“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Wise County, Texas

Clickable Map of Wise 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> Wise County, TX (54) Cooke County, TX (28) Denton County, TX (95) Jack County, TX (25) Montague County, TX (23) Parker County, TX (64) Tarrant County, TX (314)  WiseCounty(54) Wise County (54)  CookeCounty(28) Cooke County (28)  DentonCounty(95) Denton County (95)  JackCounty(25) Jack County (25)  MontagueCounty(23) Montague County (23)  ParkerCounty(64) Parker County (64)  TarrantCounty(314) Tarrant County (314)
Decatur is the county seat for Wise County
Adjacent to Wise County, Texas
      Cooke County (28)  
      Denton County (95)  
      Jack County (25)  
      Montague County (23)  
      Parker County (64)  
      Tarrant County (314)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Texas, Wise County, Aurora — 240 — Aurora Cemetery
The oldest known graves here, dating from as early as the 1860's, are those of the Randall and Rowlett families. Finis Dudley Beauchamp (1825-1893), a Confederate veteran from Mississippi, donated the 3-acre site to the newly formed Aurora Lodge . . . Map (db m183377) HM
2 Texas, Wise County, Aurora — 18711 — Eagle Mountain Lake MCAS Auxiliary (Rhome Field)
More than 6,000 United States military pilots flew gliders during World War II. Several training and auxiliary landing fields were established throughout Texas and the United States. Gliders were unpowered aircraft dependent on wind and lift. The . . . Map (db m192229) HM
3 Texas, Wise County, Aurora — 2157 — George Lawson Bledsoe
Georgia native George Lawson Bledsoe (b. 1805), a carpenter and cotton gin builder, came to Texas in 1834. A veteran of the Texas Revolution and the Battle of San Jacinto, he received a pension for his military service and patented land grants in . . . Map (db m183376) HM
4 Texas, Wise County, Aurora — 13760 — Teague Cemetery(1/4 mile E)
Named for John Teague, a veteran of the War with Mexico (1846-48), who came from Missouri with his family in 1858 and settled this land. Teague also served on the frontier during the Civil War. Teague’s mother, or a son, was possibly the first . . . Map (db m195868) HM
5 Texas, Wise County, Boyd — 1200 — Deep Creek Community
Named for the natural landmark nearby. Settled about 1854 by pioneers Sam Woody and Tom McCarroll. Population grew as they were joined by several of Woody's former neighbors from East Texas. Along the creek, farmers raised cotton, corn, and . . . Map (db m184112) HM
6 Texas, Wise County, Boyd — 2909 — Keeter Cemetery
For over 100 years beginning in 1882 this cemetery has been the sole graveyard serving the community of Keeter. The oldest recorded gravesite in the cemetery is that of Ida Mae Ryan (1881-1882). Albert Lafayette Keeter, for whom the community of . . . Map (db m146879) HM
7 Texas, Wise County, Boyd — 3244 — Masonic Lodge #479
. . . Map (db m192252) HM
8 Texas, Wise County, Bridgeport — 506 — Bridgeport Coal Mines
Once a staple of Bridgeport's economy, coal was discovered here in later part of 19th century. Diggers hit vein 60 feet deep while seeking water. Mine No. 1 lies under northeast Bridgeport, and entire area is honeycombed with tunnels and shafts. . . . Map (db m180406) HM
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9 Texas, Wise County, Bridgeport — 507 — Bridgeport Lodge No. 587, A.F. & A.M.
