During the early days of the Republic of Texas, settlers and pioneers coming from the United States entered Texas by crossing the Red River in Northwest Red River County. On the north side of that crossing was the terminus of a U.S. Military Highway. In 1844, the Congress of the Republic of Texas appointed a commission to lay out a road connecting the crossing on the Red River to the Trinity River in Central Dallas County. Surveyed by George W. Stell (1793-1870), the 130-mile road was to be thirty feet wide, with bridges at least fifteen feet wide, and all tree stumps cut within twelve inches of the ground. Congress named the new route the Central National Road.
Passing through Lamar, Fannin, Hunt, Collin, and Rockwall counties, the road's terminus in Dallas intersected with the Preston Road (1,000 NNW), which had been opened in 1840 by a group of Texas soldiers under Col. William G. Cooke (1808-1847) to connect the Red River and Austin.
The Central National Road, via its intersection in Dallas with the Preston-Austin Road, connected north and south Texas, creating greater access for pioneers to settle in all areas of the Republic.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986.
Incise on base: Sponsored by Thomas J. Rusk Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.