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San Augustine County TX
San Augustine

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"The Cradle of Texas"

San Augustine County Seat, East Texas

31°31'52"N 94°06'39"W (31.531086, -94.110971)
US 96 & Hwys 21, 147
19 miles S of Center
28 miles NW of Hemphill
32 miles E of Nacogdoches
Population: 1,924 Est. (2016)
2,108 (2010) 2,475 (2000) 2,337 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › San Augustine Hotels
TX San Augustine County Jail
San Augustine County Jail, circa 1914. The jail is now being renovated and will become a museum when the renovations are completed.
Photo courtesy Texana Pictures - Tony Morrison

San Augustine, Texas Topics:

  • History in a Pecan Shell
  • San Augustine Historical Marker
  • A Feud
  • San Augustine Chronicles
  • San Augustine by Archie P. McDonald - next page

    Photo Gallery
  • San Augustine Landmarks/Attractions
    Historic courthouse, jail, theatre, historic homes, churches, vertical sundial...

  • History in a Pecan Shell

    San Augustine's history predates the revolution. As early as the 1540s, European visitors were getting lost in the pines around San Augustine. In 1691 the Old San Antonio Road (as it was later called) was cut by Domingo Teran de los Rios. The Mission Nuestra Senora de los Dolores de los Ais was established in 1717, has been restored and is one of San Augustine's major attractions today. You might find "Mission Dolores" easier to remember.

    As Anglo migration to Texas increased in the early 1800s, San Augustine was the site of the customhouse and a stopover for everyone entering Texas. It soon became the most civilized place around, and its early history shows it to be the birthplace of several colleges and the first churches (in Texas) of several denominations were opened here. Sam Houston was a frequent visitor and Texas' first governor now sits (as a statue) on the courthouse lawn of his former residence. His name was James Pinckney Henderson, but you already knew that.

    San Augustine

    by Archie P. McDonald
    ".... let us examine some of the "rest of the story."
    It is true that the Civil War left San Augustine in economic depression. Two major sources of capital investment -- slaves and land -- no longer had value. Slavery was "gone with the wind" and few had resources to purchase the land. But cotton gins, a gristmill, sawmills abounded..." Read full article

    Historical Marker:

    San Augustine

    An early eastern gate to Texas, in area claimed in 1600s by both France and Spain. To back her claim, Spain in 1691 chartered from Mexico past this site El Camino Real (The King's Highway) and established nearby in 1717 Mission Dolores de los Aies.

    Inhabited by Ayish Indians and Spaniards until the late 1790s, when Richard Sims came and was soon followed by John Quinalty, Edmond Quirk and families of Broocks, Cullens, Cartwrights, Hortons, Hustons, Prathers and others. By 1824 the settlement had a water mill to grind corn meal; in 1826, a cotton gin.

    In the 1827 Battle of Ayish Bayou, Col. Prather and 69 men put down Fredonian uprising over land titles.

    The town was laid off in 1833 by Thomas McFarland. In 1836 it sent as delegates to sign Declaration of Independence S. W. Blount and E. O. LeGrand; fielded 3 companies to fight in the war for independence. Its Republic of Texas statesmen included vice-president K. L. Anderson; J. A. Greer, Secretary of the Treasury; Wm. Holman, congressman; J. Pinckney Henderson, minister to England and France, and later the first governor of the state. Oran M. Roberts was 16th governor.

    Home of the 1965 United States Ambassador to Australia Edward Clark. Many historic sites are marked.

    A 20th Century History

    The Feud

    San Augustine was also the scene of one of the more interesting feuds in Texas history. It's roots were in the 1890s, but things didn't really get going until the Spring of 1900 when Lycurgus (Curg) Border stirred things up in the Wall-Broocks-Border feud. Curg, who was a handsome man and a good dancer until he was partially crippled in a shooting, shot Sheriff George W. Wall, who died a few days later. Curg Border was elected sheriff in 1902 and served until he was suspended in 1904 by the district judge. W.S. (Sneed) Noble took over the sheriff's duties and found himself caught up in the feud. Sheriff Noble shot and killed Curg Border in May of 1904. (This information is from Texas County Sheriffs by Sammy Tise).

