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Various Gregg County Historical Landmarks

Alexander Institute   Kilgore, TX

Before the establishment of public schools, education was provided by small private academies such as the Alexander Institute. It was a successor to the New Danville Masonic Female Academy, and founded in nearby Danville in 1854. The institute was named for pioneer educator Isaac Alexander (1832-1919). A native of Virginia, Dr. Alexander was president of the academy when it moved to Kilgore in 1873, soon after the city was founded. In 1875, operation of the school was transferred to the East Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Offering courses from primary through college level, the institute was highly regarded as a finishing school for girls and a preparatory school for boys. Students from all parts of east Texas received instruction there. The boys boarded in private homes and the girls with Mrs. Alexander, daughter of the well-known Methodist minister, Rev. James Hall. Dr. Alexander served as president until 1894, when the school moved to Jacksonville in Rusk County and became Lon Morris College, one of the oldest junior colleges in Texas. The Kilgore public schools occupied the old Alexander Institute classroom building at this site until 1913. The structure was then dismantled and the lumber used to build a private residence.

Allis-Chalmers Pumps   Kilgore, Gregg Co., Tx

These two early pumping units serve as historic reminders of Kilgore's development as an oil boom town. The boom era began on Dec. 28, 1930, when the well known as the Lou Della Crim No. 1 blew in. With it, Kilgore became part of the great east Texas oil field. These reciprocal pumps, manufactured by Allis-Chalmers and first used in west Texas, were brought here in 1931 by the Shell Pipe Line Corp. to move crude oil to Houston area refineries. In service until 1985, it is estimated they pumped a combined total of over one billion barrels of oil.

Big Inch Pipeline   Longview, TX

Located at Martin Luther King at Pittman St. Before the United States entry into World War II following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, ninety-five percent of the crude oil delivered to East Coast refineries was transported by tanker ships. Ninety percent of that oil originated from Texas oil fields. Beginning in February 1942, many U.S. oil tankers en route from the Gulf of Mexico to the East Coast were sunk by German submarines. Recognizing the need to transport oil under safer circumstances, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes developed a plan for a massive overland oil pipeline. Under the auspices of the War Emergency Pipelines, Inc., construction began on the largest pipeline in history up to that time. Measuring twenty-four inches in diameter, the Big Inch pipeline extended from Longview to Norris City, Illinois, and eventually to refineries in the East. The Big Inch pipeline's impact on the war effort was tremendous, enabling the safe and timely transport of oil products vital to the Allies. During the height of wartime service, over 300,000 barrels of oil were delivered each day over the 1,476-mile line. When the war ended the Big Inch continued in service after conversion to a natural gas pipeline.

Bumpus House       Gladewater, TX
This house is believed to have been built about the turn of the century. Area sawmill owner and road builder William E. Bumpus and his wife Catherine (Harris) purchased the property in 1927. The Bumpus House is a well-preserved example of a large dwelling with colonial revival details (dormers, gable ends) and craftsman influences (tapered box supports on brick piers). A local landmark, the house remained in the Bumpus family until 1987. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1994

Campbell "Honeymoon Home   Longview, TX

Thomas Mitchell Campbell (1856-1923), a native of Rusk, worked in the Gregg County clerk's office in Longview before becoming a lawyer in 1878, the same year he married Fannie Bruner. This small frame cottage served as their first home. Campbell was later a railroad executive before serving two terms as Governor of Texas, 1907-1911. The Campbell's former home was moved here from its original location (across Second Street) in 1982. It is a recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1965

Cherokee Trace   White Oak, Tx.

Located on US 80 at intersection FM 3272 in White Oak, 7 mi. west of Longview. In 1821 near this site, Cherokee Indians blazed a trail from near Nacogdoches, Texas, to their home reservation at White River, Ark. They slashed trees, cleared path, planted "Cherokee" roses, and established camps at springs. Used by Sam Houston, friend of the Cherokees, on his move to Texas; by David Crockett, other soldiers of the Texas Revolution, and thousands of immigrants. After June 1839, when Texas settlers drove the Cherokees out of the state, the Indians departed over this trail; others traveled it for years thereafter.

