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Donley County Historical Markers

Boydstun Cemetery

Marker Location: From Clarendon, take S.H. 70 about 20 miles north

Year Marker Erected: 1988

Marker Text: Pioneer area settler Henry S. Boydstun (1858-1942), a native of Illinois, moved his family to this area in 1890. That year, his infant son, Eddie, died and was buried in the southwest corner of the family farm. In 1898, Boydstun deeded two acres at the site for use as a public burial ground.

A small farming community that developed near there included a school and, from 1891-1940, a post office (listed as Boydston). Although Boydstun deeded land for the cemetery, he and his wife, Mary (d.1950), were interred in nearby town of Groom. (1988)

Church of St. John Baptist

Marker Location: At intersection of 3rd & Parks, Clarendon

Year Marker Erected: 1971

Marker Text: Oldest church continuously in use (in earliest Episcopal parish) in the Texas Panhandle. The first services were held by the Rev. Mr. Townsend of Dallas Diocese in the J. B. McClelland Ranch house, Nov. 1877. On site given 1891 by Isaac W. Carhart, building was erected in 1893.

A donor, Mrs. Elizabeth Goff of Philadelphia, chose the name. The church was consecrated April 24, 1893, by Bishop A. C. Garrett. First Vicar: the Rev. W. D. Sartwell, 1890-93. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-1971

Clarendon Cemetery, Clarendon

Marker Location: From Clarendon, take S.H. 70 about 1 mile south to Citizens' Cemetery; marker near road in southwest corner of cemetery

Year Marker Erected: 1936

Marker Text: In this first cemetery of Donley County, sixteen rods west lie the first dead of Old Clarendon. Here white civilization sank its roots in sadness and from the graves in this sacred acre strong pioneer spirits turned to face the future with greater love for the land and a firmer determination to build for a tomorrow which we know today.

To those of the Old Clarendon Colony who first found rest on this bold promontory and to their survivors, this stone of imperishable Texas granite is loyally and lovingly dedicated. Erected by the State of Texas, July 4, 1938

Donley County, Clarendon

Marker Location: In roadside park, at intersection of U.S. 287 & S.H. 70 on west side of Clarendon

Year Marker Erected: 1936

Marker Text: Formed from Young and Bexar territories; Created August 21, 1876; Organized March 22, 1882; Named in honor of Stockton P. Donley 1821-1871; a Confederate officer elected to the Texas Supreme Bench in 1866; Clarendon, the County Seat.

Donley County Courthouse, Clarendon

Description: The Donley County Courthouse, designed by C. H. Bulger and Isaac Hamilton Rapp in the Romanesque Revival style, was constructed in 1891. The courthouse plan is unusual in Texas but conforms to conventions followed by other architects.

Substantial Modifications: -1904: installation of electric lights inside the courthouse. -1905: window screens installed. -1907: roof replacement/repair by Phillips Casy Roofing Co. of Dallas. -1908: sidewalks installed on the square. -1921: steam heat installed, fireplaces.

First United Methodist Church of Clarendon

Marker Location: 420 S. Jefferson Street, Clarendon

Year Marker Erected: 1978

Marker Text: When the Rev. Lewis H. Carhart, a Methodist minister, founded Clarendon, he envisioned it as a religious and educational center. The town was established in 1878 near the junction of Carroll Creek and the Salt Fork of the Red River, six miles north of its present location. Local cowboys nicknamed the settlement "Saint's Roost" because it had no saloons.

The first building erected was a combination church and school. Until the turn-of-the-century, there was a Northern Methodist Church in the community. When the railroad arrived in 1887, Clarendon moved to its present site. The Rev. James T. Hosmer, a circuit rider, conducted Methodist services in private homes. In 1888 the Rev. Isaac L. Mills and 15 charter members organized the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

In 1890 the fellowship erected a frame church building on the southeast corner of Kearney and 4th Street. Membership increased significantly after the founding in 1898 of Clarendon Methodist College, forerunner of Clarendon Junior College. To accommodate the growing congregation, this large classical revival structure was built in 1910, during the pastorate of the Rev. O. P. Kiker. The original roof was replaced in 1950. (1978)

James T. Patman, Clarendon

Marker Location: From Clarendon, take S.H. 70 about 1 mile south to cemetery; marker located in cemetery about .2 mile east on first driveway past main gate

