in a Pecan Shell|
The town had originally been in Walker County.
When San Jacinto County was formed in 1870, the community was split east and west
by the new county line. James W. Winters, former Alabaman, settled in the area
just a year before Texas Independence in 1835. Other families moved into the area
and by 1852, the community had promising population of 300 people.
before the Civil War Waverly was platted and incorporated. The town ( like Ivanhoe
in North Texas) is
said to be named after the writings of Sir Walter Scott. A male and female academy
opened in 1856 and the town had a post office in operation from 1855 through 1872.
Meyer Levy, a Polish Jew and Civil War Veteran, suggested to others in the community
that bringing new settlers from Poland would benefit all concerned. The Waverly
Emigration Society was formed, but while the plan was to recruit about 150 workers;
the numbers fell dramatically short of the goal. As the Houston and Great Northern
Railroad extended it's tracks north through the region, fearful townspeople refused
to grant a right-of-way to the railroad. This misguided refusal spawned the town
of "New" Waverly 10 miles west and spelled
the end to Waverly - which was thereafter referred to as Old Waverly.
1896 Old Waverly still maintained a population of nearly 400, by by 1925 it was
down to 100. Today, all that's left of Waverly is the cemetery and Presbyterian
church (both on the west side of the county line). The cemetery is at the west
end of the street while the church is on the far right end. A "subdivision" on
the south side of 150 has appropriated the name of Old Waverly, but the former
town now consists only of the Presbyterian church, the handsome cemetery and two
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. |
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>
church in Old Waverly. |
County 1907 Postal Map showing Waverly & New Waverly|
"KER" in "WALKER". S of Huntsville)
Texas General Land Office
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
or vintage/historic photos, please contact
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