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

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Bagby, Arthur Pendleton | Bennett Cemetery | Foley, Stephen Tucker | 50th Anniversary of Battle of Galveston | Hallettsville | Hallettsville Memorial Park | Hamilton, Isaac D. | Old Hanging Tree | Kent, Joseph | Lavaca County Courthouse | Livergood, John Himes | Moulton | Old Moulton
Arthur Pendleton Bagby

Marker Title: Arthur Pendleton Bagby
Address: 315 S. Dowling Street
City: Hallettsville
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: 315 South Dowling Street, Hallettsville.
Marker Text: (May 17, 1833 - February 21, 1921) Star and Wreath Native Alabamian, last surviving member of West Point class of 1852, lawyer, colonel in 7th Texas Confederate Cavalry, participant in Sibley's New Mexico campaign, commanded volunteer land troops on board Confederate ship Neptune during Battle of Galveston, wounded and commended for role in engagement near Berwick Bay in Louisiana, led brigade at battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill in Louisiana, major-general in Confederate Army. Buried in city cemetery, Hallettsville. 1963

Bennett Cemetery

Marker Title: Bennett Cemetery
City: Sweet Home
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1999
Marker Location: FM 531, 1 mi. N of Sweet Home
Marker Text: Stephen Bennett (1789-1874), a veteran of the War of 1812, and his wife Mary Ann "Polly" Breazeal Bennett (1798-1877), were born in South Carolina and lived many years in Alabama. They led a wagon train to Washington County in the Republic of Texas about 1841. They soon relocated to a part of Gonzales County which later became Lavaca County. Stephen Bennett became a successful farmer and prominent citizen. The first burial on this site is believed to have taken place in 1846 when Stephen and Polly Bennett buried their oldest daughter, Sarah Bennett (1819-1846). Other family members, friends and neighbors had been buried here by 1871 when the Bennetts deeded one acre of their homestead to their seven surviving children for use as a burial ground. The oldest marked burials are those of Lucy L. Dyer (1830-1873) and William M. McMurrey (1806-1873). The Bennett children left their mark on Lavaca County as prominent physicians, cattlemen, soldiers, county officials, Masons and teachers. After the youngest daughter, Mary A. Bennett McCutcheon, died in 1884, the family land was passed to her two sons, Willis McCutcheon, Jr., and B.B. McCutcheon. They later sold a portion of the family land, legally setting aside two and one-half acres for the cemetery. The last known Bennett relative to be buried here was William L. Tolleson (1851-1915). The last known interment on this site took place in 1977. The graveyard also has been known as Pioneer Cemetery, McCutcheon Cemetery, Sweet Home (City) Cemetery, and Bennett-Tolleson Pioneer Cemetery. (1999)

Stephen Tucker Foley

Marker Title: Stephen Tucker Foley
Address: 315 S. Dowling Street, in Memorial Park
City: Hallettsville
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Memorial Park 315 South Dowling, Street, Hallettsville
Marker Text: Star and Wreath Born in Alabama. Came to Texas in 1834. Served in the Army of Texas, 1836. A member of Captain William Heard's Company of Citizen Soldiers at the Battle of San Jacinto. Erected by the State of Texas 1956

50th Anniversary of Battle of Galveston

Marker Title: 50th Anniversary of Battle of Galveston
Address: Third & Main Streets, on Courthouse lawn
City: Hallettsville
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Courthouse lawn, Third and Main Streets, Hallettsville
Marker Text: Jan. 1, 1863 --- Jan. 1, 1914 In commemorating the 50th anniversary of the capture of Galveston by the Southern Confederacy. Gen. Arthur P. Bagby commanding the "Neptune." Dedicated to the heroes who wore the gray at the battle of Galveston. Jan. 1, 1863 Capt. J.T. Whitfield Lieut. J.W. Carson Private Jno. Buchanan Capt. Jas. Walker Sergeant W. H. Turk Capt. J.W. Whitfield In memory of Lavaca Co. men who fought in the Civil War. Capt. James Walker Gen. John B. Magruder Col. Tom Green Col. Arthur P. Bagby Com. Leon Smith Co. G.W.H.H. Brazier Banners may be furled but heroism lives forever.


Marker Title: Hallettsville
Address: SW corner of S. La Grange St. & US 90A/US 77
City: Hallettsville
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: Southwest corner of South La Grange Street and Highway 77/90a Hallettsville.
Marker Text: Founded 1833 when John Hallett erected a log cabin near Lavaca River. Town was named for his widow, Margaret, who gave the land when town became county seat in 1852. Farming, livestock, poultry processing, and cotton marketing center. State Championship High School Rodeo held annually in June. 1968

Hallettsville Memorial Park

Marker Title: Hallettsville Memorial Park
Address: 313 S. Dowling Street
City: Hallettsville
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: 315 South Dowling Street, Hallettsville
Marker Text: Land originally property of Mrs. Mary Jane Hallett Ballard, who deeded it to trustees of the "Hallettsville Graveyard" in 1870. Area pioneers were buried here until 1898. The monument in center honors county's heroes in battles of the Alamo, Goliad, Gonzales, and San Jacinto. After 1898 the cemetery fell into disuse and weeds overgrew it. In 1952 several civic groups persuaded the city to establish a public park here; a group of leading citizens supervised its development. The city and local garden club have maintained the park and grounds since 1952. 1970

