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 Falls County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Bucksnort | Carter, Captain Henry Gray | Falls County | Falls County Courthouse | Falls of the Brazos River | Fort Milam | Harrison, General Thomas | Indian Battlefield | Marlin | McLennan's Bluff | Mustang Prairie | Pool, Jonathan Cochran | Sarahville de Viesca, Site of Colonial Capital | Williams, William F.
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Captain Howard's Comanche Fight
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Camp Chambers | Slaying of Ranger James Coryell


Marker Title: Bucksnort
City: Marlin
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1989
Marker Location: From Marlin, take SH 6 about .5 mi. (thru city limits), then go west . 8 mi. on FM 712.
Marker Text: This area was first settled in 1837 by members of the Marlin and Menefee families. The settlement grew steadily, and for a time was known as Jarett Menefee's Supply Station. By the 1840s the village boasted a school, general store, blacksmith shop, racetrack, stable, saloon, stagecoach stop, and post office. According to local legend, the name Bucksnort was coined by an inebriated patron of the saloon. By the 1850s, as settlers moved into other areas in the county, Bucksnort was no longer a viable community.

Captain Henry Gray Carter

Marker Title: Captain Henry Gray Carter
City: Marlin
County: Falls
Marker Location: 407 Gift St., Marlin
Marker Text: Born in Weston, Vermont. Moved to Texas in 1852. Enlisted as a Lieutenant in Confederate Army (Gen. Tom Green's Brigade, Texas Calvary) in 1861, during Civil War. Promoted to Captain in 1862 for gallantry, he fought against Gen. N. P.Banks' Army at Fort Butler, Mansfield, Bisland, and Pleasant Hill, where he was wounded. Married Cleopatra Williams in 1864. Moved to Marlin in 1871 and became prominent banker, rancher, and business leader. Built house on this site in 1871; in 1926 it was remodeled. Original ax-hewn log foundation, fireplaces, and square nails are still visible.

Falls County

Marker Title: Falls County
City: Marlin
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: From Marlin, take Sh 6 about 4.5 mi S.
Marker Text: Created Jan. 28, 1850, from Limestone and Milam counties. Organized Aug. 5, 1850. Named for falls on the Brazos River which flows through the center of the county. White colonization in the area pre-dates the Texas Revolution, but colonists fled on news of Santa Anna's assault, 1836. John Marlin, for whom county seat was named, returned and settled near present city. Growth was steady and the first railroad reached the county in 1870. A center for farming, manufacturing and dairying. Curative artesian water gives Marlin recognition as a health spa.

Falls County Courthouse

Marker Title: Falls County Courthouse
Address: 125 Bridge St.
City: Marlin
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 2000
Marker Text: The Texas legislature created Falls County in 1850. The first courthouse was a log cabin, possibly located on this site. In 1855 the county seat (then Adams) was renamed Marlin, and construction was completed on what became the courthouse square. The second courthouse, built of native white cedar, burned about 1870. The third courthouse was completed by 1876 but was damaged in an 1886 storm. Houston architect Eugene Heiner drew the plans for a fourth courthouse, which was completed in 1888. It deteriorated quickly, and county officials began to seek funding for a new edifice. Work began on a fifth Falls County courthouse in 1938. A county bond issue for $130,000 was matched with a 45% Public Works Administration grant in 1938. The cornerstone was leveled by the Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M., on July 4, 1939, and the building was completed by December. Much of the façade is Austin shellstone; Texas pink granite makes up the entry steps. The courthouse was designed in the Art Moderne style by architect Arthur E. Thomas of Dallas, and was constructed by San Antonio contractors Hill and Combs. Its symmetrical façade is dominated by a three-story central entry tower with key pattern stonework across the tower parapet. Among its unusual features are the massive shellstone entry surrounds and decorative corner pilasters. Arthur E. Thomas designed various other notable structures in Texas from the late 1930s to 1970, including other courthouses and projects for the Marlin Independent School District. The 1939 Falls County courthouse continues to serve as the center of county government. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-2000

