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Liberty and Vicinity (Liberty County)

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Liberty, county seat of Liberty County, was platted in 1831 on the east bank of the Trinity River by surveyor José Francisco Madero and his associate José María de Jesús Carbajal. La Villa de la Santísima Trinidad de la Libertad lay just south of the ford where the Atascocito Trail, the camino realfrom Saltillo, Coahuila, to Louisiana, intersected the Trinity. The town was the seat of government of the Mexican ayuntamiento (township) of Liberty, which covered portions of thirteen later counties in the southeast corner of Texas. Madero's town plan was a square of seven blocks by seven blocks with spaces reserved for various civic uses. The central block was to be an open plaza, the Plaza Constitucional (where the City Hall is now located), flanked on the east by a block reserved for the seat of government (Now the Liberty County Courthouse Square) and on the west by a church (the site of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church). In the east–west band of city blocks between Sam Houston and Trinity avenues, blocks were also reserved for a jail and a public market. A sixth block was designated as a school block. Following Anglo-American practice, public buildings were built in the squares. Today only Courthouse Square preserves its spatial identity as a public square. A small but distinctive collection of houses, dating from the 1840s to the 1860s, documents the influence of Louisiana Creole culture in Liberty. Liberty remained a village until 1925, when the South Liberty oil field was brought in. The prominence of Art Deco buildings along Main Street testifies to the wealth oil produced during the depths of the Great Depression.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.

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