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Historical Markers in Lewisville

First Baptist Church, Hebron
Marker Location: corner of FM 544 and Hebron Parkway in Hebron, 10 miles East of Lewisville
Marker Text: Organized in 1883 at the Willow Springs School, this congregation was known as Big Valley Baptist Church during the early years of its existence. A Sunday School, Willow Springs Union Sabbath School, was begun in 1886. E. C. Bramblett served as the first pastor. He was replaced by the Rev. John Turner, who was succeeded after one year by the Rev. R. G. M. Eiland. During Eiland's pastorate, toward the latter part of the nineteenth century, the congregation and Sunday School united with a nearby fellowship to become the Cemetery Hill Church and Union Sabbath School. In the early 1900s, during the pastorate of the Rev. D. B. Allen, the congregation relocated to the new town of Hebron and adopted the name Hebron Baptist Church. Their first sanctuary was completed in 1920. Over the years the fellowship has been active in missionary work and has produced several ministers from its membership. Now known as First Baptist Church, Hebron, the historic congregation has contributed much to the heritage of the area and has provided significant service and leadership to the residents of this part of Denton County. (1984)

Lane Chapel C.M.E. Church
Address: 615 Hembry St.
Marker Text: Anthony Hembry and six charter members, all former slaves, organized Lewisville Colored Methodist Episcopal (C. M. E.) Church in 1882. Lewisville had the largest African American population in Denton County and this church, called Lane Chapel after 1902 for Bishop Isaac Lane, was a significant social center. Other C. M. E. churches formed with the encouragement of this congregation. As rural Americans migrated to larger cities in the 1920s-1940s, the black population of Lewisville diminished and church membership dwindled. The church survived the late 20th century through donations and funds from other C. M. E. churches and the devotion of Lane Chapel members. A strong ministry in the 1990s led to a revival for Lane Chapel, and by the beginning of the 21st century membership had increased. (2000)

Lewisville Prehistoric Site
Marker Location: In Sailboard Point off Trotline Road, near the dam, in Lewisville Lake Park, off Lake Park Road, Lewisville
Marker Text: During the construction of Lewisville Dam in 1950, a number of aboriginal artifacts were unearthed, archeologists conducted several excavations (1952-57) before the waters of Garza-Little Elm Reservoir covered the site. The excavations revealed 21 hearths, vegetable matter, animal bone fragments and lignite (coal) which was used for fuel. Scientific radiocarbon dating techniques indicate the organic material is approximately 12,000 years old. The Lewisville discoveries are similar in age and content to findings at the Clovis site in New Mexico. (1980)

McCurley Cemetery
Marker Location: northeast corner of Grandy's Lane and McGee Lane, Lewisville
Marker Text: The McCurley family of Illinois settled in Denton County in 1852. George Collins McCurley set aside land for a burial ground, church, and school. A traveling stranger may have been the first burial, but George's brother, Abraham, who died in 1871, was the first family member buried at the site. The first marked graves date from 1877, when the plot began to be used by neighbors. In 1951 the 106 graves which then comprised the cemetery had to be relocated because of the construction of Lewisville Lake. They were moved here, adjoining Old Hall Cemetery, burial place of George C. McCurley. (1984)

Milliken House
Marker Location: 231 West Walters Street, Lewisville
Marker Text: Built by William Dickerson Milliken, born in Paducah, Ky., Nov. 1, 1848; married Margaret Crockett Young. Children: W. D., Jr.; Samuel Ramsey, M.D.; Thomas Gillespie; Martin Horace; Maggie Bell (Mrs. Edens); Charles Young; Elizabeth Angelina; John Barnes. After going into mercantile business in Lewisville in 1877, Milliken built this house, 1878. Framing is native oak. Siding was freighted from Port City of Jefferson, in East Texas. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1969

Old Hall Cemetery
Marker Location: 1200 block of McGee Lane and the intersection with Quaker Lane, Lewisville
Marker Text: In the 1840's the Republic of Texas government granted colonization contracts to people who would advertise and bring new settlers to Texas. The Peters Colony, led by W. S. Peters, was located in North Texas and included the area later known as Denton County. In 1844 families began arriving in this area, including those of John and James Holford of Missouri. The place where the Holford families settled, on the prairie west of Big Spring Creek (Big Elm), became known as Holford Prairie. By 1855 a two-story building was constructed for use as a community meeting place. Referred to as Holford Prairie Hall, it housed a Masonic Lodge on the second floor, and the first floor was used for school and church purposes. This cemetery, situated next to the lodge building, became known as Old Hall Cemetery. The earliest graves date to the 1850s and include many infants and children. According to local oral tradition, the first burial may have been that of a man who died as his family was traveling through the area. The cemetery contains over one hundred twenty-five burials from the nineteenth century. A cemetery association, organized in 1972, maintains the historic graveyard. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986

