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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Columbus in Colorado County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

District Court Tree

 
 
District Court Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, February 5, 2010
1. District Court Tree Marker
Inscription.  In 1837 this oak sheltered Texas jurors. Courthouse was unfinished because logs coming down-river for building had swept past in strong current. R. M. Williamson, presiding, was called "Three-legged Willie" due to appearance: he had good leg, crippled leg, and wooden leg.
 
Erected 1969 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 1231.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Law EnforcementWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Historic Trees series list.
 
Location. 29° 42.371′ N, 96° 32.357′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Texas, in Colorado County. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1100 Travis Street, Columbus TX 78934, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1890 Cornerstone Ceremony (within shouting distance of this marker); William Menefee (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Site of Doctor Logue's Drugstore (within shouting distance of this marker); Stage Lines Through Columbus
District Court Tree and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, February 5, 2010
2. District Court Tree and Marker
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Colorado County (about 300 feet away); Tumlinson Family (about 300 feet away); The Rangers of Austin's Colony (about 300 feet away); Colorado County Courthouse (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
 
Also see . . .
1. Handbook of Texas Online entry for Columbus, Texas. "Judge Robert McAlpin (Three Legged Willie) Williamson reportedly convened the first district court in Colorado County in the shade of a large oak tree near the site of the present courthouse. The trunk of the tree, long since dead, still sports a historical plaque and for a time provided the background for yearly reenactments of the original court." (Submitted on April 20, 2010, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.) 

2. Columbus Court Oak at Famous Trees of Texas. The Famous Trees of Texas web site tells why court was held under this tree after the Texas Revolution and gives an example of "frontier justice" from three-legged Willie. (Submitted on April 24, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas.) 
 
Mayes Hotel image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, January 24, 2010
3. Mayes Hotel
The Mayes Hotel sits just across the street from the old oak. Historic marker visible in foreground.
Another Marker, District Court Tree image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, January 24, 2010
4. Another Marker, District Court Tree
This marker also sits at the base of the tree. It reads:
Beneath this tree the first Court of the Third Judicial District of the Republic of Texas was held April, 1837 by
Judge Robert M. Williamson
("Three Legged Willie")
--
Marked by the State of Texas, 1936
District Court Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, September 1, 2014
5. District Court Tree Marker
Marker left of center in picture
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 21, 2019. It was originally submitted on March 19, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 956 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 19, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas.   3, 4. submitted on April 21, 2010, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.   5. submitted on September 5, 2014, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Aug. 11, 2020