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

Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Barbed Wire in Cooke County | Butterland Overland Stage Line | Cooke County | Cooke County, C.S.A. | Cross Timbers | Gainesville | Great Hanging at Gainesville | Kiowa Raid of 1868 (SW Part of County) | Montague, Daniel (First Cooke County Surveyor) | Morton Museum of Cooke County | Washington House (Sycamore Creek Ranch)
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Cooke and Montague Counties, Big Raid into
Uncommemorated Active Battle Map (Stories below are on map.)
Grant, Charlie | Raid Through Montague, Cooke and Denton | Massacre of the Porter Family | Raid Through Montague, Cooke and Denton Counties During September of 1866 | Big Tree's Bloody Raid Through Montague and Cooke Counties | Capture of Dick Freeman and John Bailey
1861 Red River Valley
Barbed Wire in Cooke County

Marker Title: Barbed Wire in Cooke County
Address: 100 E. California
City: Gainesville
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: 100 East California, Gainesville.
Marker Text: The development of barbed wire fencing had a revolutionary impact on the economy and settlement pattern in Texas. In 1874, Joseph Glidden of Illinois received a patent for his barbed wire. By 1875, Henry B. Sanborn had come to North Texas as Glidden's barbed wire salesman. Cleaves & Fletcher Hardware, once located at this site, and other Gainesville businesses began to stock Glidden's Barbed Wire as it came into demand by Texas ranchers. Sanborn's 1875 transaction with Cleaves & Fletcher may represent the earliest sale of two-stranded modern barbed wire in Texas. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986.

Butterfield Overland Stage Line

Marker Title: Butterfield Overland Stage Line
Address: Grand Avenue and Star
City: Gainesville
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Grand Avenue and Star, Gainesville.
Marker Text: Gainesville was a station on the Southern Overland Mail Line (Butterfield Route), which provided semi-weekly mail and stage service between St. Louis and San Francisco, 1858-1861. The line was 2795 miles long--one of the longest stage transportation routes ever established. 1964

Cooke County

Marker Title: Cooke County
Address: Moffett Park
City: Gainesville
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: East of Elm Fork Bridge on SH 51, in Moffett Park, Gainesville.
Marker Text: Created March 20, 1848. Organized March 10, 1849. Named in honor of William G. Cooke 1808-1847. Captain of the "New Orleans Greys," 1835; Assistant Inspector General at San Jacinto, 1836; member of the Santa Fe Expedition, 1841; Secretary of War and Marine, 1845; Adjutant General, 1846-1847; County Seat, Gainesville. 1964

Cooke County, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Cooke County, C.S.A./2nd Frontier Regiment
Address: Moffett Park
City: Gainesville
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: East of Elm Fork Bridge on SH 51, in Moffett Park, Gainesville.
Marker Text: Military, defense center in Civil War. Cooke voted 231 to 137 anti-secession, yet nine military units served Confederacy from here. In constant danger of Federal or Indian attack. Col. Wm. C. Young of Cooke, with 1,000 men took Indian Territory forts from Federals April-May 1861. Commissioners set up regular patrols. Forted a home as refuge for dependents. Gave $4,000 for munitions and wool cards to make cloth. Cotton gin, grist mill, gunsmiths, blacksmiths made war goods. C.S.A. was furnished epsom salts from Indian creek. Corn, beef, pork, wheat, other produce fed the military, home front. County swapped 25 steers for salt for dependent families. People worked hard, sacrificed much, protected homes of fighting men of Confederacy. (Back of Cooke County, C.S.A.) Organized Oct. 1863 with Gainesville as headquarters, the Second Frontier Regiment, Texas Cavalry C.S.A. guarded counties along Red River, to keep down outlaws, Indians, deserters. Col. James Bourland (1803-1868) was appointed Commander and it became known as "Bourland's Border Regiment." Union invasion from north of Red River was constantly threatened. These mounted troops patrolled, maintained posts along river and in Indian Territory. Confederate Seminole troops served with the unit. Famous Confederate Indian Gen. Stand Watie and his Cherokee Brigade shared duty along perilous border. Bourland also worked with Frontier Regiment, state troops, that maintained line posts 100 mi. west, a day's horseback ride apart, from Red to Rio Grande rivers, and with a state militia line 30 mi. to the west. Erected by The State of Texas 1963.

