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 Jackson County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Bennett and West Ranch | Site of Camp Independence | Confederates of Jackson County | Ganado | Jackson County | Jackson County, C.S.A. | Early Jackson County | Site of The Johnston Huston Duel | Kerr, Major James | Famous Lavaca-Navidad Meeting of 1835 | Macaroni Station | William Millican's Gin House | Texana Museum | Site of the Old Town of Texana
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Camp Bowie | Camp Chambers | Camp Crockett | Camp Johnson

Bennett and West Ranch

Marker Title: Bennett and West Ranch
City: La Salle
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: from La Salle, take CR 325 NW about 2.2 miles, go west at cattle guard and follow .6 miles gravel road.
Marker Text: Cattlemen John M. Bennett (1831-1920) and George W. West (1851-196) began buying ranch land here in Jackson County in 1875. Bennett was born in Alabama, moved to Texas in 1837, and earned his capital by driving cattle herds up the Chisholm Trail to Kansas. West was also from Alabama and settled in the Sweet Home area of Lavaca County (about 50 miles NW) near Bennett's family. The partners acquired 35,375 acres between the Garcitas and Lavaca rivers, rich with prairie grasses before the invasion of brush thickets. In 1882 West sold his half interest to his brothers Ike and Sol. By 1902 the ranch was running 7,000 head of cattle, bred from longhorns and herefords. That year Ike withdrew from the partnership and sold off his one-fourth interest in the land and cattle herd. Neither Bennett nor the Wests lived at the ranch. The nearby frame house dates from 1902 as the ranch headquarters and foreman's residence. When Bennett and Sol West died in 1920, the land was divided between the Bennetts on the Garcitas River, and the Wests on the Lavaca River. From 1924 to 1978, three generations of the James family, beginning with Daniel Arthur James (1886-1943), served as foremen of the Bennett Ranch.

Site of Camp Independence

Marker Title: Site of Camp Independence
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from Edna, take US 59 SW, go South on FM 1822 for 2.8 miles go south on CR 306 1 mile.
Marker Text: A part of the first army of the Texas Republic, under the command of General Felix Houston, and later of General Albert Sidney Johnston, was stationed here from December, 1836, until furloughed by order of President Sam Houston on May 18, 1837. Captain Henry Teal was assassinated here as he slept in his tent on the night of May 5.

Confederates of Jackson County

Marker Title: Confederates of Jackson County
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Courthouse Grounds 115 W Main St., Edna.
Marker Text: From 1860 population of 2612 came more than 100 Civil War soldiers, one an infantryman on a crutch: M.K. Simons, a Mexican war amputee, brigade quartermaster, 2nd Texas infantry, C.S.A. Officers included Capt. C.L. Owen, veteran of the Texas Revolution and Mexican war; killed at Shiloh in 1862. Composed chiefly of Jackson County men were Co. D, 1st Texas Cavalry; Co. K, 2nd Texas Infantry; and Co. M, 27th Texas Cavalry (Whitfield's Legion). Jackson men were also in other units, including Confederate marines and Terry's Texas Rangers, and saw much of war's greatest action.


Marker Title: Ganado
City: Ganado
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: on City Hall property, corner of 2nd & Putman, Ganado
Marker Text: Established in 1882 as a shipping point on New York, Texas & Mexican Railroad. Named Ganado (Spanish for "herd") by railroad official. Became a boomtown in 1891-92 when Scandinavian immigrants settled area. Today a farm, oil and shipping center.

Jackson County

Marker Title: Jackson County
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Courthouse Grounds, 115 W. Main St., Edna
Marker Text: Home of the Karankawa Indians granted in part to Stephen F. Austin and to Martin de Leon. Settled 1824-1835 by colonists largely from Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and west of the Lavaca, Mexico. Organized as a municipality December 5, 1835. Named in honor of Andrew Jackson, president of the United States. Created a county March 17, 1836, organized in 1836 with Texana, formerly Santa Anna, county seat; Edna, county seat since 1883. In memory of John Mc Henry, Francis M. White, James Kerr, F.F. Wells, early settlers. William Menefee, Elijah Stapp, signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. William Sutherland, martyr of the Alamo; George Sutherland, John S. Menefee, James A. Sylvester, heroes of San Jacinto. Clark L. Owen, colonel in the Confederate army, and other pioneers who resided in this county before or directly after the Texas Revolution. Jackson County: average altitude 75 feet, annual rainfall 37 inches. Soil: black hogwallow, sandy loams, alluvial. Crops and products: cotton, livestock, corn, dairying, vegetables, poultry, pecans, oil and gas.

Jackson County, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Jackson County, C.S.A.
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Courthouse grounds, 115 W. Main St., Edna
Marker Text: In 1861, voted for secession 147 to 77. With its beef and cotton, helped supply South. Furnished salt from beds near Cox's Creek; hides and tallow from a plant between Port Lavaca and Texana; lead from Navidad mine (now a "lost mine"). Homefolk molded bullets and sent to fighting men, along with clothes woven, sewed or knitted by the family. Couriers operated along a line that skirted blockade coast from mouth of Caney Creek to Brownsville. Home guard kept enemy ships off the shores. A Confederate gunboat, chased from Lavaca Bay, sank in the Navidad.

