Saturday, April 11, 2015
Many a time as I travel along rural highways I see the small signs by the side of the road announcing that a historical marker is ahead. The sign generally gives a mile notice and I spend what I estimate is the distance of a mile looking for the marker. So many of them slipped by before I was able to slow down enough to see them. Sometimes traffic or time schedules keep me from stopping. That's kind of a poor excuse since these signs are commemorating a person or event and are put along the highways for people to stop, read and, maybe, learn something. Today I was traveling up route 83 in west Texas and I decided to stop at a few of the markers (there were many) and read the plaques. This marker tells about John Chisolm, a cattle baron, who was a rancher in the area with a herd of thousands of longhorn cattle. He was famous for his cattle drives, crossing the dangerous waters of the Brazos River with his large herd and delivering the cattle to the confederacy in the east. Farther down the road I found another marker that was dedicated to Samuel Maverick, a farmer from this area who fought in the Texas war for independence and was instrumental in negotiating the surrender of soldiers in San Antonio. Each sign is different and, yet, in some ways they are all the same...like little gifts given to the public to be enjoyed. So, the next time you are driving along a rural highway and you see a sign announcing a historical marker is ahead, take the time to slow down and see (read) for yourself. Please. You will not be disappointed.