“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers in Van Zandt County, Texas

Clickable Map of Van Zandt County, Texas and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Van Zandt County, TX (44) Henderson County, TX (37) Hunt County, TX (65) Kaufman County, TX (93) Rains County, TX (8) Smith County, TX (103) Wood County, TX (74)  VanZandtCounty(44) Van Zandt County (44)  HendersonCounty(37) Henderson County (37)  HuntCounty(65) Hunt County (65)  KaufmanCounty(93) Kaufman County (93)  RainsCounty(8) Rains County (8)  SmithCounty(103) Smith County (103)  WoodCounty(74) Wood County (74)
Canton is the county seat for Van Zandt County
Adjacent to Van Zandt County, Texas
      Henderson County (37)  
      Hunt County (65)  
      Kaufman County (93)  
      Rains County (8)  
      Smith County (103)  
      Wood County (74)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Texas, Van Zandt County, Ben Wheeler — 15790 — Alamo Institute
In 1890 Van Zandt county had 81 schools but none for higher learning. In April 1890, Prof. James F. Davidson and J. W. Downs held a community meeting in the Old Clough School House in Ben Wheeler. They presented a plan, adopted unanimously, to . . . Map (db m74158) HM
2 Texas, Van Zandt County, Ben Wheeler — 16917 — Ben Wheeler Community
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 . . . Map (db m73951) HM
3 Texas, Van Zandt County, Ben Wheeler — 17956 — Cane Syrup Production in Van Zandt County
The tradition of making syrup from sugar cane and sorghum started in East Texas in the second half of the nineteenth century. Syrup production arrived along with migration from the Deep South to East Texas. Van Zandt County provided the ideal . . . Map (db m237028) HM
4 Texas, Van Zandt County, Ben Wheeler — 16591 — Morgan G. Sanders(July 14, 1878 - January 7, 1956)
Legislator Morgan Gurley Sanders was born near Ben Wheeler. He published newspapers, worked as journal clerk of the state senate and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas before winning a seat in the state legislature. His public service as a . . . Map (db m74159) HM
5 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 11435 — Caldwell Walton Raines(September 18, 1839 - August 2, 1906)
Born in Georgia, Raines came to Texas in 1858. After serving in Gen. R. M. Gano's Texas Cavalry Regiment in the Civil War, he was a teacher in New Braunfels and a lawyer in Canton. Van Zandt County Judge from 1876 to 1878, he played a major role in . . . Map (db m54081) HM
6 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 13032 — Canton: The Misplaced County Seat
The Texas Legislature created Van Zandt County in 1848. It originally included nearly 2,000 square miles of territory. Jordan's Saline, now Grand Saline, was near the county's geographic location and became the first seat of government. Two years . . . Map (db m187057) HM
7 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 17490 — Dixie Hotel
On September 2, 1915, the Canton Herald announced plans for a new hotel. Its site along the Dixie Highway gave the hotel its name and a prime location to attract travelers and residents. The hotel’s square floor plan included two full floors . . . Map (db m187055) HM
8 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 11403 — First Baptist Church of Canton
First organized church in city. Founded under leadership of the Rev. J. B. McDaniel, first pastor, Sept. 21, 1871. Charter members: Francis M. and Sue L. Hobbs; Mary King; Montgomery W. and Nancy Knox; Melissa J. and Silphia McCarthy; Elizabeth, . . . Map (db m237010) HM
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9 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 11409 — First Monday Trades Day
On the first Monday of each month in the early 1850s, Judges Oran M. Roberts and Bennett H. Martin held court in Canton, an event attended by townspeople and country folk alike. With large numbers of people present, court day also became the . . . Map (db m187058) HM
10 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 13590 — First United Methodist Church of Canton
In 1852, shortly after Canton became Van Zandt County's seat of government, local families began hosting Methodist services in their homes as a mission of the Athens Methodist Episcopal Church. The Canton worshipers met in homes and under brush . . . Map (db m237017) HM
11 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 16825 — George Washington Tull, Sr.
