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 Independence Trail Region

Map of Fort Bend County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Beasley | Booth | Buckley, Constantine W. | Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado, First Railroad in Texas | Early Courthouse Square | Dismounted Texas Cavalry | Fort Bend | Fort Bend County Courthouse | Fort Bend Museum Association | Foster, John | George Ranch Historical Park | Kendleton | Jane Long Boarding House | Museum of Southern History | Town of Needville | City of Richmond | Rosenberg
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Captain Randall Jones
Picture of Stephen F. Austin Sculpture at Sugarland City Hall
Stephen F. Austin Sculpture at Sugarland City Hall
Photo by Judy Payne


Marker Title: Beasley
City: Beasley
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: on Loop 540 at 4th St., Beasley
Marker Text: Founded 1894 by Cecil A. Beasley (1862 - 1908), on the Texas & New Orleans Railroad. First called "Dyer" for Isabel dyer (1871 - 1933), whom Beasley later married. Post office opened as "Beasley," May 13, 1898. The town boomed in 1910, as Stern & Stern Land Co. of Kansas City promoted land sales through a town lot auction. Many new settlers were German and Czech families from Washington County. Soon Beasley had 3 general stores, 2 cotton gins, a 3-story hotel, an ice-house, a public school, and 7 churches. Beasley was incorporated in 1970 and continues to serve as a marketing center for the area.


Marker Title: Booth
Address: FM 2759
City: Booth
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: FM 2759 in Booth at Booth Rd.
Marker Text: Founded by freeman Irby Booth (1866 - 1931) about 1890, shortly after he bought the surrounding property. In the early 1890s, Booth went to South Carolina and brought back 30 families to settle his land. Early crops of cotton, corn, and rice were shipped to market via the Brazos River. The post office opened March 21, 1894. By the early 1900s, the town of Booth had a syrup mill, sawmill, and was serviced by the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad, by which sugar cane, alfalfa, and truck vegetables were shipped. Booth Public school opened in 1908 and operated until 1947.

Constantine W. Buckley

Marker Title: Constantine W. Buckley
Address: Courthouse Lawn
City: Richmond
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: corner of Jackson and 4th St., Richmond
Marker Text: Texas Confederate Legislator (1815 - 1865) Came to Texas from Georgia, 1838. Clerk, Republic of Texas State Department. Prominent Fort Bend County planter, lawyer, district judge and legislator. Served as one of the speakers of Texas House of Representatives in critical Civil War years, 1861-65. Legislators passed laws to raise, equip and supply 90,000 Texas soldiers who fought on all fronts and provided for defense of State's 2,000-mile frontier and coast against Indians, enemy troops and ships. As naval blockade reduced imports, the Legislature established plants to make guns, powder, cloth, salt. Contracts, subsidies and land grants were provided to encourage private industry to help meet heavy wartime demands for arms, supplies, clothing, food. Buckley and the other lawmakers taxed property and business and required farmers to turn in tithes of produce to meet the crisis. Funds were voted to buy cotton for State exchange for goods in Mexico; to aid soldiers' dependents; and to provide hospitals and medical care for troops--in and out of state. The Legislature was in almost continuous session. Poor pay and inflated Confederate money caused many members to live in tents and covered wagons on the capital grounds, and cook over campfires.

Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado, First Railroad in Texas

Marker Title: Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado, First Railroad in Texas
Address: Stafford City Hall
City: Stafford
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: A90 S. Main
Marker Text: Planned 1840 to benefit the Republic of Texas by moving rich sugar and cotton crops from plantation areas. Chartered 1841 by 5th Congress of the Republic, in name of Harrisburg Railroad & Trading Company. H.R. & T.C. did not succeed in building a railroad. Its holdings were transferred in 1847 to Gen. Sidney Sherman, a hero of the Battle of San Jacinto, who was backed by eastern capital and leading Texans -- W.J. Hutchins, Gen. Hugh McLeod, Wm. Marsh Rice (benefactor of Rice University), B.A. Shepherd, James H. Stevens, and John Grant Tod (a former Texas naval officer). B.F. Terry (destined to lead Terry's Texas Rangers in the Civil War) and W.J. Kyle graded the roadbed. The first locomotive, "General Sherman," arrived 1852. In August 1853 the tracks extended 20 miles from Harrisburg to Stafford's Point, early Texas center of trade and social life. On Sept. 1, with fanfare, a special train brought a load of honored guests to join planters here for a barbecue-jubilee. Regular schedules were soon in operation. Stafford's Point, end of the line for two years, did much business. Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado in 1860 reached Alleyton -- a distance of 80 miles from Harrisburg. Incise in base: Early Travel, Transportation and Communication Series erected by the Moody Foundation.

Early Courthouse Square

Marker Title: Early Courthouse Square
Address: 402 Morton St.
City: Richmond
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Text: This square was deeded in 1838 to Fort Bend County by Robert E. Handy and William Lusk, founders of Richmond. It was site of 1850-1871 and 1888-1909 courthouses. Completed here 1888 was a two-story brick Victorian courthouse with bell tower and clock -- the pride of city and county. Jaybird-Woodpecker political feud culminated here in a bloody shoot-out in 1889, ending a post-Civil War era of conflict. County offices moved in 1909 to new courthouse on Jackson Street. This became center of recreation for next 30 years. City Hall was built here in 1940.

