PLACE NAMES IN KAUFMAN COUNTY
It would be impossible to include all the names of places that have played a part in the history of Kaufman County. This listing is given in the hopes that it will bring back memories or help someone reading Kaufman County History Vol. II which was compiled and edited by the Kaufman County Historical Commission, to locate a place which was mentioned to them.
ABLES SPRINGS - James and Eliza Godfrey Ables, early pioneers of this region, came to the area in 1854 and settled on land granted to his father, Ezekiel in 1838 by the State of Texas. The springs provided a good water supply to the community for many years until "progress" and a rock mining quarry nearby ruined the flow of water."
ABNER - Located in the east central portion of the county, was first called Johnson's Point for Abner Johnson, a land owner in the area as early as 1849. The name was changed in 1885 when a post office was established. Abner had a population of 25 in 1890 and J. P. Harr had the post office in his general store. By 1900 a co-operative cotton gin had been built and the population rose to sixty-three. Population declined until in 1920 one business and a population of 10 was reported.
BACHELOR - William Irvine was a widower when he came to this part of the country and he and Joe Chisholm, who was a bachelor, lived in a cabin and made a crop together in 1848. Their cabin was located on the east side of the creek west of Terrell, thus the Creek bore the name of Bachelor Creek.
BECKER - The community derives its name from Ernest William Becker, a German immigrant born 1800, came to the United States in 1834 and settled first in Illinois. He came to Kaufman County in 1849 and eventually settled in the community which still bears his name.
BRADFIELD - John A. Bradfield on November 7, 1881 submitted the name as a post office. This office was changed to Daughtery January 20,1882. In 1883 the post office was sent to Kaufman and then again re-established as Daugherty and on March 16, 1906 the mail was transferred to Crandall.
CEDAR CREEK - Rising in two main branches, Muddy Cedar Creek and Rocky Cedar Creek, which unites to form Cedar Creek proper in the east central section of the county. Flowing generally south making an eastward curve into western Van Zandt County before returning to southeastern Kaufman County and continuing through western Henderson County to join the Trinity River south of the town of Trinidad.
CEDAR CREEK RESERVOIR - In the southern portion of Kaufman County fed by King and Cedar Creeks. The project is owned and operated by Tarrent County Water Control and Improvement District #1 for municipal water supply. Construction was started in April of 1961 and completed in 1965. The reservoir has a surface area of 34,000 acres at operating elevation of 322 feet above mean sea level.
CEDAR FORK - Jonathan W. Terrell was postmaster from June 17, 1854 to October 6, 1854 when the office was discontinued. It was listed as Cedar Fork again on February 6, 1860 to November 5, 1866 at which time it was again discontinued.
CEDAR GROVE - Adam Sullivan and William Gibbard settled Cedar Grove. Located at the crossroads of Austin-Clarksville and the Jordon Saline-Black Hill - Dallas Roads in late 1840s. The post office was established 1850 and closed in 1874. Records show it to have been the second most active office at the close of the Civil War. The community had Cedar Grove Lodge No 308 A. F. & A. M. from 1868 to 1913. When the Texas and Pacific Railroad came to Wills Point in 1873, many Cedar Grove inhabitants moved there. Cedar Grove remained a trading center until the 1930s when it still had two or three stores. All that remains of the community today is the cemetery.
CEDAR STATION - In 1884 it was the termius of the Texas Trunk Railroad and remained so for several years. It was later renamed Gossett for H. M. Gossett a large land owner when the post office was established.
COLLEGE MOUND - A college was dreamed about but never established at College Mound. An ambitious young man, who came down the Chisholm trail in 1845, hoped to establish a college on the mound in eastern Kaufman County. Those plans were never realized.
COLQUITT - Became a one store village in the late 1880s. By 1910 population was 100, in 1930 two businesses and a population of 105 were reported. By 1940 it had one business and 25 persons. Most likely gained its name from Governor 0. B. Colquitt of Kaufman County.
DAMERON'S POINT - In the summer of 1845 "Billy" Love, Dameron and his three sons, and two or three other families built six miles south of old Kingsborough, at a place they called Dameron's Point. After the death of Dameron, his wife and three sons became converted to the Mormon faith, by a strolling elder, whom they followed to Salt Lake City.
