This is a four-fifths-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. that the citizens and government of Kaufman, Texas, purchased and permanently installed in the Kaufman County Veterans Memorial Park, 3790 S. Houston St., Kaufman, TX 75142.
Located 1/4 mile south of Hwy 34 on FM 1388.In Kaufman, the community wanted to do more to honor its veterans, its hometown heroes. It started as just a conversation between friends. A few local war veterans wondered aloud what could be done to honor those from Kaufman County who have served to protect our country. For many of us, they were our friends, our neighbors and our loved ones. All of them put their lives on the line; some of them paid the ultimate price. That conversation grew into an idea that eventually sparked a countywide effort and resulted three years later in the creation of the Kaufman County Veterans Memorial Park. Of course, the memorial park would not have been possible had it not been for the tireless efforts of the members of the Kaufman County Veterans Memorial Park Board. Its members took the dream to build a lasting memorial for the county’s war veterans and made it into reality. The members took on the daunting task of compiling the more than 5,000 names of each and every local veteran. Contrary to some belief, there was no official record easily on hand to help amass this list. Members hit the streets to find names; knocked on doors of relatives, friends and neighbors; utilized the Internet and scrounged through piles of government records. In addition, this group of proud veterans conducted an amazing fund-raising effort, pooling every resource they could find in Kaufman County to erect not just a memorial, but one worthy of those friends and neighbors who had given their lives in combat. Today, a beautiful, poignant memorial park stands as a tribute to those from Kaufman County who gave their lives for our county and its ideals. By honoring veterans, we honor their valor and reflect why they fought. Admittedly, the park was created to be a memorial, honoring those veterans. However, the final result proved to be so much more than that small group of local veterans ever dreamed. The park has become a focal point of the town. A place where not only local veterans and their families go, but others from around the state and the nation. It has become a teaching tool for local schools. The memorial park is more than just a tribute; it is a proud piece of our community and of our heritage. It is a constant reminder to all who pass through our community that people of Kaufman recognize the valor it has taken to make this country as great as it is. On the Korean Memorial in Washington there is an inscription that states “Freedom is not Free.” No one knows this better than those who fought for freedom. And no one deserves our thanks and appreciation more.
Also known as the Especially For You Tea Room and Gift Shop, this must-see is located on the square in downtown KaufmanThe Historic First National Bank Building (built in 1908) on the square in Kaufman is filled with displays of exquisite gift items. The original bank vault is a unique point of interest in the gift shop. Nestled in the rear of the building is a time forgotten tea room offering special old fashioned service, and their signature lemonade tea manufactured and bottled on site. The Tea Room may be reserved for special events.
Located at 500 S. Jackson Street. Known as “The Little Green Church in Kaufman Texas”, this historic house of worship was constructed in 1909 and dedicated as a historical building by The State of Texas in 1967.
Visit their website: omschurch.org
Located in the center of the town square. The first courthouse of Kaufman was just a one room building and was not on the present courthouse square. With the growth of the town a new one was built in 1861 but was badly constructed and therefore abandoned the following year. Other attempts were made over the following 20 years with finally an impressive design being accepted. This lasted until 1955 when it was torn down to make way for the present 2 story building which is the official Kaufman County Seat courthouse used today.
Located at 400 E. Mulberry just east of the square. Roots of this church can be traced all the way back to July 1854 with the organization of Covenant Presbyterian Church – a Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The first building, although a Cumberland church, was used by several other churches in the area until they could build their own churches. The present sanctuary was built in 1877 of cypress wood brought from Louisiana. Its architecture is early colonial and the interior reflect the decor of the period.
Located on the square at 111 W. Mulberry. In this Texas landmark the Greenslade family filled prescriptions and sold all manner of goods and sundries since 1919 where prior to another druggist had done the same as far back as 1891. It was the oldest pharmacy in Texas continuously owned and operated by the same family until it’s closure on July 29, 2006 after the death of 76-year-old owner Dave Greenslade. The efficiency and wealth of the modern corporate chains, combined with Dave Greenslade’s mounting health problems, led father and son to decide to sell their client list to CVS, which has built a new store off one corner of the square. This step into the past once served the pharmaceutical needs of the community as well as many old fashioned sodas and shakes.
