Brazos County Historic Markers
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.
List of historical markers
In the late 1890s, Sam Luther donated the land at this site for a school. At the time, most residents of the Leonard Community were Polish, German and Czech immigrants who were drawn to the area by the Brazos River’s rich soil. The Leonard School went through the eighth grade and emphasized vocational agricultural training. Students at the Leonard School got out from April to October to help their parents harvest cotton. The school’s two classrooms were separated by a divider that could be moved to convert the building into a public meeting place. After the students went home, the Leonard School hosted dances, weddings, pageants, Sunday schools and local elections. African American students went to a separate school on Silver Hill Road, two miles away.
Over time Leonard’s small rural community began to change. The school did not have running water or electricity until the Rural Electrification Administration reached the area in the 1930s. Starting in 1932, Brazos County Superintendent Mrs. W.E. Neeley ran a “Bookwagon” that delivered books to Leonard School students during the summer months. In the 1940s, buses began taking graduates of the Leonard School to high school in Bryan. The age of small rural schools was ending as the county decided it was more cost effective to bus all of its students to school in Bryan or College Station. In 1978, the Office of County Superintendent was abolished. The humble two-room Leonard schoolhouse, which had served its students and its community for fifty years, was closed in 1946 and the building was moved.
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)
Marker is located on the southeast side of the Simpson Drill Field, across West Lamar Street from the entrance to the Memorial Student Center, central TAMU campus.
In December 1924, Martin Kapchinskie purchased land at this site, along a one-lane country road connecting Bryan to Texas A&M University, near the communities of Union Hill and Midway. Here, he opened a store for travelers and named it Martin's Place, where he offered groceries, a public telephone, gasoline and barbecue. The original building was a wooden, screened structure, with a small pit inside, and tables and a large pit outside. During the 1930s, Kapchinski sold some of the surrounding land to maintain the business during the Great Depression. By 1939, he had enough money to build a more substantial building, a red brick structure with a kitchen inside and a barbecue pit attached at back. The interior, designed like a cafe, included a tall bar. Following World War II, Kapchinskie's son Albin joined him as partner. Albin, who had served during the war as a butcher in the Navy, added a meat market to Martin's Place in 1951. A horseshoe-shaped bar replaced the original tall bar. In 1955, Albin purchased the business from his father, who retired to Michigan. As Bryan and College Station grew and the automobile greatly changed the way people lived, Martin's Place became more than a rest stop for travelers. Still in the Kapchinskie family, the restaurant has become part of local life and a place of fond memories for generations of Texas A&M University students. Longtime patrons of Martin's recall "Uncle" Steve Holik, who served tables from 1946 until 1987, and for decades area residents came for daily domino games and to shoot pool. Although the world around it has developed rapidly, Martin's Place has changed little from its early days, remaining a popular stop for rest and refreshment. (2005)
3403 S. College Ave., Bryan.
Constructed in 1904 for lumberman and Brazos County clerk George Washington McMichael (1854-1904), this Queen Anne style home was purchased in 1912 by prominent planter Alfred Flournoy Wilson. It remained in the Wilson family for nearly 60 years. Outstanding features of the Bryan landmark are its corner turret, wraparound porch, pedimented entrance, and corner pavilion with conical roof. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1985
712 E. 30th St., Bryan.
On this site stood the first building of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Bryan. Completed in Sept. 1869 for less than $500. on land given in 1861 by the Houston & Texas Central Railroad. The first pastor, the Rev. H.G. Horton was assigned to Bryan Station in Nov. 1868. Earlier services were held by pioneer circuit riders, including the Rev. H.V. Philpott who preached in a theatrical hall over a saloon. The original frame building was replaced in 1902 by a brick structure which burned in 1906. Two years later a building of the same plan was erected on the original foundation. The present sanctuary was completed in 1951. The education building was added in 1954.
Inside the First United Methodist Church courtyard facing Houston Ave, between East 27th and East 28th Streets, Bryan, Texas. The marker at this location is the result of a State-approved local project. The marker was cast locally, which is why it does not resemble the more familiar historical markers.