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LIVEOAK COMMUNITY, TX

LIVEOAK COMMUNITY, TEXAS. Liveoak (Live Oak) Community is near Live Oak Bayou and Farm Road 2540 ten miles southeast of Bay City in southeastern Matagorda County. The Live Oak Bayou area had probably been an Indian campground before Anglo settlement, as arrowheads and pottery shards, most likely of the Karankawa Indians, have been found in the vicinity. The area was settled as early as the 1850s by plantation owners from North Carolina, Virginia, and other eastern states; the Liveoak Community may originally have been an informal community of slaves. By 1867, after the Civil War, the predominantly black farming community had organized a church, which held services in a one-room log building with a dirt floor. The church and later school were at first known as Grapevine; a school called Rosenwall also served the community at one time. A new building was constructed in 1875 to serve as both church and school. Later the church was renamed Vine Grove Christian Church. By 1904 the one-teacher Live Oak school served forty-one black students. In 1918 and again in 1969 new buildings were constructed for the church, which continued to undergo structural improvements well into the late 1970s. Though in 1938 the two-room Live Oak school served nine grades of black students, by the next year its school district had been consolidated with the Van Vleck Independent School District, and the building was moved to Van Vleck. The community received its first electricity in the 1940s. By 1972 the community had its own school building again. During the 1980s farming had declined in importance, and many local residents commuted to their jobs in the larger cities in Matagorda and Brazoria counties. The 1989 county highway map does not name the community but shows at the site two cemeteries and a school, as well as the Vine Grove Church.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Frank J. Balusek, Survey and Proposed Reorganization of the Schools of Matagorda County, Texas (M.Ed. thesis, University of Texas, 1939). Matagorda County Historical Commission, Historic Matagorda County (3 vols., 1986–88).

Rachel Jenkins

Citation

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

Rachel Jenkins, "LIVEOAK COMMUNITY, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrlap), accessed October 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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