Dean-Keener-Crim House   Kilgore, Tx.

The one-story east wing of this house, considered the oldest still standing in Kilgore, was built by S. G. Dean about 1876. After buying the structure in 1881, L. J. Keener (1840-88) attached the two-story west wing. Wiley N. Crim (1865-1937) a cotton ginner and grocer, added porches and enclosed the well when he purchased the house in 1902. His family still owns and occupies it. Oil was discovered on this and nearby Crim property during the boom of the 1930s. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1975

Delta Drilling Company   Longview, Tx.

In response to the East Texas oil boom, Delta Drilling Company was founded in 1931 by Bob Stacy, Sam Dorfman, and Joseph Zeppa. Originally housed in an apartment at this site, the firm moved to Tyler in 1937. Delta drilled many of the oil wells that brought wealth to this part of the state and soon expanded over much of the western hemisphere and into parts of Africa and Europe. The enterprise now includes gas processing plants, exploration and production divisions, and has become a technological leader in land-based drilling operations.

Dundee Angus Ranch Home, 1859   Longview, Tx.

Built by a pioneer physician, Dr. J. N. Allison, who brought some of the materials from Virginia. Bricks made by slave labor from clay on the building site. Located nearby is Lathrop Discovery Oil Well, extending the famous East Texas field. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1964

Early Teague Home     Longview, Tx.
One of few remaining houses of Earpville (early Longview). North boundary of tract on Wm. T. Brooks' stagecoach line from Monroe, La. to Tyler, Texas. Built before 1882, when it was purchased by Latimus and Mary Teague, natives of Alabama. Two daughters, Misses Molly and Sarah Teague, held school sessions and taught music here beginning 1890. Classes moved to
separate building where they continued until 1905. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1966

Everett Building      Longview, Tx.

Built in 1910 to house the Citizens National Bank, this structure is the only example of classical revival commercial architecture in Longview. Designed by noted architect and educator Samuel J. Blocker, the Everett Building was constructed by Gladewater and Longview businessman and civic leader Lafayette Johnson Everett. Outstanding features of the building include its rounded bay and recessed main entrance. through the years, the Everett Building has housed numerous banks and professional offices and is part of the heritage of Longview's business community. A recorded Texas Historic Landmark -1983

Finch Family Home        Longview, Tx.
This early Victorian cottage was built in 1898 by John Finch on the site of the family's log cabin home. Their descendants are still active in community life. A recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1967

Flewellen-Eason Home          Longview, Gregg

Built in 1879 by Mayor T. A. Flewellen and his wife, who was the daughter of a pioneer minister. Flewellen was a Civil War soldier and a Longview merchant. This building housed a school and was the first house in Longview to be made into apartments. It was bought in 1920 by the Eason Family.

First Franchised Motor Bus Line in Texas   GLADEWATER

The W. E. Nunnelee Bus Lines began passenger service from Tyler to Gladewater and Mt. Pleasant in March 1925. Later they added buses from Tyler to Henderson and Nacogdoches. Twenty-six vehicles were operated over the 205 miles. These included 7-passenger automobiles and 12-, 15-, 16-, and 19-passenger buses. Fare from Tyler to Gladewater was $1 with stops in Winona, Starrville and Friendship. The 30-mile run took an hour, over roads paved in 1919 and 1923. On Aug. 1, 1927, buses were placed under regulation of the Railroad Commission. This line had franchise No. 1; it was one of 247 companies running 865 public passenger vehicles on 20,348 miles of Texas roads. Many of these "buses" were autos built for private use. Others had "stretched" auto chassis seating 10 or more passengers. Several models had doors that opened along the side. Uncomfortable and hard to drive, they constantly needed new tires and repairs to brakes and valves. Breakdowns were frequent. Overhauls (often made by necessity by the roadside) were handled by mechanics lacking suitable tools. Although far different from the air-conditioned, safety-engineered buses of today, early buses showed the way to a new era in convenient transportation.

