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ELWOOD, TX (MADISON COUNTY)

ELWOOD, TEXAS (Madison County). Elwood is on the Old San Antonio Road eight miles northeast of Madisonville in northeastern Madison County. Settlement in the vicinity seems to have begun in the early 1830s, when James Mitchell constructed a fort and a tavern on the Old San Antonio Road three miles west of the site of present Midway in what was then northern Montgomery County. In the mid-1830s Ransom Allphin settled on a one-league headright grant south of the road and established a gristmill. During the 1840s a Methodist church and Sunday school were organized in a log cabin built by James B. Durham about a mile north of the Old San Antonio Road and just west of the route of present Farm Road 1119. By the late 1840s William R. Barrett and his father were operating a general store in the settlement. In 1852 a post office was established in the community with the name Elwood, said to refer to the abundant elms nearby. The post office was discontinued in 1860.

In 1874 the original log Methodist church, which had long doubled as a schoolhouse, was replaced with a frame structure also used as a school and community center, as well as a union church. The local school enrolled fifty-six pupils in 1896. By the late 1890s the town reported a population of 250. In 1899 William G. French, the proprietor of a country grocery near Elwood Cemetery, became postmaster of a revived post office designated French. However, in 1905 this post office too was closed and replaced with mail delivery over a rural route from Midway. In 1899 the Cobb Creek Baptist Church, now Elwood Baptist, constructed a building on the Old San Antonio Road southwest of the Elwood Cemetery.

During the early years of the twentieth century the town had a general store and a drugstore. In 1917 the old one-room school was replaced by a three-room schoolhouse on the Old San Antonio Road. In 1933 Elwood School and Cobb Creek School, two miles to the south, were joined; two years later the two segregated schools of the Elwood Consolidated School District enrolled 159 white and thirty-eight black pupils. In 1948 Elwood's schools were consolidated with the Midway Independent School District. In 1988 Elwood reported an estimated twenty-eight inhabitants. In the late 1980s it had two churches, two businesses, and a community center. In 1990 the population was still twenty-eight, but in 2000 it was fifty.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Madison County Historical Commission, A History of Madison County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984). Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Queries and Answers, April 1903. Hermann Wren, An Educational Survey of Madison County, Texas, With Plans for the Reorganization of Its Schools (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1936).

Charles Christopher Jackson

Citation

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

Charles Christopher Jackson, "ELWOOD, TX (MADISON COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hre25), accessed September 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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