Cass County historical markers Information from the Texas Historical Commission


101 N East St

(1892-1926) The tenth of 13 children born to tenant farmers Susan and George Coleman, famed aviatrix Bessie Coleman was a native of Atlanta, Texas. The family moved to Waxahachie when Bessie was two years old. She followed her brothers to Chicago in 1915 and developed an interest in flying. Because she could find no one in the United States who would teach an African-American woman, Coleman learned to fly in France and obtained her international pilot's license in 1921. Upon her return to the United States, she was hailed as the first black woman to pilot an airplane. Bessie Coleman died in an air accident in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1926 and is buried near Chicago. (2002)

Trammel's Trace
Marker Location:
SW 77W, just east of intersection w/ CR 2729
Many prominent Texas pioneers traveled past this site as they entered Texas via the historic Texas route known as Trammel's Trace, which crosses this field. Near here, Trammel's Trace joined the Spanish or Mexican Trace connecting early settlements on the Red River with the El Camino Real near Nacogdoches.
In 1813, horse trader and smuggler Nicholas Trammell established the road which bears his name, widening it for wagon use in 1824. By beginning at Fulton, Arkansas, on the great bend of the Red River, Trammell extended the great Southwest Immigration Road from St. Louis (Missouri) into Texas. The trace entered Texas north of Texarkana (Bowie Co.) and crossed the Sulphur River into Cass County at Epperson's Ferry. It headed past this point and joined the pre-existing Spanish Trace (1 mi. southwest). Trammell then improved the Spanish Trace southward to Nacogdoches. Trammell likely reused some trails that were worn down by centuries of travel by game animals, Native Americans and the Spanish.
By the 1850s, other roads from the distant communities of Monterey, Daingerfield, Boston, Naples and Clarksville also converged on the junction, and a community developed near this hub of early roads. The site would become known as Old Unionville when residents moved the town north after the Civil War. Although the community no longer exists, archeological research has located the former settlement and documented the convergence of early roads at the site. Today, few vestiges of Trammel's Trace remain, but continued use of this section into the 20th century as a county road preserved this portion of the important immigration route.

Dr. M. D. K. Taylor
Marker Location:
on US 59 (east side of road) about 9 mi. S of Linden in roadside park
Alabama physician. Came to Texas, 1847. Served Cass County in Texas House and Senate for 24 years. Was called the ablest parliamentarian of his time. Served as one of the speakers of Texas House of Representatives in critical Civil War years, 1861-65. Legislators passed laws to raise, equip and supply 90,000 Texas soldiers who fought on all fronts and provided for defense of state's 2000 mile frontier and coast against Indians, enemy troops and ships. As naval blockade reduced imports, the Legislature established plants to make guns, powder, cloth, salt. Contracts, subsidies and land grants were provided to encourage private industry to help meet heavy wartime demands for arms, supplies, clothing, food. Taylor and the other lawmakers taxed property and business and required farmers to turn in tithes of produce to meet the crisis. Funds were voted to buy cotton for state exchange for goods in Mexico to aid soldiers' dependents, and to provide hospitals and medical care for troops-- in and out of state. The Legislature was in almost continuous session. Poor pay and inflated Confederate money caused many members to live in tents and covered wagons on the Capitol grounds, and cook over campfires.

Smith - Hicks House
606 Hiram at corner w/Harvey
Application: Built 1887. Splendid example of colonial architecture of 19th century. Former home of Judge A. C. Smith and later of Texas Supreme Court Justice Ralph Hicks Harvey. Four generations have lived continuously in this home. Although it has been remodeled on several occasions care has always been exercised to maintain the original architecture. The home contains much of the original furniture and china.

