Camp County Historical Markers
Thanks to the Texas Historical Commission for this information!
Bolton CemeteryFM 993, 3 miles S of Pittsburg
Ebenezer (Ebb) and Martha Bolton settled in this area in the 1850s. He established an extensive plantation and owned a number of slaves before the Civil War. Following Ebb Bolton's death in 1877, his widow made arrangements to provide land to their former slaves. This cemetery, which began in 1861 upon the death of Martha Bolton's mother, Rebecca Durley, became a part of the Bolton Community, a Freedmen's town that built up in the area. Still an active cemetery, both Ebb and Martha Bolton are interred here, as are many of the former slaves and their descendents.
3.5 miles N of Pittsburg on US Hwy 271
Formed from Upshur County. Created April 6, 1874; organized June 20, 1874. Named in honor of John Lafayette Camp (1828-1891), soldier, lawyer, statesman, member of the Constitutional Convention, 1866; state senator in 1874. Pittsburg is the county seat.
Camp, Colonel John L .5 miles N of Pittsburg on US Hwy 271
(1828-1891) Came to Texas from Alabama in 1849. Practiced law and taught school in Gilmer. In Civil War, organized and was elected captain of Co. E, 14th Texas Cavalry (dismounted), unit in famed Gen. M. D. Ector's brigade. In thick of fight, in Tennessee and Georgia, was wounded twice, captured twice, was in prison camp at the war's end. Elected to Congress in 1866, was denied his seat because of Confederate service. Served as district judge and state senator. Campaigned for adoption of Constitution of 1876, to end reconstruction in Texas.
Camp County Courthouse Located at 126 Church Street in Pittsburg.
The Texas Legislature created Camp County from the northern part of Upshur County in 1874, and voters chose Pittsburg as their county seat. The county built its first courthouse in 1881. As Pittsburg grew, the two-story brick edifice became too small for the county's needs, and in 1928 commissioners hired the Paris, Texas architectural firm of Smith and Praeger to design a new house of justice. Contractors Wentzel and Wood received the contract for the construction, which was completed in December 1928. The Classical Revival courts building features a stepped parapet,
flat arched windows and Corinthian columns. Today, the courthouse remains a central part of life in Camp County. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Carnegie Library - First one in the State of Texas Marshall St (SE corner) in Pittsburg
At 1898 request of firm mining coal in Pittsburg, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie gave $5,000.00 to match local pledges and build the first Carnegie Library (of 31) in Texas on this site. the masonry building was also the opera house and city hall. Library had 3,000 books. It became a social center, with meeting rooms for clubs and groups such as ladies sewing for World War I hospitals. The opera house staged professional drama and lectures and was used for graduations and recitals until modern school was built in 1926. The library burned in 1939.
Center Point Community Center Point Baptist Church on FM 2057, 10 miles SE of Pittsburg
In 1865 black Freedmen began this community. The Center Point Baptist Church was organized in 1873. The Industrial Union was chartered in 1889 to aid settlers in buying farms and building homes. A cooperative managed a brick kiln, sawmill and cotton gin. Under the leadership of Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Cash, the first principals, Center Point School became an important vocational facility. Students erected most of the structures on the 14-acre campus and there was a cooperative boarding plan. The school was consolidated with Pittsburg in 1950.
Center Point School 7 miles SE of Pittsburg on FM 557, then 3 miles E on CR 2057 at intersection with CR 4247
Began as a Freedmen's community about 1865-70. The Willie Johnson family were the first settlers and were soon joined by other families. In 1899 G. W. Goulsby opened a one-room school, the first in the settlement; Pete Griffin was the first teacher. In 1916 a new five-room school was built. In later years campus additions, partly funded by the Julius Rosenwald Fund, included a teacherage, library, dormitories, cafeteria, and gymnasium. Students maintained a farm and garden and operated a cannery. Center Point School was closed in 1952.
Cherokee Trace 6 miles NW of Pittsburg on FM 21
This Indian trading route to Arkansas and Oklahoma was laid out by Cherokees. A tribesman with a keen sense of direction pulled buffalo hides behind his horse to press down the tall grass. Groups of Indians followed blazing the trail, removing logs and underbrush, and marking fords. Others located springs and good camping places. After the road was established the Cherokees planted roses and honeysuckle which still mark the old trace. After the Indians were driven out, settlers came into texas by this route. The first residents in Camp County lived on the trail.
