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Montgomery County Texas
Towns Past & Present

Excerpts from “A History of Montgomery County, Texas” Chapter V, Cities, Towns, and Communities,
by William Harley Gandy”:


Through its history Montgomery County has had its share of towns and communities. Some are now ghost towns, while others live only in the minds of the old timers who remember something once said about them. And too, a few have been sawmill towns which lived as long as the timber which made them lasted. Some failed to survive because a railroad or highway by-passed them, or because an industrial change occurred. But for these reasons, for every community that became extinct, another seemed to spring up in its place.

Within the original bounds Montgomery County had such historical towns as, Cincinnati, Huntsville, Waverly, Robbin’s, Old Trinidad (Spanish Bluff), Groce's, Fanthrop's, Navasota, Coldspring, Swartout, Point Blank, and many others. These towns were separated from Montgomery County when the new counties in which they were located were formed from Montgomery, but even after Montgomery was divided she had many communities left. Some of these communities, many of which are extinct today, are as follows: Boggy, McRae, Dobbin, Bobbin, Hartley, Peach Creek, Lake Creek, Bethel, Mink, Pleasant Grove, Caney Station, Newleaney, Morrisville, Bear bend, Longstreet, Oklahoma, Lost Cane Brake, Hunters Retreat, Deckers Prairie, Goodson Prairie, Mount Pleasant, Panther Branch, Brantley, Presswood, Danville, Waukegan, Honea, Ada, Esperanza, Union Grove, Tamina, Rose Hill, Clinesburg, Beach, Willis, Timber, Montgomery, Conroe, Magnolia, Tharp, Youens, Butlersburgh, Pools, Dacus, Fostoria, Cut 'n Shoot, Pinehurst, Karen, Jackson, Bobville, Rayford, Porters, Security, Midline, Splendora, Boy, Four Corners, Granger, Wigginsville, New Caney, Cowl Spur, Bunn, Leonidas, Keenan, Bays Chapel, and Ventura. Only a few of these communities will be considered in this study, though it is with regret that the author can not give an account of each. Several are treated including the important towns of today, an early town, a ghost town, a sawmill town and some communities of unusual interest.


Old Towns Near West Fork
Of The San Jacinto River

Heritage Museum of Montgomery

The West Fork of the San Jacinto River rises seventeen miles west of Huntsville in western Walker County (at 30°39' N, 95°51' W) and flows southeast ninety miles through Montgomery County to its confluence with the East Fork of the San Jacinto River on the northern rim of Lake Houston in northeastern Harris County (at 30°02' N, 95°09' W). The river was dammed in the early 1970s to form fifteen-mile-long Lake Conroe (Honea Reservoir) in Montgomery County. Gathering more than 400,000 acre-feet of runoff annually, the West Fork of the San Jacinto is more than twice as large as the East Fork; including the San Jacinto River proper and both branches, the entire system's drainage area comprises 4,000 square miles. Gently sloping to nearly level terrain is surfaced by loam and clay which support patches of loblolly pine-sweetgum, loblolly pine-shortleaf pine, water oak-elm, pecan-elm, and willow oak-blackgum woods on the banks of the river. The creek's middle course flows through western Sam Houston National Forest.qv Principal tributaries include Neely Spring Branch, McGary Creek, West Sandy Creek, Robinson Creek, McDonald Creek, East Sandy Creek, Little Caney Creek, Lake Creek, Little Lake Creek, Spring Creek, and Cypress Creek. The narrowness of the channel and the limited volume of water in the upper course of the river restrict its recreational uses, despite its generally high water quality and the scenic character of the countryside it drains. Below Lake Conroe Dam, however, there is normally a sufficient flow to permit rafting and canoeing. Moreover, Lake Conroe itself, a 21,000-acre municipal reservoir only twenty-seven miles from Houston, has become one of the most important recreational areas in southeastern Texas.

In the mid-eighteenth century the Spanish governors of Texas competed with French adventurers for control of trade with the Orcoquisac Indians living on the lower reaches of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. Anglo-Americans began to settle on the lower course of the river in what became Montgomery County in the early 1820s, and in 1824 the San Jacinto was formally declared to be the eastern boundary of Stephen F. Austin'sqv colony. The agricultural community of Loma was founded on the west bank near the headwaters in the early 1880s. Wesley Grove has been located on the west bank of the upper river since the early 1900s. Galilee had the Houstonian Institute, a black industrial school, on the east bank of the upper river in the late nineteenth century. The Goshen community has been located on the west bank since the early 1840s. The town of San Jacinto was founded on the west bank in the 1850s. Farris was established on the west bank in the early 1840s. Union Hill was founded on the east bank in the early 1870s, and Bath has been there since the 1880s. The towns lining the river's lower course below Lake Conroe have increasingly grown into bedroom communities of Houston. Conroe was established as a lumber mill village on the east bank in the early 1880s. Leonidas was founded on the west bank of the lower river in the 1870s. Grangerland became an oil boom town on the east bank in the early 1930s. During the mid 1960s, Oak Ridge North was established on the west bank of the lower river; Panorama Village and River Plantation were founded on the east bank. Moonshine Hill was established on the west bank near the river's mouth in the early twentieth century. Humble, founded on the west bank of the lower river in the 1880s, became an oil boom town in the early 1900s.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: An Analysis of Texas Waterways (Austin: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 1974). D'Anne McAdams Crews, ed., Huntsville and Walker County, Texas: A Bicentennial History (Huntsville, Texas: Sam Houston State University, 1976). Montgomery County Genealogical Society, Montgomery County History (Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1981). Walker County Genealogical Society and Walker County Historical Commission, Walker County (Dallas, 1986). WPA Writers Program, Houston (Houston: Anson Jones, 1942)

Click below for more information on some of the
towns in Montgomery County Texas:



Diamond Mine

Longstreet Rabon Chapel 
Anderson Dobbin Magnolia Rayford
Bays Chapel


Magnolia west Ryals
Beach Egypt Magnolia east Section Four
Bear Bend Esperanza McRae Security
Bennette Fostoria


Shannon's Prairie
Bethel Four Corners Midline Shenandoah
Black Cat Ridge Grand Lake Minks or Mink's Prairie Sorters
Bobbin Grangerland Montgomery Splendora
Bobville Griffin Sta.@ Cali Mostyn Stagecoach
Boy Groceville Mt. Pleasant Tamina
Brantley Harmony Mt. Zion Teddy
Buffola Tannery Hi Point New Bath The Woodlands
Bunn Honea New Barth Thorp
Butlerburg Hunter's Retreat New Caney Tillis Prairie
Cali Ives Oak Ridge North Timber
Camp Strake Jackson Oklahoma Tinsley
Caney Station Japan Old Security Union Grove
Casey's Ridge Karen Panorama Village Ventura
Center Hill Keefer Patton Village Waukegan
Clinesburg Keenan Paulia Wigginsville
Conroe Lake Chateau Woods Pinehurst Wilburton
Cowl Spur   Piney Grove Willis
Cox's Switch Lake Creek Pittsville Yuoens
Cut 'n Shoot Lakeland Pool  
Dacus Lake Lorraine Porter
Danville Leonidas Presswood
Decker Prairie    

Click on The Handbook of Texas and you find other histories of the towns of Montgomery County Texas.


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Page Modified: 18 October 2016