Texas Independence Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Smithville: Independence Park - Smithville

Independence Park - Smithville

Park celebrating Thomas Jefferson Gazley and the struggle for Texas independence.


  • 506 TX-230 Loop
  • Smithville, Texas
  • 78957



  • 8 AM - 7 PM Daily


In 1827, Dr. Thomas Jefferson Gazley arrived and set the pace of development. Near this site he built the first house and established the first store, which served incoming settlers and the friendly Lipan and Tonkawa Indians. He worked as Clerk and Secretary in the Mexican government and was granted a Mexican license to practice medicine. Gazley helped write the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Texas Constitution. During the Texas War for Independence, he fought as a citizen soldier-surgeon in the battles of Gonzales, Concepcion Mission, and San Jacinto. After the war he moved to Harrisburg, practiced Probate Law, and was elected to the Second Legislature of the Republic of Texas. Upon returning to Smithville in 1846, he established a riverboat landing to service the Kate Ward, which traveled from Matagorda to Austin. Following his death in 1853, he was first buried here in the Gazley Cemetery, and in 1937 he was reinterred in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

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