Young County TXGenWeb


Eliasville, Texas

Eliasville is on the banks of the Clear Fork of the Brazos River near the intersection of Farm roads 1974, 3109, and 701, close to the Stephens County line in southwest Young County. J.L. Dobbs settled in the area in 1871. In 1876, brothers, William Leonard Donnell and Thomas Franklin Donnell moved from Missouri and established ranches in the area. By 1876, Elias DeLong opened a bitters store in a log cabin on the banks of the Clear Fork of the Brazos. He was the first settler to come along, camp and stay along the Clear Fork of the Brazos. It immediately became a prosperous business and Elias DeLong then added general merchandise and became the first thriving merchant.

The first postoffice was commissioned in June 1879 with Henry Howard as the first postmaster. The post office was named for Eliasville in honor of the first permanent settler of the area.

The Donnell brothers built their first water powered grist mill using locally quarried rocks but the mill was flooded before completion. The second mill was built in 1879, but before completion was also destroyed. The Donnell brothers incorporated and brought in other investors, including Archibald "Archie" B. Medlan. The landmark mill was the only grist mill west of Fort Worth.

During the mill's existence, it ground the meal and flour to feed the garrison of Fort Griffin, a government military ost located on the Clear Fork in what is now Shackelford County. For a radius of 100 miles, early setttlers made the journey with wheat and corn to be converted into flour and meal between its stones.

Walter A. Andrews bought the mill in 1915 and operated the mill until it burned October 29, 1927 when it was struck by lightning. Andrews rebuilt the mill and used a gas engine to power the mill until his death in 1941. The mill is in ruins on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River on private property.

The Donnell brothers were faithful members of the Presbyterian church which was established in Eliasville by 1881. The Presbyterian church was a strong force in the community and in the region. In 1921, Eliasville was incorporated during the time of the oil boom. The town grew rapidly and Young County records show that there were 10,000 people in Eliasville making it the largest town in the county at that time. The town boasted of a post office, two banks, school, cotton gin, grist mill, Chamber of Commerce, two furniture/undertaker business, three general stores, two theatres, drug stores, hotels and many other businesses. A town by its friendliness drew trade from a large area.

The first school for the Eliasville community was a subscription school located about three-fourths of a mile south of Eliasville in Stephens County. The teacher was Wylie Jones. The second school for the community was a subscription school about three miles west of Eliasville. The building was made of rock and later used as a residence by the Ballew family. The teacher was Mr. Watson. The third school was the first public school for Eliasville in a rock building located south of the business part of town on "Upon the Hill." The fourth public school building was a brick structure located on the south side of Eliasville, and on the south side of Eliasville and Graham highway.

Dr. Harry Yandell and Dr. Homer F. Rainey were students at Eliasville who both later became presidents of the University of Texas.

In 1921, Raymond Leslie opened the only newspaper office in Eliasville and published the Eliasville Journal.

Among the families living in the area are the Donnell, DeLong, Davis, Washburn, Hill, Robinson, Yancey, Townsend, Tyra, Long, Pratt, Aker and Burnett.



Nelson's Drug Store, Eliasville, Texas
1926
Photo courtesy of Marty Cash and the Nelson Family

Eliasville 1953 Old Settler's Reunion
submitted by Dorman Holub



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

© 2009

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