years ago this year, Concord vanished.
the one in Massachusetts; the one in East
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
June 2-8 , 2002 Column
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