Jeff Davis 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 Lakes Trail Region

Map of Jeff Davis County

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Chihuahuan Desert Visitor Center | Davis, Confederate President Jefferson | Fort Davis | Old Fort Davis C.S.A. | Overland Trail Museum | Pioneer Cemetery | San Antonio-El Paso Road | Barry Scobee Mountain
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites.
Hostile Indians Finally Kill William Hope

Chihuahuan Desert Visitor Center

Museum Name: Chihuahuan Desert Visitor Center
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1334
City: Fort Davis
Zip Code: 79734
Street Address: 4 mi S. of Ft. Davis, Hwy 118
Area Code: 432
Phone: 364-2499
County: Jeff Davis
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Science, Art, Military, Aviation, Natural History, Archeology, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives,

Confederate President Jefferson Davis

Marker Title: Confederate President Jefferson Davis
City: Fort Davis
County: Jeff Davis
Marker Location: Courthouse grounds (NE corner); For Davis
Marker Text: (1808-1889) Friend of Texas. Visited first as officer Mexican War 1847. As U. S. Secretary of War in 1855, built up frontier forts to open West Texas to settlers. Camels imported for patrols, hauling. His postmaster-general and personal aide were Texans, as were many on general staff. After post-war release from prison, visited state and old soldiers he once had told in wartime: "Troops from other states have their reputations to gain, but sons of the Alamo have theirs to maintain." County named for him in 1887.

Fort Davis

Marker Title: Fort Davis
City: Fort Davis
County: Jeff Davis
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Fort Davis National Historic Site, Hwy. 17/118 intersection, Fort Davis.
Marker Text: Established by Lieut. Col. Washington Seawell with six companies of the Eighth U.S. Infantry in October 1854 for protecting travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road. Named in honor of the then Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, it was abandoned by federal troops in April 1861, reoccupied in 1867. Troops from the post helped to bring about the peaceful settlement and development of the region. Fort Davis was deactivated in 1891.

Old Fort Davis C.S.A.

Marker Title: Old Fort Davis C.S.A.
Address: Courthouse grounds
City: Fort Davis
County: Jeff Davis
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Text: (Star and Wreath) Confederate supply point and frontier outpost on great military road from San Antonio to El Paso 1861-62. After surrendered by U. S. Army, occupied by detachment 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles. Apaches ambushed patrol from fort under Lt. Mays in Big Bend area August 1861. Used by Texas Confederate troops en route to and from New Mexico-Arizona campaign to stop flow of Gold to North and gain access to Pacific. Two cannons buried nearby on return have never been found. Occupied briefly California Union Cavalry, August 1862. A memorial to Texans who served the Confederacy. Erected by the State of Texas 1963

Overland Trail Museum

Museum Name: Overland Trail Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 233
City: Fort Davis
Zip Code: 79734
Street Address: Overland Trail
Area Code: 432
Phone: 426-3904
County: Jeff Davis
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Natural History, Archeology, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Pioneer Cemetery

Marker Title: Pioneer Cemetery
City: Fort Davis
County: Jeff Davis
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: go SE on SH 118 approx. 1 mile
Marker Text: Used from 1870s to 1914. Settlers buried here include: Mr. and Mrs. Diedrick Dutchover, immigrants from Belgium and Spain; their surname, coined by a recruiter in the Mexican War, is borne by many descendants. Dolores, who on her wedding eve lighted a signal fire for her fiance, later found scalped by Indians; she became mentally ill and (until her death 30 years later) burned fires on mountain near town for her lost lover. Two young Frier brothers, who were shot by a Ranger posse as horse thieves and were buried in only boothill grave in county. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1967

San Antonio-El Paso Road

Marker Title: San Antonio-El Paso Road
City: Fort Davis
County: Jeff Davis
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: corner of 3rd and Fort St. (in front of museum)
Marker Text: Westward expeditions opened trails from San Antonio to El Paso in the late 1840s. Two routes, called the upper and lower roads, converged at the Pecos River to traverse the Davis Mountains. Henry Skillman (1814-1864) began a courier service along the road in 1850 and was awarded a U. S. Government contract to carry the mail. He formed a partnership with George H. Giddings (1823-1902) in 1854, and they established relay stations along the route, including one at the new U. S. Army Post at Fort Davis. During the Civil War, control of the area passed to the Confederates, and Giddings continued mail service for the new government. By 1867 Fort Davis was occupied by four companies of the 9th U. S. Cavalry. After Federal reoccupation, stage and courier routes were more frequently utilized, with travelers often accompanied by Army escorts from Fort Davis and other posts. After the arrival of railroads in West Texas in the 1880s, use of overland roads declined sharply, though the trails did provide access to new settlers and were still used by the army as links between forts. Vestiges of the Old San antonio-El Paso Overland Road can still be seen in Fort Davis and surrounding areas. (Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986)

Barry Scobee Mountain

Marker Title: Barry Scobee Mountain
City: Fort Davis
County: Jeff Davis
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: take SH 17 N approx. 1 mi.
Marker Text: (6300 ft. elev.) Camp grounds and lookout post (1850s-1880s) for military, mail coaches, freighters, travelers, emigrants. Site of area's last Indian raid, 1881. Part of John G. Prude Ranch. Named by Gov. John Connally Dec. 21, 1964, to honor Barry Scobee whose efforts were largely responsible for the preservation of old Fort Davis. He was born, 1885, in Missouri. Served in U. S. Army in Philippines and later on merchant ship in World War II. Was editor, reporter, printer, publisher. Came to Fort Davis in 1917 and became an authority and writer on Trans-Pecos history. (Fort Davis Historical society)

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