Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

History

Scope and Contents

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description of the Collection

Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Jefferson, Texas Scrapbook



Overview of the Collection

Creator: Jefferson, Texas Scrapbook
Title: Jefferson, Texas Scrapbook
Dates: 1860-1965
Accession No.: MA88.20
Quantity: .45 cubic feet
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Texas/Dallas History & Archives, Dallas Public Library 1515 Young St Dallas, TX 75201

History

Jefferson, Texas is located on Big Cypress Bayou, a natural barrier flowing into Caddo Lake and the Red River in Marion County, East Texas. The exact date the town was established is a source of controversy. Some sources say it was in 1836; others say in 1843. In reality, it was probably somewhere in between. The town was officially incorporated by an act of the State Legislature March 20, 1848, but election of city officials were delayed until 1850. Due to its location and access to the Red River, the town flourished as a trade port and became known as Queen of the Cyprus.

The coming of the railroads to Texas is one of the contributing factors to the decline of Jefferson as a trade port. Legends say that the city officials refused to allow railroad tycoon, Jay Gould, the right of way thought the town. After being refused, Jay Gould cursed the town and rerouted the railroad. There is substantial evidence that this is a fictional account, but the legend sparked town unity and remains as a popular town tail. Jay Gould's private railroad car was brought to Jefferson and currently serves as one of the tourist attractions. One of the key factors in determining the railroad terminus was an act of legislature requiring the railroad to come through Browder Springs, which brought the railroad to Dallas. Dallas became the main trade center, even though the railroad did eventually pass through Jefferson.

The other factor in the decline of the town was the removal of a natural barrier known as the Red River Raft. Another area of historical controversy concerns the reason for the removal. Some claim it was a plot designed by the railroad to punish the town, as well as to stop competition by river transport. The "official" reason for the removal concern the water levels needed for the farmland up river. Whatever the reason, the removal of the barrier caused the water levels to decrease, making continued steamboat navigation impossible.

Today, Jefferson is known as the town that would not die. Although it did not become a large trading center, the town serves as one of the main tourist areas of Texas. Many of the antebellum homes have been restored, preserved, and opened as museums. The town was also the site of one of the most famous criminal trials in the state, the Rothchild case, also known as the murder of Diamond Bess. Bess Moore's gravesite has been preserved and is a historic site for visitors. An annual tour of historic homes and buildings brings people to the town every spring. The town serves as a historical replica of early living in Texas.

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Scope and Contents

Contains photographs, brochures, and other information concerning the historic buildings in Jefferson, Texas.

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Places:
Jefferson, Texas
Titles:
Jefferson, Texas Scrapbook

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

MA88.20 Jefferson, Texas Scrapbook, Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Processing Information

Processed by Cindy Smolovik, Archivist

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 
Box Folder
1 1 Beard House or Goetzman House

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Box Folder
1 2 Blue Bonnet Farm

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Box Folder
1 3 Mary Carlson House

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Box Folder
1 4 Mrs. Mary Carlson

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Box Folder
1 5 Christ Episcopal Church of Jefferson

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Box Folder
1 6 David Culbertson and W.W. Sloan

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Box Folder
1 7 Col. Epperson House - "House of Seasons"

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Box Folder
1 8 Excelsior Hotel

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Box Folder
1 9 Fire Engine

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Box Folder
1 10 Freeman Plantation House

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Box Folder
1 11 Jay Gould - Private Railroad Car

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Box Folder
1 12 Guarding Oak

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Box Folder
1 13 The Manse

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Box Folder
1 14 The Manse - Builder, General J.H. Rodgers

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Box Folder
1 15 Marion County Courthouse

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Box Folder
1 16 Scantlin Home

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Box Folder
1 17 F.A. Schluter Homestead - "Old Schluter House"

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Box Folder
1 18 W.B. Ward House

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Box Folder
1 19 Street scenes, c. 1880s

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Box Folder
1 20 Pilgrimage Cook Cook

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Box Folder
1 21 Bank Drafts - (4); 1874, 1875, 1875, 1876

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Box Folder
1 22 Loyalty Oath - U.S. January 15, 1869 - C.F. Garland

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Box Folder
1 23 Registration - voters - January 15, 1869 - C.F. Garland

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Box Folder
1 24 Visitors Guides to Annual Pilgrimage to Historic Old Jefferson Homes, 1951-1965

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