Polk County
Historical Markers

Texas Brazos Trail Region

Map of Polk County

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Alabama and Coushatti Indians, Village of the | Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation Museum | Augustine, Major Henry W. | Augustus Darby Home | Bean Place, Old | Confederate Service of Alabama and Coushatta Indians | Hardin, Boyhood Home of John Wesley | Hardin, William Barnett | Holliday, Roscoe D. | Indian Trails, Early | Livingston | Old City Cemetery | Matthews, E. C., Home | Polk County Courthouse | Polk County Museum | Polk County, C.S.A. | Purvis, Capt. Hardy B. | Roads in Polk County, Early | Scott, Chief John | Smithfield, site of | Turner, Captain Isaac Newton Moreland

Alabama and Coushatti Indians, Village of the

Marker Title: Village of the Alabama and Coushatti Indians
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: 16 mi. east of Livingston on US 190 at entrance to reservation.
Marker Text: Who came into Texas early in the 19th century and have always been friendly with the whites.

Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation Museum

Museum Name: Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation Museum
Mailing Address: Rt. 3 Box 640
City: Livingston
Zip Code: 77351
Area Code: 409
Phone: 563-4391
County: Polk

Thomas L. White's first-hand account of 1860 Alabama-Coushatta Community:

Thomas L. White's first-hand account of 1860 Alabama-Coushatta Community

Thomas L. White's first-hand account of 1860 Alabama-Coushatta Community

Augustine, Major Henry W.

Marker Title: Major Henry W. Augustine
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: Magnolia Hill Cemetery, Segno community, 21 mi. SE of Livingston
Marker Text: (1806-1874) In 1827 moved here from Alabama. For battle injuries and services under Republic of Texas, he received a land grant and wooden leg. Was in Battle of Nacogdoches, 1832; delegate to Consultation of 1835, before the war with Mexico; in Cherokee War, 1838.

Augustus Darby Home

Marker Title: Augustus Darby Home
City: Moscow
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: 5 mi W of Moscow on FM 350 *on private property - locked gate.
Marker Text: For 6 months, 25 slaves drew square nails from old lumber to seal with hand-sawed rough cypress this pegged double-log house built in 1859 by Augustus Darby. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1964

Bean Place, Old

Marker Title: Old Bean Place
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Text: Built 1841 by John English (1793-1868), landowner, using trees growing here. English slaves cut sills, joists, lumber by hand. Used pegs, square nails. Original structure covered now by modern materials. Two pegged doors still in use. Since 1870 property of the George Pleas Bean family.

Picture of Francis R. Lubbock
Francis R. Lubbock
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Confederate Service of Alabama and Coushatta Indians

Marker Title: Confederate Service of Alabama and Coushatta Indians
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1994
Marker Location: 16 mi. east of Livington on US 190, Reservation
Marker Text: Alabama and Coushatta Indians of Polk County were trained as cavalrymen in 1861 by Indian Agent Robert R. Neyland as the war between the states advanced. In April 1862, nineteen Alabama and Coushatta, including Chief John Scott, enlisted in the Confederate Army as members of Company G, 24th Texas Cavalry. They trained in Hempstead, Texas, and in Arkansas, where their commander, General Thomas C. Hindman, converted them to infantrymen. After voicing displeasure with the change from cavalry to infantry duties, they were permitted to return to their Polk County homes to await further orders. Following brief service in the Confederate Navy under Galveston Bay Commander W. W. Hunter, they were reorganized as a cavalry company in the 6th Brigade, 2nd Texas Infantry Division. In 1864 the company roster listed 132 men. Their primary job was to build and operate flat-bottomed boats (scows) to transport farm produce and other supplies needed by the confederacy down the Trinity River to the port at Liberty, Texas. Official correspondence of wartime Texas Governors Francis R. Lubbock and Pendleton Murrah refer to the Alabama and Coushatta Indians' loyalty in their role as Confederate infantry, cavalry, and navy servicemen.

