|History in a Pecan
known as White Flat for the local terrain, the name posed a problem when
a post office was applied for around 1890. The town was then renamed after Vera
Kellogg, the daughter of early an early settler (Holt Kellogg).
and farming were the first businesses and these were joined by cotton
production about 1900. During a series of school consolidations, Vera came out
on top - but finally lost out in 1960 when students started attending classes
in Seymour or Benjamin.
just 100 people reportedly living there in 1960, Vera hit a record high in 1970
with 276 people and then declining to 176 in 1980. Both 1990 and 2000 figures
tie with the 276 people enumerated in 1970.
Coming into the small community of VERA (Knox County,
Texas) from the west on US82/TX114, attached to the speed limit sign is one that
reads simply VERA. No welcome to… No population figure… Just VERA.
on the left, is a residence with a sizeable sign on the front that declares, GRAY
FOX. Raises lots of questions, none of which I had time to pursue this visit.
A hundred yards further up 82/114 the roof of a nice structure (looked like an
impressive residence once upon a time) screamed in large, faded red letters, HOMESTYLE
MEALS. Same thing on the east side roof. No other signage and I assume that nothin's
cookin' at this address these days.
|No more than a dozen
other residences (or buildings of any sort, for that matter) are visible from
the highway, but taking a North at a sign for the cemetery, I noted a couple more
residences. VERA Cemetery was as quiet and peaceful as, well, you know…
|Back to the highway,
then a South at a sign for VERA Baptist Church. A few more nice residences were
tucked among the trees along this little lane. Back to the highway. |
|About the center of
town, is the former VERA Post Office – zip code 76383. Next to it with ample parking
is the VERA Community Center, a large, open pavilion, complete with basketball
hoop at one end and enclosed meeting room on the other. In between were two large
pews and two picnic tables. |
| VERA has one or two
former enterprises, now empty buildings. One is for sale and the others' structural
integrity might be in serious doubt – just a casual observation, from a safe distance.
I noted the ubiquitous collection of new and very used agricultural equipment,
strewn along the highway, rusting quietly until next season. Or the next life.|
|The VERA United Methodist
Church is located at the eastern boundary of the little town, and the next thing
I knew, I was in Baylor County. |
Plains Trail Journal entry for April 24, 2010
A Visit to Vera
after Winter Frost