On December 12, 1884, the Bridgeport Masonic Lodge was granted a charter by the Grand Lodge of Texas. The twenty-seven charter members consisted primarily of local coal miners, ranchers, and businessmen. The group met in a tin building on the old . . . Map (db m178254) HM
10 Texas, Wise County, Bridgeport — 16812 — First Baptist Church Bridgeport
In 1882, Rev. Alphus Hawkins, W.W. Cannon and 23 charter members started this church in old town Bridgeport. After meeting in the schoolhouse and two other sites, the church moved to their own one-room building here in 1895. Coal . . . Map (db m220244) HM
11 Texas, Wise County, Bridgeport — 16811 — First Presbyterian Church of Bridgeport
In 1893, the Rock Island Railroad established a line close to Bridgeport on the banks of the West Fork of the Trinity River and soon the town began to grow. In 1895, the family of J.A. Weakley moved from Decatur to Bridgeport and as charter members . . . Map (db m200136) HM
12 Texas, Wise County, Bridgeport — 17309 — Republic of Texas' Santa Fe Expedition in Wise County
In June 1841, Republic of Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar commissioned an effort to increase Texas' political, military and commercial influence in Santa Fe, then a part of Mexico claimed by the Republic of Texas. A party of 321 men set out from . . . Map (db m200134) HM
13 Texas, Wise County, Bridgeport — 18189 — St. John the Baptizer Catholic Church
In the 1890s, large Catholic communities were established in north Texas. Father J.J. O'Riordan from Henrietta traveled to Bridgeport once a month by train to hold mass, so a mission was established. The mission of St. John the Baptizer was the . . . Map (db m200135) HM
14 Texas, Wise County, Bridgeport — 5499 — Toll Bridge & Old Bridgeport
When Butterfield Overland Mail traversed this area (1858-61) on St. Louis to San Francisco route, a crossing over West Fork of the Trinity was a necessity. Colonel W. H. Hunt on February 11, 1860, obtained a charter and built a toll bridge here (50 . . . Map (db m220240) HM
15 Texas, Wise County, Chico — 18808 — Lake Bridgeport
The watershed of the West Fork of the Trinity River is fed by a large acreage located in Jack and Wise counties. This flows southeastward downriver toward Tarrant and Dallas counties where it eventually merges with the Clear, Elm and East Forks . . . Map (db m178180) HM
16 Texas, Wise County, Cottondale — 18184 — "Machine Gun" Kelley
During the Prohibition era, organized crime increased. Big-name gangsters like Al Capone ruled the streets while public enemies such as Bonnie and Clyde swept across the country. One of the most infamous criminals of this time was George Francis . . . Map (db m201974) HM
17 Texas, Wise County, Cottondale — 1078 — Cottondale
Area's oldest settlement. Platted by landowner B. F. Banks, who also gave lots for public use. Named, 1875, for lush growth of cotton planted by John Bridges, blacksmith, to finance a trip to Alabama to bring back his bride. Paradise . . . Map (db m146871) HM
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18 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 333 — Battle of the Knobs(Northeast)
On November 10, 1837, a company of eighteen Republic of Texas soldiers led by Lt. A.B. Benthuysen engaged in a battle with approximately 150 Indians near this site. Ten Texas soldiers were killed in the battle, and the Indian casualties were . . . Map (db m108546) HM
19 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 13755 — Butterfield Overland Stage Line
Through Decatur passed the Butterfield Overland Mail Line connecting St. Louis and San Francisco with semi-weekly stage and mail service, 1858-1861. The length of the route, 2,795 miles and the superior service maintained made this a pioneer . . . Map (db m105419) HM
20 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 18551 — Captain George W. Stevens
Captain George W. Stevens was born in Lowndes County, Alabama, on July 12, 1830. He lived in Arkansas briefly where he married Martha McDonald in 1852. The couple moved to the Wise County area in 1855 and Stevens became a leader in the efforts to . . . Map (db m108526) HM
21 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 766 — Cattle Trail Crossing(Located ¼ mile south, on Denton Creek)
Near this site ran one of the many "feeder" branches of the famous Chisholm Trail, best-known of all the cattle trails that once linked the vast grasslands of Texas with the meat-hungry markets of the north. The original trail, which . . . Map (db m108532) HM
22 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 822 — Charles Vernon Terrell(May 2, 1861 - November 17, 1959)
A leading public man in Texas, 1896-1939. Born in Wise County to early (1854) settlers. After two years at Texas A. & M., read law and began practice in 1886. Served 1888-92 as Decatur City Attorney; 1892-96 as County Attorney; 1896-1901 and . . . Map (db m108521) HM
23 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 835 — Chisholm Trail
Going Up The Texas Chisholm Trail 1867Map (db m199120) HM
24 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 17980 — Colonel Absalom Bishop
Absalom Bishop (1804-1883) began his military service as a Captain of Militia in the Seminole War in Florida. He later attained the rank of Colonel. Bishop lived in several states before arriving in Hopkins County, Texas, in 1852, and then in what . . . Map (db m108529) HM
25 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 1197 — Decatur Baptist College
World’s first institution to be planned (in 1898) as a junior college. This hall was built in 1892 for an earlier school. (plaque) Entered in the National Register of Historic PlacesMap (db m108536) HM
26 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 1198 — Decatur First United Methodist Church
Organized in 1862, this congregation is the oldest in Decatur. The Reverend J. R. Bellamy conducted the first services in a vacant store on the south side of the town square. Other churches were not started in the community until after the Civil . . . Map (db m184095) HM
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27 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 22499 — Depression-Era Projects in Wise County
