once noted, “There’s a lot of hope in East
Texas.” But he didn’t know the whole story.
of Texas lists seven East
Texas communities with the name of New Hope, two known as Little
Hope, four Hopewells. and two Mount Hopes. Let’s begin with their
stories, starting with the Little Hopes.
Hope can be found in Wood
County 10 miles east of Quitman.
Some folks call it the “new” Little Hope. The town had a school
taught by 15-year-old Emily Smith, a church and a cemetery, but
by 2000, it had only 15 residents.
Hope existed in Van
Zandt County four miles southeast of Canton.
Its name came from the Little Hope Baptist Church. The community
is often called the Little Hope-Moore Community because the Methodists
established the Moore church in the same area.
A New Hope, also known as New Home, stands four miles
northwest of Starrville
in Smith County.
It was founded in the 1930s when New Hope School was established
for white students and New Home school was founded for black children.
The community was not shown on 1981 maps.
A second New Hope, also known as Gum Creek, lies 13
miles northwest of Rusk
in Cherokee County.
The area was settled in the 1950s and got its name from a Baptist
Church which also served as a school. In the l990s, only the church
and a few homes remained.
also had a New Hope which was bypassed by a railroad in 1906,
limiting the community’s chances for growth. By the 1980s only a
church and a cemetery appeared on local maps.
A fourth New Hope stands nine miles west of San
Augustine in San
Augustine County. In its early days, the settlement consisted
of a school, church and a cemetery. Today, the church and school
are gone and by 2000 the population had fallen to 75.
San Jacinto County had a New Hope, also known as the
Brown School settlement. An abandoned railroad tram also
ran through the community, indicating that logging was important
to the community. A church still marks the settlement and several
new buildings have been built since the 1950s.
Besides having a Little Hope, Smith
County also has a New Hope two miles north of Troup.
It, too, had a school, a church and a cemetery. The population in
2000 was seventy-five.
Wood County had
a New Hope four miles east of Mineola,
but moved north of the earlier location The town also had a Blackjack
Academy and a Baptist church. In 2000, its population was 15.
Hopewells can be found in Red River and Franklin counties in East
Texas. Red River’s Hopewell, once known as Mulberry,
was five miles north of Clarksville
and Franklin County’s
Hopewell was six miles southeast of Mount
Other East Texas Hopewells were seven miles west of Gilmer
in Uphsur County
and two miles northwest of Paris
in Lamar County,
The two Mount Hopes in East
Texas are in Cherokee
County near Wells
and in Tyler County near Chester
East Texas December 20, 2009 Column
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers
Copyright Bob Bowman