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 Leon County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Anderson House, James and Julia | Durst, John | Fort Boggy | Fort Boggy, Site of | Gould, Colonel Robert Simonton
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Clapp's Blockhouse | Fort Henderson

James and Julia Anderson House

Marker Title: James and Julia Anderson House
Address: 417 Weakley St.
City: Jewett
County: Leon
Year Marker Erected: 1999
Marker Text: Ohio-born James Elgin Anderson (1836-1918) settled in Leon County in 1857. He enlisted in the Confederate army in 1861, serving with the Leon Hunters, Hood's Texas Brigade. After standing with Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox in 1865, Capt. Anderson returned to Leon County, where he became a distinguished educator and married Julia Evans (1847-1897) in 1867. The Andersons purchased property here in 1875 and built a house with outside end chimneys. In keeping with Victorian trends, they remodeled the house between 1885 and 1895, adding a second story and the exuberant Eastlake detailing so prominent on the porches and along the roofline. A noted piece of Jewett's heritage, the house remained in the family for many years. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-1999

John Durst

Marker Title: John Durst
City: Leona
County: Leon
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from Leona, take FM 977 about 2 mi. east to CR 142 (Durst Rd.), go north .5 mi. to gate on left, go west down dirt road .3 mi. to Durst Family Cemetery.
Marker Text: Came to Texas in 1821, owner of the Old Stone Fort in Nacogdoches in 1835. Moved to Leon County in 1844, his wife being the first Anglo-American woman resident of the county. Born in Arkansas, Feb. 4, 1797; died, Feb. 9, 1851. His wife, Harriet M. (Jamison) Durst; born in Virginia, Feb. 5, 1807; died, September 23, 1885.

Comment from visitor to site:

Harriet M. Jamison Durst could not have been the first Anglo-American woman resident of the county in 1844, when a land grant  in Leon County was given to Candace Midkiff bean on April 22, 1835.

Respectfully yours, Tex Midkiff (Descendant of Candace Midkiff Bean
Harold G. (Tex) Midkiff, CPP, CFE

Another comment from a visitor to this site: I would like to add

I too found this statement to be false- there were many women in this area by that time. James C. Bloodworth received a land patent in 1838. He and his wife,  Mary Jane, settled in this area in 1838 and lived there until app. 1860. He was a member of the Rangers/minutemen under Capt Greer.

Respectfully yours, Raydene Bloodworth Wolney

Fort Boggy

Marker Title: Fort Boggy
City: Centerville
County: Leon
Year Marker Erected: 1985
Marker Location: from Centerville, take I-45 south about 5 mi. to rest area on southbound side of highway.
Marker Text: Pioneers who settled in this area bout 1840 included members of the Middleton, Byrns, Staley, Erwin, Jones, Capp, Bloodworth, Philpott, Easton, Howell, and Hinton families. Nearby Kichai and Kickapoo Indian camps afforded these early settlers little sense of security. On February 5, 1840, Christopher C. Staley was ambushed and killed by a group of Indians while out hunting near his home. This incident led to the building of Fort Boggy for the protection and safety of the settlers. Named for its proximity to Boggy Creek, the fort consisted of two blockhouses with eleven dwellings inside an area of about 5000 square feet. A military company, authorized by Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar, was formed under the leadership of Capt. Thomas Greer to protect the fort. According to one account, 77 people moved into the fort upon its completion. Illness proved to be a major problem for them. In 1841, while leading a scouting party beyond the fort, Captain Greer was killed in an Indian attack. Soon after, the threat of raids lessened, and the need for Fort Boggy no longer was vital. For many years, however, a community church and school retained the name "Boggy." As an early aid in the settlement of this area, Fort Boggy remains significant to the history of Leon County.

Fort Boggy State Park
Site of Fort Boggy

Marker Title: Site of Fort Boggy
City: Centerville
County: Leon
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from Centerville, take SH 75 about 4.5 mi. south, marker is to the west, off road, just north of Boggy Creek bridge, in area being developed for future state park.
Marker Text: Here a blockhouse was constructed in 1840 as headquarters for the Boggy and Trinity Rangers commanded by Captain Thomas N.B. Greer. A community retained the name Fort Boggy for a number of years.

Colonel Robert Simonton Gould

Marker Title: Colonel Robert Simonton Gould
City: Buffalo
County: Leon
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: from Buffalo, take US 79 south about 2 mi. to picnic area on west side of road.
Marker Text: (1826-1904) Born in North Carolina. Educated at University of Alabama. Came to Texas in 1850. Practiced law in Centerville. Served as the first district attorney, then as judge in the Old 13th Judicial District. Represented Leon County as member of Secession Convention, 1861. Afterward, as this county voted 534 to 82 in favor of secession, raised locally troops which as Co. B, became nucleus for 6th Texas Cavalry (or Gould's) Battalion, in the Confederate Army. First as major, then as colonel, Gould led battalion for 4 years in Louisiana and Texas. Saw duty in Red River campaign to prevent invasions of Texas, fighting in the 1864 repulses of Federals at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. At Jenkins Ferry, Ark., Col. Gould had his horse killed under him. After the war he was reelected judge of the Old 13th District, but was removed in 1867 by military authorities in charge of reconstruction in Texas. Appointed assistant justice of Texas Supreme Court in 1874, he was afterwards elected, and served until Dec. 31, 1882 (being chief justice in 1880-1882). Was named, along with Governor O. M. Roberts, as one of two first professors of law at the University of Texas, holding tenure 1883-1899. Died in Austin.

Clapp's Blockhouse
Elisha Clapp Picture
Captain Elisha Clapp
Painted by great-granddaughter, Wilfred Clapp

Captain Elisha Clapp was captain of the mounted Rangers, whose fortified home became the headquarters for his Rangers. On September 16th, 1836, he received orders from Sam Houston that read as follows:

"You will range from any point on the Brazos to Mr. Hall's Trading House on the Trinity. For your orders, I refer you to copies of those given to Captain Michael Costley of the N.W. Frontier, therewith enclosed for your information. The general principles of them you will find applicable to your command as well as to all officers employed on the frontier. You will detail eight men from your command for the service and place at the disposition of Dan Parker Esq., as the local situation of the frontier may require."

Fort Henderson

This Texas Ranger fort was built by Major William H. Smith's battalion early in 1837 and commanded by Captain Lee C. Smith as part of the defensive line established by the Republic of Texas against marauding Plains Indians. The fort was named for General James Pinckney Henderson. It was on the upper Navasota River near the present boundaries of Robertson and Leon counties. At that time, this area was deep in Indian country. The fort was difficult to supply and of questionable defensive use. For those reasons the fort was abandoned soon after its construction, probably in the fall of 1837. There are no visible ruins.

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