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.
Earliest large community in Robertson's colony. Settled by Irishmen who came to America in 1821; lived in South Carolina and then in Alabama; and in 1829 sent west an emissary, Robert Henry, to find a permanent location. In 1833, their ox-wagon train arrived, and log cabins were built. By 1836, kinsmen had joined early arrivals to strengthen settlement. Community name, meaning "Strivers' Point" in dialect, was probably given for rugged zeal of settlers in face of hardships. James Dunn built a fort, to give neighborhood a refuge during Indian raids. In War for Independence, 1835-36, Staggers Point men fought in major actions, including the April 21, 1836, Battle of San Jacinto, which freed Texas from Mexico. In 1830s and 40s, the Irish were compelled to keep up their defenses against the Indians. Women as well as men earned respect for skill with "long guns." In time their village had a church, stores, cotton gin, race track, and taverns, and was invaded by gamblers and ruffians drawn to the races. Until the settlers subdued the lawless, duels and gunplay were common. This remained a progressive community until 1868, when Houston & Texas Central Railway bypassed it, and business waned. Descendants still honor the settlers.
Anglo settlement in this area can be traced to 1851. Henry B. Steele built a general merchandise store in 1855 to serve residents of the rural community, originally called Mudville because of frequent Brazos River floods. The store became the center of the community, and when a post office was established there in 1878 the settlement was renamed Steele's Store. Italian immigrants, primarily from the provinces of Trapani and Palermo, began settling here in the 1870s. Many of the families established large farms, and by the early 20th Century the Italian community here was one of the largest in the United States. A one-room schoolhouse built in 1889 was later replaced with larger structures as the population grew. The school eventually was consolidated with the Brazos County Independent School District. Predominantly Roman Catholic, the settlement was served by priests from St. Anthony's Church in Bryan until 1903, when San Salvador Catholic Church was built. The church became the focal point of the community, with traditional Sicilian celebrations held each March to honor St. Joseph. Many descendants of the area's pioneer Italian families still reside in the vicinity.
This burial ground was part of the Steep Hollow community, named for the valley of the Steep Hollow Branch, a tributary of Wickson Creek. Residents were ranchers and farmers, and the community had a general store, cotton gin, gristmill and schoolhouse. Saint's Rest Baptist Church (later Steep Hollow Baptist Church), organized in 1873, was associated with the cemetery, which first served as a private family burial ground. In 1874, Charles and Evaline Peters conveyed property for the cemetery and surrounding land to the church.
The earliest interments were those of James Peters, (d.1870) son of Charles and Evaline, and Robert Martin (d.1871), son of Sarah Ann (Cheshire) and Rev. Samuel Crawford Martin (d. 1902), the first pastor of Saint's Rest Baptist Church. The Martins are also buried here with four other ministers of the church. Other burials include teachers, businessmen, farmers, ranchers and veterans of military conflicts dating to the Civil War. The cemetery is located in a naturalistic setting and features curbing, interior fencing, vertical stones, obelisks, and woodmen of the world grave markers.
In its early years, family members cared for grounds. By 1926, the Steep Hollow Cemetery Association (SHCA) had formed to maintain the cemetery. In 1966, the church officially transferred ownership of the burial ground to the cemetery association. Today, Steep Hollow Cemetery continues to serve the area and persists as a reminder of the pioneering men and women whose hard work and sacrifice contributed to the establishment of the Steep Hollow community.
When Texas A&M University opened in 1876, it was four miles from Bryan, the nearest town, and the need for campus housing for faculty and staff arose. The first of the campus houses, five brick homes along the east side of Throckmorton Street, were built in 1876. By 1938, there were more than one hundred homes on campus. The types of houses varied, ranging from large Queen Anne style homes to small bungalows and cottages. The homes were located throughout the campus. When the City of College Station was incorporated in 1938, housing in town became available, and the decision was made to remove the faculty housing. Many residents expressed a desire to buy their homes, and the college began accepting bids in 1941. One third of the houses were soon sold, with prices ranging from $200-$800. Another third were sold and moved over the next twenty years. The rest of the original structures were burned or razed. None remain on campus. Forty-one of the original homes have been located. Thirty-eight are in College Station, two are in Bryan, and one is about two miles north of Bryan.