    (A detailed account of this feud can be found in C.F. Eckhardt's Tales of Badmen, Bad Women and Bad Places: Four centuries of Texas Outlawry)

    Excitement flared up again in San Augustine just before Christmas in 1934. Four men were shot in a hardware store and not too much was done about it. Texas Ranger Leo Bishop was sent in and he found the town to be under the control of a lawless element. After few months, Leo and partner Dan Hines had banished the main villain and made the rest behave. The people of San Augustine presented both Rangers with fancy pistols as token of their appreciation in 1935.

    (This incident is covered in detail and fine story-telling form under the chapter Leo Bishop and the San Augustine Crime Wave in Just one riot: Texas Rangers in the 20th Century by Ben Proctor)

    San Augustine Landmarks / Attractions

    San Augustine Texas - 1927 San Augustine County courthouse old photo
    San Augustine County Courthouse
    Texas Historic Landmark

    1939 Photo courtesy of TXDoT
  • The San Augustine County Courthouse next page
  • Augus Theatre next page
  • McMahan's Chapel next page
  • The Mission Nuestra Senora de los Dolores de los Ais next page
  • Ezkiel W. Cullen Home
  • Old Town Well

  • Photo Gallery:
    TX - San Augustine County Jail
    Here's the place that saw it all, the San Augustine County Jail.
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    TX - San Augustine County Jail
    Another view of San Augustine County Jail
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    More Texas Jails
    Christ Church of the Episcopal, established 1848.
    Photo courtesy Texana Pictures - Tony Morrison
    More Churches in San Augustine
    San Augustine TX - Augus Theatre

    Augus Theatre
    110 E. Columbia St.
    Texas Historic Landmark

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010

    A vertical sundial in San Augustine, Texas
    The only vertical sundial in East Texas
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    San Augustine, Texas - Vertical Sundial
    Sundial on Texas Bank & Trust
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    San Augustine Tx - Blount House
    The Blount House
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    San Augustine Tx - Columbus-Cartwright House

    Columbus-Cartwright House
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
    Craft St. off SH 21

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010

    San Augustine Tx - Lewis Hotel
    Lewis Hotel
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    San Augustine Tx - Lewis Hotel
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    San Augustine TX Traffic Stop Button
    San Augustine has one of the rare traffic stop button
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    San Augustine Tx Park Display  Bridge
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    San Augustine Tx Park Display Caboose
    Caboose in the park
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010

    San Augustine Chronicles
    (From "All Things Historical" Column)

  • McMahan Chapel by Bob Bowman
    The news that San Augustine businessman Jack Maund has contributed $100,000 for a museum and events center at McMahan Chapel Methodist Church has focused new attention on one of East Texas’ most historic churches...

  • McMahan's Chapel by Archie P. McDonald

  • Mr. Ambassador by Archie P. McDonald
    Edward Aubrey Clark of San Augustine

  • Man with a Method by Archie P. McDonald
    "Long before winning fame and martyrdom at the Alamo, William Barret Travis wrote to tell Methodist leaders in the United States how badly Texas needed their attention. Samuel Doak McMahon held the first meeting of Methodists in Texas in his home, located ten or so miles east of San Augustine, in 1832, but the arrival of Littleton Fowler in 1837 was the first authorized Methodist activity there..."

  • Ben Ramsey by Bob Bowman

  • Scrolling Through History by Bob Bowman
    The search system -- which has brought unbridled joy to genealogists and historians -- is believed to be the most comprehensive county archive system in Texas.

  • A Soldier's Story by Bob Bowman
    Milton Irish's letter, printed in the Lincoln Patriot at Waldoboro, Maine, on February 10,1837, has become a classic story of a simple soldier involved in the momentous events that gave birth to Texas the year before. In a few months, Milton -- an ancestor of Jack Irish of Lufkin -- found himself involved in the Siege of Bexar, the battle that preceded the fall of the Alamo, and barely escaped with his life during the massacre of Texas prisoners at Goliad.

