1936, as Texas marked the centennial
of its fight for independence from Mexico,
hundreds of granite monuments
were placed throughout the state to recognize significant events, people, buildings
The centennial was so important
to Texas and the nation that President Franklin D.
Roosevelt spent three days in Dallas
during the celebration Speaking to 52,000 people at the Cotton Bowl, he noted
that the Centennial was not just
for Texans, but for people living in the other states in the U.S.
sad part of this story is that during the ensuing 75 years, the centennial
monuments have become targets of vandals and others with little respect for
of the markers have been pulled
out of the ground and hauled off to who-knows-where. Some have been discovered
in garages, junk shops and even in streams and rivers, where they fell from crumbling
days ago, I drove west from Lufkin
to find the monument for Marion,
a town that served as the county seat for Angelina County between 1846 and 1854.
The town was also known as McNeil’s Landing and in 1831 consisted of more than
years ago, the monument was moved from its original location because it was sitting
on the edge of Sam Rayburn Lake and was on the verge of toppling into the water.
The monument was in fairly good shape except for some scars caused by
bullets from the guns of hunters looking for something to shoot.
centennial marker stands on the site of Fort Teran, the first white settlement
in Tyler County. A metal Texas Historical marker, once affixed to the granite
monument, was recently ripped off and tossed to the ground.
centennial markers have met similar
fates, and some of East Texas’ most
historic sites have lost their identities.
September 25, 2011
Bowman's East Texas >
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East
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