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[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Boy Scout Troop 1 (Troup 44)]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Boy Scout Troop 1 (Troup 44) in Van Alstyne, Texas. Text: The U.S. Congress chartered the Boy Scouts of America organization in 1910. Just two years later, three Van Alstyne boys, Rowland Barnett, Otis White, and Rae Nunnallee, received a Boy Scout storybook. Barnett made a Christmas wish and, in March 1913, the Van Alstyne troop received its charter - one of the first in the state. W.F. Barnett, Rowland's father and Van Alstyne school superintendent, became the troop's first scoutmaster. Within a few years, Troop 1, as it was known then, helped establish other Boy Scout troops in the area, beginning with the communities of Anna and Elmont. The Van Alstyne troop worked from its founding date to serve its community. Through the 1920s, the troop helped in a citywide cleanup to control disease and insect population. In the 1940s, the troop's number changed to 44, and in 1948, the city donated land for a scout hut, which has since been used for meetings. in 1959, the troop took part in the relay of the Pan American Games torch as it traveled from Mexico City to Chicago. The Van Alstyne troop also became the first integrated troop in the Texoma Valley Council. Beginning in 1917, Van Alstyne's First United Methodist Church became an official sponsor of the troop, which has since been sponsored by other local organizations and churches, as well as being continuously supported by the Methodist Church. Scout leaders have included many men and women from the community, including one whose interest was piqued in 1912 by the storybook. Rae Nunnallee was an active troop member for 70 years, joining as a boy and later serving in a number of key roles, both locally and nationally. For his dedication ...
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County in Sherman, Texas. Text: In the mid-19th century, mail traffic between the eastern United States and the Western states and territories was accomplished via Panama and Cape Horn. in 1857, Congress authorized the postmaster to contract a new overland mail service. The successful bidder for the southern route was John Butterfield, who agreed to convey mail twice weekly in 25 days per run. The "Oxbow Trail" originated at St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, then merged at Fort Smith, Arkansas. The stagecoaches traveled through Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) and across northern Texas to Tucson, Arizona, and on to Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, traveling 2,795 miles from St. Louis. The trail entered Grayson County by crossing the Red River at Colbert's Ferry and proceeding into Sherman. It crossed the county toward Gainesville in Cooke County en route to Franklin (later El Paso). The citizens of Sherman are credited with especially courting the mail route to use Colbert's Ferry instead of entering Texas near Preston (8 mi. upriver). Sherman became a distribution point in 1858, bringing mail service to Texas settlements. Waterman L. Ormsby of The New York Herald was the first through passenger on the Butterfield Trail in September 1858. He described Sherman as "a pleasant little village of about six hundred inhabitants," and chronicled the remainder of his trip across Grayson County, writing "our course lay across a fine rolling prairie, covered with fine grass,... The beautiful moonlight lit up the vast prairies making its sameness appear like the boundless sea and its hills like the rolling waves." The southern route was terminated in March 1861. The course of the trail is still visible in a number of locations in Grayson County. (1999)
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Cannon Cemetery]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Cannon Cemetery in Van Alstyne, Texas. Text: Elijah Cannon, his eleven sons, and slaves moved from South Carolina to Texas in 1852 and settled nearby. In 1874 the family graveyard was included in land deeded by O.M. Cannon as a community burial place. The oldest documented grave is that of ten-year-old Nancy J. Bowen in 1857. An adjacent section was established for former slaves, and the earliest known burials are those of Billy and Glory Boyd in August 1880. Among the more than 700 graves are those of pioneer settlers, veterans of several wars, and members of fraternal organizations. The cemetery continues to serve the area.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Captain N.A. Birge House]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Captain N.A. Birge House in Sherman, Texas. Text: Connecticut native Noble Allan Birge (1832-1902) came to Texas prior to the Civil War. Settling in Jefferson with his wife and children, he was the first elected sheriff of Marion County in 1860. Following his service as a captain in the Confederate Army, Birge became a leading businessman in Jefferson. The owner of a livery stable and numerous city lots, he was an active civic leader involved in such endeavors as a railroad company and a navigation company. The Birge family moved to Grayson County in 1874, settling first on a farm north of Sherman. N.A. Birge soon became a prominent local businessman and industrialist, operating a large cotton brokerage firm and other cotton related businesses. This home was built for Birge in 1896, shortly after the Great Sherman Tornado destroyed an 1877 structure on the same site. Exhibiting both Queen Anne and Classical Revival style influences, the house features flamboyant Classical Revival touches in its gables with garlands, giant order Roman Ionic columns, pedimented (segmental arch) windows, and smaller columns that are half-Doric and half-turned. The home remained in the Birge family until 1969. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1988.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[State Historical Survey Committee Marker: Captain John Henry LeTellier]

