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Texas Ghost Town
Dallas County, Central Texas North

Intersection of State Hwy 356 and Loop 12
7 Miles W of Downtown Dallas the county seat
Population: Absorbed into that of Irving

Book Hotel HereIrving Hotels

Irving TX - Kit Cemetery
Kit Cemetery
Photo courtesy David Cole, 2010

History in a Pecan Shell

Now included as part of Irving, Kit was originally named Gorbett (sometimes spelled Gorbit). The namesake was early resident John B. Gorbett. Somewhere in forgotten trunks on faded yellow envelopes there are Gorbett, Texas postmarks, for that community had its own post office from 1889 to 1894.

When the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway was laying tracks across Dallas County in the 1880s, investors from Gorbett platted a separate town alongside the proposed route. They may have been long on investment strategy but they were woefully short on imagination, naming the new community Gorbett as well. Postal authorities frown on such things and if the new community was to have a separate post office, it needed a separate name. Kit became the name of the new post office in 1894 although it only stayed in business for 10 years. There is no information available as to the source of the new name.

The railroad bypassed Kit and in 1903 several of the fledgling businesses moved to be alongside of the tracks at the site of Irving. The site of Kit eventually became a highway intersection and only the cemetery remains as proof of its existence.

Historical Marker: Island between Hwy 356 (E Irving Blvd), S. Irving Heights Dr and E 6th St

Kit Community

Virginia natives John W. and Jestine Gorbit had a farm in this area by 1850. A settlement known as Gorbit grew up around it and became a stop on a pre-Civil War postal route. In 1855, Jonathan Story moved here from Illinois with his wife and 13 children. Story's son, Isaac "Ike," who later returned to Illinois for several years, settled in Gorbit with his wife and children in 1873. He opened a store and in 1889 established a post office; his second wife, Mary Elizabeth, was the first postmaster. Because of confusion with a similarly named town, the Gorbit post office and settlement were renamed Kit in 1894.

Residents established Kit Cemetery in 1896 near Ike Story's store. Early area schools included one that began in the late 1850s, with Hezekiah Lucas as teacher. Mark Callister Lively opened a school in 1890. Lively School served the Kit Community and functioned as the worship space for the area's first Catholic and Church of Christ congregations. Kit residents established Kit School in 1902.

The Town of Irving was founded in 1903 west of the community, along the tracks of the Rock Island Railroad. Some of Kit's businesses and churches moved to the new townsite. The post office moved to Irving in 1904. Irving residents petitioned the legislature for a school district in 1909, and the Kit and Lively schools became the Irving Independent School District. Kit maintained its own identity for several more years, but by the 1940s, its once agricultural character had vanished into the growing City of Irving and the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

Today in Kit Cemetery, which is adjacent to Oak Grove Cemetery, are found the names of pioneer amilies - Story, Smith, Cox and many others - who contributed to the growth and development of Irving.

Irving TX - Kit Cemetery
Angel among tombstones
Photo courtesy David Cole, 2010

Historical Marker: 1415 Irving Blvd.

Old Kit Cemetery

Settlers came to this area near the Elm and west forks of the Trinity River in the mid-1800s. Isaac Henry “Ike” Story built a grocery store in what became the community of Gorbit (also known by similar spellings). Ike Story was the postmaster for “Gorbet” from 1888 until 1894, when the name was changed to Kit; Ike remained postmaster. In 1904, the Kit post office closed and moved to Irving. Ike Story is among the pioneers buried at Old Kit Cemetery.

This community burial ground began in 1896, when a family passing through stopped to care for their sick child. When the child died, they asked landowner David Chadwell Britain if they could bury their child in the grove of trees where they had camped. Britain donated land for a community cemetery. The child’s gravesite and the name of the family are now unknown. Britain also deeded one acre adjoining the cemetery to New Providence Baptist Church, stipulating that the land was to be used continuously for church purposes. Several congregations have occupied the site.

Early in the cemetery’s development, members of Kit and surrounding communities chose their own plots, stepping off plots rather than making precise measurements. Many early settlers are interred here, including Aunt Kit King, attributed by some sources to be the namesake for the Kit community. Many veterans with service dating from the Civil War to present are buried here, as well as early French, German and Belgian settlers.

Old Kit Cemetery, Inc., formed in 1947 and incorporated in 1949, continues to care for the cemetery. Burials are now restricted to direct descendants of early settlers. The cemetery continues as a final resting place and a chronicle of a rural community now incorporated into Irving.

Irving TX - Kit Cemetery, Edna Lindenblatt Tombstone
Photo courtesy David Cole, 2010

Irving TX - Kit Cemetery, Edna Lindenblatt porcelain portrait
Porcelain Portrait
Photo courtesy David Cole, 2010

Irving TX - Kit Cemetery  Itano Tombstone
Photo courtesy David Cole, 2010

  Kit  TX - Kit Cemetery historical marker
Kit Cemetery Historical Marker
Photo courtesy David Cole, 2010

  Kit  TX - Old Kit Cemetery Centennial marker marker
Irving Texas Centennial
Old Kit Cemetery Historical Marker

Photo courtesy David Cole, 2010

Take a road trip

Central Texas North

Kit, Texas Nearby Towns:
Dallas the county seat
See Dallas County

Texas Cemeteries

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