Sometimes our favorite memories are now parking lots, high rise buildings, or possibly an empty mound of earth on a dirt road or a run down home that was once the pride of the family.
Antrim Community in Houston County is like the last thought expressed above--just a few memories can be found from some who lived there and recorded their memories. Even those thoughts are not much in evidence. Antrim was a place that had a school and a cemetery. The cemetery is still there. That's where my maternal great grandparents John Pinckney Willis and Lucy Jane Lamb are buried.
Antrim Community began in the 1864 according to all accounts. My direct line ancestors settled in this area in 1909 after leaving Calhoun County, Florida with 11 of their children. Antrim was nestled between Elkhart near the southwest corner of Anderson County, Texas and Grapeland, near the northwest corner of Houston County, Texas. Between the middle and late 1800s and the early 1900s, the settlers who built their homes and farmed the land didn't bother with the boundaries of the two counties. They walked, rode horses, mules, or in wagons to see their relatives and neighbors, go to town or church in both counties They raised their children who married others in the communities where they came from in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama, or new neighbors who were already settled in Texas.
|A hand drawn map outlining the roads, railroad, churches, and cemeteries |
near Antrim Community. North is to the left towards Elkhart in Anderson
County and south is to the right towards Grapeland in Houston County.
"One of the early schools of Houston County was located about 8 or 10 miles northwest of Grapeland, and was first known as the Antrim School. The first teacher of the school of whom we have any information was a man by the name of Rowe. He was followed by Mr. Russell Wilson, the father-in-law of Colonel W. N. Sheridan. He lived for a while in the home of Col. Sheridan and taught the school about the year 1865 or 1866. He was the father of Zach Wilson, who married Mary, the daughter of Thomas P. Collins and died about the year 1869."
"The next teacher of the Antrim School was a Dr. Turner. The school at Antrim was taught in a large, one room, log schoolhouse, about 24 feet square. It had no glass windows, but one log was sawed out to make an opening for a window."
B.F. Edens also was a merchant at Pleasant Hill and afterwards moved to Grapeland and became one of the most successful merchants and business men of Grapeland, accumulating quite a little fortune. The old Antrim and Pleasant Hill schools deserve a place in Houston County history."
Notes from Linda Robbins: John A. Williams was John Andrew Williams (1826-1877), my great-great uncle who married Catharine Amanda McElroy (1829-1916). John McElroy (1831-?) was John D. McElroy, the husband of my great-great aunt Sarah Jane Williams McElroy (1837-?). Jim Gray (1830-1922) could have been James Malachi Gray , my great-grandfather, who came to Texas before 1850 and married Henrietta Elizabeth Gray. He also served in the Confederate Army in the Civil War. There are four James "Jim" Grays who lived in the area of the Antrim Community during last half of the 1800s and early 1900s.
Antrim and Pleasant Hill Schools and Communities in NW Houston County, Texas
The History of Houston County, Texas: Together with biographical sketches of many pioneers and later citizens of said county, who have made notable contributions to its development and progress
by Armistead Albert Aldrich, The Naylor Company, 1943
Thanks to Ivey Maurice Brinson for copies of newspaper articles and photographs and thanks to Tom Streetman for copies of newspaper articles and photographs.