“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Decatur in Wise County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Colonel Absalom Bishop

Colonel Absalom Bishop Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, August 10, 2019
1. Colonel Absalom Bishop Marker
Inscription.  Absalom Bishop (1804-1883) began his military service as a Captain of Militia in the Seminole War in Florida. He later attained the rank of Colonel. Bishop lived in several states before arriving in Hopkins County, Texas, in 1852, and then in what would become Wise County in 1855. One year after his arrival, he was successful in convincing the Texas Legislature to create Wise County out of Cooke County. Bishop was one of the first settlers to acquire land at the townsite he helped convince voters to select as county seat. He originally wanted the town to be called Taylorsville after General and President Zachary Taylor. However, when Taylor switched to the Whig Party, Bishop, a passionate Democrat, persuaded the legislature to name the town Decatur in honor of U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur.

Bishop built a mercantile store which would eventually be used as a temporary post office and stage stop on the Butterfield Overland Stage Line. The Colonel along with other Wise County residents convinced the Butterfield Overland Stage Line owners to relocate their route to run through Decatur and on to Bridgeport. In order to do so, they
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oversaw the building of bridges over Denton Creek, Sandy Creek and the West Fork of the Trinity River. By doing so, commerce increased and stage travel from Decatur to Austin also became a reality. Colonel Absalom Bishop passed away on November 30, 1883, and was buried alongside his wife in Oaklawn Cemetery. Bishop, called "The Father of Wise County and Decatur," was a colorful figure who brought to Texas a broad range of experience that allowed him to help mold a raw and wild land into a bustling town and new county.

(Addendum plate on reverse)
Sponsored by
Decatur Woman's Club
Erected 2014 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17980.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #12 Zachary Taylor series list. A significant historical date for this entry is November 30, 1883.
Location. 33° 14.072′ N, 97° 35.226′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Texas, in Wise County. Marker is at the intersection of West Walnut Street and North State Street, on the right when traveling east on West Walnut Street. Marker is at the Northwest Corner of the Wise County Courthouse, near the intersection of Walnut and State Streets. Touch for map
Colonel Absalom Bishop Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, August 10, 2019
2. Colonel Absalom Bishop Marker
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 North Trinity Street, Decatur TX 76234, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wise County Courthouse (here, next to this marker); Wise County C.S.A. (within shouting distance of this marker); Captain George W. Stevens (within shouting distance of this marker); Randolph Vesey (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Vernon Terrell (within shouting distance of this marker); Wise County War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Chisholm Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Depression-Era Projects in Wise County (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Decatur.
Also see . . .  Bishop, Absalom - The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) (Submitted on August 29, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 29, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 20, 2017, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. This page has been viewed 463 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 29, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 17, 2024