McLennan 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 Brazos Trail Region

Map of McLennan County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Barron, Thomas Hudson | Bosque River Crossing of the 1841 Texas Santa Fe Expedition | Cobbs-Walker Cemetery | Edens, John Silas | Gerald-Harris Shootings | Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M. | Old Harrison | Kornegay, David Smita | McKinza, Alexander | McLennan County | Moore, Louis | Ross | The Ross Oak | Sims Cabin | Texas Rangers and the Fence Cutters | Torrey's Trading Post No. 2 | Site of Torrey's Trading Post | Waco | Waco Springs, Site of the Waco Indian Village | Waco, County Seat of McLennan County | Walker, Sarah Ann Vouchere | West
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Waco and Cherokee Fights
Uncommemorated Active Battle Map (Stories below are on map.)
Raid on Parker's Fort | Fort Fisher
Thomas Hudson Barron

Marker Title: Thomas Hudson Barron
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1999
Marker Location: First Street Cemetery.
Marker Text: (March 8, 1796 - February 2,1874) Thomas Hudson Barron, the son of John M. and Susan Mattingly Barron, was born in Virginia. The family moved to Kentucky in 1805. Thomas joined the Kentucky Militia in November 1814 and participated in the Battle of New Orleans. He married Elizabeth Carnall in 1820 in the Arkansas Territory. They joined the Austin colony and came to Texas in 1822, staying one year before returning to Arkansas. The Barrons settled permanently in Texas in 1830 and are listed in Stephen F. Austin's 1831 Registry of Families. The home the Barrons built in Independence was later purchased by Sam Houston. Thomas and Elizabeth Barron joined the Sterling C. Robertson colony in the mid-1830s. Barron was the Ranger captain in charge of establishing Fort Fisher on the Brazos River in 1837. Elizabeth died after giving birth to twelve children. Thomas married Mary Jane Shelton in 1846 at Falls-on-the-Brazos. They became the parents of ten children and were among the earliest settlers in the area that became Waco. Barron was clerk of the first McLennan County Court in 1850 and of the first District Court in 1851. He built Waco's first steam mill in the 1850s. A street, school and creek in Waco were named for Barron, who served as McLennan County Tax Assessor in the 1860s after moving to Falls County. Barron died at Masterville (later Bruceville). He was interred at the Tom Cox Cemetery in that area. His grave was moved to this site in 1976. (1999)

Bosque River Crossing of the 1841 Texas Santa Fe Expedition

Marker Title: Bosque River Crossing of the 1841 Texas Santa Fe Expedition
City: China Spring
Year Marker Erected: 1992
Marker Location: from China Spring go 2 mi. west, turn south on Baylor Camp Rd. off FM 1637, go left on Meadering Way, sign is at beginning of bridge.
Marker Text: Sent by Republic of Texas president Mirabeau B. Lamar to establish trade and expand Texas Legal Boundaries, the members of the 1841 Texas Santa Fe Expedition met with a number of Hardships endeavoringto carry out their mission. On July 6, 1841, the expedition crossed the Bosque River near this site with great difficulty due to the steep river banks. Finally reaching New Mexico in September after enduring Indian attacks and lack of food and supplies, the travelers were captured by Mexican troops and marched to prison in Mexico City.

Cobbs-Walker Cemetery

Marker Title: Cobbs-Walker Cemetery
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1988
Marker Location: 3600 Blk. of Hillcrest Dr., Waco.
Marker Text: This small family cemetery was begun in 1853 upon the death of Missouri V.Cobbs, infant daughter of County Judge John Allen Cobbs and his wife Eleanor. The Graveyard contains one section with twenty-one graves of the cobbs and related families, and another section with several unmarked graves of former slaves. Also interred here are two veterans of the Texas War for Independence, William Collett Walker (1818-1896), husband of the Cobb's daughter, Rebecca; and his father James, F. Walker, Jr. (1793-1873, who served at the Battle of San Jacinto.

John Silas Edens

Marker Title: John Silas Edens
City: Ross
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Location: In white rock cemetery, 1 mile W. of Ross on Ross Rd. (located in rear of cemetery.)
Marker Text: Arkansas native John Silas Edens (b. December 15, 1820) arrived in present-day Houston County, Texs, in 1831. He served in the republic of Texas Army in 1836 then joined the Texas rangers and participated in several Indian campaigns in 1841. He returned to farm and ranch in Houston County where he and his first wife Amanda Adams reared a family of 7 children. He served in the confederate Army during the Civil War then returned to his Houston County home and established the area's first school. In 1868 the Edens moved to McLennan County and settled in the Leroy Community. Edens died at his Leroy home on July 3, 1892.

