Archer County Historical Markers

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Texas Lakes Trail Region

Map of Archer County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Archer County | Archer County Copper Mines | Archer County Courthouse | Battle of the Little Wichita | Camp Cureton, C.S.A. | Confluence of the Brazos, Trinity and Red River Watersheds | In Vicinity of French Trading Area | Holliday, Captain John | Jesse James Hideout | Marcy Trail | Old Buffalo Road | On Route of the Comanche Exodus | Stone Houses
Uncommemorated Active Battle Map (Stories below are on map.)
Captain W.A. Rafferty | Captain J.A.Wilcox | Captain Tullius C. Tupper (see below) | Major George H. Thomas | Battle of Little Wichita | Fort Cureton | Stone Houses
Archer County

Marker Title: Archer County
Address: 6 mi. S on SH 79
City: Archer City
Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Archer City, take US 79 South about 6 miles.
Marker Text: A part of the Peters Grant, 1841; Created January 22, 1858; Organized July 27, 1880; Named in honor of Dr. Branch Tanner Archer 1790-1856; Texas Commissioner to the United States, 1835, Member of Congress, Secretary of War of the Republic of Texas. First permanent settlement, 1874; First railroad, 1890; Archer City, the county seat. (1936, 1986)

Archer County Copper Mines

Marker Title: Archer County Copper Mines
Address: 4.5 mi. NW on SH 25
City: Archer City
Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Location: From Archer City, take SH 25 northwest about 4.5 miles.
Marker Text: The civilized world first heard of copper in this area from Texas Rangers after an 1860 campaign against Comanches on the Pease River, about 100 miles to the northwest. The Ranger Captain, Lawrence S. ("Sul") Ross, later to serve Texas as governor, had nuggets picked off the surface of the ground and hauled to Austin. In 1861, Assistant State Geologist S.B. Buckley charted the mineral site. The Rangers' ore haul was processed and used in gun caps for Confederate forces during the Civil War. To get more of the needed metal, the Texas Copper Mining & Manufacturing Company was founded on May 28, 1864, but wartime shortage of men apparently prevented recovery of copper at that time. The T.C.M.&M. Co., based in Dallas, sent W.F. Cummings to Archer County in 1880 to open mining sites. Although the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and Statistics reported in 1882 that no mining had commenced, ore eventually was hauled out and shipped to smelters in the east. No central vein or deposit could be found. The Boston & Texas Copper Company of Tucson, Ariz., leased the mine site here in 1899. It produced some copper ore which was processed in El Paso, but again the project failed to meet expectations. (1971)

Archer County Courthouse

Marker Title: Archer County Courthouse
Address: SH 79 and Center St.
City: Archer City
Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: Archer County Courthouse, Highway 79, Center Street, Archer City.
Marker Text: Courthouse, Archer County, 1891. Besides government, housed many pioneer social affairs. Dome, cupola removed, 1925. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965.

Battle of the Little Wichita

Marker Title: Battle of the Little Wichita
City: Archer City
Year Marker Erected: 1974
Marker Location: from Archer City, take FM 25 North about 2 miles to roadside park.
Marker Text: In reaction to an Indian attack on a mail stage, Capt. Curwen B. McLellan set out on July 6, 1870, from Fort Richardson with 56 men of the 6th Cavalry. On July 12, McLellan's command encountered a war party of 250 Kiowas led by "Kicking Bird" near the north fork of the Little Wichita (6 miles NW). After a brief skirmish, McLellan ordered his troops into retreat, fighting a defensive battle across the middle and south forks of the Little Wichita. The Indians gave up the chase on the 13th. Corporal John Given and Private George Blume were killed; 13 Medals of Honor were awarded for heroism. (1974) More

