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Mount Joy, Texas

Mount Joy is a small church community at the intersection of Farm Road 1742 and a dirt road in extreme north central Delta County.

History

Jeremiah and Nancy DeWitt settled in the area in 1854, when they arrived from Virginia with their two sons. Mrs. Samuel Buford, another Virginia emigrant, named the settlement Mount Joy to express her relief at finally arriving safely at the new home. The Bufords established a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1874, and their son Leroy opened a mercantile store. In 1876 the first post office opened, with Matthew S. Keen as postmaster. In 1884 the settlement of 100 supported three steam cotton gins, a gristmill, a shingle factory, three general stores, a dry goods establishment, three smithies, and a woodwork shop. Stagecoaches left daily for Cooper, the county seat, at a cost of two dollars for each passenger. Mail arrived every day, probably on the stage. W. R. Brigman was postmaster that year.

By this time Mount Joy was becoming an important farming center; Leroy DeWitt, a local farmer, became an active leader in the Grange movement and the Farmers' Alliance. Conflict between farmers and cattlemen in the area climaxed early in the 1880s with wirecutting disputes. Since such feuds rendered the neighborhood dangerous, and therefore unattractive, by 1888 the number of residents had decreased to fifty. A. M. Skeen ran the general store, and mail still arrived daily, but many businesses had closed. Once the disputes were settled, prosperity returned to north Delta County. By 1890 200 people lived in Mount Joy. Postal officer L. B. Carrington reported that the mail arrived on the stagecoach three times a week. The major enterprises were two gin and gristmill combinations. Local businessmen included a carpenter and Manning and Manning, Blacksmith and Wagonmakers. Farmers had formed the Mount Joy Cooperative Association, and Carrington served as manager of the general store that the organization had opened. The following year the Mount Joy Baptist Church sent representatives to the Delta County Baptist Association meeting. By 1897 a Mount Joy school had been established. That year forty-seven students attended under the tutelage of two teachers. Records for 1905 listed forty-seven pupils and one instructor.

The advent of the railroad, however, had brought about new and larger trade centers, and Mount Joy was no longer an important town. The post office was discontinued in 1907. Maps for 1936 identified the school, a church and cemetery, and thirty dwellings on dirt roads. In 1949 the Mount Joy school system was absorbed into the Enloe district. Maps for 1964 showed a gravel pit, a church, the Mount Joy Cemetery, and a few homes at the townsite. Students attended the Cooper Independent School District by 1970. Mount Joy still appeared on maps in 1984 as a church and cemetery. Source: Handbook of Texas Online

Mount Joy Cemetery. Settlers first came to Mount Joy in 1836 and the town developed into a thriving farming settlement. Presbyterian and Baptist community members established Mount Joy Baptist church in 1873. A Methodist Episcopal Church organized the following year. At its peak in the 1880s, the community had three steam-powered cotton gins, a gristmill, shingle factory and stores, and stagecoaches linked it to nearby settlements. A post office closed in 1907. The first recorded burial in Mount Joy Cemetery (also referred to as Staten cemetery) was of Mary Garrett in 1873. In 1891 W.B. Chambers officially deeded the land for use as a cemetery. Historic Texas Cemetery – 2010. – Historical Marker Text. Marker located: 9.5 miles N.E. of Cooper. Continue 2.3 miles from where F.M. 198 intersects F.M. 1742. Then when F.M. 1742 turns into C.R. 4730 the cemetery is located to the north approximately 50 yards from the road.

Camp Shed Cemetery. Caddo Indians initially inhabited the region around Camp Shed Cemetery, near the North Sulphur River.  In 1836, Euro-Americans began colonizing the region.  Many early settlers used the area as a campground in their migration west.  Even before its official dedication, Camp Shed served the communities of Enloe and Mount Joy.  In 1880, Johnnie Kerbow became the first recorded burial.  The cemetery was officially deeded in 1886, and referred to as the Campstead Grave Yard.  This deed also referred to a "Camp Shed... which once stood" on the property.  Veterans from the Civil War, World War I and World War II are interred here.  Camp Shed Cemetery remains a record of change in rural East Texas.  Historic Texas Cemetery - 2010.

Location

33° 28' 57.324" N, 95° 37' 4.368" W