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Historical Sites

Joaquin, Texas

Joaquin, Shelby County, Texas

Our History

Benjamin Franklin Morris came to Texas in 1838 and settled in the northeast part of Shelby County in a village called Sarat. He gave right-of-way through 500 acres of his land to the Houston East and West Texas Railroad in 1884. His one stipulation was that the passenger train would make stops in the town, and the railroad agreed.

Sometime later, Morris' grandson, Joaquin, was killed in a hunting accident. In honor of his grandson, Morris donated a one hundred acre townsite, and the town of Joaquin was established in 1887.


Historical Markers

B.F. Morris and Town of Joaquin

Alabama born Benjamin Franklin Morris (1827-1900) came to Texas in 1838 and settled in the area that became the pioneer village of Sarat. A prosperous farmer and rancher, he gave right of way through 500 acres of his land to the Houston, East and West Texas Railroad in 1884. He also provided a 100 acre townsite to be named for his grandson Joaquin (1878-1898). Morris, a Confederate veteran, requested that a depot be built in Joaquin and that passenger trains stop daily. Later, Morris donated a building site for the First Baptist Church of Joaquin.

Joaquin is located on U.S. Hwy. 84.

Townsite of Spivey

The townsite of Spivey was founded by Civil War veteran James Jackson Spivey. Brothers Elisha P. and Georve W. Spivey lived nearby. Houston East and West Texas Railroad crossed the founder's land, and Spivey Station was founded in 1886.

During the late 1880's, Hick's Lumber Mill and workers' houses were erected. A U.S. Post Office was established in 1891, and Isaac W. Spivey was its postmaster. Friendship Baptist Church was organized during the 1890's and James M. Spivey was pastor. After 1900, the town gradually moved over to Paxton Switch. Friendship Cemetery, with 33 graves, marks the old site.

Located 1.5 miles east of Paxton on Hwy. 84 between Tenaha and Joaquin.

Fellowship Baptist Church

One of the oldest Baptist churches in Texas, Fellowship Baptist Church was founded by settlers who came by ferry across the Sabine River as early as 1818. After a number of homes were built on hills near good springs of water, a church was considered essential. It is recorded that this church ministered to spiritual needs in the Republic of Texas Era. Congregations assembled by riding many miles, usually in farm wagons with baskets of food.

The original log building had split log benches and was heated by an eight-foot fireplace with a mud chimney. The windows, without glass, had shutters on wooden hinges.

In season, school was held in the early building. The name "Fellowship" honored loyalties among the pioneer families. The first pastor was Rev. Wyatt A. Childress, a kinsman of one of the authors of the Texas Declaration of Independence, George C. Childress. The first church clerk was Dr. John Moses Taylor.

The second church building was erected of plank construction after sawmills were in use in the 1870's. The church was relocated and remodeled several times. The present structure was build in 1939 and enlarged in 1962. The old "Busboy Place" spring, initially responsible for the choice of the site, still supplies water for the church and baptistry.

Located 2 miles south of Joaquin on FM 2787.

International Boundary Marker

The only marker of international boundary known to exist within the Continental United States is located west of Joaquin, Texas. The marker is located on the Texas-Louisiana border about fifty yards north of Texas Farm Road 31. The site was once the boundary between the United States and the Republic of Texas in 1840.