Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
Maddox Cedars

Maddox Cedars is the site of the home and farm of K. T. (Koger) Thomas Maddox and Amanda L. Cowley Maddox..   Although the home no longer exists, Cox Lake Trail passes the historic location.   The Maddox Monument marks the site.


Cox Lake Trail passes through a salt-grass (Distichlis spicata) prairie among stands of salt cedars (Tamarix sp.), ending at the western shore of Cox Lake.

Salt Cedars

Maddox Family

Maddox Cedars is the site of the home and farm of K. T. (Koger) Thomas Maddox and Amanda L. Cowley Maddox.   The family had previously lived in (old) Velasco.[1]   They moved to this land in the 1880s, constructed a homestead, and established a thriving farm growing cotton and sugar cane.

K.T. planted salt cedar hedges around the fields — many remain today as "Maddox cedars."   The grounds around the house became the family's pride.   Mary Shanks, (daughter) remembers " father took pride in and kept everything in order.   We had a beautiful lane from the house through the fields of salt cedars, and when in bloom it was a beautiful sight.   Many fields were kept in sugar cane, millet and corn, cotton and oats, and it seemed anything planted grew well..."   K.T. even cultivated oyster beds in Cox Lake.

When the 1915 hurricane hit, Pollye Beacroft (another daughter) recalls they "...could see the water coming in little waves...all of a sudden, the water was in the yard...and we had cousins they opened up the floors..."   (K.T. had previously cut holes in the floors so the water could come up and would not wash the house off its blocks.)   The water was soon waist deep and the servant "took up a rope and went to a big barn and had a rope tied there so they could all leave the house and follow the rope and get up in the loft of the barn.   Then the roof blew the same man went to these trees...and tied the rope and...must have been at least a dozen people...and they held onto the rope and got in these trees...not one of them was drowned."

Pollye continues "We saw the house break up and the next day...everything was gone...  It was two days before anyone could get down...every other family that lived down in that area was drowned."

In 1916, they sold the land and moved to (new) Velasco. [2]

Maddox Monument.   The marker (shown above left) can be seen under the tree.

K.T. and Amanda had eight children.   One child, Columbus, drowned in the 1909 hurricane, and another child, Jerome Drue, in the Gulf at the time, was drowned in the 1915 hurricane.   The rest grew to adulthood.

K.T. and Amanda are buried in the Angleton, Texas, cemetery.   Pollye and her husband Percival Beacroft Sr. are interred at the Old Brazoria Cemetery in Brazoria.   Another daughter, Nannie M, and her husband Robert L. Stringfellow, also are interred at the Old Brazoria Cemetery.

After Robert's death, Nannie donated the a large portion of their landholdings to the State of Texas.   A portion of this is now occupied by the Nannie M. Stringfellow Wildlife Management Area, managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

―By Tom Schneider and Neal McLain based on information provided by Percival Beacroft Jr.,
Marie Beth Jones, and the Brazoria County Historical Museum.

[1]  At the time, Velasco was located on the Gulf Coast on the east side of the mouth of the Brazos River in what is now the City of Surfside.   Wikipedia.
[2]  In the early 1890s a new town of Velasco (":New Velasco":) was laid out four miles upriver from the Gulf Coast.   In 1957, (new) Velasco was annexed by the City of Freeport.   Wikipedia.