Falls of the Brazos River

Marker Title: Falls of the Brazos River
City: Marlin
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Location: From Marlin, take FM 712 SW about 5 mi. to east bank of Brazos River in park.
Marker Text: When Anglo-Americans began to settle in Texas, the falls of the Brazos were located 2 miles southwest of here. At that time, the water fell about 10 feet over a rocky ledge. The falls served the Indians and early settlers as a trial landmark, meeting point, and campsite. In 1834 colonizer Sterling C. Robertson (1785-1842) established the town of Sarahville De Viesca at the fall line of the west bank of the Brazos, but it was abandoned in 1836 because of Indian hostilities. Later renamed Ft. Milam, the settlement lasted only a few more years. It was followed by the town of Bucksnort, begun in the 1840s on the east side of the river. The falls also formed a natural fording place for frontier travel; the rocky stream bed was the only hard-bottom crossing of the Brazos within 200 miles of the coast. The rapids marked the limit of the river's 19th century steamboat traffic as well. Organized in 1850, Falls County was named for this distinctive landmark. Marlin became the county seat in 1851, and Bucksnort soon disappeared. The Brazos River changed course in 1866, moving the Fall line to the present site and lowering the rapids to about 2 feet. Today a county park is located along both sides of the river a county park is located along both sides of River at the falls.

Fort Milam (More)

Marker Title: Fort Milam
City: Marlin
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Marlin, take FM 712 about 4 mi SW to FM 2027, then Go south 2 mi. to local road. Take road east .7 mi. to Brazos River Falls.
Marker Text: Built at the capital of Robertson's Colony named in 1834 Sarahville De Viesca in honor of his mother Sarah Robertson and the Governor of Texas, Agustin DeViesca. Soon after its name was changed to Milam, December 27, 1835, a ranging company built the fort as a protection to the settlers against hostile Indians. More

General Thomas Harrison

Marker Title: General Thomas Harrison
City: Reagan
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: From Reagan take SH6 about 3.5 mi N. to Roadside Park.
Marker Text: C.S.A. (1823 - 1891) Youngest only trio of Texas Brothers who all gained rank of general in Confederate Army. Lived in Falls County in 1850s. Veteran of Mexican War and of Texas frontier defense. Rose in Civil War to command of Terry's Texas Rangers. Rode with Cavalry of Gen. N.B. Forrest who got "Thar Fustest with the mostest". Fought at Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Ft. Donelson, Knoxville, Atlanta, was wounded 3 times and had 5 horses shot from under him. Elected district judge in 1866, was removed by reconstruction regime. Served as trustee of Waco University.

Picture of Indian Battlefield Centennial Marker
Indian Battlefield Centennial Marker
Photo from the book, Savage Frontier II, by Stephen L. Moore
Indian Battlefield

Marker Title: Indian Battlefield
City: Marlin
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: From Marlin, Take SH 6 north about 6.5 mi.
Marker Text: At this site, near the pioneer home of George Morgan, a battle took place, January 16, 1839, between settlers in this region and Indians under Chief Jose Maria in which the colonists were defeated. A treaty with these Indians made soon after brought comparative peace to this region. More


Marker Title: Marlin
City: Marlin
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1990
Marker Location: Corner of Fortune & Ward Sts., Marlin.
Marker Text: In 1851, one year after Falls County was created, the town of Marlin was designated county seat. Formerly known as Adams, it was renamed for area pioneer John Marlin. The first courthouse was a log structure which also served as a school and community gathering place. A post office was established in 1851, the city was incorporated in 1867, and railroad service began in the 1870s. The discovery of hot mineral water wells in 1892 caused an economic boom. Spas, hotels, and hospitals were built, and Marlin was a noted health resort for the next fifty years.

McLennan's Bluff

Marker Title: McLennan's Bluff
City: Rosebud
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: From Rosebud, take FM 1963 W. about 1.5 mi., then go north on CR 347 about .5 mi.
Marker Text: Once known as "Sugar Loaf," this bluff overlooking Pond Creek was a landmark to early settlers in area. In 1835, Neil McLennan, a native of Scotland, built his home here, on land that had been granted to him as a member of Sterling Clack Robertson's Colony. The present town of Rosebud is located on part of Neil McLennan's land grant. McLennan's brother Laughlin settled his family about one mile north of this site. During the spring of 1836, Indians killed Laughlin McLennan, his wife and his mother, and captured three of his sons. As a result, the Neil McLennan family spent much of their ten years in Falls County in the nearby town of Nashville, a haven for settlers that had been begun by Sterling Robertson. In 1839, while a member of Capt. George Erath's scouting expedition, Neil McLennan first saw the territory that was to become McLennan County. He returned there in 1846, built a home, and lived there until his death in 1867. As part of the earliest Anglo settlement in this part of Texas, the McLennan family helped open the frontier for later immigrants. Their part in the area's history has been remembered with the naming of this bluff and the neighboring county.