Isaac D. Hamilton

Marker Title: Isaac D. Hamilton
City: Moulton
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1956
Marker Location: Old Moulton Cemetery from Martar, take FM 1680 northwest about 1 mile then go 1 mile south on Old Marton Cemetery Road.
Marker Text: Came to Texas from Alabama in January 1836. A member of Captain Jack Shackelford's Red Rover Company under Colonel Fannin's Command, March 18-19, 1836. Miraculously escaped from the Goliad Massacre. Erected by the State of Texas 1956

Old Hanging Tree

Marker Title: Old Hanging Tree
City: Hallettsville
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: in city park, in front of Golf Club, west side of US 77 north city limits, Hallettsville.
Marker Text: Gallows used Sept. 12, 1879, at public hanging of "Pocket", an Indian, killer of Englishman Leonard Hyde. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967

Joseph Kent

Marker Title: Joseph Kent
City: Hallettsville
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: 315 South Dowling Street, Memorial Park Cemetery, Hallettsville.
Marker Text: Came to Texas about 1832. Taught in the Texas War for Independence at Bexar, 1835 and at San Jacinto, 1836. Died in Lavaca County, 1849. Erected by the State of Texas-1963

Lavaca County Courthouse

Marker Title: Lavaca County Courthouse
City: Hallettsville
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: Courthouse Square, corner of Main and 3rd Streets, Hallettsville.
Marker Text: Fifth structure to serve as seat of justice for Lavaca, created originally as "La Baca", a judicial county, by Congress of Republic of Texas in 1842. Declared unconstitutional along with other judicial counties, it was created anew by first Legislature of State of Texas on April 6, 1846, and organized on July 13, 1846. Earliest courthouse was of logs, and for an interval after that one burned, court was held under a live oak tree in old town of Petersburg. This is third courthouse on this site since county seat was moved to Hallettsville, 1852. Richardsonian in style, it is of Mineral Wells brown sandstone and has base and trim of Mills County grey stone. Eugene T. Heiner of Houston, noted for his public buildings, was the architect. Contractors A.T. Lucas and C.H. and J. Stadtler erected the structure in 1897-1899. Led by members of Hallettsville Schuetzen Verein, Silver Cornet Band, fire department, Sons of Hermann, and other orders, county dedicated the building July 4, 1899, with Judge P.H. Green giving the main address. Courthouse square was selected by Texas Society of Architects in 1970 for a restoration study. The courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

John Himes Livergood

Marker Title: John Himes Livergood
City: Hallettsville vicinity
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 2001
Marker Location: 5.5 miles south of Hallettsville on US 77.
Marker Text: (September 10, 1815 - October 3, 1893) A native of Pennsylvania, John Himes Livergood came to Texas in 1837 and received 640 acres of land on Peach Creek near Gonzales. From that time until Texas' annexation to the United States nearly ten years later, Livergood played an integral role in the defense of frontier settlements and in several major events during the Republic period. In 1840, Livergood joined Capt. Adam Zumwalt to pursue an Indian party that had attacked his neighbors. The chase ended with a decisive victory at the Battle of Plum Creek. Later he served in several scouting expeditions, including the Spy Company of the Texas Rangers under John (Jack) Coffee Hays. He took part in the Battle of Salado Creek and the Somervell Expedition in 1842. As a member of the doomed Mier Expedition to invade Mexico, he was a survivor of the Black Bean Episode and was finally released from Perote prison in 1844. While visiting family in Missouri in 1847, John H. Livergood met Sarah Ann Elizabeth Perkins (1828-1909). They married in 1847 and established a home (eventually with 13 children) on the Lavaca River. The Livergoods helped found Mossy Grove Methodist Church and were active leaders there. A farmer and rancher, Livergood also entered the political life of Lavaca County, serving as chief justice (county judge) from 1850 to 1852 and later as justice of the peace. In his final military service, Livergood served in the Lone Star Guard, the Texas State Troops and the Confederate army during the Civil War. Both he and Sarah Ann Livergood are buried at Mossy Grove Cemetery. (2001)


Marker Title: Moulton
City: Moulton
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: Highway 95 at Nelson Street, Moulton
Marker Text: Founded (about 2 miles northwest) in early 1850s. Moved to this site after 1887 when the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad extended its line from Yoakum to Waco, placing a station at this point. Sam and Will Moore, brothers, took lead in building an outstanding school here in 1901. Town remains an agricultural and shipping center.

Old Moulton

Marker Title: Old Moulton
City: Moulton
County: Lavaca
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: from Moulton, take FM 1680 about 2 mile northwest to Old Moulton.
Marker Text: At this point was center of original town of Moulton (named, according to tradition, by a man from Moulton, Alabama). First postmaster was James Walker (1856). Town gained statewide fame for the Moulton Institute operated 1874-1895 by Melvin H. Allis, M.A., and wife, Thankful ("Aunt Thank"). On the faculty was an outstanding teacher of music, Miss Sallie McLean. In 1887, San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad built its line two miles to the east, so town gradually moved there. Old Moulton Cemetery is one mile to the southeast.

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