Peters Colony
Marker Location: 1197 West Main Street (FM 1171) in front of Municipal Building and City Hall, Lewisville
Marker Text: (within area encompassed by) A reservation of land made under an Empresario contract by the Republic of Texas, 1841. Its purpose was to introduce colonists into this area. Under the first of four contracts, W. S. Peters and 19 partners agreed to introduce 600 families in three years, to furnish each with seed, shot, and a cabin, and also to survey the land. Each family was to receive 640 acres of land free and each single man, 320 acres. Of this, the company could take half for its services. Three later contracts altered terms somewhat, and although the land company underwent several internal upheavals, by 1848 there were approximately 1,800 colonists and their families in the area. Resentment over the company's share of land climaxed in 1852 when settlers drove out the unpopular agent, Henry O. Hedgcoxe, in the so-called "Hedgcoxe War." Because of its success in opening a large area of the frontier and its later effect on Texas land and immigration policy, the law establishing this colony was one of the most important in the Republic. In spite of unusual tumult and hardship, the final Peters Colony area today extends over five counties and encompasses one-fourth of the state's population, including its largest combined metropolitan area. (1970)

Smith Cemetery
Address: 328 Smith Rd.
Marker Text: This area of Denton County was known as Holford's Prairie in the mid-19th century, named for brothers John and James Halford (Holford), pioneer settlers who obtained 640 acres of land as members of the Peters Colony. Basdeal W. Lewis platted the town of Lewisville in 1853. Thomas Morgan (1814-1887) and Elizabeth A. (1815-1883) Smith purchased 318 acres of land here in 1859. They sold two and one-half acres of their farmland to the Lewisville Masonic Lodge in 1881 for the establishment of a community cemetery. The site had been used as a burial ground since 1862, when the Smiths' 20-year-old son, James J. Smith, died and was buried on the family farm. His is the earliest marked grave in the Smith Cemetery. Among the pioneer Denton County family names that can be seen on gravestones here are Herod, Sherrill, Clayton, Skillern, Cobb, Jenkins, Temple, Bourland, Hamilton, Fenlaw, Oliver and Fox. John Moore (1834-1922) and Ann Eliza (1849-1923) Fox had the sad task of burying six children here between 1863 and 1882, a testament to the often harsh conditions of pioneer life. Local oral history records suggest that some of the unmarked graves in the Smith Cemetery are those of former slaves of the Julius Kane Fox family. The Smith Cemetery Association, organized in 1950 to maintain the historic graveyard, purchased the site from the Masonic lodge in 1972. Currently containing more than 400 marked graves and an unknown number of unmarked ones, the cemetery remains in use by the community and by descendants of the pioneer families interred here. (2001)

Texas International Pop Festival
Marker Location: 900 block of Lakeside Circle, at the A-train Hebron Station
Marker Text: The Texas International Pop Festival took place near this site during Labor Day weekend, 1969. It was held two weeks after the Woodstock Music and Art Fair introduced much of Mainstream America to the "Hippie" culture by way of news reports of the chaos that occurred there in part due to rainy weather and lax security. The Texas festival brought as many as 150,000 hippies, bikers and music lovers to Lewisville, which at the time had a population of approximately 9,000 citizens. The Dallas International Motor Speedway, situated along Interstate Highway 35 south of town was chosen as the location for the event. Twenty-five musical acts representing the genres of soul, blues and rock and roll performed during the three days of the festival. Acts included Janis Joplin, Sly & The Family Stone, Grand Funk Railroad, Chicago Transit Authority, Herbie Mann and a relatively unknown United Kingdom Band called Led Zepplin. On the north side of Lewisville, a public campground situated on the shores of Lewisville Lake served the thousands of festival attendees. A small "Free Stage" was constructed at the campground and local bands were brought in to perform for the campers. The skinny-dipping in Lake Lewisville that resulted from the lack of shower facilities and the late summer heat drew much attention. Many locals demanded that the festival be shut down because of the threat of violence and unsavory activity, but there were no acts of violence reported at the festival. However, area citizens were introduced to a culture that had previously been foreign to them and many who attended look back on the festival as a life-changing event. (2010)