HISTORICAL MARKERS IN HONEY GROVE AREA
CROCKETT PARK - W. Market Street, Honey Grove
Named for David Crockett (1786-1836), colorful Tennessee pioneer, who rallied to cause of Texas in her war for independence. Late in 1835 Crockett entered Texas along Red River and camped at a site one-half mile north of this park. He found bees and wild honey in the hollow trees. In letters to family and friends, he called the campsite a "honey grove." He died a few weeks later at the Alamo.
HONEY GROVE CITY HALL - N. Sixth Street
City Hall and jail completed October 1889. Fannin County's only original civil building still standing. Constructed of stone from the Floyd Quarry, which was south of town. Building still serves as the government seat.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church - Eighth & Market Streets
Church originated in 1876. Building built in 1883. Gothic Revival structure features Lancet windows and varnished pine paneled interior with a cathedral ceiling. Now owned and restored by the Hall-Voyer Foundation in Honey Grove.
OAKWOOD CEMETERY - Hwy. 100 N.
Established in 1846. Earliest documented burial was James G. Gilmer (1814-1846). Known as Oakwood because of large oak trees. Many pioneer families buried there. Over 275 veterans of Civil War, World Wars I and II buried there, as are members of Honey Grove's pre-Civil War slave community and freed black citizens.
ERWIN EVANS SMITH Marker in Oakwood Cemetery August 22, 1886 - September 4, 1947
Artist-Photographer Smith, a Fannin County native, was enchanted as a youth with the culture and folklore of ranching in the Southwest. He studied art in Chicago and Boston in hopes of becoming a western sculptor. For several summers in the early 1900's he visited ranches to sketch and photograph cowboys at work and leisure. He never realized his dream of sculpting, but left over 2000 photographs as a priceless record of life on the range.
JAMES GILMER Marker in Oakwood Cemetery
Gilmer and his wife, Elizabeth Parrish Gilmer, moved to this area from Kentucky in 1845 and were one of the real pioneers of this area. Their fourth son was the first Anglo-American child born at present Honey Grove. James Gilmer died just a few months after he settled here. The town was later built on his land grant, which he left to his wife.
JAMES T. HOLT Buried at Oakwood Cemetery
Son of a Revolutionary soldier, and himself a Confederate veteran, Holt, came to Honey Grove in 1849, at the age of eight years. A successful businessman and rancher, he was one of the founders of the Honey Grove Cotton Oil Mill. He was President of Holt Waterworks, the first public water system in Honey Grove, and was president of the Planters National Bank. He died in 1919.
SAMUEL ERWIN Buried at Oakwood Cemetery
Born in 1786, a native of Virginia, Erwin was one of the founders of Honey Grove. He was a surveyor, chief justice and postmaster in Honey Grove. Married Sallie Crisp, had three children.
BENJAMIN WALCOTT Buried at Oakwood Cemetery
Born in 1809in Rhode Island, Walcott came to what is now Honey Grove in 1846. He married the widow of James P. Gilmer soon after his arrival. He laid out the town of Honey Grove and sold building sites to the arriving pioneers. He donated the land for the first school and first church. He died in 1878.
THE DIAL HOME Corner of 8th and Poplar
Built in 1890 by Wm. H. Gross, attorney. Samuel Dial purchased the home and moved into it in 1905. Outstanding example of Queen Anne architecture of the Victorian Era. Adorned with fanciful "gingerbread" trim, fish scale shingles, and stained glass windows.
SITE OF DIAL SCHOOLS 8 miles SE Honey Grove on FM 824
School in this community was held 1840-80 in a log cabin used also for church and community activities. Cotton gin and grist mill of Dial family attracted settlers. Dial post office opened May 24, 1880. In July 1880 a site was provided for an academy which gained renown under a superior educator, Robert W. Lane (1825-91), a Confederate veteran. One of later teachers in Dial community was the Hon. Sam Rayburn (1882-1961), U.S. Congressman from Texas 1913-61, who set a record of 17 years as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
DIAL UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 7 miles SE Honey Grove on FM 824
This church was first organized in 1846 and was first known as the Bethal Presbyterian Church for many years. In the early days people of all denominations met in the school building, which was a one-room log structure located west of the present H.J. Nunnelley farm. The present building was built in 1898 and remodeled in 1925.
