Jim Anderson McCampbell, a past resident of Alabama and then living in Goliad County, Texas, bought 2,000 or more acres of ranchland in southern Live Oak County sometime in the 1800s. This property became his home near the small community of Anna Rose (aka Annarose). Anna Rose is named for Anna Robinson, a local teacher and member of a neighboring ranch family. Rose Hyman was the stepdaughter of the first postmaster.
Once slaves were freed, McCampbell brought Zella McCampbell, his natural daughter then free, to Goliad. When Zella was of age, McCampbell went back East and asked Tom Weston, African American, Caucasian American, and part Cherokee free man, to come with him to be Zella’s husband.
James McCampbell later brought Tom and Zella's family to Live Oak County where they raised their family on the ranch. Tom raised cattle, horses, watermelon, and corn. McCampbell set up a school for their children and neighboring children living near Anna Rose. At a later time there were two schools, one black and another for Mexican and whites. They were known as the Anna Rose Common School District. By 1944, it consolidated with George West Independent School District where there was no longer segregation.
In A Little Corner of Texas, David Robinson, a descendant of Jesse Robinson, one of Texas Original Three Hundred and an original Texas Ranger, writes about his friendship with Nob and his brief encounter with Tom Weston before his death.
Sometime after McCampbell’s death, David’s father, Alfred, the son of Jesse Robinson, helped Tom find Judge McCampbell’s will deeding the land to Tom and Zella as promised. The promise for the property was that they take care of McCampbell until his death. During the Robinson’s visit with Tom much later, David remembers Tom’s speaking warm heartedly about his Cherokee heritage. Robinson says Tom “was well respected – a man of the old school".
Jesse Robinson led quite a colorful life and spent his last years long after Texas won independence with his son Alfred in Live Oak County near Anna Rose where he lived until he died. Jesse was honored with a Texas Historical Marker at Latham Cemetery by the Live Oak County Historical Commission in 1973.
Three of the six Weston children, Pinkie, Norwick (Nob), and Atlee became renowned throughout Live Oak county. The brothers were known for their knowledge and skill as cowboys and ranch hands. Atlee drowned crossing cattle on the Nueces when it swelled after a rain.
Pinkie married Romano Chapa who was from Mier, Mexico. Their marriage was illegal according to Texas law, but the couple and their family were accepted in Live Oak County. Pinkie was well known for Mexican "bailes" or dances she organized. She spoke fluent Spanish and folks came from far to her dances and held her in “high esteem”. She and Romano ranched about 600 acres they inherited from her parents.
Anna Rose at one time had a post office, store, dance hall, school and cemetery. A few of Pinkie and Romano's children remained in Anna Rose for some time, but by the next generation, most were gone.
Today, there is little to show except the quaint cemetery with the beautiful old stucco boveda capilla (chapel for the tomb) surrounding the unmarked graves of Zella and Atlee Weston according to the family. Tom, Norwick, Pinkie and Clorinda, the youngest sister, lie in marked graves. Pinkie and one other sister married men named Chapa. Chapa is the name on most of the graves about 12 or more of about only 24 graves.
Hudson, Richard and Janis. Live Oak County, Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina. 2013. 21.
Robinson, David. A Little Corner of Texas. John Hadden Publishers, Tulsa. 1991. 144-150.
Salinas, Dina, Sherry Kosarek, and Carlynn Hammons. 2020 Weston-Chapa Historic Cemetery Designation file with the Texas Historical Commission. Austin. 2020.
Sparkman, Ervin L. The People’s History of Live Oak County, Texas. Ide House, Mesquite. 1981. 186-187.
Lindholm, Thelma et. al. The History of the People of Live Oak County, Texas. Self-Published by the Live Oak County Historical Commission, 1982. 9, 25, 27, 28, 33.
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.