One of my favorite groups is the Hunt County Historical Commission. We meet every other month during the year, discuss historical topics while developing a friendship. There are no fees, no refreshments, no speakers. We just talk about the history of Hunt County, history being anything more than fifty years ago.
Dr. James Conrad
I have been a member since October 1980. Dr. James Conrad taught a class that summer that I attended. It was ‘Reading, Writing, and Enjoying Local History’ and was one of the most inspiring classes I ever sat through.
At first the membership was usually college professors and people from Commerce who were interested in local history. Believe me, there is a lot of local history all over Hunt County. So, let’s take a brief trip.
Probates tell stories
The earliest part of Hunt County is the eastern part. Anglos and their slaves entered in the late 1830s and 1840s.
I have been able to find a couple of letters pertaining to very early life here. Probates tell wonderful stories and can be read at the courthouse. Letters and diaries are somewhat rare, as many of the early settlers were not able to read nor write. Education for common folks was limited.
One of the first white activities were what I thought were Fifth Sunday Singing. Since not every month has five Sundays, those that did were spent singing hymns. However, in Greenville were a couple of churches that practiced singings every Sunday. Something to investigate.
Hunt County has had seven courthouses. Believe me, I read about every one of them, even the trade made with the Methodist Church and the courthouse for lumber. Two burned. All were too small when razed. There are some funny stories there. And we lost a historical marker when Wesley church moved from downtown to its home along Joe Ramsey Boulevard.
There is a large number of cemeteries here in Hunt County. To receive a cemetery marker, it much be at least fifty years old and present a historical application. In fact, all markers have those criteria.
Some of the markers have received a National Register of Historic Places for their great history and preservation, including the Presidents Home at Commerce, the current Courthouse in Greenville, as well as the several others are on the list.
The next marker I plan to work on has no name. I have written about the young man standing on the top of a train when knocked off. Dying a few days later with no identification, he is buried on the left side of the old gate at East Mount Cemetery.
We invite you to join
The Hunt County Historical Commission has newcomers who just moved to Greenville, old-timers who had been here a long time, and curiosity seekers.
Whatever group you fit into or out of, feel free to join us. We meet at the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum at 6:30 on the fourth Thursday evening, except this month. It will be Thursday, July 29.
Taylor is chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission. She can be contacted at email@example.com.