This named community, located ten miles northeast of Hempstead
in Waller County,
existed as early as 1872. It derived its name from one of the early
residents, Andrew Field and his son Druey Holland Field, who opened
a general store in the small agricultural settlement. Settlers began
arriving in the area prior to the Civil War and by 1874 a post office
called Field’s Store and operated by Isaac Newton Jones, Druey’s
son-in-law, served as the center for mail deliveries. In 1875, the
post office dropped the apostrophe from the name. Thirty residents
lived in the area in the 1880’s and the population increased to
about 150 over the next decade.
Three general stores, at least one church, and a physician provided
services for the residents. In 1905, the Fields Store School enrolled
179 students, instructed by four teachers. A local Masonic Lodge
existed during the period and, by 1907, a Woodman of the World chapter
had received its charter. A cotton gin also served local farmers;
as did a brick kiln, blacksmith shop, and other businesses. It was
also known as New Hope Community.
declined when the neighboring communities of Myrtle Grove and Joseph
developed gins and opened post offices. The Fields Store post office
ceased operations in 1909. During the 1930’s sixty-nine students
attended the primary school in Fields Store and the high school
students rode a bus to Waller. In
1953, the Fields Store school was consolidated with the Waller
schools. The old Fields Store school building, completed in 1923.
served as the Fields Store Community House for gatherings; and,
Pleasant Hill Masonic Lodge No. 380 met at the meeting hall in Fields
Store. An active cemetery association raised funds from July 4 picnics
and sponsorship of an annual rodeo. The picnics served as community
reunions. The Texas Historical Commission has placed markers at
the site of the old store and at the cemetery.
The Fields Store Cemetery, located to the west off of FM-1488
on the John Reece Survey, was established during the Reconstruction
period on land donated by Druery Holland Field; and, by J. W. Day,
a Confederate veteran. It is the burial place of early pioneer settlers
and their descendents, including veterans of 5 wars. Although one
of the oldest and one of the largest cemeteries in Waller County,
its location is so secluded, sitting back in an area of large oak,
hickory, and cedar trees, one unfamiliar with the community would
never realize they were passing so near this historic landmark.
One ancestor, Jesse Wiley Robertson, owned 113 acres and had lived
in the vicinity for about eighteen years when he applied in 1905
for benefits under the Indigent Soldier of the Confederacy Act of
May 12, 1899. He enlisted in 1861 and served four years in the Willis
Cavalry Regiment of the Wauls Texas Legion, CSA. A son, Louis Thomas
Robertson, also served in the Texas State Militia.
was created by a Special Act of the 13th Texas State Legislature,
passed on April 28, 1873. It was named after Edwin Waller, a co-signer
of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It was formed out of lands
formerly part of Austin
and Grimes counties.
Hempstead is the county seat.
When a resident in Houston,
one of our best summer events was to feast on a “Hempstead Melon”.
Whether a red or a yellow, the fresh, sweet, tasty meat of the vine
was a delightful treat!
September 14, 2012