  • Outlaw with two faces by Bob Bowman
    In July of 1888, Rupert P. Wright, dressed in rags and one eye blinded by his own hand, pleaded for mercy on a charge of bigamy before an Arkansas judge. To those who knew Wright, his appearance and demeanor were far removed from the days when he was a prominent newspaper editor, attorney, and aspiring legislator in Little Rock. But they would soon learn that he was also an escaped murderer, forger, arsonist and jail breaker named Pete Loggins from East Texas.

  • Webster's Buck by by Bob Bowman
    The San Augustine Tribune, publisher Webster Hays and hist buck.

  • Drug Store Centennial by Bob Bowman
    A fountain drink known as "The Grapefruit Highball."
    The San Augustine Drug Store will in May (2004) celebrate a hundred years of doing business at the same location in downtown San Augustine.

  • The Church Lights by Bob Bowman
    Each time I visit Christ Church Episcopal in San Augustine, I am reminded of Murphey's story and the electric light chandeliers former U.S. ambassador Ed Clark bought and installed in the church in 1991 to honor his wife Anne Metcalfe Clark.

  • The First Governor of Texas by Archie P. McDonald

  • The Circuit Rider by Bob Bowman
    Beneath the pulpit of an East Texas country church, far from the saddle-sloped mountains of his beloved Kentucky, Littleton Fowler lies at rest... Fowler was a circuit rider, missionary, marksman, chaplain of the Texas Senate and a brilliant pulpiteer who rode and walked thousands of miles between the Sabine River and San Antonio to found many of Texas’ Methodist churches.

  • Nuestra Senora de los Dolores de los Ais Mission by Archie P. McDonald

  • The Chicken War by Archie P. McDonald

  • A fowl insurrection, The Chicken War by Clay Coppedge
  • TX San Augustine  Historical Marker1
    San Augustine Historical Marker
    On US 96 and Hwy 21

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010

    San Augustine Texas, Forum
  • Subject: Elisha T. Roundtree robbed and shot dead in San Augustine, TX in 1842

    This site is truly wonderful. Would you have any suggestions as to how I could search/post info. on a certain individual in my family that I have been researching for years?

    Elisha T. Roundtree (my great, great, great, great grandfather) was a resident of Terrebonne Parish, LA in 1842. Family history says he ventured toward Texas around that time. He was robbed and shot dead in San Augustine, TX in 1842. His family settled his belongings in 1843. His son remained in Louisiana. His wife Charlotte and his daughter and her family moved to Louisville, KY. They were buried in KY. We can't find what they did with his body.

    We are trying to find out if he was buried in San Augustine, TX or brought back to LA. I've searched through every possible cemetery listing in East TX and South LA. Several people have tried searching with no luck. I'm still trying to get the word about Elisha out there in hopes someone knows what happened in San Augustine. Thank you for your time. - Gina LaGrange, gbldml@yahoo.com, January 31, 2020

  • Shooting of Rangers in San Augustine County
    In July 1918, a squad of Texas Rangers was sent to San Augustine County to round up deserters from the army. Two Rangers went to the farm house of Samuel Williams to recover his son Sam Williams and Daniel Evans. In a gun fight early in the morning, Ranger White was killed and the other Ranger wounded. A massive manhunt pursued... more - John D Carrell, Mesquite, Texas, October 25, 2006

  • Nearby Destinations

  • Toledo Bend lake
  • Sam Rayburn Lake
  • Angelina National Forest - 11 miles south on Texas 147 to entrance.
  • Sabine National Forest - 5 miles east on FM 353 to entrance.
  • San Augustine County - Towns, ghost towns, vintage maps
  • San Augustine Hotels › Book Hotel Here

  • San Augustine Tourist Information
    San Augustine County Chamber of Commerce 611 West Columbia St. San Augustine, Texas 75972 Phone: 936-275-3610 Website: www.sanaugustinetx.com

    Take a road trip

    San Augustine, Texas Nearby Towns:
    See San Augustine County

    East Texas

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