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Mount Calm, Texas

Mount Calm is located on State Highway 31 and Farm Road 339 twenty-five miles south of Hillsboro in extreme south central Hill County, near the Limestone County line. Mount Calm and Mount Antioch Cemeteries are both located in Limestone County.

History

Settlement occurred one mile south of the town's present site in the early 1850s, when an estimated fifty families moved to the area, attracted by the rich soils of the Blackland Prairie. The community probably took its name from a French blacksmith named Mountcalm, who had a business between Springfield and Waco. In July 1855 residents organized a Baptist church and applied for a Masonic charter. A general store and a post office opened in 1858. Community development was slow because of a fear of Indian attacks and the Civil War. In 1881 the Texas and St. Louis Railway Company extended its line from Athens to Waco and passed within a mile of Mount Calm. By the following year all of the businesses and most of the residents had moved north to be beside the tracks. In 1883 a Methodist church opened at the new site. Soon thereafter the community built a school. By the early 1890s the population reached 150, and Mount Calm had established itself as a shipping and market point. The weekly Mount Calm Banner began circulation; the first bank opened in 1899. In February 1900 residents voted to incorporate. In 1907 a second bank opened, and the population reached its peak with an estimated 634 residents. For years the community suffered from seasonal droughts; in 1914 a well was dug to solve the summer water shortage. Although the population was more than 600 through the 1920s, the Great Depression, exhaustion of soil from cotton production, World War II, and the lure of Waco and Dallas contributed to a steady decline over the next four decades. In the mid-1930s the town had a population of 525. In the mid-1970s the population had dropped to 363 and the number of businesses to six. Mount Calm became a bedroom community of Waco. In 1990 the population was 303. The population was listed as 310 in 2000. - Source: Handbook of Texas Online.

Mount Calm Cemetery. Settlers began arriving in this part of Limestone County in the 1850s. Soon Mount Calm community developed with a Masonic Lodge, stores, post office, school, and churches. James Samuel Kimmel, a pioneer settler, donated land for this cemetery, and the first marked grave is dated 1870. In 1881, when the Texas & St. Louis Railway bypassed the village, residents moved north to the railroad line and began New Mount Calm in Hill County. The cemetery, which has been enlarged and is still in use, is all that remains of the earlier settlement. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1984.  Located 2 mile south on LCR 106 then 1/4 mile west on LCR 102, from Mount Calm.

Mt. Antioch Cemetery. In 1854, Ezekiel J. Billington came to this area of Texas from Kentucky with his wife, Kitty Ann, and their three children. Billington organized a Baptist church the following year and named it Mt. Antioch. The six charter members of the Mt. Antioch Baptist Church were Ezekiel and Kitty Ann Billington, Nancy Billington, Houghton Hughes, Medina Hughes, and M. J. Billington. The nearby spring was a favorite camping spot for travelers in the area. As early as 1846, this site was used for the burial of those who died while passing through, and the graves of these persons remain unmarked. The first marked grave in what became the Mt. Antioch Cemetery was that of George Kimmel (d. 1860), the infant son of early settler James Kimmel. Between 1860 and 1875 the community that developed around the Mt. Antioch Baptist Church and cemetery grew and prospered. About 1874, however, members of the church began moving to the town of Mt. Calm (2 mi. N), where they organized a new congregation. The cemetery continues to be used and maintained by the local residents and descendants of the early settlers. A good example of a pioneer graveyard, Mt. Antioch Cemetery stands as a reminder of the early heritage of this part of Limestone County. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1985. Located 3 mile South of Mt. Calm Via FM 339.

Location

31° 45' 22.572" N, 96° 52' 44.976" W