Soon after its opening in 1876, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (Texas A&M) established the Corps of Cadets to fulfill its mandate to instruct its students (all-male until the early 1960s) in military science. A&M contributed more officers to America's WW II effort than any other institution, including the U.S. Military Academy. Many of the Corps' traditional activities, such as the Aggie Band, Fish Drill Team, and Ross Volunteers, have gained national and international recognition. A&M's elite Corps of Cadets continues to dominate the University's unique public image.
The State Legislature authorized the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas April 17, 1871, under terms of the Federal Morrill Act. Constitutionally a part of a chartered, yet-unorganized state university, A&M gained its own directorate in 1875 with Governor Richard Coke as Board President. Brazos Countians provided its 2,416-acre site. Committed to "teach...branches of learning...related to agriculture and mechanic arts...to promote liberal and practical education," A&M opened Oct. 4, 1876, as the first state institution of higher learning actually operating in Texas. Thomas S. Gathright was President. Its original six students in seven academic departments grew to 28,038 students in eleven academic colleges by 1976. Initially an all-male, all-white school, it was desegregated as to color in 1963 and made fully coeducational in 1971. The Legislature recognized its diversified programs and international leadership in education and research by awarding the new name, Texas A&M University, on Aug. 23, 1963. On Sept. 17, 1971, the U.S. Congress made this one of America's first four Sea Grant Colleges. National defense has drawn from Texas A&M thousands of ROTC men, including 29 general officers for World War II.
Texas A&M University opened in October 1876 and established the Corps of Cadets to fulfill its Congressional mandate to teach military tactics. The students at what was then an all-male institution were required to serve in the corps and follow military discipline.
Texas A&M University opened in October 1876 and established the Corps of Cadets to fulfill its Congressional mandate to teach military tactics. The students at what was then an all-male institution were required to serve in the corps and follow military discipline. At the center of the Corps and campus activity was the Main Drill Field, where cadets drilled and practiced maneuvers before and after classes. The site of horse-drawn artillery and infantry exercises, as well as student pilot training in the 1920s, the open parade ground also served as the university's early football field prior to construction of a permanent field in 1905. The Aggie Bonfire was held on the Main Drill Field from 1909 until 1955, and students assembled for drills and graduation activities, including the Corps' Final Review. In 1920, A&M's Board of Directors paid tribute to former cadets killed during World War I by planting oak trees around the field. Markers at each tree provided the name, class and site and date of death for each man. The classes of 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926 placed a granite memorial to the war casualties on the west side of the drill field, which was later named for A&M distinguished alumni Lieutenant General Ormond R. Simpson, a 1936 mechanical engineering graduate of the university. After serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, Simpson retired in 1972 and became A&M's Assistant Vice-President for Student Services and head of the School of Military Sciences. He served at the university until retiring in 1985, the year the field was named in his honor. A&M's Main Drill Field is a testament to the school's beginnings as a military and academic institution, as well as a symbol of Aggies' service to their state and nation. (2004)
The Ursuline Sisters, founded by St. Angela in Italy in 1535, opened their first girls' school in North America in Quebec in 1639. In 1727, they opened the Ursuline Academy in New Orleans, followed in 1846 with the Ursuline Academy in Galveston. In addition to teaching, the nuns served as nurses during epidemics, hurricanes, fires and the Civil War. Their Galveston Academy building served as a refugee shelter despite heavy damages sustained in the devastating 1900 storm. Seeking a new school site further inland, Mother Superior Mary Joseph Dallmer selected Bryan over several other cities. With donations from Bryan citizens, the sisters purchased land from W.R. and Mary (Mitchell) Cavitt and began plans for Villa Maria Ursuline Academy at this site, which became known as St. Ursula's Hill. Contractor George Jenkins built a school and dormitory using a Nicholas Clayton design. The school opened in September 1901, but construction continued until October 21, St. Ursula's feast day. Girls at the academy studied traditional subjects, as well as sports and music, and maintained a large farm. The sisters worked closely with St. Joseph's Catholic Church and School, where they also taught. Facing low enrollment and burdened by the debt of costly building repairs, Villa Maria Ursuline Academy closed in 1929. Former U.S. Consul General Williamson S. Howell, Jr. bought the property and built a 24-room house using bricks from the school. The few graves of Ursuline nuns on the property were removed to Galveston, where the school resumed operations. Howell later sold to Allen Academy, which retained ownership until 1973. Today, nearby street names reflect the impact of both the academy and Howell. (2005)