Henderson 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 Texas Forest Trail Region Forts

Map of Henderson County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Cherokee Exodus from Texas | Henderson County | Henderson County C.S.A. | Henderson County Historical Society Museum | Malakoff Man | Henderson County Pottery Industry | The Trinity River
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Cherokee War and Battle of the Neches
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Fort Trinidad

Cherokee Exodus from Texas

Marker Title: Cherokee Exodus from Texas
Address: 811 E. Hwy. 31
City: Chandler
County: Henderson
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: in front of Chandler City Hall
Marker Text: Driven from eastern states by white settlers, Cherokee Indians migrated to the East Texas area, becoming established by 1820. In 1822, they unsuccessfully sought title to their land from Mexico. The years following were ones of an increasingly uneasy truce for both Texans and Cherokees. In 1839, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Republic of Texas president, sent orders for the tribe to leave Texas. In July 15-16 battle northwest of here two Texans and eighteen Indians, including Chief Bowles (aged 81), were killed. The remaining Indians retreated into what is now Oklahoma.

Henderson County

Marker Title: Henderson County
City: Athens
County: Henderson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: S 19 (S. Palestine Rd.) at Bryson Rd.
Marker Text: Formed from Houston and Nacogdoches counties. Created April 27, 1846; organized August 4, 1846. Named in honor of James Pinckney Henderson, 1808-1858, first governor of the State of Texas. Buffalo, Centerville and Athens (since 1850) have served as county seats.

Henderson County C.S.A.

Marker Title: Henderson County C.S.A.
City: Athens
County: Henderson
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: on SH 19, just south of FM 59 intersection on west side.
Marker Text: (Star and Wreath) Voted 400-49 for secession. Sent about 1,000 into Confederate Army, with one detachment of 150 having only 13 live to return. Caldwell's farm, three miles northeast, and Fincastle, 19 miles southeast of Athens, had camps of instruction. Confederate supply depot, Fincastle, had stores of grain, mean in charge of Capt. Thomas F. Murchison, who also was county enrolling officer. Wartime manufactures included earthenware jugs and dishes. Other products for C.S.A. were cotton, corn, beef, pork, timber. Cynthia Ann Parker, delivered from Indian captivity 1860 by Sul Ross' Ranger unit, lived during war at Athens. Postmaster-general of Confederacy was John H. Reagan, who had been surveyor and the first probate judge in Henderson County.

Henderson County Historical Society Museum

Museum Name: Henderson County Historical Society Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 943
City: Athens
Zip Code: 75751
Street Address: 217 N Prairieville
Area Code: 903
Phone: 677-3611
County: Henderson
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Military, Natural History, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Malakoff Man

Marker Title: Malakoff Man
City: Trinidad
County: Henderson
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: SH 31 (south side of road) just west of intersection w/ SH 274.
Marker Text: A sandstone image of a human head-- carved by prehistoric men-- was found near here in 1929 by workmen of Texas Clay Products Company. It was dug from gravel pit now under Cedar Creek Lake. The carving weighed 98 pounds, was 16 by 14 inches, with eyes 2.5 inches wide. First stone was found at depth of 16.5 feet. Two similar images were unearthed in same area in 1935 and 1939. Archaeologists date Malakoff "Men" as many thousands of years old. Found near the images were fossil remains of extinct horse, elephant, camel species. Images now in Texas Memorial Museum.

Henderson County Pottery Industry

Marker Title: Henderson County Pottery Industry
City: Athens
County: Henderson
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: SH 19 (S. Palestine Rd.) at Bryson Rd.
Marker Text: Prehistoric Caddoan Indians utilized the abundant deposits of rich clays in this region to make their fine pottery vessels. The modern pottery industry in Henderson County began in 1857, when Levi S. Cogburn (1812-1866), one of a family of potters from Georgia, started making cups, saucers, and plates in Athens. Cogburn's plant operated until shortly after his death in 1866. Industry was reactivated in 1885 by M.K. Miller, who with his sons, started the Athens Pottery Company, first of many tile, brick, and pottery plants in the area.

The Trinity River

Marker Title: The Trinity River
City: Trinidad
County: Henderson
Year Marker Erected: 1977
Marker Location: SH 21 (south side of road) just west of SH 274 intersection.
Marker Text: Three main tributaries-- the West, Elm, and East forks-- feed the Trinity from headwaters in North Texas. Discovery of prehistoric Malakoff Man carved stone heads near this site in the 20th century revealed that humans inhabited the Trinity valley thousands of years ago. Indian villages dotted the river banks when European exploration began. French explorer robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle called this waterway the River of Canoes in 1687. Spaniard Alonso de Leon is credited with first using the name "Trinity" in 1690. The fertile Trinity floodplain drew Anglo-American settlers to this area during the Republic of Texas. Buffalo, first Henderson County Seat, was founded a few miles upstream at a ferry crossing. Navigation of the Trinity has been proposed in a number of ambitious plans since the 1850s. Steamboats plied the river carrying cotton, cattle, and lumber to Galveston and other Gulf of Mexico ports until the 1870s. Arrival of the railroad ended the era of riverboat trade. Founded in 1881 on the St. Louis Southwestern Railroad, also known as the Cotton Belt, the town of Trinidad had a pump station to draw water for the boilers of steam locomotives. A ferry crossed the Trinity here until a bridge was erected in 1900.

Fort Trinidad

The following excerpt is from the book, Texas Forts, by Wayne Lease.

Established around 1805 along the Trinity River on Camino Real highway (now Highway 21) between Midway and Crockett. A commemorative marker is placed along the south side of Highway 21 between Midway and the Trinity River.

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