KOOCKVILLE, TEXAS. Koockville is on Koocks Branch two miles northwest of Mason in central Mason County. Early German settlers from Fredericksburg began locating there around 1851, including Peter Birk and Henry Hick. By 1855 a group of Irish settlers had also moved into the area. In 1867 William and Minna Koock built a log house there, and Koock started a mercantile business in the same building. His store was a center of trade for the Mason area, and it became a headquarters for the cattle buyers from the West who traveled through the area. In 1883 the store was replaced by a rock building. The second story of the new building was used for club meetings, entertainments, and other community activities. Business in the town thrived after the Civil War due to the boom in the cattle hide business (see HIDE AND TALLOW TRADE), and the town's prosperity continued with the advent of the cattle drives. Koock's store was not only a trading post but also a bank for cattle drovers. Some time later the sheep industry also added to the town's growth. Koock owned much of the land in the area, and he later built a large flour and corn mill and cotton gin. This had been torn down as of 1939, and stones from the old building were used to build the volunteer fire station in Mason. At one time Koockville had its own school, one of the earliest private schools in the county, taught by Mrs. Lizzie McGuire and attended by children from all over the surrounding area. The town never had a post office.
There were unsuccessful efforts beginning in the late 1800s to get a railroad through Koockville. Sudden changes in the sheep and cattle industries caused a decline in the community. William Koock was killed in a horseback accident in 1890, and his wife and sons sold the business in 1899 and moved to Mason. Without Koock's leadership, the town lost much of its vitality. There have been no population listings for Koockville since 1904. Since the 1950s the area has been a suburb of Mason. Gardening, chicken and turkey raising, and various other agricultural pursuits have formed its chief industries.
Kathryn Burford Eilers, A History of Mason County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1939). J. Marvin Hunter, "Brief History of Mason County," Frontier Times, November, December 1928; January, February, March 1929. Mason County Historical Book (Mason, Texas: Mason County Historical Commission, 1976). Mason County News, Centennial Edition, June 19, 1958. Stella Gipson Polk, Mason and Mason County: A History (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1966; rev. ed., Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1980).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Alice J. Rhoades, "KOOCKVILLE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrk16), accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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