Congratulations to all in Live Oak County and those who serve on the Live Oak County Historical Commission presently and at any time in the past! For the fifth successive year, the LOCHC received this Texas DSA award. The LOCHC has a record of serving this community since the 1960's. It has had numerous accomplishments during that time as one can see by the many historical markers, the history book published in 1981, the reclamation of Geronimo's likeness on the Live Oak County Courthouse lawn which the LOCHC spearheaded with numerous other Live Oak organizations.
However, near the close of the twentieth century, the organization had difficulty in finding those who were willing to continue. In 2011, the organization was revitalized and began with a new charter group. The organization continued growth again. Under the leadership of Leslie Walker and now Ross Harris, the organization has continued to be recognized with a Distinguished Service Award.
Only 79 of Texas' 254 counties received this award for 2019. 185 counties applied, so this award makes the LOCHC distinguished not only in service but also in name.
Live Oak County Historical Commission Second Quarterly Meeting in front of wallscape at Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre on June 15, 2020. Standing L/R: Glynis Holm Strause, Jim Warren, Drusanne Hunter, Robin Dawson McKinney, Cyndi Robinson, Mary Margaret Campbell, Leslie Walker, and Bernard Lemley. Photo by Nancy Coquat.
Live Oak County Historical Commission Second Quarterly Meeting in front of wallscape at Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre on June 15, 2020. Standing L/R: Nancy Coquat, Jim Warren, Drusanne Hunter, Robin Dawson McKinney, Cyndi Robinson, Mary Margaret Campbell, Leslie Walker, and Bernard Lemley. Photo by Glynis Holm Strause.
LIVE OAK COUNTY, TEXAS
WHEN: Monday, June 15, 2020, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
WHERE: Dobie/West Performing Arts Theatre, 304 Houston St., George West, TX
The Live Oak County Historical Commission may discuss and/or take action on any of the following items:
1. Call to order
2. Introduction of visitors; recognition of anyone wishing to address the Commission
3. Approval of February 3, 2020, Minutes
4. Reports of officers and chairs of standing committees:
5. Report on Live Oak Centennial Celebration by Nancy Coquat
6. LOCHC storage/workspace update by Charlotte Schroeder
7. C. C. Cox House update by Gipper Nelson
8. Report on Scholarship meeting w/Kurt House by MM Campbell
9. Report on presentation by Dr. Monte Monroe on February 22, 2020
10. Brochure ideas for promoting Live Oak County history
11. Review of reimbursement requests before submission to the county treasurer
12. Ask if any Appointees wish to address the Commission.
13. Work sessions, if needed, for standing committees
Live Oak County Historical Commission
This notice posted the 12th day of June 2020.
Mary Margaret Campbell, Vice-chairman
Live Oak County Historical Commission
P. O. Box 476, George West, TX 78022
THIS MEETING IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre invites the public to each of the following events. While the theatre is not sponsored by the LOCHC, many LOCHC appointees are involved in the administration and productions of the theatre. In addition, the theatre opens its doors for many LOCHC Events.
Check out the theatre's website for more information at: So join us at
Dobie West Theatre: 304 Houston Street,
George West, Texas 78022
LOCHC First Quarterly meeting began 5:30 PM on February 3 at the George West Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre. Mary Margaret Campbell, acting Chair, presided in the absence of LOCHC Chair, Ross Harris. From left to right around the table are: Charlotte Schmidt Schroeder (back to the camera), Cindi Robertson, Robin Dawson McKinney, Drusanne Hunter, Grace Wilson, Jim Warren, LOC Judge Jim Huff, Glynis Holm Strause, Gipper Nelson, Charles Kosarek and Mary Margaret Campbell (also back to the camera). Peggy Skoruppa and Leslie Walker were present but not at this table at the time. Attending and taking the photo was Bernadette Cardona Gibson.
Thanks, Bernadette, for the photos.
CC Cox was one of the one of the early stagecoach owners in the Lagarto area. Buildings in the area at the time were most often built with caliche and wood. Without proper preservation both are subject to deterioration by sun, rain, other climate and time. Very few remains still exist, are deteriorated and now covered by undergrowth. Albert Davila (right), who first purchased and restored the old Oakville Courthouse Jail, has added many old settler homes and artifacts to the square. Davila is working to get these caliche remains moved to the Oakville Square area to preserve them for posterity. Photo courtesy Gipper Nelson.
LOCHC Appointee, Gipper Nelson, stands with Albert Davila, owner and manager of Old Oakville Square, in front of Primitive Baptist Church just before move from Three Rivers.
This rustic old church building has apparently served several communities. Now it has been moved to a new resting place at Oakville. It appears it was first built around 1926 as the Lutheran church at Ray Point. After the Lutherans moved their services to Three Rivers, the First Baptist Church of Three Rivers purchased the building. Together with men from the Atascosa Addition, they moved the church to serve as a mission for that Hispanic community. For many years, this church was the site of church services, revivals, vacation bible schools, weddings, funerals, and many other needs of its congregation and community. However, it became dormant and passed through several owners. Albert Davila, who with his wife, Mari, restored the original Live Oak County Court House Square in Oakville, sought out the present owners and purchased the building.
After moving the building to Oakville, the Davila's plan to restore the church to its original state and will make it once again available for weddings and other family and community activities there. The LOCHC and all of Live Oak County are grateful for the Davila's constant Live Oak County preservation efforts.
Honorable Jim Huff hosted Live Oak County Historical Commission Appointees at their Capitol Event on February 26. Senator Judith Zaffirini, Representative Ryan Guillen, and Susan Gammage of the Texas Historical Commission, each met with Live Oak County Historical Commission appointees during the event.
Photo courtesy Leslie Walker.
