“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 Independence, Texas

Clickable Map of Washington 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> Washington County, TX (132) Austin County, TX (115) Brazos County, TX (61) Burleson County, TX (47) Fayette County, TX (138) Grimes County, TX (54) Lee County, TX (32) Waller County, TX (49)  WashingtonCounty(132) Washington County (132)  AustinCounty(115) Austin County (115)  BrazosCounty(61) Brazos County (61)  BurlesonCounty(47) Burleson County (47)  FayetteCounty(138) Fayette County (138)  GrimesCounty(54) Grimes County (54)  LeeCounty(32) Lee County (32)  WallerCounty(49) Waller County (49)
Brenham is the county seat for Washington County
Independence is in Washington County
      Washington County (132)  
      Austin County (115)  
      Brazos County (61)  
      Burleson County (47)  
      Fayette County (138)  
      Grimes County (54)  
      Lee County (32)  
      Waller County (49)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Texas, Washington County, Independence — A College Town — "Family Associations"
On March 18, 1846, twenty-four students began their studies at Baylor University on Academy Hill, just west of here. That site remained the sole campus until 1851, when the men were moved to Windmill Hill. Although students attended classes on . . . Map (db m166783) HM
2Texas, Washington County, Independence — Baylor University — On Windmill Hill
In 1845, Baptist leaders chose to locate the newly chartered Baylor University in Independence, Texas, "because of its centrality, accessibility, health, and beautiful scenery." The University opened on Academy Hill, west of town. As funds . . . Map (db m166705) HM
3Texas, Washington County, Independence — Baylor University Campus on Windmill Hill: — The Buildings and Other Facilities — Baylor University —
From 1848 to the late 1850s, James Huckins raised thousands of dollars nationwide for erecting buildings making up the male department campus. In 1848, Huckins designed a master plan for the permanent campus on Windmill Hill. Three stone . . . Map (db m166772) HM
4Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8301 — Baylor University for Boys
On this site stood one of the early buildings of Baylor University erected for boys in 1851, and torn down in 1934 The institution was incorporated February 1, 1845 under the laws of the Republic of Texas named for Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor who . . . Map (db m118673) HM
5Texas, Washington County, Independence — 13680 — Baylor University on Windmill Hill
In 1845, the Republic of Texas chartered Baylor University at Independence, and it began on the west side of town on Academy Hill. Shortly, work on a second campus began here at Windmill Hill (Allen's Hill). James Huckins developed a site plan and a . . . Map (db m118694) HM
6Texas, Washington County, Independence — Baylor University's First Years — Baylor University —
On May 18th, 1846, Professor Henry F. Gillett opened Baylor University in temporary quarters on Academy Hill, the former campus of Independence Academy. In the two-story frame Academy Building, Gillett, a devout Episcopalian, conducted every class . . . Map (db m166759) HM
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7Texas, Washington County, Independence — Baylor's Survival— — Civil War, Reconstruction, and Baptist Strife — Baylor University —
The next president, George Washington Baines, former editor of the Texas Baptist, kept the male department open amid tough times. The Confederate Army had taken most of the men from the classroom. Baines' great-grandson was Lyndon Baines Johnson, . . . Map (db m166774) HM
8Texas, Washington County, Independence — Bell Tower — Baylor University —
The Bell Tower is indicated by a stone platform attached to the wall connecting Houston and Tryon Halls. In 1882, an announcement noted: "Dr. Crane has moved the bell from the place where it has stood so long to a position near Houston Hall so . . . Map (db m166793) HM
9Texas, Washington County, Independence — College Well: of Windmill Hill — Likely Location of the Windmills — Baylor University —
This 48-foot-deep hand-dug well measures six feet in diameter. The date of, or the persons responsible for the digging of this well are not known. The earliest reference is in March, 1856, when the Baylor Trustees authorized President Burleson to . . . Map (db m166794) HM
10Texas, Washington County, Independence — Columns of a Building of Old Baylor University
Outgrowth of efforts of Judge R.E.B. Baylor and others; chartered by Republic of Texas on Feb.1, 1845; opened 1846 - Baylor is the oldest University in Texas operating under original name. Until moving (1886) to Belton and Waco, Baylor was located . . . Map (db m157253) HM
11Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8325 — Dr. Horace G. Clark — (July 7, 1819 - February 10, 1909)
​Born in Massachusetts. Coming to Texas (1850) with wife, Martha Davis Clark, he was principal and second president of Baylor Female College. Mrs. Clark also taught and counseled students. Family operated dormitory on this site 20 years. Dr. . . . Map (db m156732) HM
12Texas, Washington County, Independence — Founding of Baylor University — Baylor University —
The congress of the Republic of Texas, meeting at Washington-on the-Brazos, chartered Baylor University on February 1st, 1845. The idea of a Baptist university in Texas originated with William Milton Tryon, who with Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor, . . . Map (db m166758) HM
13Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8414 — Gen. James Willie
Born in Georgia Jan. 5, 1822 Died in Houston, Texas 1863 Attorney General of Texas, 1856-7 Officer in the Confederate armyMap (db m185265) HM
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14Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8421 — General Sam Houston
One and one-half miles south General Sam Houston was baptized by Rufus C. Burleson, Baptist minister and president of Baylor University, November 19, 1854 in Rocky CreekMap (db m118701) HM
15Texas, Washington County, Independence — Grave Site of R.E.B. Baylor
Site of the Grave of Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor was located along the street connecting Independence with the male campus. Judge Baylor was buried on the Baylor University campus following his death on December 10th, 1873. This reflected the . . . Map (db m164139) HM
16Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8418 — Home Built in 1845 by General Jerome B. Robertson — (1815-1891)
A captain in the army of the Republic of Texas 1836 A captain in the Somervell Expedition 1842 Representative and Senator in the Texas Legislature Brigadier General of Hood's Brigade C. S. A.Map (db m118705) HM
17Texas, Washington County, Independence — Houston Hall — Baylor University —
Baylor University built the "Wing Building" in 1859 to provide immediate relief to overcrowded classrooms. "Male College" was sufficiently finished by 1862 to hold classes and to relocate the library and science laboratories from temporary . . . Map (db m166792) HM
18Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8353 — Houston-Lea Family Cemetery
When the widow of Sam Houston died of yellow fever during the epidemic of 1867, the danger of contagion made it impossible to carry her to Huntsville for burial beside her husband. She lies here, with her mother, Mrs. Nancy Lea, near the sites of . . . Map (db m118731) HM
19Texas, Washington County, Independence — In Recognition of the Land Donations to Baylor — With appreciation to the Klatte and Wolff families — Baylor University —
In 1927, Independence farmer Charles Klatte purchased the property on Windmill Hill which had served as campus grounds of Baylor University from 1850 to 1886. For the next 50 years, the Klatte family developed a farm, consisting of crop . . . Map (db m166778) HM
20Texas, Washington County, Independence — 12284 — Independence
Local legend tells of Dr. Asa Hoxey who, celebrating the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836, moved to change the name of Coles Settlement to Independence. Actual County records show an 1835 origin for the town of Independence with C. Baker, . . . Map (db m156749) HM
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21Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8359 — Independence Postal Service
Until 1840 mail was carried by private conveyance- neighbors paying expenses of young man to travel by horse to Houston and bring mail for all; 1840 brought two stage routes giving weekly service. Postal service authorized in 1843; Moses Johnson . . . Map (db m156788) HM
22Texas, Washington County, Independence — John P. Coles Cabin — "Every Important Man of Texas"
The Independence Historical Society moved the Coles Cabin and Independence Log House buildings to this site to ensure their preservation. "Walking through the house, we can visualize Coles (with his spectacles on his forehead) conducting . . . Map (db m157275) HM
23Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8326 — John Prince Coles — (1793 - 1847)
​ A native of North Carolina, John Prince Coles brought his family to Texas in 1821 with Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred" colonists. Arriving in present Washington County on New Year's Day in 1822, Coles received a Mexican land grant . . . Map (db m156743) HM
24Texas, Washington County, Independence — 12996 — Liberty Baptist Church
