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CONCRETE, TX (DEWITT COUNTY)

CONCRETE, TEXAS (DeWitt County). Concrete is on U.S. Highway 183 eight miles north of Cuero in northern DeWitt County. James Norman Smith laid out the town in 1846; it was thus the county's earliest townsite, and its nucleus was the old Upper Cuero Creek settlement, which dates from 1827. The town was named for the early adobe concrete used in local buildings and homes. A Cumberland Presbyterian church was established in 1846, the first church in DeWitt County; a two-story structure later replaced the original log building and served both Methodists and Masons. Methodists were active in Concrete until the 1890s. Concrete College, chartered in 1856, was one of the best-attended boarding colleges in Texas and established Concrete as an education center. It operated until 1881. The Baptists were active in Concrete from 1865 to 1881, when Rev. John Van Epps Covey, a professor at Concrete College, was there. Primary school sessions were held in the Presbyterian church, but there was no regular school in Concrete until 1855, when a two-room schoolhouse was built. Reverend Covey and his wife taught at this school, which became known as Covey Academy. The Concrete public school was established in 1880. A post office opened in 1853. In 1870 Concrete received mail twice daily, had seven stores, a two-story hotel, a blacksmith, a mule-driven gin, Baptist and Presbyterian churches, a Masonic lodge, and the college. An 1885 directory shows a population of 200, a steam cotton gin, a gristmill, Baptist and Methodist churches, and daily stages to Gonzales and Cuero. The local economy thrived on cotton, pecans, livestock, and hides. The town suffered after the Gulf, Western Texas and Pacific Railroad built through to the south and Cuero was established as a railhead. The population of Concrete declined to 100 by the mid-1890s, and the post office was discontinued in 1907. By 1933 only twenty-five residents and four businesses were recorded. The Baptists held regular services until 1948. In the 1940s seventy-five people supported four businesses and several schools. Forty-six residents were listed in 1985, 1990, and 2000, and the 1983 county highway map indicated one business.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Nellie Murphree, A History of DeWitt County (Victoria, Texas, 1962).

Craig H. Roell

Citation

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

Craig H. Roell, "CONCRETE, TX (DEWITT COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnc89), accessed August 01, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.