George Washington Tull, Sr. (1827-1917), better known as G. W. Tull, was one of the earliest and most successful merchants in Canton. His family migrated from Georgia, where G. W. was born, to Alabama, Mississippi, and then Tennessee. In 1852, G. W. . . . Map (db m187053) HM
12 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 11419 — Hillcrest Cemetery
Located within the original 1850 town plat of Canton, this cemetery has served citizens of this area for well over a century. The oldest documented burial is that of Ann Calhoon (1807-1860). Among those buried here in marked and unmarked graves are . . . Map (db m28120) HM
13 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 18489 — Hilliards of Canton
The Hilliard family has long been identified with the general trade business in Canton. Founded because of its central location, Canton became the seat of Van Zandt County in 1850. George McIntosh Hilliard came to Texas in the 1870s and migrated to . . . Map (db m187056) HM
14 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 11444 — Isaac and Frances Van Zandt
Isaac Van Zandt 1813-1847 Member of the Congress of the Republic - 1841-1842 Charge D’Affaires to the United States - 1842-1844 In 1845 - Member of the Constitutional Convention Frances C. Lipscomb Van Zandt 1816-1909 . . . Map (db m187282) HM
15 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 20138 — Isaac Van Zandt
Influential Texas politician Isaac Van Zandt was born on July 10, 1813. He lived in Tennessee and Mississippi until he moved to the Republic of Texas in 1838. After settling in Harrison County, Van Zandt served as congressman for Harrison County in . . . Map (db m187064) HM
16 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 12762 — John H. Reagan
John Henninger Reagan was born in 1818 to Timothy Richard and Elizabeth Reagan in Sevier County, Tennessee. He worked at his father's tannery and on the family farm, attending school sporadically, until leaving the state in 1838. Reagan came in . . . Map (db m54002) HM
17 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 11436 — Oran Milo Roberts(July 9, 1815 - May 19, 1898)
A South Carolina-born Alabama legislator, Oran M. Roberts came to San Augustine, Texas in 1841. He served in district and state judicial positions, including the first district court in Canton in 1850, and was president of the Secession Convention . . . Map (db m53959) HM
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18 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 12266 — Shelby Expedition Through Van Zandt County
Gen. Joseph O. Shelby's command refused to surrender at the close of the Civil War. Shelby's men, the First Missouri Cavalry of the Confederate States of America, marched via Clarksville to Van Zandt County, proceeding through Grand Saline to Canton . . . Map (db m237016) HM
19 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 11443 — Site of 1896 Van Zandt County Courthouse
In 1894, the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court approved construction of a new brick courthouse at this site. Built between 1894 and 1896, it replaced a frame courthouse that had served the county since shortly after the Civil War. The noted San . . . Map (db m53917) HM
20 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 11384 — The Canton Herald
"The Canton Herald" has been in continuous operation since 1882. Ellis Campbell (1882-1945), publisher of the "Wills Point Chronicle," purchased the "Herald" in 1915. Campbell and his wife Mary Jane (Gilmore) built a family publishing business that . . . Map (db m187054) HM
21 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 18859 — Thomas Jefferson Towles
The youngest of seven children born to William and Elizabeth (Jones) Towles, Thomas Jefferson Towles was born on December 29, 1843, in Jones County, Georgia. After losing his father in 1847 and his mother in 1854, Thomas came to Van Zandt County, . . . Map (db m237031) HM
22 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 11442 — Van Zandt County
A portion of the original Mercer Grant created from Henderson County in 1848 Named in honor of the illustrious statesman Isaac Van Zandt Born in Tennessee, July 10, 1813 Delegate to the Annexation Convention in 1845 Died in . . . Map (db m187059) HM
23 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 12270 — Van Zandt County Courthouse
Built in 1937 with Public Works Administration funds, this is the sixth building to serve as the Van Zandt County Courthouse. According to local lore, the Commissioners Court decreed that a modern courthouse should be erected in order to provide . . . Map (db m54055) HM
24 Texas, Van Zandt County, Canton — 16939 — Van Zandt County Poor Farm
In the early days of Van Zandt County, families, churches and charitable organizations took care of people in need. After the civil war, the high number of indigents forced an addendum to the state constitution making care for the poor the . . . Map (db m187051) HM
25 Texas, Van Zandt County, Edom — 11374 — Adren Anglin(Feb. 14, 1796 - Jan. 10, 1865)
. . . Map (db m105484) HM
26 Texas, Van Zandt County, Edom — 12259 — Asbury Cemetery
The first recorded burial on this site was that of Asbury Lowery (1836-1855). The new burial ground was named in his memory. In 1863, Prairie Flower (1858-1863), the young daughter of celebrated Comanche Indian captive Cynthia Ann Parker and . . . Map (db m105485) HM
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27 Texas, Van Zandt County, Edom — 11383 — Cherokee Chief Bowles
On this site the Cherokee Chief Bowles was killed on July 16, 1839 while leading 800 Indians of various tribes in battle against 500 Texans. The last engagement between Cherokees and whites in Texas.Map (db m91605) HM
28 Texas, Van Zandt County, Edom — 11391 — County Line Missionary Baptist Church
Oral tradition links this church to the original County Line Baptist Church of 1851, the earliest recorded attempt of area African American families to create a community of worship. County Line Colored Missionary Baptist Church was founded in 1872 . . . Map (db m31867) HM
29 Texas, Van Zandt County, Edom — 12261 — Site of C.W. Morris Cotton Gin
As was the case in so many small Texas towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the cotton gin in Edom was a major element in the economy. First opened at this site in 1918 by Ro Dike, who moved his ginning operation here from Davidson (3 . . . Map (db m28115) HM
30 Texas, Van Zandt County, Grand Saline — 11408 — First Methodist Church of Grand Saline
Methodists living in Grand Saline during the early years of its settlement traveled to Creagleville (3 mi. W) to attend worship services. In 1889, after Grand Saline experienced a period of growth due to industrial and business expansion, a . . . Map (db m237012) HM
