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Valley Mills, Texas

History

Original Site of Valley Mills.  A. H. Steagall and Dr. E. P. Booth purchased 300 acres of land on the north side of the Bosque River in 1868. They mapped out and platted a townsite, which they named Valley Mills. As settlers began arriving in the area, the first homes were built of logs. Soon, however, with products provided by a local sawmill, many more homes were constructed of sawn lumber. In addition to the sawmill, flour and grist mills were also built in the valley. Cotton gins were soon built, as well, to process hundreds of bales from neighboring farms. A United States post office was established in Valley Mills in 1867, with Moses Isenhower serving as first postmaster. Experiencing steady growth, the town at its peak boasted homes, general stores, a drugstore, blacksmith shop, boardinghouse, and stagecoach stop. In 1881 the Santa Fe Railroad line was built through the area, but the tracks were laid on the south side of the river about one mile from the original townsite. Soon thereafter the residents of Valley Mills moved their town to be closer to the rail line. By 1900 the original site of Valley Mills had become a ghost town. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1990. Public School, Valley Mills, Texas 1907Location: from Valley Mills take FM 56 north 1 mile, go east on FM 1637 about 0.2 miles to marker.

Valley Mills Santa Fe Railway Depot. A standard No. 9 combination freight-passenger depot, built in 1910 on Temple-Cleburne line of Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway. Local social center, especially at train time, when in pre-radio and TV era the conductor brought late news or traveling political candidates wooed votes. Highway travel and instant communication robbed depot of its business and glamour. Phased out in 1966, it was relocated here as museum in 1969. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1973.  - Historical Marker Text.  Located at Valley Mills Park, 5th to 6th Streets on Avenue D, 2 blocks west of SH 6, Valley Mills.

First Methodist Church of Valley Mills. Methodists in this area trace their history to the 1840s, when circuit-riding preachers began holding camp meetings on a nearby farm. In 1889, after the railroad caused Valley Mills to relocate south of the Bosque River, the Methodists built their first church, located in a residential area. In 1915 the congregation voted to move downtown. This brick structure, which features two inset temple-front entries with Ionic columns, was completed by 1916. Art glass windows, corbelled brickwork, and a pressed metal roof which simulates tile are also prominent. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1991. - Historical Marker Text. Marker located at Highway 6 at 5th Street, Valley Mills.

Location

Valley Mills, TX 31° 39' 33.5808" N, 97° 28' 20.0568" W