Phoenix Plantation

The Hagerty Place

Harrison County, Texas

September 9, 2008 and October 9, 2008

Webpage by
Paul Ridenour

Information provided by Charles Steger

Photographs after the text

September 9, 2008

I first met Charles A. Steger on August 14, 2006, when Patti Haskins and I met him in Jefferson, Texas, as he showed us two plantations - Refuge and Falonah.  Before continuing reading on this webpage, you may want to read about those two plantations - www.paulridenour.com/mcintosh.htm

We did not get to visit the Phoenix Plantation on that day in 2006.

"Phil, Lorraine and David Simpson invited the Harrison County Historical Society of Marshall, Texas to hold its monthly meeting at the site of the old Phoenix Plantation so that its members could see some of the present features of the plantation — the remains of Rebecca Hagerty's plantation home, the Hagerty family cemetery, the largest known Willow Oak in Texas, T. J. Tayor's old barn and the lake he constructed. The Simpsons own and manage the Phoenix Plantation through their company, Avinger Timber LLC of Avinger, Texas.  While pursuing their primary goals of growing timber and developing the recreational opportunities of the property, the Simpsons are keen on preserving the unique heritage of the plantation. Obtaining these objectives in recent years has been complicated by activities of two oil and gas companies drilling on the property and building roads, pipelines and other infrastructure.  The Simpsons have tried to accommodate those activities and have sought reciprocal accommodation."

Several of us met at the Lowe's parking lot in Marshall, Texas, which included Patti Haskins, Charles Steger, Robert Bailey, Brenda Sue Lazara, and Marshall McIntosh.  Marshall is unsure if he is related to the Creek McIntosh family.  I rode with Charles as he took us near Karnack, Texas, to show us Lady Bird Johnson's birthplace.  

Afterwards, Charles took us to the Phoenix Plantation.

Here is a recap of my McIntosh webpage:

Creek Chief William McIntosh's (1775 - 1825) second wife was Susannah Rowe (1796 - 1869) [some sources incorrectly indicate Susannah Coe or Roe].  Susannah was Creek and 1/4 Cherokee.  They had four children:

Rebecca McIntosh (1815 - 1888) - married Benjamin Hawkins and Spire Hagerty
Delilah McIntosh (1818 - 1895) - married William Drew (1/4 Cherokee) and had five children
Hettie Katherine McIntosh (1820 - 1887) - married James D. Willison, Sr.                                                  
Daniel N. McIntosh (1822- 1896)

Benjamin Hawkins received a land grant of 4,000 acres in Cass and Marion counties from Sam Houston.  After Benjamin died, Rebecca married Spire Hagerty and lived on the Phoenix Plantation (also known as The Hagerty Place).  Spire received land from the Republic of Texas in Harrison County where Phoenix is located.  The original house foundation has been located.  There is also a cemetery on the property called the Phoenix Cemetery (also known as the Hagerty Family Cemetery).  After Hagerty died, Rebecca moved to the Refuge Plantation and partnered with her sister Hettie.

In 1915, Lady Bird Johnson's father Mr. T. J. Taylor bought the property.

Since the rains were bad the last few of days, the meeting was canceled as they thought the roads would be impassible.  We actually did not have a problem even though the mud was thick.

There is also a slave cemetery back up in the woods.  We did not go to it as we would have needed the owner of the land to take us there.

Charles took us by the Fox Lane Plantation as we headed back to Marshall, Texas, to have a late lunch.

We ate at El Chico [El Cheapo].  I ordered sour cream chicken enchiladas but received sour cream beef enchiladas.  I am going to say that it was not that good.

Before Charles took me back to my car at Lowe's, he showed me the newly remodeled courthouse in Marshall.

Lady Bird Johnson's birthplace

Sue Lazara, Charles A. Steger, and Robert Bailey

Marshall McIntosh and Patti Haskins

Sue and Robert

Medicinal plant called Lobelia cardinalis, or Cardinal Flower

The gate to the old Phoenix Plantation

The above two documents were written by Charles Steger

Prime Pine tree area

The lonely goat herd, lay hee oh lay hee oh lo

Hetty Catherine Hagerty, April 13, 1845 - January 28, 1846.  3/8 Creek and daughter of Spire and Rebecca Hagerty.

Sallie "Chuchee" Clark, 5/16 Creek and daughter of Anna and Frank Clark, and granddaughter of Rebecca Hagerty

Napoleon N. Hawkins, born in 1835 in the Eastern Creek Nation and died at Phoenix in 1857.  Almost full blood Creek and nephew of Rebecca Hagerty.

