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 Texas : Features : Columns : All Things Historical

CONCORD, TEXAS
7 miles E of Zavalla
Eastern Angelina County

OLD CONCORD

by Bob Bowman
Bob Bowman
" In 1962, the waters of the Angelina River rolled out of their banks to form Sam Rayburn Reservoir. In the process, they swallowed up a settlement that had existed in Angelina County for more than 125 years."

Forty years ago this year, Concord vanished.

Not the one in Massachusetts; the one in East Texas.

In 1962, the waters of the Angelina River rolled out of their banks to form Sam Rayburn Reservoir. In the process, they swallowed up a settlement that had existed in Angelina County for more than 125 years.

As a young reporter for the Houston Chronicle, I stood a few hundred yards from Concordıs muddy main street and watched the townıs 100 or so families -- the Moses, the Motts, the Hopsons and others -- weep over the loss of the homes their ancestors had hewn from logs in the river bottom. Concordıs families fought the U.S. Corps of Engineers as long as they could.

In the end, they gave up and watched as the dam builders pulled down their log houses, destroyed their school, moved their church, dug up the bodies of their ancestors in Concord Cemetery, and finally rolled behemoth tree crushers into the community to flatten its last remains.

When Forest Hopson realized he would have to leave, he moved his small frame home with the help of neighbors. He then ripped apart the other buildings on his land and carried the lumber to his new homesite in his old, battered pickup truck.

But Hopson couldnıt carry with him one of his proudest possessions, a 12-foot cedar tree in his front yard. For ten years Hopson had decorated the cedar as his Christmas tree.

One of the first homes to go was a log cabin built by Colonel T.L. Mott, one of the community's first settlers.

Mott pitched a tent in the river bottom in the early 1800s and soon built the cabin for his family and for later use as a post office for the town. In 1878, Mott was buried where his tent once stood. The site became Mott Cemetery, one of five graveyards relocated by the dam builders. One of Colonel Mott's sons, Rev. R.L. Mott, founded Concord Missionary Baptist Church, which marked its 99th anniversary just before it was moved. One of the old colonel's grandsons owned Concordıs only store, a combination grocery and service station. Before the dam builders demolished it, the store was used to store wooden coffins for transporting the dead from Concordıs cemeteries to a new graveyard several miles away on Texas Highway 63.

The relocation of the graves bothered Concord's families the most. Matthew Mott, another of the old colonel's kin, said: "When they move the graves, the souls of our pioneers wonıt have any place to rest. Theyıll just roam around, never leaving Concord." Today, forty years later, maybe Concord's spirits are still there.

All Things Historical June 2-8 , 2002 Column


Forum:
Subject: A thank you for your Concord Texas story

My mother is a direct decendant of Col TL Mott. She remembers Concord, Texas fondly. If your were a Mott, Jones, Horsnby or Hopkins you were most likley related somehow to someone connected to that town. I often walked the new cemetery site as a child as June Dinners are still held there every year. I often think of my family history there. My Great Grandmother married in the Motts and is buried there along with my Great Grandfather Ocie Earl Mott. the grandson of Col TL Mott. Concord Baptist Church (founded by R.L Mott still stand at that new location right beside a newly errected Church building. I want to thank you for including this town in your studies. I have walked the old road has a child when I was younger. I have even found a watermelon growing by the old church stairs at the time. The river was way down that year. It is totally amazing to read on the internet my family history through your website. I again Thank you so much, it always stirs my interest of family history. - July 06, 2010

(Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author of 43 books about East Texas. He can be reached at bob-bowman.com)
Bob Bowman's East Texas >
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The Forgotten Towns of East Texas, Vol. I
By Bob and Doris Bowman
 
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