded by 5.5-mile-long iron bridge dam on Sabine River, it has a shore line of 200 miles. Constructed and owned by the Sabine River Authority of Texas. Financed by city of Dallas under terms of a water supply contract. Other towns also buy lake's water. Prehistoric animal bones and remains of a Tawakoni Indian village were discovered here. Lake is operated under Iron Bridge Division, S.R.A. of Texas. It embraces Wind Point Park, a public recreational resort.

Benjamin D. Martin

Marker Title: Benjamin D. Martin
City: Greenville
County: Hunt
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: East Mount Cemetery (Marshall at Pine St.)
Marker Text: (Feb. 21, 1823 - Mar. 28, 1891) Came to Texas from Virginia and settled in Hunt County in 1850s. In Confederate army, organized Texas Sharpshooters, called "Ben Martin's Company." First mayor of Greenville (present regime), 1873; helped draft Texas Constitution, 1875; state senator, 1876-1878; and Greenville mayor again, 1884. He rendered outstanding public service in a long career. Married Elizabeth Caroline Dickenson in 1845. They had six children.

Audie Murphy

Marker Title: Audie Murphy
City: Celeste
County: Hunt
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: US 69 at Kingston St.
Marker Text: Most decorated soldier in World War II. Born 4.5 miles south, June 20, 1924, sixth of nine children of tenant farmers Emmett and Josie Killian Murphy. Living on various farms, Audie Murphy went to school through the 8th grade in Celeste -- considered the family's home town. He had to quit school to help support the family, acquiring marksmanship skills by hunting to provide food. On his 18th birthday, after being rejected by the Marines because of his size (5 feet, 7 inches; 130 pounds), he enlisted in the Army while working in Greenville. For unusual courage and bravery, he received 24 decorations, including the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor; the French Legion of Honor, Chevalier: the Distinguished Service Cross; and a Silver Star. After the war he became a successful actor, his most prominent role portraying himself in the film "To Hell and Back," his war career autobiography. Following his untimely death in a plane crash in Virginia, May 28, 1971, and burial in Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Congress paid him a final tribute, dedicating a new veterans' hospital in San Antonio to the memory of this American hero. Survived by widow Pamela, sons Terry and James. (1973) More Hollywood Heroes

Birthplace of Audie Murphy

Marker Title: Birthplace of Audie Murphy
City: Kingston
County: Hunt
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: US 69, 1.5 mi. south of Kingston
Marker Text: Most decorated soldier in World War II. Born June 20, 1924, to Emmett and Josie K. Murphy, 400 yards east on the W.F. Boles farm. Enlisted in the Army on his 18th birthday while working in Greenville. He was awarded 24 citations for bravery in action, including Congressional Medal of Honor and French Legion of Honor, Chevalier. After the war, he became a successful actor, with his most prominent role portraying himself in the war film, "To Hell and Back." Died May 28, 1971, in a Virginia plane crash and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Audie Murphy Room

Museum Name: Audie Murphy Room
Mailing Address: 3716 Lee Street
City: Greenville
Zip Code: 75401
Area Code: 903
Phone: 457-2992
County: Hunt
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Local/Pioneer History, Other

Old National Road Crossing

Marker Title: Old National Road Crossing
City: Greenville
County: Hunt
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: SH 34, 13 mi. north of Greenville
Marker Text: One mile NE below junction of Short Creek and Sulphur River. The Central National Road of Texas (Republic) was created by act of Texas Congress, 1844, with intent to give the new nation a unified transportation route. From present Dallas to the head of navigation on the Red River, northwest of Clarksville, road linked to northeast Texas the military routes of west and central Texas; connected with routes east at Jonesborough and Paris. It failed to gain international status Congress hoped for, due to population shifts, coming of railroads and development of other routes.

Headwaters of the Sabine River

Marker Title: Headwaters of the Sabine River
City: Celeste
County: Hunt
Year Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Location: US 69, 2.3 mi. NW of Celeste
Marker Text: A half mile to the west rises the Sabine River, lower channel of which separated New World empires of France and Spain and in 1836 became Republic of Texas - United States border. Fork here is called Cow Leach, for Indian chief who lived in the area. This marker is on a 3-way watershed: flow to the north goes into the Sulphur and to the Mississippi; the west drains to the Trinity; south goes into the Sabine, which forms Texas-Louisiana boundary and pours more water into Gulf of Mexico than any other Texas river (6,400,000 acre feet annually).


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