Historical Markers

The following are exact quotes from historical markers found in Rains County, Texas

RAINS COUNTY( located on the courthouse square in Emory, Texas)

One of the earlier areas of Texas to be settled.  J.H. HOOKER, first known settler, built a grist mill on the Sabine River here in the 1840's.  Emigrants from the Old South came in after 1840, although the county was not created until 1870.  The name honors pioneer Emory RAINS (1800-1878).  He served as Senator in the 8th Legislature from district out of which this county was later carved and had a long public service career.  Rains County is known as the birthplace of the Farmers Co-Operative and Educational Union of America, founded in 1904.

 RAINS COUNTY LEADER (marker located near present office)
                       (located on the west side of the square, Emory, Texas)

Only newspaper in county, founded 1887 by H.W. MARTIN as "The Argus".  By 1900 was renamed "Leader".  Sold 1904 to Tom W. HILL, Sr. editor until 1937; Earl HILL, Sr. was editory 1937-1960; Earl HILL, Jr., 1960-1962; since 1962 publishers have been Kathleen Hill BECKNELL and Nell Hill BUTCHER.

 FRASER BRICK COMPANY (located on Hwy. 69 south between Emory & Alba)

Here in 1905 Walter B. FRASER (1877-1968) built a pioneer Texas factory which produced bricks and hollow clay building tile.  This was the first industrial plant in Rains County and it employed about 40 men.  When, in 1909, a post office was established near here, its name "Ginger" was taken from the distinctive color of the burnt clay bricks made at the plant.  Operations ceased when the clay supply neared exhaustion, in the 1940's.  Walter B. FRASER retired in 1944.  The business prospered at its other Texas locations until sold in 1961.

 DOUGHERTY COMMUNITY HOMEPLACE

Robert Newberry DOUGHERTY, son of Dougherty community founder James W. DOUGHERTY, assumed management of his father's farm in the 1860's and by 1870 was sole owner of the family land.  At this site in 1880-1881 he erected a one-room house to which later additions were made.  The DOUGHERTY family has maintained the home since its construction and has often opened it for community gatherings.  Over the years the homeplace has been the site of weddings, music festivals and family reunions.  And at one time served as headquarters for the DOUGHERTY Rural Telephone Company.   Dougherty Farm Marker

 DOUGHERTY COMMUNITY CEMETERY

James W. DOUGHERTY and his wife Isabella brought their family to Texas from Kentucky in the late 1840's.  Joining the Colony of Charles Fenton MERCER, they settled in the area.  In 1851 they bought 640 acres here, where DOUGHERTY was a farmer and tanner.  In 1877 their son, Robert N. DOUGHERTY donated one acre at this site for public use as a community burial ground.  Two additional tracts of land, deeded to the Cemetery Association in 1935, were acquired from A.V. and Della TERRY.

EMORY CITY PARK

Rains County formed from Wood, Hopkins, Hunt and Van Zandt counties.  Created June 9, 1870; organized December 1, 1870.  Names in honor of Emory RAINS (1800-1878), member of the Texas Congress and Legislature.  Emory - the county seat.  (Texas Highway Department, 1936)  Another View of Marker

AMBROSE FITZGERALD (March 17, 1827 - June 15, 1893)

A native of Missouri, Ambrose Fitzgerald settled near here in 1846 on land that was then part of Nacogdoches County.  Since this area was included in the creation of later counties, he was able to serve as the first clerk for Van Zandt and Wood counties.  After participating in the Civil War, he returned here and became the Tax Assessor, District Clerk and County Clerk for Rains County.  A Baptist preacher, he baptized James S. HOGG, later the Governor of Texas. -- recorded 1983.

AMIS HOUSE
Built in 1910-1912, this residence features unusual cast-concrete block construction.  James Alexander Amis (1872-1939) poured and cured the blocks for his family's home.  A versatile businessman, Amis operated a sawmill, lumberyard, truck farm, cattle and hog farm, pickle factory, and an undertaking business.  He also sponsored the successful flight of a hot air balloon over Emory in 1914 and later led efforts to build Highway 19 through the city.  Researched and restored by Mrs. Aletha Amis Ashworth, of Austin, Texas, current owner (1985) of the Amis house and daughter of the builder.

SMYRNA CHURCH(a marker placed by the Farmer's Union)
   1885                                                         1958
              Smyrna Union Church
This house of worship is on the site of the old school house in which on September 2, 1902, Farmers Education and Cooperative Union of America (National Farmers Union) established its first local union.  The stated purpose was "to secure equity, establish justices, apply the Golden Rule".  The ten men who founded Farmers Union were residents of this area.  The organization which they here established has become known and respected throughout the agricultural world.  This tablet is erected to honor their names and memory :
     Jesse Adams                      T.J. Pound
     W.T. Cochran                   O.H. Rodes
     Tom Donaldson                 Dr. Lee Seamster
     Newt Gresham                  W.S. Sisk
     J.B. Morris                        J.S. Turner
Presented by James G. Patten, President, National Farmers Union, Denver Colorado
 

ISAAC NEWTON GRESHAM
Lone Star Cemetery
February 20, 1858 - April 10, 1906

In 1902 Alabama Native Isaac Newton "Newt" Gresham was a Rains county farmer and newspaper editor.  Wishing to help local farmers organize to take advantage of farm prices, he called a meeting in a nearby barn that summer, with an initial membership of ten neighbors, the Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union of America was founded.  At first a scret organization, the idea soon spread throughout the south and west.  The Union eventually became a national organization.  Gresham and his wife, Ida May, were the parents of 4 children.    Texas Sesquicentennial, 1836 - 1986

"In Memoriam"
Here, after 50 years, we meet to re-dedicate ourselves to the founding princples of the FARMERS Union.
                                                                                              ---National convention, 1952
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