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Archive for January, 2009

Ok, I couldn’t resist the pun with the title.  Several old bridges from the county have been moved to Pecan Creek Park awaiting refurbishment. — DEH

Bulman Bridge

Bulman Bridge

The Bulman Bridge was located on the north side of the Leon River ten miles east of Hamilton near Rock House in the community named at various times Pulltight, Busyton, Snow Creek, Old Hamilton, and Rock Church. Rev. Henry Jefferson Bulman came to Hamilton County in 1871 where he bought a farm on the Leon River twelve miles east of Hamilton. The Bulman Bridge was named in his honor. The Bulman and other old bridges have been relocated to the Pecan Creek Park in Hamilton. — ECW

Looking up from underneath the bridge.

Looking up from underneath the bridge.

Can you see me?

Can you see me?

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Looking down 2 of the bridges.

Looking down 2 of the bridges.

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Front view of the church.

Directions: From the southeast corner of the courthouse square in Hamilton (intersection of Hwy. 36 and Bell Street) proceed east (toward Gatesville) 3 blocks.  Turn right (south) on Reagan Street which will also be FM 932 & FM 1241.  After 5 blocks FM 932/1241 turns left on Standefer Street for one block and  right on S. Dempster Street.  Four block later FM932/1241 turns left (east) and leaves Hamilton.  Almost a mile out of Hamilton FM 932 turns left to Aleman and FM1241 continues straight.  Stay on FM1241 about 3.5 miles.  Watch for a church-shaped sign (across the road from a tall faded-pink water tower) pointing to Blue Ridge Baptist Church.  Two gravel roads join FM1241 at this point. The west portion of the Blue Ridge Cemetery will be on the left side of the road. Take the gravel road on the left and proceed east to the end of the road.

The Blue Ridge Baptist Church was organized 10 July, 1880, as the Blue Ridge Missionary Baptist Church of Christ and my great-grandparents, James Lemuel Grisham, Sr. and his wife Margaret Amanda Jones Grisham were among the charter members. When Margaret Amanda Jones Grisham died 18 November, 1936, she was the last remaining charter member. Other charter members were William Robert Richey, Sarah Ann Wright Richey, and likely W. S. Stephens.

Church Deed

Church Deed

Apparently Blue Ridge was admitted to the Hamilton County Baptist Association in 1880 (one of only two years for which associational minutes are not available.) This church has the last remaining tabernacle (which was built in 1912) in Hamilton County. On 24 January, 1891, a lot was purchased from John Hannah Brown for the sum of ten dollars. (Hamilton County Deed Records, Book 6, Page 172.) On 30 April, 1892, James William Massie was given a contract to build a church building by the building committee which was composed of John Hannah Brown, Christopher Columbus Powell, James Marion Allen, L. P. Foster, and E. A. Willis. Massie would be paid $100 on 1 November, 1892, and fifty dollars in work. He was to construct a 44 ft by 26 ft building within three months. In 1923 the church was remodeled with a south wing added so that the building was “T-shaped.” A Delco power plant was added at this time to provide lighting. Electricity was added in 1939. A Sunday School room was added on the east side in 1976. In 1988 the Texas Baptist Men built a fellowship hall with a kitchen, bathrooms, and water.

Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

My father, Robert Verne Crain, was a deacon and treasurer in this church for many years. My mother, Clara Elsie Fergusson Crain, taught the ladies Sunday School and was Church Clerk for many years. I was church pianist during my years of high school

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More About Blue Ridge Baptist Church:

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Baptist work in Hamilton began in the fall of 1873. Hamilton Missionary Baptist Church was admitted to the Leon River Association the following year. The church met in a school until 1882 when it begin meeting in the Presbyterian Church building. FBC’s current property on S. Bell Street was purchased in 1888. In 1896 FBC began constructing its first building. — DEH

Origninal FBC Hamilton Building

Origninal FBC Hamilton Building

Built in 1896-1897

Built in 1896-1897

Constructed of native stone by James Malcolm “Jim” Tomlinson. When this building was destroyed by fire  on 6 February, 1924, the Baptists met in the courthouse until a brick building could be completed in 1925. — ECW

Donated by

Donated by George Morrow Carlton after the eath of his wife Fronia in 1921. Mr. Carlton’s second wife, Mrs. Marcie Wysong was organist for many years.

