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Cherokee County, Texas



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Frank Lee Beard - was born June 11, 1949 in Cherokee County. He  is the drummer in the Rock Band ZZ Top. Beard was formerly with The Cellar Dwellers, The Hustlers, The Warlocks, and The American Blues bands before starting to perform and record with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill as ZZ Top. Ironically, Beard is the only member of ZZ Top who does not have a beard, usually wearing only a mustache (though he went through a phase in the 1990s with a tidy beard).

Candace Midkiff Been -   Wife of Peter Ellis Bean, born near Nashville, Tenn., in 1802, died near Douglass, Texas in December, 1848.  One of those Pioneer women who braved the Indian menace and rocked the Cradle of Texas Liberty.  --  1936  Texas Centennial Marker 

Raymond Adelphia Benge  ( April 22, 1902 - June 27, 1997). He was born in Jacksonville, Texas. He was a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians 1925-26, The Philadelphia Phillies 1928-32 and 1936, The Brooklyn Dodgers 1933-35, The Boston Bees 1936 and the Cincinnati Reds 1938.He led the National League in Home Runs Allowed (24) and Earned Runs Allowed (139) in 1929.In 12 seasons he had a 101-130 Win-Loss record, 346 Games (249 Started), 102 Complete Games, 12 Shutouts, 65 Games Finished, 19 Saves, 1,875 ⅓ Innings Pitched, 2,177 Hits Allowed, 1,108 Runs Allowed, 941 Earned Runs Allowed, 132 Home Runs Allowed, 598 Walks, 655 Strikeouts, 30 Hit Batsmen, 14 Wild Pitches, 8,278 Batters Faced and a 4.52 ERA. He died in Centerville, Texas at the age of 95.

James H. and John J. Bowman - were brothers who served in the Texas Revolution in 1836. James H. Bowman was born in 1820 in Mississippi and died in Texas Feb 1886. He was in Capt. Bailey Hardiman's company from Matagorda. John J. Bowman was born on 25 Jul 1807 and died 30 Mar 1890. He was with Maj. George Collingsworth at Goliad in Capt. Phillips Dimmitt's company. He was appointed 1dt Lt. of artillery in Col. James W. Fannin's command. Texas Historical Commission Marker

Thomas Mitchel Campbell-
April 22,1856 -April 1, 1923. He was the Governor of Texas from 1907 to 1911. He dies in Galveston and was buried in Palestine, TX.

Bruce Channel (pronounced Sha-NEL) born as Bruce McMeans,only reached the top forty once in the United States, but it was with a mega-hit in the early 60's. Bruce was born in Jacksonville, Texas in 1940. In his early teens he began performing at dances around his native Texas. He caught on with the Louisiana Hayride in 1958, a radio program that had helped to launch the career of Elvis Presley, among others. In the Summer of 1961 he went into a recording studio in Fort Worth to record some songs that he had written. Almost as an afterthought he included a song called Hey! Baby. Another musician named Delbert McClinton plays the harmonica on this recording, and a very prominent harmonica it was. Channel returned to Fort Worth and left the music business for a while. In later years he turned his attentions to writing country songs. He moved to Nashville and wrote several songs that topped the country charts for artists such as T.G. Shepherd and Janie Frickie. Bruce still lives in Nashville and continues to be active as a songwriter and occasional performer. He will always be remembered best for his enormous 1962 hit Hey! Baby.

Helena Kimble Dill- Helena is the mother of the child reputedly our first Anglo-American born in Texas in 1804. She was born in Maryland, Helena Kimble (1770-1848) married James Dill, 1786, moved to Nacogdoches then under Spanish rule 1793. Dill was elected alcalde, (mayor) of Nacogdoches 1821-1823, he died in 1825. She was a widow and gained title to Dill's huge land grant in present Cherokee County 1828, she settled there, later she married William Nelson. Texas Historical commission marker on grave

Toby Gowin- born March 30, 1975 in Jacksonville, Texas. Toby is a National Football League punter. He is currently under contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Gowin attended Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville, Texas and won All-District honors, All-East Texas honors, and All-State honors as a kicker. 1997-1999Dallas Cowboys, 2000-2002 New Orleans Saints, 2003 Dallas Cowboys, 2004 New York Jets, 2005 Alanta Falcons, 2006-present  Jacksonville Jaguars

James Stephen Hogg- the first governor born in the state. Hogg was born in Rusk, Texas, in 1851. He was tutored privately before attending a formal school in Alabama. Governor Hogg introduced the Progressive Era to Texas. He persuaded the legislature to create the Railroad Commission, the first state regulatory agency in America, and institute a number of reforms in stock and bond transactions. After retiring from the governor's office in 1895, Hogg, who had not made much money while in public service, became a millionaire through the practice of law and lucrative investments associated with the new oil industry. His daughter, Ima Hogg, used that fortune in many philanthropic ways until her own death in 1975.

And no, there were no children named Ura Hogg or Hesa Hogg. (Texas

Johnny Horton- April 30, 1925 - November 5, 1960, Johnny was born in Los Angeles, California but grew up in Gallatin Texas. He graduated from high school in Gallatin, Texas. He was a Country and Western singer. One of his hits was "The Battle of New Orleans."

