Lee County Historical Markers

Texas Brazos Trail Region

Map of Lee County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Fence Cutting Wars | Goucher, James | Hawkins, William W. | Indian Camp Branch | King's Highway - El Camino Real - Old San Antonio Road | Lee County | Lee County Courthouse | Lee County Museum (Hardmeyer-York Home) | Lexington, Town of | Longley, William Preston (Bill) | Old Dime Box | Old Evergreen Tree | Redfield, Henry Prentice, Texas Soldier | Shaw, James

Fence Cutting Wars

Marker Title: Fence Cutting Wars
City: Robert Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: Courthouse square, 7th and Austin Avenue
Marker Text: This area was a center of hostilities during 1880's conflict between landless cattlemen trying to keep use of free grass and open range and those erecting barbed wire fences to create permanent ranches. On L.B. Harris Ranch (3 miles west of here) posts and wire worth $6,000 were burned by anti-fence group during crisis. War was brought on by severe drought in 1880's when men without land found best waterholes fenced in. Many ranchmen owned or leased land they fenced, but some overambitious ones enclosed public lands, farms, and small ranches belonging to homesteaders recently arrived in Texas. Widespread resentment prevailed against these fencers, who, by blocking a road, had little regard for convenience of travelers. When drought pushed landless cowmen to brink of financial ruin, violence was inevitable. They blamed barbed wire fences for their predicament. At first, cutting of fences that blocked roads or waterholes occurred, but soon all fences were threatened. Armed "Nippers" cut fences in almost every Texas county. Fence cutters were then viewed as outlaws rather than crusaders. When laws were passed in Gov. John Ireland's administration to stop the war, Texas had suffered much damage to its property and reputation.

Goucher, James

Marker Title: James Goucher
City: Giddings
County: Lee
Marker Location: 4 mi. S. Giddings off FM 448
Marker Text: In this grave rest James Goucher and five members of his family murdered by Indians November 26, 1836. With the true pioneering spirit he had opened the first road from San Felipe to the settlements on the Colorado known for many years as "Goucher's Trace."

Hawkins, William W.

Marker Title: William W. Hawkins
City: Lexington
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: In Early Chapel Cemetery, 3.5 mi. east of Lexington on FM 696 (in far NW section, 3 markers from fence)
Marker Text: (Star and Wreath) Soldier at San Jacinto, 1836. Texas Ranger, Republic of Texas.

Indian Camp Branch

Marker Title: Indian Camp Branch
City: Lexington
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: In roadside picnic area on US 77 just south of Lexington
Marker Text: Located along an old buffalo trail, this creek was once fed by a spring and was a favorite camping place for Indian hunting parties. It was named Indian Camp Branch by James Shaw (1808-1879), a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836), to honor the hospitality of a band of friendly Tonkawa Indians he encountered near this site in 1837. Shaw built a cabin in this area and was soon joined by other Anglo-American settlers. A teacher, surveyor, and postmaster, Shaw also served as a senator and representative in Congresses of the Republic and state of Texas.

King's Highway - El Camino Real - Old San Antonio Road

Marker Title: King's Highway - El Camino Real - Old San Antonio Road
City: Giddings
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1918
Marker Location: In roadside picnic area 4 mi. from Bastrop/Lee County borders on SH 21.
Marker Text: First opened by Louis de St. Denis, 1715, route from Mexico to Louisiana.

Lee County

Marker Title: Lee County
Address: Courthouse lawn
City: Giddings
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Text: (Star and Wreath) County named for beloved Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Led army of Northern Virginia which included famed Hood's Texas Brigade. He said about them "I never ordered that brigade to hold a position that they did not hold it." "The enemy never sees the backs of my Texans." In the Battle of the Wilderness the Texans, seeing Lee set to lead the charge and fearing for his safety, halted, shouting, "General Lee to the rear," until he complied. Lee once declined furloughs for the Texans for he needed their services. He considered them his best shock troops. About Lee's surrender a Texan said, "I'd rather have died than surrendered; but if Marse Bob thinks that is best...Marse Bob is bound to be right as usual." COLONEL ROBERT E LEE IN TEXAS 1857-1861 Robert E. Lee spent 25 months on the Texas frontier, proving and seasoning grounds for great army leaders in the impending Civil War. With the 2nd U.S. Cavalry at Camp Cooper, he led a 1,600-mile scouting expedition into Indian country. He commanded the 2nd, first at San Antonio - leading the attempt to capture Mexican bandit Juan Cortina - next at Fort Mason. Lee learned how to adapt himself and his men to outdoor life and adverse conditions he later faced on battlefields. Knowledge of the ways of his fellow officers who later held high ranks in both armies...

