Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




There are collections of ceramic vessels and other artifacts from the Millsey Williamson (41RK3), Bead Burial, and L. N. Morwell sites in the Buddy Jones collection at the Gregg County Historical Museum. The purpose of this article is to put the documentation of these collections on record, as this documentation provides previously unavailable detailed information on the material content of probable 18th century Nadaco Caddo/Kinsloe phase historic sites in East Texas.

Based on the limited available information from the Bead Burial and L. N. Morwell Farm sites, it is probable that all three sites are different names for the same Historic Caddo site situated along the Rusk and Panola County line in East Texas on Trammel’s Trace that was reported on by Jones. The Bead Burial site is reported to be ca. 5 miles south of Tatum along the Rusk-Panola County line, and the Millsey Williamson site is well known for the quantity of glass trade beads found there. The L. M. Morwell Farm site was excavated by C. W. Bailey in 1940, and a tag accompanying two ceramic vessels recovered from a Burial 4 at the site describe it as “Rusk Co. Martin Creek old trading post on Trammels trace.”

Jones indicates that the Millsey Williamson site is an 18th century Nadaco Caddo settlement and cemetery situated on an alluvial terrace on the east side of Martin Creek, a northward-flowing tributary to the Sabine River. Some portions of the site are now covered by the waters of Martin Creek Lake, constructed in the 1970s. The site was first known in the 1930s, when at least 11 historic Caddo burials were excavated in the cemetery at the western end of the landform, and there was a habitation/village area on the highest part of the landform, east of the cemetery. Jones excavated a disturbed historic burial at the site in 1955, and also occasionally collected glass beads from the surface of the site. The funerary offerings placed with this disturbed burial are not clearly enumerated by Jones, as his description of artifacts from the site includes artifacts he examined in several other collections.

He did note 275 sherds from the surface of the site and 12 whole or restored ceramic vessels from an unknown number of burials (Jones 1968:Table 1). Most of these sherds were grog- (52%) or bone-tempered (43%), but 4% were tempered with shell. There were also clay and limonite pipes, ochre and vermillion, animal teeth, glass beads, metal gun parts, gun flints, iron knives, iron arrow points and awls, and a variety of brass objects: a brass tinkler, coils, hawk bells, and unworked pieces of sheet brass.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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