Donald Chris James - born October 4, 1962  Rusk, Texas- Chris  was a utility Major League Baseball player with a 10 year career from 1986 to 1995. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros all of the National League and the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox all of the American League. He played first base, third base, outfield and designated hitter. James was as of 2006 the last left-handed thrower to seriously play a non-first-base infield position. information from Wikipedia

Jesse Craig James- Craig was born on January 2, 1961 in Jacksonville, TX. He is an American sports commentator for college football games on the ABC television network. Prior to becoming a sportscaster, he was a professional football player for the New England Patriots and the Washington Federals. information from Wikipedia

The McCown Brothers Josh, Luke and Randy They are the sons of Robin and Pat McCown.

Joshua Treadwell McCown,  Josh was born on July 4, 1979 in Jacksonville, TX. He is an American football player in the National Football League was the quarterback position for the Oakland Raiders. Now he is with the Miami Dolphins.

Lucas Patrick McCown, Luke was born on July 12, 1981. Played college for Louisianna Tech. Luke has played profession football in 2004 Cleveland Browns, and 2005-present Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Randy McCown, Randy was born February 16, 1977 in Jacksonville, Texas. McCown played at Jacksonville High School for coach Danny Long. He was a a consensus Texas Top 100 selection after completing 115-of-210 passes (.523%) for 1,439 yards and 5 TDs as a senior. In his three years as a starter, McCown completed 302-of-523 passes (.577%) for 4,139 yards and 32 TDs. He was also a letterman in basketball. He played for Texas A & M.

Neil McCoy- Born Hubert Neal McGaughey, Jr. When he first got his record deal, Neal changed the spelling to McGoy, and then to McCoy. He was born in Jacksonville, Texas on July 30, 1958. Neal has been married to Melinda for 25 years. They have two children, daughter Miki and son Swayde. Neal's father is a Texan of Irish descent and his mother is Filipino. He often refers to himself as a "Texapino." McCoy got his start as an opening act for Charley Pride, soon earning his own slot on the show. "Charley was so good onstage, making people feel relaxed, " McCoy recalls. "And offstage, he was still the same guy, very approachable. I tried to learn that from him."  Neal and Melinda founded the East Texas Angel Network (ETAN) in 1995. Their foundation provides financial assistance to families of children with serious illnesses. So far, the organization has raised 3.5 million dollars for the children of East Texas. Entertainer of the Year, 1998 & 1999 TNN/Music City News Country Awards. Video of the Year "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye," 1997 TNN/Music City News County Awards, ACM/Home Depot Humanitarian Award 2005, 3 platinum albums, and 1 gold album. Neil said "I hope to teach my kids right from wrong, and teach them to have a decent attitude about life. I enjoy life, and I hope my kids will get that from me. Some people say, 'I don't care if they like me or not.' Not me! I want people to like me, and if they don't like me, I want to do something about it. And the way I'm able to do that is by singing and entertaining. It's the best way I know to get through to people. I'm in this business to enjoy it, to have fun, to entertain people, and hopefully to make enough money to provide for my family. And thankfully, so far we've been able to do that." Information from his official web-site.

Robert F. Mitchell, Mitchell founded Alto on highest point between Angelina and Neches Rivers. He was a veteran of the Mexican War of 1846, he bore the title of "Colonel" the rest of his life. He married Mrs. Tabitha McKnight Matthews of Douglas, TX 1851. The couple gave land for numerous public uses. She is buried beside her husband in Alto cemetery. They operated a store, hotel, stage stop, and other businesses in Alto.  Texas Historical Commission Marker

Clarence Albert Poindexter (1902-1984). Clarence Albert Poindexter, country and western singer known as Al Dexter, was born in Jacksonville, Texas, in 1902. While working as a house painter, Dexter began performing in local bars and clubs. In the early 1930s he collected a band to perform in the outskirts of Longview, Texas. Dexter signed a recording contract with American Recording Corporation in 1936. Dexter's "Honky Tonk Blues," which he wrote with his writing partner James B. Paris, was the first country song to use the term. In the late 1930s Dexter owned a honky tonk himself, called the Roundup Club in Turnertown, Texas. Through his experiences there and in other roadhouses, Dexter developed the idea for his future hit, "Pistol Packin' Mama." In 1971 Dexter was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame. He had invested in savings and loan, motel, and real estate businesses in Texas and died a wealthy man. On January 28, 1984, Dexter died from a heart attack in his home on Lake Lewisville in Lewisville, Texas. Handbook of Texas on Line

George Washington Slover was a Baptist minister, carpenter, of French descent, born in Jefferson Co., TN, buried in Rocky Springs Cemetery, Reputedly built Atlanta, GA Hotel depicted in Gone With the wind. He came to Cherokee County in the 1850s and served as pastor of Rocky Springs Baptist church. He marries Adelia Wood, March 2, 1837, in Dandridge, TN. The couple has seven children. Descendants still live in the area. Texas Historical Commission

Lee Ann Womack,  Lee Ann was born in Jacksonville, Tx on August 19, 1966.  Womack has two daughters; Aubrie (with ex-husband Jason Sellers) and Anna Lise (with current husband Frank Liddell). Both daughters appeared in the video for "I Hope You Dance". She is the daughter of an east Texas country deejay.