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MOUNT CALM, TX

MOUNT CALM, TEXAS. Mount Calm is on State Highway 31 and Farm Road 339 twenty-five miles south of Hillsboro in extreme south central Hill County. Settlement occurred one mile south of the town's present site in the early 1850s, when an estimated fifty families moved to the area, attracted by the rich soils of the Blackland Prairie. The community probably took its name from a French blacksmith named Mountcalm, who had a business between Springfield and Waco. In July 1855 residents organized a Baptist church and applied for a Masonic charter. A general store and a post office opened in 1858. Community development was slow because of a fear of Indian attacks and the Civil War. In 1881 the Texas and St. Louis Railway Company extended its line from Athens to Waco and passed within a mile of Mount Calm. By the following year all of the businesses and most of the residents had moved north to be beside the tracks. In 1883 a Methodist church opened at the new site. Soon thereafter the community built a school. By the early 1890s the population reached 150, and Mount Calm had established itself as a shipping and market point. The weekly Mount Calm Banner began circulation; the first bank opened in 1899. In February 1900 residents voted to incorporate. In 1907 a second bank opened, and the population reached its peak with an estimated 634 residents. For years the community suffered from seasonal droughts; in 1914 a well was dug to solve the summer water shortage. Although the population was more than 600 through the 1920s, the Great Depression, exhaustion of soil from cotton production, World War II, and the lure of Waco and Dallas contributed to a steady decline over the next four decades. In the mid-1930s the town had a population of 525. In the mid-1970s the population had dropped to 363 and the number of businesses to six. Mount Calm became a bedroom community of Waco. In 1990 the population was 303. The population was listed as 310 in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Hill County Historical Commission, A History of Hill County, Texas, 1853–1980 (Waco: Texian, 1980).

David Minor

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

David Minor, "MOUNT CALM, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlm92), accessed December 29, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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