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Duval 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. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Numbers 30-31
30-Duval County | 31-Duval, John C.

Southern Texas Map

31-John C. Duval

Marker Title: John C. Duval
City: Freer
County: Duval
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Missing
Marker Text: (1816 - 1897) First Texas man of letters. Wrote history not as a visitor, but a participant, and wrote to entertain and inspire. His "Early times in Texas" tells of days when, by bringing news of the outside world to the lonely settlers, a man could travel from the Sabine to the Rio Grande and spend not a cent for board. It also gives a personal account of Palm Sunday 1836 at Goliad, when Santa Anna's men shot down disarmed Texas prisoners of War -- a massacre from which Duval himself escaped, though an older brother was killed. His books, including "Early Times," "Bigfoot Wallace" and "Young Explorers," were not widely distributed at the time of publication, but made history live. As a young Austin citizen, the renowned O. Henry was influenced by Duval's work; so was J. Frank Dobie, dean of 20th century Texas writers. Duval was born in Kentucky; son of a territorial governor of Florida. Graduate of the University of Virginia. Civil engineer. First came to Texas in 1835. Fought in the Texas Revolution. Was a Texas Ranger and made a career of surveying frontier lands. Fought in the Mexican War and in the Civil War. This county was named for him and for two of his distinguished brothers. (1965)

30-Duval County

Marker Title: Duval County
City: San Diego
County: Duval
Year Marker Erected: 1996
Marker Location: 404 East Gravis, San Diego
Marker Text: Created by the Texas Legislature in 1858 and organized in 1879, Duval County played an important role in the economic and political development of South Texas. Early settlers came to this area in the mid-19th century from Mexico, and Anglo pioneers began arriving in the 1860s. The early economy was based on ranching and agriculture. In the late 1870s the railroad brought increased employment and population to the county. The discovery of oil, gas, and uranium in the early 1900s boosted the economy and caused increased settlement in the region. (1996)

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