Former Site of Longview High School     Longview, Tx.

The first public school offering high school classes in Longview was built in 1880. A larger school building was erected in 1884 to accommodate an expanded student enrollment. The Longview Senior High School Complex, constructed at this location in 1929, was converted to a junior high school in 1932 after an area-wide oil boom contributed to a doubling of the student enrollment and the decision to build a new high school structure on East Whaley Street. Successful bond elections in 1972 and 1986 led to the construction of the Longview High School Complex at Airline Road and Loop 281.

Foshee Family Homestead      Gladewater, Gregg

This home was built in 1890 on the site purchased in 1884 by William Emmett and Mary R. Foshee. He was a native of Alabama and she was a member of the pioneer Shepperd family of Upshur County. Eight children were born to this couple. Lumber for the house was sawed at the famous sawmill of John O'Byrne. An unusual and unique chimney was built of hand-hewn rock which came from the banks of a stream running through the west edge of the property. (Family enterprise, Ironrock Oil Company, was named for this special type rock.) The original hallway led from the front porch through the house to the water well, which served the families needs. In the early 1930's one of the first oil wells in the famous East Texas oil field was brought in here. Ironrock Oil Company is still operating. For many years, William Emmett Foshee served as postmaster. He was also a lumber teaming contractor, farmer and justice of the peace. His wife, Mary, was the mother and homemaker to six surviving children. These pioneer parents left a rich heritage to succeeding generations who still contribute traditional service to their community.

Judge J. N. Campbell Home   Longview, TX

Built in 1872 and owned since 1885 by Judge J. N. Campbell and family. It was kept as an open house for Texas judiciary, clergy and young people for years. A negro string band played for dances and other gala events. The judge's brother, Governor Thomas M. Campbell, was a frequent visitor. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1965

Kilgore College Administration Building    Kilgore, Tx.

In response to the East Texas oil field boom, yet in the midst of the Great Depression, Kilgore residents voted to support the establishment of a junior college in 1935. Classes were held in the high school until this building was completed in 1936 with financial aid from the Public Works Administration. Designed by the San Antonio firm of Phelps & Dewees, the Kilgore College administration building remains a good example of art modern architecture. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1990

Kilgore High School        Kilgore, Tx.

Public education in Kilgore traces its history to classes held in private homes and the establishment of private institutions, most notably the Alexander Institute. Operated by Isaac Alexander, the school moved to Kilgore in 1873. It continued to serve the children of the town until 1894, when it was relocated to Jacksonville. It was later renamed Lon Morris College. The building which housed the Alexander Institute was converted into a public school. The Kilgore Independent School district, established in 1906, continued to use the facility until 1913, when a new two-story red brick school building was erected at this site on Longview Street. Following the discovery of oil in Kilgore in 1930 and the resulting oil boom, the 1913 school was soon inadequate to house the student population of the city. The red brick school was razed in 1932, and a new combination high school, junior high, and auditorium was erected on the site in 1933. An elementary school was later added to the property. This facility has continued to serve as an educational institution for the city of Kilgore, and stands as an integral part of the life of the city.

The Kilgore I&GN-Missouri Pacific Railroad Station  Kilgore, Tx.

The town of Kilgore was platted by the International Railroad Company after it purchased land for a townsite from C. B. "Buck" Kilgore, who had donated a 200-foot railroad right-of-way in 1871. Kilgore, a resident of Danville (4 mi. E), recognizing the economic opportunities afforded by the railroad, soon built a new home near the station. Many other Danville citizens followed Kilgore's lead, and a community was established and named for him. This railroad station was completed in 1872 to provide passenger and freight service and to serve as a communications center for this agricultural and lumbering area. In 1931 oil was discovered in what became known as the East Texas Oil field, and the volume of shipments from the Kilgore station increased dramatically. Later, World War II provided the depot with a steady stream of troop trains. The rail line became known as the Missouri Pacific in 1956. As automobile, bus, and air travel became more popular, rail traffic decreased, and in 1977 the Kilgore station was closed. The depot stands today as a reminder of the significant role rail transportation played in the growth and development of Kilgore and East Texas.