607 N. Clay Street
Oak Creek Drive
900 N. Washington Street
504 S. Houston Street
On and Around the Square in October.
In March of 2012, Kaufman County’s Poor Farm joined eight other Texas historical sites on Preservation Texas’ ninth annual list of Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places. The Preservation Texas website quotes its president, Jim Ray: The 2012 list highlights historic places that were once commonly found around Texas and that are almost gone or that represent rare construction types. In each instance these places are integral to the communities where are they located, yet they are in immediate danger of disappearing from the landscape. By calling attention to these sites now, we want to encourage local action while there’s still time. It is our hope that inclusion on our list will provide those who care for these sites with the support, expertise and momentum to take their preservation efforts to the next level.
KCHC members Betty Brown, Jeff Baska, Jamie Laywell and Mary Kate Benge went to Austin for Preservation Texas’ announcement that the Poor Farm was among 9 sites designated as Texas’ Most Endangered Historical Sites in 2012.
On Monday, April 2, 2012, Jamie Laywell, KCHC Secretary, announced the selection during the Kaufman County Commissioners Court’s regular meeting. The previous week, Jamie and other members of the KCHC traveled to Austin for Preservation Texas’ announcement of the 2012 Most Endangered Places list, which also included Lakehills (Bandera County), Panhandle (Carson County), Seguin (Guadalupe County), San Marcos (Hays County), Jefferson (Marion County), Corpus Christi (Nueces County), San Augustine (San Augustine County) and Pflugerville (Travis County).
The Kaufman County “Poor Farm” is the only such site in Texas, and believed to be the only one in the United States, that is still owned by the county. The history of the Kaufman County Poor Farm begins after the Civil War ended and the number of indigent persons within the entire state became so high that, by 1869 an addendum to the Texas Constitution, Article XII, Section 26, made the care for the poor the responsibility of each county. Under the new law, in1874, Kaufman County Commissioners began scouting for land to establish a “poor house”, or in this case a “poor farm”. In 1881 the county purchased 408+ acres of land, which was located only 1 1/4 miles from the courthouse square. By November, 1883, buildings were erected to house the residents and farm animals, and the operation of the County Poor Farm was underway. From the beginning the purpose of the poor farm was to offer a place where persons designated as paupers could remain there and support themselves by their own labor until they were either financially able to leave or until they died.
The poor farm was also used as an Epidemic Camp in 1900 when smallpox hit
the county. There existed a “place of burial” for transients and persons who died in jail, and where “quarantined” persons were buried away from the populace. In 1871, victims of a typhoid fever epidemic were ordered buried on “Dr. Snow’s place”, now known as the county’s indigent cemetery located on the north side of Hwy. 34, once part of the poor farm property, and still used today by the county as a burial site for indigent dead.
In 1931 acreage on the property was used in the Farm Demonstration Program Project of the County Agent. The use of the farm as such continued until the 1960s. From 1954 until 1973, the property was the site of the County Jail and a working prison farm. The jail building still stands and is part of the KCHC historical site. In 1998, a Texas State Historical Site Marker was dedicated by KCHC, and is now located on the eastern fence line of the KCHC “Poor Farm” property. KCHC holds a 99-year, renewable lease on 27 acres of the original poor farm property that includes a stock pond, 19th-century buildings, other outbuildings, and vintage farm equipment.
KCHC offers “Poor Farm” tours, classroom and service club programs, and student field trips on request. Contact the KCHC office for information.
For a more detailed discussion of the history of the Poor Farm and its cemetery, see The Poor House Story website, specifically Kaufman County Poor Farm by Kathy Kelley Hunt, former member of the KCHC.
1603 S. Washington St.
Kaufman, Texas 75142
101 E. Fair St.
Kaufman, Texas 75142
4040E. Hwy 175
Kaufman, Texas 75142
2215 S. Washington St.
Kaufman, Texas 75142
Food Truck in the Civic Center Parking lot 607 E. Fair Fridays from 10:30-2:00.
1 Oak Creek Drive, Kaufman, TX 75142
100 Kings Fort Parkway, Ste. 107, Kaufman, TX 75142