All pieces of Napoleon N. Hawkins' gravestone

Professional photographer Charles Steger capturing yours truly

Yours truly in the cemetery [photo by Charles Steger]

Building built in 1924 by Mr. Thomas Jefferson Taylor, father of Lady Bird Johnson

Robert and Charles

Charles Steger showing where the house was located or rehearsing the opening scene from "The Sound of Music"

The area of the house with the cemetery behind the back of the house

Charles showing us a wooden post or nature calls

A champion Willow Oak in Texas

Marshall showing the width of the Willow Oak

This is Robert and this is your brain

"I like the way you talk"

Fox Lane Plantation

Courthouse in Marshall, Texas


October 9, 2008

Today is my mother's birthday but I will meet Charles Steger at the Lowe's parking lot in Marshall at noon for a meeting of the Harrison County Historical Society at the old Phoenix Plantation.  I arrived a little after noon and we went inside Lowe's.  I was not happy that a store employee questioned me on why I had my camera.  He thought I was taking pictures inside the store.  I will never shop at Home Depot again because my identity was stolen to the tune of $10,000 at two Home Depot's in New York.  Lowe's needs to be careful or I may not shop there again either.  The truth is that I didn't want to leave my Nikon D200 inside my car.

The meeting was at 1:30 PM in the barn built by T. J. Taylor.  Current owners Phil and David Simpson have remodeled the inside with some very nice wood.  David used timber from the plantation to restore the barn.  Charles Steger gave a presentation on the old Phoenix Plantation and owner Mrs. Rebecca McIntosh Hawkins Hagerty.  Attendees included Phil and Lorraine Simpson, David Simpson, Margaret Agnor [Chairman, Harrison County Historical Commission], Rose Mary Magrill [Harrison County Historical Commission], Marty Vaughan [Harrison County Historical Commission,  Waskom Volunteer Fire Department, and the owner of the T. C. Lindsey Store], Jennifer Larned [Harrison County Historical Commission and Courthouse Preservation Council of Harrison County], Jean Birmingham [Harrison County Historical Commission and Museum], Susan Spears [Director, Michelson Museum of Art], and Garrett Boersma [Harrison County Historical Museum].

Charles spoke for about 20 minutes but I thought he could have talked another hour.  One of the best parts of Charles' speech were the chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon cookies, and Dr. Pepper provided by David Simpson.  David is a great guy and I was later told he was a little distracted by the oil company drilling near the barn and the stock market was crashing again - down 700 points.

After Charles illustrious speech, we all went out to the cemetery.  Lorraine, I love her, started digging up the broken gravestone pieces that were buried and she cleaned them off.  She uncovered the two gravestones of George and Albert Hagerty which I had not seen before.

The weather was perfect and Charles took me up to Caddo Lake since we were so close and I had not been since last year.  He also took me to Scottsville [founded 1834], Texas, to the home of William Thomas Scott.  William Thomas is the brother of John W. Scott, who sold the Refuge Plantation property to Rebecca Hagerty, and brother James C. Scott married Rebecca Hagerty's daughter Louisa Hawkins.

The Scottsville Cemetery is where several Scott family members are buried and the mother of Lady Bird Johnson.  Harrison County boasts that the cemetery has more mortuary art than any other cemetery in the state of Texas.

We also drove through Jonesville to see the T. C. Lindsey and Company store.

Music to my ears was the McCain-Palin sign in front of Democrat Lady Bird Johnson's childhood home.

Charles and I ate catfish at a place in Marshall.

The barn

Margaret Agnor, Chairman of Harrison County Historical Commission, on the left

Lorraine and Charlie

When Charles speaks, some people listen

Photo by David Simpson

Mr. Phil Simpson speaking [photo by David Simpson]

Photo by David Simpson

Photo by David Simpson which shows the size of the champion Willow Oak

Phoenix Cemetery or Hagerty Cemetery

Photo by David Simpson

The cleaned up gravestone of Hetty Catherine Hagerty, April 13, 1845 - January 28, 1846.  3/8 Creek and daughter of Spire and Rebecca Hagerty.

George Hagerty [died 1845] and Albert Hagerty [died 1844], Rebecca and Spire Hagerty's sons, and 3/8 Creek

Document provided by Charles Steger

Two good-looking photographers [photo by non-photographer Charles Steger]

McCain - Palin sign at Lady Bird Johnson's childhood home

Caddo Lake

William Thomas Scott's home, built in 1834

The iron fenced in area in front of Scott's home is not a cemetery, but where Sam Houston gave a campaign speech in 1854

Scottsville Cemetery

Youree Memorial Chapel at the Scottsville Cemetery

Minnie L. Taylor, mother of Lady Bird Johnson

T. C. Lindsey Store in Jonesville