Description: F:\Vanessa's Documents\Texas Division Website\txflag_wav.gifJefferson Davis Memorial Highway in TexasDescription: F:\Vanessa's Documents\Texas Division Website\txflag_wav.gif

The Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway was conceived in 1913 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (U.D.C.). In that era, it was common for private organizations to identify a route, give it a name, and promote its use and improvement.  The route was announced in September 1913. After the U.D.C. conceived the highway and selected its route, it sought support from the States. However, in the early 1910s, most States had weak highway agencies. Some Southern States did not have a State highway agency before 1916-1917. Thus, the U.D.C. was free to promote its highway, including the placement of markers on trees and other objects facing the road. Over time, however, many States adopted the name officially and participated in placing Jefferson Davis Highway monuments along the road.

In 1920, maps showing complete proposed routes were printed, and a marker for mileposts, telephone posts, etc. was  adopted - three horizontal stripes, red, white and red, six inches wide with the letters J.D.H. in black, four inches high, one above the other in the center of each stripe.  William P. Rogers Chapter in Victoria, Texas won the honor of being the first to use the official marker.

In 1921, the most practical work accomplished was completing definitely the proposed route so every State could have the highway officially designed by its legistlature.  In this year the greatest results were attained in Texas.  A number of State Highways were designated by their legislature, "The Texas Division of the Jefferson Davis National Highway".

In April 1925, the Texas State Highway Commission designated the highway from Orange to El Paso"as a link in the transcontinental highway known as the Jefferson Davis Highway."  The dedication in 1927 of the boulder at Brownsville marking where Col. Jefferson Davis and his Mississippi troops landed in 1846 in the war with Mexico, was the brilliant success of the year.

"The Jefferson Davis Highway Committee recommends to this body that a granite boulder be erected at Point Isabel, Texas, marked with a bronze tablet commemorating the landing of the Mississippi troops under the command of Col. Jefferson Davis of the United States Army, in 1846, during the war with Mexico."

This resolution was adopted because the boulder is intended to commemorate the great military services of Jefferson Davis to the United States in the war with Mexico, for which he was all over the country acclaimed hero of the battles of Buena Vista and Monterey; and the Davis Mountains and Fort Davis, a United States military frontier post in Texas, were named in his honor; second, the boulder would mark the southernmost point of the Jefferson Davis Highway system.

Miss Decca Lamar West of Texas was appointed chairman of the boulder committee.  She reported the estimated expense for boulder and tablet to be $1,500.00.  This was accepted.   The boulder weighing between twelve and fifteen tons, was taken from the foothills of the Davis Mountains, and rests on a foundation of several small boulders welded together. It was dedicated June 3, 1927. On the face of the boulder is a bronze tablet with the flag of the United States on one corner and in the opposite corner the first flag of the Confederacy, and this inscription:

Commemorating the services
to the United States of America
Jefferson Davis - President C.S.A.
Graduated West Point, 1828
Served on Indian Frontier 1828-1835
United States Congress 1845-1846
Landed Point Isabel, Texas 1846
Hero of Buena Vista and Monterey
Declined post Brigadier-General U.S.A.
Secretary of War 1853-1857
  U.S. Senator (Miss.) 1845, 1851, 1857, 1861 (Resigned) 
Erected 1927
United Daughters of the Confederacy

At the Houston Convention held in 1928, the United Daughters of the Confederacy endorsed the Edwards Bill in Congress, that required the names as well as the numbers of memorial highways to be retained on maps and sign posts.  The names appeal to patriotism, pride of location, and are an inspiration to future generations and will forever preserve the tradition and sentiment connected with these highways, founded as memorials and dedicated to the history of our country.

"When completed, beautified and its desirability and beauty made known our highway will be the greatest memorial to President Davis and a great memorial to the United Daughters of the Confederacy as an organization, a far-flung banner calling unto the South to "March On, March On" and become what God and beneficient Nature planned her to be, in all respects the best section of our wonderful land."

A new map of the highway was printed and put in a booklet on the Jefferson Davis Highway, that was recommended in 1920 by Miss West, and compiled by Mrs. Woodbury, printed and distributed at the Biloxi convention in November, 1929.

Taken from the book "History of the UDC" by Mary B. Poppenheim. (c) 1938

Original Route* SH 3 from Sabine River to Houston; SH 20 from Houston to Austin; SH 2 from Austin to San Antonio; SH 3 from San Antonio to Alpine; SH 54 from Alpine to Van Horn; SH 1 from Van Horn to El Paso.  Designated by M/O 2705, 03/19/30

*Note: These highway designations have changed over the years.

Current Route:  East to west enters Texas near Orange on I-10/US90 to Houston; on US290 to Austin; on I-35 to San Antonio; on US90 to Alpine; on TX 118 to Fort Davis; on TX 17 to Marfa; on US90 to El Paso; crossing border with New Mexico at Anthony, Texas.  Southern Route:  from Houston on US 59 to Victoria; on US 77 to Brownsville.

Jefferson Davis Highway Markers in Texas
(click on the city to view a photo of the marker)

1. Orange - Texas Welcome Center on Highway I-10 near border with Louisiana.
2. Houston - US 290 near 8100 Washington Avenue.
3. Brenham - US 290 Business in 2400 block of South Market Street.
4. Elgin - Loop 109 off US 290 at FM 1100.
5. Austin - 7812 Congress Avenue.
6. San Marcos - Loop 82/University Drive on the campus of Texas State University - San Marcos
7. New Braunfels - US 35 Business near southern intersection with I 35
8. San Antonio - 1475 Austin Highway (Discount Tire Store)
San Antonio - Bexar County Courthouse, Dolorosa Street @ S. Main Ave.
San Antonio - Federal Reserve Bank, East Nueva Street @ S. Main Ave.
Camp Verde - State Hwy 173, 7 miles South of Kerrville (Private Property - no public access)
Uvalde - US 90 at US 83.

13. Fort Davis - TX 118 in center of town.
14. Anthony Texas Welcome Center at New Mexico border.
15. Anthony - TX 20 and Poplar St. (old US 80), in old town, on Texas/New Mexico border.
16. Wharton - US 59/225 N. Richmond Street.
17. Victoria - rest area on US 59 north of town.
18. Goliad - US 59 west of town.
19. Corpus Christi - foot of Nueces Bay Causeway bridge on Portland side.
20. Brownsville - Washington Plaza.

Click here for a map of Jefferson Davis Highway in Texas
Click here for the Jefferson Davis Highway Brochure
Click here for a map of Texas

To order a Jefferson Davis Highway Brochure contact
United Daughters of the Confederacy
328 North Boulevard
Richmond, Virginia 23220-4057
(804) 355-1636

For more information on the Jefferson Davis Highway
contact the Jefferson Davis Highway Committee Chairman