Camp Cureton, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Camp Cureton, C.S.A.
Address: West side of courthouse square, SH 79 at Center St.
City: Archer City
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: Courthouse lawn, Highway 79, Center Street, Archer City.
Marker Text: Star and Wreath Strategically established during Civil War on defense line Red River to Rio Grande where Gainesville-Fort Belknap Road crossed west fork Trinity River about 10 miles south, 4 miles east of Archer City. Texas Frontier Regiment patrolled area frequently to check Comanche raids. Poorly fed, lacking horses and ammunition, these rugged Confederates more effectively curbed Indians than U.S. had, protected supply trains, guarded against Union action. Named for Capt. Jack Cureton, Camp Commander, veteran Mexican, Indian Wars. A Memorial to Texans who served the Confederacy; Erected by the State of Texas 1963.

Confluence of the Brazos, Trinity, and Red River Watersheds

Marker Title: The Confluence of the Brazos, Trinity, and Red River Watersheds
City: Olney
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: From Olney, take US 79 3 miles north.
Marker Text: The Trinity, a major Texas river rises 250 yards west of this 1250-foot mound. South of this site water drains to the Brazos, and north and west to the Red. This high point has been important in Texas history. It guided Capt. Diego Parilla to battle Indians on the Red in 1759 and aided Capt. R.B. Marcy in mapping a California trail in 1849. Marcy and Maj. R.S. Neighbors used it as a beacon point in finding a site for an Indian reservation in 1854. It also was on U.S. Cavalry maps for 1870s Indian campaigns. (1976)

In Vicinity of French Trading Area

Marker Title: In Vicinity of French Trading Area (4.5 Miles West)
City: Archer City
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: from Archer City, take FM 25 North about 2 miles to roadside park at intersection with FM 210.
Marker Text: In the mid-1700s, Indians of this region met at a trading ground near this site with Frenchmen who brought them manufactured goods, sometimes including guns and ammunition--products denied them by the Spanish who held sovereignty, but could not prevent intrusions from Louisiana. The Spanish explorer Jose Mares on a road-mapping expedition here in 1787 saw evidences of the French. Among noted early-day visitors were Captain R.B. Marcy of the U.S. Army and Indian agent R.S. Neighbors, who camped nearby in 1854 while seeking a good site for an Indian reservation. (1974)

Captain John Holliday

Marker Title: Captain John Holliday
City: Holliday
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: From Holliday, take US 82 north about 1 mile.
Marker Text: (Dec. 8, 1811 - Aug. 19, 1842) Born Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania; came to Texas about 1835, joined Texian Army, and was one of 24 survivors of the Goliad Massacre, March 27, 1836. Joined Texian-Santa Fe Expedition, and en route to New Mexico, Aug. 4, 1841, carved his name on a tree in this vicinity. After reaching Santa Fe, the party was arrested and marched to Perote Prison near Mexico City. In Aug. 1842, Holliday was released, but he died of yellow fever aboard ship two days from Galveston, and was buried at sea. Nearby Holliday Creek and the town of Holliday were named for the carving on the tree. (1973)

Jesse James Hideout

Marker Title: A Jesse James Hideout
City: Archer City
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: Courthouse lawn, Highway 79, Center Street, Archer City.
Marker Text: Jesse James, celebrated 1860s-1882 Missouri outlaw, used to visit in Archer City in house built by Stone Land and Cattle Company for its manager, Allen H. Parmer (1848-1927), his Confederate comrade of the Civil War and husband of his sister Susan (1849-89). With Frank James, his brother and aide, the outlaw chief hid at the Parmers' when hunted for train and bank robberies or on other occasions. Jesse James was killed in 1882; Frank and his wife continued to visit at Parmer's house, which was later moved from original site. Parmer brought up a family of respected, upright citizens. Erected by Archer County Historical Survey Committee. House is shown only by appointment, 1972.