Gerald-Harris Shootings

Marker Title: Gerald-Harris Shootings
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1978
Marker Location: Austin & 4th Sts, Waco.
Marker Text: James W. Harris (1863-1897), editor of Waco's "Time -Herald" and Judge George Bruce Gerald (1836-1914) argued over an article the Judge wrote. It supported William Cowper Bran's controversial magazine, "The Iconoclast", which denounced, among other things, Baptists and Baylor Unversity. After a fist fight which Harris won, the Judge distributed a Handbill branding Harris" A liar, coward and cur" and challenged him to a duel. Harris and his brother met a Judge Gerald near this intersection in a pistol battle. The Harrises were killed at the Judge wounded. Judge Gerald won reelection in 1900.

Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M.

Marker Title: Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M.
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1987
Marker Location: 715 Columbus (between 7th and 8th on Columbus), Waco.
Marker Text: The first attempt to establish freemasonry in Texas occurred in 1828 when Stephen F. Austin and a group of Masons petitioned the Mexican National Grand Lodge for a Lodge Charter. Due to the political upheaval of the time, nothing became of the petition. Five Master Masons met in Brazoria in March 1835 and sent a petition to Grand Master John H. Holland of Lousiana asking for a charter to form a lodge in Texas. The charter was delivered to Anson Jones, who carried it during the battle of San Jacinto. Holland Lodge was located in Houston and by 1837 was joined by Milam Lodge in Nacogdoches and McFarland Lodge in San Augustine. On December 20, 1837, the three lodges met in convention and created the grand lodge of the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston presided at the convention, and Anson Jones was elected First Grand Master. The Grand Lodge met in various locations before permanently locating in Waco in 1902. Masons were at the forefront of Texas History. Twenty-two of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence were masons. Members of the organization defended the Alamo and fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. All of the presidents and vice presidents of the Republic of Texas were Masons.

Old Harrison

Marker Title: Old Harrison
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: From Waco take Hwy. 1860 about 1/4 mi. from the intersection of Hwy. 6.
Marker Text: Named for confederate general James E. Harrison, Kinsman of U.S. president Wm. Henry Harrison and close friend of confederate president Jefferson Davis. Born in South Carolina. Early settler, political leader and landowner in McLennan and Falls counties. Member of the Texas secession convention. As an adopted son of Chickasaw Indian Tribe, headed special Civil War Missions in Indian territory. As a stockholder in Waco tap railway, gave right-of-way and site for Harrison station, town had post office, school, stores, churches, gins, gristmills.

David Smita Kornegay

Marker Title: David Smita Kornegay
City: Bosqueville
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Waco take N. 19th St. about 1 mi. to Rock Creek Rd., turn east, marker is located in Bosqueville Cemetery.
Marker Text: Fought at San Jacinto, 1836. Escaped the Dawson Massacre 1842. Born in North Carolina 1810. Died April 5, 1856.

Alexander McKinza

Marker Title: Alexander McKinza
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: From Waco 1 mile N. on N. 19th St. turn east on Rock Creek Rd. (cemetery is across from Methodist church) grave is in NE corner, Bosqueville.
Marker Text: In 1834 Alexander McKinza moved to Nacogdoches, Texas, from his native Alabama. During the Texas War for Independence, he joined the Sabine volunteers under Capt. Benjamin F. Bryant and fought at the Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. McKinza married Clarrissa Brewer on March 14, 1839. He had a store near Douglass until 1857 and served as Justice of the Peace for Nacogoches County from 1853 to 1857. He settled in McLennan County about 1860. (1976)

McLennan County

Marker Title: McLennan County
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: 2 mi N. Waco, US 81.
Marker Text: Created January 22, 1850. Organized August 5, 1850. Named in honor of Neil McLennan 1787-1867 came to Texas in 1835 located on the Bosque River in 1840. Built the first dwelling a log Cabin, in McLennan County Waco, the County Seat.

