water tower and museum in McDade
TE Photo 2001
Few people can
remember seeing McDade on their Austin
- Houston trip down
Highway 290. That's because McDade keeps its downtown a little north
of the highway.
The town center today consists of a single row of buildings with
a large grassy expanse between the storefronts and the railroad
tracks. McDade's row of buildings consists of the old depot (now
a grocery) near the east end and the museum at the western end.
Cyndie Bergmark riding Badger in downtown McDade
TE Photo 2001
town has appeared recently in True Women - the made-for-television
mini-series based on the book by Janice Woods-Windle. While
the story was set mostly in Guadalupe
County, it was certainly easier to control the crowds in McDade
during the shoot than in Seguin.
Many artifacts are left from the filming. Nearly every window contains
a hand-lettered sign for the businesses that may or may not have had
a real-life counterpart back in the 19th Century.
a Pecan Shell
was named after somebody named James
W. McDade and that's about all we know. He lived in Brenham, according
to the Handbook of Texas Online, and he may have been connected
with the railroad, maybe not. The town was formed in anticipation
of the railroad's arrival and while we were able to trace Robert
Elgin's grave to Houston, we drew a blank when looking for Jimmy's
grave there in McDade. (See Readers'
Things have been pretty quiet in McDade since just before WWI,
but before that, from 1875-1884 it experienced more shootings, lychings,
stabbings, and assassinations, than Tombstone and Deadwood
combined. For example on June 26, 1877, vigilantes stopped a dance,
and lynched four men. Whether or not the men were dancing with each
other was not reported.
One of the few buildings standing by itself in McDade.
TE Photo 2001
Times in Old McDade
Murray Montgomery's version of the misbehavings.
The particulars on the wholesale slaughter that went on in McDade.
Your web [page]
for McDade Texas mentions a search for the grave of James W. McDade,
the man who founded McDade. James Wilkins McDade apparently never
lived in McDade -- his founding of the town named for him being
to support his railroad interests. He also co-founded Hempstead,
Texas along with Dr. Richard R. Peebles, and that is where he
died and is buried. The article your page quotes about McDade Texas
notes this fact: "the town was officially platted and named after
James W. McDade, who lived in Brenham". James W. McDade's gravesite
is supposed to be in his family cemetery that was on the edge of
his estate on the outskirts of Hempstead (not in or near McDade,
Texas). Mr. McDade also donated land adjacent to his family cemetery
for a cemetery for Union soldiers who were interred there during
the Civil War. That cemetery now seems to be lost, though there
is a marker on the road for the old Union Soldiers' Cemetery. -
Tom Cloud, October 24, 2004
for McDade, Texas was donated by James Wilkins McDade and Dr. Richard
R. Peebles. It was originally a staging area during the railroad's
construction. Dr. Peebles and M r, McDade were major stockholders
of the Washington County Railroad. James Wilkins McDade was President
of the Washigton County Railroad in 1862. He was a representative
in the Texas Legislature, 1851. He was also a member of Texas Senate,
1853 - 1855. He was elected the first Sheriff of Washington County
after Texas became a State, being elected July 13, 1846. . James
was born abt 1819 in Madison County, Alabama. He married Caroline
Tennessee F Cooper in Washington County Texas on March 27, 1840.
He is buried in the Old McDade Cemetery in Hempstead, Texas. James
Wilkins McDade, Dr. Robert Rivers Peebles and Mary Ann Groce Peebles
laid out the town of Hempstead, Texas in 1856. It is also of note
that Dr. Peebles is also a historic entity -- he was the first convicted
traitor exiled by the Confederacy. See http://mcdade.bravepages.com/.
For more information, see also "Youngblood-Armstrong and Allied
Families" by Frances Youngblood and Floelle Youngblood Bonner. -
Mary Thoeni, April 08, 2003
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