Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


EAST LIBERTY, TEXAS. East Liberty is on State Highway 87 fourteen miles southeast of Center in southeastern Shelby County. The predominantly black community received its name in 1888 when the Rev. Jeff Goodwin organized the East Liberty Baptist Church there. The church and school community, located in an area populated mainly by landowning black farmers, also periodically had a general store. The first school in the settlement was called Chinquapin for a huge chinquapin tree that grew in the schoolyard. In 1899 the community's school served twenty children, and by 1938 the school was operated by the Boles school district and had 137 students. In 1965 East Liberty had a twelve-room school with sixteen teachers and an enrollment of 337. By 1984 the school had been consolidated with the Shelbyville school district, and its building, which maps for the mid-1980s showed as the only structure at the site, stood vacant.

Charles E. Tatum, Shelby County: In the East Texas Hills (Austin: Eakin, 1984).
Cecil Harper, Jr.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Cecil Harper, Jr., "East Liberty, TX," accessed October 27, 2016,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on!