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NEW COLONY, TX (BELL COUNTY)

NEW COLONY, TEXAS (Bell County). New Colony is a tiny rural community located at the junction of Farm Road 2184 and New Colony Road about fifteen miles southeast of Temple in eastern Bell County. In 1905 Czech families from the Central Texas towns of Taylor and Elgin arrived in the area along Elm Creek. These settlers included the Jezek, Jirasev, Shiller, Dusek, and Shenkir families. In January 1907 the Vine Shiller farm became the site of the first meeting to organize a lodge of the Slavonic Benevolent Order of the State of Texas (SPJST), a fraternal benefit society. The fledgling lodge and surrounding community chose the name Nova Osada or New Colony. Pioneers John and Frances Shenkir donated an acre for the first lodge hall in 1908. In 1909 a school opened in the one-room lodge and became known as "Blue School" because of its exterior color. A three-room school was constructed on the site in the early 1920s. New Colony School was shown on county highway maps in the 1930s and served area children into the 1940s, when it consolidated with the nearby Rogers Independent School District. After the schoolhouse was removed from the site the Leedale Extension Homemakers Club built a community center there in the 1950s which served as the hub of area activities as well as home for SPJST Lodge #69. The lodge disbanded, however, in December 1971. In 1995 the New Colony School site was commemorated with a Texas Historical Marker. Though the 1990 and 2000 censuses listed only four residents in New Colony, the community was still shown on highway maps.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Bell County Historical Commission, Story of Bell County, Texas (2 vols., Austin: Eakin Press, 1988). Bell County History (Fort Worth: University Supply and Equipment Company, 1958). Marker files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin (New Colony School).

Laurie E. Jasinski

Citation

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

Laurie E. Jasinski, "NEW COLONY, TX (BELL COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnn49), accessed October 20, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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