County, Central Texas S
FM 1115 (near FM 2762)
1.5 miles E. of the Gonzales County
Grove Baptist Church|
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
residence - but a very active church|
There are 5 communities named Elm
Grove listed in the Handbook of Texas. This isn't one of them. For
the curious, three of the others are in Dallas, Rusk and Wharton counties - with
the remaining two in relatively nearby Hays and Caldwell Counties.
We were given
a tour of Elm Grove and its environs by Mr. Billy Sellers of Flatonia.
We were accompanying Fayette County Historian Gary McKee - who had recently learned
there was one last corner in Fayette County that he wasn't totally familiar with.
Actually, what brought McKee to Mr. Sellers was a search for a mineral spring
/ spa which flourished briefly sometime in the late 19th Century and that Mrs.
Sellers had written about in a local history. Mr. Sellers is also a Deacon of
the Elm Grove Baptist Church.
Elm Grove Church Cemetery
Grave of Sgt. Harvey Sellers
| The area
- which Mr. Sellers remembers as being cotton and corn fields is now covered by
a nearly impenetrable tangle of mesquite.|
Sellers' antecedents came to
Texas from Mississippi and many are now resting in the Elm Grove church cemetery.
Mr. Sellers has over 60 relatives interred here - including 6 great grandfathers
from both family lines.
Another grave in the cemetery belongs to Mr.
Sellers' Uncle Harvey, who was killed at Salerno during the invasion of Italy
in 1942. Mr. Sellers says that his 21-year-old Uncle wasn't married at the time
of his untimely death and his entire worldly possessions barely filled a shoebox.
| || |
Elm Grove Public School 1876-1944 sign
the church is a single residence - but next to that house is the former Elm Grove
store. Mr. Sellers remembers the store closing sometime before 1950.|
A sign shows that Elm Grove once had a school, although Mr. Sellers remembers
it as being on the opposite side of the road. The abandoned house behind the sign
was definitely not the school.
Billy rode a horse the four miles to school,
but he said that most of the time it was faster just to walk the four miles than
to spend the time chasing the horse.
The now-solitary Live Oak of Double Live Oak Lane
| We were
taken to nearby Double Live Oaks Lane - a dirt road just off FM 1115. No one doubts
that there were two trees here, but Mr. Sellers says that only the remaining one
was here when he first saw it around 1940. |
The tree is as scarred and
marked as you can imagine - with initials, burls, severe heart-rot and dead branches.
A rather large cross has been carved high on the trunk, but the callus growth
reveals that this is a rather recent mark.
Mr. Sellers also remembers
when the tree supported a colony of bees.
| The church
itself has been remodeled, but Mr. Sellers remembers attending services as a boy
when lighting was provided by carbide lamps. A marker to the right of the main
entrance (on the ground) gives some basic information. A sealed jar serving as
a time capsule was placed under the marker in 1958 - no date has been announced
for the opening. |
Other Elm Grove memories include Billy's uncles hitching
up their horses to pull cars out of the mud right before the hill entering Gonzales
County. The charge was fifty cents.
The doctor's charge for Mr. Sellers'
birth in 1929 was $25. Since he was an only child, his cautious father waited
a year before paying the bill.
Billy Sellers of Flatonia |
Your Hotel Here & Save|
Grove Texas ForumWhile
on the computer today, I decided to see if Elm Grove, Texas, happened to have
any computer information. To my surprise - there appeared Elm Grove and Billy
As a Junior at Trinity University I began a two year time as
their pastor. The time was January, 1956. I could wish that every young, beginning
pastor had an Elm Grove. They will be observing their 150th Anniversary on the
weekend of April 9-10 and have sought former pastors to come and share some personal
experiences. I mentioned the stone and the fact that when the church had it's
100 Anniversary I was their pastor - we dedicated the marker, and then buried
a sealed jar with a picture of the members of that day, plus some mementos the
people wished to place in the jar. Billy Sellers - he happens to be one of those
folks who helped us all get to today.
Enjoyed your article very much.
Whoever thought that Elm Grove, Waelder, would be on the computer. That is an
illustration of our world today. And, you all help keep the past alive yet also
in the present. - Henry Adrion III, Hilltop Lakes, Texas, February 10, 2005
Must Remember This
More Texas Towns