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

The Town Plat

Boonville

 
 
The Town Plat Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 3, 2021
1. The Town Plat Marker
Inscription.  

The State of Texas consists of 254 counties. Washington County, with its settlements of Independence and Washington on the Brazos, was one of the 23 counties created in 1836 following Texas independence. Most of the area of present day Brazos County was included in Washington County. The Brazos River, which bisected the original Washington County, proved a serious obstacle to county government, so a new county, Navasota, was formed in January 1841. One year later in January 1842, the county was renamed Brazos, but no boundary lines were changed. Brazos was the 35th county created in the era of the Republic of Texas.

Brazos County is part of the Austin's Colony. Farm Road 158 (Boonville Road) runs through the old town site of Boonville, now within the City of Bryan. The Republic of Texas Congress appointed a committee - made up of J.H. Jones, Eli Seale, William T. Millican, Joseph Ferguson, and Mordecai Boon, Sr. - to select a tract of 150 acres to locate a town near the center of the county, not specifically in the John Austin survey for the county seat.

Later in that momentous year of 1841, the first court, presided
The Town Plat Marker is near the front gate image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 3, 2021
2. The Town Plat Marker is near the front gate
Click or scan to see
this page online
over by Judge R.E.B. Baylor, was held in Joseph Ferguson's cabin at Ferguson Crossing on the Navasota River, fourteen miles east of the site of present Bryan. Boonville, the county seat, was named for Mordecai Boon, Sr., a nephew of Daniel Boone. Surveyed by early settler Hiram Hanover, Boonville was located in John Austin's league. Originally Brazos was one of the state's poorer counties. In the 1870s an effort was made to improve the county's prospects. 2,416 acres of land were donated to create the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, a farsighted endeavor that ultimately led to the county's financial success.

The town was built around a public square. In 1843, Boonville residents built a jail,and in 1846 they acquired a post office and built a courthouse. The Boonville courthouse, known as the "board shanty," served many purposes: General Sam Houston and other prominent statesmen made speeches; circuit preachers, William Tryon and Robert Alexander gave sermons. It also served as a school and church. Around 1850, a stage line ran from Hempstead to Fanthorp (Anderson) to Boonville then Wheelock. It connected to other routes at Hempstead. The stage drivers and passengers stopped at the Boonville hotels overnight.

The town enjoyed growth and prosperity from 1842 to 1866. But the end of the Civil War meant the resumption of railroad building. The Houston
The entrance to the Boonville Heritage Park with the marker just past the gate image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 3, 2021
3. The entrance to the Boonville Heritage Park with the marker just past the gate
and Texas Central Railway tracks were laid from Millican, reaching Bryan in 1867. A county election and referendum on the seat of county government was held in the fall of 1866. Bryan won - supported by Boonville citizens who had already begun to move nearer the railroad. Later that year, mail was routed through Bryan. The last days of Boonville were approaching.

William Joel Bryan, the nephew of Stephen F. Austin, inherited the two leagues, although he lived in Brazoria County. The railroad reached Bryan in 1867; the courthouse was moved, joining businesses with commercial progress in sight. The city of Bryan incorporated in 1871. In that same year, a site on the rail line a few miles to the south was chosen as the location for the proposed Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas - aptly named College Station. In 1876, as the nation celebrated its centennial, Texas A. & M. College opened its doors as the first public institution of higher education in Texas. The College's train stop became part of the Bryan/ College Station economic hub of Brazos County and the Brazos Valley.

BUILDINGS IN BOONVILLE

A Courthouse
B Jail (1844)
C Hanover Cabin Post Office (1841)
D Bowman Hotel (1841)
E Millican Sheriff Cabin (1841)
F "Drinking Saloon," Martin (1866)
G Sheriff Hudson Cabin (1856)
H "Exchange Saloon,"
Boonville Town Plat image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 3, 2021
4. Boonville Town Plat
Bowman and Wootton (1858)
I Public Well (1857)
J Store and Post Office, Mitchell
K Blacksmith Shop, Mitchell
L House, Mitchell, Later Mcintosh
M School, Mitchell (1842)
N Depot Civil War (1863)
O Gristmill, Mitchell
Р Boonville Hotel
Q J.P. Mitchell Doctor Office (1856)
R Foley House, Built by J. Vaughan (1841)
S Store House, Boyles (1841)
T Brazos Union Lodge (1855)
U Public School Yard (1854)

 
Erected by Boonville Heritage Park.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1841.
 
Location. 30° 40.326′ N, 96° 19.884′ W. Marker is in Bryan, Texas, in Brazos County. Marker can be reached from Boonville Road (Farm to Market Road 158) 0.1 miles east of Austins Colony Parkway. The marker is located in the Boonville Heritage Park near the entrance on the left. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2421 Boonville Road, Bryan TX 77802, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Turner-Peters Log Cabin (a few steps from this marker); Harvey Mitchell (a few steps from this marker); Brazos County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Men of Vision (within shouting
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distance of this marker); The Twin Sisters (within shouting distance of this marker); Stagecoach Travel (within shouting distance of this marker); Brazos Union Lodge No. 129 (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of the Town of Boonville (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bryan.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Apr. 15, 2021