“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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San Antonio-El Paso Road Historical Markers

Historical markers along the San Antonio-El Paso Road (AKA Lower Emigrant Road; Military Road; Government Road).
Comstock-Ozona Stage Stand Marker site image, Touch for more information
By William F Haenn, November 30, 2014
Comstock-Ozona Stage Stand Marker site
1 Texas, Crockett County, Ozona — 4758 — Site of Comstock-Ozona Stage Stand
Flagstone ruins nearby mark site of early 1900s stage stand, first stop on passenger and mail line connecting Ozona with Southern Pacific railhead at Comstock — 80 miles distant. When stage pulled in about 8:30 A.M. (having left Ozona at . . . Map (db m79331) HM
2 Texas, Crockett County, Sheffield — 2587 — Howard's Well(19 Miles to the Southeast)
First known to civilized men in the 18th century, when, according to legend, Franciscan Padre Alvarez prayed for water to ease his thirst, put down his staff, and saw a spring gush forth from the ground. This landmark of western travel was named for . . . Map (db m85005) HM
3 Texas, Crockett County, Sheffield — 3737 — Old Government Road
Route of march and troop supply on Texas frontier. Followed in part pre-Columbian Indian trails and "Old Chihuahua Trail" that ran from San Antonio to El Paso and Mexico. In 1840s this was extended to Gulf Coast Port of Indianola where imported . . . Map (db m126683) HM
4 Texas, Crockett County, Sheffield — 4383 — Ruins of Fort Lancaster
Established in 1855 by the United States Government as a protection to travelers and mail on the overland route from San Antonio to San Diego. Abandoned in 1861. Reoccupied in 1868 for a short time.Map (db m126687) HM
5 Texas, Crockett County, Sheffield — 5303 — The Chihuahua Trail and Escondido Water Hole
The Chihuahua Trail was opened by segments, but was not called by this name until the 19th century. A small part of the route, along the nearby Pecos River, was followed by the Spaniard Gaspar Castano de Sosa in 1590, during an expedition to New . . . Map (db m126681) HM
6 Texas, Culberson County, Van Horn — 7926 — Van Horn Wells(One-Half Mile West)
Only dependable water supply in miles of arid terrain. Used by Indians for centuries. Named for either Maj. Jefferson Van Horne (who passed here en route to establish fort at El Paso, in 1849), or for Lt. J.J. Van Horn (stationed here to fight . . . Map (db m73296) HM
7 Texas, El Paso County, El Paso — 15036 — Butterfield Overland Mail
The Butterfield Overland Mail was a mail and passenger stagecoach service that linked the Western and Eastern states. John Butterfield, president of the Overland Mail Company, won a federal government contact in 1857 to take and deliver mail twice . . . Map (db m68170) HM
8 Texas, El Paso County, San Elizario — 3715 — Old County Jail
This structure was built about 1850 of adobe bricks (sundried mud and reeds) and cottonwood logs around steel cell blocks. It served as official county jail 1850-66 and 1868-73, when San Elizario was the first and then third El Paso County seat. It . . . Map (db m118272) HM
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9 Texas, Hudspeth County, Fort Hancock — Camp RiceBuilt in 1884-5
Department Commander Brigadier General D.S. Stanley, U.S.A. Planned by Major J.G.C. Lee, Chief Quartermaster. Post Commander Captain T.A. Baldwin, 10th Cav’y. Officer in charge of Construction Lieut. E.B. Ives, 19th Inft’y. . . . Map (db m79374) HM
10 Texas, Hudspeth County, Sierra Blanca — 238 — August Fransal(August 9, 1843 – July 30, 1927)
One of the many fearless stage drivers who traveled on the Ben Ficklin Overland Mail Line from San Antonio to El Paso. On this dangerous route, threatened by wild Apaches, Fransal regularly drove his mule-drawn stage. He served as a Texas . . . Map (db m60760) HM
