Live Oak County Historical Commission
Live Oak County Historical Commission

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Live Oak County

 Historical Commission 


Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff, announces 1920-2020 Live Oak County Courthouse Centennial delayed until an appropriate time in 2021.

Previously planned for last fall 2020, COVID-19 restrictions continue delays with final courthouse renovations. Centennial Celebration Date will be announced once renovations are completed. Tours, Time Capsule, and Exhibits inside the courthouse are just part of the celebration. We look forward to seeing all at that time. Until then, Be Safe, Be Smart, and Keep Family Close To Your Hearts!

Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff and Mary Margaret Campbell, Chairperson for Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC), extend a hearty welcome to this website. 2021-2022 appointees, officers, and chairpersons posted below. 

LOCHC Quarterly Meeting upcoming April 18, 2021. Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre, George West, 5:30. Agenda on Events Page.

Don Victoriano and Don Prisciliano Texas Historical Marker making its way to Live Oak County.

2019 approved Texas Historical Marker for Don Victoriano and Don Prisciliano is to be delivered to Live Oak County in the near future. Texas Historical Commission (THC) recent notification to Richard Hudson, informed that COVID delays kept the marker from final production until late in 2020. Marker delivery to the county is now expected soon. Judge Jim Huff and the Live Oak County Commissioners' sanctioned marker placement on Live Oak County Courtyard along with existing markers for J. Frank Dobie (L in photo and Don Prisciliano R.) and Thelma Pugh Lindholm. Ross Harris, past LOCHC Chair, sponsored the marker.

Don Victoriano and Don Prisciliano came to Live Oak County in the 1870's and amassed a ranch of more than 8,000 acres. Prisciliano was Victoriano's only son. Prisciliano and his wife had no children. Most of the ranchland was dispensed before Prisciliano's death, and he left no Live Oak County heirs. Chapa's story here.


Photo permission from MICHENER CENTER for WRITERS located in Dobie's final Austin home, now owned and preserved by the University of Texas. Photo permission purchased and restoration showing age to preserve historical significance by Richard Hudson. 

First Baptist Church, George West, The "Church with a Mission Heart", will unveil their FBCGW Texas Historical Marker this coming Sunday, April 18 at 2:00 PM. Pastor Bobby Hendrick, County Judge Jim Huff, and LOCHC Chair Mary Margaret Campbell along with the people who are FBCGW in joint effort with Live Oak County Historical Commission invite the public including all past members to this celebration of First Baptist Church George West church history.


The FBCGW church family officially began on April 6, 1919 in a printing office in the new town of George West, Texas. George West, town founder, donated original meeting space and two lots, as he did for each faith group in the new town. Descendants of FBCGW charter members are still active in the church. Church membership grew. They purchased new property and served by supporting new churches, meeting personal needs of people and churches during crises, and working daily with other church faiths and community needs in Live Oak County. Global ministery serves physical, social, and spiritual needs. That's how First Baptist Church, George West meets their mission, "Love God. Love people".

Simmons, City Follow the colorful story of Dr. C.F. Simmons, medicine man heir, rancher, town builder, and duelist. He built flourishing Live Oak County trade center, town, farms, and small ranches in the early 1900s. Texas Historical Subject Marker application with narrative written in 1968 destroys the myths and brings forth the facts. Sometimes more interesting than myths. Simmons is now a ghost town with only the church remaining. Yet from 4,200 sales, farms and ranches begun on his vast 60,000+ acre ranch still thrive. Sturdy families of original investors and re-sale purchasers grow crops, provide recreational hunting, or raise cattle and horses. These continue as a vital part of the present community and the county. Photo here and below courtesy Lois Matkin, co-owner with her husband of the Simmons' Store.

"Simmons is Fascinating", a San Antonio Express article from 1974 is serialized to share the "fascinating" Dr. C.F. Simmons, his ranch, and the farm and ranch community he built in 1907. Known elsewhere for his "Affairs of Honor" (duels) and of course, for his grandfather's "Simmons Liver Regulator" syrup which made their family millionaries, Simmons built a robust town and community. Today, this iconic church still stands in a thriving community of descendants of that day and new comers from across the world. Each contributing to life in Live Oak County and more. But Simmons City, as he named it, is a ghost town. Follow Simmons' "fascinating" story narrated by Mrs. Mildred House for George Carmack with us from the above link.

