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Washington 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. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Burton Community | Chappell Hill Historical Society Museum | La Bahia Road | Early Texas River Steamers | Robertson Home, General Jerome B. | Robinson Sr., Andrew | Star of the Republic Museum | Washington County | Washington County Courthouse | Washington on the Brazos State Historical Park | Washington-on-the-Brazos
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Camp Felder | Camp Waul

Map of Washington County

Burton Community

Marker Title: Burton Community
City: Burton
County: Washington
Marker Location: Main and Washington Sts. in front of Burton State Bank and post office, Burton.
Marker Text: John M. Burton (1806-77) of Georgia came to Texas in the 1820s, and to this area in 1834. When the Houston & Texas Central Railroad was being built in 1869, he sold land for townsite. Post office opened Sept. 23, 1870, with Charles Huberich as postmaster. Early businesses included a mercantile store, lumber yard, blacksmith, tin shop, cotton gin, oil mill, drugstore, and leather shop. The noted Texas Ranger Captain L. H. McNelly lived here. After service with State Police, he came home and raised two Ranger units that reflected credit on citizens of the Burton community, 1874-1877.

Chappell Hill Historical Society Museum

Museum Name: Chappell Hill Historical Society Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 211
City: Chappell Hill
Zip Code: 77426
Street Address: Church & Poplar Streets
Area Code: 409
Phone: 836-6033
County: Washington

La Bahia Road

Marker Title: La Bahia Road
City: Brenham
County: Washington
Marker Location: At the intersection of SH 36 and FM 390, 7 mi. N of Brenham.
Marker Text: One of the first overland routes used by European explorers of Texas, La Bahia Road was originally an east-west Indian trail in southeastern Texas and Louisiana. Earlier it may have been an animal trail. Although not as famous, or long, as El Camino Real (the San Antonio Road), La Bahia is probably older and it figured quite importantly in the movement of explorers, soldiers, traders, and settlers across Texas. Possibly the first European to set foot on the road was La Salle, who explored for France in this area during 1685-87. Almost certainly it was traveled by the Spaniard Alonso De Leon, who searched for the French intruders in 1689. From 1812 on, the trail and its westernmost town, La Bahia (now Goliad), served agents of both war and peace. The Gutierrez-Magee Expedition, part of Mexico's revolt against Spain, used the road in 1812-13. In 1821 the first Anglo-American colonists in Texas, the vanguard of the "Old 300", came down La Bahia into this area. During the 1836 Texas Revolution, the road found use by troops of the Texan army; Col. James Fannin and his 400 men were massacred near the road--in Goliad. In the 20th century, La Bahia's route helped surveyors map modern Texas highways.

Early Texas River Steamers

Marker Title: Early Texas River Steamers
City: Brenham
County: Washington
Marker Location: About 11 miles E of Brenham on US 290 just W of Brazos River and just S of US 290 on Malinowski Road.
Marker Text: River-shipping efforts in pioneer Texas by steamboat were centered primarily on the Brazos (about 2 mi. E.), and Washington-on-the-Brazos (about 15 mi. N.) was an important distribution point for commercial interests. The Brazos flowed through most productive cotton and sugar region in Texas; steamers greatly aided shipment of these items to markets in New Orleans. The first steamer reached Washington in 1840; by 1849 its docks were busy with steamboats making regular river trips. Between 1820-1840 settlers made journey to Texas on the Red River in steamers if the river was high enough and there were no obstructions. Buffalo Bayou, extending from Houston to Galveston Bay, was waterway traveled most often by steamers, and took over trade from Brazos River because it had better outlet to the sea. Navigation on the Trinity, Colorado, and Sabine rivers also increased inland growth and development. While rivers in Texas seemed to offer possibilities for steamboat travel, the story of river navigation is largely one of disappointment. Most meandering rivers were too shallow, often flooded, needed clearing; many were choked with driftwood. These hazards greatly retarded economic and social development of the state. By 1865 the importance of river steamers was gone.

Robertson Home, General Jerome B.

Marker Title: General Jerome B. Robertson Home
City: Independence
County: Washington
Marker Location: 1/10 mi. E off FM 50 (10200 block) on Local Rd., Independence.
Marker Text: A captain in the army of the Republic of Texas 1836; a captain in the Somervell Expedition 1842; Representative and Senator in the Texas Legislature; Brigadier General of Hood's Brigade C.S.A.