From left: Live Oak County Historical Commission Appointees: Gipper Nelson, Bernard Lemley, Robin Dawson McKinney, Mary Margaret Campbell, Leslie Walker, Cindi Robinson, and Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff.
Photo courtesy Mary Margaret Campbell.
Senator Zaffirini read proclamation honoring Live Oak County Historical Commission on the Texas State Senate Floor. Left to Right: Judge Jim Huff, Gipper Nelson, Robin Dawson McKinney, Cindi Robinson, Senator Zaffirini, Mary Margaret Campbell, Leslie Walker, and Bernard Lemley.
Photo courtesy Mary Margaet Campbell.
Representative Ryan Guillen read proclamation honoring Live Oak County Historical Commission on the Texas State House floor. Here they meet in Guillen's office with surprise guest, Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby. From Left: Leslie Walker, Sheriff Larry Busby, Mary Margaret Campbell, Gipper Nelson standing in back, Representative Ryan Guillen, Cindi Robinson, Robin Dawson McKinney, Bernard Lemley, and Judge Jim Huff.
Photo courtesy Leslie Walker.
Texas Historical Commission (THC) Architect and Assistant Director of the THC Courthouse Program met with Judge Huff and LOCHC appointees to discuss demolition of the 1962 jail attached to the Live Oak County Courthouse. From Left: Bernard Lemley, Leslie Walker, Robert McVey-assistant to Representative Guillen, Susan Gammage, Cindi Robinson, Judge Jim Huff, and Robin Dawson McKinney.
Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) is proud to announce: Oakville Cemetery is the first in the county to receive coveted Designated Historic Texas Cemetery Medallion.
Thanks to hard work on the part of Sherry Kosarek-LOCHC Cemetery Chair, Bernard Lemley-Oakville Cemetery Association President, Peggy Skoruppa, Pryor Brown and other members of the Oakville Cemetery Association, the long awaited Oakville Cemetery HTC Medallion arrived in the office of Ross Harris, LOCHC Chairperson.
Plans for unveiling were set for December 15 at 1:00 PM; the medallion was unveiled followed by ceremonial wreaths placed on all veteran graves in coordination with Wreaths Across America.
Wreaths Across America is an annual event the Oakville Cemetery plans to continue. Texans join in this effort across much of the state. If you would like to include your cemetery and/or contribute toward this worthy cause, contact 361-728-4321. Money must be turned in to the state or national headquarters by the end of November each year.
On December 15 each year, Wreaths Across America sponsors this ceremonial wreath laying on all American veteran's graves. It is an honor for Oakville to be a part of this national event. Any citizen at any cemetery can participate.
Oakville Cemetery has about 40 veteran memorials dating back to the 1850's. This was an auspicious view when completed.
Read more about 100 year old St. George Catholic Church, George West, Texas by clicking on the highlighted phrase. George West second school building in left background.
Read more about World War I and Live Oak County's part including a list of all Live Oak County WWI participants discharged through the Live Oak County Courthouse on this website by clicking on the highlights here.
Texas State Historical Marker for Oakville Post Office has quite a history itself.
Located on Highway 37N Oakville access, vandals recently sawed and cut the marker off at the ground. They tied ropes around it and were apparently dragging it away. Something or someone stopped them. They left it beside the highway access but behind the Historic Oakville County Jail Square owned by Albert and Mari Davila. Yard maintenance men for the Square found the marker and brought it to Davila's attention.
Davila purchased the Oakville Jail and Square some time ago. He and his wife beautifully restored the old jail. It is now a historic visitation site with the original Oakville post office boxes inside. The cottage sits among a group of cottages with the Oakville Jail situated on the southeast corner of Oakville Square. The Historic Oakville Jailhouse and Guesthouses is a "gathering place for special occasions and for individual or group events from short one day or week long events.
Once the town of Oakville lost county seat status in 1919, folks began to move away. Many old homesites around Oakville were left vacant and began to deteriorate. As people saw how the Davila family restored the jail, they began to offer Albert their old homesites which he moved to the Square, restored, and added as additional guest homes with the jail.
The Post Office Cabin is one of these restored homeplaces. From time to time as Post Masters or Mistresses changed, post boxes were moved from the original Oakville Post Office to homes or stores belonging to the then current post office master or mistress. Finally, the original post office boxes found a permanent resting place in this restored cabin of a former postmaster. [Full story below on this website with photo of Cody and Mary Margaret Campbell.]
Cody Campbell's ancestor, John Sanderson Campbell (a former Union Captain in the Civil War) was the post master at Oakville 1891-1901, and Campbell's daughter, Beulah, was post mistress 1901-1914. Davila reports on his jailhouse website, "At it's rededication in July 2009, many of the families that used these PO boxes to receive mail thru the generations, still remembered their combinations and were able to unlock their box!"
The State of Texas appointed the Texas Historical Commission back in the 1960's to oversee development and production of markers with the purpose of permanently recording the history of people, places, and events of local Texas history. The Oakville Post Office Marker was applied for by the Live Oak County Historical Commission and erected at Oakville in 1979.
The Oakville Post Office marker was first placed at Oakville. The mayor of George West believed more people would see it by placing it on the access cut away at Oakville. It was then made quite attractive and obvious to passers-by with columns beside it.
Marker procedure and law: When Texas State Historical markers are placed, the property owner previously granted permission for the marker's placement and retains property ownership; but, the State of Texas owns the marker. Markers beside highways are placed there under the auspices of the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT).
It is unlawful to desecrate a Texas Historical Marker by state law. Also, it is unlawful to move a marker without expressed permission of the state. To get permission, one first makes a request through the Live Oak County Historical Commission's Marker Chair and must have permission from the property owner where it will be placed. The Marker Chair forwards the request and property owner's permission to the Texas Historical Commission in Austin which decides if the replacement is a worthy relocation and either grants or denies the request.