11 Texas, Hudspeth County, Sierra Blanca — 2007 — Fort QuitmanC.S.A.
Site 16 miles southwest on Rio Grande on old military and stage road from San Antonio to El Paso. When U.S. posts were surrendered at outbreak of civil war, designated part confederate far western frontier defense line. Occupied by unit of Texas . . . Map (db m118230) HM
12 Texas, Jeff Davis County, Fort Davis — 10473 — Bloys Camp Meeting
Held each year since 1890. Founded by Rev. W.B. Bloys, a Presbyterian. His camp pulpit was an Arbuckle Coffee crate. First campers, 48 people from remote ranches and towns, slept in tents, wagons. Family groups had chuck-box meals, sharing with . . . Map (db m79373) HM
13 Texas, Jeff Davis County, Fort Davis — 10478 — Fort Davis
Established by Lieut. Col. Washington Seawell with six companies of the Eighth U.S. Infantry in October 1854 for protecting travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road. Named in honor of the then Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, it was . . . Map (db m26357) HM
14 Texas, Jeff Davis County, Fort Davis — 16485 — Jeff Davis County Jail
The community of Fort Davis grew up around the military post of the same name, established by the U.S. Army in 1854 to protect travelers on the San Antonio–El Paso Road. Fort Davis was designated as the Presidio county seat when the county was . . . Map (db m61191) HM
15 Texas, Jeff Davis County, Fort Davis — 10482 — Old Fort Davis CSA
Confederate supply point and frontier outpost on great military road from San Antonio to El Paso 1861-62. After surrendered by U. S. Army, occupied by detachment 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles. Apaches ambushed patrol from fort under Lt. Mays in Big Bend . . . Map (db m73299) HM
16 Texas, Jeff Davis County, Fort Davis — 10486 — San Antonio-El Paso Road
Westward expeditions opened trails from San Antonio to El Paso in the late 1840s. Two routes, called the upper and lower roads, converged at the Pecos River to traverse the Davis Mountains. Henry Skillman (1814-1864) began a courier service . . . Map (db m61196) HM
17 Texas, Jeff Davis County, Fort Davis — 10490 — Wild Rose Pass
In early days the Indian trail through these mountains followed the gorge below known as Limpia Canyon. To avoid the floods travelers over the San Antonio - El Paso Road, emigrants, U.S. troops and supply trains, and the mail chose this higher pass . . . Map (db m239563) HM
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18 Texas, Kinney County, Brackettville — 1243 — Dolores Townsite(About 8 miles south)
Only settlement founded in John Charles Beales' ill-fated Rio Grande colony of 1834-1836. Beales (1804-1878) -- empresario of 70,000,000 acres in present Southern and Western Texas and New Mexico -- was Texas' largest known land king. In 1833 he . . . Map (db m82532) HM
19 Texas, Kinney County, Brackettville — 1975 — Fort Clark
A strategic installation in the U.S. Army's line of forts along the military road stretching from San Antonio to El Paso, Fort Clark was established in June 1852. Located near natural springs and Las Moras Creek, its site was considered a point of . . . Map (db m234646) HM
20 Texas, Kinney County, Brackettville — 2 — Fort Clark Historic DistrictEstablished 1852
Fort Clark Historic District has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior listed December 6, 1979Map (db m55547) HM
21 Texas, Kinney County, Brackettville — 17807 — Las Moras Spring
As the ninth largest springs in Texas and the largest springs in Kinney County, Las Moras Spring is significant due to its location and invaluable natural resources. Moras, meaning “mulberries” in one Spanish translation, refer to the . . . Map (db m186813) HM
22 Texas, Kinney County, Brackettville — 3377 — Military Roads in Texas
The routes that moved troops in early Texas often followed old Indian trails, usually were little more than deep wagon ruts. This one, the Chihuahua Road—joining Ft. Clark with other southwest posts—was widely used, 1850-1880. The Comanche War . . . Map (db m234647) HM
23 Texas, Medina County, Castroville — 131 — Alsatians of Texas
In 1842, Empresario Henry Castro brought his first colonists to Texas to settle land west of the Medina River. Most of the immigrants were from the Rhine River area of Europe. Many claimed the province of Alsace, on the border of France and Germany, . . . Map (db m79054) HM
24 Texas, Medina County, D'Hanis — 12357 — J.M. Koch's Hotel
J.M. and Mary Ann Koch owned and operated a hotel in D'Hanis beginning in 1898. They purchased the land on this site in July 1902, and built this hotel in 1906. Reportedly constructed by Chinese railroad laborers, it is built of early bricks from . . . Map (db m64488) HM
25 Texas, Medina County, Hondo — 332 — Battle of the Arroyo Hondo
In 1842 the Mexican Army launched three invasions into Texas to reclaim territory lost during the Texas Revolution. Col. Rafael Vasquez's Army briefly occupied San Antonio in March, and in July Texans fought with Col. Antonio Canales' forces near . . . Map (db m81867) HM
26 Texas, Medina County, Hondo — 5639 — Vandenburg
