Freestone 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.

Texas Brazos Trail Region

Map of Freestone County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Freestone County | Freestone County Historical Museum | Old Freestone Jail | Longbotham, Robert B. | Love, David Hall | Moody, Colonel Wm. L. | Rogers, James Bonner | Val Verde Battery, C.S.A.
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Colonel Moore's Ranger Expedition

Freestone County

Marker Title: Freestone County
Address: Courthouse Square
City: Fairfield
County: Freestone
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Commerce St. between Mount and Keechi St.
Marker Text: Formed from Linestone County; created September 6, 1850; organized January 6, 1851. So named from the nature of its stone. County seat, Fairfield. Formerly known as Mound Prairie.

Freestone County Historical Museum

Museum Name: Freestone County Historical Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 524
City: Fairfield
Zip Code: 75840
Street Address: 310 Main Street
Area Code: 903
Phone: 389-3738
County: Freestone
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Military, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Old Freestone Jail

Marker Title: Old Freestone Jail
Address: Main & Hall St.
City: Fairfield
County: Freestone
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Text: Built 1857 to meet fortress-like specifications: interior walls are 18 inches thick, outer walls, 30 inches. Constructed of brick and oak timbers. Prison, upstairs, had floor of thick oak planks, with subfloor of iron. Jailer lived on ground floor. Folklore says the notorious gunman John Wesley Hardin once spent a night here. This was used as a jail until 1913. It became a museum in 1967. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967

Robert B. Longbotham

Marker Title: Robert B. Longbotham
City: Wortham
County: Freestone
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: Longbotham Cemetery, just west of sh 14 at south city limits.
Marker Text: (Dec. 29, 1797 - Aug. 6, 1883) Born in Sunderland, England. Came to America as carpenter's apprentice on a ship. Married Lucy Haggard, 1820, in Alabama. Came to Texas, 1832. Obtained land grant from Mexico, 1835. In 1836 fought in Texas Revolution and in 1839 in Indian wars. In 1848 located here. Township was named for him until post office was renamed Wortham in 1874. Descendants prominent in texas. Longbotham Lodge No. 428, A.F. & A.M. named in his honor.

David Hall Love

Marker Title: David Hall Love
City: Fairfield
County: Freestone
Year Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Location: Fairfield Cemetery, 300 block of S. Dunbar St. near E. Reunion St.
Marker Text: (January 12, 1816 - April 21, 1866) A Texas War for Independence veteran. At Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, he and 11 comrades captured 220 enemy soldiers, and on orders of Gen. Sam Houston he walked next day to Harrisburg with news of Texas victory. For military service he was granted 640 acres of bounty land, from which he later donated Fairfield townsite. He held offices in his church and as precinct justice. A native of Tennessee, he was married twice; had 8 children.

Colonel Wm. L. Moody

Marker Title: Colonel Wm. L. Moody
City: Fairfield
County: Freestone
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: on north side of US 84 across the road from W. L. Moody Reunion Grounds, 1.3 mi. east of US 84/SH 75 intersection.
Marker Text: (1828 - 1920) Came to Texas from Virginia, 1852. Organized and was captain of Co. G, 7th Texas Infantry, the first Freestone County unit to go into battle in the Civil War. Captured at Fort Donelson, Tenn., Feb. 1862. exchanged, soon won promotion to colonel for bravery on battlefield. Commended for personally leading and rallying men in hand-to-hand combat in thick woods. Wounded and returned to Texas, where he served till war ended. In 1866 moved to Galveston. Became leader in financial business, philanthropic and civic affairs.

James Bonner Rogers

Marker Title: James Bonner Rogers
City: Fairfield
County: Freestone
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: Fairfield Cemetery, S. Dunbar St./E. Reunion St. (marker is in SW corner of cemetery).
Marker Text: (Nov. 27, 1836 - April 13, 1872) Freestone County sheriff 1872, during lawless era. Rogers pursued several horse thieves alone, after deputy was shot in hot pursuit; but later was shot from ambush by 2 strangers, supposedly the vengeant thieves. Died, leaving widow, 3 children.

Val Verde Battery, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Val Verde Battery, C.S.A.
City: Fairfield
County: Freestone
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: Courthouse lawn, Commerce St. between Mount and Keechi St.
Marker Text: Six brass field guns taken by Lt. Joseph D. Sayers' Company in Civil War Battle of Val Verde, N. Mex., 1862, and brought back to Texas with incredible difficulty, armed a new unit of hand-picked men. Sound of the Val Verde guns in action set pace for other outfits, helped secure such victories as the recapture of Galveston, 1863. At Mansfield, La., April 1864, captured new, longer-range guns. Unwilling to lose their guns when the war ended, the men buried four. The last commander, T.D. Nettles, brought this one home to Freestone County.

Colonel Moore's Ranger Expedition

They departed Parker's Fort in early August and moved northeast toward the Tawakoni Village. Twenty miles over the prairie they came to Post Oak Creek, a tributary to the Trinity River.

The officers were strict about keeping the men in line. From Captain George Barnett's ranger company, Privates Samuel McFall and George Erath darted far ahead of the rest of the volunteers on their horses. It was not, however, by their own choice, as Erath recalled.

"I was riding a young horse which had been caught a colt from the mustangs, that was fiery. When the order came to charge, it darted forward ahead of all the rest, and I found myself alone in the advance. Next came McFall, who was also on a wild horse, too eager for the fray. The officers shouted to us to come back into line, but our efforts to obey were in vain. Our steeds had determined to give us a reputation for bravery which we did not deserve." Erath's daughter recalled that this incident even helped earn her father the nickname "The Flying Dutchman."

The Indians scattered but the Rangers continued the pursuit. Though several Indians were encountered, the only fatality was that Ranger Moses Smith Hornsby was accidentally killed by Ranger William Magill.

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