a Pecan Shell
Originally 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).
Stock-raising 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.
From 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.
by Rick Vanderpool
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.
Immediately 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.
Texas Plains Trail Journal entry for April 24, 2010
A Visit to
Vera after Winter Frost
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