ELMO - The town was laid out by Elmo Scott and the post office when established was named in his honor. P. A. Bennett built the first dwelling house, later converted into a grocery and dry goods store, kept by W. B. Akin. Elmo in 1880 had 400 inhabitants, 12 business houses, one hotel, two church buildings, where four denominations held services. This church was also used as a school house with 80 pupils.
EUREKA - Meaning "I have found it". Settlers in the community used the term to indicate they had found the new home they were looking for. The post office was established May 4,1857 by Alex M. Morrow and discontinued January 11, 1860.
FORNEY - Named in honor of Col. John Forney, Capitalist and Editor of the Philadelphia Chronicle. Post office established in 1873. The settlement was first called Brooklyn for a little brook that ran through the town. Earliest white settlers in the Forney area date back to 1845.
FOUR MILE PRAIRIE - So named for the prairie which is said to be four miles in length. Prairieville, an early Norwegian settlement, is Iocated on Four Mile Prairie and the church and cemetery used by the early settlers from Norway named their church and cemetery Four Mile Prairie. The Prairie extends into Van Zandt County and the church and cemetery are just over the county line.
GOSSETT - First known as Cedar Station, when the Texas Trunk Railroad had this location as the termius of its line in 1884. Later renamed Gossett for H. M. Gossett, large land owner when the post office was established in 1905. The post office operated until 1920 when it was replaced by rural delivery from Kemp. Census reports of 1930 and 1940 list one business and a population of 90.
JEUBERVILLE - Referred to in the Commissioners Court Minutes as early as 1854. It was located about one and three fourths miles southeast of present Scurry. It had a store and schoolhouse, but the main attraction was the horse races. The town was dying out by 1877 and apparently never had a post office.
JIBA - First called Green in postoffice records in 1901 when the office was established. Believed to have been a tribute to E. H. R. Green, owner of the Midland Railroad. Mail service was confused by another Texas postal station named Green and in 1905 was re-named Jiba, pronounced "Heba" in the Spanish fashion. Multiple names and pronunciations caused so much confusion in the early days of the community that a song was composed and entitled "Heba, Joyeba, Jessie Green".
KAUFMAN - County seat of Kaufman County, first known as King's Fort or Kingsborough for Dr. William P. King, first settler. In 1851 the settlement was renamed in honor of David S. Kaufman. Post office was established October 18, 1849.
KEMP - Settled in the late 1840s and early 1850s, Kemp was named for Sarah Kemp Noble, the mother of Levi Noble, who had moved west from Nacogdoches where he had owned land in the vicinity of Old North Church. In his now home on Cedar Creek he maintained a Way-Station for the stage coaches and mail. In the early 1880s the town was moved further north and again was called Kemp.
LAWNDALE - First postmaster appointment was Lewis H. Bryant in 1887. Lawndale was located about one mile northeast of the present town of Mabank. In 1900 when the Texas Railroad Company arrived, Mabank came into being and Lawndale ceased to exist. Lawndale at one time is said to have had a dozen business houses, a community church, school, post office, around three saloons and a newspaper called the Lawndale Courier.
LAWRENCE - Named for Col. J. W. Lawrence who was in charge of the Texas Colony Association Branch Office at Austin, Texas. Membership in the Texas Colony Association could be obtained by the payment of fifteen dollars. A certificate of membership was issued which entitled the holder to a town lot in Lawrence 25 x 125 feet. The new owner could then buy adjoining lots if he desired. Members and their families were entitled to reduction in price for each railroad ticket from New York, Chicago or St. Louis in the amount greater than the cost of membership. Members were allowed two years to emigrate in receiving the benefits of the Association. The village had been settled as early as 1840, but with the land deals and the coining of the Texas and Pacific railroad in 1872, it had by 1880 two churches, a school, two grist mills and a cotton gin with a population of 200.
LEG PRAIRIE - The citizens of Leg Prairie and surrounding country petitioned the post master general to establish a post office at the old residence of Daniel Buie, in honor of whom they desire the post office named. They asked the appointment of Mrs. Stanley, his daughter, as postmistress. No record has been found that the post office was granted.
PEEDE - Called Peede's Mill for George A. Peede who established a grist and sawmill in the late 1870s. Post office appears to have first been named Tudes when established in 1880 by George A. Peede. Population in 1880 was 30 and 72 in 1900. Mail from the post office was transferred to Scurry in 1906.