Hardin, Boyhood Home of John Wesley

Marker Title: Near Boyhood Home of John Wesley Hardin
City: Moscow
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: in front of Holhousen-Darby Cemetery, 4 mi. west of Moscow on FM 350.
Marker Text: (1853-1895) Notorious outlaw who killed over 30 men. son of a Methodist minister. "Wes" was an ardent southerner. His resistance to Union occupation troops made him a hero and set him on his lawless career. He always claimed he shot only in self defense. He was killed in El Paso, 1895.

Hardin, William Barnett

Marker Title: William Barnett Hardin
City: Moscow
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: Holhousen Cemetery on FM 350, 4 miles W of Moscow
Marker Text: Republic of Texas Soldier (April 20, 1806 - July 28, 1885). Born in Tennessee. Came to Texas in 1826; established plantation near Moscow as first permanent white settler in the area. Was first lieutenant in Texas War for Independence. Wounded in Battle of San Antonio, Dec. 1835. For service, received a 640-acre Republic of Texas land grant signed by President Sam Houston. Moved to new plantation near Livingston in 1855. Farmed and helped survey first county roads.

Holliday, Roscoe D.

Marker Title: Roscoe D. Holliday
City: Goodrich
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: Peebles Cemetery, 2.5 mi NE of Goodrich on FM 1988
Marker Text: (July 24, 1887 - Nov. 14, 1950) Born in Mississippi. Came to Polk County prior to 1910. Served as county's constable and deputy sheriff for 10 years before his election as sheriff in 1920. After 17 years in this office, he was appointed to the Texas Rangers, where he served for 13 years. During long career, he became a shrewd investigator, solving numerous cases of murder. Also he was instrumental in the capture of many bootleggers.

Indian Trails, Early

Marker Title: Early Indian Trails
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: Library grounds, corner of W. Church and Drew St., Livingston
Marker Text: From 1830 to 1840 five Indian trails (some several centuries old) crossed Polk County. the Coushatta and Alabama tribes started two trails and also traveled Long King's, Kickapoo, and Battise traces. These routes helped settlers map roads; modern highways follow the trails in places.

Livingston

Marker Title: Livingston
Address: City Hall, Church and Jackson
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: corner of Church and Jackson Sts. in front of city hall, Livingston.
Marker Text: Seat of Polk County, founded in 1846; incorporated 1902. Named by Moses L. Choate, donor of its 100-acre townsite. It became vital trade, educational and social center for people of sawmills and boat landings on the Trinity River. General Sam Houston was among guests dancing at Old Andress Inn in the early 1850s. The only Indian reservation in Texas, for the Alabama-Coushatta tribe, is located near here. The economy is agricultural, based chiefly on ranching and timber. Since 1930 there has been major oil and gas development. Pine forest capital of Texas.

Old City Cemetery

Marker Title: Old City Cemetery (Old Livingston Cemetery)
Address: 300 E. Polk St.
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 2001
Marker Location: 300 E. Church @ corner of Houston St., Livingston
Marker Text: This historic graveyard began in 1840 with the burial of four-year-old Josephus Choate, son of Moses Livingston Choate (1794-1867) and Ursula Choate (1807-c. 1880). Early pioneers from Kentucky, the Choates moved to Texas and received a league of land while this area was still a part of Mexico. On his land, Choate established a town he called Springfield. After Polk County was created in 1846, Moses Choate donated 100 acres of his land near Springfield for the county seat and changed the name of the town to Livingston. A one and one-half block section of land, which included the Choate family cemetery, was set aside for religious and educational purposes. A Masonic lodge (with a schoolroom) and a church were built on that property in the 1850s; after those institutions relocated later in the century, the cemetery expanded over this entire block. By 1906, burials in the Old City Cemetery had almost ceased, and the last interment took place in 1940. At least 25 Republic of Texas citizens, two Mexican War veterans and 30 Civil War veterans are buried here. A few memorial markers stand to honor persons interred elsewhere. There are 167 visible tombstones and at least 65 unmarked burials, with more than 70 grave sites destroyed over the years. As a reminder of the early heritage of Texas and Polk County, the Old City Cemetery is an important cultural resource for the community. (2001)

