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Giddings in Lee County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Lee County

 
 
Lee County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2013
1. Lee County Marker
Inscription.
Located on Old San Antonio Road, on land surveyed in 1821 as part of the original colony of Moses and Stephen F. Austin.

In 1854 became site of major settlement by Wend from northern Europe, led by Pastor Johann Kilian. Had only school in U. S. that taught in Wendish – language surviving only here and in Australia, in the modern world.

County was created from Bastrop, Burleson, Fayette and Washington. Organized in 1874, it was named for Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), General of the Army of Northern Virginia, in the southern Confederacy, 1862-1865.

Giddings is the county seat.
 
Erected 1936 by State of Texas. (Marker Number 8165.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Texas 1936 Centennial Markers and Monuments marker series.
 
Location. 30° 10.882′ N, 96° 56.252′ W. Marker is in Giddings, Texas, in Lee County. Marker is on South Main Street (U.S. 77) north of East Richmond Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located near sidewalk on west side of Lee County Courthouse grounds. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 South Main Street, Giddings TX 78942, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers
Lee County Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2013
2. Lee County Marker (tall view)
are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lee County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); General Robert E. Lee / Colonel Robert E. Lee (within shouting distance of this marker); James Goucher (approx. 3.6 miles away); Serbin (approx. 5.2 miles away); a different marker also named Serbin (approx. 5.6 miles away); Gotcher Trace (approx. 9½ miles away).
 
More about this marker. Pink Granite 1936 Texas County Highway Centennial Marker. Metal tablet mounted on top of pink granite pedestal. Marker restored in 1965.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lee County, Texas.
The area was probably first explored by Europeans around 1691, when Domingo Terán de los Ríos sought a direct route between San Antonio de Béxar and the newly founded Spanish missions in East Texas. The route he laid out, a camino real later known as the Old San Antonio Road, passed through the site of present Lincoln in what is now central Lee County. The first known white settler was James Gotier, who settled on Rabbs Creek in southern Lee County in 1835. Before being killed by Indians in 1837, he laid out a pioneer trail known as Gotier's Trace, which is believed to have led from his cabin on Rabbs Creek to San Felipe and Bastrop, thus linking the lower and upper Austin colonies. Settlement in the area, however, remained sparse until after the Texas Revolution.
Lee County Courthouse (<i>view from marker; courthouse southwest corner</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2013
3. Lee County Courthouse (view from marker; courthouse southwest corner)
(Submitted on December 27, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. History of the Wendish Settlement at Serbin, Lee County, Texas 1855.
In the fall of 1854, a group of 557 Wends travelled to Liverpool England and boarded the Ben Nevis, a three-masted ship for the start of their long journey to Texas. The trip was filled with dangers. 56 Wends died of cholera before the colony reached Galveston in December of 1854. Then they faced an outbreak of yellow fever which miraculously only took only 13 lives. From Houston, the Wends travelled toward Giddings by oxcart arriving at their destination in early January of 1855. Two men had been sent ahead to find a place where they could settle along the banks of Rabbs Creek in what is today Lee County, near Giddings. Here, the Wends purchased a league of land for $1.00 per acre. (Submitted on December 27, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Giddings, Lee County, Texas.
Early settlers in the new town were mostly pioneers from the surrounding communities, such as Old Evergreen and Shady Grove. The majority of these people were ethnic Anglo-Saxons, but a sizeable majority were Wendish families from the Serbin area. They would later establish the German-language newspaper Deutsches Volksblatt. A syndicate headed by William Marsh Rice owned the whole townsite and sold property to settlers. Later Rice Institute (now Rice University) in Houston had control and sold the lots. Giddings became the county seat when Lee County was established in 1874. Early businesses included the Granger store, a blacksmith shop and saloon, a millinery shop, a saddle and harness shop, and an oil mill. Brick buildings came in 1875. The courthouse built in 1878 burned and was replaced in 1899. (Submitted on December 27, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. EducationNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 29, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 26, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 86 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 27, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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