CENTRAL NATIONAL ROAD On FM 904, south of Honey Grove, near intersection with FM 64, 4 mi. E. Ladonia.
Created in 1844 to connect Texas Republic with the United States. Route began in Dallas and was to go to Kiomatia Crossing on Red River. Road was to be 30 feet wide and clear of tree stumps more than a foot high. Route ran 1 mile east of Ladonia coming eastward to make abrupt north turn and push over Sulphur River at crossing named for Issac Lyday, who came here in 1836. A small segment of the road may still be seen skirting Lyday Cemetery in the W.E. Wehrmann pasture, just east of FM 904, near Dial community.
FORT LYDAY On FM 904 between Dial & Pecan Gap (Marker has been stolen)
Pioneer Issac Lyday built the fort just east a short distance from the marker in 1836. As many as 80 families gathered in the fort during Indian attacks. It contained living quarters, storerooms, and a large well. It was almost abandoned due to repeated Indian raids, but Texas Ranger, Wm. Stout organized a Ranger force in 1838. Lyday was elected Captain & served until 1839. Families were sheltered in the fort until after the Civil War.
THE SAM RAYBURN HOMESITE On FM 1743, 3 mi. south of Windom
Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn (1882-1961), a son of Wm. M. And Martha Waller Rayburn, was born in Tennessee and moved to Texas in 1887. He became a lawmaker: Texas House of Representatives, 1906-13; (House Speaker 1911-13) U.S. Congress 1913-61. Speaker of the House for 17 years. His home site (1887-1912) was half mile south of marker.
GALBRAITH HOUSE South of Hwy. 56 2.5 miles west of Honey Grove
Marshall A. Galbraith (1829-1918) came to Texas from Kentucky in 1847 and settled here. A prominent farmer and businessman, he built the Greek Revival house about 1870. Several alterations and additions have occurred over the years, but the house still retains its late 19th century character. The house is still occupied by Galbraith descendants.
WHEELER HOUSE 3 miles west on Hwy. 56
First Classic Revival house in area. Has an unusual stairway. Built in 1852-54, with slave labor. Fifth house on Bonham to Paris Stagecoach Road. Chimney stones and lumber hand hewn. Joists were pegged rather than nailed. Sold in 1884 by Wiley Hulsey, builder to Confederate veteran Peyton Wheeler and wife, Martha Jane Hamil. (In really terrible condition today)
OLD BALDWIN HOME On FM 1743 3 mi. south of Windom
This house, built by John Baldwin in the 1890's features Victorian architecture. His cotton gin patrons, 70 or 80 a day, were guests at meals in his home. Texas governors, Coke Stevenson and W. Lee O'Daniel were entertained here.
VINEYARD GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH (site only, church gone) 5 mi. north of Honey Grove off U.S. Hwy. 82 on FM 1396
Instituted under the direction of Elder Willie Pickett, Missionary of Southern Baptist Convention, on November 9, 1847. On June 16, 1849, John W. Jones, David Pevler and Adam Yoakum were asked to superintend building of a meeting house. This was completed in 1853.
MC CRAWS CHAPEL METHODIST CHURCH & CEMETERY Turn off Hwy. 50 south of Honey Grove at sign for McCraw's Chapel, go 4 mi. & turn right & go 1.5 mi. to end of gravel road.
Settlers organized church in 1859, led by Ezekiel Warren. Two acres of land were donated for church and cemetery by Wm. McCraw & others in 1877. McCraw was the first to be buried in the cemetery. Four more acres were purchased in 1887. A new building was erected in 1918 after the old one was destroyed by a tornado. The building was torn down in 1966, but the grounds host an annual homecoming each year.
SITE OF THE HOCKADAY HOMESTEAD East of Hwy. 50 from Ladonia on FM 64
Noted educator and founder of Giles Academy (1835-1918), Thomas Hart Benton Hockaday purchased 280 acres and farmed and operated a gin here. The house is gone, but the barn was built with materials from the gin. Youngest child, Ela Hockaday (1875-1956) established Hockaday School in Dallas. The school, a college preparatory school for girls, has earned national recognition for its excellent reputation.
Copyright? 2000 Hall-Voyer Foundation
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