Live Oak County Historical Markers

Map of Live Oak County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Grace Armantrout Museum | Cactus Park Museum | Town of Dinero | Old Dobie Ranch | Early Schools in Live Oak County | Echo Stagecoach Depot and Post Office | Fort Merrill | Gussettville | Live Oak County | Oakville | Crossing of Old Ox-Cart Roads | Robinson, Jesse | Town of Whitsett

Grace Armantrout Museum

Museum Name: Grace Armantrout Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 248
City: George West
Zip Code: 78022
Street Address: US Hwy 281, 1 mile S of Highway 59
Area Code: 512
Phone: 449-3325
County: Live Oak
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Cactus Park Museum

Museum Name: Cactus Park Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 343
City: George West
Zip Code: 78022
Street Address: S Hwy 281
Area Code: 512
Phone: 449-1448
County: Live Oak
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Town of Dinero

Marker Title: Town of Dinero
Address: FM 534
City: Dinero
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: Dinero Post Office, FM 534, Dinero.
Marker Text: Settled about 1838 by farmers and ranchers. First named "Barlow" after the local ferry operator. Townspeople were instrumental in organizing Live Oak County, 1856; started a school by 1858. About 1872, rumors of money ("Dinero" in Spanish) buried here led town to change name. A post office was established in 1885. Town buildings were moved a mile west, 1913, to be on a new rail line. In 1925 Dinero piped first natural gas to Houston. Oil, gas continue to bolster economy. Local landmark is hanging tree (200 yards southwest). Famous resident was J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964), Texas author. 1970)

Old Dobie Ranch

Marker Title: Old Dobie Ranch, Birthplace of J. Frank Dobie (Sept. 26, 1888-Sept. 18, 1964)
Address: FM 3162, off US 281, 23 mi. SE of George West
City: George West
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: from George West take US 281 16 miles south, turn east on FM 3162 about 6.9 miles to make site. Marker has been stolen.
Marker Text: A strong individualist and noted folklorist who added a new dimension to literature of Southwest. Collected and published more than 30 volumes of folk tales and legends. His works best preserve the heritage of people of the brush country--the rancher, the miner and the cowboy. (1970)

Early Schools in Live Oak County

Marker Title: Early Schools in Live Oak County
Address: Thornton St. and Oakville Rd.
City: Three Rivers
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Location: at entrance of Three Rivers High School, Thornton Street at Oakville Road, Three Rivers.
Marker Text: Until the 1870s, Live Oak County had private schools taught by clergymen and ranch employees in cabins, brush arbors, dugouts. County Judge G.W. Jones initiated (1876) community schools with tuition set at 71/2 cents a day per student. In time there were 43 of these small schools. Oakville in 1881 erected the county's first building for a free school and in 1899 had the first independent district. By 1917 George West and Three Rivers also had independent districts. Consolidations began in 1940, when the county had 9,799 people. By 1970, two consolidated schools served the entire county. (1975)

Echo Stagecoach Depot and Post Office

Marker Title: Echo Stagecoach Depot and Post Office
Address: On FM 888 about 17 mi. SE of George West
City: George West
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1979
Marker Location: on Private Property. From George West, take US 59 about 5 miles east to I-37 take I-37 south about 15 miles to FM 888, take FM 888 west 1.2 miles cross railroad tracks, turn north on CR 357 drive 1.4 miles to unmarked road hoad west 0.1 mile to Mt. Echo Ranch.
Marker Text: Known as "Mount Echo" or "The Point", this site once belonged to Empresario James McGloin. His daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Patrick Murphy, ran a general store at Echo. John Bernard Murphy (1822?-1884) and his wife Margaret Mary (Healy) (1833-1907), both born in Ireland, settled here in the 1850's and built a two story ranch house. J.B. Murphy, who was not related to Patrick Murphy, was later mayor of Corpus Christi. A one-story building near the J.B. Murphy ranch house served as a station for stagecoach lines from San Antonio to Corpus Christi and south Texas. It housed the Echo Post Office from 1858 until 1879. The stage road through echo was a dry weather route along the East Bank of the Nueces River. A higher caliche road that was passable in wet seasons served stage stops on the west side of the river. Until the arrival of the railroad in this area, the echo depot and post office provided a vital link with the outside world. In the 1880's, Margaret Mary Murphy moved to San Antonio and founded the Sisters of the Holy Ghost. She used the ranch as a retreat for nuns and converted the echo depot into a chapel. R.F. Sellers bought the property in 1906 and used the building for storage. It was demolished by hurricane Celia in 1970.

Site of Fort Merrill

Marker Title: Site of Fort Merrill
Address: 3.5 mi. NW of Dinero, off FM 534
City: Dinero
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Off FM 534, 3.5 northwest of Dinero.
Marker Text: Established by Captain S.M. Plummer First U.S. Infantry, February 26, 1850 as a protection to settlers against Indians. Named in honor of Captain Hamilton W. Merrill, Brevet Major, Second Dragoons, gallant officer in the Mexican War. Permanently abandoned December 1, 1855.