Robinson Sr., Andrew

Marker Title: Andrew Robinson Sr.
City: Washington
County: Washington
Marker Location: In front of Star of the Republic Museum in Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park, Washington.
Marker Text: First settler of Stephen F. Austin's "Old 300" colonists to arrive in Texas. Came November 1821 with his wife Nancy and 2 children. In 1824 he received title to over 9,000 acres of land and was made a captain in the colonial militia. The town of Washington was surveyed on his grant and he became a co-founder of it. By 1830 he was operating a ferry at La Bahia Crossing as well as a hotel and saloon. In 1835 he fought in the Battle of Gonzales, where his unit first carried into battle the original Lone Star flag made by Sarah Dodson. He died 1852.

Star of the Republic Museum

Museum Name: Star of the Republic Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 317
City: Washington
Zip Code: 77880
Area Code: 409
Phone: 878-2461
County: Washington

Washington County

Marker Title: Washington County
City: Washington
County: Washington
Marker Location: In front of Visitor Services Complex in Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park, Washington.
Marker Text: To the memory of those courageous souls, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention held here March 1-17, 1836 who declared Texas free, organized a Republic, and framed its constitution Jessie B. Badgett; Dr. George Washington Barnett; Thomas Barnett; Stephen William Blount; John White Bower; Asa Brigham; Andrew Briscoe; John Wheeler Bunton; John S.D. Byrom; Mathew Caldwell; Samuel Price Carson; George Campbell Childress; William Clark, Jr.; Robert M. Coleman; James Collingsworth; Edward Conrad; William Carroll Crawford; Richard Ellis; Dr. Stephen Hendrickson Everitt; John Fisher; Samuel Rhoades Fisher; James Gaines; Dr. Thomas Jefferson Gazley; Benjamin Briggs Goodrich; Jesse Grimes; Robert Hamilton; Bailey Hardeman; Augustine Blackburn Hardin; Samuel Houston; William Demetris Lacey; Albert Hamilton Latimer; Edward Oswald Legrand; Samuel Augustus Maverick; Collin McKinney; Michel Branamour Menard; William Menefee; John W. Moore; Dr. Junius William Mottley; Jose Antonio Navarro; Martin Parmer; Sydney Oswald Pennington; Robert Potter; James Power; John S. Roberts; Sterling Clack Robertson; Francisco Ruiz; Thomas Jefferson Rusk; William Bennett Scates; George Washington Smyth; Elijah Stapp; Dr. Charles Bellinger Stewart; James Gibson Swisher; Charles Standfield Taylor; David Thomas; John Turner; Edwin Waller; Claiborne West; James B. Woods; Dr. Lorenzo De Zavala May these names be engraved on the hearts of all Texans

Washington County Courthouse

Marker Title: Washington County Courthouse
City: Brenham
County: Washington
Marker Location: 105 E. Main between S. Park and Baylor Sts., Brenham.
Marker Text: Built in 1940 with funds granted by the Public Works Administration. This is the fourth courthouse to serve Washington County since its formation in 1835. Constructed during the tenure of County Judge Sam Low, the massive white limestone courthouse was designed in the art moderne style. Details of that style include the light fixtures and cast aluminum eagles at the entries. The building stands as a symbol of Washington County government.

Washington on the Brazos State Historical Park

Museum Name: Washington on the Brazos State Historical Park
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 305
City: Washington
Zip Code: 77880
Street Address: FM 1155
Area Code: 409
Phone: 878-2214
County: Washington

Washington-on-the-Brazos

Marker Title: Washington-on-the-Brazos
City: Washington
County: Washington
Marker Location: In Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park, Washington.
Marker Text: This frontier village was the setting for the convention that on March 2, 1836, wrote and signed the immortal Texas Declaration of Independence in this first capital of the Republic of Texas, the constitution was drawn, the government organized. However, Washington was a target for Santa Anna's army, and on March 17 the government had to flee. After the Texas victory at San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, Washington was again proposed as capital, but Houston was selected instead. In 1842, the Republic's government returned to Washington and remained here during the term of Anson Jones, fourth and last president of Texas. Anson Jones, native of Massachusetts, in 1833 had come to Texas, where he at once began the practice of his profession, medicine. At the Battle of San Jacinto, in the Texas Revolution, he took the field as surgeon of the 2nd Regiment. Later he served in the Texas Congress, was minister to the United States, Secretary of State, a senator, and finally the president from 1844 to 1846. Upon annexation of Texas to the United States, Dr. Jones retired to Barrington, his plantation near Washington. He died in Houston on January 9, 1858.

Camp Felder

Camp Felder was a Confederate camp for Union prisoners of war. It was located near present-day Chappell Hill in Washington County and was named for Gabriel Felder, owner of the Brazos River bottomland where the camp was established.

Camp Waul

Camp Waul was a Confederate training camp seven miles north of Brenham and was named for Thomas Neville Waul. Waul's Texas Legion was organized on May 13, 1862 and ordered out of state in August that year.

Chappell Hill Blood Trail
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