Cottonbelt RR Depot in Pittsburg
Quitman St in Pittsburg
The narrow gauge Texas & St. Louis (Cotton Belt) Railroad arrived in Pittsburg in 1880. William Harrison Pitts, founder of Pittsburg, had donated land for a railroad depot in 1875. This depot, the second built on this site, was completed in 1901 and served the railroad until 1968, although passenger service ended in 1946. The depot is a good local example of Victorian-era design with influences of the Queen Anne style. Features include dormers on the side facades, two internal end chimneys rising from the gable roof, and an attached frame freight depot. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1991
E Fore-Stafford-Paris House
333 Quitman St in Pittsburg
This Victorian residence with ornate gingerbread woodwork was built in 1899 for the family of Eugene Fore. In 1913 it was sold to Camp County Sheriff J. D. Stafford, who lived here for 24 years. Dr. Ernest Paris, a prominent local chiropractor, and his wife Margret, bought the home in 1941. Other community leaders who resided here include Dr. R. Y. Lacy and Dr. R. C. Treynham, whose wife Cora was the stepdaughter of W. H. Pitts, for whom the town was named.Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981
Ebenezer Cemetery 5513 FM 557
Ebenezer Cemetery was officially established when Israel B. Rape deeded property for the cemetery in 1857. However, Rape and his wife Sarah are buried in Pittsburg's Rosehill Cemetery. Ebenezer community was founded by the Rapes and several other pioneering families who arrived in the area from Georgia during the 1850s. The oldest known burial in the cemetery is that of infant Pairlie Clementine Bailey, who died in September 1870. A cemetery association was organized in 1971 to preserve and maintain the site. The cemetery has been enlarged through donations of property and now contains two acres. Today, Ebenezer Cemetery remains active and serves as a reminder of an early Camp County settlement. Historic Texas Cemetery
Ezekiel Airship Fulton St at S Market by railroad tracks
Baptist minister and inventor Burrell Cannon (1848-1922) led some Pittsburg investors to establish the Ezekiel airship Company and build a craft described in the Biblical book of Ezekiel. The ship had large, fabric-covered wings powered by an engine that turned four sets of paddles. It was built in a nearby machine shop and was briefly airborne at this site late in 1902, a year before the Wright brothers first flew. Enroute to the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, the airship was destroyed by a storm. In 1913 a second model crashed, and the Rev. Cannon gave up the project.
505 CR 3322
It was the vision of Leesburg physician and banker J.B. Florence that led to creation of the Ferndale Club, once called Fern, Fin and Feathers. In 1908, Florence and friends planned a hunting and fishing club. Drawing members from Pittsburg, the men bought land along Lilly Creek and built a dam at Flat Ford, creating Ferndale Lake. The popular fishing and duck hunting club, chartered in July 1909, expanded its membership and, in 1912, built a clubhouse to accommodate guests and social functions. The club continues as of 2003, utilizing professionally managed wildlife habitat and fish stocking programs.
First Methodist Church of Pittsburg
207 Mt Pleasant St in Pittsburg
The charter members of this church, organized in 1857 by the Rev. J. W. Harvey Hamill, included Major and Mrs. w. H. Pitts and others in the Pitts family, for whom this town was named. The congregation worshipped first in a log structure, then shared a 2-story frame building with the Masonic Lodge. A larger frame sanctuary was erected in 1888-89. It was replaced by this brick prairie style church, constructed (1904-05) during the pastorate of the Rev. E. L. Shettles. In 1953 the educational wing was added. In 1957, the fellowship's centennial year, membership was 546. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1976
Garrett, W L Building 102 Quitman St at Mt Pleasant St in Pittsburg
Constructed in the 1890s, this building began as a one-story commercial structure. W. L. Garrett (1867-1931) bought the property in 1902 for his mercantile business and in 1923 added a second story. In addition to Garrett's store, the building also housed other retail businesses and medical offices over the years. A landmark structure in Pittsburg, the Garrett Building is simple in design, featuring an inset entry and a corbelled brick cornice. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Holly Springs Baptist Church 11 miles SE of Pittsburg on FM 557 at intersection with CR 4435
The Bluff Springs Baptist and Philadelphia Baptist churches, both established near here by post-Civil War immigrants, merged in 1903 to form the Holly Springs Baptist Church of Christ; the Rev. B. H. Sims served as its first pastor. The congregation joined the Liberty Baptist Association in 1903 and built its first sanctuary here, on land donated by Mrs. Harriet Coffman, sometime prior to 1916. A new sanctuary, built here in 1928, was the site of the association's 1929 and 1957 annual meetings. the church, known as a training ground for young ministers, continues to serve the local community.
