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NEW SUMMERFIELD, TEXAS

Cherokee County, East Texas
Highways 79 and 110
14 miles N of Rusk
11 miles E of Jacksonville
24 miles SW of Henderson
Population: 998 (2000)

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New Summerfield Texas  watertower
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2005
History in a Pecan Shell

First settled in the 1850s, the McDonald and Dodson cemeteries were established about that time. The town had been named Union Chapel after a union church was built there. The town's "birth" is said to have been in July of 1895, when Caley Amos Summers donated the land for a school. Summers sold land near the school and a mill, gin and store were soon opened with a post office operating out of the store (1897).

The name comes from the towns being in "Summers's field."

Soon a blacksmith, a woodworking shop and general stores were opened as well as a drugstore, and barber shop. New Summerfield also enjoyed the luxury of having three doctors. Summerfield prospered by being a crossroads, and it reportedly had the best school in Cherokee County by 1912. In the mid-20s plant farms sprang up and these were replaced by greenhouses in the 1940s.

The post office was closed in 1905. By the time it had reopened in 1938, Castro County had appropriated the name so the town became "New" Summerfield. Incorporation came late - in the summer of 1963. The town has three cemeteries (McDonald, Dodson, and Union Chapel).

The population was just over three hundred in 1988 and it has since increased to 998.

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