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NEW WAVERLY, TEXAS

Walker County, East Texas
Hwy 75 and I-45
13 miles S of Huntsville
17 miles N of Conroe
55 miles N of Houston

Population 950 (2000) 936 (1990)

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New Waverly Texas depot
Vintage photo courtesy Library of Congress
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History in a Pecan Shell

In an old familiar story, Waverly, Texas was once content being simply Waverly, Texas. Then came the railroad.

The Houston and Great Northern Railroad Company came through the area and in those times railroads didn’t have the best of reputations. Locals thought twice about granting a right-of-way and turned the railroad's offer down.

In the second act of the old familiar story, the railroad came through ten miles west of town and established “Waverly Station" in 1870. Naturally the people in business and other residents were drawn to the new town to maintain contact with the rest of the world. The station became “New Waverly.”

In the late 1800s Polish families were recruited from Europe and became tenant farmers in the region. Poles also settled in towns like Brenham, Thurber, Malakoff , Palestine and a cluster of communities around Panna Maria SE of San Antonio.


An abbreviated timeline of significant events:
In 1873 a post office was granted.
In 1884 the town had 150 residents.
By 1896 the population had reached 250.
In 1900 the town had a healthy population of 500.
By mid-century it had declined somewhat to just over 400.
The population was about 600 in the 60s – 700 in the 70s, 800 in the 80s, and 900 in the 90s.

The economy is still driven by lumber – an industry that has influenced New and Waverly, Texas, and Elmira for over 100 years.

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St Joseph's Catholic Church
New Waverly, Texas

 St Josephs Catholic Church, New Waverly Tx
Photo courtesy Mildred L. Brown, September 2007
 St Joseph's Catholic Church historical marker, New Waverly Tx
Photo courtesy Mildred L. Brown, September 2007
 St Josephs Catholic Church steeple , New Waverly Tx
TE photo, January 2005
New Waverly Tx St Josephs Catholic Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2005
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Ghosts of Old Waverly and the Old Waverly Cemetery
An East Texas Tale of Two Hills

Old Waverly’s fade into oblivion may be short of tragic elements, but two separate stories were enough to have it included in the late Ed Sayer’s Ghosts of Texas. When one considers the cottage industry that spooks and spirits have become in recent years, it’s an accomplishment to be included as one of the fifty-odd stories in what is considered to be the first volume written on Texas Ghosts.

The sites of the stories are several miles apart in what remains today of the dense forest that was laboriously pushed back by slave labor to plant cotton. Click here for the stories>
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