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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Central Texas North : Prairieville

PRAIRIEVILLE, TEXAS

Kaufman County, North Central Texas / East Texas
FM 1836 and FM 90
14 Miles SE of Kaufman
8 Miles N of Mabank
Close to the Van Zandt County Line

Population: 0050 (2000)

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History in a Pecan Shell

Johan Reiersen and a portion of The Texas Norwegian Colony transmigrated here from Henderson County in 1848. The grasslands were originally referred to as Four Mile Prairie and straddled the line between Van Zandt and Kaufman counties. It was here that the settlers established Prairieville. They built their homes and plowed their fields; looking forward to a bright future.

Disaster soon arrived in the form of disease in the early 1850s, the epidemic killing many and causing some survivors to abandon East Texas for the under-populated regions of Bosque County.

Enough settlers remained, however to keep the town on the map. By 1900 the population had reached just over 200 which was a respectable number for a town without a railroad. By the 1920s the town was down to one quarter of the 1900 population. The economic history of Prairieville was typical of most Texas towns of its size with the usual essential business.

A post office was granted in 1854 and continued (with one short-lived closing) until 1954 closing on its centennial. During the postwar school consolidations, Prairieville schools merged with those in Mabank.

Prairieville remains today, with a reported 50 residents for both the 1990 and the 2000 census. Due to the significance of Norwegian immigration, Prairieville has been given a historical marker by the Texas Historic Commission.
Historical Marker Text

Prairieville

(site within Mercer Colony land grant)
Established by colonizer Johan Reinert Reiersen (1810-64). The 1845 founder of Brownboro (Normandy) in present Henderson County, who settled here in 1847. Elise Tvede Waerenskjold, Reiersen's aide on his magazine "Norway and Texas", spurred migration by continuing to write for Norwegian journals. In 1848 colonists organized a church, Erick Bache in 1853 built a hotel which served as post office and station on two stage lines. By 1857 Prairieville had about 80 Norwegians living as neighbors to Anglo-Americans, Danes, Frenchmen, Germans, Swedes, and other early settlers.
Prairieville, Texas
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