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Bays Chapel Community

Montgomery County Texas


Their Never was a town called Bays Chapel. It was known as  Bays Chapel Community



Town of Bays Chapel,
Montgomery County Texas

Heritage Museum of Montgomery


BAY’S CHAPEL. A decade before the Civil War, Thomas Bay and his wife, Mary, left Haywood County, Tennessee for Texas. The couple had 8 children. Their families traveled with the Bays.  The families included William Harrison and wife Cynthia, Andrew Foster and wife Elizabeth,   Bob and Jane Williamson, James Henry, Rebecca, Joseph, Sallie and  Thomas Boen, a Mr. Duckworth, a widower, and his three children.  The families bought and settled on/rthe J. H. Collard headright.  They built homes of hewn logs.  They constructed a log building which served  as church and school.  The building became known as Bay’s Chapel Church and School.  There were eight members who joined the church by letter in 1851.  Their names were:  Thomas and Mary Bay, William Harrison and Cynthia Bay,  Andrew Foster Bay,  Jane Williamson,  James and Sarah Bay.  Over the next few years the congregation and  community increased in size.  Among early settlers were Williamsons,  Neasons, Hokes, Sims, Keislers, Edwards, Leonards, Satchers,  Harmons, Oliphants, Hendricks, Myres, Coopers,  Gortmans, Welches, Thomases, Worshams, Johnsons, and Caldwells.  After the Civil War,  many of these families moved on to Longstreet which was three miles east of Anderson and two miles into present day Montgomery County.


Correction of Bays Chapel, TX
and a question about
Longstreet Community Center.


B'roque Cowgirl <thejerseylilly2000@gmail.com>
Wed, Oct 26, 2022 at 8:02 PM
To: Jsmoorenburg@gmail.com

I was recently on your Montgomery county TXGenweb page and the write up that is titled, The Town of Bays Chapel, Montgomery County, Texas. There never was a town named Bays Chapel, it was named Keisler, Texas. my husband's great grandfather Jesse Thomas Keisler owned the general store and was postmaster at Keisler, Texas, which is just a short distance from Bays Chapel Church. The Keislers owned the sawmill that all the lumber was cut at to build the church. Just thought it should be corrected. Before the post office was in operation, it was just known as "Bays Chapel Community" and they got their mail at the Longstreet Post office, which was located near where the Longstreet Community Center is today at Bays Chapel Rd and FM 149. 
I was actually searching for information on the Longstreet Community Center, hoping to find out when it was built. This last weekend, and Jeep ran into the sbuilding and knocked it completely off all of its supporting concrete blocks. Area residents have asked when it was built and I can't find anything stating when.
I had contacted the TXGenWeb Project through Facebook messenger, and they asked me to send my info to you.
Thank you, 
Gwen Pool


The Bay's Chapel Community was near Richards Texas.


Thus far I have found no evidence that "There never was a town named Bay's Chapel, it was named Keisler, Texas" but I did find info from a historical marker for Bay's Chapel Cemetery that talks about the Bay's Chapel Community.





















Marker Text

This burial ground is named for Thomas and Mary Bay, who settled here in 1850. Along with other area pioneers, the Bays established a community, whose focal point was a building that was used as a church and school. The Bay family also deeded the property, which would be used as a community cemetery. The earliest known burial here, of Mary Francis Williamson, dates to 1852. Others interred include community leaders and veterans of conflicts dating to the War of 1912. Cemetery features include vertical stones, curbing, interior fencing and Woodmen of the World monuments. Today, a cemetery association cares for the historic burial ground. (2008)
Marker No: 15829
Texas Historic Cemetery Marker
Geographic: 30.601454,-95.802521
Location: ​From Richards, FM 149 South. 2 miles, left on Bay's Chapel Road, go 4.1 miles., turn right on cemetery Road, go .6 miles to  end of  Cemetery Road on left.

Location of Longstreet Community Center

Long Street Community Center ·
20240 Bays Chapel Road
Richards, Texas 77873 ·
For information call 936-539-7815.