Kilgore National Bank Building     Kilgore, Tx.

This bank led in the town's economic development following the 1930s oil boom. Prosperity in the midst of the Great Depression influenced the board of directors to build this structure in 1937. Designed by Henderson architect James L. Downing, who used art modern and art deco styling to project progress, it housed the bank until the 1970s. It now serves as a reminder of Kilgore's early business history. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1990

Kilgore Public Library       Kilgore, Tx.

Kilgore's first public library opened in 1933 under the direction of two local women's clubs. With funding from the Federal Public Works Administration, support from the city, and labor from the Works Progress Administration, this structure was completed in 1939. Designed in a style reminiscent of cottages in the French province of Normandy, it stands as a visible reminder of Kilgore's depression-era progressivism and continues to serve local citizens. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1990

Liberty City, Tx.

Its historical marker is located 1 mi. north of I-20 on old 135-Gladewater Hwy., 4 mi. north of Kilgore. Liberty City's historic rural community in oil-rich Gregg County. This area was settled before the Civil War. It has also been known as Sabine, Mount Moriah, McCrary's Chapel, Goforth and Hog Eye (for an early settler with an "eye" for hogs). Its present name was adopted in the early days of the famous East Texas oil boom. This area is served by Sabine School district, established 1893; an example of excellent schools in the county. it is also crossed by a great system of improved, all weather county roads--finest in state. A great area of farming and livestock raising. It has fine churches, a beautiful park and community meeting places.

Longview Community Center       Longview, Tx.

Soon after organizing in 1934, Longview's Federation of Women's Clubs began raising funds for a community center. The Federation produced matching funds for an appropriation of the Gregg County commissioners court to build this structure in 1940. It houses an auditorium, foyer, kitchen, two dining rooms, and a drawing room. It is an excellent example of the modern style and features vertically banded windows with circular accents and a simplified cornice and entablature. The site of numerous activities, the center continues to provide space for important community functions. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1994

Lou Della Crim Home   Kilgore, Tx.

This bungalow style residence was constructed in 1920 for Lou Della (Thompson) Crim (b. 1868), on the former site of the Hearne Hotel. The farm she owned at Laird Hill (4 mi. S) was part of an oil exploration project headed by her son Malcolm, later the first Kilgore mayor, and local financier Ed Bateman. Her property gained national attention on Dec. 28, 1930, when the Bateman-Crim Wildcat Well No. 1, the discovery well for this area of the significant East Texas oil field, blew in there. Area rangers, including the celebrated Capt. M. T. (Lone Wolf) Gonzaullas, were housed here.

Northcutt House 313 S. Fredonia St.   Longview, Tx.
     Picture #1         Picture #2
Located in a neighborhood that once displayed many fine Victorian homes, the Northcutt house at 313 South Fredonia stands as one of the few remaining examples of Victorian architecture in Longview. Designed by Rev. W.B. Allen in 1902 for Dr. W.D. Northcutt, the double gallery, wood frame structure was constructed of heart pine lumber which was milled at nearby Tyler. The house illustrates many features characteristic of the Queen Anne style.  Constructed of east Texas curly pine, which is now extinct, the stairway is ornately carved and highlights the reception hall. The numerous mantles were hand carved and shipped from Virginia to Longview. The Queen Anne style of his home features an elaborate two-level wraparound veranda and fishscale shingling.

The spacious, two-story, wood frame structure housed Dr. Northcutt and his family for almost 30 years until he died. Representing more than just a family dwelling, Northcutt's house symbolized his prominence in Longview. His numerous contributions through political office, his dedication to helping through medicine and his amiable character made Dr. Northcutt a well- known and well-liked person throughout the community.

William Davis Northcutt was born on November 12, 1861 in Ackworth, Georgia. When he was eight years old he moved with his parents to Longview, Texas. He attended McClellands Boarding School and entered Texas A&M In 1878. Upon receiving an M.D. degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky several years later, Northcutt returned to Longview to begin his medical career which spanned 45 years of active practice.

