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 Coryell County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Coryell County | Coryell County Courthouse | Fort Gates, Site of | Gatesville | Gholson, Benjamin F. | Grubb, Wiley Parker | Mother Neff State Park | Ogletree Stagestop and Post Office
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Bloody Raid in Bell & Coryell Counties | Almond Boyd | Coryell Citizens Kill Indian Near Ferry (See Below) | Elam, Charlie (See Below) | Samuel Graham | Gholson, B.F. | Jesse J. Griffith and John S. White | Killing of Williamson and Escape of Hendrickson | Smith, Jack

1861 Central Hill Country
Coryell County

Marker Title: Coryell County
Address: 8.5 mi. E on US 84
City: Gatesville
County: Coryell
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Gatesville, take SH 84 east about 8.5 mi in picnic area.
Marker Text: Formed from Bell County; created February 4, 1854--Organized March 4, 1854. Named in Honor of James Coryell, born in Tennesse in 1796; a member of the Bowie Expedition to the old San Saba Silver Mines in 1831; a Texas Ranger; killed by Indians near Fort Milam May 27, 1837. County seat Fort Gates 1854; Gatesville since.

Coryell County Courthouse

Marker Title: Coryell County Courthouse
Address: 600 Main Street
City: Gatesville
County: Coryell
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: Courthouse lawn, 600th Block of Main St., Gatesville
Marker Text: An outstanding example of Second Empire Victorian style, often seen in Texas Courthouse design. Erected in 1897 on land donated by early settler R.G. Grant. Architect for this third Coryell Courthouse was W.C. Dodson; builder,Tom Lovell. Limestone and red sandstone blocks were precut to the exact size at quarry, then hauled here by horse-drawn wagons. At each entrance are columns in Roman Corinthian style; and over the east entrance are columns in Roman Corinthian style; and over the east entrance is builder's mark of an owl. Statues on the roof represent "Justice." Noted trials have been held in this building.

Fort Gates, Site of

Marker Title: Fort Gates, Site of
City: Gatesville
County: Coryell
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Gatesville, take US 84 U.S. mi SE (Marker is off roadside.)
Marker Text: First settlement in Coryell County. Established by Brevet Colonel W.R. Montgomery, 8th U.S.Infantry October 26, 1849, on the military post road between Austin and Fort Graham as a protection of the frontier against hostile Indians. Named in honor of Collinson R. Gates, gallant officer in the Mexican War. Abandoned in March 1852, as the frontier line had advanced further westward. Used as a place of defense by settlers during Indian raids. First county seat of Coryell County, February 4 - May 27, 1854 when Gatesville was established.


Marker Title: Gatesville
City: Gatesville
County: Coryell
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: In front of City Hall, 8th & Sanders, Gatesville
Marker Text: County seat of Coryell County, Gatesville began in 1854 after the county was created. Richard Grant, an Indian trader and local landowner, donated the townsite. It was named for Old Fort Gates (1849-1852), which had been established 5 miles east for Indian protection. The Fort, named for U.S. Army major G.R. Gates, was the first settlement in the county. For a few months Fort Gates served as county seat, but then Gatesville was chosen. The County's first mail line--from Gatesville to Belton--was set up in 1855. The town grew slowly at first, suffering from intermittent Indian raids, but the period from 1870 to 1882 saw great progress. In 1870 the town was incorporated and in 1872 a courthouse was built. When St. Louis & Southwestern railroad ran a spur line to Gatesville in 1882, the citizens held a gala welcoming celebration. With the railroad came prosperity and many new homes and businesses. A fine opera house, frontier symbol of culture, was erected and numerous civic improvements were initiated. Today the town is the home of the Gatesville and Mountain View State schools for boys. The economy of the area is based on ranching and agriculture.

Benjamin F. Gholson

Marker Title: Benjamin F. Gholson
City: Evant
County: Coryell
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: From Evant, go 1 mile south on Highway 281 and go east about 1.0 mile on Langford Cove Road to cemetery.
Marker Text: (Nov. 17, 1842-April 3, 1932) Born in Falls County. Son of early Texas settlers Albert G. and Elidia Anderson Gholson. After 1858-1859 service with Texas Rangers, he re-enlisted in company under Capt. J.M. Smith, and in 1860 aided in the rescue of Cynthia Ann Parker, kidnapped by Comanche Indians in 1836. Served in 2nd Regiment, Texas Cavalry in Civil War. Married Jane Adaline Langford. Prominent stockman, was active in the Texas Ex-Rangers Association.