Matthews, E. C., Home

Marker Title: E. C. Matthews Home
City: Moscow
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: on Loop 177, south of FM 350, .25 mi. west of US 59, Moscow
Marker Text: Built by "Daddy Poe," in 1856. Has columns made of hollowed pine trees; swinging upstairs porch. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1966

Polk County Courthouse

Marker Title: Polk County Courthouse
Address: 101 W. Church Street (US 190 at US 59 Bus.)
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 2001
Marker Location: 101 W. Church Street (US 190 at US 59 Bus.)
Marker Text: Polk County Courthouse Completed in 1924, this is the fifth courthouse to serve Polk County. Citing "lack of space and modern conveniences," the Commissioners Ccourt hired the Houston architectural firm of McLelland & Fink to design their new building. Contractor Isaac Young completed demolition of the 1884 courthouse by July 1923, and the first court meetings were held in this building by the fall of 1924. Designed to include an auditorium, library, American Legion hall and post office, which were replaced in later years by administrative and judicial offices, the Polk County Courthouse features Classical Revival styling with Beaux Arts influences. It stands as a significant part of Livingston's architectural heritage. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2001

Polk County Museum

Museum Name: Polk County Museum
Mailing Address: 514 West Mill
City: Livingston
Zip Code: 77351
Area Code: 409
Phone: 327-8192
County: Polk
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Military, Natural History, Archeology, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Polk County, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Polk County, C.S.A.
Address: Courthouse lawn, Bus. 59 and US 190
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Text: During Civil War, 1861-65, an area of piney woods, farms, thickets, with an Alabama-Coushatta Indian reservation. Had only 600 voters in 1860 but sent 900 soldiers into the Confederate Army. Furnished 4 units to Hood's Texas Brigade (Co. B, 1st Regiment; Co. F, 4th Regiment; Co. H and Co. K, 5th Regiment). Also organized Co. K, 14th Texas Infantry, Randal's Brigade; co. E, 20th Texas Infantry, Harrison's Brigade; Co. F, 22nd Texas Infantry, Waul's Brigade, 21 of the Alabama-Coushattas joined Co. A, Indian Cavalry. In 1861, gave through Commissioners Court $1,600 to clothe its soldiers. Throughout the war, old men, women, children and slaves produced food and cotton for support of the war effort. County's numerous ferries and rivers were used in transporting troops and supplies. Such ports as Drew's Landing floated out goods on flatboats. Industries and facilities of importance included Moscow's sawmill, cotton gin, drugstore and school operated throughout the war by the Masonic Lodge. Livingston was headquarters, 1867-68, for the Federal Army of Occupation, 5th Military District, with Co. A, 15th Infantry and Co. B, 6th Cavalry, stationed here.

Purvis, Capt. Hardy B.

Marker Title: Capt. Hardy B. Purvis
City: Goodrich
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: Peebles Cemetery, FM 1988, 2.5 mi. NE of Goodrich
Marker Text: (1891-1961) Born in Livingston. In his 20s, became a local peace officer. Spent years 1927-1933 and 1935-1956 in Texas Ranger service. Noted for coolness during danger in oil boom towns, dock strikes, prison riots, Purvis saw duty at Beaumont, Borger, Longview, Lufkin, and Fort Worth. Was captain of a Ranger company and stationed at Houston when he retired. Son L. H. was also a Ranger. His wife Minnie and his daughter are buried here.

