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Red Branch, Texas

Red Branch is a community on Farm Road 831 six miles southwest of Oakwood in northeastern Leon County.

History

As early as 1860 a school was established in the vicinity, in a log building on the Heatly tract. In 1896, after William Eldridge donated an acre of land, a frame school building was built. In 1907-08 a local school had one teacher and served thirty-four white students, and a second school served seven black students. After 1902 the school building was also used as a meeting place for the Mount Pisgah Baptist Church. The 1941 county highway map indicates widely scattered residences and a school in the vicinity. A 1969 map shows the Mount Pisgah Church on the Red Branch stream just south of Farm Road 831, and a cemetery two miles southwest of Farm Road 542 on Ringgold Creek. In 1944 the local school district was consolidated with that of Oakwood, and the old school building was later moved to a different site to serve as part of the church.

The Red Branch community may at one time have also been known as Mount Pisgah, after the church and school. The community church and a cemetery were originally in or near the community of Ringgold, which had a post office from 1856 to 1867. The Mount Pisgah Church was moved to Red Branch from Ringgold after the congregation split with the Ringgold group, which became the New Hope Baptist Church. Red Branch apparently used the old Mount Pisgah Cemetery. The last population estimate for Red Branch was fifty, recorded in 1947. Red Branch was still listed as a community in 1990. Source: Handbook of Texas Online

Mt. Pisgah Church and Cemetery. Although records do not indicate when the Mt. Pisgah Cemetery was started, the earliest marked grave is that of John W. Orenbaum (1852-1854). According to local tradition, the graveyard may also contain earlier unmarked burials. Interred in the cemetery are many area pioneers, veterans of the Texas Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II, and victims of an early influenza epidemic. Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church was organized in 1855. A building of hewn logs, called the Board Shanty, was erected next to the cemetery. It was moved in 1892. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986.  - Historical Marker Text.  Directions from Oakwood, take FM 542 S about 3 mi. to marker on W side at CR 2421.

Mt. Pisgah Cemetery. H. and Elizabeth Reavis came from Mississippi to Texas to locate, on what is now known as "The Carter Pasture", by virtue of preemption Certificate dated January 1854. On this tract of land a building of hewn boards was erected to be used for both school and church. The site was about a mile north of the entrance of the cemetery as it is today. Benches for this multipurpose building were made of split logs. The Church that was organized August 5, 1855 was called Mount Pisgah Baptist Church. Among the charter members were W.H. and Elizabeth Reavis. The building was referred to as "The Board Shanty". A plot of ground was set aside for a cemetery, and a Reavis was the first to be buried in it. Perhaps the death necessitated the designation of a burial ground. It is not known which one was the first; there are three graves without dates within the original three-foot high rockwall enclosure; W.H., Elizabeth, and an infant. Some of the rocks have been removed to make other markers in the cemetery, but a portion of the enclosure remains. The cemetery has always been known as "Mount Pisgah", the same name given to the original church in 1855. Approx 150 graves, earliest about 1855. Although records do not indicate when the Mt. Pisgah Cemetery was started, the earliest marked grave is that of John W. Crenbaum (1852-1854). According to local tradition, the graveyard may also contain earlier unmarked burials. Interred in the cemetery are many area pioneers, veterans of the Texas Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II, and victims of an early influenza epidemic. Mt. Pisgah Baptist church was organized in 1855. A building of hewn logs, called the Board Shanty, was erected next to the cemetery. It was moved in 1892. - Texas Historic Sites Atlas.

Location

31° 29' 56.652" N, 95° 49' 20.856" W