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.

Part of our in-depth series exploring Texas Forest Trail Region Forts

Map of Tyler County

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Alabama-Coushattas of Texas | Fort Teran, Site of | Fort Teran Park | Heritage Village Museum | Site of Old Peach Tree Village | Tyler County | Tyler County Courthouse | Wheat, John
Alabama-Coushattas of Texas

Marker Title: Alabama-Coushattas of Texas
County: Tyler
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Text: Two tribes, welded into one in their wanderings. Visited Texas briefly in 1816, at Peach Tree Village, Tyler County, before swinging back into Louisiana. Seeking land to call their own, however, returned and made first home in Texas on this site, from 1836 to 1844, under leadership of First Chief Colabe Sylestine and Second Chief Antone Sylestine. Tribe built log cabins for chiefs and lean-tos of bark and wood for rest of the people. Settlement locations had to be carefully selected. As place for important tribal gatherings, an open field of deep sand had to be situated at center of every village. Here were held tribal pow-wows and ceremonial dancing, but the field's really popular function was as the ball park. Ball playing among the Alabama-Coushattas was a form of lacrosse, in which a long-handled racquet was used to catch, carry or throw a hard ball past the goalee. Women of the tribe, when they played, used no racquet-- only their hands. Known as migrants, rather than agricultural Indians, the Alabama-Coushattas nevertheless were Texas settlers who contributed to the culture of the state.

Fort Teran, Site of

Marker Title: Fort Teran, Site of
City: Chester
County: Tyler
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: This marker is only accessible w/4 wheel drive but has been reported as in good shape and is located on TDOT map. 11 mi NE of Chester FM 1745.

Fort Teran Park

Marker Title: Fort Teran Park
City: Colmesneil
County: Tyler
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: Not able to access without 4 X 4
Marker Text: Named a historical site by the Texas Centennial Committee, 1936--101 years after closing of fort. Park was donated in 1966 to Tyler County Historical Survey Committee by Mrs. Winnie Wilson in memory of her husband, S. Earl Wilson, who preserved fort site.

Heritage Village Museum

Museum Name: Heritage Village Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 888
City: Woodville
Zip Code: 75979
Street Address: W Hwy. 190
Area Code: 409
Phone: 283-2272
County: Tyler
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Site of Old Peach Tree Village

Marker Title: Site of Old Peach Tree Village
City: Chester
County: Tyler
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: FM 2097 2.5 mi N of US 287
Marker Text: In the early 19th century, the Alabama Indians -- then a large tribe -- made their headquarters on this site, and called their village "Ta-Ku-La," which meant "Peach Tree." Two trails blazed by early pioneers crossed here. A north-south trail came from Anahuac on the Gulf of Mexico, over the Neches River, leading onward to Nacogdoches; The other ran east-west from Opelousas, Louisiana, through what is now Moscow, to present Huntsville, then west to San Antonio. Other trails diverged from this: to the Galveston Bay area, San Felipe de Austin, and Goliad. The crossing of the trails made this a trading center of importance. With the coming of white settlers, the Alabama Indians withdrew, and the remnant of that tribe is now located about 15 miles south -- occupying the only Indian reservation in Texas. In Old Peach Tree village, some historic homes are marked. It is also site of the Kirby museum, founded by John Henry Kirby (1860-1940), who was born here, and whose career included service as a legislator, as well as leadership in lumbering, banking, oil development and railroad building.

Tyler County

Marker Title: Tyler County
City: Woodville
County: Tyler
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: junction of US 69 and US 190
Marker Text: (Crossroads to East Texas) Home ground of civilized tribes of Indians. Visited 1756 by Spanish explorers, who were trying to keep French trading expeditions out of Texas. Site in 1831 of Fort Teran, commanded by Colonel ellis Peter Bean, famous and colorful adventurer. The county was created an organized in 1846. It was named for President John Tyler, who signed the resolution to annex Texas to the United States. A 200-acre plot for a county seat was donated by a leading early settler, Josiah Wheat. It was named "Woodville" for George T. Wood, sponsor of the bill in the First Legislature of Texas which created the county. (Wood later served as Governor of Texas, from 1847 to 1849.) In the "Big Thicket." Home of the annual Dogwood Festival. Economy is based on timber, oil, livestock. First county officials: William P. Sansour, chief justice; Ezekiel Green, George Kirkwood, Angelina Parker, Ivy Taylor, commissioners; James Sapp, sheriff; James Barclay, tax assessor and collector; J. Dobb and William Gray, justices of the peace; Harmon Frazier, surveyor; John C. Arnett, treasurer. 1966 county officials: Jeff R. Mooney, county judge; Joe I. Best, F. C. Hicks, Leon Fowler, H. H. Powell, commissioners; J. F. Boyd, treasurer; Tom Sawyer, county clerk; A. L. Thornton, tax assessor & collector; Clyde E. Smith, Jr., county attorney; Grady Ray, sheriff; B. M. Minter, county school superintendent; Hilda Coats, district clerk; Joe H. Loggins, E. E. Sheffield, Clarence Woodrome, L. L. Parrish, justices of the peace.

Tyler County Courthouse

Marker Title: Tyler County Courthouse
Address: 100 W. Bluff St.
City: Woodville
County: Tyler
Year Marker Erected: 2000
Marker Text: After the creation of Tyler County in 1846 and the subsequent selection of Woodville as county seat, this block was set aside for use as the courthouse square and the first courthouse was completed by February 1849. In November 1890, the Tyler County commissioners court, with county judge Henry West presiding, elected to build a new center of county government and authorized the sale of bonds to finance the construction. The Corpus Christi architectural firm of Glover and Hodges designed the new courthouse in typically eclectic Victorian-era fashion, incorporating elements of the Second Empire, Gothic and Mediterranean styles. Despite problems during construction in 1891, contractors M. A. McKnight and McKnight completed the courthouse in early 1892. In 1935-1937 the county undertook a massive courthouse remodeling project with Works Progress Administration funds. Efforts to modernize the building at this time resulted in the removal of its more high style elements and the construction of a rear addition. Character-defining features from the original design, such as the windows and central tower remain, however. The Tyler County courthouse stands as a symbol of county government and a center of public and governmental activities. Its evolution from original design to current appearance is a part of the county's history and the building's service to the people of Tyler County. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2000

John Wheat

Marker Title: John Wheat
City: Woodville
County: Tyler
Year Marker Erected: 1974
Marker Location: Mt. Pisgah Cemetery on US 69, 3 mi. south of Woodville.
Marker Text: (August 7, 1813 - April 24, 1889) A native of Lawrence County, Ala. Migrating to Texas in 1835, Wheat located his headright and bounty lands here, and named many Tyler County creeks while hunting bear and other game. A soldier in Texas War for Independence, he guarded a Mexican officer prisoner after Battle of San Jacinto. He donated land for this cemetery, and served as county commissioner in 1852-54. Married four times, he had several children, and left to descendants many legends of the early days.

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