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PICKWICK, TX

PICKWICK, TEXAS. Pickwick was in northern Palo Pinto County. The area was settled as early as 1856, but Indian attacks prevented a permanent community from forming until after the Civil War. A post office operated there from 1903 to 1946. Residents first chose the name Westerville, but another post office already had that name, so Edd Costello, a citizen who was reading Charles Dickens's The Pickwick Papers, suggested the name Pickwick. The post office was first located in the blacksmith shop, and William Silas Wester was the first postmaster. The community grew and eventually had a gin, a general store, a school, a church, and a sawmill. Telephone service was established before 1915, but that year the boll weevil destroyed the cotton crop, and the gin ran for the last time in 1916. In 1919 the only doctor moved, and the town then consisted of the telephone company, the general store with the post office, a school, and a few houses. In 1939 the Brazos Conservation and Recreation District purchased all of the Pickwick property to prepare for inundation by the waters of Possum Kingdom Reservoir. An area landowner who did not want the post office to close sold eight acres to J. C. Stevenson so that his store and post office could be moved. Land was donated for the school. The new site was about two miles east of the old townsite and was called New Pickwick by some locals. The school was called LuKingdom. In 1946 both the store and post office were closed. In the late 1960s, the last time for which statistics were available, Pickwick reported a population of thirty, with no businesses. As late as the 1980s, when Possum Kingdom Lake was very low, a foundation or two and an old iron bridge from Pickwick were visible.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Palo Pinto Historical Association, History of Palo Pinto County (Dallas: Taylor, 1978).

Jeanne F. Lively

Citation

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

Jeanne F. Lively, "PICKWICK, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrp33), accessed December 20, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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