Louis Moore

Marker Title: Louis Moore
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1989
Marker Location: 2.1 mi. No. of intersection of FM 3501 and FM 933, Moore Cemetery is located off Fm 933, Waco (Marker's obleist at rear).
Marker Text: (May 25, 1817-May 13, 1894) Missouri native Louise Moore moved from Arkansas to Texas about 1834. He received a Mexican land grant and enlisted in the Texas Army in April 1836. He was among the troops who guarded baggage at Harrisburg during the Battle of San Jacinto and later served with the Texas Ranger Company which established Fort Fisher. Twice married, he was the father of nine children. In his later years he lived in the Chalk Bluff Community.


Marker Title: Ross
City: Ross
Year Marker Erected: 1988
Marker Location: 1/10 mile W. of Ross on Ross Road.
Marker Text: This community has historic ties to the settlement of White rock (1mi. W), one of the rail terminus was established here in 1873, bypassing white rock, residents moved to the new town that developed. It was named in honor of Lawrence Sullivan Ross, the Ranger, confederate general, and McLennan county Sheriff who later became governor of Texas and a noted educator. Because of he area's Rich farmland, the town of Ross developed early as a center of European immigration and agricultural trade.

The Ross Oak

Marker Title: The Ross Oak
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Location: in backyard of Waco Child Care Infant Center Admin. Office - 613 S. 9th St., Waco.
Marker Text: This large Live Oak tree is named for the Pioneer family of Shapley Prince Ross (1811-89), who camped here overnight while migrating from Missouri in 1839. They returned to this area in 1848,with Ross at the head of a Texas Ranger Company. When Waco was founded in 1849, Ross bought the land around the Oak Tree. He became postmaster, Ferryman, and Hotel owner in the town. He and wife, Catherine (1812-86), were parents of Robert (b.1848) and Kate (b.1851) Ross, first children born to permanent Anglo-American settlers in this area. Another son, Lawrence Sullivan Ross (1838-98), was governor of Texas, 1887-91)

Sims Cabin

Marker Title: The Sims Cabin
Address: 1020 Sleepy Hollow
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: on private property in the Woodway Neighborhood.
Marker Text: Built 1852 in Freestone County by Sterling Sims (d. 1882), settler from Georgia. With family and 17 slaves, Sims journeyed up the Trinity from Galveston, then by ox-wagon from Navarro Crossing to 490-acre farm he had bought. He and skilled slave carpenter built oak cabin as permanent home. The 18-foot (14"x14") sills weigh more than a ton each. Moved to Waco, 1930s; damaged by fire, 1959; cabin has been restored by Robert E. Davis.

Texas Rangers and the Fence Cutters

Marker Title: The Texas Rangers and the Fence Cutters
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: At entrance to Texas Rangers Museum at entrance to Fort Fisher (University Parks Avenue and I-35) in Waco.
Marker Text: Before 1875 in Texas, cattle roamed over thousands of acres of public land, and free grazing became a tradition. After 1875, however, an increasing farm populace tended to protect crops and other property with barbed wire fences which were resented by stockraisers. Cattle losses in droughts of the 1880s provoked such widespread cutting of fences that the Texas government recognized this as a crime and in 1884 enacted laws and measures to curb the practice. Texas Rangers were dispatched by the Governor at the call of County Judges and Sheriffs to apprehend the fence cutters. They operated from the Red River to the Rio Grande, and from the Panhandle to the Pine Woods of East Texas. Disguise and concealment were required, and one of the Rangers who won praise for his work pronounced it the most disagreeable duty in the world. The vigorous effort went on for some years. Finally, however, stockmen who had wanted to restore the open range were won over to fencing their own lands and using windmills to water their cattle herds. The Texas Rangers had in one more instance helped to stabilize life in the West.

Torrey's Trading Post No. 2

Marker Title: Torrey's Trading Post No. 2
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Text: Site of greatest Indian council in Republic of Texas. There President Sam Houston made famous 1844 peace talks to assembled chiefs. A "listening post" for frontier; aided in peacekeeping. Built 1844 and run by Geo. Barnard for the Torrey Brothers. In 1849 the post was moved to Waco by Barnard.

Site of Torrey's Trading Post

Marker Title: Site of Torrey's Trading Post
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Text: Established in 1843 by John F. Torrey and brothers and managed by George Barnard the post was on the line separating the Indian and white settlements; Here the Indians signed treaties and received presents until 1854 when they were settled on reservations on the Upper Brazos.


