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MOUNT CARMEL, TX (SMITH COUNTY)

MOUNT CARMEL, TEXAS (Smith County). Mount Carmel was a small town at the intersection of Farm Road 2015 and an unnamed highway, south of Pinedale Lake, north of Driscoll Lake, and three miles west of Winona in north central Smith County. Originally part of the William Oliphant survey, it was established in 1850 as a stop on the Dallas-Shreveport Road. In 1853 it obtained a post office, with Thomas R. Swann as postmaster. By 1858 the Mount Carmel Cemetery had been established, and local residents were attending nearby Harris Creek Baptist Church. The 1860 census listed Josiah Tunnel, William Litchfield, and Thomas Hall as teachers in the common school. Around that time there were two merchants and one grocer; in addition, the William M. Taylor Masonic Lodge, one of only five in the county, had been organized. After the Civil War, trade along the Dallas-Shreveport Road declined, and in 1867 the Mount Carmel post office was discontinued. Postmaster George W. Hughey attempted to reinstate the office in 1870, but it failed within a year. Then in June 1872 E. Brantley reopened it again, and it operated semi-continuously until 1904. The St. Louis Southwestern Railway bypassed the community in favor of nearby Winona in the 1870s. In 1884 the population of Mount Carmel was 370, and the town had a barber, a beekeeper, two wagonmakers, and three cotton gins with gristmills. Citizens had built a Baptist church and a Methodist church, and a public school system had been developed. Local farmers sent their cotton and fruit to Winona for shipping. By 1888 only ninety people lived in Mount Carmel, and the mail from Winona was delivered semiweekly. Between 1910 and 1920 the school, a one-story white frame structure, had one teacher and about ten white students. Mount Carmel no longer existed by the 1930s, as it was not shown on the 1936 county highway map.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Vicki Betts, Smith County, Texas, in the Civil War (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1978). "Post Offices and Postmasters of Smith County, Texas: 1847–1929," Chronicles of Smith County, Spring 1966. "School Sights," Chronicles of Smith County, Fall 1969. Smith County Historical Society, Historical Atlas of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Tyler Print Shop, 1965). "Teachers in 1860," Chronicles of Smith County, Spring 1968. Donald W. Whisenhunt, comp., Chronological History of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1983). James Wilkins, "No Braver or Better Man," Chronicles of Smith County, Fall 1968. Albert Woldert, A History of Tyler and Smith County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1948).

Vista K. McCroskey

Citation

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

Vista K. McCroskey, "MOUNT CARMEL, TX (SMITH COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrmak), accessed December 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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