Waugh Campground Oak R.I.P.

Historical Period: Early Statehood (1845-1861)
Historical Topic: Religious Freedom, Sam Houston
Species: Post Oak (Quercus stellata)
County: Burleson
Public Access: No longer applicable; tree is dead

Until it died in the late 1990s, this post oak was the only surviving witness to events which occurred on this historic site. Sheltered by the small hill above it and nourished by a rich, sandy loam soil and an ever-running spring at its feet, the tree stands as a proud memorial to one of the earliest camp-meeting grounds in Texas.

The 10-acre plot on which this tree grew was donated by the Isaac Addisons to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The campground was named in honor of Bishop Beverly Waugh, who in 1840 organized the Texas Conference at Rutersville, in Fayette County. The first camp meeting held at Waugh Campground was in 1841.

From 1841 through the early 1890s Waugh Campground was used, not only for religious meetings, but for political meetings as well. At a rally under this tree in July 16, 1857, U.S. Senator Sam Houston, while campaigning for governor, faced Caldwell's Judge Andrew S. Broaddus in a debate.

This famous post oak tree stood near the spring in Waugh Campground off FM 2000, 4.5 miles northeast of the town of Caldwell.