Centerville, Texas may be a small town with a population of just over 900 people, but it has a rich history that spans over 200 years. Here are seven historical events that took place near Centerville that have had a lasting impact on the area.
1. The founding of Centerville - In May 1838, Joshua Deets and his wife, Mary, settled in what is now Centerville. Along with several other families, they started a community that was originally called Keechi Village. It eventually became known as Centerville due to its central location in the county.
2. The Battle of Springfield - During the Civil War, Centerville was the site of the Battle of Springfield on January 8, 1863. Confederate forces under General John B. Magruder defeated Union forces under General William Sooy Smith, who was moving to reinforce the Union's position in Arkansas.
3. The Grimes County Courthouse shooting - On February 8, 1868, three African American men were killed during an altercation with a group of white men in the Grimes County Courthouse. This event is considered by some to be the first documented racial violence of the Reconstruction Era in Texas.
4. The Leon River Bridge disaster - On March 20, 1936, the Leon River Bridge collapsed while a bus filled with schoolchildren was crossing it. The accident killed 25 people, including 20 children. The disaster led to tighter regulations for bridge construction in Texas.
5. The first Texas Egg Salad Festival - In 1973, the first Texas Egg Salad Festival was held in Centerville. The event celebrates the town's egg farming history and features live music, food, and a parade.
6. The discovery of oil - In 1987, oil was discovered in nearby Madison County. This discovery led to an increase in oil production in the area and helped boost the local economy.
7. Hurricane Rita - On September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita made landfall near Sabine Pass, Texas, which is about 100 miles southeast of Centerville. The hurricane caused widespread damage and power outages in the area, and many residents were forced to evacuate.
These seven events are just a few examples of the rich history of Centerville and the surrounding area. From battles to disasters to celebrations, each event has left its mark on the town and the people who call it home.
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