PRAIRIEVILLE - The once thriving trade center is located on a prairie and is one of the oldest settlements in the county. Founded in 1847 as one of three Norwegian settlements by Johan Reinert Reierson. Post office was established in 1854 as were the first church and cemetery. The post office was discontinued in 1867 and re-established in 1875 until it was closed again in 1954. In 1925 the town had ten places of business and a cotton gin.
ROBIN'S SPRINGS - In the spring of 1843, Major Alfred Moore, John Robins, John McCarty and others came out to this section from Red River on a buffalo hunt, discovering these springs in the northeastern portion of the present county, known afterwards as Robin's Springs. Major Alfred Moore, James Eagan, William and Henry Newell, Thomas White, Rodgers, Charlie Saunders Sr. and Charles Saunders Jr., Jones and other families came to these springs in the winter of 1844-5. Robins upon returning to his home sent a man by the name of Dewey to break the land in the fall of 1843. Robins never settled here but sold his interest.
ROSSER - First called Sand Switch. It grew rapidly with the coming the railroad. In a few years its name was changed to Rosser, honoring Captain Rosser who was head of the workers when the railroad was being constructed. Rosser did a booming business with the railroad, shipping more gravel, sand, and wood than the other depots.
RUFUS - Rufus Hamilton in August 21, 1897 gave the community the name for the post office department. The office was closed and mail was sent to Kaufman on October 14, 1903. SCURRY - Calloway Dean named the community in memory of his son, Scurry Dean, who lost his life in the Civil War. Population was 350 in 1940 with 10 business houses.
STOVAR CROSSROADS - A point on the Kaufman Henderson County lines in which crossed two major stagecoach routes. Named for landowner Lorenzo D. Stover and had post office from July 26, 1860 to January 31, 1870.
STYX - Located in southern Kaufman County on the county line of Henderson County. In 1900 it had a post office, two general stores, a church, a school and a population of 66. The post office was replaced by rural delivery from Kemp on February 15, 1908.
TERRELL - Named in honor of Robert A. Terrell, who built a log cabin home on land in the area in 1846. Earlier, as a young surveyor he had come from San Augustine with Dr. William P. King to survey land for the settlers of King's Fort. Located on the Texas and Pacific and the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, it is the largest town in Kaufman County. Early development is associated with the building of the railroad in 1873, the year that the first plat of the town was filed for record.
TOLOSA - This Indian name was the second choice of Mr. Todd, the postmaster, who sent two names to Washington when the post office was established. It was transferred from Henderson County to Kaufman County in 1880. The population was 25 in 1880 and by 1890 it had a post office, 3 churches and a school.
TRINIDAD - Trinidad was the brain child of John S. Damron who came to Texas in 1845 as a settler in the Charles Penton Mercer Colony. Damron settled first near old Buffalo, the first county seat of Henderson County. Damron located his 640 acres of land in Kaufman County, and promoted his new town site on the Trinity River. He sold town lots and platted his little town of Trinidad. Trinidad became a post office on June 24, 1854 and remained so until 1866 when mail service was discontinued. The town is known to have had a brick factory, a blacksmith shop and a large hotel and rooming house reputedly of twenty rooms. Early residents of Trinidad included E. C. Tinnin, Robert G. Thetford, Elizabeth Gray, Henry K. Vallentine and John H. Thomas. Additional settlers are said to have included the Schilling, Montgomery and Wilson families.
TRINITY - First called Trinity when the post office was established by N. Beardslee on June 22,1848. On July 11, 1848 the name was changed by the post office department to Forks of Trinity, and again changed to Black Hill. The post office was discontinued December 22, 1856.
UNION GROVE - The name was changed to Parvin Park after the railroad came and Mr. Parvin developed a nice park area and people came by rail to enjoy an outing. Union Grove had a post office from 1872 to 1878 and again from 1879 to 1880.
WARSAW - First called Warsaw Prairie. The story is told that the word Warsaw came from a word interpreted as that by the white men from Indians attempting to pronounce water and their English was misunderstood. The post office was established prior to the area being included in Kaufman County, as it was transferred from Henderson County December 19,1851. :
WILSON CHAPEL - Named for Stanford T. Wilson who came to Kaufman County with his new bride in the fall of 1865 and settled the little hamlet just north of Kemp. The deed to the land on which the little chapel and cemetery now stands was recorded in 1880 and the chapel was probably not built until then or later.