Lee County Courthouse

Marker Title: Lee County Courthouse
Address: Main St.
City: Giddings
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Text: Designed by J.R. Gordon along lines similar to New York State Capitol and several buildings at Harvard University. Classified as Richardsonian Romanesque style, after the famous Louisiana-born architect Henry H. Richardson. Built by Sonnefield, Emmins and Abright of San Antonio, 1899. Replaced first courthouse, which burned 1897. Located on crest of divide separating the Colorado and Brazos River basins.

Lee County Museum (Hardmeyer-York Home)

Museum Name: Lee County Museum (Hardmeyer-York Home)
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 93
City: Giddings
Zip Code: 78942
Street Address: 190 E. Industry Street
County: Lee

Lexington, Town of

Marker Title: Town of Lexington
City: Lexington
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: Central Park, downtown Lexington at 3rd and Wheatley St., near gazebo.
Marker Text: Settled in 1837 in area then part of Burleson County; named for Massachusetts town where the American Revolution began. First inhabitants of the area were Tonkawa Indians. The first white settler was James Shaw (1808-1879), a young surveyor and teacher from Ohio. He received a land grant for service in 1836 in the Battle of San Jacinto. He settled here, 1837, and set up first post office at nearby String Prairie community, 1849. Although early cotton industry declined, the town revived, 1890, when San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad reached here.

Longley, William Preston (Bill)

Marker Title: William Preston (Bill) Longley
City: Giddings
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: Giddings Cemetery
Marker Text: (October 6, 1851 - October 11, 1878) Texas outlaw Bill Longley was from a respectable family, but his hot temper, his fondness for liquor, and unsettled conditions during Reconstruction led him to become one of the most daring gunslingers of his day. He was said to have killed 32 persons before his capture in 1877. Tried for a Lee County murder, he was hanged in Giddings in 1878. Before Longley died, he repented and urged others to avoid his example. His grave was once outside the cemetery bounds.

Old Dime Box

Marker Title: Old Dime Box
City: Dime Box
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Text: County's second oldest community. Located in Texas founder Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred" colony. First known as Brown's Mills. Present name derived from practice of leaving dimes in box at Joseph S. Browne's Mill so that postman John W. Ratliff would bring items from Giddings to community members.

Old Evergreen Tree

Marker Title: Old Evergreen Tree
City: Lincoln
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: .5 mi. south on FM 1624 from SH 21/FM 1624 intersection; half-way between SH 21 and US 77.
Marker Text: Said to have sheltered in 1714 explorer Louis de St. Denis-- probably first white man ever here. Site of pioneer court trails in 1870s. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1967

Redfield, Henry Prentice, Texas Soldier

Marker Title: Henry Prentice Redfield, Texas Soldier
City: Giddings
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: Giddings Cemetery
Marker Text: (May 27, 1819 - February 27, 1900) Born Derry , N.H.; came to Texas, 1831. Joined army, 1835. Fought at Battle of Gonzales, 1835; Siege of Bexar, 1835; San Jacinto, 1836 (all in Texas Revolution). Fought in Indian wars: wounded at Battle of Plum Creek in 1840. In Battle of Salado Creek, 1842. In Mexican War he joined 1st Texas Cavalry, 1846-47. Fought at both Resaca de la Palma and the Siege of Monterrey. Married (first) Sarah Card and (second) Julia Kersting.

Shaw, James

Marker Title: James Shaw
City: Lexington
County: Lee
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: Early Chapel Cemetery, 3.5 mi. east of Lexington on FM 696, 40 yards from entrance.
Marker Text: (Star and Wreath) Born August 6, 1808; served in the Texas War for Independence; soldier at San Jacinto. A Representative or Senator in five Congresses, Republic of Texas. Died February 10, 1880. His wife Nancy Ann Shaw, born May 13, 1811; died August 9, 1871.


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