a Pecan Shell
community takes it’s name from Jim and Winnie Shankle, both former
slaves. The two had separate masters which resulted in their separation
when Winnie’s owner came to Texas. Jim escaped to be with Winnie and
Winnie’s owner bought Jim from his owner, allowing the two to be together.
After emancipation, Jim became a farmer and started accumulating property.
Winnie died in 1883 and Jim five years later but the community they
founded continues to this day.
At various periods in its history, Shankleville has had a gin, sawmill
and gristmill. Stephen McBride
established McBride College (1883 to 1909) here. The community has
two cemeteries and an estimated 50 families living in the region.
See Shankleville Community
3.5 mile SW of Burkeville, via
Hwy 63 W to FM 1415 South. Across from Shankleville Cemetery.
Named for Jim and
Winnie Shankle, known as first Newton
County blacks to buy land and become local leaders after gaining
freedom by emancipation.
Both were born in slavery: Jim in 1811, Winnie in 1814. After Winnie
and her three children were sold to a Texan, Jim ran away from his
Mississippi owner. He traveled by night, foraged for food, swam streams
(including the Mississippi River), walking out of sight the 400 miles
to East Texas. At dusk
one day he found Winnie beside her master's spring (800 ft. W). After
slipping out food for several days, Winnie told her master, who arranged
to buy Jim. The couple worked side by side, bringing up Winnie's children
and six of their own: Wash Rollins, Tobe Perkins, Mary McBride, George,
Henry, Houston, John, Harriet (Odom), B. M. (Lewis).
In 1867, they began buying land, and with associate, Steve McBride,
eventually owned over 4,000 acres. In their neighborhood were prosperous
farms, churches, a cotton gin, grist mills, sawmills, schools -- including
McBride College (1883-1909), built by Steve McBride.
Jim and Winnie Shankle are buried in Jim Shankle Cemetery (600 Ft.
SW). A great-grandson, A. T. Odom, has been guardian of this heritage.
Annual homecomings have been held since 1941.
|Mount Hope Baptist
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, November 2010
100 ft W of S Hwy 87 & S Hwy 63
Blum Male and
26, 1880, by 36 incorporators; named for Leon Blum, Galveston
merchant, largest holder in $20,000 capital stock -- $5 per share.
First directors were: R. J. Brailsford, H. J. Casey, W. W. Downs,
W. A. Droddy, T. W. Ford, M. D. Hines; First president was Joseph
Pupils ranged in age from 5 to 50 years; those under 12 met in downstairs
of 2-story building; older pupils and adults met upstairs. Average
enrollment per term was 100 resident and boarding pupils.
School "took up" at 8 a.m.; closed at 4:30 p.m. Students entered and
left school by lining up -- boys on one side and girls on the other
-- a division which continued inside the school room. Lessons were
recited on a recitation bench; all tests were oral, often an occasion
for community gathering. Subjects offered besides the 3 R's were:
philosophy, Latin, grammar, algebra, history, geometry, rhetoric,
and geography. Friday afternoons were devoted to spelling matches,
A well in school yard furnished water; most students brought lunch
from home in a tin bucket which was covered with a lid ventilated
by nail holes.
Soon was called Burkeville School, and after expiration of
College Charter on February 20, 1905, the building served that purpose
until torn down in 1912.
As a co-founder
of the Shankleville Community, Stephen McBride worked to improve the
lives of fellow African Americans. Stephen was born a slave in Texas
in 1834. After emancipation, he and Jim Shankle bought land in northern
Newton County, forming
the nucleus of a community of homes, churches and businesses. McBride
owned a cotton gin, store, blacksmith shop, and syrup, saw and grist
mills in Shankleville. His most enduring contribution was McBride
College (1883-1909), the gift of a man who could not read or write
but valued education for young people. The two-story school building
also served as a community center and site of religious revivals.
Stephen McBride died in 1920.
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