Saturday, September 15, 2012

Where in Brazos County? August Contest Winner

On August 26, 2012, the Brazos Heritage Society posted its sixth monthly photo contest on Heritage Brazos, where readers of this electronic newsletter were asked to identify a building and its location in Brazos County. 

The announcement for this particular contest may be viewed at the following link:

The person who was the first to correctly identify the location of this building, which has been a store and a beer joint known for serving good hamburgers, was Henry Mayo, a local surveyor, historian, and Chair of the Brazos County Historical Commission.  This building is located at the intersection of Farm Roads 50 and 1687, in an area commonly known as Mudville or Steele’s Store.

According to the Handbook of Texas Online,
Mudville, also known as Steele’s Store, is located at the intersection of farm roads 50 and 1687, on the Southern Pacific Railroad eleven miles west of Bryan in far western Brazos County.  The area was settled in the 1860s and became known as Mudville for the mud common to this floodplain of the Brazos and Little Brazos rivers.  In 1878 a post office, called Steele’s Store, was opened in the store owned by Henry B. Steele, and the names Steele’s Store and Mudville seem to have been used interchangeably by local residents, with Mudville sometimes referring to the wider rural area served by the community.  According to some sources the population was three-fourths black at this time.  Many Italians were farming in the area.  In 1884 Steele’s Store had an estimated population of 150 and two churches, three cotton gins, a steam gristmill, and two general stores.  The community became a station on the Hearne and Brazos Valley Railway in 1891, and by 1896 claimed a population of 350.  In 1904 a school for whites at Steele’s Store had sixty-eight pupils and one teacher.  In 1930 the community comprised an estimated 300 inhabitants and fourteen businesses.  In 1940 it had a church, a school, four businesses, and a number of scattered dwellings.  The post office closed in 1950, and the school had consolidated with Bryan by the 1960s.  In 1988 the community had a number of scattered dwellings and was designated Mudville on maps. In 1992, the Texas Historical Commission placed a historical marker at the site.  [Mark Odintz, “MUDVILLE, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 15, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association].
Congratulations, Henry.  Arrangements will be made for you to receive you prize.

No comments:

Post a Comment