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UNION, TX (CAMP COUNTY)

UNION, TEXAS (Camp County). Union, an unmapped rural community in northwestern Camp County, is marked along Farm Road 1519 by the county line in the west and by Leesburg Cemetery in the east. Union was named for Union School, the first school in the community. Since the early 1880s, area students had attended one-teacher facilities at Camp Branch School, 1½ miles west of Leesburg, or Cedar Branch School, two miles west of Camp Branch School. In 1907 patrons united by building a structure midway between these sites, designating the new school and community Union to commemorate the event. As Union had no churches or civic buildings before 1917, the school also housed religious services and secular functions. After Baptist minister A. L. Eaves's revival meeting, citizens built Eaves Tabernacle Baptist Church 100 yards northwest of Union School and the Union Church of Christ 150 yards southeast of the campus. Union still needed a larger building for civic meetings and its 125 students, and following a bond election in the mid-1920s, the town built a two-story school. The Great Depression caused a decline in student enrollment, forcing Union to consolidate with Pittsburg schools in the 1940s. Union's early economy depended on the lumber and pulpwood industries and on livestock, poultry, cotton, and vegetable production. Eugene Snead's "peddling wagon" served as Union's only general store. In the 1930s sweet potatoes and peaches replaced cotton as cash crops; oil and lignite coal discoveries provided employment for some Union residents. In 1974 local authorities addressed dwindling water resources by building Fort Sherman Dam on Big Cypress Creek, naming the resulting reservoir for Mount Pleasant businessman Bob Sandlin. Development of four subdivisions with boat ramps began on Union's new lakeshore by the early 1980s. Nearby Lake Bob Sandlin State Park opened in 1987. In 1992 Union's economy depended on the dairy industry, beef cattle, petroleum, peach farming, poultry production, and lakefront properties. Two churches were the town's only public buildings. Leesburg post office, serving Union, estimated its population at 275. No population estimates were available in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Camp County Customs and Characters (Dallas: Taylor, 1986). A. Ray Stephens and William N. Holmes, Historical Atlas of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1989).

David Leon Lhuillier III

Citation

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

David Leon Lhuillier III, "UNION, TX (CAMP COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrudl), accessed October 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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