Mustang Prairie

Marker Title: Mustang Prairie
City: Marlin
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1997
Marker Location: 16 mi. E of Marlin on SH 7 to Kosse; 3 mi. SW on SH 14 to CR 283.
Marker Text: Though included in the Sterling Robertson grant of 1834, Mustang Prairie had only a handful of settlers prior to the Civil War. With Reconstruction and the 1870 arrival of the railroad at nearby Bremond came many business people. The majority of settlers were from Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi. The first dated burial in Mustang Prairie Cemetery was that of seven-year-old Laura M. Jones in 1869. Most of the families of Mustang Prairie are interred here. By 1872, Jonathan B. Davis had established the New Hope Baptist Church. Schoolchildren first attended classes in the church building; a three-room frame schoolhouse was built in 1877. In 1910 Mustang Prairie was granted a "conditional" eighth grade, and a two-story addition was built. By 1921 a storm had destroyed the building and its two-story addition; the original building was rebuilt. By 1939, only 13 students remained in the school, which was closed in 1940; students transferred to Kosse, later to Bremond. Within the decade, New Hope Baptist Church services were discontinued; the church building was demolished by tornado in the early 1980s. Now a small community, Mustang Prairie upholds a proud history of influence in Falls County and beyond. (1997)

Jonathan Cochran Pool

Marker Title: Jonathan Cochran Pool
City: Lott
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1983
Marker Location: From Lott, take Hwy. 77 south about 3 mi., then go east on CR about 3 mi.
Marker Text: (Aug. 6, 1806 - Feb. 21, 1886) A native of Georgia, Jonathan Cochran Pool moved to Texas with his family in 1815, settling in what is now Red River County. As a young man, he enlisted in the Texian Army and participated in early revolutionary skirmishes at Anahuac, Nacogdoches, and San Antonio. Pool later served as an Indian Scout for Gen. Sam Houston. In 1852 he settled in Falls County, where he was a farmer and stock raiser. A Civil War veteran, Pool was buried at this site on his plantation.

Sarahville de Viesca, Site of Colonial Capital

Marker Title: Sarahville de Viesca, Site of Colonial Capital
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: From Reagan, take SH 6 north about 3.5 mi. to roadside park
Marker Text: Founded 1834 by Sterling C. Robertson, colonizer of a 100 by 200-mile area embracing all or part of 30 later Texas counties. Situated near falls of Brazos River, where over a stony ford passed much traffic between east and southwest Texas, this was Robertson Colony capital. An important Sarahville site was land office, where settlers applied for their titles. Town was named for Robertson's mother, and for Agustin Viesca, Governor of the province of Coahuila and Texas. Target of Indian hostilities, Sarahville was abandoned, 1836.

Williams, William F.

Marker Title: Williams, William F.
City: Kosse
County: Falls
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: From Kosse, take SH 14 about 2 mi. S. (on east side of road).
Marker Text: Kentuckian W.F. Williams met Sam Houston in Tennessee and later joined his army to fight for Texas Independence at the Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. Williams came to Falls County in 1857. A farmer and rancher, he was also a partner in Mosley and Williams General Store in nearby Kosse. He was a member of Eutaw Lodge No. 233, A.F. & A.M. He married Amanda Walling and had ten children.

Camp Chambers

A regular army post near the site of present-day Marlin in Falls County, Fort Chambers was established in May or June of 1840 on the east bank of the Brazos River, two miles north of the present-day Highway 7 crossing. Nothing remains.

Slaying of Ranger James Coryell

May 10th, 1837, a body of about two hundNative Americans made a murder raid through the Brazos settlements including the Post Oak Springs Massacre. Ranger James Coryell and a few other men went down the road to Perry Creek to cut a bee tree. They were sitting around eating honey when about a dozen Caddo Indians attacked them. Coryell stood and received his mortal wounds. His companions retreated to the fort as the Indians began scalping him.

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