In 1886 Dr. Northcutt married Eda Mantha and presented his bride with a new house. This house, located at 309 South Fredonia was soon too small as the family grew; Dr. and Mrs. Northcutt had five daughters and two sons. In 1902 their new house was completed, giving the family extra room which the old house could not supply.

Perhaps Northcutt's most significant contributions involved public office. Serving as mayor for four terms, he was elected as a member of the school board, city alderman, county and city health officer and also served as chief of the volunteer fire department. In addition, Northcutt was a member of numerous medical associations and various social clubs and lodges.

When Dr. Northcutt died in 1931 the entire community of Longview mourned his death. Because of the family's strong ties with the town, most of his children remained in Longview and his youngest daughter, Jessie, continue living in the house for eleven more years. In 1938 she married a local lawyer, Edward A. Brown. Deciding on a military career in 1942, Brown and his wife left Longview for the next sixteen years. During this period, the house stood empty, but was maintained by other family members who regularly visited the house to ensure its upkeep.

After retiring from the military in 1958, Brown and his family returned to Longview. When Jessie died in 1976 the house was given to her son, Arthur Brown, who will owns the structure.

One of the few remaining examples of Victorian architecture in Longview, the Northcutt house stands as one of the city's most significant and impressive residences. The house was constructed almost entirely of East Texas Curly Pine, which is now extinct. No additions or major alterations have occurred since the building was completed in 1902.

Oil Gregg County Discovery Oil Well, F. K. Lathrop A-1, Aransas Fuel
      Oil Co    Longview, TX

Its historical marker can be found on Brent Rd., .2 mi. north of FM 2605, Tennyville Rd.
Longview, Tx. After years of undaunted faith in discovery of oil in East Texas, B. A. Skipper, Sr., assembled an 8300-acre block under lease; made a deal with J. E. Farrell, W. A. Moncrief and E. A. Showers; had the well drilled to 3500 feet. At this point Arkansas Fuel Oil Co. (now Cities Service Oil Co.) bought a half interest and assumed operations. Drillers were W. A. Andrews, B. A. Ferrell and James H. Lowery. Crew members were C. R. Kaylor, R. T. Crisp, C. Spruill, A. W. Owens, C. O. Croley, D. V. Chidester, Geo. Jones, J. V. Huckaboy, R. E. Roe, E. E. Houchin and R. H. Summers. The F. K. Lathrop A-1 was spudded in on Dec. 3, 1930; hit caprock at 3569 feet; was completed on Jan. 26, 1931, at total depth of 3587 feet. With an initial potential of 18,000 barrels of oil daily, it has produced over 527,000 barrels in its first 35 years. Oil fever ran high with the completion of the Joiner No. 3-Daisy Bradford at Turnertown, Oct. 1930; the E. W. Bateman No. 1 - L. D. Crim at Kilgore, Dec. 1930; and climaxed here with the F. K. Lathrop A-1. However, few could imagine that soon these three would be linked and extended to form the great East Texas field, which covers some 200 square miles and has made a world record as the largest of its time.

Rev. B. W. Brown Home  Longview, TX
A Victorian home built in 1879 by the early settler, Rev. B. W. Brown, a Methodist lay minister, who as a member of the Texas Legislature helped to create Gregg County in 1873. Only minor changes have been made to the home, such as the porch lattice. It is now the residence of Mrs. Lawrence Birdsong. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1965

Robertson Place, 1855

On land originally owned by Hayden Edwards, who broke with Mexico, 1826, in the Fredonian Rebellion. It has been owned since 1903 by 3 generations of the Robertson family. It has hand-hewn lumber and hand-cut rock chimney and has unusual stairway entries. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1964

Rockwall Farm   Longview, Tx.