Cross Timbers

Marker Title: The Cross Timbers
Address: US 82 roadside park
City: Gainesville
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: From Gainesville take US 82 about 5 miles to roadside park on the south side of highway.
Marker Text: Two long, narrow strips of timber extending parallel to each other from Oklahoma to Central Texas; form a marked contrast to adjacent prairie. The more fertile East Cross Timbers begin here in Cooke County. Area was famous pioneer landmark as well as obstacle to travel because of its dense growth. It divided the hunting grounds of the Plains and East Texas Indians. Until 1870s it marked boundary of settlement, for Plains Indians avoided the timber. Forests' most important function was (and is) causing soil to retain water. (1970)


Marker Title: Gainesville
Address: US 82 E, roadside park
City: Gainesville
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: From Gainesville take US 82 about 5 miles east to roadside park, north side of highway.
Marker Text: Founded 1850. Named for Gen. Edmund P. Gaines, who in 1836 aided Republic of Texas. Military supply headquarters during Civil War. Important in defense against Indian attacks and invasion. Center for agriculture, industry, oil. Home of famed Gainesville Community Circus. (1964)

Great Hanging at Gainesville

Marker Title: Great Hanging at Gainesville, 1862
City: Gainesville
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: East of Elm Fork Bridge - SH 51 (south side of road), Gainesville. (This marker has been moved and is now located on east bank of Pecan Creek, between Main St. and California St. The marker at one time was located west of I-35, near Elm Creek. It was moved here a few years ago.)
Marker Text: Facing the threat of invasion from the north and fearing a Unionist uprising in their midst, the people of North Texas lived in constant dread during the Civil War. Word of a "Peace Party" of Union sympathizers, sworn to destroy their government, kill their leaders, and bring in Federal troops caused great alarm in Cooke and neighboring counties. Spies joined the "Peace Party" discovered its members and details of their plans. Under the leadership of Colonels James Bourland, Daniel Montague and others, citizens loyal to the Confederacy determined to destroy the order; and on the morning of October 1, 1862, there were widespread arrests "by authority of the people of Cook County." Fear of rescue by "Peace Party" members brought troops and militia to Gainesville, where the prisoners were assembled, and hastened action by the citizens committee. At a meeting of Cooke County citizens, with Colonel W.C. Young presiding, it was unanimously resolved to establish a Citizens Court and to have the Chairman choose a committee to select a jury. 68 men were brought speedily before the court. 39 of them were found guilty of conspiracy and insurrection, sentenced and immediately hanged. Three other prisoners who were members of military units were allowed trial by Court Martial at their request and were subsequently hanged by its order. Two others broke from their guard and were shot and killed. The Texas Legislature appropriated $4,500 for rations, forage used by State troops here during the unrest. (1964) More

Kiowa Raid of 1868 (SW Part of County)

Marker Title: Kiowa Raid of 1868 (SW Part of County)
City: Valley View
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: From Valley View take IH-35 3 miles north to rest stop on east side of highway.
Marker Text: On Jan. 5-6, 1868, Chief Big Tree and 150 to 200 Kiowas raided Willa Walla Valley, Clear Creek and Blocker Creek. Burned homes; killed 13 people; scalped one woman alive. Captured 10 women and children; 3 escaped, 2 were ransomed. Raiders reached Elm Creek at Gainesville before blizzard forced withdrawal. More damage and deaths would have resulted if George Masoner had not become the "Paul Revere" of valleys and warned settlers of impending danger. Indian raids such as this one were in retaliation for loss of hunting grounds to settlers. (1968)

Daniel Montague (First Cooke County Surveyor)

Marker Title: Montague, Daniel (First Cooke County Surveyor)
City: Gainesville
County: Cooke
Marker Location: from Gainesville take US 82 west about 7.3 miles to roadside park on south side of road.
Marker Text: (1793 - 1876) Born in Massachusetts. Moved to Texas 1836. Accepted post of surveyor, Fannin Land District, helping settlers locate claims and fight Indians. Joined Snively Expedition to capture Mexican traders trespassing in Republic of Texas, 1843, Captain of Company in Mexican War, 1846. When Cooke County was created, 1848, Montague was named County Surveyor. Like most surveyors, took land as pay for duty that called for constant risk of life. Rifles to stand off Indians were in field kits. Like Surveyor-Senator John H. Reagan, Montague was honored in having a county named for him.

Morton Museum of Cooke County

Museum Name: Morton Museum of Cooke County
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 150
City: Gainesville
Zip Code: 76240
Area Code: 817
Phone: 668-8900

Washington House (Sycamore Creek Ranch)

Marker Title: Washington House (Sycamore Creek Ranch)
Address: Sycamore Creek Ranch
City: Dexter
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: From Dexter, take County Road 103 north about 4 miles to Sycamore Creek Ranch gate. Marker is on private property.
Marker Text: Built 1867 by J.R. Washington, with lumber hauled by oxen from Jefferson, Texas. Architecture is Queen Anne Period; gingerbread trim. Excellent water facilities made ranch a collection center for cattle prior to trail drives. As home of a cattle industry leader, attracted distinguished visitors, including ranchers Chas. Goodnight and J.C. Loving, and statesman Sam Rayburn. Property in one family five generations. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967. Incise in base: Owned by K.B. and Neva McCain Yost, and By Lynda Yost Lindh, and Beverly Yost Lindh, (Mrs. Yost a grand-daughter of J.R. Washington).

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