Located on the banks of Verde Creek (Arroyo Verde), Vandenburg, founded in 1846, was one of the colonies established by Empresario Henri Castro. Immigrants settled nearby and began farming. They dug a trench eight feet wide by six feet deep to . . . Map (db m79257) HM
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27 Texas, Medina County, Quihi — 5537 — Town of Quihi
Surveyed in October, 1844 by Henri Castro 1781---1861 Distinguished pioneer and colonizer of Texas Established in March, 1845 by ten families in charge of Louis Huth, agent for Castro Many settlers were killed by . . . Map (db m64185) HM
28 Texas, Pecos County, Fort Stockton — 2021 — Fort Stockton Guard House
Founded in 1859, Fort Stockton was abandoned during the Civil War and reestablished in 1867, when this guard house was built. Stone for the structure was quarried locally. The lumber was hauled from Indianola by oxcart. The Guard House consisted of . . . Map (db m56547) HM
29 Texas, Pecos County, Fort Stockton — 2022 — Fort Stockton Officers' Quarters
When Fort Stockton was rebuilt in 1867 to protect the route to El Paso, seven homes were erected for officers' families. Built with rock foundations and thick adobe walls, the structures faced the parade ground. Nearby were located corrals, carriage . . . Map (db m81871) HM
30 Texas, Pecos County, Fort Stockton — 3731 — Old Fort Cemetery
Burial ground for soldiers stationed at Fort Stockton and for civilians in the little town that grew up around the post. The fort was established 1859; temporarily closed 1861-1867. Troops here protected the San Antonio-San Diego mail line and . . . Map (db m82348) HM
31 Texas, Pecos County, Fort Stockton — 4757 — Site of Comanche Springs
Used as a watering place and camping ground by Indians since pre-Columbian times, the springs were possibly visited about 1536 by Spaniard Cabeza de Vaca on his wanderings through Texas. The expedition of Juan de Mendoza, with his party of . . . Map (db m201800) HM
32 Texas, Pecos County, Fort Stockton — 4798 — Site of Fort Stockton
Established on the Comanche Trail, March 23, 1859, as a protection to the San Antonio-San Diego mail route. Named in honor of Commodore Robert Field Stockton, 1795-1866, who captured California for the United States. A stage stand on the San Diego . . . Map (db m84320) HM
33 Texas, Pecos County, Fort Stockton — Tunis Creek Stage Coach Stop
Replica of San Antonio and San Diego overland stage coach stop. This building was constructed of the stone from the original site which is ½ mile south-east of this location near Tunis Springs. The remains of a large Comanche Indian camp still . . . Map (db m73308) HM
34 Texas, Taylor County, Merkel — 3503 — Mountain Pass Station(Site located 200 yards east)
Maintained from 1858 to outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 as a stage stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route, which was the first mail and passenger line to link the east and west coasts of the United States. In 1870's this was a stop for . . . Map (db m77765) HM
35 Texas, Uvalde County, Cline — 921 — Cline Community(½ mi. S. of this site)
First settler, Celeste Pingenot came to this area in 1870. He built first house on south bank of Turkey Creek, 1871. Established stagecoach stand, store and inn; named it Wallace. He was first postmaster, commissioned, 1878. Community protected . . . Map (db m79256) HM
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36 Texas, Uvalde County, Knippa — 5533 — Town of Knippa
Served by the Texas & New Orleans Railroad since 1882, this area was settled in 1887 by George Knippa. A freighter who worked between East Texas and Mexico, Knippa also encouraged many friends to move to the fertile land of this county. In 1899 . . . Map (db m90162) HM
37 Texas, Uvalde County, Sabinal — 4425 — Sabinal
Named by Spanish for Rio Sabina and Cypress trees along river. Town founded in 1854 by Thomas B. Hammer who operated a stage shop and was first postmaster. Despite Indian depredations, town thrived as settlers built homes, and a railroad . . . Map (db m94690) HM
38 Texas, Uvalde County, Sabinal — 4427 — Sabinal Methodist Church
This church began in 1876 as part of the Sabinal circuit assigned to the Rev. Henry T. Hill. Circuit ministers served the fellowship until 1900, when it became an organized congregation. Services were held in the Christian and Baptist church . . . Map (db m94689) HM
39 Texas, Uvalde County, Sabinal — 4746 — Site of Camp Sabinal
Established July 12, 1856 by Captain Albert G. Brackett, Second U.S. Cavalry, as a protection to the San Antonio - El Paso Road and frontier settlers • Occupied by Federal troops until November, 1856 • Later served as a Ranger campMap (db m64460) HM
40 Texas, Uvalde County, Uvalde — 1830 - Reading Wood Black - 1867
In appreciation of 1830 - Reading Wood Black - 1867 Who came to Texas from New Jersey in 1852 and founded Uvalde in May 1855Map (db m82448) HM
41 Texas, Uvalde County, Uvalde — 1358 — Early Texas Wagon Yards
Places of shelter for drivers, teams and wagons. Here travelers could cook bacon, eggs, beans, coffee; talk with friends and strangers. For people from the country, a wagon yard was both a hotel and a social center. Usually it was an open area . . . Map (db m64461) HM