Dismounted Texas Cavalry

Marker Title: Dismounted Texas Cavalry
Address: US 90 / FM 359
City: Richmond
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: in picnic area, at intersection US 90/ FM 359 about 1.5 mi. west of Richmond.
Marker Text: The 95,000 men of military age in Civil War Texas, unaccustomed to walking, preferred the daring and mobility of the cavalry used to scout the enemy, screen troop movements and make lightning attacks. 58,533 Texans joined it, riding their own horses or ones donated by citizens' groups. Many of Texas' 325,000 horses were sent to other states. Yet foot-soldiers were needed, too. The state set up camps of instruction, to teach Texans to walk and fight. By mid-1862 the need for infantry was so great that the following units were unhorsed under strong protest: 6th Texas Cavalry Battalion, 13th, 16th, 18th, 22nd, 24th, 25th and 28th Texas Cavalry regiments. On Aug. 15, 1863, a part of A.W. Terrell's Cavalry regiment at Richmond was ordered to dismount and march to the defense of Galveston. On Sept. 11, an order to dismount still more men caused mutiny, and 91 rode their prized horses north to homes on the Indian frontier or to join other cavalry units. When 25 were tried later, only the officers were punished. Enlisted men returned to the regiment, and fought in such actions as the 1864 Red River campaign to prevent a Federal invasion of Texas

Fort Bend

Marker Title: Fort Bend
Address: US 90A
City: Richmond
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: West bank of Brazos River
Marker Text: Built in November, 1821, by William Little, William Smithers, Charles Beard, Joseph Polly and Henry Holster. Its name was given to the county when created in 1837.

Fort Bend County Courthouse

Marker Title: Fort Bend County Courthouse
Address: 400 Jackson
City: Richmond
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1980
Marker Location: between 4th & 5th Sts.
Marker Text: This classical revival building is the fifth courthouse for Fort Bend County, which was organized in 1837. The structure was designed by C.H. Page of Austin and dedicated in 1909. The contractor was the Texas Building Company, also of Austin. Exterior styling features a dome, statue, and cornices of copper. The interior has a 3-story rotunda, mosaic tile floors, and green glazed tile wainscoting. Additions were made to the courthouse in 1935 and 1957. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1980

Fort Bend Museum Association

Marker Title: Fort Bend Museum Association
Address: P.O. Drawer 460
City: Richmond
Area Code: 281
Phone: 342-6478
County: Fort Bend

John Foster

Marker Title: John Foster
Address: 4400 FM 723
City: Richmond
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 2002
Marker Location: John and Randolph Foster High School, 4400 FM 723
Marker Text: John Foster John Foster was born on May 25, 1757, in South Carolina to William James and Mary (Hill) Foster. Family history indicates he may have served with his brothers in Charleston against a British attack in June 1776. He married Rachel (Gibson), and they had at least six children, four of whom eventually lived in Texas. About 1781, the Fosters crossed the Appalachians and traveled almost 2,000 miles by flatboat to the Spanish-occupied Natchez District of present-day Mississippi. There, Foster became a substantial landowner and cattleman. After Rachel died, he married Mary (Smith) Kelsey, and of their seven children, three would come to Texas. After Mississippi Territory was created in 1798, Foster opposed the decrees of the appointed governor and petitioned Congress for an elected legislature. He established the town of Washington, and after it became the territorial capital in 1802, helped found Jefferson College. In 1822, Foster joined his son Randolph in Texas and became one of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred" colonists. In 1824, he received an 11,600-acre grant in what is now Fort Bend County. He is believed to have established a school on his property that eventually became the Foster Community School. On December 25, 1835, John Foster signed the Columbia Resolutions urging Texas' declaration of independence from Mexico. Leaving behind four sons to support the struggle for Texas independence, Foster went to Wilkinson County, Mississippi, in early 1836 to live in retirement at the home of one of his daughters. He died there on January 26, 1837. (2002)

George Ranch Historical Park

Museum Name: George Ranch Historical Park
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 460
City: Richmond
Zip Code: 77406
Street Address: 10215 FM Rd 762
Area Code: 281
Phone: 545-9212
County: Fort Bend
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Archeology, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives


Marker Title: Kendleton
Address: Loop 541
City: Kendleton
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: Main at Lum St.
Marker Text: The site on which Kendleton now stands was originally a Mexican land grant to settler Elizabeth Powell, whose house was an early-day stage stop. During the Texas Revolution, in 1836, Santa Anna's Mexican Army camped near here. Later the settlements of Oak Hill and Humbolt existed briefly. Kendleton began during Civil War reconstruction when Wm. E. Kendall sold land, for as little as 50 cents an acre, to assist freed Africans in starting their own farms. The rural village was named in his honor when the railroad came through, 1884.

