History
Touring Independence
Bike Tours
Lighted Church Tour
Preserving Independence
How To Find Us
News & Events
Local Directory
Related Links
Home

 


In June 1880, Independence
was a town of
424 people—
the United States census taker enumerating
291 white,
112 black, and
21 mulatto
residents.
When Baylor classes were in session, the population would increase by at least 100 people, maybe even double that, with the addition of out-of-town students, professors, and entire families who moved into town for the scholastic year.

 

 


O
n March 9, 1880, the Independence correspondent of the Brenham newspaper reported, "A peripatetic photographer has been here securing shadows, ere the substance fades." Thanks to that nameless photographer, we have the only image known to exist of Independence, Texas, in the 19th century.

The photographer took his picture from the Baylor campus on Windmill Hill (the approximate location of the reconstructed bell tower) and pointed his camera towards the northeast. The image he captured shows a collection of buildings that were built before the Civil War. Although some properties had changed owners after the war, physically, the town itself had changed very little. The road in the foreground—in front of the Robertson House—was the primary road in and out of Independence.

Some of these landmarks can still be seen in the village today.
Click on the images below for more information.

Mrs. Sam Houston House
Adobe House
General Jerome B. Robertson House
Town Square

Find where these sites are located on our Independence Map.

Return to TOURING INDEPENDENCE to see other historic sites.

 
1880 photo: The Texas Collection, Baylor University. Other photos: Ellen Beasley. Research and content by Ellen Beasley.

©2007-2014
Independence Preservation Trust
Twenty Briar Hollow Lane
Houston, Texas 77027-2893
All rights reserved.  Terms of Use.

Website design by Jerry Olson Design