Matthews-Powell House    (Have Picture)
Miller St. Queen City
Built 1873
The symmetrical Victorian Mathews-Powell House, built in 1873 stands on a corner lot once encircled by formally landscaped gardens. The one-story frame residence has a symmetrical composition elaborated by Victorian ornament and is an excellent example of the transitional style between the Greek Revival and Victorian periods.
The Greek Revival influences can be seen in the rectangular shape and central hall floor plan. The exterior arrangement of the south facade also expresses the symmetry in the five bay composition with a central door flanked by two windows on each side. A three bay, one story gallery shelters the central part of the main facade.
The Victorian flair for rich detail is evident in the embellishments. Characteristic of this period are the slender gallery columns with punched spandrels and bracketed eaves under the balustrade gallery roof. Accentuating the roof line are elaborately carved brackets, coupled and spaced at regular intervals under the wide eaves. Breaking the roof line at the center of the front and south facades is a gable with graceful bargeboard ornamentation and a circular wooden rent displaying a decorative pattern. The wooden cresting which originally encircled the deck of the truncated hipped roof was removed in later years.
The wide central entrance contains a double door flanked by pilasters and surrounded by sidelights and transom. Each door has a slender, round arched upper light with a lower wooden panel. The sidelights are divided into two lights over a wooden panel, while the transom crowns the composition with 3 large lights. The windows now flanking the entrance have six-over-six lights, but the narrow proportions of the original 4/4 light windows remain intact. Bracketed hood molds and shutters embellish the apertures.
The east facade is arranged somewhat similarly, but on a slightly smaller scale. The central entrance is sheltered by a small one-bay portico with detailing matching the front gallery and is flanked by two windows on each side. The west facade has two windows to the left of the gable and a bay window to the right. Characteristically, the bay window displays elaborate detailing such as the molded architrave with small brackets, the frieze with molded panels, and the large carved brackets which support the cornice. The entablature is crowned by a truncated hipped roof.
Early 20th century kitchen, dining room, and porch additions on the north facade were destroyed in a 1946 storm. The modern gabled two-room addition and small shed room were added later. At the same time the interior chimney on the east side of the house was removed.
The Mathews-Powell House, an excellent example of symmetrical Victorian architecture, has maintained its graceful gingerbread and ornate detailing with exterior structural changes only in the form of rear additions. Built in 1878 as one of the first houses in the newly settled Queen City, the house not only reflects the founding of the new town, but also the contributions of two of Queen City's prominent businessmen, William Franklin Mathews and Ross Albert Powell.
William F. Mathews, born in 1840, moved from Georgia with his parents to Marion County near Jefferson at the age of 10. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined the Confederate forces, enlisting in a mounted company of volunteers. On April 17, 1867, he was married to Harriet India Sharp and operated a plantation in Marion County for 10 years.
With the establishment of Queen City in 1877, Mathews moved with his family to the new town and attended the First auction of town lots. The Mathews family bought property on Miller Street and lived in temporary quarters at the rear of the lot until 1878 when the home was finished.
In partnership with his younger brother, Joseph P. Mathews, Jr., William established a grocery in the new town. After two years, Joseph sold his interest in the business to attend medical school, and his share was bought by William's brother-in-law, S. J. Hood. The business expanded to a general mercantile store and operated until 1895 under the firm name, Matthews and Hood. After two tragic fires that destroyed Mathews' first commercial buildings, a permanent building of brick was erected in 1884 that currently stands one block from the Mathews-Powell House in the Queen City business district. Due to poor health William Mathews sold the home and business in 1895 and moved his family to Texarkana to join his son.
Briefly owned by various people after 1895, the house was occupied from 1902 until 1909 by a local physician, Dr. J. N. White and his family. Besides the normal use as a residence the home's long central hall served as a hospital facility during local emergencies.
Ross Albert Powell bought the house in 1918 from his brother who had owned the house for two years. Powell joined his father in a livery and small grocery business that had operated in Queen City since 1877. The original store was expanded into general merchandise and the name was changed to C. Powell and Son General Mercantile to reflect both changes. During regular marketing trips to St. Louis, Powell studied to be a mortician and became the area's leading undertaker. Other interests included the business of buying and selling cotton and the operation of the Queen City Post Office located in the store. Powell closed the store in 1935 and went into the oil and mineral leasing business for two years before his death in 1937.
Since 1937 the home has been owned by Evelyn Powell Moore and maintained as a private residence for herself and her sister, Josephine Powell.