Mountain 1900 - General Marchandise & Groceries|
courtesy Raymond Kay Howard
Click on photo for large image
History in a Pecan Shell
The J. H. F. Skipper ranch occupied this portion of Erath county and is said to
have been used as an antebellum trading post. The community of Chalk Mountain
came into being in the 1870s and grew around the post office (granted in 1876)
although the building was technically in Somervell County. It relocated on the
Erath side of the county line in 1902. (See 1920s
Erath County map)
Chalk Mountain had two churches in the 1890s
as well as a school and a cotton gin. The 1900 census showed 81 residents. The
Lodge building dates from 1904.
The community’s growth was
stunted by its proximity to larger towns like Glen
Rose and Stephenville
and the 1910 census showed a decline to just 50 residents. By 1927 the post office
had closed and Chalk Mountain never broke a population of 100.
census showed two businesses at Chalk Mountain supported by 69 residents. Improved
roads after WWII helped
deplete the remaining population and by 1980 only 25 people called Chalk Mountain
home, although the Masonic
Lodge remained active.
The number of residents has remained
at 25 for both the 1990 and 2000 census and it no longer appears on the official
Texas highway map. It is generally considered a ghost town despite the fact that
it never grew to any substantial size.
The Chalk Mountain Cemetery has over 350 graves.
Oldest marked grave is that of Abigal Davis (d. 1874). The presence of unmarked
graves suggests there may have been earlier use of this cemetery.
a beautiful old chapel on the cemetery grounds. The white paint on the wood siding
of the chapel looked freshly applied during a recent visit. The Chalk Mountain
Cemetery is very well maintained today.
Looking at gravestone inscriptions,
it's easy to tell life was hard in this part of Texas 125 years ago. People died
young, and there are far too many headstones for children who died in the early
years of life.
© 2003 by Sam
Fenstermacher All rights reserved
The village of Chalk Mountain originated as a trading center before the Civil
War. The earliest burial at Chalk Mountain Cemetery, the only burial ground to
have served this community, is that of Abigal Davis (d. 1874), but the presence
of unmarked burials indicates possible earlier use. Confederate veteran Hiram
Berry Rogers (1840-1929) deeded the cemetery to the county in 1915. Over 350 graves,
including those of Rogers and veterans of the Civil War, World
Wars I and II, and
the Korean War, are interred here. It has been maintained by a cemetery association
since 1959. (1991)
The Masonic Lodge was Chartered December 8, 1904
and moved May 6, 1989. The lodge still holds meetings Saturdays on or after a
The top part of the current lodge was moved from the 2nd
story of the original building. The original building was located about 1/4 or
1/2 mile west of Erath County Road 198 and south of US 67.
wooden part of the old building was raised atop a new foundation and cement block
first floor at the new location.
© 2003 by Sam
Fenstermacher All rights reserved
Thanks to Tom Guest, the webmaster
for the lodge's website, for information on the lodge.
Area Hotels, Book Here > Glen
Mountain Texas ForumSubject:
The land that Chalk Mountain Cemetery sits on use to belong to Hiram Berry Rogers
who gave that piece of land to be used as a cemetery. The ranch house was located
further east down the road where a windmill now stands, but I believe that has
been removed: however, the concrete base still sits there. Historical marker is
now located by the little school house that was moved on the property.
Hiram Berry Rogers and his wife Nancy are buried there. A confederate headstone
was placed on his grave and recently a Texas Rangers headstone. His great grandson
is Pete Laney who was our Speaker of the House until this year. The Laney's are
originally from Duffau, Erath county but Pete's
kin moved to Plainview to raise
cotton. Zoritta Jackson who owns the little grocery store and filling station
on [Highway] 67, near the Masonic lodge knows all the history of that area. My
dad belongs to the Masonic lodge. I have pictures of my grandfather on chalk mountain.
Hiram joined Lt. Sul Ross' group of Texas Rangers in Waco.
After participating in the capture
of Cynthia Ann Parker, this group of rangers joined the Confederacy and became
part of Hood's Brigade. He was at Appomatox when Lee surrendered and returned
to Waco where he was forced to go through a gauntlet of Black soldiers before
he could be released. He then served in the state police under Governor Polk.
He lost both of his brothers [during the war]. Hillsboro Junior College has all
of his papers pertaining to his service during this time. After the war he came
to Erath County and bought land at Chalk Mountain, Erath County. - Eva Rogers,
Erath County map showing Chalk Mountain|
Somervell County line)
Texas General Land Office
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve
historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their
local history, stories, or vintage/historic photos, please contact
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