Oops! Errors in Historic Markers

The City of Allen applied to Texas authorities for a historic monument. Regrettably it was not approved. Some of the errors in the application might have led to it’s rejection.

Though the man for whom the town [of Allen] is named never lived here, Ebenezer Allen is an important … character in the story of Texas and is, therefore, an important figure to the city as well. Mister Allen came to Clarksville, Texas, in 1839 [1] from Maine with his wife and four children and established a law practice. In 1844 he was elected [2] Attorney General for the Republic of Texas and served in that capacity [3] when Texas was annexed to the United States. As Attorney General, ‘he drew up all the legal papers in connection with the Annexation of Texas in to the Union.’ [4] (Clarksville Times, February 13, 1959) In 1846 he moved to Galveston. And in 1850 he became the first man “elected” as attorney general for the state of Texas, the previous four having been appointed.

On March 11, 1848 Mr. Allen was awarded a Charter by the state to build a railroad. In his attempts to build it he was met with contempt and ridicule [5]. These people believed that the first railroad in Texas (and the only railroad in Texas at that time), the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad, amply served the needs of the state. Unable to get state funding [6] for the project he fired all the original board members and replaced them with men of wealth and property. (Reed, History of Texas Railroads) With their help he was able to get his initial funding and work began on Texas’ second railroad in 1853. At the outbreak of the civil war in 1861, 80 miles of track had been laid northward out of Houston at which time work on the railroad had ceased. During the civil war, Allen was involved in the torpedo industry for The Confederacy and died of apoplexy in a Richmond, Virginia restaurant on November 20th, 1863 [7]. (The Northern Standard, December 5, 1863.)

Regrettably, the marker was not approved by the Texas Historical Commission. There is no record of the reasons that the application was not accepted. Perhaps errors and omissions in the application caused the denial.

  1. Allen came to Texas in 1840 not 1839.
  2. In 1844, Sam Houston appointed Allen attorney general for the Republic of Texas. Allen was not elected to that post.
  3. When Anson Jones was elected president of the Republic, he selected Allen as attorney general. Shortly after his appointment, Allen was assigned the role of interim Secretary of State. He was more than attorney general during the annexation process.
  4. He played an important role in the annexation process, especially as an intermediary between President Jones and the United States chargé d’affaires to Texas Andrew J. Donelson. Many people were involved in forming documents associated with annexation.
  5. Allen applied for a charter to establish the Galveston and Red River Railroad.. Galveston residents were reluctant to invest in the road. They believed that communities that benefited from the road should pay for it. They focused their investments on improvements to port facilities.
  6.  When he was unable to obtain the funds necessary to meet the state’s requirements, he transferred the charter to Paul Bremond and Thomas House. Bremond and House included Allen on the railway’s board of directors. The name of line was changed to the Houston and Texas Central Railway on September 1, 1856.
  7. Allen represented Robert Creuzbaur and tried to obtain a patent for the Sea King.
  8. Allen and Creuzbaur worked as civilians for the Engineer Bureau of the Confederate States Army.
  9. Allen died under mysterious circumstances at the Gem Saloon in Richmond, Virginia on October 15, 1863 not on November 20, 1863.

Some of these errors became part of two markers at Allen Station Park.

corrected_marker

  1. Allen was born in Newport, New Hampshire not in Maine.
  2. He moved to Clarksville, Texas in 1840.

image_allen_park_station_corrected

3. The picture labeled Ebenezer Allen is actually Ebenezer Allen, Jr.

I hope that Allen will correct the errors in these markers and reapply for a State of Texas marker with the corrections noted above.

About Allen Mesch

Allen is a author, educator, and historian. He has written four books: The Analyst; Teacher of Civil War Generals; Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith; Charles A. Marvin - "One Year. Six Months, and Eleven Days", and Preparing for Disunion. He teaches classes on the American Civil War at Collin College. He has visited more than 130 Civil War sites and shares his over 4,000 photographs on Civil-War-Journeys.org. He blogs about the Civil War on Salient Points.
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2 Responses to Oops! Errors in Historic Markers

  1. Alan Mesches says:

    Have you contacted the Mayor or city mgr

    Like

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