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Mars Community

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Mars Community
 Ben Wheeler Van Zandt County Texas

Mars Community

"Mars Community A settlement known as Mars flourished at this crossroads from the 1880s until about 1930. The intersection of the Tyler-Porter's Bluff Road (now FM 2339) and the Canton-Athens Road (now FM 773) provided a likely site for a community to develop. Early settlers in the area included John Ammons and his son-in-law, Henry Washington Brown, who arrived in 1869 and purchased 320 acres of land. By 1871, Ammons had deeded two of his acres to the Pleasant Ridge Church and school for constructing a church building and schoolhouse. Wheat was the original crop that area farmers grew, but cotton soon replaced it as the primary crop. H. W. Brown built a cotton gin and grist mill for the community, and a blacksmith shop and two mercantile stores soon followed. Subsequent cotton gin operators included T. J. Bristow, E. P. Miller, W. R. Dyer and W. W. McWilliams. According to local tradition, the mercantile operations were run by H. W. Brown, Thomas Hobbs, T. O Wells, W. A. ""Algie"" Harville, Sr., and J. W. Barefoot. In 1891, a post office was established to serve the settlement. Originally called Acme, the station's name was changed seven years later to mars to reflect the name of the community. A declining population caused the post office to close in 1907 and the school to consolidate with the Bois D'Arc School in 1916. Although little physical evidence remains of the Mars Community, its history helps illustrate the story of cotton gin settlements in Texas.

7 mi. S of Ben Wheeler on FM 773 Ben Wheeler, Texas

Van Zandt County

Year Erected: 2001

Marker Type: 27" x 42"

Van Zandt County Markers

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Coltharp-Beall House


Built 1849 by James Coltharp. Used as stop for stagecoaches. Site of area's first sermon, and Hamburg Post Office. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1964
Coltharp-Beall House

Corinth Baptist Church and School


The church and cemetery at this site are all that remain of the once-thriving community of Corinth. Settled during the 1800s, Corinth boasted a gin, grist mill, blacksmith shop, doctor's office, sa
Corinth Baptist Church and School

Corinth Cemetery


Land for this cemetery was first deeded in 1886 by James Richardson (1814-1887), on whose land grant the Corinth community had developed. Over the years, additional acreage for the graveyard has be
Corinth Cemetery

County Line Missionary Baptist Church


Oral tradition links this church to the original County Line Baptist Church of 1851, the earliest recorded attempt of area African American families to create a community of worship. County Line Co
County Line Missionary Baptist Church

County Seat War


Due to a surveyor's error, the county seat of Van Zandt County was located on private property in 1850. An election was called 27 years later because of discontent with the site. On May 28, 1877, C
County Seat War

Cox Cemetery


Robert K. Gibbs and his family settled in this area in the early 1850s. A gravestone for an infant daughter of R. K. and Sarah Gibbs reveals the earliest documented burial in this cemetery to be No
Cox Cemetery

Creagleville


The rural community of Creagleville traces its beginnings to the 1840s. It was named for German native Henry Creagle (1826-1872), who settled in Van Zandt County about 1847. The community was locat
Creagleville

Dallas-Shreveport Road


A trail established by Caddoan Native Americans and later used by French traders who traversed this area is known today as the Dallas-Shreveport Road. The trail emerged in the mid-1830s as a main r
Dallas-Shreveport Road

Dipping Vat


Before discovery of a dip (1894) and vaccine (1898), the American cattle industry faced ruin, as it lost $40 million annually from cattle tick fever. In 1918, tick eradication began in East Texas,
Dipping Vat

Edgewood Cemetery


District Judge-Elect John C. Robertson (1824-1895) and his partner, W. S. Herndon (1837-1903), gave land in 1878 for a railroad depot. This started Edgewood community. Citizens of Canton moved
Edgewood Cemetery