Bone Lake - South Texas 1870's Deep Freeze. 2021 is not the first time native Texans experienced a devastating bone chilling Texas winter storm. Native Texans still refer to them as "Northers". A new feature article tells how a beautiful lake acquired the forboding name of Bone Lake after a historical Texas freeze. Read Sue Miller's short story about the lake, now part of Lake Corpus Christi, and events that gave the lake notoriety. Photo courtesy of Gerard Miller, Jr. Esq.


Mary Margaret Campbell is sworn in by Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff as the new Live Oak County Historical Commission Chairman. For the full story see Feature Article-Mary Margaret Campbell Sworn in as new LOCHC Chair. Photo and story by Jeff Osborne.


Gipper Nelson and Albert Davila along with some much needed help, preserved the Old Cox Stagecoach Stop originally located near Lagarto to the Old Oakville Jailhouse Square on an Interstate 37 access between San Antonio and Corpus Christi. Story on Events Page.

1920-2020 Live Oak County Courthouse receives approval from Texas Historical Commission Staff and Board for 2020 honor as Recorded Texas Historic Landmark!

Honorable Jim Huff, County Judge for Live Oak County, Announces: Texas Historical Commission approves Live Oak County Recorded Texas Historic Landmark! Narrative at Live Oak County Courthouse Registered Texas Historic Landmark (1920-2020). Photo courtesy Richard Hudson.

George West Cemetery receives Texas Historical Commission Staff and Board approval for Historic Texas Cemetery Marker!

Glynis Strause, President of George West Cemetery Association, announces: George West Cemetery honored with Historic Texas Cemetery Marker approval in conjunction with previous Texas Historic Cemetery Designation. Narrative at George West Historic Texas Cemetery Photo courtesy Richard Hudson.

Live Oak County Historical Commission Meetings in 2021.

The first meeting of the 2021-2022 biennium met January 15, 2021 at 5:30 PM at the Buck West House in George West, Texas. Appointee applications for the new biennium were approved by County Judge, Jim Huff, and the Commissioners' Court at their last meeting on December 31, 2020. At that time the Court appointed Mary Margaret Campbell Chair for the 2021-2022 biennium. Campbell chose Richard Hudson to continue as Marker Chair for the new biennium. LOCHC elected officers and committee chairs to serve 2021-2022 at the January 2021 meeting. See below.


2021 LOCHC Quarterly Meetings: January 18, 5:30 PM at the Buck West House in George West, Texas. 

Live Oak County Historical Commission exists to preserve the history and culture of  Live Oak County Texas for all citizens past, present, future and all interested in the rich Ranch and Farm histories and cultures of Live Oak County. 

Geronimo, famous international Longhorn icon, preserved since 1927 in George West, Texas.

                                                                                      Photo courtesy Mary Margaret Dougherty Campbell.

Geronimo, historic international Longhorn icon, observed by tourists as they pass through George West, Texas. Since 1927, Geronimo has stood within a glass corral on the courthouse lawn of Live Oak County's county seat. Known to be George West's (traildriver and rancher who founded the town) favorite lead steer.


Geronimo's image was preserved by West's nephew, Albert West, soon after the steer saw his last days. Geronimo's mount traveled as far as Moscow representing Texas in America's 1976 Bicentennial Exposition. Geronimo has been immortalized in books and movies and continues to exemplify the Longhorn and Cowboy mystique today. Though cattlemen and cattlewomen of the West feared Longhorn extinction at the time Geronimo was preserved, Texas Longhorn herds now live in countries across the world.

The Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) exists to preserve the rich heritage and cultures of Live Oak County and its part in historic preservation not only at home, but in the state of Texas and our nation. The Commission develops local programs and cooperates with other community organizations to encourage understanding and appreciation of Live Oak County's historical significance. Appointees apply and are approved by the Live Oak County Commissioners' Court. Meetings are held quarterly on the third Monday unless announced otherwise above. The public is invited. Each meeting begins at 5:30 PM and ends sometime soon after 7:00 PM.


In 2010 with the appointment of a new Marker Chair, the LOCHC began efforts to revitalize the organization which had become inactive. By 2012, Judge Huff and the Commissioner's Court appointed ten new applicants. First efforts were directed toward honoring historical persons, buildings, and events that deserved Texas Historic Markers which tell their stories for perpetuity.


Since 2012, the organiztion matured and meets quarterly. Appointees have voting privileges and are required to attend at least 3 meeting each year. The revitalized LOCHC planted fifteen additional markers, one more delivered to George West First Baptist Church awaits an unveiling ceremony, the Chapa family at the foundry, and yet another two approved by the 2020 THC Staff await approval from THC Board, then foundry service. This will bring the total LOCHC Texas Historical Markers to 41.  Two more are in process for 2021.


The narratives for all Texas Historical Markers  approved by the THC Board since 2012 can be found on this website under Texas Historic Markers. Unfortunately, previous marker narrative histories had not been passed down. THC has now provided these histories to the webmaster, and this website is providing them as time allows since most of those are either written by hand or old typewriters which do not reproduce readable form.


Archeology, Cemetery, Education, Oral History, Publicity, and Website chairs have active committees and continue historical recognition in numerous county and state events. These include: appropriate relocation of Patrick Allen Randel (Narcotic Agent felled in 1974) monument, Wreaths Across Amerca, Historic Texas Cemetery Designation, reconstructing Geronimo Memorial Site, Chisholm Trail Celebration, Visit to J. Frank Dobie original ranch, and numerous others.


The THC requests each biennium appointment be finalized in the early months of a new biennium. If you are interested in working with us in the 2023-2024 biennium, please consider obtaining an application from Judge Jim Huff's office in the courthouse on Houston Street in George West, Texas when open application period is announced by the Court in late 2022.  


2021-2022 Officers and Committee Chairpersons 


Mary Margaret Dougherty Campbell: LOCHC Chair

Rodney Nance, Vice-Chair

Glynis Strause: Secretary, Oral History Chair

Leslie Walker: Treasurer

Richard "Hud" Hudson: Marker Chair, Publicity Chair 

Jim Warren: Archaeology Chair (Emeritus)

Bernard Lemley: Cemetery Chair

Nancy Coquat: Education Chair

Charlotte Schroeder: Hospitality Chair

Janis Hudson: Webmaster (Associate)


New 2021-2022 Appointees (includes above w voting privileges)


Charles "Chuck" Campbell

Bernadette Cordona Gibson

Ross Harris

Drusanne Hunter

Bernard Lemley

Robin Dawson McKinney

Charles (Gipper) Nelson

Cindi Robinson

Peggy Skoruppa



Associate Appointees (Attendance and comments welcome but not required-no voting privilege)


Conrad Conrad
Sue Denniston
Andrea Estes
Patricia Collins Gendron
Kurt House
Janis Hudson
Charles Kosarek Jr.
Patsy Wells
Grace Wilson



Emeritus Appointees


Virginia Horton

Betty Lyne

Sue Nance

Jim Warren





Live Oak County Courthouse

The Honorable Jim Huff, County Judge for Live Oak County, welcomes you to the Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) Website. The Live Oak County Historical Commission is an arm of the Live Oak County Commissioners' Court; appointees are selected at the beginning of odd numbered years and serve two year terms. Judge Huff and the Live Oak County Commissioners support and approve actions of the LOCHC in coordination with the Texas Historical Commission (THC).


Live Oak County Commissioners:

Precinct 1: Richard Lee

Precinct 2: Donna Kopplin Mills

Precinct 3: Mitchell Williams

Precinct 4: Emilio Garza

The Commissioner's Court is committed to the preservation of our county's history. Judge Huff and your local commissioner welcome suggestions.

The Honorable Jim Huff, Live Oak County Judge.

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