The tumultuous years of the Great Depression were much the same in Decatur as in other small towns throughout the United States. Massive unemployment, bank closures, school closures and loss of farms and homes prompted President Franklin D. . . . Map (db m198795) HM
28 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 1282 — Dr. William Renshaw1822 - 1887
Born in Illinois, William Renshaw studied medicine and set up practice in Sparta, Tennessee. His wife Sarah received from the Mexican government a grant of land in Texas, where her father Samuel Worthington lost his life in a colonization attempt . . . Map (db m201914) HM
29 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 17738 — East Side Elementary School
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Wise and several surrounding counties had few African American citizens. Yet regulations at the time required separate facilities for African Americans. Most African American families in Decatur lived in a . . . Map (db m220247) HM
30 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 1492 — Episcopal Mission of the Ascension
Oldest original church building in Decatur. Consecrated by great missionary bishop, the Rt. Rev. A.C. Garrett. Erected facing Main Street (2 blks. w. of square) in 1889. Known as "The Little Church with the Crosses", by 1912 it had . . . Map (db m108544) HM
31 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 1794 — First National Bank of Decatur
This financial institution was organized in 1883 by Decatur bankers Dan Waggoner, Henry Greathouse, and other pioneer businessmen. Waggoner's son, W. T. Waggoner (b. 1854), a prominent Texas cattleman and oilman, served as bank president from 1904 . . . Map (db m108543) HM
32 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 2231 — Gose Trees
Remnant of bois d'arc hedge which encircled the log cabin of Stephen M. Gose (1824-77), early Justice of the Peace, blacksmith, and leader of Methodist church, who came to Texas from Missouri in 1859. The spiny trees, planted 1861, . . . Map (db m187225) HM
33 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 3700 — Old Campsite of Jesse and Frank James(Approximately 1 mi. south)
Famous western frontier outlaws, who had many Texas hideouts along a line from the Rio Grande to the Red River. The camps—extending into Missouri, their home state—were used for hiding stolen horses until posses could be thrown off the . . . Map (db m108533) HM
34 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 3821 — Old Stone Prison
First stone house in Decatur. Erected by prison labor about 1859. Main house was residence of sheriff or deputy. Basement was used as jail. Meals were sent down a dumb-waiter located outside the east end of the house. County sold property in . . . Map (db m108539) HM
35 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 4194 — Randolph Vesey(1832-1908)
Respected Negro citizen and homeowner. Champion pioneer fiddler, popular at Forts Belknap, Griffin and Richardson and over county. Once when he was an Indian captive, held in Kansas, Texans sent ponies to ransom him. He is buried in Oaklawn, . . . Map (db m108524) HM
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36 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 4509 — Sam Woody's Cabin
Tennessee pioneer Sam Woody (1826-1920) migrated to Texas in the 1840s. He brought his family to Wise County in 1854. This cabin, located near Deep Creek, was the first dwelling in the area. After Woody cut the logs, friends and relatives helped . . . Map (db m108540) HM
37 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 4560 — Sand Hill Community
A center of pioneer culture in North Texas, drawing crowds to meet here at good spring of water issuing from beneath hill that gave community its name. First church (Methodist) in territory to become Wise County was organized in home of Jim . . . Map (db m184108) HM
38 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 4949 — Slidell
Named for John Slidell, one of the Confederate diplomats in the "Trent Affair" (1861), this community was established to supply goods and services to nearby farmers. The post office was started in 1884. Garrett Fletcher, donor of land for a . . . Map (db m230202) HM
39 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 17136 — St. John Missionary Baptist Church
This historic church formed in the spring of 1882. A group of women, led by Missouri Brown, began a Sunday school and later initiated the organization of a new church. The first church building was used as a school and became a center for . . . Map (db m220246) HM
40 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 5268 — Texas Ranger Captain Ira Long(May 5, 1842 - March 8, 1913)
Dedicated and courageous. Born in Indiana; reared in Missouri. Wounded twice in Confederate service during the Civil War. On reorganization of Texas Rangers, 1874, was commissioned first lieutenant; promoted 1875 to captain, Company A, official . . . Map (db m108537) HM
41 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 5275 — Texas Tourist Camp Complex
Local businessman E.F. Boydston (1888-1945) purchased this site, a former feed lot, in 1927 for $400. Recognizing a potential business opportunity in offering services to the traveling public, he built a wooden shed and gas station in 1927. . . . Map (db m101511) HM
42 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 4404 — The S. W. Tilghman House
Born in Gibson County, Tennessee, S. W. Tilghman (1846-1913) came in 1870 by wagon train to Wise County. In 1872 he married a Decatur native, Eliza Bland Miller (1856-1931), and became father of a daughter and three sons. A master builder, he . . . Map (db m184085) HM
43 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 5876 — The Wise County Reunion
The Confederate veterans of Wise County are said to have held occasional reunions in the 1860s-1870s. Old settlers invited both the Confederate veterans and Wise County pioneers to an 1881 reunion at Cold Springs. This was on July 12, the . . . Map (db m108538) HM
44 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 5877 — Wise County C.S.A.
