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Cherokee County TX
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CRAFT, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Cherokee County, East Texas

31 55' 6" N, 95 14' 8" W (31.918333, -95.235556)

US Hwy 69
2 miles S of Jacksonville
NW of Rusk the county seat
Population: 21 (2000)

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Craft TX - Craft Store
Craft
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, October 2010

Historical Marker: Junction of US 69 and FM 22 on NW corner

Town of Craft

Known first as Independence, the town of Craft grew up in the 1890s on the railroad. When a post office was established in 1891, the name Craft was chosen to honor Thomas J. Craft, first postmaster and community leader. In 1896, C. D. and S. H. Jarrat and W. R. Stout began commercial tomato growing and production here. By 1917, 90 percent of Texas' tomatoes were shipped from this area. The town declined in the 1930s but is important for its early role in the East Texas tomato growing and shipping industry.
1985

Craft TX - Town  of Craft historical marker
Town of Craft historical marker
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, October 2010


Craft TX - Craft Baptist Church
Craft Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, October 2010
More Texas Churches

Historical Marker: From Jacksonville, S on Hwy 69, W on CR 1629 at Hwy 22

Craft Baptist Church

Organized in 1891 at the Shiloh Schoolhouse by members of the Baptist Church of Christ at Corinth, this church was originally called the Baptist Church of Christ at Shiloh. Charter members elected E.M. Carter as the first pastor. The church was soon renamed the Baptist Church of Christ at New Independence, reflecting its location west of the schoolhouse. Members constructed a building in 1893, and in 1899, they changed the name to Craft Baptist Church of Christ. A new building was constructed in 1910, which members replaced in 1953, a year after expanding to weekly worship services.

Up until 1944, members met for worship once a month, and twice a month from 1944 until 1953, reflecting the difficulties in attaining fulltime pastors in rural communities. The church has been active in providing for the physical, spiritual and educational needs of Cherokee County residents since its early years. Members and pastors have a long record of involvement in education, allowing ministerial students from Jacksonville College to preach here. Several pastors have also served in colleges, seminaries and other educational institutions. A number of Craft Baptist Church pastors have served as presidents of state and national associations; others have become foreign missionaries. Additionally, members have aided needy residents in the community through food pantries, holiday food baskets and a benevolent fund for utility, medical and other expenses. Today, more than 100 years after its establishment, Craft Baptist Church continues to be a spiritual beacon for central and northern Cherokee County.
(2007)

Craft TX - Craft Store sign
Craft store sign
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, October 2010


Craft TX - FM 22
FM 22
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, October 2010


Craft TX - US 69
U.S. 69
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, October 2010


Craft, Texas  Cherokee County post office  info
Craft, Texas  Cherokee County 1906 postmark
Postcard canceled with Craft, TX 1906 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection


Cherokee County Texas  1907 postal map
Cherokee County 1907 postal mapshowing craft between Jacksonville and Dialville on the St. Louis Southwestern of Texas RR
From Texas state map #2090
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Take a road trip

East Texas

Craft, Texas Nearby Cities & Towns:
Rusk the county seat
New Summerfield
Jacksonville
Dialville
Alto
Maydelle

See Cherokee County

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