Liendo Plantation
Near Hempstead, TX
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Courtesy of William Bozic, Houston, TX
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(2006) Enlarge Liendo Plantation
This photo was taken in the afternoon on Nov 18, 2006 at a site near Hempstead, Waller County, Texas.

"Liendo Plantation was built in 1853. Originally a Spanish land grant of 67,000 acres and one of Texas earliest cotton plantations,
Liendo was the social center of Texas receiving and lavishly entertaining early Texas dignitaries and notorieties. Liendo is recognized as a Texas historic landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the home of world-renowned sculptor Elizabet Ney.

During the War Between The States, Liendo hosted Cavalry and Infantry Training Camps, an Internment Camp, and Hospital. For a brief time after the War, it served as Headquarters for General George Armstrong Custer." -Information copied exactly from site brochure.

To reach this site, take US 290 west from Houston. Take the "Liendo Parkway" exit and beware the Liendo Parkway is just a simple two lane road that currently has no development. When the road ends in a "T", take a left on Wyatt Chapel Road and go up a slight hill. Just beyond the top of the aforementioned hill is the entrance to Liendo. Take the dirt road to the house. The Liendo Plantation is open for scheduled tours only periodically, so call in advance. Check for more details.


(September 2013) Enlarge Liendo Custer Texas Historical Marker
This Texas historical marker is located on the roadway next to the entrance for Liendo plantation. Although the marker is not directly related to the Civil War, it does reflect the Union occupation during Reconstruction.
George Armstrong Custer used the location as his cavalry base and had his wife stay in the home. George Armstrong Custer was a dog lover so he was very pleased to obtain hunting dogs from the owners of the plantation. Sam Houston and other notables stayed at this location so it is fortunate the home was not destroyed. The plantation and home are in private ownership and the house is still used by the owner.


(September 2013) Enlarge Liendo Texas 1836-style Monument
This photo was taken September 7, 2013 during a time when the private home was open for guided tours. The home can be seen in the background of this photo. The text of the monument may be hard to read from the photo so please look at the inscription below:
A plantation home built in 1853 by Leonard W. Groce. The scene for many years of lavish Southern hospitality. Purchased March 4, 1873, by Dr. Edmund Duncan Montgomery 1835-1911), world-famed philosopher, and his wife, Elisabet Ney (1833-1907), pioneer sculptress of Texas. Retained as their homestead throughout their lives. Both are buried in the grounds.


(September 2013) Enlarge Liendo Close-up
The tour guide told us during our tour on Sept 7, 2013 that Gross family of South Carolina had some friction so one part of the family changed the spelling of the surname to Groce and came to Texas but still pronounced the name the same way. The home was designed to look like a plantation home in their native state. Today the house is privately owned but occasionally open for tours and a site for weddings.


(September 2013) Enlarge Liendo Full View
This home its buildings were used as a camp of instruction for the Confederate Army.
Access to food, water, forage and open land made it an ideal site for cavalry instruction, as well as instruction of other branches of the CSA Army. Later in the war the location was used as a prisoner of war camp. Supplies were exhausted so the camp was moved at various times, but always not too distant from the home.
At the end of the war Confederate officers bade farewell to their troops from near this location.


(September 2013) Enlarge Liendo Tree
1853 - named for Spanish grantee Justo Leindo, first to own this land. Mansion built by Leonard W. Groce, who surrounded it with model plantation industries. In Civil War, site of Camp Groce, a camp of instruction and then P.O.W. center. Occupied in 1865 by Gen. Geo. W. Custer, later to be a central figure in the Little Big Horn tragedy. Owned, 1873-1911, by family of sculptress Elisabet Ney, commemorated with a marker on grounds. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1964
We were told by our tour guide that the tree in the center was dated at 500 years old. The photo also shows some out buildings and the new roof. Peacocks roam the area, too. In the background picnic tables can be seen. The picnic tables are near the family cemetery. Just out of view is a gentle slope of a hill to HWY 290.


(September 2013) Enlarge Liendo POW Cemetery
Several Confederate military facilities were positioned near Hempsted (2.5 mi. w), an important railroad junction, during the Civil War. Camp Groce was a prisoner-of-war stockade established on the plantation of Leonard Waller Groce (1806-1873). Union Army prisoners who died at various camps were buried hear this site on the McDade Plantation, adjacent to the McDade family cemetery The cemeteries were near a narrow gauge spur off the "Austin Branch" of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, built from Houston in 1858. A yellow fever epidemic in 1864 resulted in many deaths at Camp Groce and other camps, chronicled by Aaron T. Sutton (1841-1927). a Union prisoner in Company B, 83rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Sutton noted in his journal the presence of more than 100 fresh graves here soon after his arrival at Camp Groce in 1864. Sutton later escaped from the stockade and made his way to Beaumont (115 mi. e) on foot. Crude crosses made of cedar limbs marked the prisoners' graves through the early 1900s, according to local residents. But the stream-fed woodland was cleared in the 1940s for pasture land, and all surface evidence of the cemetery was lost.
This photo shows the war-time fountain. The lead pipes were pulled to make bullets to the fountain was dry. Fresh water is and was nearby.

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