When maintenance men for the Oakville Square found the marker on the ground with ragged ropes which had dragged it away, a decision of where to place it became important. The decision was made to place it beside the Post Office Cabin more fully telling the story of Oakville and its post office. Now Oakville, the cabin, the post office boxes, and the marker which tells their story are together in one compelling place.
Note to viewers: If you witness a marker desecration or move which does not appear appropriate, please contact local authorities. They will either confirm the movement or take steps toward restitution. Otherwise, remember, a marker unread is history untold. Read markers you see across the state. It's free Texas history for you!!
Here's the Oakville Post Office Marker with its text from the THC Atlas:
Oakville Post Office
Irish immigrants settled this area as part of the John McMullen Mexican land grant. Located on the Sulphur tributary of the Nueces River, this site was known as "On the Sulphur". Live Oak County was organized in 1856 and "Oakville" was named county seat. Thomas Wilson gave 640 acres for the townsite stipulating that separate squares be marked as public, graveyard, church, and school squares. Oakville grew as stores, two hotels, a livery stable, a school, and two churches were established.
The Oakville post office was established May 11, 1857, with Joshua Hinton as the first postmaster. The mail came four times a week on stagecoaches traveling from San Antonio to Corpus Christi and on to Brownsville. By 1879 the San Antonio-Corpus Christi stage left both ends of the line six days a week. Stage travel became less popular with the arrival of the railroad. When the San Antonio, Uvalde & Gulf railroad bypassed Oakville in 1913, the town began to decline. The county seat was relocated in 1919 at George West.
In 1966 the Oakville Post Office was designated as a rural branch of the Three Rivers Post Office and continues to serve the community (1979). Marker is the Property of the State of Texas.
Live Oak County Historical Commission at work. Appointees L-R outside table, Charles Kosarek, Cindi Robinson, Janis Hudson, Bernadette Cardonna Gibson, Ross Harris. Inside left table, Jim Warren, Richard "Hud" Hudson, Nancy Coquat, Peggy Skoruppa, Sherry Kosarek, and Mary Margaret Dougherty Campbell. Inside right table, Drusanne Hunter. Outside right table beginning at wall, Charles "Gipper" Nelson, Grace Wilson, Glynis Strause, and guest - Bernard Lemley. Photo courtesy Hud Hudson.
Facial views same appointees. Guest, Bernard Lemley - President of the Oakville Cemetery Association, was present to thank Sherry Kosarek, Cemetery Chair, and Peggy Skoruppa for work on Oakville's Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) designation. HTC designation acknowledged by The Texas Historical Commission along with the HTC medallion will soon be unveiled at Oakville Cemetery. Watch for announcement here and in the Progress. Thanks also to Mary Margaret and her hospitality committee, especially Effie Obregon for scrumptious homemade empenadas. Photo courtesy Hud Hudson.
Dr. Stephen Sloan, Oral History Professor, Baylor University.
Oral History is an important part of preserving our local, state, national, and international culture and history. The Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) in conjunction with George West Storyfest, Dobie Performing Arts Theatre, and Humanities Texas presented this oral history workshop on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at the Dobie West Theatre in George West, Texas.
Thanks goes to Glynis Holm Strause, LOCHC Oral History Chair, who pursued this project. Glynis said, "I want to thank Ross Harris, LOCHC chair, for supporting this grant along with Humanities Texas, Storyfest and Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre boards. It will help us preserve the oral history of Live Oak County instead of having it be forgotten on the wind of memory."
Local tellers 2017 stories are posted on Live Oak County Historical Commission website on the LOCHC Oral History Collection page. Story subjects are listed in alphabetical order by surnames in the left sidebar. Storyfest and DWPAT also share these stories. Storytellers were: Ross Harris, Lamon and Elaine Bennett, and Jim Warren. "Listen a Little - Learn a Lot!"
As stated on the Oral History page of the THC website, "The real record of history is found in the lives of the ordinary people who lived it. Collecting, preserving and sharing oral histories not only transmits knowledge from one generation to the next, it enhances our understanding of the past by illuminating personal experience." Local people who currently live in Live Oak County, who once did, or are related to Live Oak County through history are encouraged to visit with the Oral History Chair to become involved in this ongoing effort.
Dr. Stephen Sloan interviews Dale Burell about Burell's grandfather's ties to town founder, George W. West. Check out the complete transcript at the Live Oak County Historical Commission Oral History Collection.
Kurt House, owner and designer of Mission Sin Caja hosted the Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) in a meeting room of the conference center. A view of the historic Sin Caja mesa is visible from Kurt's replicated mission. Before, the meeting, appointees toured the entire facility and returned for refreshments.
After a short business meeting, House addressed the LOCHC regarding his research on the Chisholm Trail. (Link is to full presentation which has now been presented in a number of venues and is on this website's Feature Article page.)
LOCHC appointees look forward to future events at the Mission Sin Caja facility.
On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, the Live Oak County Historical Commission met at 5:30 PM at the site of Mission Sin Caja.
Host and Guest Speaker, Kurt House, welcomed the LOCHC appointees and guests to his amazing replicated Spanish Mission, Mission Sin Caja, and its view of the Sin Caja Mesa, long known for its stories of hidden gold, other valuables, and souls buried without a box or coffin.
Then House shared his Chisholm Trail history, that glorious period when Longhorn cattle comprised the economic push to save Texas from the despair experienced in the South following the Civil War.
Other parts of the agenda addressed:
The public is always invited.
Murphy Ranch House, Echo, Texas circa 1870's
Historical Marker Unveiling
Murphy Ranch House, Saturday, October 22nd
by Richard and Janis Hudson
Echo, TX, October 3, 2016 – The Live Oak County Historical Commission with Monte and Andi Estes invite the public to celebrate the unveiling Saturday, October 22, of a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark (RTHL) marker for the Murphy Ranch House at Echo, Texas. The event begins at 10 AM and ends at 11:30 AM. Entertainment and refreshments provided.