Marker Title: Waco
Address: US 84 & SH 31
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: Intersection of US 84 and SH 31, Waco.
Marker Text: Founded 1849. Named for Waco Indians. Sent men to state frontier defense and Confederate Army in Civil War. Home of five C.S.A. generals. Civic facilities serve as populous Central Texas region, as do its financial enterprises. Home of Baylor University, Paul Quinn College, Cameron Park and annual Heart O'Texas Fair.

Waco Springs, Site of the Waco Indian Village

Marker Title: Waco Springs, Site of the Waco Indian Village
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Marker is located behind Taylor Museum of Waco History, between 7th and 6th on Waco Drive, Waco.
Marker Text: On this site stood the village of a semi-civilized tribe, the Waco Indians who made a treaty with Stephen F. Austin in 1824 but were driven out by Comanches about 1837. From them the city of Waco, laid out by Major George B. Erath in 1849, takes its name.

Waco, County Seat of McLennan County

Marker Title: Waco, County Seat of McLennan County
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: At Texas Ranger Museum at entrance to Fort Fisher (University Parks Avenue and I-35N), Waco.
Marker Text: Within sight of this spot March 1, 1849, occurred the first sale of town lots at Waco Village, former home of Waco Indians. Shapley P. Ross, first settler, started Brazos Ferry in 1850. McLennan County was created same year, named for Neil McLennan, pioneer Scot whose cabin on the South Bosque River became first Anglo-American home in the area (1845). Waco, county seat, grew steadily as a center of trade, education, and industry for rich farm and ranch area. Completion of first Brazos River Bridge, 1870, and coming of first railroad, 1872, set city on the road to industrial expansion. At the turn of the century, Waco was one of Texas' major inland cotton exporters. Three Texas Governors have resided in the city: Richard Coke (1874-1876), Sul Ross (1887-1891), and Pat M. Neff (1921-1925). Baylor University moved to Waco, 1886, and Texas Christian University was located here 1896-1910. Military training (1917-1918 and 1941-1966) made Waco famous in faraway places. Camp McArthur and aviation schools at Rich Field, Blackland, Waco Army Air Field, and Connally Air Force Base have been located here. Flood control dams on Brazos Basin (built 1954-1965) assure future water supply of the area and have opened much land for development in metropolitan Waco.

Sarah Ann Vouchere Walker

Marker Title: Sarah Ann Vouchere Walker
City: Waco
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: corner of Stanfield Road and Business 77 feeder road (also called 491), in front of Stanfield-Walker Cemetery, Waco.
Marker Text: Widow of Jacob Walker, said to have been last man to die in the Alamo. Born in Louisiana in 1811. Married and came to Texas 1829, and to this area 1844. Received Republic of Texas Land Grant No. 1, Sabine County, a league and labor E. of the Brazos. Once rode horseback 300 mi. to warn Gen. Sam Houston of an impending Indian attack. Her burial site, about 100 ft. to the south, set aside in perpetuity by her grandson, George Anthony Stanfield. This marker erected by her descendants, through McLennan County Historical Survey Committee, 1965.


Marker Title: West
City: West
Year Marker Erected: 1993
Marker Location: 110 N. Reagan at City Hall, West.
Marker Text: This community traces its origin to the establishment by entrepreneur Thomas M. West of a stagecoach stop, dry goods store and post office here in the late 1860s. Known as the Bold Springs Settlement, these commercial structures were built on a section of the "Dallas Road" leading to West's ranch property. Early Anglo-American settlers were soon drawn to the area by its abundance of good water and the availability of rich wooded prairie blacklands. In 1880 the Missouri, Kansas, & Texas (Katy) Railroad erected a depot at Bold Springs and in 1882 the name of the community was changed to West in honor of Thomas West. The coming of the railroad and the emergence of cotton production in the 1880s attracted many Czech and German immigrants to this area. By 1900 the town had become the economic and cultural center of the thriving farming region of north-eastern McLennan County. The community soon added its first newspaper, bank, volunteer fire department, and its first block of brick buildings. By 1910 West was a bustling town of about 2000 people. Since then the community has experienced slow but steady growth. Westfest, an annual event since 1976, celebrates the community's Czech heritage.

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