Honey Grove Preservation League

Saving and Documenting the History of Honey Grove, Texas

Black & Little

Williamson-Spelce Co.

This document is from the Collection of the Estate and John and Thelma Black.

Images can also be seen HERE.

Although the document is not dated, it appears to have been published in 1907, because the date of 1907 is mentioned in the document, and it refers to Oklahoma as the Indian Territory, and Oklahoma became a state in November 1907.

Planters National Bank

Murray & Evans

Wess Reed

Daily & Henderson

C. E. Foster

The First National Bank

J. B. McKee Company

Blocker-Miller Company, Cotton

J. I. Warren

Photo: Residence of T. C. Provine - Just Erected.

Blocker-Miller Company

  We wish to say just a word personal about the advertisers herein, and to commend them to those who may read this little volume.  They are among the best and deserve your patronage.

  Black & Little, the west side druggists, are pleasant, affable and courteous gentlemen, and take pleasure in catering to your wants.

  The firm name of Williamson-Spelce Co. is a synonym of success.  They have been in business in Honey Grove a long time, and stand at the top.

  The Planters National Bank is one of the most successful financial institutions, and no word of commendation is necessary.

  Murray & Evans, the east side druggists, are among the up-to-date drub firms of the city, and cater to public wants in a courteous way.

  Wess Reed, the furniture man, sells you fine furniture and treats you courteously.

  Daily & Henderson, the old reliable drug firm, have been in business here a long time, in fact so long they's forgotten when they begun.  They'll treat you right.

  Fostor, your photo man, will make your picture while you wait.

  The J. B. McKee Co. is another old firm, as

well as one of the largest and best in the city.  The firm is composed of pleasant gentlemen.

  The Underwood Co. is another old and prominent firm and does a large business.

  The First National Bank is among the oldest and most solid financial institutions in this section.  The prompt and courteous business methods have made them many friends.

  J. I. Warren, the real estate man, will tell you all about Fannin county and Honey Grove.

  The Honey Grove Cotton Oil Co. and Holt's Height Waterworks Co. are twin institutions, and they are among the best there is.  W. J. Erwin, the genial manager, is untiring in his efforts to please.

  Bob Bryan, the livery and transfer man, is always on time and never misses a train.

  On another page is a picture of the big hardware house of S. L. Erwin & Co. This is one of the oldest and best houses in the city.

  And last but not least is the firm of Blocker-Miller Co., cotton and timber.  The firm is composed of E. E. Blocker and N. F. Miller, two men known for their hustling qualities.  The firm is known through the south, and their operations cover several states.

"Ware Block" Occupied by Blocker-Miller Co., Cotton and Timber

Big Livery Barn of Robert C. Bryan.

tivators in the future.  The croakers may croak, but the rains will fall, the grasses grow greener, and the fields of stalwart corn and noble cotton will widen with each coming year, and, best of all, there is room, and plenty, for ten thousand more good men in Fannin county.  Brave, confident, self-helpful, practical men to grow corn, wheat, and oats, and raise stock; mechanics to build homes, churches, school  houses and stores in the towns and homes on the farms; millers to build mills and dairymen to found creameries.

  Farming is done with half the labor required in the older states.  The climate is delightful, the soils are inexhaustible, the grasses are unrivaled and the water are pure.  Here is no dreary waste from which men may   turn with a sense of loneliness and desolation, for its plateaus are fair as the plains of Lom-

bardy; its prairies with their foliage as lovely as the fabled Eden, and the sunlight falls upon its matchless landscape as softly as on the limpid waters of the Bay of Naples.  For the idealist, it has poetry, and for the strict materialist, rich fields of conquest.  It is a great destiny to live in a land where Appolo might tend his flocks and Sapho turn dairy maid, singing her sweet songs in the beauties of a Texas evening - a land where the practical and ideal go hand and hand to make the perfect human life.

  Material, social and intellectual progress have marked this beautiful region for their own, and the years are not far distant when some other writer with a pen more trechant than mine, will write of 100,000 happy, prosperous and contented people in Fannin county, for this is "manifest destiny"

Residence of R. J. Thomas.

unimproved, can be had from $20 to $30 per acre, and the timber on the land will just about pay for clearing.  Black land farms in cultivation, with good water and reasonably good improvement, can be purchased at from $40 and $100 per acre, on reasonable terms.  But these prices are not going to remain this way long.  The best lands are increasing in value all the time.