Description: Photograph of the State Historical Survey Committee marker for Captain John Henry LeTellier (January 21, 1842 - July 18, 1913) in Sherman, Texas. Text: Born in Virginia, educated at Bethany College. In 1861 he joined Confederate Army, serving in Company K, 24th Virginia infantry fought in battles of Manassas, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Gettysburg, and others. Received several wounds, one serious (at Plymouth). Resumed teaching at end of war. Came to Texas and operated the Sherman private school, 1871-1913. A dynamic teacher and expert in math, he taught many persons who later rose to prominence. Recorded - 1969.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Photograph of Captain John Henry LeTellier]

Description: Photograph of Captain John Henry LeTellier's grave in Sherman, Texas. The simple marker reads: Capt. J.H. LeTellier 1842-1913.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[State Historical Survey Committee Marker: Captain LeTellier's School]

Description: Photograph of the State Historical Survey Committee marker for Captain LeTellier's School in Sherman, Texas. Text: This school for boys, founded in 1871, was officially known as the Sherman private school, but informally as "the Cap'n's." It was established and run by former Confederate Army Captain John H. LeTellier (1842-1913), who was born and educated (at Bethany College) in Virginia. Pupils who attended his school, housed in a large frame building, were mainly boys, but a few younger girls were admitted. Tuition in 1871 was $3 a month. The roll contained names of many future leading citizens of this area, and scholastic standards were high. The captain demanded constant drill in English, spelling, and math, stressing oral arithmetic. For each subject completed, a certificate was given. In later years, LeTellier's daughter, Clifford, taught here. The captain, an energetic man who was respected by his boys, joined them in sports at recess, told them stories of his war experiences, sang, and played the guitar. Occasionally he held dances upstairs for which "Old Jim" the handyman played the fiddle. Each Fall, the fathers of the students furnished wagons and all the children rode to the Choctaw Bottoms for their favorite annual pecan hunt. Upon LeTellier's death, the school closed. He and his family buried in West Hill Cemetery. (1969)
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Photograph of Captain LeTellier's School]

Description: Photograph of Captain LeTellier's School in Sherman, Texas. The school building has a slanted roof and a small bell tower. There is a sidewalk along the side of the building and parking nearby.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Carpenters Bluff Bridge]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Carpenters Bluff Bridge in Denison, Texas. Text: Originally built as a railroad bridge for the Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf (MO&G) Line, this landmark structure across the Red River continues to provide a transportation route between Grayson County, Texas and Bryan County, Oklahoma. MO&G officials determined they needed a line through Grayson County to connect there with other railways in order to secure better freight rates for their shipments from the Oklahoma coal mines. The new line, under construction by 1910, entered Texas via this bridge at the small community known as Carpenters Bluff. Completed in the late summer of 1910, the Carpenters Bluff Bridge was designed to withstand major floods such as the one in 1908 that had destroyed several area bridges. Its design also included a wagon shelf, an extra lane to serve travelers on foot and horseback, as well as horse-drawn vehicles, all of whom had to pay a toll for its use. In 1921, ownership passed to the Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway Co., which maintained the line until 1965, when the company ceased operations in Texas due to declining rail traffic. The Texas & Pacific Railroad maintained the bridge for a brief time and then deeded it to the counties of Grayson and Bryan. County commissioners agreed to convert the structure for vehicular traffic, and upon completion of that work, the bridge was opened as a free public thoroughfare. Spanning the Red River since 1910, the Carpenters Bluff Bridge remains a significant part of Grayson County's history.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Photograph of Carpenters Bluff Bridge]

Description: Photograph of the front of Carpenters Bluff Bridge in Denison, Texas. The bridge has metal railing and a gate across the front of it. There is a sign attached to it that reads: Weight limit 8 tons. The path to the left of the bridge has a metal archway over part of it.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: The Carr-Taliaferro House]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for the Carr-Taliaferro House in Sherman, Texas. Text: Prosperous farmer-landowner Richard Bell Carr (1858-1918) and wife Susan (1858-1940) moved into town from Cedar community. They employed highly-regarded contractor in Barrow to design and build this dignified family residence in 1907. Their daughter Susiebel married John Cecie Taliaferro in the front parlor in 1918. Continuing to live here, the Taliaferros later inherited and enlarged the house. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark [1978].
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[State Historical Survey Committee Marker: Old Cedar Community]