South side of building. Auditorium was on the second floor.

Building was completed in February, 1925 and burned 27 May, 1970. South side of building. Auditorium was on the second floor.

Southwest Corner of building.

Southwest Corner of building.

The current FBC Building was dedicated August 1971

The current FBC Building was dedicated August 1971

The  Seth & Mabell Moore and  John Crea McCaleb  Youth and Family Life Center

The Seth & Mabell Moore and John Crea McCaleb Youth and Family Life Center was decicated March 31, 1996.

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First Baptist Church Hamilton, Texas

First Baptist Church Hamilton, Texas -- DH

The Baptists in Hamilton trace their beginning to 1873. Dr. Donavan Duncan Tidwell recorded the history of a ten-day revival held during the Fall of 1873 in Hamilton by Daniel Babb, Edmund Eldred Sellers and R. S. Underwood. As the result of this revival three people were baptized into the nearest Baptist Church–the Leon Baptist Church (No. 1), seven miles east of  Hamilton.

The Hamilton Missionary Baptist Church with eighteen members was admitted to the Leon River Association in 1874. Captain Alfred Hayne Watson, the Hamilton school teacher, invited the church which was to become First Baptist Church to meet in the school building which was in the 500 block of East Henry. After 1882 the Presbyterian Church invited the Baptists to share their building for their monthly meeting.

Members of Hamilton Baptist Church attended the 4 July, 1877, meeting in Cottonwood Springs School when the Hamilton County Baptist Association (HCBA) was constituted.  Since Hamilton Baptist Church was a member of the Leon River Baptist Association, it could not become a charter member of HCBA. Hamilton Baptist Church was dismissed by letter from the Leon River Baptist Association on 10 September, 1877.  At the first annual meeting of Hamilton County Baptist Association at Plum Creek Baptist Church on 12 October, 1877, Hamilton Baptist Church was admitted to HCBA.

On August 24, 1888, Alfred Haynes Watson, W. W. Kilpatrick, George H. Robbins, S. J. Allen, and G. R. Freeman, trustees of the Baptist Church in Hamilton purchased Lot No. 3, in Block No. 11 of the original town of Hamilton from Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Walker for $30 for the church. It was not until 1896 that a church building was erected on this property on South Bell. The first Baptist Church building in the village of Hamilton was a native stone edifice constructed by James Malcolm “Jim” Tomlinson. [This building was still being built in June, 1897. – ECW

The current FBC building pictured above was built in 1971. — DH

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Agee is a small community tucked between Fairy and Lanham on FM 1602 eleven miles northeast of Hamilton. It was named for Dr. William Absalom Agee, a medical doctor, dentist, merchant, and ordained Baptist preacher. Dr. Agee, an Alabama native, moved into Hamilton County at least in 1896.

The Agee Post Office was in the  home of Dr. William A. Agee from 11 September, 1897, to 14 October, 1905, and his wife, Narcissa Caroline (Freeman) Agee, was the postmistress.

Agee School existed for a several years. Presley Curry taught in the Agee School.  Before 1936 the Agee School consolidated with the Fairy School. In 1936 E. C. Allison drove the school bus from Agee to Fairy and Agee School board members were J. D. Patterson, C. M. Tinkle, and J. M. Blacklock

1900-1992, picture was taken around 1997.
1900-1992, picture was taken around 1997.