  Valuation and Taxation - No man has any just cause of complaint at the rate of taxation here, since a man with an average family receives far more value in the education of his children in our public schools than he pays in taxes, State, county and municipal, the rate of State and county in Fannin county being 85 cents on the $100 the past year.

A Retrospect

Every country has its drawbacks but Fannin county has a few of them as any region of our

knowledge.  Some years of railroad development have wrought a transformation in this beautiful country, canopied by fair Italian skies.  The climatic conditions are all that could be desired, and the sturdy, thrifty tiller of the soil is taking the place of the nomads and grumblers; the more progressive and enterprising farmers are plowing deeper, rotating their crops, sheltering their herds and machinery, utilizing their manure, planting orchards and vineyards and groves, beautifying their homes, and steadily, but surely as the tides, are making Fannin county one of the green and fruitful fields of the great Southwest.  This country has passed the transition stage between the uncertain pioneer conditions and prosperous agriculture.  Whatever may have been said of it a few years ago, it is no longer debatable ground.

   The heavy crops grown last year by good farmers on the prairies are but an earnest of the glorious harvest to be gathered by new cul-  

Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

to either crop.  Thousands of melons are sold here every season.

  Vegetables - Vegetables grow here to perfection, and tomatoes, onions, beans, peas, radishes, carrots, parsnips, celery, cabbage, collards, turnips, pepper, all can be grown with profit.  The sweetest canteloupes in Texas grown in Fannin county.

  Fruit - Some day - not distant - Fannin county will be placed with the fruit countries.  Even now, in the northern portion of the county, can be seen orchards of more than 100 acres where are being grown successfully all kinds of fruits, apples, peaches, pears, apricots, plums and even figs.  Grapes, strawberries, blackberries and dewberries grow to perfunction.  Strawberries were on the market during the season of 1907 from March to the middle of July.

  Grass - As to grass, this county makes annually large shipments of hay from meadows of native grass.  These meadows are usually

mowed twice a year and the hay is of excellent quality and finds ready sale.

  Live Stock - No climate or country is more favorable to raising stock than Fannin county and for the past few years there has been noticeable a great improvement in the grade of stock raised, and registered Jersey, Durham, and Holstein cattle have taken the place of the Texas longhorns, and Norman, Clydesdale and Cleveland Bay horses are replacing the mustang cow ponies of years ago.  Poland China and Berkshire hogs of the finest strains are almost as numerous as in the older states.

  Land Values - As to land values in Fannin county, this is a subject of extremes and means, the price ranging all the way from $10 to $100 per acre.  Good timbered bottom land can be bought for $10 per acre, in a good community.  Sandy prairie land, suitable best for grass and pasturing, can be had at from $10 to $30 per acre.  Black land, with from three to twelve feet of soil, not in cultivation,

from 12 to 20 bushels per acre.  In any part of the county any farmer can raise enough wheat to make bread for his family.

  Oats - This black land is essentially an oat-producing land, for almost any year when the ground is properly prepared and seeded the yield is immense, frequently as much as 75 and sometimes 100 bushels per acre.

  Rye - Rye, like wheat, is not extensively produced here, perhaps because it has been neglected as a crop, but when grown the yield is reasonably good.

  Alfalfa - Alfalfa grows to perfection here, and frequently produces as much as six crops of hay in one season.  It makes excellent pasturage for hogs.

  Broom Corn - There certainly is no land or clime where broom corn can be grown more abundantly than here.  All that is needed to make that crop profitable are factories to work up the crop of the country.

  Millet - German millet, it is estimated, all

things being favorable, will produce on the black land from four to eight tons per acre and when sown early will make two crops per year.

  Irish Potatoes - There are few countries where Irish potatoes can be grown more abundantly and with so little labor as Fannin county, both on the black and sandy land, and while there is some complaint that the Irish potato crop cannot be kept over in Texas, still there are a number of people who keep them successfully through the winter.

  Sweet Potatoes - Of all the varieties of sweet potatoes that ever have been produced, the Yellow Yam is the best, but this variety will not grow well on black land, but on the sandy land in the northern part of the county it is grown to perfection, producing 250 to 300 bushels per acre.  Besides, the land that suits for this potato is also adapted to the growth of watermelons, and the two crops can be grown together on the same land without any damage

Residence of B. O. Walcott.

Residence of T. W. Trout.

Residence of W. A. Williamson.

of the visitor.  The stranger is moved with a sense of its matchless loveliness the moment he crossed the border, and the spell is never broken until he passed into the region of the commonplace beyond.

  What will Texas land produce?  Better ask what it will not produce.

  Cotton - Last year there were many acres of black land that made a bale of cotton per acre, and with less labor than would have been put upon the same amount of land anywhere else.  A good hand using proper industry and judgment can cultivate 40 acres of black land, where he can use cultivators and can hire some hoeing done.

  Corn - Corn in Fannin county will make from 50 to 75 bushels per acre when properly cultivated.  Corn is easily cultivated in this county and is almost a sure crop.

  Wheat - The raising of wheat in Fannin county is not the success that it is further west, yet much wheat is grown in the county, making

humidity of many of the southern states.  It gives a high average of health to men, animals and plants.  Normal health, vigor and vitality are stamped upon every form of life; nothing denotes age except the rocks and streams, and every germ of life yields easily and quickly to the reproductive influence of spring. 

  The drainage of the county is well nigh perfect.  The gentle rolling surface of the country, frequent "draws," and ravines, and the deep set streams and general structure of the soils readily absorb or carry off all surplus rains, and leaves the soil available to the cultivator in good condition.  The annual rain fall ranges from 20 to 40 inches, and is generally well distributed over the growing season, so that a failure of crops is rarely unknown.

  The landscape is an inspiration.  From end to end of Fannin county is a region of marvelous, bewildering, scenic beauty, whose impress can never be effaced from the memory

North Side of Square Showing Wagons Loaded With Gin Machinery Sold by S. L. Erwin & Company.

telligence, thrift and liberal tendencies of the people to every line of local life.  The work of ages in older lands is compassed here in a decade, by a quick, ready, helpful, self-confident, practical and thoroughly progressive people, with whom there is no halting, waiting or doubting.  They not only grow the cotton to clothe and the grain and herds to feed the millions, but believe in schools, and literature and art.  They build temples to the spiritual and ideal, and cultivate the social graces, like men and women who have come to stay.

  There are in this county 130 school districts, more than 125 school houses, some of them substantial stone and brick structures, many of them elegantly finished and well furnished.  In the county there are employed 250 teachers.  There are $100,000 worth of school property.  The county spends annually $85,600 for school purposes.  The schools have an enrollment of 15,000 children.  The elements of a good English education are placed within the reach of

every child of fortune or lowly birth in the county.  The average length of school term is six months.

  The public morals are fostered by the presence of scorers of churches, representing the leading denominations, and so well distributed that they are accessible to every church-goer in the county.  The different denominations are, the Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Methodist, Presbyterian, Cumberland Presbyterian, Lutheran, Christian, Episcopal, and the Sanotificationists.

  The climate of Fannin county is delightful.  There is freedom from swamps, marshes, and stagnant waters.  It has admirable natural drainage, long and friendly summers, with bright, breezy days and deliciously cool, restful nights; mild, short and open winters with light and transient snow-fall, and a semi-tropical temperature that gives an equable, delightful and healthful climate, free from the rigors of the colder north, and the heat and  

The First National Bank.

Another road, the Missouri River and Gulf, a Harriman proposition, has been surveyed from Kansas City to the Gulf via this city, and it is thought work will begin at once.  A move is also on foot to build an interurnan line from the city to Red river, connecting a number of small towns and opening up a fine fruit and vegetable country.

  As to educational facilities Honey Grove is exceptionally blessed.  On the one hand we have the finest public school in the land, free nine months in the year, looked after by edu- 

cators of acknowledged ability, where the youth of the city obtain an education that will either fit them for business or entrance to higher institutions of learning; and again, on the other hand, we have the High School, with its competent corps of professors, which serves the purpose of a Normal and fits its young men and women for the position of teachers, etc.  Parents can send their children to Honey Grove to school without fear of the contaminating influences of the saloon or the gambling hall, everything social being conducive of moral advancement than social deterioration.

