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MENARD'S CHAPEL, TX

MENARD'S CHAPEL, TEXAS. Menard's Chapel was near Menard Creek and the Trinity River in southwestern Polk County. It was established in 1833 by Pierre J. and Michel B. Menard,qqv who were of French-Canadian origin and had worked in Kaskaskia, Illinois, before moving to Texas. They established a gristmill on Menard Creek in 1844. John Van Williams's land grant became the nucleus of the settlement, and Henry W. Augustine was among the earliest settlers. A post office known as Menard's Mill was established in 1838, but in 1862 the town name was changed to Menard's Chapel, when the commissioners court designated it a voting place. A post office known as Menard's Chapel operated from 1876 to 1877. The chapel from which the town took its name was the Mount Gilead Baptist Church, which had been organized in 1854; it was located near an old cowboy campground at Menard Creek and the Indian Trace or Mexican Road, which ran from Liberty to Nacogdoches. In 1887 the first teacher in the town was certified. A combined school and church later served the area, and in 1906 Menard's Chapel had four schools, with four teachers and ninety-one pupils. The population of the community subsequently declined, and it is likely that the Great Depression caused many people to move away. The town was not shown on the 1936 county highway map.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Emma Haynes, The History of Polk County (MS, Sam Houston Regional Library, Liberty, Texas, 1937; rev. ed. 1968). A Pictorial History of Polk County, Texas, 1846–1910 (Livingston, Texas: Polk County Bicentennial Commission, 1976; rev. ed. 1978).

Diana J. Kleiner

Citation

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

Diana J. Kleiner, "MENARD'S CHAPEL, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvm68), accessed April 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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