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COUNTRY CAMPUS, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Walker County, East Texas

State Highway 19
About 12 Miles NE of Huntsville
Population: 60 (1990)

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History in a Pecan Shell

The community had a strange beginning for an East Texas town. It wasn’t established until 1942 when it became a German POW Camp housing nearly 5,000 captured soldiers.

Construction was from May of 1942 through that September. The camp was complete with all the amenities of a typical army facility with laundry, barbershop, bakery and gymnasium. The camp also had clubs for the military personnel and a commissary.

As in most POW camps, prisoners were leased out to local farmers, a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The camp was declared surplus in January of 1946 and the property and buildings donated to Sam Houston University (which was then known as Sam Houston State Teachers College). It was renamed The Sam Houston Country Campus. The barracks served as dormitories and other buildings served as classrooms or administrative offices.

A bus service transported students and faculty to the main campus of the school. It wasn’t until 1948 that a post office was opened. The town which grew up around the camp / campus was 1,000 strong by 1949 although it reported half that number in 1952.

By 1964, the population was down to just over 400 and the post office was discontinued. By the end of the 1960s, the population was just 121 and by the early 1970s, only 60 residents lived here. That figure was also reported for the 1990 census. A few of the old buildings remain as well as a golf course.

More POW Camps | Texas Ghost Towns

Country Campus, Texas Area Towns:
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