Residence of E. E. Blocker

Residence of J. M. Williamson

in the county of 125 miles, with property assessed at 81,412,155.

  The present population of the county is near 60,000.  Bonham is the county seat with a population of 5,500.  Honey Grove, the second town in size, has a population of 4000.  There are several other towns in the county, ranging in population from 300 to 1,800.

  The people of this community hail from the four points of the compass, representing an advanced through, impulse, experience and skill of a civilized world.  The friction of diverse social, religious, political, commercial and agricultural thought and habit has worn away provincial conceit and prejudice, and developed in the broader field of opportunity a liberal and comprehensive world power, embodying whatever is best in the thought and ways of all the people represented; and the result is readily seen in the enterprise, in-

Fannin County

Fannin County is one the the tier of Red river counties.  It is bounded by Lamar and Delta counties on the east, Hunt and Collin on the south, Grayson on the west, and the Red river, which forms the boundary between Texas and the Indian Territory, on the north.  The county was formed in 1837 from Red River county and was named in honor of J. W. Fannin.

   Besides the Red river the county is watered by the North Sulphur Fork of the Red river, Bois-d'arc and a number of smaller streams tributary to them.  Five railroads pass through the county, the Texas and Pacific, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe, the St. Louis Southwestern, the Denison, Bonham and New Orleans; and another projected line, the Missouri River and Gulf, from Kansas City, Mo., to Houston,Texas.  These roads have a combined mileage

the best phases of our advancing material civilization, and the observant visitor is compelled  to believe in their success.  Commerce leads civilization, gives the true cosmopolitan type to thought and action, and begets a generous hospitality, such as we have an hundred times met in the banks, hotels, stores, offices and workshops of this thriving little metropolis of Fannin County.  There is little hide-bound conservatism among the people of Honey Grove, and fortunately few to who "two per cent, a month" is a grander prerogative than the founding and building of a noble city.

   It was their live spirit that induced the Trans-Continental Line, known as the Texas and Pacific, to run its railroad through the city, giving our people excellent transportation facilities, and later the Santa Fe branch, running south to Ladonia and connecting with the main line; two roads that are generous in their disposition to the people of the city, as also the farmers in the surrounding country.

Public Square During the Cotton Season.

themselves up by the agencies at their command.  There never congregated in a pioneer town better or braver men than they who planted their commercial standards on this beautiful plateau more than a quarter of a century ago.  Other men of kindred sympathies, impulse and habits were later attracted by a sort of sympathetic magnetism until the pioneer settlement has grown to a strong town, whose sagacious business men are making the most of the situation.

   The pioneers were wise to lay out a liberal and comprehensive work, and the men of today, with characteristic spirit and energy, are carrying it to a splendid issue.  In the quiet undercurrent of the "life they live" there is something, doubtless, of the ideal, but to the casual observer the town is thoroughly materialistic.  They live by stern, practical Roman methods, and are creating facts instead of fancies.  Their purpose is to build a strong, central inland town that shall worthily represent

Public School Auditorium, Recently Erected at a Cost of $10,000.

growing in wealth and earning capacity, and are "solid" in every sense of the term.

  There is no city in the State that is provided with more elegant residences, in proportion to the population, than Honey Grove.  And here let us say something of our town people: Honey Grove has the two elements of a successful town, viz., a group, of active, aggressive, and enterprising business men, and a first-class location.  Without these, no town ever grew into commanding volume or influence.  The representative business men of Honey Grove have energy, faith and persistence enough to fund and build a city on the border of a desert.  If some of them are wanting in large cash capital, most of them have a splendid stock of the higher capital of brain and heart and muscle, with the tact to bring it into the best possible use.  They have sublime faith in themselves, and do not wait to be built up by extraneous forces, but build 

Hill" on which Honey Grove's "400" congregate.  Our prominent citizens have not clustered their elegant residences in a chosen spot away from the less fortunate, but they have separated and built in a different sections of the city, thus beautifying and equably enhancing the value of residence property throughout.  The people are sensible, cordial and hospitable, and accord a gracious and generous welcome to worthy new-comers from every land.  They have much more than the average of mental and social culture and with it a larger measure of public enterprise and unity than obtains in most cities of its class.  They are united on anything and everything that is likely to advance the material interests of the city, have laudable pride in its prosperity, and are zealous workers for its schools and churches.