Description: Photograph of the State Historical Survey Committee marker for Old Cedar Community in Sherman, Texas. Text: Settled in 1848 by Grayson County pioneers, who reclaimed land from wilderness. Raiding Indians and hardships of frontier life soon created need for a cemetery, established the same year. The plots were free to any person, many noted settlers are buried here, including one Union and 18 Confederate veterans of the Civil War. Of some 400 graves, half are marked. After community was well established, a school - Cedar Academy - was organized in 1871. D.H. Dumas gave the land for a 3-acre campus. Enrollment reached 79 in 1872. Here, besides the usual subjects, students learned how to make ink and split goose-quills for pens. Later, name was changed to Cedar High School. It merged with the Tom Bean District in 1937. Cedar Methodist Church was organized in 1871. The congregation worshipped in a log house on property deeded by J.G. Vestal and Colonel J.R. Cole. A half mile south of church on Whitemound-Cedar road, a 7-acre tract donated by Mr. and Mrs. B.M. Carr was used as camp ground for revivals. Each summer people would come for miles, pitch their tents there, and attend services under a brush arbor. A frame church built in 1891 was destroyed by a tornado in 1960. The present structure was dedicated October, same year. (1970)
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Central Christian Church]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Central Christian Church in Sherman, Texas. Text: This congregation traces its beginnings to the late 1850s, when pioneer minister Benjamin Franklin Hall came to this area to preach and organize a church. Early meeting places included a brush arbor and a union meeting house at the local Masonic Hall. A sanctuary was built in 1875 on the corner of Montgomery and Houston Streets. A site on the corner of Travis and Cherry Streets was acquired in 1895, and a new church structure was erected in 1905. A part of Grayson County history, this church has served the people of Sherman for over 130 years.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Photograph of Central Christian Church]

Description: Photograph of the front of the Central Christian Church in Sherman, Texas. The church is painted white and has blue stained-glass windows. There are a few stairs leading up to the entrances. The church's sign is at the foot of the steps.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: City of Tom Bean]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for City of Tom Bean in Tom Bean, Texas. Text: Thomas Bean, a wealthy Bonham landowner and surveyor, donated fifty acres of land in southeast Grayson County to be used for a Branch Railroad line from Sherman to Commerce. Bean died in 1887; in that year the city of Tom Bean was established. Nearby Whitemound, which was bypassed by the railroad, lost its post office to Tom Bean's city in 1888; many Whitemound settlers moved to the new town. Mr. Bean's estate began to sell town lots surrounding the railroad in the 1890s. The city school was moved in 1891 from a one-room structure to a two-story building with an auditorium. Several Christian denominations, including the Church of Christ, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist, established churches in town. The city charter was signed in 1897 and the first mayor was Ice B. Reeves. In the early days of the 20th century, the city boomed. Within a few years, it boasted a grain company, a furniture company, a drugstore, a newspaper called the "Tom Bean Bulletin", a saloon, a dance hall, a movie theater, and the Tom Bean Social Club. As time progressed, the sharp increase in automobile travel and transport, and the decline of cotton as the principal crop of the area, led businesses to the larger cities of Denison and Sherman. Though never again the railroad boomtown of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the community enjoyed a growth spurt in the 1950s and 1980s, celebrating its centennial in 1987. The city of Tom Bean continues to thrive.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: The Civilian Conservation Corps at Loy Park]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for The Civilian Conservation Corps at Loy Park in Denison, Texas. Text: Grayson County officials became aware of a growing need for a public recreation facility for the area's approximately 65,500 residents in 1930. Three years later the federal government agreed to create a small lake on land provided by the county. The county commissioners court purchased a site 2.5 miles southwest of Denison in October 1933 and secured the services of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a federal public works program, to construct the dam and build a recreational park. In early November, 200 men from Wisconsin who comprised CCC Company 857 arrived in Grayson County to begin construction. Many men returned home in April 1934 at the end of the six-month CCC contract. Though it was unusual to employ CCC workers in their own areas, 48 Grayson County men were enlisted to replenish the supply of works in Company 857. By 1934 the CCC men had created a recreation center with a lake, a roadway, 13 culvert bridges, six "battleship" picnic units, a baseball diamond, and a partially completed central tower of native stone. Initially called Grayson County Park, the facility was renamed Judge Jake L. Loy State Park in 1934 in an effort to secure state assistance in completing the park. The commissioners court retrieved custody of the park in 1937 after no state maintenance had occurred. Under the supervision of the county commissioners court, the facility created by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps program continues to be enjoyed by area citizens.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Photograph of Civilian Conservative Corps]

