Dialville in 1910-1911"
Courtesy Dennis Dickerson
a Pecan Shell
Like other towns
in Cherokee County,
settlers were living in the area prior to the Civil War. In the early
1880s, the Kansas and Gulf Short Line Railroad arrived and storekeeper
John Dial opened his business here. The community was known as Dial,
Texas but when a post office was applied for - it was dicovered
there was a Dial in Fannin
County. In1885 the name Dialville was submitted and accepted.
Although the store and post office went out of business the following
year, it was reopened in 1897.
In 1899 a school was opened and a year later the town was developed
as a shipping point for tomatoes. The town had a thriving population
of 400 by 1915.
The town already had the Dialville News and a short time later a second
paper (the Reporter) was published by theater owner L. E. Scott.
The population declined to only 200 by 1930s, and the Depression doomed
many of Dialville's businesses. In recent years only two churches
remain to mark what was once Dialville.
Dialville Historical Marker
Dialville Forum & Old Photos
|The store in
Lori Martin, December 2005
In 1866, Confederate
John J. Dial (d.1928) joined a group of 60 wagons headed for
Texas. He arrived in this area the same
year and soon began farming the land. With the 1882 arrival of the
Kansas and Gulf Short Line Railroad, Dial opened a general store near
the rail line. The following year, Dial and his wife, Ida Mae (Jones),
deeded eight acres of land to the railroad for a flag stop station.
The town site he platted at the site of the station was named Dialville
when the post office was established in 1885.
There was little growth in Dialville until 1897, when the flourishing
tomato and peach production and shipping business revitalized the
area. In that year, John T. Bailey opened a store and reactivated
the post office. Dialville's first school was established in 1899.
C. D. Jarratt, a leading East
Texas fruit and vegetable sales agent, arrived about 1900 and
helped develop the town into a leading shipping point for tomatoes
Dialville was the scene of much commercial activity during the early
years of the 20th century, but by the mid 1920s had begun to decline.
It remains an important part of the regional and agricultural history
of Cherokee County.
Gerald Massey, October
Missionary Baptist Church
8, 1848, by a group of settlers from this area, in the home of Thomas
J. Lindsey, under Elder Walter Ross. The known charter members included
Minerva Crenshaw, Frances Halbert, John Halbert, Sally Margaret Halbert,
Stephen Halbert, John Harris (an ordained deacon), Lucy Johnston,
Thomas Johnston, Bathsheba Lindsey, Elizabeth Lindsey, J. J. Lindsey,
Thomas J. Lindsey, Isaac Sheppard, Seary Sheppard, and Wylie Thomason.
True pioneers, these people had immigrated to the area just three
years earlier, when Texas was admitted to the Union. The Rev. George
Washington Slover, said to have built the Atlanta Hotel depicted in
the Civil War novel "Gone with the Wind", was the first pastor. Soon
after the organizational meeting, a log cabin was erected on the present
site to serve as a place of worship. The bubbling springs here and
at the Lindsey home probably inspired the church name. The cemetery
originated in the early days of the church; the oldest legible headstone
is dated 1849. The original log church building was replaced in a
few years by the present structure and in 1950, Sunday School rooms
were added to it.
Texas Forum &
and his family (founder of Dialville)"
Courtesy Dennis Dickerson
two story brick elementary school in the 1950's."
Dialville Old Photos & Update
Attached (shown above) are four old photos of Dialville.
One single and out of print 40 page book exists in the Jacksonville,
Texas public library, published in 1979 by Jack Moore, titled "The
History of Dialville, Texas."
The current Dialville community is no longer an incorporated city,
but only a historical landmark. However, it is no longer a ghost
town. Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Barker now own and operate the Dialville
General Store out of one of the remaining brick structures of the
old town. - Dennis Dickerson, August 31, 2011
The Dialville Plung and Dancehall
My great aunt and great uncle, Elizabeth "Bess" Sewell and Frank
Sewell founded and owned the Dialville Plung. It was located in
front of their farm on the Old Dialville Cutoff Road near the outskirts
of Dialville. As a young boy I spent every summer visiting there
where I learned to swim. It was, in its day, an amusement park,
complete with a large dancehall and a jukebox. I remember "The Beer
Barrel Polka" was a crowd pleaser that was very popular. During
the Fall of the year, a carnival would set up outside the dancehall.
People from all over Cherokee County and beyond would come to swim,
dance, and amuse themselves. Unfortunately the grounds and pool
have all grown over and there is no sign that such a wonderful place
ever existed. - Charles Callaway, April 10, 2013
Aren't you glad you went to Dialville?
Don't you wish everyone did?
As a child, I grew up in Jacksonville. We enjoyed going to Diaville
to go swimming, in what we thought then, was a great swimming pool.
As I look back I believe it was a lake the owners had enclosed with
a wooden entrance where we paid admission. There was a tall tower
with a trolley we held on to & "flew" through the air the distance
of the pool to deep water. It was quite exciting! Then we had to
pull the handlebar back with a rope! There was also a cabin up in
the woods close to the swimming pool that the Girl Scouts would
go to spend several days on a camping adventure! These are my memories
of Diaville. - Adelaide Brewer Bennett, April 09, 2007
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Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact