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ELYSIAN FIELDS [OLD TOWN], TX

ELYSIAN FIELDS [OLD TOWN], TEXAS. Old Elysian Fields (Old Town) is a community in southeastern Harrison County located just west of Socagee Creek at the intersection of Farm Road 451 and County Road 1202. Situated just over a mile east of the present-day town of Elysian Fields, the origins of Old Town can be traced to a store owned by Edward Smith who migrated to Texas in September 1837. Smith appears to have arrived in the area in December of that same year; he set up several large plantations along the Socagee. No mention is made of the existence of the community in either the field notes or plat maps of the American surveys of Northeastern Texas of June 1838—the western boundary of these surveys lay along Socagee Creek, less than 200 yards east of the crossroads community.

The first appearance of Old Elysian Fields in the record is a February 1840 Congressional act which referred to Elysian Fields on a mail route established between San Augustine and Port Caddo. The origins of the community have erroneously been attributed to the presence of an old Caddo village known as Biff Springs (see BIG SPRING CADDO VILLAGE). In 1910 the town was moved one mile to the west to the present site of Elysian Fields. Evidence of the old community was still shown on county highway maps in 1936. In the early twenty-first century, except for a couple of old houses obscured by trees growing up through their floors, no visible evidence of Old Elysian Fields remained. See also ELYSIAN FIELDS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

James Weeks Tiller, Jr., and Albert Wayne Tiller, Our American Adventure: The History of a Pioneer East Texas Family, 1657–1966 (Huntsville, Texas: The START Group, 2008). Jim Tiller, Before the Line, Volume III: Caddo Indians: The Final Years (2013), Electronic version available at Newton Gresham Library, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville.

Jim Tiller

Citation

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

Jim Tiller, "ELYSIAN FIELDS [OLD TOWN], TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hne38), accessed September 30, 2014. Uploaded on May 22, 2012. Modified on September 25, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.