Fannin 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. 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.

Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of the Texas Lakes Trail

Map of Fannin County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Confederate Commissary | Crockett Park | Fannin County | Fannin County Courthouses | Fannin County Museum of History | Fort Inglish | Vicinity of Fort Inglish | Site of Fort Lyday | Fort Warren | Gilmer, James G. | Hall-Voyer Exhibits Hall | Inglish Cemetery | Inglish, Bailey | Military Headquarters Northern Sub-District of Texas, C.S.A. | Savage | Sowell, Joseph
Confederate Commissary

Marker Title: Confederate Commissary
City: Bonham
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: SE corner of 6th & N. Main
Marker Text: Army supply headquarters for northern sub-district of Texas. Dispensed uniforms, clothing, blankets, harness, bridles, gear, saddles, food rations. Beef, pork and wild game were cooked in an Army mess kitchen furnace on this site. At least 7 brigades defending the northeastern frontier of Texas drew supplies here. To keep the 1861 Confederate treaty with friendly tribes in Indian Territory, food rations were issued here to civilians of the Choctaw, Cherokee and other nations fighting for the South.

Crockett Park

Marker Title: Crockett Park
City: Honey Grove
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: near the corner of Spring and Market St. (in Crockett Park on Market Street)
Marker Text: Named for David Crockett (1786-1836), the colorful Tennessee pioneer and congressman who rallied to cause of Texas in her war for independence. Late in 1835, Crockett traveled by riverboat, horseback, and on foot, entering Texas along the Red River (NE of here). Camping at a site half a mile northeast of this park, he found wild bees and honey in hollow trees. In letters to family and friends, Crockett called the campsite a "honey grove." It is said he told his friends he would settle here later, but in a few weeks he died in cause of freedom at the Alamo. One of Crockett's old friends, Tennessee surveyor Samuel A. Erwin (1786-1854), became the first settler here (1839) and first postmaster (1846). Benjamin S. Walcott, arriving in 1848, added land of his own to his wife's legacy from James Gilmer. With Erwin as co-founder, he platted town of Honey Grove on the Gilmer grant. He also erected first stone building. By 1885, Honey Grove had many businesses, including a weekly newspaper, "The Independent." Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad reached here in 1887. A peak of 4,000 inhabitants was attained in 1890. Situated on land bought from W.J. Erwin (1919) this park provides recreation for a dynamic community.

Fannin County

Marker Title: Fannin County
City: Bonham
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Location: SH 56 east 4 miles to roadside park
Marker Text: The area was first settled by Anglo-Americans who traveled up the Red River by steamboat in 1836. Fannin County was created in 1837, organized in 1838, and named for James W. Fannin (1805-36), who was massacred with his soldiers at Goliad (March 27, 1836) after surrendering to the Mexican Army. County officials first met at Jacob Black's cabin on the Red River. The county seat was moved in 1840 to Warren and in 1843 to Bois d'Arc, which was renamed in 1844 in honor of James Butler Bonham (1807-36), a hero of the siege of the Alamo.

Fannin County Courthouses

Marker Title: Fannin County Courthouses
Address: Courthouse Square
City: Bonham
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1974
Marker Text: Commissioners Court first met at Jacob Black's cabin on Feb. 26, 1836, before Fannin County was officially organized. In 1838 Warren (near present Ambrose in Grayson County) was named the county seat. The courthouse built there in 1840 was a two-story oak and cedar structure with rough plank floors. In 1843 the county seat was moved to Bois d'Arc; town's name was changed to Bonham, for an Alamo hero, the next year. Judge John P. Simpson donated land for the small log courthouse of 1843. Later another cabin was built with a breezeway connecting the two. In the early courthouse jurors sat above the courtroom in a loft that could be reached only by an outside ladder. This log building served until 1881 when a two-story brick structure was erected at the same location. This was replaced in 1888 by a 3-story courthouse made of native stone from Gober, south of Bonham, and built by Scottish-born stonemasons Kane and Cormack. Fire in 1929 destroyed the clock steeple, and the building was remodeled. Using part of the 1888 structure, this courthouse was constructed in 1965-66 with a facade of Leuders stone. It was dedicated by Governor John Connally.