Independent Hope Baptist Church 6055 FM 993
In the late 1880s, African-American residents of the Bolton community held worship services under a brush arbor. By 1898, Polk and Elizabeth Bolton deeded land for a church building. Members completed the structure for Bolton Church, which would also serve as the focal point of the settlement. In 1942, the congregation replaced the old building, which was destroyed by a storm, and also gave the church its current name. Since the church's early years, members have worked diligently to help others in the community, particularly the elderly and sick. Today, Independent Hope Baptist Church continues to serve as a beacon of light in Camp County.
Leesburg CemeteryHwy 11 and FM 1519 intersection, 7 miles W of Pittsburg
Dwight Hays Townsend (1835-1905) donated land for this cemetery around 1870. The graves of two children, which were relocated here from the Leesburg Schoolyard, are thought to be the earliest burials on the site. The oldest marked grave is that of Tapley Wylie (1836-1870). This cemetery is the primary burial ground for the rural community of Leesburg. Those interred here include pioneer settlers, community leaders, a large number of infants and children, and veterans of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam.
Matinburg Cemetery7.7 miles SW of Pittsburg on the W side of FM 556
According to local tradition, this cemetery began when migrant W.P. Jones buried his wife, Delila, here in 1871, hoping to later bury her in an established graveyard nearby. Her burial nevertheless remains the cemetery's earliest on record. O.S. and Jane Bradfield deeded the cemetery land to the Fairview Baptist Church in 1883. Annual spring cleanups, which began in 1909, have become a cherished tradition for descendants of persons buried here. Interred in this cemetery are pioneers, members of fraternal orders, and veterans of conflicts from the Civil War to Vietnam.
New Mine Baptist Church 2 miles SW of Pittsburg on FM 556, then 1.5 miles W on FM 1519
This congregation traces its history to 1892 when Mr. and Mrs. G. O. Hart gave an acre of land for a new church building. The church was officially organized on September 11, 1892, and the Rev. J. H. Floyd served as the first pastor. One of the main reasons for the establishment of this congregation was so the members would not have to travel to Pittsburg for worship services. It has remained a small rural church, with various structures built over the years to accommodate the membership, which includes descendants of charter members.
New Mine Cemetery 3.5 miles SW of Pittsburg at intersection of FM 1519 and CR 3212
George O. and Julia F. Hart deeded land to the New Mine Baptist Church on July 20, 1892, and ten years later sold additional land to the congregation. For many years, area residents used nearby cemeteries when loved ones passed away. These burial grounds included Reeves Chapel Cemetery, approximately one mile west; others were buried in Pittsburg cemeteries. In May 1930, the New Mine Baptist congregation began plans for establishing a burial ground of its own adjacent to the church site. That year, James M. Quillion died, and he was the first buried in New Mine Cemetery. In 1937, George Hart, who had died in 1929, was reinterred here at the request of his widow and children. The congregation installed the first fence in 1939, later replacing it and adding brick pillars at the arched entryway. The congregation has continued to use and maintain the historic burial ground. An annual memorial church service and business meeting, followed by dinner and fellowship under the pavilion, serves as a reunion for descendants of those buried here.
Historic Texas Cemetery
Pitts Family Cemetery200 Quitman St in Pittsburg
The Pitts family cemetery was established by William Harrison Pitts, founder of Pittsburg. According to family history, the earliest burial on this site was that of Sarah Richardson Harvey Pitts, the third wife of W.H. Pitts and mother of their daughter Ella, in 1862. Confederate Corporal Joseph H. Pitts was buried here in 1863. Others interred here include W.H. Pitts' mother, Drucilla Neal Pitts, and five of his eight siblings. These members of the large Pitts family left their Georgia plantations and reestablished their households here on the Texas frontier in the mid 19th century. They shaped early Camp County and saw Pittsburg grow into a thriving village. The cemetery remains a chronicle of early Camp County history and culture.