Built in 1875 by Patrick and Elizabeth (McGloin) Murphy, the house was recently approved by the Texas Historical Commission for an RTHL medallion. Patrick bought the land from Edward McGloin, son of Empresario James McGloin and brother to Elizabeth. Mexico granted Elizabeth’s father and his business partner, John McMullen, land on the north bank of the Nueces River in 1828 to settle 200 Irish Catholics.
The house sits on the north bank of Lake Corpus Christi where the Nueces River once meandered and was called "The Point". The Murphy Ranch House is 6.5 miles west of Mathis.
All are invited to an auspicious celebration including dignitaries, live music, and an open air drama about the Murphy Family. Walking tours of the house, Stagecoach Depot ruins, and homestead grounds will be available with docent guides.
The original dramatization, written by Andi Estes in collaboration with Heather Hallock and Pam Barcoft for this event, will enlighten the public regarding the distinctive contributions the Murphy Family made in South Texas History. Cast members are high school and college drama students from Texas A and M University at Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) and the Home School Association (HOST) of Corpus Christi, Texas.
Located at 250 CR 372, Mathis, Texas 78368, please join the Monte and Andi Estes family with the Live Oak County Historical Commission for this occasion.
September 30, 2016
Subject: The Murphy Ranch House RTHL Marker Unveiling, Live Oak County, Texas
The Live Oak County Historical Commission requests the presence of you, your family and friends to celebrate the unveiling of a historical marker, The Murphy Ranch House at the Mount Echo Ranch in Live Oak County, 250 County Road 372, Mathis, Texas, 78368, Saturday morning, on October 22, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., at the home of Monte and Andrea Estes.
The 1875 Murphy Ranch House was the home of San Patricio Chief Justice Patrick Francis Murphy and Elizabeth Mary Catherine McGloin-Murphy, daughter of Empresario James McGloin. After the death of his wife, Patrick sold the residence, in 1886, to Mrs. Margaret Mary Murphy, widow of his brother, Honorable John Bernard Murphy. In 1886, with her own means, Mrs. Murphy built an orphanage and St. Peter Claver’s Academy in San Antonio, the first Catholic free school for African Americans in the State of Texas. To staff her school she became the Foundress of the first order of nuns originating in Texas; the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate, using the ranch house for summer retreats and holidays for the nuns. Before her death in 1907 she sold the ranch, using the funds of the sale for the furtherance of her mission.
On the homestead grounds are the ruins of the Echo Stagecoach Depot, known as “The Point, an early pioneer settlement, which served the stage lines connected between San Antonio and Corpus Christi during the mid 1850’s to 1880’s. The old homestead sits on a hill overlooking the beautiful Nueces River Valley, now Lake Corpus Christi.
Saturday morning, October 22, 2016
10:00 a. m. – 11:30 a. m.
Live Oak County Murphy Ranch House Historical Texas Landmark Unveiling
10:00 a. m. Program: On the tented lawn of the Murphy home
meet with state, county, and local officials, family, and honored guests. All Live Oak Citizens past and present are invited. The program consists of dignitaries, live music, and an open air play of
the Murphy Family which will enlighten us of the distinctive contributions they made in South Texas history. Those cast members of the play, originally written for this event, are high school
and college drama students from TAMU-CC and the HOST Home School Association
of Corpus Christi, Texas.
11:00 a. m. Visit the Open House Tour of the restored Murphy Ranch House, Walking Tour of the Echo Stagecoach Depot ruins and the Mt. Echo homestead grounds.
11:30 a. m. Unveiling complete. Thank you for your support of our county’s history with your presence and participation in this program. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday morning, October 22nd.
Leslie Walker Honorable Judge Jim Huff
Chairperson Live Oak County Historical Commission
Live Oak County Historical Commission appointees join San Patricio County Historical Commission (SPCHC) appointees in honoring the preservation of the James McGloin home in San Patricio.
James McGloin is one of the two original empresarios who established the San Patricio Colony as part of Coahuila y Tejas in the early 1800's. Live Oak County was part of the original region in the Colony.
Our next scheduled meeting was July 18, 2016, at 5:00 pm at the Oakville Community Center. The Davila's graciously allowed us to use the newly renovated Community Center located a short drive behind the Historic Jail. Directions: On the street to the south of the Jail one more block to run right into the building (unless you stop).
Notice of Meeting of the Live Oak County Historical Commission
Notice is hereby given that a regular meeting of the above named Live Oak County Historical Commission will be held on July 18, 2016, at 5:00 pm for approximately 2 hours at the Oakville Community Center, Oakville Texas.
Call to order;
Welcome new appointee Kurt House and Judge Jim Huff, honored guest.
Reading and Approval of April Minutes
Reports of Officers and Standing Committees:
· Treasurer Report
· Marker Report
· Archeology Report – Fort Ramirez
· Web Master Report
· Oral History Report
1. Oral History
2. Geronimo Update
1. Sulphur Creek Bridge, Judge Huff
2. Approve $225 reimbursement for Richard Hudson to attend summer THC conference in Austin.
3. Janis Hudson- South Texas September History Kickoff for 7th-grade history students from surrounding towns. Possible donation of $400 to offset the cost to Live Oak County Students attending.
4. Determine dates for unveilings of Mother Margaret Mary Healy Murphy RTHL Historical Marker and the Rialto Theater Subject Marker in Three Rivers.
5. 2017 Marker proposals: Thelma Lindholm Historical Marker and Geronimo Subject Marker to accompany the Chisholm Trail Marker.
6. 2017 budget discussion.
