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 Brazos Trail Region

Map of Cass County

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Cass County | Chalybeate Springs | Civilian Conservation Corps at Linden | Coleman, Bessie | Hugh Springs, Town of | Texas Confederate Legislator, Dr. M.D.K. Taylor | Trammel's Trace | Whittaker Memorial Cemetery
Cass County

Marker Title: Cass County
City: Linden
County: Cass
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: roadside park, US 59, 7 mi. NE of Linden
Marker Text: Formed from Bowie County land. Created April 25, 1846; organized July 13, 1846. Named in honor of Gen. Lewis Cass (1782-1866), United States soldier and statesman, a strong advocate of annexation of Texas. Important river port city of Jefferson was county seat until Marion County was carved out of Cass in 1860; Linden, near center of county, then became county seat. During wave of sectional patriotism in 1861, the name "Cass" was changed to "Davis", in honor of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate states. The original name was restored in 1871. Erected by the State of Texas - 1971

Chalybeate Springs
Marker Title: Chalybeate Springs
City: Hughes Springs
County: Cass
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: Spring Park on 3rd St. (between Ward and Harrison St.)
Marker Text: (Pronounced "KA LIB E ATE) Discovered in 1839 by brothers Reece and Robert Hughes (from Alabama) while looking for pirate gold. springs derive name from iron salts in water. In 1847 Reece Hughes (1811-1893), wealthy planter who later built iron foundry, started the first town of Hughes Springs here.

Civilian Conservation Corps at Linden
Marker Title: Civilian Conservation Corps at Linden
City: Linden
County: Cass
Year Marker Erected: 2001
Marker Location: 0.5 mile north of SH 11 on Legion Rd., Linden
Marker Text: As part of the New Deal's efforts to offer unemployed workers jobs on public projects, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the United States Congress created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in March 1933. Three months later, Company 1814 was organized in Fort Logan, Colorado, to serve in reforestation and other conservation efforts. After transfers to Groveton and Austin, Texas, the company was transferred to Linden on June 4, 1937. The CCC enrollees in Linden established their camp here on the nearby hillside. Working closely with the U. S. Forest Service, they built 35 miles of roads with 25 bridges, ran 147 miles of telephone line, and spent many hours fighting and suppressing forest fires in the area. While living here, the men also landscaped their campground with flowers and grass. In April 1939, they held an open house for the community during which hundreds of residents came out to learn of the accomplishments of the local CCC camp. On October 4, 1939, company 1814 was transferred to Arizona, and the camp in Linden was abandoned. Some physical evidence of their headquarters, including rock walls, cabin foundations and equipment, remains at the site. Their legacy stands as an important part of the heritage of Cass County and the East Texas forest industry. (2001)

Coleman, Bessie
Marker Title: Bessie Coleman
Address: 101 N. East St.
City: Atlanta
County: Cass
Year Marker Erected: 2002
Marker Text: (1892-1926) The tenth of 13 children born to tenant farmers Susan and George Coleman, famed aviatrix Bessie Coleman was a native of Atlanta, Texas. The family moved to Waxahachie when Bessie was two years old. She followed her brothers to Chicago in 1915 and developed an interest in flying. Because she could find no one in the United States who would teach an African-American woman, Coleman learned to fly in France and obtained her international pilot's license in 1921. Upon her return to the United States, she was hailed as the first black woman to pilot an airplane. Bessie Coleman died in an air accident in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1926 and is buried near Chicago. (2002)

Hugh Springs, Town of
Marker Title: Town of Hughes Springs
City: Hughes Springs
County: Cass
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Text: Founded by Reece Hughes (1811-1893), who settled in Texas, 1839. In 1841 he married Elizabeth Rose, daughter of patriot Wm. Pinckney Rose. Her dowry enabled him to start a great plantation. After her death in 1853, he wed her sister, Mrs. J. w. Scott. In 1847 Reece Hughes founded the town of Hughes Springs at a famous chalybeate (iron salt-bearing) spring. It prospered for some years, becoming the site of a large boarding school and a favored place for church camp meetings, but later it declined. In 1878, Hughes' descendants founded present Hughes Springs.

Texas Confederate Legislator, Dr. M.D.K. Taylor
Marker Title: Texas Confederate Legislator, Dr. M.D.K. Taylor
City: Linden
County: Cass
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: on US 59 (east side of road) about 9 mi. S of Linden in roadside park
Marker Text: Alabama physician. Came to Texas, 1847. Served Cass County in Texas House and Senate for 24 years. Was called the ablest parliamentarian of his time. Served as one of the speakers of Texas House of Representatives in critical Civil War years, 1861-65. Legislators passed laws to raise, equip and supply 90,000 Texas soldiers who fought on all fronts and provided for defense of state's 2000 mile frontier and coast against Indians, enemy troops and ships. As naval blockade reduced imports, the Legislature established plants to make guns, powder, cloth, salt. Contracts, subsidies and land grants were provided to encourage private industry to help meet heavy wartime demands for arms, supplies, clothing, food. Taylor and the other lawmakers taxed property and business and required farmers to turn in tithes of produce to meet the crisis. Funds were voted to buy cotton for state exchange for goods in Mexico to aid soldiers' dependents, and to provide hospitals and medical care for troops-- in and out of state. The Legislature was in almost continuous session. Poor pay and inflated Confederate money caused many members to live in tents and covered wagons on the Capitol grounds, and cook over campfires.

Trammel's Trace
Marker Title: Trammel's Trace
City: Hughes Springs
County: Cass
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: in Spring Park on 3rd St. between Ward and Harrison St., Hughes Springs
Marker Text: Entered Cass County at Epperson's Ferry. Continued south and west in an arc, passing through Chalybeate Springs (Hughes Springs). This 1813 pioneer trail originated in St. Louis and linked the "Southwest Trail" with the King's Highway to Mexico. It was laid out by Nicholas Trammel (1780-1852).

Whittaker Memorial Cemetery
Marker Title: Whittaker Memorial Cemetery
City: Kildare
County: Cass
Year Marker Erected: 1996
Marker Location: on FM 248, about 3 mi. S. of Kildare
Marker Text: This African American cemetery was once part of a large plantation owned by South Carolina native Willis Whitaker (Whittaker), who came to Texas in 1840 with his family and more than 50 slaves. Whitaker had acquired nearly 3000 acres by 1850; a six-acre tract of land was given as a cemetery for the slaves of the plantation. Those buried here were slaves, freed African Americans, and their descendants. The earliest graves may be those of seven Freemen killed on the plantation in 1868. An epidemic of malaria in 1896 claimed many lives, as did the diseases of smallpox and tuberculosis. It is believed that some of these victims were transported to the cemetery for mass burial. Natural disasters also took their toll; eight members of one family were killed in a wind storm in 1900. Many people were buried in unmarked graves, while others received makeshift markers and rocks as tombstones. Family members placed new headstones to replace some broken or illegible markers. Documented burials number more than 350, including educators, businessmen, and veterans. This cemetery is still in use by citizens of the area, as well as many former residents who are returned here to be buried.
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