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  • Texas | Columns

    Centennial Monuments

    by Bob Bowman
    Bob Bowman

    In 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 and communities.

    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.

    The 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 history.

    Some 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 banks.

    A few 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 200 buildings.

    Several 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.

    Another 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.

    Sadly, other centennial markers have met similar fates, and some of East Texas’ most historic sites have lost their identities.



    © Bob Bowman
    September 25, 2011 Column
    More Bob Bowman's East Texas >
    A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers

    See Texas Ghost Towns | Texas Town List | Columns | People

  • Texas Centennial Monuments
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  • Our Neglected 1936 Texas Centennial by Sarah Reverley
  • Centennial markers
  • Texas Centennial Celebration - The 1936 Texas Centennial Markers by Barclay Gibson
  • (Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author of more than 50 books about East Texas history and folklore. He can be reached at bob-bowman.com)

    More Columns by Bob Bowman
    Bob Bowman's East Texas >
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