Historical Marker Location: on US 80 (northside) about 2 mi. west of downtown Longview.
This was a large colonial home built 50 yards north, in 1854. It was an overnight stop on Wm. T. Brooks' stagecoach line from Monroe, La., to Tyler. From here, mail went to Earpville, a site now in Longview. Slaves hewed the lumber and made the chimney bricks from trees and clay on the place. The first floor partitions folded away to make a big ballroom. The black walnut coffin that was built for house owner John Harris was the favored table for poker upstairs. Last owners, J. Roy Sparkman and Jack Castleberry families, restored the home and opened it to visitors. The house burned in 1952.

Site of Harmon General Hospital     Longview, Tx.

Its historical marker location is at the entrance to Le Tourneau College, 2100 S. Mobberly
Ave. Established here by the United States Army in 1942, Harmon General Hospital was named for Colonel Daniel W. Harmon (1880-1940), a medical officer in the regular Army. 220 buildings were rapidly constructed on the 156-acre site, and the hospital was activated on Nov. 24, 1942, with Colonel G. V. Emerson as the first commanding officer. Harmon General had facilities for surgery, physical therapy, laboratory analysis, dental care, and medical treatment. Associated with the hospital were a post exchange, chapel, library, post office, bank, theater, gymnasium, laundry, mess halls, barracks, and living quarters for the nurses and physicians -- all combined to make the facility a self-reliant community. Major M. K. Moulding succeeded Colonel Emerson as commanding officer. 200 inmates of the prisoner of war camp at Fannin were assigned in May 1945 to work at the hospital. The facility closed when the last of the 25,000 wartime patients left in Dec. 1945. The hospital attracted wide community support. The Garden Study Club of Longview landscaped much of the grounds. Their projects included an "allee or crepe myrtle" planted along the original main entrance. LeTourneau College now (1976) occupies the site.

Site of James S. Hogg Newspaper     Longview, Tx.

Texas' first native governor (1891-1895), James Stephen Hogg, founded here in 1871 his first newspaper, the Longview "News". He was then 20 years old. In his paper Hogg was a strong supporter of educational and governmental improvements for Longview. He campaigned against radical reconstruction policies, railroad subsidies, lawlessness. This venture, following earlier
apprentice news work, showed Hogg's alertness, self-confidence. He was a publisher for 3 years. This experience developed his qualities of leadership and led to later success as a statesman.

Shiloh Baptist Church  White Oak, TX.

Historical Marker Location: in front of the church at Shiloh & Jimmerson in White Oak. According to local tradition, former slave Butcher Christian, his former master, Gid Christian, and noted post-Civil War church organizer, the Rev. John Baptist, established this church in 1871. Services began in a log sanctuary located on 3 acres donated by Butcher Christian. A school for African Americans operated there until about the 1890's. An adjacent cemetery with marked graves dating to 1882 is still active. Revenue from oil discovered on church land was used to build a new sanctuary on this site in 1936. Shiloh serves the community with a variety of programs.

Shiloh School   White Oak, Texas

Historical Marker Location: on Shiloh Road in White Oak, Tx. The newly freed Aftican Americans of the Shiloh Community established a school for their children shortly after the Civil War. The one-room building was demolished in the late 1800's and classes were held at the Shiloh Baptist Church. With financial assistance from the Julius Rosenwald Fund, a new two-room school was erected in 1920. It was replaced by a large brick building in the 1930's. The High School was closed in 1949; the end of segregation closed the rest of the Shiloh School in 1966. Shiloh graduates became contributing citizens in Texas and the nation. Long vacant, the school building was later used to store chemicals for a plastics company, and burned in 1993.

Turner Home      Longview, Tx.

Built in 1874, two years after the town of Longview was established. A fireplace is in each room and it has a stairway of carved walnut. The builder J. C. Turner, Sr., was the first East Texan to import jersey cattle. Turner was a skilled horseman and a thoroughbred owner. The old well and dairy house are nearby.