7. LOCHC Appointee group photo for press release related to THC Distinguished Service Award for 2015.
8. Discussion of Statute 318.003 (b) of the Local Government Code regarding appointee status.
9. Determine date and time for October’s meeting- Texas Archeology Month at Sin Caja.
Leslie Walker, Chairperson
July 14, 2016
Live Oak County Historical Commission
Progress article by Richard Hudson April 27, 2016. George West
The unveiling of Geronimo in his new, resplendent skin and climate controlled, glass corral follows the 3 p.m. Chisholm Trail marker unveiling by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on the Live Oak County Courthouse lawn in George West May 1. Honorable Judge Jim Huff will preside as Master of Ceremonies.
TXDOT regional adminstrators will give a short presentation on the Chisholm Trail first in Three Rivers at 2 p.m. followed by historian Kurt House. The TxDOT administrators will then move to George West to repeat the ceremony an hour later followed by two speakers for Geronimo.
Speakers for the Geronimo unveiling will be retired Victoria Advocate journalist, Henry Wolff, Jr. who has written extensively about longhorns and Geronimo. Felix Serna, manager of the Brooks County El Coyote Ranch, who supervised the donation of the new hide for Geronimo from a 2,200 pound look alike steer, will also speak. Serna will talk about the longhorn's economic importance to South Texas and Live Oak County.
Joe Hibler, internationally renowned taxidermist from Kingsville, placed the new hide on Geronimo's frame. This is the second time he replaced Geronimo's hide. The first time was in 1976 before Geronimo was presented in the Bicentennial exhibition in Russia.
According to deceased Live Oak County native and historian, Thelma Lindholm, Geronimo was about 22 when an injured foot sealed his fate. She said he weighted 2,200 pounds with a horn spread from tip-to-tip of nine feet, six inches. However, numerous accounts and recent measurements show various disagreements on the length of the horns.
When Geronimo was put down, Albert West, nephew of the late George Washinton West, had a San Antonio taxidermist mount the steer.
City of George West businessmen built the first glass house on the courthouse lawn in which to display the steer gazing west. Today's Live Oak business community and citizens built a new glass house much like the first. However, the esthetically pleasing house is climate controlled, completely environmentally safe, and has historical placards.
Positioning of the steer remains the same as before. Out-of-town folks, Lindholm said, gaze at Geronimo, but longtime locals gaze west with him sensing his restless urge for the open range and leading a herd of longhorns northward.
In her writings, Lindholm said that George Washington West, the towns benefactor, rancher and trail driver, gave his favorite lead steers the generic name of Geronimo. From his research, Wolff, Jr. believes this is right. He says that George West had at least three notable steers - the original red roan steer, the steer exhibited in San Antonio in 1899, and Geronimo purchased by nephew Albert West in 1911.
The July 1962 Live Oak County Herald quoted Houston Post journalist, Leon Hale, that Judge Curlee of Live Oak County said Albert West bought a herd of 2-year-old steers in Jackson County for his Uncle George. The last Geronimo, Curlee said, was among the herd which George West had delivered to his Live Oak County ranch. He sold the herd, but pastured Geronimo as a memento to the type of lead steers he admires.
As told by Harry Leslie Hinton
(This story of Louis Bates was told to me by my mother. – HLH) Photo courtesy Byron Hinton.
My father, Harry Hinton, operated a saloon in Oakville.
Mr. George West lived on the West Ranch in the two story house. He bought his whiskey from time to time from my father.
Mr. West walked into the saloon one day to purchase some whiskey and said, “Harry, there is a colored boy who came up to my ranch the other night looking for work. I don’t have anything for him to do. Could you use him?”
Father said, “Yes, bring him in.”
My father had a small house a short distance from our residence, so he housed Louis there and had him work around the place. He remained with us until he was an old man.
As a teenager, Louis had been kidnapped by cattle rustlers, but escaped in Live Oak County.
I was born in 1912 and my father died in 1914, so that left my mother with a 2 year old and an eight year old boy. Louis took it upon himself to help take care of me and my brother. Additionally, we had a small farm that he farmed and a few cows, hogs, and chickens that he tended.
I can remember as a growing boy I would go to his little house and listen to him as he played the violin for me.
In later years, I asked Louis where he came from, and he said that he was born in Edna, Texas. I asked, “How in the world did you get to Live Oak County?”
He told this story: In those days cattle rustlers would drive through the country and pick up a few cattle as they went along.
They would go into another area and get a few more. After they had stolen enough cattle they would “throw” them into a trail drive to Kansas.
I asked Louis how long he had been with them. He said, “Two years.”
He said that his duty was to take care of the “remuda” (Horses of the people who drove the cattle.)
Louis said that he was afraid of being caught with them. One night they camped close to a ranch house he could see in the distance. During the night he slipped out of the camp and went to this house. Louis told the man that he needed a job, and he learned that his name was George West. He let Louis stay there that night. In a day or so he was told that he had another job and was taken to Oakville where he met his new employer, Harry Hinton.
Louis was about 17 years old when he arrived in Oakville. He died in about 1935 and is buried in the Oakville Cemetery.
I was two years old when my father died, so I did not remember him, but Louis Bates became a father figure to me. He spent his entire adult life on our place.
For many years he was the only African American in Live Oak County.
Facts related by Byron Hinton, youngest son of Harry Leslie and Anne Range Hinton, in The History of the People of Live Oak County, Texas. Live Oak County Historical Commission. George West. 1982. Edited by webmaster.
If outcomes are the measuring stick, role models set by Harry Leslie's mom, Ella Ferrell Hinton, and employee, Louis Bates, were top notch. "Harry Leslie continued to claim Live Oak County as his home. In 1936 he graduated from [Texas] A&I College, Kingsville [now Texas A&M, Kingsville] with a BBA degree. He taught commercial subjects in George West High School and later became high school coach [even girls' football] and principal...