Description: Photograph of the front of the Civilian Conservative Corps in Denison, Texas. The one-story building has an awning, a green, slanted roof, and a ramp leading up to the patio. The sign by the building reads: Frontier Village.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Coffman Cemetery]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Coffman Cemetery at Loy Park in Denison, Texas. Text: While David Harman Coffman (1827-1888) served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War (1861-1865), his wife Harriet (Jones) and four sons came to north Texas from Missouri. After the war David joined the family and they bought this land. Although the earliest marked grave was dated 1867, the Coffmans deeded the one-acre plot to the county for a public burial ground in 1878. They gave the adjoining acre for a school and meetinghouse for Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. J. K. Miller, pioneer who owned land on which Denison was laid out, was buried here.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Colbert's Ferry]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Colbert's Ferry in Denison, Texas. Text: Established about 1853 by Benjamin E. Colbert, across it came thousands of immigrants into Texas in the fifties. The stages of the Southern Overland Mail Line, which provided mail and passenger service between St. Louis and San Francisco crossed there, 1858 to 1861. Abandoned in 1931 when a highway bridge spanned the Red River.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Cold Springs Log Cabin School]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Cold Springs Log Cabin School in Denison, Texas. Text: Pioneers, who were camped near a spring on property of William S. Reeves (1794-1879) while waiting for their land grants, build this one-room schoolhouse about 1855. The leader of the group was William L. Holder (1820-1876) later used the cabin as a residence. In 1974 the structure was moved to the Old Settlers Village and restored. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1977
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Photograph of Cold Springs Log Cabin School]

Description: Photograph of the front of Cold Springs Log Cabin School in Denison, Texas. The cabin is small with a metal, slanted roof. On the bottom of the wall by the door are a snowman and Santa decorations. There is a short wooden fence in front of the house and a post by it that has a red hat attached to the top.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Collin McKinney]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Collin McKinney (April 17, 1766 - September 8, 1861) in Van Alstyne, Texas. Text: A pioneer leader of North Texas and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Collin McKinney was born in New Jersey, a son of Scottish immigrant parents. In 1780 the family moved to Kentucky and in 1824 McKinney migrated across the Red River and settled near present Texarkana. In January, 1836, he was elected a delegate to the General Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos and there served on a committee of five that drafted Texas' Declaration of Independence from Mexico. On March 2, he signed the document. He also served on the committee which prepared the Constitution for the Republic of Texas. Later he served in the 1st, 2nd, and 4thCongress of the Republic. In private life, McKinney was leader in establishing the First Disciples of Christ Church in Texas. In 1846 he settled near the Grayson-Collin county line; this became his permanent residence. In 1792 he married Amy Moore; they had four children. He and his second wife Betsy Leake (Coleman), by whom he had six children, are both buried in this cemetery. Collin County and its seat, McKinney, were named in his honor. In 1936 Texas Centennial Commission had his house moved to Finch Park in McKinney.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Texas Historical Commission Marker: Courthouses of Grayson County]

Description: Photograph of the Texas Historical Commission marker for Courthouses of Grayson County in Sherman, Texas. Text: From pioneer log cabins to native Texas limestone structure, Grayson County courthouses have taken many shapes and sizes since the county's establishment in 1846. The first courthouse, a frame building on bald prairie a few miles west of the current county seat, was completed in 1847 for a cost of $232. It served for one year, until Sherman was relocated to this site, and the commissioners court ordered the construction of a log cabin on the southeast corner of the square. Neither it, nor the third courthouse (a two-story frame building on the north side of the square), nor the 1853 brick fourth courthouse were in service for any substantial period of time. An 1859 courthouse, intended to provide the county with a large and structurally sound facility, fell into disuse by the early 1870s. Thus, by the time the Houston & Texas Central Railroad reached Sherman in 1873, Grayson County had seen five courthouses in fewer than 40 years. The coming of the railroad was a boon to the local economy, and the availability of better building materials led to the construction of the majestic 1876 courthouse - a two-story edifice with tower supporting a cupola containing a clock and a bell - which served the county until it burned in 1930. Due to the depression, it was six years before the current limestone courthouse was built, in part with federal grants and loans. As centers of politics and government, Grayson County's seven courthouses have played a significant role in the county's history. (2001)
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West

[Photograph of Courthouse of Grayson County]

Description: Photograph of a courthouse of Grayson County in Sherman, Texas. The building is three stories tall, white, and has several windows. There are a few trees in front of the building.
Date: 2011-12/2012-03
Creator: West, Carolyn Effie
Partner: Private Collection of Carolyn West