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Keeping Williamson County’s History Alive and Recorded

by Commissioner Cook

  • 18 October 2018
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 4601

Eloise Brackenridge, Chair of the WCHC, welcomes Commissioner Cook to one of their monthly Board meetings at the Williamson County Historical Courthouse.The WCHC can request a historical marker during the fall season either from the Texas Historical Commission by applying per identified site at http://www.thc.texas.gov/ or from the National Historic Landmarks Program at http://www.nps.gov/orgs/1582/index.htm.

According to the THC, historical markers commemorate diverse topics in Texas history, including the history and architecture of houses, commercial and public buildings, religious congregations and military sites. Events that changed the course of local and state history and individuals who have made lasting contributions to our state, community organizations and businesses also can be eligible for these recognitions.

The Battle of Brushy Creek historical marker in Taylor indicates the location of a skirmish between Comanche raiders and a local militia in mid-winter of 1839 and was the last major battle between Anglo settlers and native Americans in Williamson County.

The group’s other goal for 2018-19 is conducting individual oral interviews on certain topics relevant to historical events and projects. Currently, 12 WCHC members are working on this project. When completed, the transcribed histories will be posted on the WCHC website.

Imagine reading about our local history told by those who experienced it, heard it firsthand, or studied it!

Have you ever visited or happened upon a cemetery with headstones toppled over and weeds covering the graves? The WCHC, through community volunteers, is remedying this. Their mission is to preserve historic cemeteries and maintain many of the old and abandoned cemeteries in the county.

These cemeteries are important keys to Texas’ past. They are reminders of settlement patterns and reveal information about historic events, religion, lifestyles and genealogy. To address the problem of cemetery destruction and to record as many cemeteries as possible, the THC sponsors the Historic Texas Cemetery designation.

WCHC has a cemetery committee with volunteers that clear dead trees, mow weeds and grass and repair broken or tilted tombstones. If you know of a cemetery needing repairs or recognition, please contact [email protected] and also contact them if you’d like to volunteer time toward cemetery cleanup and preservation.

To benefit the WCHC and have your name or that of a loved one enshrined on the Wilco Historic Courthouse’s grounds, the WCHC also offers their Memorial Brick Program. You can purchase a brick and select the name you want engraved on it.

The bricks are installed in one of the four corners of the Courthouse. Proceeds from this program will help further the oral history program. For more information on the brick program, please visit https://wilcohistory.org/memorial-brick-program/.

Members of the WCHC must be appointed by the Commissioners Court in January of odd-numbered years for a two-year term. We can also fill vacancies on the WCHC for the remainder of an unexpired term.

WCHC meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. in the Historic Courthouse in the Commissioners Courtroom and the public is invited.

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