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GRAYDON, TX

GRAYDON, TEXAS. Graydon was on a county road extension of Farm Road 563 three miles south of Anahuac and forty-seven miles southwest of Beaumont in central Chambers County. Among the earliest settlers of the region was Capt. B. F. Sterling, who moved his family to the North Fork (now called the West Fork) of the Double Bayou in 1869. Sterling established a store, a school, and a shipping business. The community post office, which opened in 1895, was named for a grandson, Graydon Elton Barrow. One of the captain's sons, Ross Sterling, was born at the community in 1875 and went on to become governor of Texas. The Sterling store, the post office, the Graydon school, and a store operated by Marion Stines served as the center for the widely scattered rural community of Graydon. Local farmers grew rice, vegetables, and fruits. Ships using Double Bayou provided the main transportation outlet, and Galveston, across Galveston Bay, was the major market. Around 1900, growing numbers of settlers, many from Kansas, moved to the Graydon area, attracted by the mild climate, the good farmland, and the active promotion of developers. School attendance figures reached a reported high of sixty-four in 1898. A number of serious problems beset Graydon during the early 1900s. The lack of roads or railroads became increasingly significant as local farmers sought to export their surplus produce. The 1915 hurricane filled local canals and waterways with salt water and ruined the rice crops. Salt water intrusion into the canals, particularly the Lone Star Canal, which provided irrigation water to eastern Chambers County, became a long-term problem. The few citrus trees that survived the hurricane were devastated by a severe freeze the next winter. Sharp price drops for farm produce after World War I dealt yet another blow to Graydon farmers. The community's economic decline was complete. In 1919 the Graydon post office was discontinued. By 1929 attendance at the local school had fallen to sixteen, and in 1938 the Graydon common school district was consolidated with the Anahuac schools. Almost no traces of the old community were evident by the mid-1970s, although farming had once again become important in the local economy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Jewel Horace Harry, A History of Chambers County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940; rpt., Dallas: Taylor, 1981). Sally Hill, Graydon: Application for Official Texas Historical Marker (MS, Chambers County Historical Commission, Anahuac, Texas, 1977).

Robert Wooster

Citation

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

Robert Wooster, "GRAYDON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvg43), accessed December 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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