42 Texas, Uvalde County, Uvalde — 1991 — Fort Inge, Camp Dix, C.S.A.
A major road west from San Antonio forked in the area of these forts. One road went toward El Paso, the other to the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass. Travelers heading west put on their guns in this region, the start of hostile Indian country, troops . . . Map (db m52683) HM
43 Texas, Uvalde County, Uvalde — 2249 — Grand Opera House
Staged outstanding musicals, dramas. Built 1891 by local men for professional troupes. Also scene of home talent plays, some directed by Ben K. Franklin, a former actor who settled here. Programs created social stir, with lavish dress and parties. . . . Map (db m64462) HM
44 Texas, Uvalde County, Uvalde — 15561 — Reading Wood Black(1830-1867)
On this site stood home and trading post of Reading Wood Black. Native of New Jersey, he settled in Texas, 1853, near Leona River where he was successful in many business ventures. Founded town of Uvalde; gave land for public school. Elected County . . . Map (db m234648) HM
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45 Texas, Uvalde County, Uvalde — 4793 — Site of Fort Inge
Established by Captain Sidney Burbank, First U.S. Infantry, on March 13, 1849. Named in honor of Lieutenant Zebulon M.P. Inge, who fell at Resaca de la Palma May 9, 1846. Protected the Southern Overland Stage mail route from Indian raids. Federal . . . Map (db m221559) HM
46 Texas, Uvalde County, Uvalde — 5620 — Uvalde County Courthouse
Completed in 1928, this structure replaced Uvalde County's 1890 Courthouse. The Commissioner's Court hired architect Henry T. Phelps, who had designed several other Texas courthouses, and prominent local builder M. H. Ryland to manage the . . . Map (db m64564) HM
47 Texas, Val Verde County, Comstock — 16779 — Comstock Reported missing
In the early 1880s, Comstock developed as a station on the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio railway because of the natural lake and water supply. The former townsite of Soto or Sotol City was replaced with Comstock, named after John B. . . . Map (db m79326) HM
48 Texas, Val Verde County, Comstock — 13909 — Dead Man's Pass
This narrow canyon marks a remote and perilous section of a road traveled from San Antonio to El Paso and on to California following the Gold Rush of the 1840s. Adding to the hardships of a journey that took several weeks, this particular area was . . . Map (db m79325) HM
49 Texas, Val Verde County, Del Rio — 12800 — U.S. Army Camel Corps
The proposal to use camels for commerce and transportation in the arid Southwest came about in the 1830s, but it was under U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis that the idea became a reality. The first shipment of camels arrived on the Texas Gulf . . . Map (db m36889) HM
50 Texas, Val Verde County, Juno — 2556 — Hood's Devils River Fight
The men of Company G, a small unit of the U.S. 2nd Cavalry, left Fort Mason on July 5, 1857, under the command of Lt. John Bell Hood (1831-1879), in pursuit of Comanche Indians in the vicinity. Traveling northwest, they discovered a fresh Indian . . . Map (db m79328) HM
51 Texas, Val Verde County, Juno — 4744 — Site of Camp Hudson
Established by the United States Army, June 7, 1857, as a means of protecting the road from San Antonio to El Paso against hostile Indians. Named in honor of 2nd Lieutenant Walter W. Hudson who died April 19, 1850, of wounds received in action with . . . Map (db m79327) HM
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Apr. 17, 2024