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Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday's News: Bethel

My grandmother, Myrtie Hairston moved to Erath County at the age of three in 1883. Her family settled in the community of Bethel, nine miles north of Stephenville, Texas, where her father purchased 160 acres from Robert W. Thompson.   The school at Bethel was on her family farm and she attended Baptist church services in that community. 

Bethel is no longer in existence. It appears to be farmland. There’s a winding dirt road that goes up a large hill to the Bethel Cemetery.  On the way to the cemetery is the former home of Mattie Hairston Chisum Thompson; overgrown with vines and weeds, it’s now home to birds and other wildlife.  The cemetery contains graves of some family and extended family.

The following article, about the Bethel Community in 1898, was found in the Stephenville Tribune.

Bethel Locals

Eds. Tribune. – A peoples party club was organized at this place last Saturday night with eleven members. P. G. Stephens was elected president and John Olive secretary. We meet again next Saturday night.

Old Bethel is coming out of the kinks. We have a fine school under the management of Prof. Dean Bruington, a fine literary society meets every Friday night, a pop club, a good Sunday school, singing and prayer meeting every Sunday night.

We have preaching by Rev. G. W. Childress first Sunday, Rev. Hudson second Sunday, Rev. J. J. Davis third Sunday, and Rev. Will Green fourth Sunday.

P. A. Hairston is on the sick list this week.

Charley Judon made a business trip to Thurber Friday, returning Sunday.

W. D. Mourey, who for some time past has been in Eastland county, returned Friday.

John Thompson has had an attack of rheumatism for some time.

M. W. Birdwell, our candidate for assessor, is still in the ring. We would like to see Bud nominated and elected.   X.Z.
                                                       From the Stephenville Tribune  - April 1, 1898

Note: P.A. Hairston was my great-grandfather. John Thompson was the husband of his sister, Mattie Hairston Chisum Thompson. Robert W. Thompson, who sold land to P.A. Hairston, was the brother of John Thompson. 


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

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