"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce.
|The "Halfway House" was located midway between|
San Augustine and Nacogdoches and became
a stagecoach stop.
|Located 11 miles west of San Augustine, the Milton|
Garrett cabin was built in 1826 and is probably
the oldest log cabin standing in Texas.
|Diorama at the Mission Dolores Museum.|
|Christ Episcopal Church opened in 1870.|
Thomas J. Rusk, prominent political leader, practiced law in San Augustine. So did Sam Houston and J. Pinckney Henderson, first Governor of the Lone Star State. Judge William Ochiltree was a formidable jurist, and young District Attorney Oran M. Roberts went on to become Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and Governor of Texas. A prominent early physician was John S. Ford, who came to Texas at 21 in 1836, and after two years of service in the Texas Army he settled in San Augustine to practice medicine. (Later Ford moved and returned to military service in the Mexican War, and as a Texas Ranger captain and Confederate colonel, but his first home in Texas was in San Augustine.)
|The First Methodist Church organized in 1836|
and the current sanctuary was built in 1909.
|Bill stands in front of the old jail.|
|Judge H.K. Polk moved into his new home in 1840.|
|Judge Ezekial Cullen built this Greek Revival |
house in 1839.
The rich and colorful history of San Augustine is prevalent throughout the community. The site of Mission Dolores is under the archaeological supervision of Dr. George Avery, and an excellent mission museum center stands nearby. Downtown the Augus Theatre, which dates back to the 1920s, now is owned by the San Augustine County Historical Society and is an excellent museum and, on occasion, a performing theatre. The “Athens of Texas” remains on display with fine old homes, churches, and other venerable buildings.
|This home was built in 1839 for Col. Stephen W. Blount,|
who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.