LACEOLA, TEXAS. Laceola is at the junction of Farm roads 978 and 2289, five miles west of Madisonville in central Madison County. Settlement in the vicinity began as early as the mid-1850s, but a community did not form until after the Civil War. In 1868 the first school for blacks in Madison County was organized on the south bank of Ferry Creek, south of what is now the Laceola townsite, at a spot known as High Prairie. By the 1870s white settlers had begun moving to the area in some numbers; the earliest recorded burial in the High Prairie Cemetery dates to 1879. In 1884 Thomas and Sam Fisher donated a two-acre tract for the construction of a school just east of the cemetery. A post office designated High Prairie was established in the community in 1889. By 1892 the town had a general store and reported a population of twenty-five, dropping to twenty by 1896. In 1896, however, fifty-nine pupils attended the local one-room white school, and forty-three attended the community's black common school. During the late 1890s black settlers in the western part of the community constructed the Chapel Hill Baptist Church, a school, and a Masonic hall. In 1900 residents in the northern portion of the community applied for and received a post office with the name Laceola; it was housed in A. T. Fairey's general store. At the turn of the century Laceola had a cotton gin, a gristmill, a blacksmith shop, and two syrup mills. In 1907, however, the Laceola and High Prairie post offices were officially closed; for many years mail was delivered from Normangee. As late as 1935 there were still forty-four white pupils enrolled at the local school. The thirty-one black pupils living in the Laceola district either attended the Chapel Hill school or traveled to Madisonville for their elementary education. In the 1940s the Laceola school was consolidated with the Madisonville Independent School District. The Great Depression and World War II accelerated Laceola's decline, as local farmers flocked to Madisonville and other urban areas in search of employment. By the late 1980s the community's population had dwindled to an estimated ten, where it remained where it remained through 2000.
Madison County Historical Commission, A History of Madison County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984). Hermann Wren, An Educational Survey of Madison County, Texas, With Plans for the Reorganization of Its Schools (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1936).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Charles Christopher Jackson, "Laceola, TX," accessed February 14, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrl05.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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