We received an email from a concerned citizen regarding the condition of the Chisum Historical Marker and she informed us that there was trash around as people have been using the area as a “dumping ground.” The citizen told us that she is elderly and unable to care for it but requested that we ask the public for help to restore it and clean up the area.
The John S. Chisum, Confederate Beef Contractor historical marker has faded and weathered over the years and needs a group of people to help restore it. The marker is located in Concho County, four miles north of Paint Rock on the west side of Highway 83.
I emailed Leah Brown with the Texas Historical Commission media relations regarding the marker.
“We welcome any members of the public who wish to refinish historical markers to do so by following the instructions you referenced (in the video), available on our website,” Brown said in the email. “We do ask that the community members follow the guidelines in order to properly preserve the markers and that the interested community members seek permission first from private landowners in the event the marker is placed on private property, which many are.”
Lynnette Cen, the Marker Program Specialist in the History Programs Division
with the Texas Historical Commission, also responded.
“We do not have an official adoption for markers, though you can unofficially adopt a marker,” Cen said. “You can contact the Concho County Historical Commission Chair Ana Frances Loveless, PO Box 476, Eden, TX 76837-0476, 325.869.3071, to let her know that you wish to refinish the marker. We appreciate your help!”
Both of the replies that I received from the Texas Historical Commission came within 24 hours of me sending them an email, so they are available and willing to help.
The video on the how to restore the marker is a just over four minutes and available on the Texas Historical Commission website. The URL for the “how to video” is: http://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/state-historical-markers/refinishing-official-texas-historical. It’s a fairly simple process and the total cost of supplies required to restore the marker is around ten dollars. According to Brown there is no special permission needed to restore the marker. Cleaning up the trash in the area should take less than an hour.
Our historical markers belong to all of us and they represent us as Texans and embody the history of our great state. They are stepping-stones to our past and they deserve the care and attention needed to keep them in presentable condition for people who stop to visit each one. We should take pride in our history and show it through doing what is needed to restore the marker.
The text for the Chisum marker reads:
“On this site during the Civil War and later, grazed by tens of thousands the longhorns of cattle baron John S. Chisum. Ranch headquarters were 10 miles east. Here in 1863-1865, Chisum not only ranched but also was buyer of cattle to feed Confederate armies stationed west of the Mississippi River. Born in Tennessee, he came to the Republic of Texas in 1837. After a term as Lamar County clerk, started ranching in 1853. For room to expand, moved his well known “Jingle - Bob” herds to the Concho in 1863. Though he was not the man who gave the name to the famed northbound trail (this was Jesse Chisolm) John S. Chisum’s drives were heroic. Herds bound in wartime for Louisiana army camps had to by-pass or to fight Indians, rustlers and occasionally a federal patrol. Concho cattle had to swim across the deep, cold Brazos River. Here cowboys would prod a heavy, wild bull till he was angry; then he would turn on men and horses. Or the Brazos itself killed men and horses. Still beef went through to the Confederates. After the war, Chisum developed ranches in New Mexico and was a bystander in the Lincoln County Wars of Billy the Kid and other desperados. (1965)”
The lady who emailed us originally is not able to coordinate the work. If anyone is interested in volunteering themselves or their group for the work to restore the marker, email me here at the paper at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will follow up on the story with your groups and take some photos of the work that is done.