Pearl Harbor stirred his patriotism and as soon as Harry completed the 1941-42 school year, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. After completing boot camp at Camp Pendleton, Calif., he was chosen to attend Officers' Training School in Quantico, VA.
On May 27, 1943, Harry married Anne Range, also a native of Live Oak County, having been born on her parents' ranch in the Jarret community... In October, 1943, he was sent to the South Pacific War Theatre and served there until the end of the war. Harry returned to Live Oak County after the war, again joined the school system to teach for several years while also farming and ranching." Children born to Harry and Anne are: John Ira, 1947; Harry Stephen, 1950; Melissa Anne, 1953; and Byron Beaty, 1957.
"After his uncle Ira passed away in 1953, Harry left the teaching profession to manage newly acquired farm land and other real estate. In the 1960's, Harry served as Live Oak County Judge for eight years." Harry Leslie Hinton lived a long and fruitful life and is buried in the Oakville Cemetery.
Even though property has been bought and sold over the years, from the early 1850's the forty acre site in the bend of the Sulphur Creek was the Hinton home. It still encloses the original sandstone structure. Fifth and sixth generation Hintons still cherish their Live Oak Home and History.
Shown above from left to right, (first row) Bobby Schneider (mascot), Ruth Gadis (ruled out as kicker for the boys by the UIL), Lois Bush, Delvine Givens (captain), Geraldine Wilson (co-captain), Elsie Muennink, and Marjorie Butler; (second row) Evelyn Edwards, Drusilla Hendrick, Mary Margaret Nance (watergirl), Rena Jan Beal (watergirl), Ruby Virginia Hardwick, Marjorie Wilson, Annie Lee Karger, and Coach Harry Hinton. Photo courtest Armantrout Museum.
The Oakville Post Office
Information from The History of the People of Live Oak County, Texas, authored by the people of Live Oak County and supported by the Live Oak County Historical Commission of 1982. Thanks also, to Wood Harrod, Bernard Lemley, Mary Margaret and Cody Campbell, and Mark Bledsoe.
The Oakville Post Office is the oldest post office in Live Oak County. It opened its doors on May 11, 1857 not long after the town was declared the county seat of Live Oak County. The post office's glory days may be gone, but the fond memories linger. News from family and friends was always important. Just how folks obtained that news evolved throught the years.
In early years of the West, stage coaches, hack lines, and the Pony Express were common mail carriers. Positioned as a stopping place between Brownsville, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio, as well from Laredo, Oakville was a natural place for mail to be posted, rerouted, and received. Jim Drury rode horseback carrying mail in saddlebags before stage coaches and locomotives became major carriers.
At first stage coaches ran four times a week from San Antonio to Corpus and on to Brownsville. By 1879, the San Antonio to Corpus Christi stage ran from both towns six days a week. A hack line carried mail and also passengers for $2.00 a person for the one-way six hour ride from Oakville to Beeville. J.M. Coker’s Daily Hack Line operated from Oakville to Pettus where rail connections could be made at a cost $2.50 a person.
Post offices were not originally created as a gathering center, but in the old days when many folks lived out on farms and ranches away from Oakville, going to the post office became a social affair. Some families made it a point to be at the post office at the same time and day each week to visit their friends and kinfolks. Whatever the latest news might be, it was a pretty good assumption that the postmaster or mistress would know.
Numerous times, the Oakville Post Office changed post masters, post mistresses, and location to sites around or near the square. Sometimes it was in a small designated wooden or stone building, a store, or even a home. No matter where it was, it had the same mail boxes, and no one’s box number changed just because the post office moved. Those very mailboxes are in the replicated post office here on the Oakville Square today.
Some say Joshua Hinton was the first Oakville Post Master, but others use records to say it was this way: Successive post masters and mistresses were: Samuel T. Foster-Oct.28, 1858 ; Joshua Hinton-Sept. 27, 1859; Julius F. Leisenger-May 15, 1860; Edward M. Reid-Nov. 16, 1860 (resigned); EM Reid-July 12, 1861 (CSA); Joshua Hinton-March 6, 1862 (CSA); Joseph Bartlett-Jan. 23, 1863(CSA ); EM Reid-Apr. 10, 1866; Miss Anna Wheelis-June 16, 1866; Discontinued Oct. 23, 1868; Re-established Hiram Gale-Dec. 14,1868; L.G. Butler-Mar.23, 1871; Discontinued July 21, 1871; Re-established R.E. Nations-Sept. 18, 1871; L.P. Lawley-May 19, 1874 or 76; James L. Warner-Feb.18, 1879; Ernest Wimmer-June 28, 1880. Wimmer kept post office in his Racquet Store; Felix T. Barnes-Mar. 27, 1886; Ernest Wimmer-July 26, 1886; and Charles Bryer-Jan.22, 1891.
John L. Campbell, a Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War, chose to make Oakville his home a number of years later. When he came to Oakville, Campbell came as a Live Oak citizen and married Minnie Bartlett. Also a master cabinet maker, Campbell helped remodel the courthouse and jail in 1877. He became postmaster in January of 1891 until April 24, 1901. His daughter, Beulah M. Campbell, followed him until Sept. 18, 1913. Next is Beulah M. Monroe (possibly a name change for Campbell's daughter) April 14, 1914.
After the Campbells, Juniate Mahoney-Sept. 10, 1919, Gertrude Jones-May 28, 1925, (Gertrude Graham); Henry A. Jones-Mar. 2, 1926; Mamie Manning-June 14, 1926.
In 1926, a long time of service began for the Lemley family. Buna Lemley and Dema Lemley became post master and post mistresses. Dema had the post office in her home, mailboxes and all in the front room. Jewel is said to have served twenty years from 1944 until 1964. Betty Lemley, daughter of Dema, was the first Oakville Post Office contractor once Oakville became a rural branch of Three Rivers in 1966. Oakville no longer had a post master or mistress. Betty received a whopping $4.00 a day or about $96.00 a month. She was replaced by Pearl Harrod Carter, then Joe Coquat in 1975, and subsequently his daughter, Janis Bluhm.
