Kilraven, TX

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: February 1, 1995

Kilraven, also known as Spinks Switch, Spinks Mill, and Morton, was on the old Cotton Belt line (see ST. LOUIS SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY) and Jim Hogg Highway midway between Forest and Wells in southern Cherokee County. The small community developed just before 1900 around a sawmill operated by W. H. (Bill) Spinks and was originally known as Spinks Mill or Spinks Switch. A post office operated there from 1902 to 1904 under the name Morton, after D. T. Morton, who assumed the operation of Spink's mill around 1900. Morton expanded the mill, enlarging and improving the sawmill and planer, and constructing a commissary, boardinghouse, electric generating plant, and mill pond. In 1909 the mill was taken over by Harry C. Kiley, Allen Kiley, and Alfred Craven, who renamed the settlement Kilraven, a combination of their last names. The Kileys and Craven built a new and larger commissary, constructed a number of new houses, and enlarged the boardinghouse. The mill continued to operate until the early 1920s; after it closed most of the residents moved on, and the site was completely abandoned. In the early 1990s only the mill pond remained.

Cherokee County History (Jacksonville, Texas: Cherokee County Historical Commission, 1986). John N. Cravens, A History of Three Ghost Towns of East Texas (Abilene, Texas: Abilene Printing and Stationery, 1970?).


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

Christopher Long, “Kilraven, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 28, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995