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.
House Gladewater, 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.
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.
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
Teague Home Longview, Tx.
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
Family Home Longview,
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.
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.
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
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.
House 313 S. Fredonia St. Longview, Tx.
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.
Gregg County Discovery Oil Well, F. K. Lathrop A-1, Aransas Fuel
Its historical marker can be found on Brent Rd., .2 mi. north
of FM 2605, Tennyville Rd.
B. W. Brown Home Longview, TX
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.
Site of Harmon General Hospital Longview, Tx.
Its historical marker location is at the entrance to Le Tourneau
College, 2100 S. Mobberly
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
Shiloh Baptist Church White Oak, TX.
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
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
Shiloh School White Oak, Texas
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.
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.
Home Gladewater, Tx.
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.
House Longview, Tx.
House Longview, Tx.
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
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