United States / Gatesville, TX

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First Christian Church Building. The first Christian Church of Gatesville had its beginnings in the 1880s. Officially organized in 1892, the congregation built this structure and met here until it disbanded in1972. The building continued in use as a house of worship for other groups for several years until it was deeded to the Coryell County Museum in 1990. The building exhibits well-crafted elements of the Greek Revival style in its arched windows and steeply pitched roof. RTHL 1992 #1705

902 E. Leon Street, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Purmela Baptist Church. This congregation traces its history to 1886, when the Rev. W. M. Blakely and ten charter members organized the Basham Baptist Church in the old Basham School Building at the Smith Cemtery (ca. 1.7 Mi. S). Basham Baptist Church merged with Salem Baptist Church (also known as Round Valley Baptist Church) in 1901, and the new consolidated congregations built a sanctuary at Cravey Crossing on Cowhouse Creek (ca. 2 mi SW). The church's name was changed to Cravey Crossing Baptist Church. Worship services were conducted in the creek. In 1927, after the congregation voted to relocate to this site, the Cravey Crossing Church building was dismantled and rebuilt here by volunteers. The name was changed to Purmela Baptist Church when construction was completed in 1928, and soon worship services were conducted weekly. Throughout its history, this church has served members in a large rural area. The church facilities have been enlarged over the years to serve the growing congregation, which continues to maintain many of its historic traditions. #4138

?, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Coryell County. Formed from Bell County; created February 4, 1854--Organized March 4, 1854. Named in Honor of James Coryell, born in Tennesse in 1796; a member of the Bowie Expedition to the old San Saba Silver Mines in 1831; a Texas Ranger; killed by Indians near Fort Milam May 27, 1837. County seat Fort Gates 1854; Gatesville since. #1070

?, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Fort Gates, Site of. First settlement in Coryell County. Established by Brevet Colonel W. R. Montgomery, 8th U.S.Infantry October 26, 1849, on the military post road between Austin and Fort Graham as a protection of the frontier against hostile Indians. Named in honor of Collinson R. Gates, gallant officer in the Mexican War. Abandoned in March 1852, as the frontier line had advanced further westward. Used as a place of defense by settlers during Indian raids. First county seat of Coryell County, February 4 - May 27, 1854 when Gatesville was established. #1983

?, Gatesville, TX, United States

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First Baptist Church of Gatesville. Organized in 1856 with fewer than a dozen members, this congregation has been a part of Gatesville history for more than a century. The first meeting of the congregation was held in the Coryell County Courthouse, and early worship services were conducted in the homes of members. The Rev. W. A. Mason was the congregation's first pastor. A stone building was erected in 1866 to serve as a community school and house of worship for all denominations. The Baptist congregation met in the Union Church until 1872, when its first sanctuary was built on the corner of Bridge and 7th streets. An increase in membership necessitated the building of a larger sancturary. This property was acquired, and a new frame building was completed in 1883. It served the congregation until 1936, when it was replaced by a larger structure. Additional facilities were built over the years to accommodate the growing programs of the church. An important part of Gatesville's history, this congregtion continues to honor its founders and pioneers while serving the community with ongoing outreach programs. #1632

912 Main Street, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Harman School Community Center. Harman School Community Center In 1891, M.F. Harman deeded two acres to be used for a school and gathering place until the community, known as Harman Community, moved it in 1904 to Henry Wood's pasture, near Perryman Creek. In 1917-18, on four acres bought from Milton L. and Mary Lou Harman for $200, a new facility was built here, with three classrooms, offices and a stage. A teacherage was added in 1921. Over the years, the schoolhouse served Boy Scouts, a home demonstration club and even a rat killing club. After consolidating with Gatesville schools in 1948, the former schoolhouse remained a community center, owned and maintained by local trustees and used for special events, reunions and festivals. (2002) #12903

?, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Ater Cemetery. Originally founded as Sardis, the town of Ater took its name from store owner Joe Ater (1856-1928), who also served as its only postmaster from 1899 to 1907. A Mr. Dooley and Lemuel Murrell reportedly deeded land for church, school and cemetery purposes during the community's formative years. The 1868 gravestones of two young women, Elvista and Leovisa Haley, attest to the early use of this cemetery by area settlers. Veterans laid to rest here served in the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, World War II and Korea. An association oversees the care of this site that records the heritage of the once-active community of Ater. Historic Texas Cemetery-2002. #15323

?, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Pecan Grove Baptist Church. On August 7, 1882, this church was organized as Coryell Creek Baptist Church of Christ by Monroe M. Smith, James M. Davidson, Joe F. and Martha J. Alsup, and Cordelia C. Beaty, with the help of D. J. Hardin and the Rev. J. M. Wright. An additional seven members joined that day. Early services were held at Blackfoot and Davidson Schools and at annual brush arbor meetings at Pecan Grove on the west side of Coryell Creek. In 1903 the congregation, then known as Coryell Creek Missionary Baptist Church, built a tabernacle on the east side of Coryell Creek on land donated by Frank M. Martin. In 1929 the congregation changed its name to Pecan Grove Baptist Church and began building a sanctuary at this site. In 1930 the tabernacle was enlarged to accommodate the large number of people attending annual camp meetings. Church facilities have been enlarged and modernized over the years. Pecan Grove, recognized by Baylor University for its support of ministerial students, has held memberships in the Leon River, Coryell, and Tri-River Baptist Associations, and the Southern Baptist Convention. As many as six generations of some local families have been members of this congregation. Pecan grove continues to serve the area with various outreach programs. 1994 #3970

?, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Hammack Building. The Hammack Building is located on property once owned by John Chrisman, who helped survey the town of Gatesville in 1854. The building was constructed by W. W. Hammack (1860-1913) in the late 1800s. Over the years, the Hammack family leased the structure, which has housed the Gatesville National Bank, a saloon, a drugstore, and other commercial establishments. The Italianate style building features elaborate brickwork. #2352

701 Main St., Gatesville, TX, United States

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Coryell County Courthouse. An outstanding example of Second Empire Victorian style, often seen in Texas Courthouse design. Erected in 1897 on land donated by early settler R. G. Grant. Architect for this third Coryell Courthouse was W. C. Dodson; builder,Tom Lovell. Limestone and red sandstone blocks were precut to the exact size at quarry, then hauled here by horse-drawn wagons. At each entrance are columns in Roman Corinthian style; and over the east entrance are columns in Roman Corinthian style; and over the east entrance is builder's mark of an owl. Statues on the roof represent "Justice." Noted trials have been held in this building. #1071

600 Main Street, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Davidson Cemetery. James Madison (Matt) Davidson (1826-1925) came to Texas from Tennessee in 1852 and settled in Milam territory. In 1854 Matt Davidson and Vianna Moore (1832-1912) were the second couple issued a marriage license in Coryell County, formerly Milam territory. After serving in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, Davidson bought land on Coryell Creek and built a log cabin there for his family. Land overlooking the Davidson homestead became the community cemetery. The earliest marked grave is that of S. R. Bailey in 1862. Many burials, including several for small children, took place before the graveyard location was described in a land survey in the 1890's. The community that grew around the cemetery included the Blackfoot and Davidson Schools, the Pecan Grove Post Office, businesses, churches and homes. The graveyard was also called the Blackfoot Cemetery. Among the more than 600 graves are those of veterans of wars from the Civil War through the Vietnam War. The Davidson Cemetery Association was established in 1985 to maintain the grounds. Two acres of land donated in 1988 by a Davidson descendant were added to the original six-acre graveyard. The cemetery continues to serve the area. (1997) #1174

?, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Leon River Bridge, 1904. The route once known as the Old Georgetown Road was in existence by 1854 and crossed the Leon River here. A ferry operated at this crossing as early as 1854 and was owned by R. G. Grant, a local entrepreneur and land developer. The Bowstring Truss Bridge erected near here in 1882 was the first metal truss bridge in Coryell County. It was damaged by two major floods in 1899 and 1900, and the County Commissioners Court authorized the building of another bridge. The George E. King Bridge Company of Des Moines, Iowa built this structure in 1904. Features include steel construction, wood decking, original lattice railings, pin-connected members, and elaborate stone abutments. The overall length of 141 feet from end to end allows for the 4-foot depth of masonry piers supporting the bridge. It is a 137-foot Pratt through truss span with a 5-foot timber approach span, and is one of few such bridges surviving in Texas. The 1904 bridge served as a major east-west artery for Central Texas. The road became part of State Highway 7 in 1917, and was renamed U.S. Highway 84 in the 1930s. The historic bridge was restored and rededicated in 1994. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1996 #28

?, Gatesville, TX, United States

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Gatesville. County seat of Coryell County, Gatesville began in 1854 after the county was created. Richared Grant, an Indian trader and local landowner, donated the townsite. It was named for Old Fort Gates (1849-1852), which had been established 5 miles east for Indian protection. The Fort, named for U.S. Army major G. R. Gates, was the first settlement in the county. For a few months Fort Gates served as county seat, but then Gatesville was chosen. The County's first mail line--from Gatesville to Belton--was set up in 1855. The town grew slowly at first, suffering from intermittent Indian raids, but the period from 1870 to 1882 saw great progress. In 1870 the town was incorporated and in 1872 a courthouse was built. When St. Louis & Southwestern railroad ran a spur line to Gatesville in 1882, the citizens held a gala welcoming celebration. With the railroad came prosperity and many new homes and businesses. A fine opera house, frontier symbol of culture, was erected and numerous civic improvements were initiated. Today the town is the home of the Gatesville and Mountain View State schools for boys. The economy of the area is based on ranching and agriculture. #2113

?, Gatesville, TX, United States