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Tonk Valley Community

The Tonk Valley Community is located five miles southwest of Graham on State Highway 67.

The earliest attempt at a settlement here was made in 1851 by Elijah Skidmore, who was killed a few months later on the frontier. This community takes its name from the Tonkawa Indian Nation, who were placed in this valley on the Lower Brazos Indian reservation in 1854, but by 1859 were moved by the U.S. Government to Indian Territory, near Fort Cobb, Oklahoma.

After the Civil War, settlers came back to this area by 1873 and established ranches in the area.

Early pioneers include: Timmons, Brooks, Seddon, Franklin, Lane, Decker, Coffman, Bass, Jones,Atkin, Barnett brothers, Wadley and Eddleman.

These pioneer's children went to school in a log cabin called the Thomas School on the Thomas family land with a dirt floor and split log benches, and were taught by Schoolmistress Addie McNabb.

In 1877 the Baptists established a church with the Rev. George Washington Black as pastor, and the Methodists founded Monk's Chapel with the Rev. B.H. Johnson as pastor, who was also Graham's first permanent Methodist pastor.

School consolidations in 1922 enlarged the community and split the schools into Lower Tonk and Upper Tonk schools. The Lower Tonk School was first located on the north central part of the W. Tate Survey, A-102. This building was destroyed by a storm, and the next school was erected on the L. Mitchner Survey, A-205. The Upper Tonk School was located on the D. Franklin Survey, A-1425 on the old Thomas School site. In 1948 the schools consolidated into the Graham schools.

Inhabitants of Lower Tonk Valley are buried in the Tonk Valley cemetery. Settlers of Upper Tonk valley are buried in Medlan Chapel cemetery. The last school house for Tonk Valley was converted into a community church building and still serves the area.
submitted by: Dorman Holub

click for larger photo
Tonk Valley Reunion 1941 - in front of third school house
Front row, L-R, Willie Wadley, H.L. Shom Rogers, Minnie Timmons, Hope Timmons, Earl Coffman, Bill Ribble, Lee Coffman, Sam Dowdle; 2nd row, Easter Ragland, Belle Rogers, Fannie Ragland, Mary Taylor, Lillie Ernest, Frank Lindsey, Lillie Knight, Will Horton; 3rd row, Lula Wadley, Mattie Choate, Ola McClanahan, Lizzie Burgess, Lola Askew, John F. Knight, Sarah Wils Lowery, Bud Lowery, 4th row, Fannie McClain, Frankie Choate, Will Seddon, Emmett Askew, W.W. "Bill" Coffman, John Wood, John Coffman, and Bud Farmer.
submitted by Carolyn Collins

Sunday, July 5, 2009

© 2009

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