This church has historic ties to Independence Baptist church. In 1871, following Emancipation, former slaves established their own congregation, naming it in honor of their new freedom. The church, which began with 150 members, held services in a . . . Map (db m118718) HM
25Texas, Washington County, Independence — 13241 — Liberty Community Cemetery
Tradition holds the first burials here were for enslaved Africans before the close of the Civil War in 1865; the first marked graves date to the late 1860s. When J.C. McCrocklin sold this site to the Colored People's Cemetery Association in 1907, . . . Map (db m164573) HM
26Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8354 — Margaret Moffette Lea Houston
Margaret Moffette Lea wife of Gen. Sam Houston April 11, 1819 - Dec. 3, 1867 and her mother Nancy Moffette Lea May 1, 1780 - Feb. 7, 1864 women of character, culture and staunch devotion to their families and church, each in her own way greatly . . . Map (db m118733) HM
27Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8313 — Moses Austin Bryan — (September 25, 1817 - March 16, 1895)
Grandson of Moses Austin, whose 1821 contract with Mexico opened Texas to Anglo-Americans. Moses Austin Bryan came to Texas in 1831; worked with his uncle, Stephen F. Austin; fought (1836) in Battle of San Jacinto; served as secretary, Republic of . . . Map (db m164570) HM
28Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8417 — Old Baptist Church
Organized in 1839. Here Sam Houston was converted and baptised in Rocky Creek in 1854. The present building was erected in 1872Map (db m118717) HM
29Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8298 — Old Baylor Park
​ Under a charter issued in 1845 by the Republic of Texas, Baylor University was established on this site and operated here until its removal to Waco and Belton in 1886. Afterward the site was bought by John Thomas Hairston (1835-1918), a . . . Map (db m156738) HM
30Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8358 — Old Independence Cemetery
A very old graveyard of Anglo-Texas. Started about 1823 on league of Judge J.P. Cole, one of the "Old 300" in the Austin Colony. A daughter, Madora Cole McCrocklin, gave the site. Many statesmen, educators, physicians, lawyers, war veterans and . . . Map (db m164567) HM
31Texas, Washington County, Independence — 13679 — Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor — (1793-1873)
R.E.B. Baylor, for whom Baylor University is named, was a prominent leader in diverse arenas of public service: military, judicial, political, educational, fraternal and religious. A Kentucky native, he served in the War of 1812 and the Creek Indian . . . Map (db m118704) HM
32Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8360 — Site of Independence School
Although private schools were in operation in Independence as early as 1835, tax-supported public schools were not established until the 1870s. In September 1870, the County Court ordered that each of the five precincts in the County be divided . . . Map (db m156811) HM
33Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8350 — Site of Mustering of a Unit of Hood's Texas Brigade, C.S.A.
Co. I Fifth Texas Infantry Regt., Army of Northern Virginia, was raised here Aug. 1861, as "The Texas Aides" by Capt. J.B. Robertson. Unit fought in many battles of Civil War - Gaines Mill, Second Manassas, Antietam, Gettysburg, Chickamauga . . . Map (db m156792) HM
34Texas, Washington County, Independence — 8328 — The Davis Family
​ Renowned educators; family of the Rev. Abner Davis, founder (1827) of Shurtleff College, Alton, Ill. ​A daughter, Martha (d. 1896), joined the Baylor Female College staff with her husband, Horace Clark, in 1851. Baylor in a few . . . Map (db m156735) HM
35Texas, Washington County, Independence — The Female Department of Baylor University
On this site stood the Female Department of Baylor University Incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Texas February 1, 1845 Henry L. Graves, first president, was elected January 12, 1846 Preparatory Department for boys and girls was . . . Map (db m157227) HM
36Texas, Washington County, Independence — Tryon Hall
The Baylor trustees began construction on Main Building in 1860. Onset of the Civil War and financing problems halted work. A one-story shell of stone remained untouched until sufficient fund were attained to resume construction in 1880. Also . . . Map (db m164165) HM
37Texas, Washington County, Independence — Windmill Hill — After Baylor's Relocation — Baylor University —
From fall 1886 through 1888, the Union Baptist Association reacquired the two campuses to establish William Carey Crane College. The male department operated on Windmill Hill until 1888, and the land was sold to J. C. Clay, a local citizen. In . . . Map (db m166777) HM
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Jan. 31, 2023