Historical Markers

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is the state agency for historic preservation.  Established by the Texas State Legislature in 1953, the agency was charged with the task to identify important historic sites across the state.  THC staff consults with citizens and organizations to preserve Texas’ architectural, archeological and cultural landmarks.  The agency is recognized nationally for its preservation programs.

The THC has recognized three historic landmarks in the Sweeny area.  These landmarks are listed below.

  • Sweeny Cemetery
  • The Sweeny Plantation
  • Thomas Jefferson Sweeny

 

SWEENY CEMETERY

LOCATION:  The marker is located in the City of Sweeny, Brazoria County, Texas, on FM 524 about 0.2 miles north of CR 332 (Ashley Wilson Road) at the flag pole.  Click for map. Geo Coordinates: 29.046750, -95.713218.

RECOGNIZED: The Sweeny Cemetery was recognized as a Texas Historic Landmark, Marker No. 9598, in 1966.

HISTORY:  The Sweeny Cemetery began as a family burial ground for the Sweeny’s, our founding family.  Freedonia Sweeny, John Sweeny’s young daughter, was the first person to be buried at the site in 1833.  The cemetery has been in use ever since by the community.

MARKER TEXT:  “Began as a family burial ground when John Sweeny, early landowner, member of Stephen F. Austin’s colony, chose this site for the burial of his young daughter, Freedonia in 1833.  In use ever since by the neighborhood.  Has graves of veteran’s of all wars since Texas Revolution.  Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1966.”

SOURCE: Texas Historical Society

 

THE SWEENY PLANTATION

LOCATION:  The marker is located on State Highway 35 about 0.5 miles west of Old Ocean in Brazoria County, Texas.  Click for map.  Geo Coordinates: 29° 4.724’N, 95° 45.278 ‘W.

RECOGNIZED:  The Sweeny Plantation was recognized as a Texas Historic Landmark, Marker No. 9600, in 1965.

HISTORY:  When John Sweeny, Sr. came to Texas and settled in the western part of Brazoria County, he acquired extensive land holdings.  He made wooden rollers out of native live oaks and created a very successful sugar plantation.  His subsequent prosperity enabled him to give each of his children a plantation of their own.  John Sweeny, Jr., after returning from the Texas Revolution, was given this plantation.  The plantation was located on the Polley & Chance grant of Stephen F. Austin’s original “Old Three Hundred” contract with Mexico.  The house was built in 1837 by slaves using clay bricks, nails, and Cypress & Ash wood made on his land.  The 30 slave cabins were made of Cypress.  The plantation had its own sawmill, sugar house, cotton gin, blacksmith shop, commissary, and kiln for making bricks.  The residence still stands, though, considerably altered, on Highway 35, just west of Old Ocean.  It was the home of Mrs. Catherine Bannister, a descendant of the original family, until her passing in he 1970s.  It is still owned by descendants.

MARKER TEXT:  “John Sweeny, Jr., after returning from the Texas Revolution, was given this plantation by his father, an extensive landholder.  In 1837 slaves built the house, using only brick, nails and wood made on his land.  Molasses, cotton, sugar were produced.  Still owned by descendants. (1965)”

SOURCE: Texas Historical Society

 

THOMAS JEFFERSON SWEENY

LOCATION:  The marker is located in the Sweeny Cemetery in the City of Sweeny, Brazoria County, Texas, on FM 524 about 0.2 miles north of CR 332 (Ashley Wilson Road).  Click for map.  Geo Coordinates: 29.046750, -95.713218.

RECOGNIZED:  The grave marker of Thomas Jefferson Sweeny was recognized as a Texas Historic Landmark, Marker No. 9597, in 1936.

HISTORY:  Thomas Jefferson Sweeny was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1812, a son of John and Ann Sweeny.  He came to Texas in 1833 with his father’s family and settled in what is now Brazoria County.  Thomas J. Sweeny was a member of Captain William H. Patton’s Columbia Company during the Battle of San Jacinto.  He was honorably discharged from the Texas Army on February 6, 1837.  On May 27, 1841, he was issued Donation Certificate No. 1151 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle.  On the same date he received Bounty Certificate No. 9809 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from March 5 to June 5, 1836.  On January 25, 1838, he was issued Headright Certificate No. 167 for one-third of a league of land by the Brazoria County Board.  Thomas J. Sweeny was married to Frances Haynie.  Thomas Sweeny died in La Grange, Texas, in 1869 and was buried in the Sweeny family cemetery in Sweeny.

MARKER TEXT: “A San Jacinto veteran born in Tennessee, 1812; died in La Grange, Texas, 1869.”

SOURCE: Texas Historical Society
SOURCE: San Jacinto Museum of History