Dr. and Mrs. Agee, and a daughter, Mr. and Mrs. John Little Anglin, Sr., and Nanna Stockton were charter members of the Agee Baptist Church which was formed 1 July, 1900. On 15 June, 1901, John Little Anglin, Sr. and G. B. Covey, deacons of the Missionary Baptist Church at Agee received a tract of land as a gift from Isaac Massengill who gave the land “to further the cause of Christianity at Agee.” Massengill signed the deed with his mark. The deed was notarized by C. P. Woodward at Fairy, TX, and was recorded in Hamilton County Deed Book, Vol. 22, p. 60. The land was described as being situated in Hamilton County, and was a tract of land of the Isaac Massengill Subdivision of the John Riley Survey, on the waters of Leon River and on the Hico-Jonesboro Road.

The Agee Baptist Church disbanded in July, 1992, and  the building was used for a Spanish-speaking mission, Nueva Vision Iglesia sponsored by Fairy Baptist Church and the Tri-Rivers Baptist Association for several yeas.

Lanham Baptist Church apparently changed its name to Agee Baptist Church in 1900. Lanham Baptist Church was admitted to Hamilton County Baptist Association 16 August, 1900. The minutes of Hamilton County Baptist Association do not record the admission of Agee Baptist Church despite the fact that it actively participated in the association for over ninety years.

Early pastors of Agee Baptist Church have included:

J. T. Beam, 1901–1902

F. M. Walker, 1903

J. T. Adams, 1904–1905

Randolph Hunter “Randall” Gibson, 1906

John Seymour Deaton, 1907–1910

Early church clerks included:

John L. Anglin–1900 (Lanham)

John L. Anglin, 1901–1905 (Agee)

R. A. Driver, 1906–1910

Early messengers to the annual association meeting were:

1900–(Lanham) Rev. William Absalom Agee, John L. Anglin, Sr., John L. Anglin, Jr.;

1901–William Absalom Agee, John L. Anglin, Jr.;

1902–John L. Anglin, Jr.;

1903—William Absalom Agee, John L. Anglin, R. A. Barrett;

1904–J. P. Stockton, J. Jameson, John Anglin;

1905–Joshua Iredell Jameson, John L. Anglin, Jr., Willie Driver;

1906–R. A. Driver, J. A. Anderson;

1907–J. J. Vinson, W. T. Driver, J. A. Anderson

1908–J. J. Vinson, W. L. Franklin

1909–J. J. Vinson, J. S. Webber, R. A. Driver

1910–J. S. Webber, William Absalom Agee

1911–R. A. Driver, William Absalom Agee, J. M. Blakely, and J. J. Vinson — ECW

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Note: Today’s entry is includes lots of photos.

On 14 November, 1987, Pecan Creek Park was dedicated. A seven-year project of the Woman’s Council, Pecan Creek Park extends for 10 blocks –12 acres– along Pecan Creek. The park included trails, six clear span arch bridges, three cameo recreational areas, multi-purpose pavilions, playground equipment, and picnic areas. Included in the project were Schadler Meadow–featuring playground equipment, picnic areas, and restrooms, north of the municipal swimming pool; Park Plaza–pavilion, specially-designed lighting for night-time use, south of park headquarters; and Schrank Park–pavilion, restrooms, hillside slide, swings, and picnic area. — ECW

Recently, the newest addition to Pecan Creek Park was built.  The park facilities run along Pecan Creek as it meanders through Hamilton. It is a project that has taken several years to complete and is a work in progress. — DH

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New entry to Pecan Creek Park.

Pecan tree near entry of park.

Looking out the front entry of the park.

New playground.

New playground.

Baseball/Softball fields.

Baseball/Softball fields.

The new park even includes a skate park.

The new park even includes a skate park.

One of several old bridges in the park waiting to be restored or used somehow.

One of several old bridges in the park waiting to be restored or used somehow.

Pecan Creek Headquarters Building.

Pecan Creek Headquarters Building.

