Use the page numbers at the bottom of the page to navigate the historical markers listed below. Click on the thumbnail images to see a larger size image, and click the title of each historic marker to see more information about it.
Also available online is an interactive Google map of historic markers in Brazos County.
On March 30, 1885, the City of Bryan purchased seven lots in this area as a site for a public school to provide separate but equal and impartial instruction for black children of the community, as prescribed by the Texas State Constitution of 1876. The "Bryan Public School for Colored" was the first educational institution established for blacks in Brazos County. When school opened in the fall of 1885, its principal was A.H. Colwell, who later became a prominent leader of black Republicans, and was named as a presidential elector from Texas in 1896. The original faculty included Mrs. Anne Alberson, Misses Mamie Burrows and Beatrice Calhoun, Mrs. Ada Scott Hall, and Mrs. Lenora Green, a classmate of Dr. William E.B. Dubois. The first school building of this site was a two-story frame structure, furnished with planks supported by kegs for seating. After the school burned in 1914, a brick edifice was constructed. In 1930, when the Kemp Junior-Senior High School was built across town, this facility became Washington Elementary School. After its destruction by fire in Sept. 1971, Washington Elementary was not rebuilt and the black students were integrated into the Bryan Public School System. Washington Park occupies most of the original site.
Site of the town of Boonville Established in 1841 as the county seat of Navasota County by John Millican, John H. Jones, J. Ferguson, E. Seale, and Mordecai Boon whose name it bears. The name of the county was changed to Brazos in 1842. Boonville flourished until 1866 when Bryan was established on the railroad.
1936 text: Created from Robertson and Washington Counties in 1841. First called Navasota, changed 1842 to Brazos after two rivers on county's boundaries. Organized in 1843, with Boonville as county seat; Bryan county seat since 1866. Area originally included in Stephen F. Austin's Second Colony, 1828. Became a part of the Washington municipality, 1837, under the Mexican government. First railroad reached Millican in 1860. A. & M. University opened, 1876. Economy based on agricultural, industrial and educational activities.
Replacement text, 2000: Brazos County, part of Stephen F. Austin's colony, was created from Washington County in 1841. It was first named Navasota County, with Boonville as the county seat. In 1842 the name was changed to Brazos County. Through the Civil War, Millican, located at the end of the railroad from Houston, was a major town. When the railroad was continued through the county, Bryan became the county seat in 1866. The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (Texas A&M) opened in 1876 and College Station grew around it, incorporating in 1938.
Furnished horses, equipment and clothing for county men in the Civil War. Levied war taxes on property, exempting lands or estates of Confederate soldiers. After surveying to determine needs of the families of Brazos soldiers, appropriated funds to care for them. Gave credits for contributions made by citizens to soldiers' dependents. Issued county warrants for 25 (cents), 50 (cents), $1, $2, $3 and $5 that passed as legal tender. Obtained for resale to the citizens scarce powder, lead, gun caps, medicines, shoes, cotton cards, cloth, shoe makers' tools.
Largest river between the Red and the Rio Grande, the 840-mile Brazos rises in 3 forks: the Salt, Clear and Double Mountain forks. According to legend, this river saved Coronado's Expedition of 1540-1542 from dying of thirst, so the men thankfully named it "Los Brazos de Dios" (Arms of God). On its banks were founded historic San Felipe, capital of Stephen F. Austin's Colony, and Washington, where in 1836 Texas' Declaration of Independence was signed. Vast plantations thrived in the fertile Brazos Valley, making cotton "king" in Texas until the Civil War.
Established on June 13, 1868, three years after the townsite of Bryan was dedicated. Land for the graveyard--20 acres then on the northern edge of Bryan--was sold to the city for $100 by landowner J.C. Hubert. The first addition of land was made June 15, 1915; the area is now 48 acres. Many prominent early citizens are buried here. The City Cemetery Advisory Board and the Bryan Cemetery Association (organized November 30, 1920) serve in an advisory capacity in the operation of the cemetery.
Bryan mayor J.T. Maloney and the city's Retail Merchants Association incorporated the Bryan & College Interurban Railway Company in 1909. The company was created to establish an interurban railway service between Bryan, a town of about 4,000 people, and the Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College (Texas A&M), with a student and faculty population of about 750. Daily service consisting of ten 30-minute trips began in 1910 with passenger trolleys and gasoline-powered rail cars. Along the route landowners built residential subdivisions and small farms, and to provide an attraction the city created Dellwood Park. Freight service began in 1918 to help bolster an operation beset with labor problems and the loss of passengers to automobile ridership. In 1922 the Bryan & College Interurban Railway went into receivership and in 1923 its assets were sold at auction to the S.S. Hunter Estate. The last recorded trip of the Interurban took place on April 13, 1923. During its 15 years of operation the Interurban Railway greatly influenced the course of Bryan's and College Station's urban development. Today the two cities merge indistinguishably at a point on the former Bryan & College Interurban Railway route.
At the polls on Oct. 29, 1877, the City of Bryan voted to establish a free public graded school--a very progressive step in an era of private schools. Interested citizens immediately bought and donated this block for the site. Financial help came from the George Peabody Foundation, a philanthropic agency devoted to education in the post-Civil War South. Cornerstone was laid in 1879. The first session opened in the fall of 1880 with noted East Texas educator Percy V. Pennybacker (1860-99) as principal. There were five other teachers and seven grades. Top floor of the 3-story brick building was the auditorium, used for chapel, calisthenics, and other programs. Dormer windows were set into the roof. Classrooms were on first and second floors; heating was by wood-burning stoves throughout the building. The schoolyard had a boys' and a girls' side. On each side there was an arbor with benches and tables where pupils ate lunches brought from home. A cistern with tin cups chained to its rim provided water. Outmoded by 1919, the old "graded" (or "east side") school became an adjunct to a new structure built that year, and housed gymnasium, cafeteria, and shop department. It was razed in 1949.