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SUNNY SIDE, TX (WALLER COUNTY)

SUNNY SIDE, TEXAS (Waller County). Sunny Side (Sunnyside) is near Irons Creek and two miles south of Farm Road 529 some twenty miles southeast of Hempstead and ten miles northwest of Brookshire in Waller County. It was settled in 1866, and a post office opened there in 1877. Early resident James Rainwater reportedly suggested the town name because he believed the sun would always shine on the post office site on the prairie land above the adjoining bottomland. By 1884 Sunny Side had four steam gristmills and cotton gins and thirty-five residents. Two general stores (one of which housed the post office), a blacksmith shop, and a physician served the community in 1892, when forty people lived there. The population reached a reported high of 178 in 1904. During the 1920s the Mount Zion Christian Methodist Church (a black congregation that probably existed by 1878), and the Harper Chapel United Methodist Church (originally founded in San Felipe in neighboring Austin County in 1881), apparently moved to Sunny Side. In 1905 the community had a school for 294 black children and another for thirty-nine white children. By the 1930s the schools were in the Monaville Independent School District, which became part of the Hempstead Independent School District in 1953. The population of Sunny Side numbered around 100 in the 1930s, when two cotton gins operated there. From the late 1940s through the mid-1960s the population was estimated at twenty, but from 1968 through 1990 it was reported as 120, where it remained in 2000. The cotton gin apparently closed long before the post office ceased operations in 1969. By 1977 the building that housed the post office, grocery store, and service station stood unoccupied.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Mildred W. Abshier et al., Former Post Offices of Waller County (Hempstead, Texas: Waller County Historical Society, 1977). Waller County Historical Survey Committee, A History of Waller County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1973).

Paul M. Lucko

Citation

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

Paul M. Lucko, "SUNNY SIDE, TX (WALLER COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls85), accessed July 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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