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The park headquarters was located in the oldest commercial building in Hamilton, a restored stone building which originally was a grist mill on Pecan Creek. For many years this building was used as an office and warehouse by Robert Bernard “R. B.” Miller,Sr. Distributor of Gulf Oil Products and Firestone Tires and Batteries. — ECW

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William Thatcher Baker, Sr.  1830-1884

William Thatcher Baker, Sr. 1830-1884

Ohio was named by the late William Thatcher Baker, father of Dr. Charles C. Baker, Sr., for his native state, Ohio. William Thatcher Baker was born 10 October, 1830, in Licking County, OH. On 10 August, 1877, William T. Baker purchased 320 acres of land nine miles south of Hamilton from A. E. Fort for $640. His two oldest sons, Jim and Francis, were sent to oversee the building of a new house to which the family moved. Mr. Baker also built a store.

James Artemas "Jim" Baker  1859-1917

James Artemas "Jim" Baker 1859-1917

When William Thatcher Baker was appointed postmaster on 4 May, 1882, and he named the post office Ohio.  His salary as postmaster was $4.00 per year. Mail delivery was once a week to Mr. Baker’s store. Mail service improved to twice a week in 1883. William T. Baker died on 12 August, 1884, and Ramer Gooch purchased Baker’s store and moved the store and the Post Office of Ohio from the Plum Creek location three miles south to the village which had sprung up around James A. Carter’s mill on the Cowhouse and thence, the village at Carter’s Mill became known as Ohio. The Ohio Post Office closed 30 October, 1920, when mail service was moved to Evant. The second location of Ohio was 11 ½ miles southeast of Hamilton.

The picture of the Hogg Ranch House is from the July 22, 2004 issue of The Hamilton Herald-News.  Sent to The Hamilton Herald-News by Elizabeth Grahame, of Edinburgh, Scotland.  Ms. Grahame is the granddaughter of James C. K. Hogg.

The picture of the Hogg Ranch House is from the July 22, 2004 issue of The Hamilton Herald-News. Sent to The Hamilton Herald-News by Elizabeth Grahame, of Edinburgh, Scotland. Ms. Grahame is the granddaughter of James C. K. Hogg.

In 1874the brothers, Archie and James C. K. Hogg, arrived in Hamilton County, TX, from Scotland and bought 4,000 acres of land on the Cowhouse. Before 1900 the Hogg Ranch was divided into smaller tracts and the brothers returned to Scotland.

Other early Ohio settlers were the families of Clint Owens, Wm. B. Ballard, James N. Billingsley, J. J. Ray, Sterling Gooch, Sam Stiles, M. N. Elam, Sr. and the Handys, Rhoads, Parrishs, Boyds, Hedgepeths, Blairs Hamptons and Pattersons. Sam Stiles purchased a 1500 acre ranch near Ohio in 1875. In 1879 Stiles built a nice home with lumber being hauled from Waco. The Stiles home then became the social center of the community.

From about 1886 to 1920 Ohio had a cotton gin, a flour and corn mill, a post office, drugstore, blacksmith shop, a woodsman lodge, and a few retail businesses. Electricity came to the Ohio community in the 1940’s. The general store at Ohio closed in 1943. Live Oak SchoolPlum Creek and Carter’s Mill on the Cowhouse opened in the 1880’s. Live Oak School was located on the property now occupied by Live Oak Cemetery.  In 1871 Henry Jones Carter sold his property at Ohio to J. M. Owens and moved to Blue Ridge. located about half way between Ohio on

No traces of the village of Ohio remain.  FM 1241 runs through the Ohio Community which was located east of the Live Oak Cemetery on County Road 424 and west of the Liberty Community at County Road 420.

Ohio Singing School, 1904 submitted by Norene Brian Walls

Ohio Singing School, 1904 submitted by Norene Brian Walls

My grandmother has written on the back of this picture that it was a singing school group at Ohio, TX October 2, 1904. This was also Tom and Annie Smith’s (George Thomas “Tom” Smith and  Cynthia Ann “Annie” (Neal) Smith) wedding day. I can identify many of the Smiths and Neals in the picture. Marion Neal is on the left side with one hand on a tree.   –NoreneEditors Note: To make the picture smaller, much of the background has been removed.  The background resembles Parsleys Crossing.  Live Oak and Parsleys Crossing are in the Ohio area.– ECW

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