Grubb, Wiley Parker

Marker Title: Grubb, Wiley Parker (1846 - 1918)
Address: Cemetery
City: Ireland
County: Coryell
Year Marker Erected: 1993
Marker Location: From Ireland, tke CR 182 s. 1.4 mi to Wiley P. Grubb Cemetery.
Marker Text: (May 19, 1846- January 23, 1918) Wiley Parker Grubb, the son of Jacob N. and Mary Ann (Wiley) Grubb, was born in Walker County, Texas. He joined the Texas Rangers in 1863 and in 1865 was wounded at the battle of Dove Creek near present day San Angelo. He married Georgia Hester in 1872. In 1874 he bought land here in Coryell County from his father where he ranched and became a prominent landowner. Approximately 2 acres surrounding Grubb's grave site were deeded as a public cemetery in 1937.

Mother Neff State Park

Marker Title: Mother Neff State Park
City: The Grove
County: Coryell
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: From The Grove, take SH 236 about 6 mi NE to Park Road 14 then follow west 1 mi to Park entrance.
Marker Text: First official state park in Texas; suggested the idea for the State Parks system. Originated with a 6-acre plot willed to Texas in 1916 by Mrs. Isabella E. Neff, mother of Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas (1921-1925) Because Texas then had no state parks, Mrs. Neff stated the land was to be used for religious, fraternal, political, and educational activities. Seeing the need for more such areas, in 1923, the 39th Legislature created the State Parks Board. In 1934 Pat Neff deeded 250 acres, and other owners 3 acres, to enlarge the original tract.

Ogletree Stagestop and Post Office

Marker Title: Ogletree Stagestop and Post Office
Address: US 190 right-of-way, 1 mi. S
City: Copperas Cove
County: Coryell
Year Marker Erected: 1979
Marker Location: From Copperas Cove, intersection of Hwy 190 & FM 116 N, take Hwy 190 west about 1.2 mi.
Marker Text: After Marsden Ogletree (1819-1896) and his family migrated from Georgia, he recieved a land grant in 1878. Inscriptions on two stones in this house indicate the structure was erected the same year. It served as the family home, grain store, and stopping place for the Lampasas to Belton stagecoach. Since the mail arrived by stage, a post office was opened here in 1879 with Ogletree as postmaster. Legend says that the settlement received the name "Coperas Cove" from a copperas-tasting spring in the cove of a nearby mountain. Samuel Gilmore served as the second Postmaster. In 1881 Gilmore's father-in-law Jesse M. Clements (1822-1900) and his wife Charley deeded land for the right-of-way to the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad. The following year the railroad laid out the new townsite of Copperas Cove. Soon the center of the community, including the post office, moved over to the railroad. Later the town corrected the spelling of its name to "Copperas Cove." In 1891 Clements bought this house and used it as the headquarters for his large ranching operations. The old stone stagestop remains a visible link with the community's pioneer heritage.

Charlie Elam

    Charlie Elam and his five children lived near his father-in-law, William Moorehead, on Henson Creek southwest of Gatesville. Early one morning he and his son, W.J., went out to find the oxen. After searching nearly all day, Mr. Elam told his son he could return home, but that he himself would come in later. That evening, however, he was massacred by the Indians, and it is generally supposed that a part of the original Indians who massacred the Jackson family, did the deed. Mr. Elam was massacred near the headwaters of Henson Creek, about nine miles southwest of Gatesville.

    Ref.: Before writing this article, the author conferred with B.F. Gholson, and others who were familiar with the circumstances. Seventy Years in Texas, by J.M. Franks.

Citizens of Coryell Kill Several Indians Near Ferry

    During 1861 it was discovered the Indians were raiding in Coryell County. Consequently, Curran Richardson, Ike Richardson, James Wylie, Wm. Study, Brazier and about five others rushed to Lookout Mountain near the present village, Ferry, to waylay the Indians as they left the settlements. In due time, the savages arrived and the citizens killed five of the seven savages.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

We received the following e-mail concerning this story:

Hi there- Love your site! It is a continual inspiration to me and I thank you! I wanted to let you in on a tiny misspelling that might help you find the location of a bloody indian raid site.... It talks about the town of "Ferry" - but I think you mean the town of "Fairy" - located 20 miles outside of Jonesboro - and in close locale to coryell county.

Maybe that helps? Again, thanks again for a great site! Megan Harris

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