Authentic History of City of Honey Grove
Signal-Citizen, October 1, 1937
Co-operating First History of Honey Grove, Commencing in 1836 and Written by James Gilmer,
Who Settled Here in 1845, and Compiled to 1883.
From This Date H. P. Allen, Honey Grove, Has Taken Up the History
and Is Compiling It Until the Present Date,
Assisted by W. J. Erwin of Honey Grove
PUBLISHED SERIALLY IN THE SIGNAL-CITIZEN EACH WEEK
The public building known as the Honey Grove High School was begun and finished in 1875, under the auspices and control of the Paris District M. E. Church, South. It is a brick structure, two stories high. 48x48 feet and cost $11,000. It has a seating capacity and can well accommodate 320 pupils. The building is furnished now with a splendid library, has recitation rooms, a tall tower, and is well appointed generally. The school, from the time it begun, has been a prominent factor in the development of the place, attracting not only many pupils from a distance, but in many instances has been the chief inducement of many who located here to educate their children. Being under the control of the Methodist church, it naturally partakes of a moderately religious character, though no tenets of the church is taught within its walls. The Honey Grove High School is an honor and credit to the city.
In 1880 the businesses of Honey Grove had increased to such an extent that the public square was insufficient, and in the winter of ‘80 and ‘81 the square was enlarged by moving its limits one block to the south. Then on the south side of the enlarged square began to go up a handsome block of brick and stone; J.B. McKee and G.A. Dailey building of brick, and Mrs. Walcott and W. Underwood of stone.
During the summer of ‘81 came the Walcott Institute, built by J.S. Kendall. This is a frame building 38x56 feet, two stories high in height, costing $4000. This high school building is owned and controlled by the principal, Prof. J.S. Kendall, who named it the “Walcott Institute” in honor of B.S. Walcott, the founder of the city. The rooms of this school are well provided with all modern appliances. The school is admirably conducted, is largely patronized at home and abroad, and is winning fresh laurels in the educational field with each day. Mr. Kendall is a native-Georgian, and a graduate of the University of Virginia. Seating capacity of this school 180.
The Methodist church, a ponderous stone building of rustic style, was begun in ’80 and finished in ’81, at a cost of five thousand dollars. It will easily accommodate 450 persons. The tower is not yet finished, but a new and powerful bell is on temporary mounting awaiting the completion of the tower. In size and costliness this is the principal church of the city.
The Dramatic Hall was built in ’78 by a joint stock company, at a cost of $1000. It is a one-story frame with gallery, size 40x26 feet, and has ample room and seats for 200 persons. As the name implies, it is used for theatres, concerts, etc., and is a necessary and important adjunct to the society of the place.
In ‘80 was built the O. S. Presbyterian Church at cost of $1000. It is a neat and tasty frame chapel with a seating capacity of 200. Its size is 26x40 feet.
During the present year two more churches are under course of construction: the Episcopal 24x48 feet, at a cost of $1300, with a seating capacity of 230. It will be finished the coming fall.
The Cumberland Presbyterian church, also under course of construction at present, is a frame building 20x52 feet, with capacity to seat 225 persons. It will cost $1500 and will be of beautiful style of architecture.
The colored people of the city are represented in public buildings by a church and a school house. The church is a moderately good frame house with seating capacity of 200 to 250. Their school house, bought by the State and held in trust by the City Council, will accommodate from 80 to 100 pupils. With the house belongs about one acre of land.
Among the buildings in course of construction that of Burgher & Stephens is most prominent. It is built of stone from the quarries south of the city and is pronounced by visitors and competent judges to be the best building in the State of Texas. The work is notably massive and of the finest architectural skill. It is built by this firm for an agricultural and machine house. The architect is W. H. Wilson of Dallas; the contractor, S. Nelson, also of Dallas. J. A. Colter is superintendent of construction. Size of the building, 30x83 feet; 40 feet high; erected at a cost of $8000, to be finished by October 1st, 1883.
On the square are two public wells; one affording an abundant supply of water, the other now being changed by the city into a cistern of mammoth proportions, with the intention of filling the same by pipes from the buildings around the square.
In September of 1882 the old charter of ‘73 was discarded and the general charter provided by the State was adopted in its stead. Under the provision of this charter an election was held in April ‘83 and the following who are the present board of officers, were elected: Lewis N. Hornbeck, Mayor: L. C. LaMaster, Marhsal; B. O. Walcott, Treasurer; J. P. Gilmer, Clerk; W. H. Gross, City Attorney. Aldermen--J. H. Smith and J. E. Breckeen, 1st ward; J. L. Ballinger and J. D. Pickens, 2nd ward; W. H. Holmes and John Yeager, 3rd ward; W. Underwood and M. B. Crowson, 4th ward. The Council elected S. E. Bramlette as city physician.
Proposed Change of Name
It has been proposed more than once to change the name of the city of Honey Grove to Fannin, the same as the county. But this proposition meets with quiet resistance from the majority of the older inhabitants, with whom the name of Honey Grove is associated with almost sacred memories of the past. Out of respect to these, the younger of men prefer to remain content with a name once applicable, but now outgrown.
The population of the city at present, exclusive of foreign pupils attending our schools, is 1600, of this 1200 are white, with 400 colored. The scholastic population is 292; of which 204 are white and 88 colored.
Taxable property within the city limits is rendered at $376,165.
School Money, Shipments, Etc.
For the support of the public free schools for the current scholastic year, the city derives from the State an appropriation of $1251; which is supplemented by appropriation from the sale of county school lands to the amount of $200--making a sum total for the support of the free schools of $1451 for the present year.
The voting strength of the city is 228; as polled in the city election, April ‘83.
Below we append a partial statement of shipments from this place from Sept. 1st, ‘82 to Sept. 1st, ‘83. The account is partial from the fact of much produce being sent out in lots too small to be counted by the car road. All such as this are not accounted for in the statement of car loads. Again, there is no statement given of wool, scrap iron, hides, pecans, fruit and such things. The statement, therefore, only includes the more important articles shipped in car lots:
No. ears corn....................106
oats ….............. 25
hay …............... 30
hogs ….............. 5
stone …............. 7
horse and mules.. 3
osage orange seed.. 1
Bales of Cotton ….......10,068
The first bank in the city was organized in May ‘77, under the name of A. G. Stobaugh & Co. In ‘81 it changed to A. G. Stobaugh. Closely following the death of A. G. Stobaugh, the Honey Grove Banking Association was formed in March ‘82. This was merged into the First National Bank of Honey Grove in February ‘88, with a cash capital of $50,000. This bank does annual business amounting to $2,500,000. Young Burgher, president; T. U. Cole, cashier.
Typed by Emily Ashcraft and Mackenzie Langston