Year Marker Erected: 1968

Marker Text: Outstanding peace officer. Sheriff of Donley County, Nov. 1905 to Jan. 1, 1916 - era when large ranches were being subdivided into farms. Born in Sulphur Springs. Was a Methodist. Married Allie Graves. Had a son and daughter. Died in Clarendon. Recorded, 1968

Old Mobeetie Trail

Marker Location: NOT LOCATED - S.H. 70, north of Clarendon

Marker Text: (to early town, about 40 mi. NE) A road older than recorded history; carved out in centuries of wintertime travel to the south, spring migration to the north, by millions of bison and by Indians who lived by hunting these large animals. Important in era of Texas Panhandle settlement.

Used in 1873-1874, when first lifelong residents put dugout dwellings in the Panhandle and began to hunt buffalo to fill demand for hides and meat. Fort Elliott, established 1875 to regulate Indians resisting white settlement, soon had as a neighbor the town of Mobeetie, which for some years was the county seat for 28 counties and a place to go for medical aid, supplies, and access to stage travel.

In 1876 Kansans came this way south for better hunting, calling this "Rath Trail," for their leader. Also, in 1876 cattlemen began to bring herds here. By 1880 this ancient path was a southern arm of Jones and Plummer Trail, over which cowboys moved longhorns to railroads and northern cattle markets. Beginning about 1887 the Mobeetie Trail was used by "nesters" taking up farm lands alongside the old great ranches. Those it served founded and expanded agricultural-commercial economy of the Panhandle.

Replica of First Donley County Courthouse

Marker Location: MARKER IS MISSING!

Marker Text: Soon after founding in 1878 of Clarendon Colony by the Rev. Lewis H. Carhart, workers were brought from Vermont to quarry local stone and erect 2-story structure for hotel, stagecoach stand, and public meeting hall. With organization of Donley County, April 11, 1882, Clarendon was named county seat.

The hotel became (and remained for years) the first courthouse-- and third courthouse in entire Panhandle of Texas. It served settlers in an 8,000 square mile area, since eight unorganized counties were for years attached for judicial purposes to Donley County. (1967)

S.W. Lowe House

Marker Location: 507 W. 5th Street, Clarendon

Year Marker Erected: 1982

Marker Text: Local merchants J. G. and F. D. Martin built this house in 1904. Rancher James M. Calhoun owned the property from 1910 to 1914 and cattleman Robert H. Muir from 1914 to 1926.

Muir sold the residence in 1926 to Sam W. Lowe, a college educator, merchant, stock farmer, and civic and church leader who served three terms as Donley County judge. Lowe died in 1968, but his wife of 53 years, Lilac, continued to occupy the house until 1981. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-1982

Saints' Roost Museum, Clarendon

Museum Name: Saints' Roost Museum
Mailing Address: P O Box 781
City: Clarendon
Zip code: 79226
Street Address: Highway 70 South
Area Code: 806
Phone: 874-2746

Original Purpose: Jail, Depot, Hotel, House, Courthouse, Library, Mission, School, Theater, Post Office, Military Fort, Bank, Fire Station, Multiple Buildings, Hospital

Types of Exhibits/Collections: Science, Art, Military, Aviation, Natural History, Archeology, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Educational Programs: Guided Tours, Self-guided tours, Traveling Trunks, Films, Museum Classes, School Tours, Hands-on Activities for Children, Lectures, Demonstrations, Living History Programs, Intrepretive Drama, School/Museum Cooperative Curriculum, Special Programs/Accomodations for Disabled Visitors

Stockton P. Donley, Clarendon

Marker Location: Located at northeast corner of Courthouse Square, Clarendon

Year Marker Erected: 1963

Marker Text: Star and Wreath County named honor Texas Confederate officer (1821 - 1871) Came to Texas from Kentucky 1846. District Attorney 1853. Enlisted private 7th Texas Infantry 1861. Made Lieutenant. Captured with regiment after bitter fight at Seige Fort Donelson Tennesse 1862.

Prisoner war 9 months Camp Douglas, Illionios. When exchanged health so broken assigned post duty. Elected to State Supreme Court 1866. Because of Confederate service was removed 1867 by U.S. Military order. A memorial to Texans who served the Confederacy. Erected by the State of Texas 1963

Texas Historical Commission

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