ELI, TEXAS. Eli, three miles southeast of Memphis in northeastern Hall County, was first known as Twin Buttes because of the twin hills nearby. John M. Gist, a wealthy businessman, purchased land in the vicinity and built a few houses and a store, a gin, a blacksmith shop, and a church at the foot of the hills. A one-room frame schoolhouse erected there in 1905 was later replaced by a four-room brick structure. In 1906 a post office was established and named Eli, in honor of Eli Melton Dennis, an early community leader. After fires and tornadoes destroyed some of the settlement's houses, it was rebuilt in the valley near the schoolhouse, which was west of the Twin Buttes site. Its post office was closed in December 1914, then restored under the name of Elite in November 1915 with Robert M. Craig as postmaster. This office was closed in August 1919, and mail was thereafter delivered from Memphis. In 1926 a Farmers' Union gin and two stores were built in the community. Although the name of the area reverted to Eli after 1919, a railroad station erected on the Fort Worth and Denver tracks southeast of Memphis near Twin Buttes was for many years labeled Elite. After the improvement of highway transportation in the 1940s, the community was abandoned, and in the mid-1980s only farms remained in the vicinity.
Inez Baker, Yesterday in Hall County (Memphis, Texas, 1940). Virginia Browder, Hall County Heritage Trails, 1890–1980 (2 vols., Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1982, 1983). Fred Tarpley, 1001 Texas Place Names (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.H. Allen Anderson, "ELI, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hve48), accessed February 09, 2016. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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