Texas Historical Markers (Texas Country Reporter)

Texas Historical Markers (Texas Country Reporter)

July 28, 2019 6 By Kailee Schamberger



here on TCR we've seen our share of historic locations public buildings and homes of those who've made a lasting contribution to our state famed blues and rock and roll singer Janis Joplin lived here with her family and whether it's the Harvey House in Slaton or Texas oldest civil war monument in comfort each place has something in common and that's a 100 year old business called the southwell company well in 1912 my brother Scott and I our great-grandfather bought an existing business it was named the San Antonio rubber stamp company it was founded originally in 1866 so that's why we say we're from 1866 basically under our grandfather's leadership from 1924 on he built it up to the largest rubber stamp company in the US you don't what you don't make it's not make rubber stamps anymore and that's what we were founded on so today tell me if somebody walks up to you and says what do you do is southwell company we've made every historical marker since 1960 through now it is an iconic symbol of importance the Texas State Historical Marker and for more than half a century every single one has been born deep in the heart of San Antonio the southwell company spends day after day churning out bold bronze plaques emblazoned with text here's a project a new one we're working on and it's brothers scott and billy southwell who keep everything running smoothly with tried-and-true methods as old as well dirt we're reclaiming the sand now because we reuse the sand every single day the Romans were known to go down by the creek bed and reclaim sand from the creek bed because there was play in the sand this sand is between 80 and 100 years old and it is really good sin just like a cook has a recipe and the cook doesn't really want to give anybody all the ingredients or the exact amount is that good we don't want anybody to know exactly our recipe for making this send see how nice and soft and fluffy it is now I mean that is some beautiful sand right there Scott's thus an expert he's got it in his head there's at least five ingredients in the sand and what I want to know is have you ever written any of this down no because I only know three of them and you know the other two whoa how you feeling are you feeling good you better start writing some of these down I woke up a little groggy this morning I don't know I don't know we can mix it today well with the help of century-old secrets and the south well family has created more than 16,000 Texas state historical markers that's 16,000 stories they've shared with the world what makes me feel the best is when I stand back and I see somebody a tourist stop and they read it and they don't just glanced at it they actually read the whole thing do you ever go up to somebody that's reading one and and tell them hey I made that we've been in Fredericksburg walking down the sidewalk somebody will stop and read it and I'll say we made that let's say sure you did I say no really on the bottom right hand corner we stamp our name like a gunsmith does and they'd see it they say oh I'll be darned there's a name there and so that really makes me proud okay go down what's it mean to you and your brother to to be running a family business that was started by a great grandfather I mean you're been at the helm of this thing you guys and you've kept it going it's got to be just a great feeling – Wow being from Texas and being from UT Austin the University we're very proud of Texas starting up at the Panhandle going across the Red River going down the Rio Grande we have seen it all I've been to all 254 counties I have seen marker dedications on the coast I mean I'm very proud of this company but I'm also proud of Texas I mean how many states can you draw a shape of your state in the sand and say to someone in another country what state is that and they will always tell you that's Texas so yes we're very proud of this company and the legacy and the markers all over the state no other business has left their mark on Texas quite like the south well company their work has become a staple of the Lone Star landscape to most people these markers reflect the stories of our past but two billion scott south well they're a reflection of one family's goal to save our Texas history what I want people to remember us as is we're the company that made history there was a Ford commercial for trucks few years ago in the first image they showed was a Texas historical medallion that's become an icon of Texas or we see a magazine where they are advertising a bed-and-breakfast there's a historical marker out in front of it and they intentionally show it to know that people value that and appreciate it it really is it's it's nice to see that it's a real sense of accomplishment you