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Springfield, Texas

Springfield, the first county seat of Limestone County, was in the north central part of the county at a site now included in Fort Parker State Park. It became a townsite in January 1838, when Moses Herin donated land for that purpose. By the spring of that year twelve families had settled in the area. The community was named either for the springs in the area or for Springfield, Illinois. When Limestone County was established in 1847, Springfield became the county seat, and a post office was established. The community had 120 residents when it was incorporated by the legislature the following year. By the 1850s Springfield had five general stores, two hotels, two schools, a newspaper, and a Masonic hall. In the early 1870s the Houston and Texas Central Railroad began negotiating to buy rights of way through Springfield. When residents held out for more money than the railroad company was willing to pay, the company decided to bypass Springfield altogether. As a result, the settlement lost much of its business to towns like Groesbeck and Mexia that were on the railroad. After the courthouse at Springfield burned in 1873, Limestone County residents decided to make Groesbeck the county seat. With no railroad, no new businesses, and none of the prestige associated with being the county seat, Springfield faded, as its population was drawn to more vital communities. The post office was discontinued in 1878, and mail for the remaining residents was sent to Groesbeck. When the former townsite became part of Fort Parker State Park in the mid-1930s, only the cemetery remained. The town of Springfield was honored with a Texas Historical Marker in 1966, and the cemetery received a marker in 1969. Source: Handbook of Texas Online.

Springfield. Named for the large spring on townsite donated Jan. 6, 1838, by Moses Herrin, who gave 4 lots to any person agreeing to settle in the town. 12 families later in 1838 were forced out by Indian hostility. Post office was established in 1846. When Limestone County was created April 11, 1846, Springfield-- its only town of any size-- became county seat. First courthouse was built 1848 near Navasota River; new 2-story brick courthouse in 1856 on the hill. Home of Springfield District of Methodist Church from which stemmed the Northwest Texas Conference. Also had active Baptist and Disciples of Christ churches. Springfield College was established, but closed during the Civil War. The Navasota Stock Raisers Association was organized here. When Houston & Texas Central Railroad was built some miles to the East in 1870, population dwindled. In 1873 there were 2 great fires in the town-- one burning the courthouse. Surviving buildings were moved away. Groesbeck became the county seat. The old cemetery and Springfield Lake, both in Fort Parker State Park, retain the historic name of the once important town. Lake Springfield provides recreation, irrigation and municipal water. Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1966. Located on SH 14, 500 ft south of Fort Parker State Park entrance on west side of road.

Springfield Cemetery. Established as a 10-acre community burial ground in town plat dedicated Jan. 6, 1838, by Moses Herrin. Earliest graves probably never had stone markers because of primitive frontier living conditions. It is recorded that 12 families were driven out of Springfield late in 1838 by Indian hostilities; the town's growth was halted materially until 1846. Oldest tombstone is for an infant who died Oct. 3, 1849. Another early marker is for a native of New York State "Slain in 1854 violence for his gold". This burial ground was open to use by surrounding areas, and many strangers found a final resting place here alongside veterans of the Texas War for Independence, the Mexican War and other conflicts. Since Springfield was county seat of Limestone County (1846-1878), home of Springfield College (closed in the 1860's) and a center for church and business affairs, it attracted persons of distinction. Some of them were buried here. Although the town lost its means of growth after it was bypassed by Houston & Texas Central Railroad in 1870 and then suffered a devastating fire in 1873, families of old residents often have returned to bury their dead in their established lots, beside pioneer forefathers. - Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1969. Park Rd. 28 off SH 14, S. of Mexia in Fort Parker State Park


31° 35' 28.392" N, 96° 31' 24.1428" W