In 1981, the Live Oak County Historical Commission placed a Texas Historical Subject Marker on the east access easement between US Highway 37 and Oakville Square dedicated to the service of the Oakville Post Office. That same year, Mark Bledsoe built The Oakville Mercantile on property that once was the home place of his great uncle, Dr. Charles Haskins Reagan. Mark had the post office in his store from 1981 until 1993. By then, inflation brought payment for services to $9.50 a day or $247.00 monthly. Mark was the last post office contractor of Oakville.
LIVE OAK COUNTY – History was made and finally cemented.
The long-anticipated marker dedication for the Loma Sandia site was well-attended and worth the wait.
Greetings and words of welcome from Historical Commission Chair Leslie Walker, Mayor Sam Garcia, Judge Jim Huff and other local dignitaries started off a full program of events on Sunday at the Three Rivers High School.
Rudi Harst of San Antonio, accompanied by Buffalo Thunder del Toro, performed a Prayer of the Four Directions and other Native American music throughout the program, which included talks from Richard Hudson, marker chair for the commission, and Dr. Frank Weir, retired director of archaeological services for TxDOT.
Following some concluding remarks from the master of ceremonies, Mary Margaret Campbell, a convoy proceeded to the site of the marker, where a blessing was performed by Balde Mara Galvan Jr. and Lillian Burmeister Casper, representatives from the Native American Council of Beeville. The ceremony closed out with a Native American Pipe Ceremony, in honor of the ancestors.
In September 1977, investigations began on the Loma Sandia site that eventually produced evidence of human skeletal remains of approximately 205 individuals – the largest find of its kind in South Texas.
“It’s amazing to me to think that so long ago, people were living here, much as we do, and for many of the same reasons: plenty of hunting, fishing, and proximity to water,” Mayor Garcia said. “It’s really a good place to live for so many reasons.”
The Live Oak Historical Commission had good reason to be proud of the ceremony.
“I extend my heartfelt thanks to not only those that took part in the program, but also to those who did behind the scene work on this project for many weeks,” Huff said. “My congratulations to a great group of people with a strong interest in preserving our heritage and teaching others about it.”
Texas Undertold Story Markers are sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission and require no funding from the county. In 2012, Loma Sandia was one of the 10 markers chosen from among the 48 applications submitted.
Posted by Jennifer Jordan of the Progress for Live Oak and McMullen Counties
Live Oak County Historical Commission Capitol Day
Thanks to the Honorable Jim Huff, Live Oak County Judge for arranging Wednesday, April 8, for this day. Please note meeting time at 9:00 AM.
All appointees to the Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) and anyone interested in supporting Live Oak County is welcome. A resolution honoring the efforts of all LOCHCs since their inception will be presented to our officers. A note from Judge Huff follows:
Live Oak County Historical Commission
Day in Austin at the Capitol
April 8th 2015
Please meet in the Capitol at Senator Judith Zaffirini’s office. The directions below will take you directly to her office.
9:00 AM Meet at Senator Zaffirini’s office. We will be escorted from there to the House Gallery.
(The House of Representatives meets at 9:00 AM; the Senate begins session at 10:00 AM)
We will be recognized from the Gallery by Resolution. After recognition we will then join Representative Guillen for a group picture, then escorted to the Senate Gallery.
10:00 AM Recognition as a group seated in the Senate Gallery. Pictures to follow with Senator
The Senate Gallery and the House Gallery are both located on the 3rd floor of the Capitol – directly across the rotunda from each other.
Lunch: Capitol Cafeteria is located in the underground capitol extension – gift shop very close to cafeteria.
2:00 PM Meet with a Texas Historical Commission representative in room 3.E.4 for questions, updates, etc. Room is available until 4 pm. This room is located very near the entrance to the Senate Gallery.
The capitol building is a study of history itself. The new underground extension levels are the offices to the majority of the elected state officials. It also includes numerous meeting rooms where legislative committees meet and public testimony is given relating to bills before they pass to the “floor” for a vote.
Since the legislature is in session, don’t expect any place we visit to not be somewhat crowded and fast paced. There are elevators available throughout the capitol.
The Texas State Capitol is taller than our US Capitol building!!!!
Senator Judith Zaffirini
21st Senatorial District
2nd ranking state senator
Office number 1.E.14
Representative Ryan Guillen
Office number 4S.3
Directions to the Capitol from IH 35 North
IH 35 N to exit #235 A “State Capitol “ exit
Turn left onto 15th Street, then left onto San Jacinto Street
Multi level visitors parking on the left at intersection of San Jacinto between 13th and 12th Street.
Walk across San Jacinto Street, to the Capitol. You will see the capitol entrance doors- go through security; Senator Zaffirini’s office will be the first office on your left. (You are parked on the East side of the Capitol and enter the Capitol on the East side.)
Directions from IH 35 South
IH 35 S to exit 234C
Turn right onto 12th Street
Parking garage at 12th and Trinity
Exits and visitors parking are well marked. 35 North and 35 South Directions will take you to the same visitors parking garage – just different sides.
Traffic in Austin is heavy especially at this time of morning.
I will be in Austin Tuesday and will meet everyone at the Capitol Wednesday morning.
LIVE OAK COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION
Beginning September 1977 through October 1978, the Loma Sandia site (watermelon hill) was alive with activity. Investigations were conducted by Archeologists provided by the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation (SDHPT; now the Texas Department of Transportation). These investigations employed numerous Live Oak County citizens. The investigations produced evidence of human skeletal remains of approximately 205 individuals. This find was the largest of its kind for South Texas and changed the way early civilization was viewed.