Fannin County Museum of History

Museum Name: Fannin County Museum of History
Street Address: 1 Main Street
City: Bonham
Zip Code: 75418
Area Code: 903
Phone: 583-8042
County: Fannin
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Aviation, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Fort Inglish

Museum Name: Fort Inglish
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 29
City: Dodd City
Zip Code: 75438
Street Address: Hwy 56 and Chinner Street
Area Code: 903
Phone: 358-3441
County: Fannin
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Vicinity of Fort Inglish

Marker Title: Vicinity of Fort Inglish
City: Bonham
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: near corner of Lipscomb and 9th St.
Marker Text: (exact original location unknown) Spot where settlement of town of Bonham began. On 1,250-acre land grant of Texas Republic to Bailey Inglish (1797-1867), former Miller County, Ark., sheriff who led train of settlers traveling by oxcart to this site in 1837. Here they built a log stockade and blockhouse with gun ports for use in community defense. In a typical fight (1841), the Indians were repulsed, but captured two young boys hunting cows near the fort. (The boys returned later.) Called Bois d'Arc in 1840, town was renamed (1843) to honor Texas War for Independence hero, Col. James Butler Bonham (1807-1836). (Citizens had not always fared so well in earlier encounters) More

Site of Fort Lyday

Marker Title: Site of Fort Lyday
City: Ladonia
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1983
Marker Location: from Ladonia take FM 64 east 4 miles to FM 904; then north on FM 904 4 miles to R.O.W. Vandalism of Marker Reported 11/2009.
Marker Text: Early Texas pioneer Isaac Lyday built a fort in this area soon after settling here in 1836. The compound consisted o living quarters, storerooms, and a large community well. As many as eighty families gathered inside the fort during Indian attacks. Due to an increase in Indian raids, the settlement was almost abandoned until Texas Ranger Captain William B. Stout came in 1838 to organize a Ranger force. Lyday was elected captain of the company and served until 1839. Fort Lyday continued to shelter settlers until Indian trouble subsided after the Civil War.

Fort Warren

Marker Title: Fort Warren
City: Savoy
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: from Savoy take US 82 east .5 miles to R.O.W.
Marker Text: (site six miles north) First settlement and fort In Fannin County. Built in 1836 by Abel Warren, Indian trader from Arkansas, to protect his trading post. Constructed of bois d'arc wood, the structure had a two-story guardhouse at all four corners. Kiowa, Tonkawa, Caddo, Wichita and other Indians came here to trade furs for paint, knives and trinkets. In Civil War, Fort Warren was a transport and food supply center, where goods were sent to Confederate Indian refugees and troops in Indian Territory (to the north) and to soldiers in Louisiana and Arkansas. (1968)

James G. Gilmer

Marker Title: James G. Gilmer
City: Honey Grove
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: Oakwood Cemetery on FM 100 (near main entrance)
Marker Text: (1814-1846) One of the courageous men who helped civilize the wilderness. Moved here from Kentucky in 1845 with his wife Elizabeth (Parrish) and children William S., George A., and Thomas S. James P. Gilmer, the fourth son, is said to have been first Anglo-American born at present Honey Grove. A few months after he settled here, James G. Gilmer died; his burial established this cemetery. On his land grant, left to his wife, the town was later built.

Hall-Voyer Exhibits Hall

Museum Name: Hall-Voyer Exhibits Hall
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 47
City: Honey Grove
Zip Code: 75446
Street Address: 5th and Main
Area Code: 903
Phone: 378-2207
County: Fannin
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Natural History, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Other

Inglish Cemetery

Marker Title: Inglish Cemetery
City: Bonham
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: near 9th & Lynn Sts.
Marker Text: (1838-1964) County's oldest. Bailey Inglish donated plot near old Fort Inglish (called Bois d'Arc, later Bonham). Pioneers buried here include 1838 Indian massacre victims Andrew Daugherty, Wm. McCarty; 1836 Fannin County colonizers Bailey Inglish and Daniel Rowlett; and Texas Revolution veterans James Tarleton. Fannin County Historical Survey Committee, 1964.

