“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 Huntsville

Anthony Martin Branch Grave Marker image, Touch for more information
By Brian Anderson, February 3, 2019
Anthony Martin Branch Grave Marker
1Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8433 — Anthony Martin Branch(July 16, 1823 - Oct. 3, 1867)
Born in Buckingham County, Va.; came to Texas, 1847. Settled in Huntsville; entered law practice with Henderson Yoakum. Married Amanda Smith, 1849. Served in the 8th State Legislature, 1859-61; the Confederate army, 1862; and the Congress of . . . — Map (db m129702) HM
2Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8426 — Austin College Building
The Presbyterian Church established Austin College in Huntsville in 1849 and erected this structure in 1851-52. Austin College moved to Sherman in 1876, and in 1879 this building was deeded to the state for use by the newly-established Sam Houston . . . — Map (db m66311) HM
3Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 13707 — Camp HuntsvilleWorld War II Prisoner of War Camp
Camp Huntsville, completed here in 1942, was one of the first prisoner of war (POW) camps built in the U.S. during World War II. Designed to house 3,000 POWs, it had more than 400 buildings, as well as eight branch camps. The first POWs, part of . . . — Map (db m49725) HM
4Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Charles Norton ShaverSixth President of Sam Houston State University — 1937-1942 —
Shaver received a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1923. He served n the Texas Legislature and as President of the Texas State Teachers Association, helping to create the State's Teacher-Retirement System. Shaver received . . . — Map (db m66317) HM
5Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Cornerstone of the Fourth Courthouse
This building was completed in 1899 and was used until the courthouse and the third floor were destroyed by fire early on the morning of December 24th 1968. No records were lost in the fire and later that day all the county offices were moved to an . . . — Map (db m72593) HM
6Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Elliott Toulmin BowersNinth President of Sam Houston State University — 1970-1989 —
Elliott Bowers entered Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1937 and completed his bachelor’s and master's degrees in Music by 1942. He earned a doctorate in Educational Administration at the University of Houston in 1959. After military service in . . . — Map (db m66316) HM
7Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8451 — First Presbyterian Church of Huntsville
Organized by the Presbytery of the Brazos in June 1848, the First Presbyterian Church of Huntsville began with one elder and ten members. Early worship services were held in the county courthouse, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and the chapel . . . — Map (db m111152) HM
8Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8452 — First United Methodist Church of Huntsville
Before 1842 Methodists in Huntsville were probably served by itinerant preachers on the Montgomery County circuit. The Texas Methodist Conference appointed The Rev. Henderson B. Palmer as first pastor of the Huntsville church in that year. Records . . . — Map (db m129556) HM
9Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8453 — Forrest Lodge No. 19, A.F. & A.M.
One of 25 lodges started during the Republic of Texas, Forrest Lodge No. 19, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, was chartered on Jan. 11, 1844. It is the eighth oldest lodge in Texas. Among its early members were Sam Houston and Texas historian . . . — Map (db m111850) HM
10Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8428 — General John Slater Besser(August 13, 1802 - May 13, 1893)
A native of Pennsylvania, John Slater Besser was a Brigadier General, legislator, and judge in Missouri before moving his family to Texas in 1842. While living in Montgomery and Walker counties, Besser held a number of public offices before and . . . — Map (db m129578) HM
11Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Harmon Luther LowmanSeventh President of Sam Houston State University — 1942-1964 —
A native Texan, Lowman saw World War I military service before attaining a bachelor's degree at Southwest State Teachers College in 1923, a master's degree at the University of Texas, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Chicago . . . — Map (db m66319) HM
12Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Harry Fishburne EstillFifth President of Sam Houston State University — 1908-1937 —
Estill was valedictorian of the Sam Houston Normal Institute's first senior class in 1880 and spent 55 years on campus as student, faculty member, and president. He authored early United States history texts for public-school students in southern . . . — Map (db m66318) HM
13Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8483 — Henderson Yoakum(September 6, 1810 - November 30, 1856)
A graduate of the United States Military Academy (1832), Henderson Yoakum saw duty on frontiers and in the Mexican War. He practiced law and served in the Senate in his native Tennessee, moving to Texas in 1845. In Huntsville he became a civic . . . — Map (db m129623) HM
14Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8456 — Henry Opera House(In service 1883-1913)
Built in 1880 as lodge hall. First floor soon became a dry goods and grocery store, and second was made into a fine theater by owner, John Henry (1828-97). Here traveling troupes played Shakespeare and dramas of the times. Famous magician Hermann . . . — Map (db m29241) HM
15Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12577 — Huntsville "Walls" Unit(Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville)
The Republic of Texas Congress passed a law to establish a prison system in 1842, but it wasn't until 1848, after a new law passed the state legislature, that steps were taken to achieve the goal. Huntsville was selected as the site for the state . . . — Map (db m155935) HM
16Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 14798 — James Addison Baker
James Addison Baker was born to Jane Saxton and Elijah Adam Baker on March 3, 1821 near Huntsville, Alabama. He was admitted to the bar in 1843 and wed Caroline Hightower in 1849. She died in 1852, and he moved that year to join her family . . . — Map (db m111088) HM
17Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8468 — Jesse Parker(About 1776 - May 27, 1849)
In 1822 Jesse Parker moved to the Mexican state of Texas. A veteran of the War of 1812, he represented the Sabine District at the Convention of 1832 in San Felipe de Austin. Three years later he received a land grant in the Washington municipality, . . . — Map (db m129701) HM
18Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 16519 — Josey Boy Scout Lodge
Oilman and Huntsville native Robert A. Josey donated funding for the construction of this log structure in 1933. Additional funding was obtained from the federal government's Civil Works Administration (CWA), and Gibbs Brothers and Company donated . . . — Map (db m117556) HM
19Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12367 — Joshua Houston(c. 1822-January 8, 1902)
Born a slave and reared on the Alabama plantation of the Lea family, Joshua Houston was brought to Texas in 1840 by Margaret Lea and Sam Houston. During the years after the Civil War, he became a prominent businessman and respected community leader. . . . — Map (db m8079) HM
20Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Law Office (Sam Houston)
Law office built and used at various periods of his later life by Sam Houston: Soldier, Statesman, Master Mason. — Map (db m8081) HM
21Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 14506 — Margaret Moffette Lea HoustonApril 11, 1819 - December 3, 1867
Margaret Moffette Lea was born on her family’s farm in Pleasant Valley, near Marion, Alabama. She graduated from Judson Female Institute in Marion in 1837, and in 1839 she met General Sam Houston. Houston, who had completed his term as the first . . . — Map (db m22031) HM
22Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8467 — Oakwood Cemetery
This cemetery existed as early as 1846, for three graves were placed here that year. Pleasant Gray, Huntsville's founder, deeded in 1847 a 1,600-square foot plot at this site. The original tract has been greatly enlarged by other donations from . . . — Map (db m8074) HM
23Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8455 — Old Gibbs Store
Old Gibbs Store, oldest business in Texas under original ownership and on first site. Established 1841 in Republic of Texas by Thomas Gibbs. Building erected in 1847 after Sanford Saint John Gibbs joined firm. General Sam Houston was steady customer . . . — Map (db m111867) HM
24Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8461 — Old Main Building
First permanent structure built by state of Texas for teacher training--when Joseph Baldwin was president of Sam Houston Normal Institute, L. S. Ross was governor, and A. T. McKinney was chairman of the S.H.N.I. local board. Cornerstone was laid . . . — Map (db m66312) HM
25Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12281 — Original Site of The Steamboat House
Dr. Rufus W. Bailey, a teacher, minister and attorney educated in New England, came to Huntsville as a language professor at Austin College in 1855. He acquired an eight-acre tract on this site and erected a house which he named "Buena Vista," but . . . — Map (db m66314) HM
26Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8469 — Peabody Library Building
The first campus structure to be used exclusively for library purposes, this building was erected in 1902. Built with assistance from the Peabody Education Fund (a philanthropic program created by northern banker George Peabody soon after the Civil . . . — Map (db m66313) HM
27Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12280 — Pleasant Williams Kittrell(April 13, 1805 - September 29, 1867)
Doctor Pleasant Williams Kittrell, a statesman in North Carolina and Alabama, moved with his family to Texas in 1850. While serving two terms in the Texas Legislature, the doctor authored the bill to establish the University of Texas. Though the . . . — Map (db m129691) HM
28Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 18181 — Powell Sanctuary
Benjamin Harrison Powell (1881-1960) was a successful lawyer in the area for fifteen years until he was appointed in 1918 by Governor Hobby as judge of the 12th District Court and subsequently to the Commission of Appeals in Austin. Marian (Rather) . . . — Map (db m129693) HM
29Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8457 — Sam Houston
Born March 2, 1793, in Rockbridge County, Va.; son of Samuel and Elizabeth Houston. Moved to Tennessee in 1807 with widowed mother and her family. In 1813 joined U.S. Army under Gen. Andrew Jackson, with whom he formed lifetime friendship and . . . — Map (db m8072) HM
30Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Sam Houston
