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    KELSEY, TEXAS

    Town Ghost Town
    Upshur County, East Texas
    FM 1795
    7 miles W of Gilmer
    30 miles NW of Longview

    Population: 50 (estimate)

    Where to Stay
    Longview Hotels

    History in a Pecan Shell

    The town was named for early settler W. H. Kelsey - a doctor who arrived sometime before the Civil War. In 1901 a colony of Mormons was founded on Kelsey Creek. It drew Mormons from far and wide and a school was established that same year - run by missionaries from the Mother Church in Utah.

    The post office opened in 1902 and closed in 1918. In 1910 the Marshall and East Texas Railway arrived and Kelsey's future seemed bright.

    By 1911 the town had a brick kiln, sawmills, a cotton gin, two blacksmiths, and a gristmill.

    The Kelsey Academy, a public school staffed by Mormon missionaries opened in 1911. Kelsey reached its zenith in 1917 with 750 people and more living nearby in Enoch, a Mormon settlement. The railroad was abandoned in 1917, the post office closed and during the 1920s and 1930s people moved away in droves. By 1938 there were 350 people left but after WWII it declined further. Then came school consolidation which finished the town off.

    By the mid-1960s all that was left was one store and a church and cemetery. It is now known as a dispersed community and the remaining residents are descendants of the original Mormon settlers.
    1920s Upshur County Map showing Kelsey W of Gilmer
    (Above "P" in "UPSHUR")
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.

    Where to Stay
    Longview Hotels | Marshall Hotels |
    Related Topics:
    Texas Mormons by Clay Coppedge
    Texas Towns A - Z - Over 2600 Towns
    Texas Ghost Towns - Over 700 Ghost Towns
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    This page last modified: February 18, , 2011