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

Ben Wheeler Community

Ben Wheeler Community Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By QuesterMark, May 24, 2014
1. Ben Wheeler Community Marker
Inscription.  Just as Native Americans were attracted to this area because of the climate and resources, early settlers also utilized these resources. The area was originally named Clough after George W. Clough (1820-1884) who, in 1868, purchased the 640-acre Harvey Randolf Survey. The northwest corner of his land became the majority of the old downtown of Ben Wheeler. Clough established a post office in his home in 1876 and became the first postmaster. The post office was named Ben Wheeler in honor of Kentucky native Benjamin F. Wheeler. Wheeler came to Texas in 1847 and contracted to carry the mail from Tyler to Buffalo and was the first person to carry mail into Van Zandt county. In the early 1880's George Clough applied for permission to move the post office to his store in town and change the name to Georgetown. Permission was granted to move the post office but the name remained Ben Wheeler since there was already a town named Georgetown.

Ancel Clough, heir to George Clough, sold 50 acres in 1885 to Professor James F. Davidson. In 1890, Davidson and J.W. Downs established the Alamo Institute. The first school of higher learning in Van Zandt
Ben Wheeler Community Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By QuesterMark, May 24, 2014
2. Ben Wheeler Community Marker
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county. The town grew rapidly from 1885 to 1892 and boasted four general stores, two grocery stores, a drug store, boarding houses, a hotel, three gins and mills, a blacksmith and wood working shop, two churches and the Alamo Institute. Fires in 1893, 1933 and in 1945 destroyed businesses in the downtown area. Ben Wheeler's growth began to decline in 1929, but stabilized in the 1960's when the area farmers transitioned into ranching and coastal Bermuda haying operations.
175 Years of Texas Independence * 1836 2011
Marker is property of the State of Texas

Erected 2011 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16917.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Postal Mail and Philately series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1868.
Location. 32° 26.709′ N, 95° 42.272′ W. Marker is in Ben Wheeler, Texas, in Van Zandt County. Marker is at the intersection of Farm to Market Road 279 and Farm to Market Road 858, on the left when traveling south on Route 279. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1551 FM 279, Ben Wheeler TX 75754, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Alamo Institute (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Morgan G. Sanders
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(about 600 feet away); Battle of the Neches (approx. 4.9 miles away); The Free State of Van Zandt (approx. 5 miles away); Brady P. Gentry (approx. 5 miles away); Asbury Cemetery (approx. 6.4 miles away); Adren Anglin (approx. 6.4 miles away); Tidmore Cemetery (approx. 6½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ben Wheeler.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 17, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 25, 2014, by QuesterMark of Fort Worth, Texas. This page has been viewed 513 times since then and 86 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 25, 2014, by QuesterMark of Fort Worth, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 8, 2022