Walker-Staerker-Finley Home     Gladewater, Tx.
Dr. Edgar L. Walker & his wife Nancy "Nannie" Elizabeth Lewis built this home. The construction was begun in 1902 and finished in 1906. It was located in downtown Gladewater and covered a full block. According to a deed recorded in Gregg County in 1901, Mrs. Walker bought this land for $90 from W.S. & Dora Austin. This outstanding architectural three story landmark of Gladewater is built of concrete blocks, all hand poured and molded on location. There is a stone fence in the front of the house that was built for the balcony, but it was too massive/heavy to be lifted. Inside the entrance hall there is a hand carved staircase, built by a man who stayed with the family in the house for over a year while he was building it. Dr. & Mrs. Walker's daughters inherited the house, and their daughter Bessie and her husband Otto Staerker bought the remaining interest in the house in 1944. During the oil boom when housing was hard to come by, the Staerker's rented all available rooms. They enclosed a portion of the second story for bathrooms and a long 15x45 foot room which they filled with wall to wall cots for the oilfield workers. Oil tanks were to the left of the house and an oil well on the right. When Bessie & Otto died, their only child Lewis Staerker inherited the house. He lived in another state so he put the house up for sell, with the intention of tearing it down if it did not sell. In 1969, Jack M. Finley, a young lawyer, with his wife Mattie and their 2 children moved to Gladewater from Houston. They bought the home and slowly began restoring the home.

Wartime Home Industry      Longview, Tx.

Its Historical Marker Location: on SH 300 (2700 Gilmer Rd.) at Green Oak

At this site, 1861-65, settler Joseph M. sparkman manufactured shoes for the Confederate Army. A victim of arthritis, he lay on his cot and ran the shop, while "Uncle Ben," a skilled slave shoemaker who had come with him from Georgia, supervised and taught young boys and old men who made the shoes. Both Joseph M. Sparkman and "Uncle Ben" are buried in the family plot on the estate, near here. Their work during the Civil War typifies the gallant spirit of volunteers who mined salt, made cloth and clothing, hunted the woods for medicinal herbs.

Whaley House       Longview, Tx.
Address: 101 E. Whaley St. The Whaley House, built by hardware merchant, Franklin Lucilius Whaley and his wife Mary Caroline Rogers, in 1871, was the fourth house built in the newly platted town of Longview according to local legend. Originally only four rooms, the house began expanding almost immediately and in the 1870s was considered to be the showplace of the town during to its Victorian ornamentation and its size (which was large for Longview in the 1870s). Whaley, an early Longview entrepreneur and hardware merchant, was a founder of the First Baptist Church in Longview and maintained one bedroom of his home as a "preacher's room" for circuit-riding preachers visiting Longview. Whaley was elected Mayor of Longview in 1891. Gregg County's first court was held in the second story of his hardware store, where it continued to convene until the courthouse was built in 1876. Descendants of F. L. Whaley continued to occupy the house until June of 1979, when it was purchased by Sharp, Ward & Ross for use as a law office.

Womack-Lacy House       Longview, Tx.
This home had the first gingerbread trim in town. Built by Albert A. and Eliza Flewellen Womack, 1876. Womack had an early general store. A daughter, Kate, married Judge Edwin Lacy. Builders' descendants still live here. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark - 1967

World's Richest Acre      Kilgore, Tx.

Part of fabulous East Texas oil field discovered in 1930. This 1.195-acre tract had first production on June 17, 1937, when the Mrs. Bess Johnson-Adams & Hale No. 1 well was brought in. Developed before well-spacing rules, this block is the most densely drilled tract in the world, with 24 wells on 10 lots owned by six different operators. This acre has produced over two and a half million barrels of crude oil; selling at $1.10 to $3.25 a barrel, it has brought more than five and a half million dollars. A forest of steel derricks for many years stood over the more than 1,000 wells in downtown Kilgore, marking the greatest concentration of oil wells in the history of the world. Dozens of these derricks still dot city's internationally famous skyline. Since 1930, the East Texas oil field has produced nearly four billion barrels of oil. It now has more than 17,000 producing wells, and geologists predict a future of at least 45 years for this "granddaddy of oil fields." Its development has attracted to the area many diversified industries and a progressive citizenship with a high degree of civic pride.


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