in a Pecan Shell|
Founded in the late 1880s the town was originally named Oso and then
Bronco. The request for a post office was rejected and so they settled
on the English novelist Charlotte Brontë, but no one seems to remember why. The
post office was granted in 1890.
Dr. W. F. Key, is credited with starting
the town which could brag of a 213 person population in 1900.
City, Mexico and Orient Railway was completed through the area in 1907 (later
the Santa Fe). There was a spirited rivalry for the railroad
between Bronte and the town of Robert
Lee. Bronte won and the town moved a mile to be on the railroad,
however it was 1909 before the first train arrived.
came close to breaking 1,000 when 999 people were in town for the 1960 census.
former Texas Theater – closed but picturesque in its simplicity|
TE photo, 2001
of the Peace court in Bronte|
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, August 2006
Fort Chadbourne Site: Est 1852 – abandoned 1867 – private property
Cemetery is 10 miles North on Hwy 277.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia
Robert Lee Gets a New
A letter from Ruth Elliott Sellers
and her family lived in Robert
Lee when she was a teenager. As teenagers do, she picked up songs of that
era. “When Robert Lee Gets a New Railroad" was written about the time that
the towns of Robert Lee
and Bronte vied over who would get the railroad. (The Kansas City, Mexico and
Orient - later bought by what is now the Sante Fe.) Robert
Lee lost and the railway was completed to Bronte in 1907. more
Tragedy in early Bronte
Greetings: I am responding to your request for
stories, etc. about early Bronte, Texas. I was actually seeking material on this
myself, and that's why i was looking on the web site.
In April of 1932,
my uncle Vernon Lee Young, who was 18 or 19 at the time, was killed in Bronte
in a freak accident while playing baseball there. He was hit in the head by a
baseball bat after the batter threw it aside to run. I don't know if my uncle
was actually playing catcher (as the family says he often did) or was just nearby.
Vernon Young lived in Bronte with his parents, Jay and Mattie Young, and his brothers
J.D. and Raymond Young, who were 14 and 6 at the time, respectively. He was buried
in the cemetery there, I believe it is called Pioneer Rest. They have no record
of his grave, but I've seen it as late as the 1960s when my father took me there,
and my great-grandfather is buried there, as well as other relatives. Vernon Young's
grave was marked with a sandstone marker with just his name and year of death
etched on it. At any rate, I'm looking for old clippings, accounts, etc. on this.
Thanks for your time. - Shirley Young Jinkins, June 16, 2005
Coke County Map showing Bronte, Robert
Lee and ghost towns. Courtesy General Land Office||