Bays Chapel Montgomery County Texas from the Montgomery County Historical Commission, October 15, 2022  from Larry Foerster

MCHC Vice-Chairman Victor Uher is one of the volunteers we are soliciting, who will photograph Recorded Texas Historical Landmark (RTHL) structures, of which Bay's Chapel in northwest Montgomery County is one of many.  These photos of the RTHL structures will be found on the new app that the Texas Historical Commission is creating. 

The goal is to have the many RTHL structures photographed and sent to the THC by December 1.  It is hoped that these photos will also be available on our MCHC website as we promote our county history.  We solicit everyone’s help in getting these photos.   Please let me know if you want to help.

I am also attaching the historical narrative of the Bay's Chapel Church and Bay's Chapel Cemetery which is about 6/10ths of a mile down the road from the church.

Ann Meador sent me these photos which were from Bessie Owens’ collection and indexed by the 501c3 Montgomery County Taskforce.








Bay's Chapel Methodist Church Marker

Bay's Chapel Front

Bay's Chapel Front with Historical Marker





Bay's Chapel Side View




















Bay's Chapel Sign

Ann Meader asked Cindy Cheney, who is directing the indexing of Bessie Owens documents, to see if the Taskforce had anything on Bays Chapel.  She pulled the attached pictures from our file with Bessie Owens own notes written on them. I believe that she has the front view of the building mislabeled as the rear view in one photo. If they are to be used somewhere, please label them from Bessie Owen collection with permission of Catherine Price (Bessie’s niece who now owns the collection).


Bay's Chapel Methodist Church ca 1975
from Bess Owen Collection













Bay's Chapel Methodist Church

from Bess Owen Collection











Bays Chapel ca 1910 Loyce Hoke Tucker - Bay Family Portrait and Home


Mrs. Loyce Hoke Tucker

Mrs. Loyce Hoke Tucker, 84, of Richards, passed away on June 22, 2004 in Houston, Texas. She was born Jan. 24, 1920 in Bays Chapel Community to Jesse and Hattie Hoke. Mrs. Tucker retired from Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas after 25 years of dedicated labor. Among her many achievements are 50 years in the Eastern Star; service as the Anderson-Shiro CISD Librarian and she retired from Montgomery Independent School District as the Librarian. Mrs. Tucker is survived by her daughter, Lynda Taliaferro and her husband, Charles; twin granddaughters, Allison and Tiffany Taliaferro; her brother, Emory Hoke; two sisters, Katherine Nichols and Belle Pearce; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; three brothers; and six sisters. Services for Mrs. Tucker are scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday, June 24, 2004 at Bays Chapel United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Reagan Cooksey and the Rev. Floyd Hoke officiating. Interment will follow at Bays Chapel Cemetery in Richards, Texas. Mrs. Tucker will lie in state throughout the day on Wednesday and her family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. that evening. Arrangements under the direction of Huntsville Funeral Home in Huntsville, Texas.

U S Post Office at Keisler, Texas

Larry Foerster foerster@dfcllp.com
"phistory@usps.gov" <phistory@usps.gov>
B'roque Cowgirl <thejerseylilly2000@gmail.com>,
Jean Smoorenburg <jsmoorenburg@gmail.com>
date: Nov 4, 2022, 11:47 AM



I am attempting to locate the U S postal records for a post office in the community of Keisler, Montgomery County, Texas.  It probably operated for a short time in the late 1880s or the very early 1900s. 


I am attaching a photo of this old Keisler post office showing the postmaster Jesse Thomas Keisler and his wife Cynthia Elizabeth Bay Keisler.


Thank you for any assistance you may be able to provide me.


Reply from :Lynch, Jennifer M - Washington, DC    
Nov 8, 2022


What a neat picture!

A list of postmasters who served at the Keisler Post Office is online in Postmaster Finder.


For a copy of the original postmaster appointment records, see https://catalog.archives.gov/id/78776793 (page 7).

For a copy of the application to establish the Post Office, see https://catalog.archives.gov/id/68763259 (pages 112-113).


I hope this is helpful.

Jenny Lynch
Historian an Corporation Information Services Manager

United States Postal Service | 202.268.2074

Explore postal history at 

Larry Foerster
Nov 8, 2022
to Jenniferthejerseylilly2000@gmail.comme

Thanks, Jennifer. This is very helpful!!


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Page Modified: 13 December 2022