History Lesson, Walker’s Creek Edition

Today my friend Melanie Reed, who’s a native to these parts, went with me over to the Milam County Museum to do some research on projects we are working on. She’s looking into the history of two parks in town, while I was looking to learn more about the old church and home we own in Cameron.

Postcard mailed in 1912 showing the building that once stood where our church is now.

I did find a postcard that was a picture of the First Christian Church building as it looked in the early twentieth century. That one burned down.

We met with Charles King, the director of the museum, who brought us some books with old photographs of the county. I was surprised to see so many large churches and schools in what are now tiny hamlets, like Maysfield and Milano. Charles and Melanie told me Milano (where our Master Naturalist Meetings are held) once had a population of 10,000! Wow! It’s between 200-300 now, though it seems like I keep meeting people who live there.

Charles was kind enough to dig up a book and newspaper article about the people who built our house on Gillis St., the Pope family. I’ll use that for my writing about that house on the Hermit Haus blog.

And what about Walkers Creek?

Most intriguing to me were three similar photos I found of the Walker’s Creek School. I knew there once was a community in Walker’s Creek, which I assume was near the cemetery down the road from us, but I never saw any photos of the buildings before now.

Two teachers!

It was apparently a two-room school, so Walker’s Creek wasn’t exactly a thriving metropolis, but it was once large enough for a school and a church (which was just outside our property, but burned down not all that long ago, I’m told).

Here you can see the little sign that identifies the school.

Here is the little information I could find written about our area:

Walkers Creek is a small rural community located in north central Milam County five miles northeast of Cameron near Farm Road 485. It was named for William Henry Walker, who received a land grant in 1834 on what became known as Walkers Creek. A Baptist church was organized at Walkers Creek in 1882; W. G. Glazner was pastor. In 1903 the community had a two-teacher school with eighty-seven students. A school, a church, and a few scattered houses were shown in the area on county highway maps in the 1940s; a church, a community hall, and a cemetery were at the site in the 1980s. No population estimates for Walkers Creek were available.

Texas State Historical Association
This photo was obviously taken later, when brush had grown up around the building.

The cemetery has more written about it, because so many people are interested in exploring and photographing graves. Here’s what the historical marker down the road from our ranch says:

The Walkers Creek community was named for W.H. Walker, who moved to the area in the 1830s.Tennessee native Richard W. Cage settled in the area with his wife Mattie and their family, and in June 1884, the Cage family donated land for the Walkers Creek Cemetery, Baptist Church and School. The burial ground was in use by 1880, when Mattie Lee Jinks was interred here. The church, which organized in 1882, disbanded in the 20th century. An association cares for the still active cemetery, which remains a tie to the generations of settlers who contributed to Walkers Creek history.
Historic Texas Cemetery – 2005

Milam Historical Commission
Right now there are many flowers here. Our neighbor, Mrs. Laywell, is buried in this cemetery.

Using the Google Maps, I’ve found where the school once stood, which now is a lovely grove of trees. I am guessing the church was next to it, since there are a couple of very old graves in what is now a field there. I could be wrong, though, because someone told me it was a little further down County Road 140.

My imagined map of Walkers Creek in the early 1900s.

I’d love to learn more!

And for fun

I wonder how it sounds?

I enjoyed looking around the museum, since I hadn’t looked very hard before. These musical instruments were in the back, in a collection of hand-made guitars and other instruments by a talented local man.

What a fun instrument.

I don’t think I’d have thought of popsicle sticks for guitar or violin bodies!

Early telephone switchboard for Cameron.

The other think I found great to see was the original telephone exchange for Cameron. It’s really gratifying to see that they preerved it!

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Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

I work with Hermit Haus Redevelopment to help people quickly sell their houses. I do their social media! I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I'm also a tech writer in Austin, secretly.

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