Pitts, William Harrison 200 Quitman St in Pittsburg - close to Cemetery
(1815 - 1898) Born in Georgia to Hardy and Drucilla (Neal) Pitts, William Harrison Pitts moved his plantation household to this area by 1854. He purchased 200 acres and built a home near this site. A settlement began to spring up, and a post office was established with the name "Pittsburg." Pitts acquired more land over the next few years, setting aside 50 acres for thetown's development. In 1874, his offer of $50 toward a new courthouse was a deciding factor in the election of Pittsburg as the seat of the newly organized Camp County. The town became a junction of two railroad lines in the late 1870s and by 1880 it had a population of 750. The "Pittsburg Gazette" was first published in 1884. William Harrison Pitts was married four times and had two children. A merchant, civic leader, and veteran of the Creek Indian wars, he died in 1898.
Pittsburg City 140 Quitman St at Market St in Pittsburg
Anglo settlement of this area began in the 1850s. The W. H. Pitts (1815-1898) family arrived from Georgia in 1854, and soon were joined by more settlers from the southern United States. Pitts donated land for a townsite, which was named in his honor. In 1874, when Camp County was created from Upshur County, Pittsburg became county seat. Two railroad lines were built through the area by 1880, and in 1891 the citizens voted to incorporate their town. Pittsburg continues to serve as a transportation, business, marketing, and cultural center for the county.
Reeves Chapel2 miles SW of Pittsburg on FM 556, then 2 miles W on FM 1519, then .5 miles S on CR 3326
When a migrant worker died in 1879, there was no cemetery in this community. Counce Reeves, a Civil War veteran who had come from Hamilton County, Georgia, and his wife Selina, gave two acres at this site for a church and burial ground. The Rev. D. Dane of Jefferson led in organizing the Reeves Chapel Methodist Church. The congregation erected a brush arbor and in the fall of 1879 constructed a frame meeting house. Later Reeves deeded an additional two acres. After the fellowship grew, members initiated efforts to erect a larger building in 1907.
Riley Cemetery AKA County Line 14 miles SE of Pittsburg on FM at County Line Baptist Church
The oldest documented grave in this cemetery, that of Louise Gillum, dates to 1859. The land was acquired by John Riley, Sr., in 1875, and became known as Riley Cemetery. Early settlers buried here include John and Elizabeth Keeling Riley and their five children; Confederate Capt. George W. Keeling, a former member of the Georgia State Legislature; the family of M. H. Couch, whose name graces Couch Mountain, Camp County's highest elevation point; and many area pioneers whose descendants continue to live in the area and maintain the historic graveyard.
Saint Beulah Christian Methodist Episcopal Church 105 Lewis St in Pittsburg
The C.M.E. Church in Pittsburg was organized by the Rev. Joseph Lloyd, who came here between 1870 and 1889. The name St. Beulah was adopted after this sanctuary was constructed in 1896. The wood frame Gothic revival building has an asymmetrical facade with two towers of differing sizes. The stained glass lancet windows were donated by various members of the congregation. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1985
Sheppard-Abernathy House (Later known as the Abernathy House)
217 Mt Pleasant St in Pittsburg
Home of the Sheppard family from 1884, when the house was built, until 1891. During that time John L. Sheppard (1852-1902) served as district attorney and then judge for Fifth Judicial District. In 1899 he was elected to U. s. Congress and died in office. His son, Morris Sheppard (1875-1941), succeeded him in congress, then served with distinction in U. S. Senate from 1913-1951. House has eight fireplaces and secret passageway between floors. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1974
Shootout at the Pittsburg Depot 204 W Marshall St in Pittsburg
A domestic dispute involving George "Dallas" Smart, wife Annie and U.S. Army Lt. John W. Heard resulted in a public confrontation here on Feb. 10, 1885 as Heard planned to leave town. In the ensuing struggle, fueled by a crowd, Heard shot and killed Dallas Smart. The next day, Heard appeared before County Judge M. N. Brooks, who determined it was self-defense and ordered him released. A question of legal authority caused the state attorney general to rule the trial proper, given the judge's role as magistrate. Heard later defended himself in a court martial and a subsequent trial on the incident, and went on to a distinguished military career. Annie Smart rewed and died in the New Mexico Territory in 1900.
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