Gussettville

Marker Title: Gussettville
Address: FM 799, off US 59, 5 mi Se of George West
City: Gussettville
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: From George West take US 59 east about 2.5 miles turn south on FM 799 and continue about 3 miles to cemetery.
Marker Text: Founded by Irish Catholics of McMullen and McGloin colony in 1830's. Called "Fox nation" for the Fox family, was renamed Gussettville in 1850's in honor of N. Gussett, owner of general store. First Catholic church in Live Oak County built here 1874. Land for church and part of the cemetery was given by Thomas Shannon and his wife Anne. A stagecoach stop on San Antonio-Brownsville line, town prospered until by-passed by railroad. Typical of hundreds of early towns that faded as train service diverted traffic. Church is chief remaining structure.

Live Oak County

Marker Title: Live Oak County
Address: US 281, S. of George West
City: George West
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from George West take US 281 south about 1.4 miles south marker is on east side of highway.
Marker Text: Created by legislature Feb. 2, 1856, and organized August 4 with Oakville as county seat. Formed from San Patricio and Nueces Counties. Named for its Live Oak trees. County seat moved, 1919, to George West on railroad. Center for ranching, farming, petroleum production and processing. Recreation areas include Tips State Park and Lake Corpus Christi. Historic sites are Fort Ramirez, first settlement; Fort Merrill, built 1850 to protect early settlers; Brownsville-San Antonio Oxcart Road, used by general Santa Anna on the way to the Alamo. Other sites marked.

Oakville

Marker Title: Oakville
Address: FM 1358 and IH-37 access road
City: Oakville
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: FM 1358 and I-37 access road (northbound), Oakville
Marker Text: So named from its Live Oak trees county seat from 1856 to 1919 of Live Oak County, which was created February 2, and organized August 4, 1856.

Crossing of Old Ox-Cart Roads

Marker Title: Crossing of Old Ox-Cart Roads
Address: US 281, 4 mi. N. of George West
City: George West
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: from George West take US 281 about 4 miles north to marker on east side of highway.
Marker Text: From the early days of Spanish colonial Texas well into statehood, the only "Highways" in the area were primitive dirt roads. Although many had names, others were simply called "ox-cart roads" for the sturdy mexican carts so frequently seen on them. In the 19th century this site was a junction for two of these roads, one extending from Brownsville to San Antonio, the other from Laredo to Goliad, then over to Indianola on the Gulf Coast. This strategic location helped Oakville grow into a thriving town and become county seat of Live Oak County in 1856. Ox-carts were unique in being constructed entirely of wood, fastened by wooden pins and rawhide thongs. The two wheels stood taller than a man and the bed was usually 15 feet long, covered by a thatched roof. To stop the deafening squeak of the wheels, drivers greased the hubs with prickly pear leaves. Pulled by several yoke of oxen, the carts usually traveled in groups. Their arrival meant fresh coffee, beans, salt, and sugar for isolated settlers. Although gradually replaced by wagons, carts were for two centuries almost the only freight vehicles in Texas. Reminders of their former importance long remained in the names of these two old roads.

Jesse Robinson

Marker Title: Jesse Robinson (February 11, 1800-December 27, 1882)
Address: On Annarose County Road, off US 281
City: Latham
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: From George West, take US 281 south for 14.5 miles; go west on Annarose County Road 2.5 miles, then 3 miles to Latham Cemetery, Private.
Marker Text: A soldier in the Texas War for Independence. Born in Kentucky, in 1822 came to Texas. Became (1823) one of first Texas Rangers. Later fought in battles of Concepcion, on October 28, 1835, and San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. Served as a Ranger (1841) and in Republic of Texas forces resisting Woll invasion, 1842. Robinson bred fine horses and attended Gussettville races. He married Sarah Jane Newman (Sally Skull). Had three children, spent last years here, with son Alfred. Recorded 1973.

Webmaster note: Randy Robison has documented Latham Cemetery and has graciously provided us with a link.

Town of Whitsett

Marker Title: Town of Whitsett
Address: US 281 and FM 99
City: Whitsett
County: Live Oak
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: US 281, south of intersection with FM 99, Whitsett
Marker Text: Situated on 1835 land grant of Mexico to John Houlihan. At this site in 1800's was water and a camp for cross-country drives of cattle, hogs. Town arose in 1913 when San Antonio, Uvalde & Gulf railroad was built here and post office opened. Named for ranch family donating right of way and townsite. Soon shipped steers by thousands to northern markets. International fame began 1924 when H.A. Coffey acquired 125 bee colonies, bred and sold queens. Besides beekeeping, area has oil and uranium production; farming; horse and cattle ranching; rock-gems and game hunting; fishing


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