Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member jhuoni
N 29° 41.451 W 094° 40.490
15R E 337956 N 3285703
Quick Description: This marker, about a town which no longer exists, is located on FM 563 about 4 miles south of Anahuac.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 5/15/2020 4:47:38 PM
Waymark Code: WM12FCT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
Views: 3

Long Description:

From the Handbook of Texas Online By Robert Wooster


Graydon was on a county road extension of Farm Road 563 three miles south of Anahuac and forty-seven miles southwest of Beaumont in central Chambers County. Among the earliest settlers of the region was Capt. B. F. Sterling, who moved his family to the North Fork (now called the West Fork) of the Double Bayou in 1869. Sterling established a store, a school, and a shipping business. The community post office, which opened in 1895, was named for a grandson, Graydon Elton Barrow. One of the captain's sons, Ross Sterling, was born at the community in 1875 and went on to become governor of Texas. The Sterling store, the post office, the Graydon school, and a store operated by Marion Stines served as the center for the widely scattered rural community of Graydon. Local farmers grew rice, vegetables, and fruits. Ships using Double Bayou provided the main transportation outlet, and Galveston, across Galveston Bay, was the major market. Around 1900, growing numbers of settlers, many from Kansas, moved to the Graydon area, attracted by the mild climate, the good farmland, and the active promotion of developers. School attendance figures reached a reported high of sixty-four in 1898. A number of serious problems beset Graydon during the early 1900s. The lack of roads or railroads became increasingly significant as local farmers sought to export their surplus produce. The 1915 hurricane filled local canals and waterways with salt water and ruined the rice crops. Salt water intrusion into the canals, particularly the Lone Star Canal, which provided irrigation water to eastern Chambers County, became a long-term problem. The few citrus trees that survived the hurricane were devastated by a severe freeze the next winter. Sharp price drops for farm produce after World War I dealt yet another blow to Graydon farmers. The community's economic decline was complete. In 1919 the Graydon post office was discontinued. By 1929 attendance at the local school had fallen to sixteen, and in 1938 the Graydon common school district was consolidated with the Anahuac schools. Almost no traces of the old community were evident by the mid-1970s, although farming had once again become important in the local economy.

Marker Number: 12651

Marker Text:

The farming community of Graydon flourished along the west fork of Double Bayou at the turn of the century. Benjamin F. Sterling (1831-1917), one of the earliest settlers in the area, brought his family here in 1869. He is credited with starting a school as early as 1877. A one-room schoolhouse was erected in 1893 on land provided by Jacob Carl Johnson. In 1895 Sterling opened a post office in his general store and named it "Graydon" for his grandson. His son Ross Sterling (1874-1949) a native of Graydon, served as governor of Texas, (1931-33).

In the late 1890s, real estate developers divided much of this fertile area into small farms to sell to families in the north and east. Rice, vegetables, and other crops were sent by boat down Double Bayou, the community's principal transportation artery, and across the bay to Galveston.

Marion Stines (1850-1916) became postmaster in 1912 and moved the post office to his store. The second Graydon schoolhouse, built in 1915 on land given by George Banks was the site of worship services and social events.

Graydon's population declined because of reverses in the farm economy, destructive hurricanes, and the rise of motor travel which isolated the community. the post office closed in 1919 and the school in 1935. (1977)

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TheMarkerFinder visited Graydon 5/25/2017 TheMarkerFinder visited it