Liberty County Historical Markers

Texas Independence Trail Region
Map of Liberty County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Atascosito | Bryan, Luke | Bryan, Pryor | Bryan-Neyland Cemetery | Cherry, John | Hardin, Milton Ashley | Sam Houston in Liberty County | Kalita, Chief of the Coushatta Indians | Lallemand, Riguad and Other French Settlers | Liberty County | Mexican Hill | Orr, Homesite of George | Runaway Scrape | Tarkington, Burton B. | Trinity River
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Camp d'Asile

Atascosito

Marker Title: Atascosito
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1956
Marker Location: SH 146 at intersection w/FM 1011
Marker Text: 1756-Liberty Bicentennial, observance 1956 Atascosito, established Indian Village prior to 1690. Established as District on Atascosito Road by Spanish government in 1857 to prevent French trade with Indians. Bill Daniel, Director General, W.D. Partlow, Chairman, Historical Marker Committee.

Luke Bryan

Marker Title: Luke Bryan
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Bryan-Neyland Cemetery, Edgewood at Bowie St.
Marker Text: A soldier in the Army of Texas, 1825. A participant in the Battle of San Jacinto. Born in Louisiana October 7, 1807; died October 7, 1869.

Bryan, Pryor

Marker Title: Bryan, Pryor
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Bryan-Neyland Cemetery, Edgewood at Bowie St.
Marker Text: An officer in the Army of Texas 1835-1836. Born in Louisiana March 11, 1810; died April 19, 1873. His wife Mary A. Merriman Bryan born August 6, 1817; died January 13, 1861.

Bryan-Neyland Cemetery

Marker Title: Bryan-Neyland Cemetery
Address: 1300 Edgewood at Bowie St.
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1981
Marker Text: Also known as the Bryan-Williams Cemetery or the Kersting Cemetery, this family burial ground is the resting place for some of Liberty County's most prominent citizens. One of the oldest graves is that of Luke Bryan (1807-69), veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto and later Liberty County sheriff. His brother Pryor Bryan (1810-73), who fought in the Texas Revolution and Civil War, married Mary A. Merriman (1817-61). Both are buried here along with daughter Laura (1847-1927) and her husband Capt. Watson D. Williams (1838-81) of the Confederate Army, later a successful publisher and Liberty businessman. Two Williams children are buried here: Jessie (1871-82) who died at age 11; and Wilda (1873-1928), a musician, who married Liberty County Judge William Neyland (1869-99) in 1895. Their son Watson (1898-1963) became a world-renowned painter. Others buried here include Eugenia Mouton (1841-1915), authoress, publisher, and half-sister of W.D. Williams; Isaiah C. Day (1812-79), the businessman and rancher for whom the town of Dayton (formerly West Liberty) is named; "Miss Yettie" Kersting (1863-1941), beloved Liberty businesswoman and benefactress; and Elizabeth Watkins whose 1853 grave is the oldest in the cemetery. Although few in number, the graves are given full care by the Liberty Cemetery Association.

John Cherry

Marker Title: John Cherry
City: Cleveland
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: Ryan Cemetery, on SH 321, 13 mi. southeast of Cleveland.
Marker Text: (November 23, 1808 - April 12, 1891) Soldier in Capt. William Logan's company, 2nd Regiment, Volunteers, Texas War for Independence, 1836. Born in Highland County, Ohio, came to Texas with his father, Aaron Cherry, 1818. Settled near a Coushatta Indian village. In 1838 by commission of President Sam Houston, he was interpreter for Indians in a treaty parley. He received 2 Texas land grants. Married (1) Matilda Bridges; (2) Roxy Line White; (3) Frances Holt Smith. Had 14 sons, 7 daughters.

Milton Ashley Hardin

Marker Title: Milton Ashley Hardin
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1997
Marker Location: Liberty City Cemetery, 800 block of Bowie St.
Marker Text: (November 4, 1813 - September 18, 1894) Tennessee native Milton Hardin moved to Texas in 1826 with his parents, settling in present day Liberty County. In 1835 he fought at the Battle of Concepcion and the Siege of Bexar and secured a land grant for his service. He later sold the land that became the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation. Milton Hardin married Mary Isbell; they became the parents of three children. He moved to Hood County and later Johnson County, where he died. (1997)

Picture of General Sam Houston
General Sam Houston
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Sam Houston in Liberty County

Marker Title: Sam Houston in Liberty County
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1985
Marker Location: SW corner of Main and Sam Houston St.
Marker Text: Pioneer, lawyer, statesman, and leader of the Texas victory over Mexico at San Jacinto, General Sam Houston began a relationship with Liberty County in 1833 that was based on land ownership which continued until his death in 1863. During those years he concluded nine land transactions involving nearly 20,000 acres. He established family homes at Cedar Point (now part of Chambers County) in 1840 and at Grand Cane (22 mi. N) in 1842. From 1838 to 1855, Sam Houston practiced law in Liberty, maintaining an office on this site across from the Courthouse Square. Houston's other activities in Liberty County included his attendance at worship services of the Concord Baptist Church (Grand Cane), of which his wife, Margaret Lea Houston, was one of the founders in 1845. Sam Houston's activities in Liberty County took place while he was serving in various leadership roles for Texas, including President of the Republic of Texas (1836-1838, 1841-1844) and as the first United States Senator for the newly-annexed state of Texas (1846-1859). He has been honored in Liberty County by the naming of Sam Houston Avenue and the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center.

Kalita, Chief of the Coushatta Indians

Marker Title: Kalita, Chief of the Coushatta Indians
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: in Moss Hill, roadside park on W side of SH 146 just N of intersection with SH 105, about 15 mi. N of Liberty
Marker Text: Friend of the pioneers.

Lallemand, Riguad and Other French Settlers

Marker Title: Lallemand, Riguad and Other French Settlers
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Marker Location: E on Old Trinity River Bridge
Marker Text: To Generals Charles Lallemand, Antoine Rigaud, the veterans of the Napoleonic Wars and other French settlers, who, after many trials and adventures, came to Texas in the spring of 1818 to found on the banks of the Trinity River the Champ D'Asile: a last refuge for peace and liberty "Nous voulons vivre libres, laborieux et paisables" (We want to live as free men through our labor, and in peace.)

Liberty County

Marker Title: Liberty County
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: on the N shoulder of US 90 about 2 mi. E of Liberty
Marker Text: A trail across this region traveled and described by Alonso de Leon in 1690 became the "La Bahia" or "Lower Road" in the 18th century. First settlement, Atascocita, established in 1757. The town established May 5, 1831 as the "Villa de la Santisima Trinity de la Libertad" (City of the Blessed Trinity of Liberty) became the county seat and gave the county its name when created and organized in 1836.

Mexican Hill

Marker Title: Mexican Hill
Address: 2315 US Hwy. 90 East
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1985
Marker Text: Following the decisive Battle of San Jacinto in the Texas War for Independence, most of the Mexicans captured in the battle were taken to Galveston. Problems concerning a lack of provisions and the threat of attack persuaded Texas President David G. Burnet to transfer some of the prisoners to Liberty. In August 1836, some sixty Mexicans were transported by schooner to Anahuac, where they were met by William Hardin, who took them on to Liberty. Georgia native William Hardin (1801-1839) had come to Liberty from Tennessee in 1825. During the years before the Texas Revolution, he served as commissioner of police and alcalde of Liberty. Hardin was elected a delegate to the convention of 1833 at San Felipe and later served as an election judge in Nacogdoches and as a primary judge in Liberty. The Mexican prisoners stayed on Hardin's property near this site, which has come to be called Mexican Hill. Among the men were General Martin Perfecto de Cos and Ten. Coronel Pedro Delgado, who wrote an account of his time in Liberty. According to Delgado, the Mexicans were treated well and given the best care available during their stay, which lasted until the government of Texas released them on April 25, 1837.

Homesite of George Orr

Marker Title: Homesite of George Orr
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1990
Marker Location: FM 1011 at intersection w/SH 146, Liberty
Marker Text: George Orr first came to Texas in 1813 as a member of the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition. He returned in 1821 with his family and established a home at this site on the Old Atascosito Road. The Orr home was an important stopping place for travelers. Orr served several terms as alcalde of the Atascosito District and participated in the dedication of Fort Anahuac in 1831. He died in 1835, prior to Texas Independence, but his contributions to the settlement of this area helped pave the way for future colonization. The Orr home was razed about 1882.

The Runaway Scrape

Marker Title: The Runaway Scrape
Address: US 90
City: Dayton
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Text: Famous flight of Texians to escape Santa Anna's invading Mexican army. Tales of the Alamo butchery on March 6, 1836, and the continuing retreat of Gen. Sam Houston's army prompted colonists to abandon homes and property and seek refuge in east Texas. Families left beds unmade, breakfast uneaten, and ran for their lives, traveling in wagons, carts, sleds, on foot, or by horseback, dropping gear as they went. Many Liberty Countians remained at home until mid-April, helping refugees struggle toward the Sabine in order to cross to safety in the United States. Terrible hardships plagued the runaways trying to ferry the swollen Trinity River. In rain-soaked camps many children died of measles and other ills. Wading through flooded bottomlands, the wayfarers came with relief to the prairie and the Samaritans in Liberty. After resting a few days, tending the sick, and burying the dead, most of the wanderers moved on toward Louisiana. East of Liberty, stragglers heard the cannonading at the Battle San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. Fearing that Santa Anna's legions had whipped the ragged Texian forces, they hurried on, but shortly heard joyful news: "Turn back, turn back". Freedom had been won for them by Sam Houston's army.

Burton B. Tarkington

Marker Title: Burton B. Tarkington
City: Cleveland
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1996
Marker Location: 5.5 mi. SE on SH 321 from Cleveland
Marker Text: Burton B. Tarkington (1790-1861) and his wife Sarah Berry Tarkington migrated with their family from Indiana in the mid-1820s to the Mexican state of Coahuila. They settled west of the Trinity River in present northwest Liberty County, and began ranching and raising crops. The area around their farm became known as Tarkington's Prairie, and a creek in the area is called Tarkington Bayou. According to family legend, the Tarkingtons and other early settlers had to vacate their property in 1836 when Santa Anna's forces advanced prior to the Battle of San Jacinto. Apparently Tarkington did not have a land grant from the Mexican government for the land he claimed, but when Texas gained independence from Mexico in 1836 he received a headright land grant of one league and one labor (4,605 acres). The grant was patented in 1847 by the new state of Texas and became known as the Tarkington Survey. Tarkington became a leader in the community. He served in the Texas Militia in 1842, and was elected Liberty County commissioner for three terms beginning in 1854. He received recognition for his service from Governor H.R. Runnels. Tarkington died Feb. 2, 1861, and is buried in the McGinnis Cemetery (.25 mi. W).

Trinity River

Marker Title: The Trinity River
City: Liberty
County: Liberty
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Text: Longest river lying entirely within Texas. The watershed of the Trinity covers 17,969 square miles, an area larger than any one of the nine smallest states of the Union. More than 20 per cent of the people in Texas reside in this area-- more people than in any one of the 24 least populous states. The first recorded exclusive navigation rights to the Trinity were given by Mexico in 1833 to District Commissioner J. Francisco Madero, but before he could exercise his rights, the Texas revolution intervened. As early as 1838, during the Republic of Texas, steamboat navigation had begun on the Trinity. The famous steamer "Ellen Frankland" plied it regularly. In 1852 a survey authorized by the U. S. Congress reported that "the Trinity River is the deepest and least obstructed river in Texas". The river played a vital role in the Civil War, when a company of Alabama-Coushatta Indians transported key military supplies and boats from Anderson County to waiting Confederate officials in Liberty. Until 1874 steamers chugged from Galveston to as far north as Porter's Bluff in Ellis County. Under the River and Harbor Act of 1955, Congress authorized the comprehensive development of the Trinity Basin's water resources.

Camp d'Asile

Frenchmen arrived in Galveston in 1818, led by French General Charles Lallemand, whom the British refused to accompany Napoleon into exile. The group claimed to be exiles from France and only wanted to settle in Texas and establish a new life. They built their fortification along the Trinity River near the Liberty-to-Nacogdoches Trail. One source reports the camp was in the vicinity of Moss Bluff, north of Wallisville, in Liberty County. While another source, a book published in Paris in 1819, says the location was near Liberty. A third source reports there were two forts built (at undisclosed locations) along the river. The 1819 Paris book reported that the settlement had more than 400 persons, including Germans and Spaniards, and contained four forts with eight artillery pieces. Another report describes it as being a five-sided fort containing twenty-eight wooded houses, each a miniature fort in itself. Despite these reports of its large size, archeologists today have found no ruins or artifacts.


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