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Historic Trees of Texas

The Charter Oak of Live Oak County

by Luke Warm
At first glace, this tree appears smaller than it should for being around since the 1850s. Located about six miles SE of the current county seat of George West, this tree shaded a committee of Irish settlers wanting to form their own county in early 1856. Six months later, after getting approval of the Texas Legislature, it witnessed the swearing-in of the first county officials. The tree itself is likely the namesake of the county.

First called Fox’s Settlement, the colony, a breakaway group from San Patricio County, was renamed Gussettville and became the new county’s seat of government. Gussettville, with its church and picturesque cemetery are about all that’s left of the town, but this tree is what historians call “a witness tree” to the formation of the county.
Texas - Live Oak County Charter Oak
The Live Oak County Charter Oak
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, 2011
Texas - Live Oak County Charter Oak historical marker
Charter Oak Historical Marker
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, 2011
Texas - Live Oak County Charter Oak Historical Marker
The Live Oak County Charter Oak Historical Marker
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, 2011
Getting There

Directions from the book Famous Trees of Texas (1971) may have been simplified over the years, but they are given as follows: “traveling seven-tenths of a mile east of the Nueces River bridge on Highway 59, turn south on FM 799 [and travel] about 3 miles to a narrow dirt road. Going west on that road 4/10th of a mile.”
More Texas Historic Trees

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George West, Texas | Live Oak County
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