Muster Oak

Historical Period: Republic of Texas (1836-1845)
Historical Topic: Border Wars, Republic of Texas
Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
County: Fayette
Public Access: Yes

This historic live oak in Fayette County has become a living shrine to the citizens of La Grange and the surrounding area.

Its spreading branches, though now reduced by the ravages of time, have served as a mustering point for men of the area who have gone forth to serve their country. It is also a monument to those who have given their lives in defense of their country.

Many parents, wives, and sweethearts have seen their loved ones depart from the shade of this tree to defend their rights in the War with Mexico, the War Between the States, the Spanish-American War, and the two World Wars.

This twisted tree is doubtless the oldest living witness to events which have occurred on this courthouse square since Fayette County was organized in 1837.

The first recruitment of citizen soldiers under the tree probably took place in 1842. An invasion of Texas by the Mexican General Adrian Woll prompted Colonel Matthew Caldwell of the Texas Army to assemble a small volunteer group to resist Woll at Salado Creek near San Antonio.

Captain Nicholas Mosby Dawson, a young captain from La Grange, recruited about 15 men under this tree before leaving to join Caldwell. Two days later, before he could join Caldwell, Dawson and 35 of his 53-man force, some of whom were from La Grange, were massacred by a troop of Mexican cavalry.

The Muster Oak is located across from the Fayette County Courthouse, on the northwest corner of the intersection of Washington and Colorado Streets, in La Grange.