31 Texas, Van Zandt County, Grand Saline — 11416 — Grand Saline, C.S.A.
Front: The large saline deposit was a major source of salt in Texas during the Civil War. Salt was first obtained by the Indians. In 1854, works were built. Sam Richardson, the owner in 1861, went to war and left his wife to run the works . . . Map (db m237013) HM
32 Texas, Van Zandt County, Grand Saline — 15006 — Jordans Saline
John Jordan established the community of Jordans Saline when he settled here in 1844 and joined with A.T. McGee in organizing a salt company. When Van Zandt County formed in 1848, Jordans Saline was named temporary county seat. Although the county . . . Map (db m237020) HM
33 Texas, Van Zandt County, Grand Saline — 11432 — Wiley Hardeman Post(1898 - 1935)
Pioneer aviator Wiley Hardeman Post was born on November 22, 1898, in the community of Corinth in Van Zandt County, to William Francis and Mae Laine Post, who moved to Oklahoma when Wiley was a boy. Wiley was inspired as a youth to learn to fly. In . . . Map (db m237015) HM
34 Texas, Van Zandt County, Grand Saline, Providence — 17259 — Providence Community
Providence Community comprised mostly of small family farms, is located in the far northeast section of Van Zandt County straddling the Smith County line. Since 1845, colonization of the area was encouraged with land grants, and many immigrants . . . Map (db m237026) HM
35 Texas, Van Zandt County, Martins Mill — 12269 — Tidmore Cemetery
Pioneer L.H. Hobbs arrived in this area in about 1850 and was instrumental in the establishment of the community. He owned 320 acres of land, including this site. Hobbs allowed the King family to bury their two-year-old daughter here, marking the . . . Map (db m105614) HM
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36 Texas, Van Zandt County, Van — 11380 — Battle of the Neches(Site 15 Miles Southeast)
Main engagement of Cherokee War; fought July 15 and 16, 1839, between 800 Indians (including Delawares and Shawnees) and 500 troops of the Republic of Texas. An extraordinary fact is that David G. Burnet, vice president of the Republic; Albert . . . Map (db m87080) HM
37 Texas, Van Zandt County, Van — 11415 — Brady P. Gentry(March 25, 1895 - Nov. 9, 1966) — Park Dedicated to Memory of Texas State Highway Commission Chairman —
A man whose public service was of highest order. Born on a farm near this site in Van Zandt County. Educated at Cumberland University (Tennessee) and Tyler Commercial College, was County Attorney and County Judge of Smith County. As chairman of . . . Map (db m84511) HM
38 Texas, Van Zandt County, Van — 11413 — The Free State of Van Zandt
Pioneer nickname appropriate to this area’s many freedoms–particularly from want and fear. (Food was obtained with little effort; and although the Indians fought white men here as late as 1842, the settlers by 1847 slept in the open with no . . . Map (db m84510) HM
39 Texas, Van Zandt County, Wills Point — 17627 — Brick Streets of Wills Point
In the early 1920s, an atmosphere of gratefulness for the end of World War I was prevalent throughout the country. In Wills Point, a sense of optimism and interest in urban development led to the formation of a chamber of commerce on December 5, . . . Map (db m119621) HM
40 Texas, Van Zandt County, Wills Point — 16303 — Bruce & Human Drug Company
German-born Oscar Pabst moved to Wills Point from Quitman, Texas in 1879, and he established an apothecary in town along the Dallas-Shreveport Road. After an 1888 fire damaged Pabst’s Store, he relocated it inside a grocery owned by his son-in-law, . . . Map (db m237023) HM
41 Texas, Van Zandt County, Wills Point — 11406 — First Baptist Churchof Wills Point
The First Baptist Church of Wills Point was founded in 1873, with Dr. J. L. Matthews, a doctor of medicine, serving as the first pastor. In 1876 the 30-member congregation erected a building, which is said to have been destroyed in a tornado the . . . Map (db m119610) HM
42 Texas, Van Zandt County, Wills Point — 11407 — First Christian Church of Wills Point
Founded in 1882, the congregation first met in the Presbyterian church, and a cotton gin pond north of town was used for baptisms. A church building was erected in 1886, and in 1891 a baptistry was added. The first in town, it was offered for use by . . . Map (db m237011) HM
43 Texas, Van Zandt County, Wills Point — 16756 — Rose Fountain
German brothers B. W. and Isaac Edward “Ike” Rose came to nearby Cedar Grove in 1873 and the same year moved to Wills Point, where they opened Rose Dry Goods Store. In 1884, Ike moved to Dallas and was a successful entrepreneur. B. W. . . . Map (db m119620) HM
44 Texas, Van Zandt County, Wills Point — 16323 — Wynne & Wynne Law Office
In 1877, William B. Wynne came to Wills Point and opened a law practice with his older brother, Richard M. Wynne, who later became a state senator. Four of W.B. Wynne’s sons were associated with the firm. In addition to serving clients, the office . . . Map (db m237024) HM
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Feb. 28, 2024