Nov 18 2014
Federal troops, that a few years before brought security, prosperity, and opportunity were now an occupying force that protected an unpopular government, and fed the resentment by many to the freed slaves. Nevertheless, the network of roads to the port of Indianola continued to support the military and economic needs of western Texas through the 1860’s and the first half of the 1870s. 
 
When in 1874, the Texas Legislature resolved the boundary dispute between Wilson and Guadalupe Counties; it ordered that a surveyor lay out the boundary in a straight line. The track of the Old Gonzales Road (used as the boundary in 1842) meandered back and forth across this straight line creating a question of jurisdiction and maintenance responsibility.
 
The issue was settled with neglect. By 1874, other routes traveling east from San Antonio, among them the Upper and Lower Seguin Roads, the Sulphur Springs Road, the New Sulphur Springs Road and the St. Hedwig Road, had diminished the importance of the Old Gonzales Road. Eventually, the deep sand bed section of the road between Wilson and Guadalupe Counties was enclosed within adjacent tracts of land, leaving few signs of its existence.
Guadalupe border
Two historic events marked the demise of the network of roads to Indianola: first, the destruction of Indianola in 1875 and 1886 by hurricanes and second, the extension of the railroad to San Antonio 1877.
 
In Wilson County, the site of Claiborne Rector’s 19th century home on the Cibolo, above Lavernia is a remnant of the Old Gonzales Road as is the site of Twenty-Mile House located near the present junction of FM 1346 and CR 347. In Bexar County, the remnants of the road are scattered within private properties and buried under other roads. Old land plats and abstracts record its existence. In Gonzales County, the current FM 1682/State Road 97 west of Gonzales and east of State Road 80 follows the track of the original Old Gonzales Road.

Shadrock Lane, East Bexar County, near present day St. Hedwig, Texas
tracks over Byrd Lockhart's Old Gonzales Road

As you drive the rolling countryside on Highways 775 or 539, pause at the county line markers between Wilson and Guadalupe counties and remember Byrd Lockhart, Deaf Smith, Stephen F. Austin, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Texas Revolution, the Immortal 32, the Alamo, Susanna Dickinson and the Runaway Scrape…you just crossed their road.