County named for Henry A. Wise, U.S. Senator from Virginia who supported Texas annexation, later Governor and C.S.A. general. Wise County was part of District One of 33 brigade districts of Texas established to recruit men for Confederate and state . . . Map (db m108530) HM
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45 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 5874 — Wise County Courthouse
Third built since creation of the county in 1856. Erected, 1895. Of pink Texas granite, with interior of Vermont marble. Has been called architecturally perfect. Has commanding height of 1,112'. Bonded cost paid in full April 10, 1945. . . . Map (db m138077) HM
46 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — 5875 — Wise County Messenger
Started by William Forster in 1880, the "Messenger" was published in Paradise (10 mi. SW) and Alvord (11 mi. NW) before a permanent move to Decatur in 1885. Early editions included poems, love stories, and lists of strayed animals and mail at the . . . Map (db m108535) HM
47 Texas, Wise County, Decatur — Wise County War Memorial
Honoring all who served so well and dedicated to the everlasting memory of those from Wise County who made the supreme sacrifice in World War I 1917-1918 and World War II 1941-1945Map (db m108597) WM
48 Texas, Wise County, Denton — 18511 — Mounts-Wright House
The Mounts family first arrived in Denton County in the 1850s from Virginia. W.H. Mounts (1833-1889) and his wife, Martha Elizabeth (Mattie) Mounts (1838-1914), were early residents of the new county seat of Denton, which had been moved from New . . . Map (db m154096) HM
49 Texas, Wise County, Newark — 5280 — The 1865 Indian Creek Raid
During the late 1850s, Indians on the North Texas frontier became increasingly restive about continued white settlement on their lands. As a result, numerous attacks on Anglos occurred during the years from 1859 to 1875. One such incident took . . . Map (db m147088) HM
50 Texas, Wise County, Paradise — 1273 — Dr. M. W. Matthews(December 29, 1806 - April 13, 1891)
Pioneer physician and preacher. Born in Kentucky. As Army surgeon in Texas Revolution (1836), treated Gen. Sam Houston at Battle of San Jacinto. Served in the 1st and 7th Congresses of the Republic. Took part in Mexican War (1846). A firm Unionist . . . Map (db m146921) HM
51 Texas, Wise County, Paradise — 2156 — George Lafayette Ramsdale
George Lafayette Ramsdale (1820-1884) was a native of Devonshire, England. By 1836, he had come to Texas and enlisted in the Army during the War for Independence from Mexico. After the Revolution, Ramsdale, his wife, Elizabeth (1825-1909), and . . . Map (db m146880) HM
52 Texas, Wise County, Rhome — 5489 — Thurmond-Fairview Cemetery
This community was called "Illinois Settlement" by the early families who immigrated here. Later, it became known as "Fairview". J. F. Thurmond (1853-1945) and his wife Amanda Elizabeth Merrifield arrived in 1880 from Dallas County, Texas. In . . . Map (db m192227) HM
53 Texas, Wise County, Rhome — 5605 — United Methodist Church of Rhome
Organized in the 1880s under the direction of the Reverend F. V. Evans, this church held early services in the Prairie Point Schoolhouse, under brush arbors and in a tent. The first building was completed in 1903 from funds raised by the . . . Map (db m192228) HM
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54 Texas, Wise County, Runaway Bay — 18227 — Lake Bridgeport World War II Training Site
When the U.S. was drawn into World War II in 1941 the federal government increased the number of training facilities across the nation. The area around Lake Bridgeport (built in 1931) made for an ideal site to train airmen and test equipment without . . . Map (db m137872) HM
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Oct. 4, 2023