Roads in Polk County, Early

Marker Title: Early Roads in Polk County
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: FM 1988 and PR 5, 6 mi. SW of Livingston
Marker Text: Travel was of great importance in Polk County's early days. Civilized Indians-- particularly Creeks, Alabamas, Coushattas and Kickapoos-- were numerous and had many trails for intercommunication. Long King's Trace (named for a chief) led from Alabama villages through site of present Livingston, past site of this marker. The Coushatta Trace began in Louisiana, wound through what is now Polk County, joining (more than 100 miles west) an ancient road into Mexico. The Alabama Trace branched off El Camino Real (The King's Highway) east of Nacogdoches and came to the site of present Alabama-Coushatta Reservation. Indians started many other local roads. A Mexican-Indian trail became the Nacogdoches-Liberty Stagecoach Road, after white settlement began in the 1820s. Settlers brought in goods by Trinity River boats, establishing 20 landings (or wharves) on the 72 miles of Polk County riverfront. Roads led to the interior from the landings; boats handled shipping of county produce for many years. Northeast of Livingston is the "Old Israel Road"-- named for a religious colony whose buildings have disappeared. As with many of the Indians, memory of these people is preserved only in the road's name.

Scott, Chief John

Marker Title: Chief John Scott
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: Indian cemetery on Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, 16 mi. east of Livingston on US 190
Marker Text: (1805-1913) Came to Texas in 1830s; served in Confederate Army in Civil War; was chief of Alabama Indians here most of his life.

Smithfield, Site of

Marker Title: Site of Smithfield
City: Livingston vicinity
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 2001
Marker Location: 13.2 miles south of Livingston on SH 146, then 4 miles southwest on FM 2610
Marker Text: Settled in the 1830s, Smithfield was a community and steamboat landing on the Trinity River. One of the area's first settlers was S. C. Hiroms of Kentucky, who arrived in 1830 and made his home on high ground above the Trinity. Hiroms and A. B. Carr of Memphis, Tennessee, are credited with establishing the town of Smithfield. In 1840, Hiroms was appointed postmaster of Smithfield. A stagecoach stop on the Liberty-Nacogdoches Road and a Trinity River port, Smithfield was a trading site for Coushatta Indians, trappers and settlers in this part of what became Polk County. A. B. Carr's son, John F. Carr, came to Smithfield in 1839 and established a cotton gin, grist mill and several sawmills. He also built steamboats, including the "John F. Carr," which saw service in the Battle of Galveston during the Civil War. Smithfield served during the war as a staging area for Confederate troops. By 1871 the post office at Smithfield was discontinued. With the coming of the Houston, East and West Texas Railway to Polk County in 1881, riverboat and stagecoach transportation declined. The population of Smithfield shifted to the north, where a new post office with the name of Ace opened in 1915 with Asa C. Emanuel as the postmaster. Although little physical evidence exists to identify Smithfield, its history is an important part of Polk County's heritage. (2001)

Turner, Captain Isaac Newton Moreland

Marker Title: Captain Isaac Newton Moreland Turner, C.S.A.
City: Livingston
County: Polk
Year Marker Erected: 1997
Marker Location: go east on US 190 about 18.4 mi. to Midway Center Rd., go 2 mi. north to dead end, go east to cemetery sign, follow to cemetery - marker is in Turner Cemetery
Marker Text: (April 3, 1839 - April 15, 1863) was born in Putnam County, Georgia. His father, J. A. S. Turner, was a plantation owner with Texas landholdings in Polk and Liberty counties. The Turner family moved to Texas prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. Ike Turner helped to organize and train a mounted artillery company of 80 Polk County volunteers for the Confederacy. Turner, who was elected captain, assembled his company at the County Courthouse in Livingston on September 3, 1861. He led them to serve in Virginia as Company K, 5th Texas Infantry, in Gen. John Bell Hood's Texas Brigade. The youngest company commander in Hood's Texas Brigade, Capt. Turner led his troops in 16 battles, mostly in Virginia. He was injured twice before suffering a fatal wound near Suffolk, Virginia. Capt. Turner's brother. Charles took his body by train to be buried at the family's former plantation "Turnwold" near Milledgeville, Georgia. Family legend has maintained that it was Capt. Turner's wish to be buried in his family's cemetery in Texas. In 1994 his remains were disinterred and transported from Georgia to Texas and reburied here among his family members. (1997) Incise on base: Sons of the Confederate Veterans Ike Turner Camp 1275, Livingston, Texas.


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