Weeping Mary, TX

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: June 1, 1995

Updated: April 1, 2021

Weeping Mary is just off State Highway 21 and eighteen miles west of Rusk in southern Cherokee County. The community was probably first settled soon after the Civil War by freed slaves from neighboring plantations. It is said to have been named for Mary Magdalene's weeping at the tomb of Jesus. Alternately, variations of a local legend state that a Black woman named Mary wept from the devastating loss of her land to a White man or that the woman, after making a pact with the area's freedmen that no one would sell their land to the White settlers, wept over the loss of the community when that promise was broken. Residents established a Baptist church. A local school for Black children was operation by 1896, when it had enrollment of forty. In the 1930s Weeping Mary had a school and a few houses. The school was closed around the time of World War II, but in 1990 a church and a few scattered houses still remained in the area. The population was forty in 2000.

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Anne Dingus, "There's Something About Weeping Mary," Texas Monthly (December 1998). O Rufus Lovett, Weeping Mary (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006). Fred Tarpley, Place Names of Northeast Texas (Commerce: East Texas State University, 1969).

  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Women
Time Periods:
  • Reconstruction
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Communities
  • East Texas
  • East Central Texas

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

Christopher Long, “Weeping Mary, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 24, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/weeping-mary-tx.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995
April 1, 2021

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

Weeping Mary
Currently Exists
Place Type
Town Fields
  • Has post office: No
  • Is Incorporated: No
Belongs to
  • Cherokee County
  • Latitude: 31.59684430°
  • Longitude: -95.15966330°
Population Counts
People Year
85 2009