Bailey Inglish

Marker Title: Bailey Inglish
City: Bonham
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: corner of Sam Rayburn & Chinner St.; in front of Fort Inglish Museum.
Marker Text: (ca. 1797-1867) In 1837, Bailey Inglish moved his family to this area from western Arkansas, where he had been an influential leader of pioneer settlers. Here he was active in the formation of Fannin County, serving on the land board and later as chief justice. To guard against repeated Indian raids, he built a fort on his land for area residents. The settlement that developed, first know as Bois d'Arc, became Bonham. Inglish was instrumental in its early growth through active public service and donations of land for town lots, a cemetery, and a female seminary. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986.

Military Headquarters Northern Sub-District of Texas, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Military Headquarters Northern Sub-District of Texas, C.S.A.
City: Bonham
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: near W. 10th & SH 121 in Willow Wild Cemetery (near entrance).
Marker Text: Established at this site as a key part of Civil War defense of Texas by General Henry E. McCulloch, frontier fighter and Ranger of long experience. With supervision of 7 brigades fighting in Texas, Indian Territory and Arkansas, McCulloch had here only 2 cavalry and 4 infantry units to patrol and defend 600 miles along the Red River and western frontier against hostile indians, bands of armed deserters, Federals attempting invasion and disloyal citizens encouraging invasion. Food and arms were also furnished from here for armed forces and for friendly Indian families. Colonel William C. Quantrill, C.S.A., and his notorious guerrilla raiders, including future members of the James and Younger gangs, attached themselves in 1863-64 to this command. Though the guerrillas were credited with stopping cattle thefts along the Red River, Quantrill had to be arrested for killing draft evaders and deserters and shooting up towns. However, he soon escaped. Lines of communication and supply were kept open and lives of hundreds of settlers were saved through the operations of this command.


Marker Title: Savage
City: Leonard
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 1980
Marker Location: from Leonard take SH 78 NE 2.5 miles to R.O.W.
Marker Text: William Hamilton "Uncle Billy" Savage (1822-1909) and his wife Elizabeth (Henson) moved to this area in 1869. Due to bad road conditions, they often stocked extra supplies and sold them to their neighbors. Their store became the center of Savage community (2.5 mi. E). The village had a doctor, blacksmith, cotton gin, stores, school, church, and a post office established in 1891. Savage began to decline after World War I (1917-18) when it was bypassed by construction of new roads in the area. Annual reunion activities are held in Leonard (3 mi. SW). (1980)

Joseph Sowell

Marker Title: Joseph Sowell
Address: SH 78 at FM 274
City: Bonham
County: Fannin
Year Marker Erected: 2003
Marker Location: 10.5 mi. north of Bonham on SH 78 at intersection with FM 274.
Marker Text: Joseph Sowell In September 1836, Joseph Sowell (1804-1841) came to Texas shortly after the republic was established. Settling on his 1280-acre land grant just south of the Red River, Sowell made his home about 1.5 miles northwest of this site. In the short time he lived in Texas, Sowell was closely involved with the creation and development of Fannin County and with the protection of the frontier settlers. Upon the creation of Fannin County in 1837 and its organization the following year, Sowell was appointed to the county board of land commissioners and served as county treasurer. He and fellow pioneer J.S. Scott built a tavern at Warren, the first county seat, where Sowell had served as postmaster. As leader of his militia company to defend the frontier and its settlers, Sowell led several attacks against the region's Native Americans. Additionally, he served as quartermaster for the Army of the Republic of Texas. On October 31, 1841, a band of Indians raided the horse stable at the tavern in Warren. In the ensuing struggle, which involved the guests and proprietors of the tavern as well, Joseph Sowell was killed, leaving behind a widow and four children. He was buried near his homesite. As an early settler in northeast Texas whose interest and concern for his duty as a citizen was realized in the positions he held and his active involvement in local affairs, Joseph Sowell played a significant role in Fannin County's early development. (2003)

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