Early Jackson County

Marker Title: Early Jackson County
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: Courthouse grounds, 115 W. Main St., Edna
Marker Text: Organized, 1837; named for 7th president of U.S., Andrew Jackson. Early hunting grounds of the cannibalistic Karankawa Indians, this region was crossed in 1528 by shipwrecked Spaniard Cabeza de Vaca. French explorer La Salle founded the first settlement, iIl-fated Fort St. Louis, in 1685. Its site is said by some authorities to be Dimmitt's Point (21 miles SW.). Most of what is now Jackson County lay in Stephen F. Austin's land grant. The first town, "Santa Anna," was founded by six members of Austin's "Old 300" colonists in 1832. The town, later named "Texana," was the predecessor of Edna.

Site of The Johnston Huston Duel

Marker Title: Site of The Johnston Huston Duel
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from Edna, take US 59 about 3 miles SW, go south on FM 234 about 2 miles then go left through cattle guard, follow .4 miles. (drive is 2nd on left past County Road 306).
Marker Text: On this spot General Albert Sidney Johnston and General Felix Huston fought a duel February 5, 1837. General Johnston was seriously wounded. While commanding the Confederate army at the battle of Shiloh April 6, 1862, he was killed.

Major James Kerr

Marker Title: Major James Kerr
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: from Edna, take FM 882 north about 7 miles
Marker Text: Born in Danville, Ky.; served in War of 1812 and as sheriff, state representative, state senator in Missouri. Came to Texas as DeWitt Colony's surveyor-general; laid out town of Gonzales, July 1825. In 1827 moved to Jackson County, which he represented in 1832, 1833 conventions, serving in 1833 on committee to draft constitution for proposed state of Texas. On July 17, 1835, was chairman of the Lavaca-Navidad meeting, an early public protest against Mexican authorities' mistreatment of settlers. Served in Republic of Texas Congress in 1838-1839. He was also a practicing physician.

Famous Lavaca-Navidad Meeting of 1835

Marker Title: Famous Lavaca-Navidad Meeting of 1835
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1974
Marker Location: Texana Museum, 403 Wells St., Edna
Marker Text: At the cotton gin of William Millican, near here, on July 17, 1835, occurred the significant Lavaca-Navidad Meeting, held by pioneers living near the two rivers. James Kerr, the founder of Gonzales, was chairman and the Rev. S.C.A. Rogers, secretary. The meeting adopted resolutions protesting mistreatment of Texas colonists by the government of Mexico. This early formal public protest was a forerunner of the Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836, and the constituting of the Republic of Texas.

Macaroni Station

Marker Title: Macaroni Station
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: Courthouse lawn, SE corner 115 W. Main St., Edna
Marker Text: Forerunner of town of Edna; a camp and commissary during the building of the New York, Texas & Mexican railway, 1880-1882. Count Joseph Telfener, one of the railway investors, brought laborers from his native Italy; station was nicknamed for them. Mrs. Lucy Flournoy in 1882 had townsite surveyed on her land here. The name "Edna" honors a daughter of Count Telfener. The "Macaroni" line built only 92 miles before it dropped plan to extend into Mexico; even so, it aided growth in coastal Texas. Since 1885 it has been in the Southern Pacific system.

William Millican's Gin House

Marker Title: William Millican's Gin House
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from Edna, take FM 530 NE about 4 mile, go E through gate 1 mile.
Marker Text: First cotton gin in Jackson County. Here was held the memorable "Lavaca-Navidad Meeting" on July 17, 1835. At this meeting resolutions were adopted protesting against the treatment of the Texas colonists by the Mexican government. James Kerr was chairman of the meeting and S.C.A. Rogers, secretary. The first formal public protest was a forerunner of the Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836.

Texana Museum

Museum Name: Texana Museum
Street Address: 403 N Wells
City: Edna
Zip Code: 77957
Area Code: 512
Phone: 782-5431
County: Jackson
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Site of the Old Town of Texana

Marker Title: Site of the Old Town of Texana
City: Edna
County: Jackson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from Edna, go SE 4.5 miles SH 111, go left at FM Loop 1822, Lavaca-Navidad Riv. Authority
Marker Text: Founded in 1834 by Dr. F. F. Wells, personal friend of Stephen F. Austin. County seat of Jackson County from 1835-1883. Old home of Capt. Clark L. Owen of Civil War fame. Here the following were first organized in Jackson County: Methodist Church in 1838, Masonic Lodge in 1852, Presbyterian Church in 1855.

Camp Bowie

The principal encampment of the army of the Republic of Texas from April 22 through the middle of June 1837, was Camp Bowie located on the east side of the Navidad River at Red Bluff, 8 miles southeast of the community of Edna. Nothing remains of this camp.

Camp Chambers

This was the last camp established along the Lavaca and Navidad rivers by the army of the Republic of Texas. It was occupied from August through October in 1837 under command of Colonel Edwin Morehouse, and was named for Major-General Thomas Jefferson Chambers. The camp was located on Arenosa Creek near the road from Texana to Victoria.

Camp Crockett

Named for Alamo defender David Crockett, the camp became the main encampment and headquarters of the army of the Republic of Texas after Camp Bowie was closed in June 1837. Camp Crockett was somewhere in central Jackson County, probably on the Navidad River near Camp Bowie and just to the south or southwest of the site of present-day Edna. Colonel H. R. A. Wiggington commanded the camp until it was abandoned in July. The troops were then transferred to Camp Chambers.

Camp Johnson

One of the many camps established in counties along the Gulf coast during the Texas Revolution, Camp Johnson was the headquarters for the Texans army around September 1836. The camp was probably named for Francis W. Johnson who had fought at the Siege of Bexar in 1835. It was located near the Lavaca River five miles from the Dimmit Landing and four miles south-southeast of present-day Vanderbilt.

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