July 2, 2007


Gonzales, Texas (population: 7,202), Gonzales County seat, is 65 miles S of Austin, 65 miles E of San Antonio, and 130 miles W of Houston.

Outside of Nacogdoches, whose history predates the Texan Revolution, Gonzales is a town significant to Texas history. During the colonial period of 1825 to 1835, there were many problems with the Comanche and Tonkawa Indians. In 1831, the Mexican government sent Gonzales a six-pound cannon as protection against the Indians. This cannon was used in the "Come and Take It" battle on October 2, 1835, firing the first shot in the Texas Revolution. But how very American that is - we stole something from someone, then killed them when they tried to get it back.

"Come and Take It" driving tour signs

The State of Texas erected this monument in 1910 to honor those men who fought for and won Texas independence. The inscription on the north side reads “ERECTED BY THE STATE OF TEXAS IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THOSE HEROES WHO MADE THIS SPOT HISTORIC AS THE BIRTH-PLACE OF TEXAS INDEPENDENCE” GONZALES, TEXAS 1910. On the south side is a panel, depicting several Texas frontiersmen gathered around the cannon. Across the bottom are sculpted the words "Come and Take It."

Erected in 1910 by the United Daughters of The Confederacy, the Confederate Monument was created by sculptor Frank Teich. The inscription on the north side reads ”OUR CONFEDERATE DEAD 1861-1865”. The inscription on the south side reads ”LEST WE FORGET”.

J.B. Kennard House, c. 1895 (Queen Anne style)

J.D.Houston House, c. 1898 (Queen Anne style) - Dunn was one of Gonzales’ early cattle barons.
Directly across the street from the J.D. Houston house was this former Mobil gas station. We at first thought it might be vintage, from the 1940s or '50s. A local confirmed that it was at one time a Mobil, but it had been fixed up by someone to be used as an office.

Gonzales County Courthouse (c. 1894, Romanesque Revival style)

the Randle-Rather Building, c. 1895

The bottom two stories of the red brick building were built in 1891. The third story was added in 1892. When outlaw John Wesley Hardin was released from prison he set up his law offices on the second floor of this building. It is now owned by the Gonzales Masonic Lodge.

the Hoskins Building, c. 1888 - was the home to B.B. Hoskins’ mercantile store

the Crystal Theatre, c. 1917

the Lynn Theatre, c. 1948

This old mansion was a couple of blocks away from Confederate Square, and it had the overgrown feel of the type of estate found in Tennessee Williams plays or William Faulkner novels. The name on the rusty old gate said "Walnut Ridge."

the J.F. Miller House - J.F. Miller came to Texas from Tennessee in 1845. He began practicing law but later became a successful banker. Although Miller purchased the lots for his house in 1868, he did not begin construction on his home, named "Walnut Ridge," until the late 1800s. It was the first large Greek Revival home in Gonzales. It was designed by J. Riely Gordon and was completed in 1901.(info from Gonzales Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture)
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