Marcy Trail

Marker Title: Marcy Trail
City: Windthorst
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: From Windthorst, take U.S.281 south about 4.5 miles.
Marker Text: Mapped 1849 by U.S. Army Capt. Randolph B. Marcy. Used for California gold rush; export of buffalo hides; West Texas settlers; cattle drives; 1859 Indian exodus from Texas. Route connected Texas Ranger frontier posts. Wagon ruts, water stops visible 3 miles to west. Erected by the Archer County Historical Survey Committee, 1967.

Old Buffalo Road

Marker Title: Old Buffalo Road
Address: 15 mi. NE on SH 79
City: Archer City
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: from Archer City, take US Highway 79 northeast about 15 miles.
Marker Text: Named for traffic in buffalo hides and bones, road from plains hunting grounds crossed this site. Hunters hauled thousands of hides to market in 1870s. The first settlers in late 1870s-80s sold bones for fertilizer and bought supplies to sustain life during hard times. Erected by Archer County Historical Survey Committee, 1973.

On Route of the Comanche Exodus

Marker Title: On Route of the Comanche Exodus
Address: SH 114, adjacent to city park
City: Megargel
Year Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Location: SH 114, City Park, Megargel.
Marker Text: After living 1854-58 on the reservation set aside by State of Texas near Camp Cooper (30 mi. SW), the Comanche Indians with their goods were removed to Oklahoma. Near this spot on a head branch of Kickapoo Creek (so named, 1830) the exodus camped on Aug. 3, 1859, with its escort, a company of 1st United States Infantry under Capt. C.C. Gilbert, along with the Indian agent Matthew Leeper. At same time (25 mi. E), Maj. George H. Thomas escorted the supervising Indian agent, Maj. R.S. Neighbors, and 1059 Lower Brazos Reserve Indians to Oklahoma reservation. Megargel was founded here, 1910. Erected by Archer County Historical Survey Committee. (1971)

Stone Houses

Marker Title: The Stone Houses
City: Windthorst
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: from Windthorst, take US 281 5 miles south, then 5 miles south on Highway 16.
Marker Text: Named for shapes resembling teepees; an Indian ceremonial ground, yielding war paint. In famed "Battle of Stone Houses," Nov. 10, 1837, Lt. A. Van Benthousen and 18 Rangers (hunting stolen horses) were attacked 1.5 miles west of here by 150 Keechis. Ten Rangers and 50 Indians died in 3-hour battle. Indians fired the grass. Rangers lost their horses but escaped through a ravine and walked back to settlements. In 1874, area's first permanent home was built near the stone houses (and 5 mi. W of here) by English-born Dr. R.O. Prideaux (1844-1930), who helped organize this county. Erected by Archer County Historical Survey Committee, 1970.

Captain Tullius C. Tupper

On October 31st 1870, Captain Tullius C. Tupper's Group G, Sixth Cavalry spent seventeen days scouting between Little and Big Wichita River, Texas, south and east of the Little Wichita. The distance marched was two hundred and thirty miles. They were attacked by Indians on the night of October 6th at 10:30 p.m., about three miles north and thirty-five miles from the mouth of the Little Wichita River. The charge of the Indians was promptly repulsed. Nine horses belonging to the company were lost during the engagement. Heavy and almost incessant rain commenced on the following day and continued for 36 hours, rendering a successful pursuit of the Indians impossible.

Picture of Major Tullius C. Tupper

Captain J.A. Wilcox

On May 12, 1872, Captain J.A. Wilcox was in command of detachment troop C, Fourth U.S. Cavalry, between Big and Little Wichita River, Texas when they were attacked by the Kiowas. Two Indians were killed and one soldier wounded.

Captain W.A. Rafferty

Capt. W.A. Rafferty commanding station at Fort Richardson, Texas, Troop M, Sixth Cavalry on September 26, 1870, left with twenty-two enlisted men of the company and one officer on a scout trip and returned to the post October 7th. They marched a distance of two hundred and thirty miles, killed two Indians beyond Little Wichita River and about sixty-five miles northwest of Fort Richardson, capturing eighteen horses.

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