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Newton County TX
Newton County

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Newton County, East Texas

30° 58' 13" N, 93° 42' 25" W (30.970278, -93.706944)

On FM 1415
Between Hwy 63 and Hwy 87
9 Miles NE of Newton the county seat
2 Miles SW of Burkeville
E of Jasper
65 Miles N of Beaumont
Population: Unknown

Shankleville, Texas Area Hotels ›Jasper Hotels

TX - Shankleville Community Cemetery

Shankleville Community Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, November 2010
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History in a Pecan Shell

The 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 Historical Marker

Shankleville Tx Historical Marker

Shankleville Community Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, November 2010
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Historical Marker: 3.5 mile SW of Burkeville, via Hwy 63 W to FM 1415 South. Across from Shankleville Cemetery.

Shankleville Community

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.

Shankleville Tx - Mount Hope Baptist Church
Mount Hope Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, November 2010

Shankleville Tx - Mt Zion CME Church
Mount Zion CME Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, November 2010

Shankleville Tx - Mt Zion Church cornerstone
Mt Zion Church cornerstone
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, November 2010
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Shankleville Tx - Blum Male and Female College
Blum Male and Female College Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, November 2010
See Texas Schoolhouses

Historical Marker: 100 ft W of S Hwy 87 & S Hwy 63

Blum Male and Female College

Chartered February 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 Syler.

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, recitations.

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.

Shankleville TX Stephen McBride Marker

Stephen Alexander McBride Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, November 2010
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Historical Marker:
Stephen Alexander McBride
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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Shankleville, Texas Nearby Towns:
Newton the county seat

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