1900 - General Marchandise & Groceries
Photo courtesy Raymond Kay Howard
Click on photo for large image
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 landmark Masonic
Lodge building dates from 1904.
The community’s growth was stunted by its proximity to larger towns
like Glen Rose and
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
The 1940 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.
There's 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
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
© 2003 by Sam
Fenstermacher All rights reserved
Chalk Mountain Cemetery
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 full
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.
The 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.
Mountain Area Hotels Glen
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,
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
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