Sam Houston American, Texan, Patriot, Master Mason U.S. Congressman - Tennessee 1823-1827 Governor of Tennessee 1827-1829 President - Republic of Texas 1836-1838 and 1841-1844 U.S. Senator - Texas 1859-1861 "The great . . . — Map (db m119804) HM
31Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Sam Houston Whittling Site
This corner was a favorite site where General Sam Houston sat in a special hide-bottom chair to whittle small objects and talk with customers at the General Mercantile Store owned by his friends Thomas and Sandford Gibbs. Early records of the . . . — Map (db m111866) HM
32Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Sam Houston Whittling Site
General Sam Houston is credited with having sat on this corner to whittle and tell stories to groups of listeners who gathered around him while visiting a store operated at this location during the years the Houston family lived in Huntsville . . . — Map (db m111868) HM
33Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Site of First Masonic Lodge Building
Forrest Lodge No. 19, A.F & A.M., erected its first lodge building at this site early in 1850 on a lot measuring 50 by 75 feet purchased in 1849. The two-story white frame building was 50 feet square with five plastered brick columns in front. . . . — Map (db m111849) HM
34Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Steamboat House
Built in 1858 by Dr. Rufus Bailey, 1858-62 president of Austin College, as a wedding gift for son. Unusual house caused such joking, however, the couple refused to live in it. In 1862, after Sam Houston left governorship of Texas, he rented . . . — Map (db m66315) HM
35Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — The Bedias Indians
The Bedias (Bidai, Bedai) Indians, a small southeastern Texas tribe, were probably the earliest inhabitants of the Walker County region. "Bidai" is thought to derive from a Caddo word meaning "brushwood". The peaceful Bedias lived in scattered . . . — Map (db m100258) HM
36Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — The Death of Sam Houston
Sam Houston died of pneumonia on July 26, 1863, at the age of 70. His funeral was held on July 27, 1863, in the upstairs parlor of his home, the Steamboat House, then located one-fourth mile to the east. At the service the minister read a poem that . . . — Map (db m82311) HM
37Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12278 — The Five Courthouses of Walker County
The first Walker County Courthouse was available for county Commissioners Court meetings in July 1848; the building was finally completed in the center of the Huntsville public square in 1850. Because of a defective foundation, a second courthouse . . . — Map (db m29060) HM
38Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 18491 — The Huntsville Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1867
Oakwood Cemetery is home to many grave markers from the year 1867 when yellow fever, one of the most dreaded diseases of the time, struck the county. The disease ravaged many cities across the United States. Texas remained relatively untouched until . . . — Map (db m129622) HM
39Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — The Presidents Tree
During the summer of 1911, the "State Residence" built by President H.C. Pritchett was moved from its original location to the Wilson lot, current site of the Lowman Student Center. While the residence was being remodeled for President Harry F. . . . — Map (db m66320) HM
40Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8427 — The Rev. Thomas H. Ball
Thomas Henry Ball was born in Northumberland County, Virginia, in 1819, the son of The Rev. David Thomas and Hannah Henry (Gaskins) Ball. Following in his father's footsteps, Ball became a Methodist minister. While serving his first congregation in . . . — Map (db m129692) HM
41Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — The Sam Houston Monument
The present monument was erected by the State of Texas and unveiled on April 21, 1911, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. Among several thousand spectators present were Houston family members, State officials, the two surviving . . . — Map (db m82312) HM
42Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — Union Soldiers Graves
Seven Union Soldiers who died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1867 are buried here. They were sent to Huntsville during the reconstruction period to maintain order in Walker County four years after the soldiers had been in the penitentiary. . . . — Map (db m50222) HM
43Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 16106 — Walker County
Formed from Montgomery County Created April 6, 1846 --- Organized July 13, 1846 Named in honor of Robert James Walker, 1801-1869 a distinguished citizen of Mississippi and advocate of the annexation of Texas Renamed Walker County . . . — Map (db m111861) HM
44Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 12282 — Walker County
The earliest known inhabitants of this area were the Cenis and Bidai (Bedias) Indians. Spanish explorers began to arrive in 1542, followed by the French in 1687. The area was thinly populated by Spanish and Mexican settlers until the early 1830s . . . — Map (db m111864) HM
45Texas (Walker County), Huntsville — 8482 — Woodland, Home of Sam Houston(1793 - 1863)
General of the army which won the war for Texas Independence, 1836, and first President of the Republic, 1836-1838, Sam Houston was one of the most controversial and colorful figures in Texas history. In his eventful career, Houston had resided . . . — Map (db m8040) HM
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