   We have two National Banks, the First National and the Planters National, both of which rank high in business circles, and are

South Side Public Square.

form Rank K. of P., Endowment Rank K. of P., Woodmen of the World, I.O.O.F., Knights of Ladies of Honor, American Legion of Honor, Junior Order of American Mechanics, K.O.T.M., United Benevolent Association, all of which have a good enrollment of membership; a fine flouring mill, ice factory and electric light and power plant, three cotton gins, cotton oil mill, compress, laundry, and a waterworks system, comprising sixty acres of water forty feet deep, which is among the best in the State, a model graded public school and a high school under the patronage of the Methodist church and nearly a hundred substantial business concerns.

  The social order is alike enjoyable.  Here, as in all portions in the county, are the liberalizing forces of a composite population, giving breath, frankness, and a good measure of freedom from the narrow and meaningless social restraints that too often frreeze the naturalness out of social life.  Therre is no "Nob

tivation and taste of their owners.  The City Hall and Fire Station, built of gray limestone after an almost faultless design, and at a cost of $20,000, is one of the most practical structures of the kind in the Southwest.  The Methodist church, built of the same material, has scarcely a blemish in style or finish, and the Public School building, constructed of like stone and costing $30,000, while the Public School auditorium is constructed of red pressed brick and trimmed with gray stone, at a cost of $10,000, and is one of the prettiest buildings of the kind in the State, and this, together with school building, may well be the pride of our people.  The building stone is quarried about three miles south of town.

  Other salient features of this live and progressive city are seven churches - Methodist, Baptist, Cumberland Presbyterian, Presbyterian, Christian, Episcopal and Lutheran; a Masonic Chapter, Knights of Pythias, A. F. & A. M., Knights of Honor, A. O. U W., Uni- 

Boating on Holt's Heights Water Works Lake - Covers Sixty Acres, Forty Feet Deep

lands, by which it is half circled.  The eye glances through leagues of corn, cotton, oats, wheat and woodland into dim perspective, now and then striking pretty suburban farms and houses, each with its retinue of of fruitful orchards, vineyards and gardens, groves and grass lawns, lending practical and aesthetical interest to the situation.  The streets are mapped out on a scale that impresses one with a gratifying sense of leisure and amplitude.

  Upward of one hundred business houses and public buildings are solidly constructed of brick and stone, and the public and private architecture of the city is in pleasing contract with that of the antique towns of this and other states, much of it indicating the artistic cul-

HONEY GROVE is the second commercial town in the county, and we would claim it was the first, only we fear our neighbor town, Bonham, might claim we were endeavoring to inflate our egotism.  Be that as it may, we are content in the belief that, proportionately speaking, we are second to none in the Lone State State.  The city now has a population of 3750 people and is admirably located on a charming plateau, twenty-two miles from Paris, sixteen miles from Bonham (the county seat), forty-two miles from Sherman, and eighty miles from Dallas.  The city has superb natural advantages, abounds in fine building sites, commands a beautiful view of the surrounding prairie and its accompanying wood-

  The advertisements which appear in this little volume represent some of the most prominent business concerns in the city, and they are liberal, enterprising and responsible.  It is due their liberality, and interest in Honey Grove, that is possible to present this little book to you, and we trust you will give it a careful reading, and when through with it, place it in the hands of some one else who might be interested.

  Every person whose name appears within will taken pleasure in answering any correspondence, and giving any information possible about Honey Grove, the city beautiful.  This is published in the interest of no one individual or firm, but for the benefit of Honey Grove and Fannin County.

  In presenting this little booklet to the public, it is the desire to set the resources of Honey Grove and Fannin county before the people of other sections in a manner that will, to some extent at least, results in the upbuilding of this city and community, and to attract the attention of people elsewhere to grand old Fannin county, and to Honey Grove, and if possible to prove to them that this is a good place to make a home.

  This little story is not overdrawn, in fact the half is not told; space is too limited.  The illustrations, in a measure, show some of the beauties of the city, as well as some of the industrial enterprises, but the illustrations are not as numerous as they should have been, on account of the inability to secure the cuts.

Honey Grove

The City Beautiful

Some Interesting Information

for Those Who Are Interested

Some Interesting Information


Honey Grove and Fannin County


Together With Illustrations