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STEWARDS MILL, TX

STEWARDS MILL, TEXAS. Stewards Mill is at the intersection of Farm roads 833 and 2547, seven miles north of Fairfield in north central Freestone County. It was established in 1849 and named after Washington Steward of South Carolina, who built a gristmill in the area. The mill was one of only a few in the vicinity, and people came from as far away as Ellis and Dallas counties to have wheat and corn ground into flour and meal. A general store built in 1867 by Dr. James I. Bonner was known as Stewards Mill Store. Both the Harmony Presbyterian Church and the Stewards Mill Church were established in 1876. The town also had a brick plant, a sawmill, and the county's first phone exchange. A school founded in 1891 had an enrollment of twenty-five in 1893. The post office opened as Steward's Mill with Jeremiah T. Steward as postmaster in 1872. The apostrophe was dropped from the name in 1894. The post office was discontinued in 1914, and mail was sent to Kirvin. Cotton and corn were the main crops of the area, but livestock was also raised. The community became known for its mules. Mule raisers from as far away as Tennessee purchased stock at Stewards Mill. A school district was formed in 1906 but was consolidated with the Fairfield district in 1929. In the late 1930s the community had a population of fifty-five and two businesses. In 1959 the Fairfield and Harmony churches merged to become the Fairfield Harmony Presbyterian Church. In 1968 the population of Stewards Mill had dropped to twenty-two, and by the late 1980s the community had only a church, a cemetery, and a few scattered dwellings. Through 2000 the population was still estimated at twenty-two. The Stewards Mill Store was recorded as a Texas historical landmark in 1964.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Freestone County Historical Commission, History of Freestone County, Texas (Fairfield, Texas, 1978). Freestone County Historical Survey Committee, Official Texas Historical Markers of Freestone County (Fairfield, Texas?, 1974).

Chris Cravens

Citation

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

Chris Cravens, "STEWARDS MILL, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hns85), accessed July 10, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.