Jane Long Boarding House

Marker Title: Jane Long Boarding House
Address: 200 Block of N. 4th St.
City: Richmond
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Location: between Morton and Calhoun St.
Marker Text: Born in Maryland in 1798, Jane H. Wilkinson moved to Mississippi (1811) and became the ward of her famous relative, Gen. James Wilkinson, field commander of the United States Army. Jane married Dr. James Long in 1815 and later followed him on a filibustering expedition to free Texas from Spain. In 1821 Long led his forces into battle, leaving Jane alone with their daughter Ann and slave girl Kian at Point Bolivar, near Galveston. On Dec. 21, 1821, with snow falling, their food supply gone, and Kian ill, Jane gave birth to a daughter, then rose and got food and firewood for her family. Her heroism earned her the name "Mother of Texas." Later she learned of her husband's death in Mexico. During the period Texas was a colony and a republic, Jane Long operated two well-known boarding houses. She started the first in Brazoria in 1832; her guests included William B. Travis, Sam Houston, and Mirabeau B. Lamar. In 1837 Jane moved to Richmond and on this site opened another boarding house which became a center for social and political activities as well as lodging for prominent Texans and European visitors. Jane ran this hotel until her plantation near town became prosperous in the 1840s. She died in 1880 and is buried in Richmond's Morton Cemetery.

Museum of Southern History

Museum Name: The Museum of Southern History
Mailing Address: 14070 SW Freeway
City: Sugarland
Zip Code: 77478
Area Code: 281
Phone: 269-7171
County: Fort Bend
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Military, Archeology, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Town of Needville

Marker Title: Town of Needville
Address: SH 36
City: Needville
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Location: 250' north of junction w/FM 1236
Marker Text: Had beginning in 1892 when settler August Schendel opened general store, here, on his land. Blacksmith shop, cotton gin, and room for post office had been added by 1894, when Schendel was appointed first postmaster. He suggested naming place "Needmore" because it needed more of everything, but another town already had that name. Slowly village became trade center. First church service was held 1891; school opened by 1897. Early economy, based on stockraising and farming, was altered radically with discovery of oil, natural gas, and sulphur, 1920s-30s.

City of Richmond

Marker Title: City of Richmond
Address: Houston & 5th St.
City: Richmond
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Text: Area was settled in 1822 by members of Stephen F. Austin's colony, who first called their community "Fort Settlement." Earliest known burial was made by Wm. Morton, who donated land for Morton Cemetery. Town was formally laid out 1837 by land promoters R. E. Handy and Wm. Lusk, who named it for Richmond, Virginia. City was elected county seat in 1838. Most famous resident was Mrs. Jane Long, "Mother of Texas," who ran Veranda Hotel and established a plantation here in 1837. She is buried in Morton Cemetery. Also in 1837 famous scout Erastus "Deaf" Smith died here and was buried in the city. County purchased first courthouse in 1842; built a brick on in 1849. In 1855 an extension of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado Railroad (the first railroad in Texas) brought increased prosperity. Vigorous saloon fighter Carry Nation operated the National Hotel here prior to moving to Kansas. Her departure was connected with the "Jaybird-Woodpecker" political feud, which climaxed in a shootout around the Courthouse Square in 1889. Another noted Richmond citizen, John M. Moore, led way in raising quality of range cattle. Service in Legislature, 1896-1905, and U. S. Congress, 1905-1913.


Marker Title: Rosenberg
Address: 4th St. at City Hall Dr.
City: Rosenberg
County: Fort Bend
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: in front of Municipal Court building
Marker Text: Founded on a site in original Mexican land grant of early settler Henry Scott, where a small, nameless shipping point existed on the Brazos early as 1830. The Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado Railroad had tracks here before 1860. Town developed after the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad arrived in 1880, built a station where it crossed the B.B.B. & C., and in 1883 bought and platted a 200-acre site with a central square between the Brazos and the railroad. Town was named for Henry Rosenberg of Galveston, a financial backer and president of G.C. & S.F. Count Joseph Telfener, an Italian investor, set up offices here in 1881 to build New York, Texas & Mexican Railway, which extended to Victoria. R.T. Mulcahy, called "Father of Rosenberg," arrived in 1883, and for 40 years promoted schools, business, and government. First newspaper, "The Silver X-Ray," was founded in 1895. Methodist and Baptist churches were active before 1900 when town was incorporated. In 1912 came city water and electric lights, and chartering of a Boy Scout troop (one of the first in Texas). Oil and sulphur discoveries and highway development after 1920 have made Rosenberg a center of trade and steady growth.

Captain Randall Jones

The following excerpt is from the book, Savage Frontier, by Stephen L. Moore:

Captain Randall Jones' twenty-three man militia company was authorized by Austin to make an expedition against a force of Indians who had killed several immigrants en route to Austin's Colony. Jones' men fought two skirmishes with the Indians in September 1824. In the first, the whites killed or drove away all of their attackers. On the following day, Captain Jones and his men made a surprise dawn attack on the Indians. They managed to kill an estimated fifteen Indians before losing three of their own killed and several wounded, forcing Jones to order a retreat.

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