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CHARLESTON, TX

CHARLESTON, TEXAS. Charleston is on Farm Road 895 some nine miles east of Cooper in southeastern Delta County. It is bordered by Evans Branch on the east and McGuyer Branch on the west. The area, originally part of the D. A. Sey Survey, was within Hopkins County until Delta County was formed in 1870. Settlers in 1854 traveled from Charleston, South Carolina, and named the site for their former home. Local residents exploited the abundance of oak and elm trees, and the first local industry was hardwood lumbering. In 1857 a post office opened at the community, with Zachariah R. Terrell as postmaster. In 1861, during the Civil War, local citizens organized the first Texas militia brigade and chose to fight for the Confederacy. The Charleston school district was organized in 1867. When Delta County and its county seat, Cooper, were established in 1870, the new shipping center attracted much of Charleston's business. In 1884 Charleston had 250 residents, three cotton gins, several stores, two wagonmaking enterprises, a flour mill, a sawmill, a gristmill, a church, and a school. In 1890 mail was delivered triweekly from Paris. The population of Charleston had increased to 400 by 1892, when the community also had a weekly newspaper, the News, and a new municipal government. From 1892 to 1897 A. J. Street conducted a teacher-training school in the community. In 1904 the town had 183 inhabitants. Near Charleston, on May 19, 1910, a 500-pound meteorite fell to earth during the passage of Halley's Comet, bringing some publicity to the community. In the 1920s and 1930s Charleston reported a population of 225, a school, a church, a cemetery, and five or six businesses, including a factory. In 1930 the local school was merged with the Vasco, Cleveland, and Long Ridge districts. Ten years later the school was in East Delta Number 2 District. By 1950 Charleston's population was 150. A 1964 map showed two churches, a cemetery, and a cluster of dwellings at the site on Farm Road 895. By 1970 local children attended classes within the Cooper Independent School District. The Charleston post office closed in 1972. By 1976 area residents had built the Charleston Community Center. In 2000 the community's population was 120.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Cooper Review, April 8, 1976. Paul Garland Hervey, A History of Education in Delta County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1951). Wilma Ross and Billie Phillips, Photos and Tales of Delta County (1976).

Vista K. McCroskey

Citation

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

Vista K. McCroskey, "CHARLESTON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnc47), accessed September 16, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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