Minerva is on U.S. Highway 77 six miles south of Cameron in central Milam County. It was named for Minerva Adeline Sanders, who donated land for a railroad station when the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built through the area in 1891. A post office opened in 1892. A shallow oilfield was discovered near Minerva in 1921, prompting a small boom; oil production peaked in 1927, with a gross yield of 455,985 barrels for the year. Though the oilfield continued to support a small refining operation, Minerva remained a largely agricultural community. The town lost its rail service in 1959, when the Texas and New Orleans abandoned the section of track between Cameron and Giddings. The Minerva post office was discontinued in the mid-1960s. Two churches and three businesses marked the community on county highway maps in the 1980s, when the population was reported as sixty. It was still reported as sixty through 2000.