a Pecan Shell
moved into the area prior to the Civil War and later a small community
named Brewer sprang up. Things got going in 1906 when the Trinity
and Brazos Valley Railway arrived. The railroad built a machine
shop here and did repairs on their cars here. Railroad magnate B.
F. Yoakum renamed the town to Teague in honor of his mother Narcissus
Teague. (See "renaming"
in forum below.)
The railroad influence is still felt today with a notable presence
of BNSF and the old railroad depot museum - including the nearby Hotel
Teague - a vacant ruin with some nice brickwork.
As a shipping center for local cotton
farmers, Teague prospered. By 1914 it had population of 3,300 - which
rivaled many county seats in Texas at that time. Teague had electric
lights, a waterworks, an ice factory, three banks, two gins, a cottonseed
oil mill, three newspapers -a daily and two weeklies. Teague, like
most of Texas, prospered through the 20's - right up until the Great
Cotton bottomed out and the population
melted away. From 140 businesses in 1931, there were only 100 five
With the increased mobility after WWII
more people left and more businesses went under. In 1975 the population
was still a respectable 2,800. By 1990 the population was back to
1914 figures of over 3,200 and it has inceased further to over 4,
Depot in the early 1900s
Pphoto courtesy texasoldphotos.com
B-RI Railroad Museum, 208 S. 3rd Ave, Teague
Town of Teague
In 1905 this town
was a drowsy country village called Brewer-- named for 1835 land grantee
Green Berry Brewer. It had been settled in the 1870s. Prosperity rolled
into Brewer in 1906, however, when the Trinity & Brazos Valley Railroad
selected it as site for the railroad stops and as the main division
point between Houston and
Fort Worth. The town
was speedily renamed for the Teague family, relatives of noted railroad
builder B. F. Yoakum. In August, 1906, promoters held a town lot sale.
Customers arriving on a special train were met by a band playing "Dixie"
and before the day was over, they had consumed 5,000 pounds of barbecue.
By 1907 Teague was transformed. Dozens of brick buildings were under
construction, population soared, and the Ten Thousand Club advertised
"10,000 by 1910". Teague's first opera house was soon projected, and
citizens once watched 2 merchants struggle happily to the bank carrying
large baskets of "greenbacks". During the first decade of the 1900s,
population hovered at 5,000 but then momentum decreased. With the
decline of passenger train service, Teague began to dwindle. Today
it is again a quiet town and the railroad depot-office building houses
Burlington-Rock Island Railroad Museum
National Register of Historic Places
208 S. Third Ave.
the railroad museum.com
B-RI Railroad Museum, 208 S. 3rd Ave.
Point Office for the "Boll Weevil" Railway
transportation artery. Chartered as Trinity & Brazos Valley Railway.
Nicknamed for special trains roaring down its tracks, taking men to
"Boll Weevil Conferences"-- in turn of century alarm over pests attacking
cotton and the economy. Another nickname for road was "Turnip & Bean
The T. & B.V. was founded by an investor-statesman, Col. Edward M.
House, famed for his national political power as advisor of U. S.
President Woodrow Wilson. House's associates included Frank Andrews,
formerly assistant attorney general of Texas; Robert H. Baker, statesman
and insurance executive; and Benjamin F. Yoakum, lifetime railroad
man and agriculturist. Road was built 1902-1907 from Houston to Cleburne,
and with special trackage arrangements it became a short-cut hauler
from Galveston to Fort Worth and Dallas. It introduced diesel passenger
streamliners to Texas; belonged to Burlington-Rock Island complex
during most of its first 60 years of service. Texas attained a peak
of 17,078 miles of railroads in 1933. Trains still have respected
roles in freight hauling. But the era of regulating family clocks
by passage of the "Boll Weevil" or some other train is now largely
a matter of warmly-cherished history.
Boll Weevil" by Mike Cox]
|City Drug Store
& Davis Building on 4th Avenue, early 1900s
Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
7 miles W on US 84, 1.5 miles NE on FM 1366
her slaves and her son James S. Wills came to this area in 1845. Dr.
James S. Wills is credited with the establishment of the Cotton
Gin community in 1848. According to family history, Dr. Wills
gave the land for a public cemetery with separate sections for Anglo
and African Americans. Though it is likely that there were earlier
burials, the oldest legible gravestone in the Anglo section is that
of Mary Manning, who died in 1854 at 59. The next identifiable death
date is that of an infant daughter of J. W. and A. A. Story, buried
in 1858. Among the military veterans interred here is Abraham Roland
(ca. 1794-1868), who fought in the War of 1812. There are at least
67 Civil War veterans interred here, as well as veterans of other
More Texas Cemeteries
Boll Weevil" by Mike Cox
One of many long and short lines serving Texas was the Trinity and
Brazos Valley Railway, better known in the early 1900s as "The Boll
I enjoyed reading your article about my home town, Teague. However,
I'd like to let you know that the Teague Hotel has now been renovated,
and is open for renting. There are several rooms on the upper floor,
and the downstairs works as a venu for things like parties, bridal
showers... etc. Check it out... it's FABULOUS. - Tina Cobbs, May
of Brewer, TX to Teague, TX in 1906
In researching the family history of the Teague family for many
years, I have found once a mistake is made, it continues until a
researcher provides the right documentation.
The sentence "The town was renamed after Betty Teague, a niece of
railroad magnate, B F Yoakum." is in error.
B F Yoakum renamed the town Teague in honor of his mother Narcissus
Teague Yoakum (and not after Betty Teague, the daughter of John
Fowler Teague, brother to B F Yoakum's mother).
Reference: Volume 1 History of Freestone County, TX published
by Freestone County Historical Commission in 1978.
Page 171 provides transcriptions of the Teague Chronicles during
the early days of Freestone County. The following detailing the
renaming of Brewer, TX to Teague, TX:
"The name of the new town site was soon changed from Brewer to Teague
by B F Yoakum, one of the officials of the T &B . V. Railway, and
the son of Narcissus (Teague) and Franklin L Yoakum. His father
was a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian faith who, at one
time, served as President of the pioneer Trinity University when
it was located at Tehuacana, Limestone County, Texas. He had hoped
that his son would follow in his footsteps and also become a minister,
but the boy's hopes and dreams were fixed entirely on railroading.
Yoakum honored his mother by giving this new town site her maiden
name of Teague."
I appreciate what you do. - Richard Teague, Plano, TX, November
Jack Ellis Scott
My name is Sam Scott. My father lived in Teague and I assume went
to Teague High School. He passed away when I was 11. I never had
the opportunity to talk to my father about his childhood and growing
up in Teague. He always worked out of town and we lived in Jonesville,
Virginia. I have tried, through the school to get information about
high school annuals but because he probably attended school in the
1920s It's hard to find those years. If you have any information
about a place where I could get or look at an annual I would really
appreciate an e-mail from you. If It helps My grandfather was Samuel
J Scott, my grandmother was Mary Ethel Scott. I was told as a child
that my grandfather was the road commissioner for the county. Thanks.
Sam Scott, June 19, 2006, E-mail: email@example.com
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact