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ILLINOIS BEND, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Montague County, North Central Texas
Farm Road 677
20 miles NE of Montague
Cities within 60 miles: Decatur, Gainsville and Wichita Falls
Population: 87 est. (2000)

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Illinois Bend Texas Church And Tabernacle
Illinois Bend Church and Tabernacle
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007
History in a Pecan Shell

Illinois Bend was named after homesick settlers from Illinois - who moved to Texas in 1862 - during the Civil War. Before their arrival it had been named Wardville after a local landowner - C. M. Ward. The name was changed to Illinois Bend in 1877 when a post office was granted for the community. Illinois Bend had a population of 300 by the mid-1880s.

Illinois Bend suffered the death-blow of never having a railroad connection and the population shrank to a little over 100 persons by 1910. The Illinois Bend post office closed and after WWII the population declined to less than 70.
Illoinois Bend Texas school
Former Illoinois Bend School, now a community center
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007
Illoinois Bend Tx Outdoor Tabernacle
Outdoor tabernacle in Illoinois Bend
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007
Illoinois Bend Texas closed gas station
A closed gas station
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007

A Personal Connection to Illinois Bend

Editor's Note: Judie Hilton Porter, who contributed a photo of the old school at Bulcher also had ancestors who lived in Illinois Bend. She contributed the photos used here and the following text is taken from her email.
Homestead in Illoinois Bend Texas
The Hilton Homestead as it appeared in 2002
Photo Courtesy Judie Hilton Porter
My Hiltons came to Texas from Minnesota and the part of my family that didn't live in Bulcher, lived in Illinois Bend.

You can bet I pretty much know the history of Bulcher and the beautiful Coker Cemetery. My great-great-grandmother, Hannah Fish, is buried in the Illinois Bend Cemetery.

[The above photo] is the home my great-grandfather, William H. Hilton, who built the house sometime before the birth of my grandfather, Fred N. Hilton, who was born there in 1899. My father remembers people travelling in wagons that used to stop and rest under the shade of the large oak tree on the left.

Both my parents went to the Illinois Bend School. I believe the building is used as a Community Center now.

There is a very well-written book, "Portrait of Bulcher", by Judy Inman, that is full of pictures and history. Included are photos of the Bulcher school as it looked in the early 1980's and 1907. My copy of the book, given to my Grandmother by the author, is one of my most treasured possessions. - Judie Hilton Porter
Tombstone and cemetery , Illoinois Bend Texas
A view of the Illinois Bend Cemetery
Photo Courtesy Judie Hilton Porter, 2002
Illinois Bend, Texas
Area Towns:

Montague
Decatur
Gainsville
Wichita Falls
Book Hotel Here:
Decatur Hotels
Gainsville Hotels
Wichita Falls Hotels
More Texas Towns & Hotels:
Central Texas North
Texas Town List
Texas Ghost Towns
Texas
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Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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