Near Crossing of
Old Ox-Cart Roads
Marker Text: From the early days of Spanish colonial Texas well into statehood, the only "Highways" in the area were primitive dirt roads. Although many had names, others were simply called "ox-cart roads" for the sturdy Mexican carts so frequently seen on them.
In the 19th century this site was a junction for two of these roads, one extending from Brownsville to San Antonio, the other from Laredo to Goliad, then over to Indianola on the Gulf Coast. This strategic location helped Oakville grow into a thriving town and become county seat of Live Oak County in 1856.
Ox-carts were unique in being constructed entirely of wood, fastened by wooden pins and rawhide thongs. The two wheels stood taller than a man and the bed was usually 15 feet long, covered by a thatched roof. To stop the deafening squeak of the wheels, drivers greased the hubs with prickly pear leaves.
Pulled by several yoke of oxen, the carts usually traveled in groups. Their arrival meant fresh coffee, beans, salt, and sugar for isolated settlers.
Although gradually replaced by wagons, carts were for two centuries almost the only freight vehicles in Texas. Reminders of their former importance long remained in the names of these two old roads. (1968)
Marker No: 3893
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Location: from George West take US 281 about 4 miles north to marker on east side of highway