The final analyses and report preparation were conducted by archeologists, consultants, and office staff with the Center for Archaeological Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio, and later, with the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin.
The Live Oak County Historical Commission requests the honor of your presence in celebrating the history of Live Oak County with the unveiling and dedication of a historical marker honoring the Loma Sandia Prehistoric Cemetery on Sunday afternoon, April 19th. This is a community heritage event for all of Live Oak County.
2:00 P.M. Assembly and Greetings: Three Rivers High School Student Activity Center. Refreshments & Exhibits.
3:00 P.M. Program.
4:15 P.M. Processional to Marker site: Three Rivers Police,
Vance Roberts, Police Chief.
Dedication and Unveiling Ceremony.
Thank you for supporting our county’s history with your presence and participation.
Three Rivers High School Student Activity Center, 351 S School Road, Three Rivers, Texas
Loma Sandia Marker Site, South Access of I37, between Love’s Truck Stop and Hwy 72
Loma Sandia Prehistoric Indian Campsite and Cemetery which existed at least 800 years before Christ became known locally as "The Dig" just three miles northwest of Three Rivers, Texas back in the 1970s when road construction surveys found indications of its early existence.Site excavation, analyses, and data collection was done by archeologists from then Texas Department of Transportation and Highways (now TxDoT). This information was passed to the University of Texas at San Antonio who with the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University at College Station, and Texas Technological University conducted further studies which resulted in an exhaustive and conclusive report describing the history of the people inhabiting the area long before written history began.
The Texas Historical Commission has awarded an Undertold Story Marker to Live Oak County for the site. Unveiling of the marker and celebration of the county's Native American heritage and those who worked on this project will begin at the Three Rivers High School on Sunday, April 19 with the following schedule:
2:00-Greeting and Exhibits at the Three Rivers High School Activity Center
351 South School Road
Three Rivers, TX 75071
4:15-Processional and Unveiling at the site.
Members of the Live Oak County Historical Commission and the community met together at the Lebanon Cemetery on Saturday, November 8, 2014 to clean and help preserve hallowed grounds. Members and community contributors from left to right front row are: Leslie Walker, Sue Denniston, Drusanne Hunter, Sally Mackey, Patsy Wells, Wood Harrod, Betty Lyne, and Roberta Dobie. Second row: Jeane Pierre Coquat, Becky Stancik Deleon, Kevin Mackey, Ross Harris, Conrad Conrad, and John Walker.
Lebanon Cemetery is the last vestige of a lively community in Live Oak County close to the Bee County Line. Lebanon served not only its own community, but La Para, also in Live Oak County, and Cadiz in Bee County. Among the teachers at the Lebanon School were: Pattie Reagan (Daughter of Dr. G. P. Reagan), Mr. Gattis, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Van Dusen, and Ruby Atkins.
Lebanon's only church, the Methodist Church, met in the school building and then built a large sanctuary in the 1890's. Folks with different persuasions usually met in the nearest town with kindred spirits to theirs. Lebanon Methodist Church was known for lively camp meetings that welcomed all denominations during the summer sometimes numbering as many as 600 people with services starting at 10:30 AM and lasting until midnight.
The earliest marked grave is Robert Paul Custer who died at the tender age of nine. He was born December 4, 1868 and passed away on October 18, 1878. Many of his family are buried in this cemetery also. Among others of note are the Atkins family, Charles and Lily Edwards with other members of their family, Guerroro, Rodriguez, Salinas, Tullis, and Thurmond families among the 139 graves. The last burial here was as recent as August 25, 2013 when Dorothea Blankenship was laid to rest.
Live Oak County folks are encouraged to keep up local cemeteries from the one-person graves which dot the ranchlands to the larger ones in George West with 1,774 interments and Three Rivers with 2,508. Thanks to Leslie Walker for sharing this photograph and the 1982 LOCHC and Mr. Ervin Sparkman for information.
Following is from the original application for Echo's Texas Historical Subject Marker. For up to date corrections please refer to "Texas Historic Markers-Echo Stagecoach Depot and Post Office".
(1822?-1884) and his wife Margaret Mary (Healy) (1833-1907) both born in Ireland, settled here in the 1850’s and built a two story ranch house. J.B. Murphy, who was not related to Patrick Murphy, was later mayor of Corpus Christi. A one-story building near the J.B. Murphy ranch house served as a station for stagecoach lines from San Antonio to Corpus Christi and south Texas. It housed the Echo Post Office from 1858 until 1879. The stage road through Echo was a dry weather route along the East Bank of the Nueces River. A higher caliche road that was passable in wet seasons served stage stops on the west side of the river. Until the arrival of the railroad in this area, the Echo Depot and post office provided a vital link with the outside world. In the 1880’s, Margaret Mary Murphy moved to San Antonio and founded the Sisters of the Holy Ghost. She used the ranch as a retreat for nuns and converted the Echo Depot into a chapel. R.F. Sellers bought the property in 1906 and used the building for storage. It was demolished by hurricane Celia in 1970. (Marker text as erected in 1979.) The property is now owned by Monte and Andi Estes. The marker is property of the State of Texas.
The Murphy Ranch Home built by Patrick and Elizabeth McGloin Murphy first served as their ranch home, then became an Inn for travelers during the stagecoach days when travelers wished to rest along their journeys. It later provided lodging for The Sisters of the Holy Ghost after Margaret Mary Healey Murphy purchased the property. Finding her mission to the poor, neglected orphans of freed slaves engulfed with prejudice and teachers few, Margaret Mary Healy Murphy made three trips to Ireland seeking nuns who would help. Before going to San Antonio, the nuns were trained here to speak Spanish and taught other cultural information needed to serve in their new found Texas homeland. Margaret Mary became Reverend Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy, and the order is now known as Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate.
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: Willie James
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.