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Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

ELM MOTT, TEXAS. Elm Mott is near the intersection of Interstate Highway 35 and Farm Road 308, eight miles north of Waco in northeast central McLennan County. The area was settled shortly after the Civil War by the Christian and Long families. A general store and a cotton gin served nearby farmers. The community was known as Geneva until residents applied for a post office in 1872; as there was already a Geneva, Texas, the name Elm Mott was chosen, for a nearby elm grove. The school that served the area was called Union Grove when it was established in 1876; its name was changed to Geneva in 1887 and to Elm Mott in 1897. When the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad laid track from Hillsboro to Taylor in the early 1880s, it passed through Elm Mott, and the community began to grow. In the mid-1880s the settlement had a church, a school, and forty residents; by the early 1890s it had a hotel, a gristmill and gin, two general stores, two churches, and 150 residents. Its population grew to 247 by 1900 and to 300 by 1914. A private bank opened at Elm Mott in 1921, but a drought in 1925 made it impossible for area farmers to repay their loans; the bank was closed by state examiners in 1926. In spite of this setback and the Great Depression, Elm Mott maintained an estimated population of 247 and supported twelve businesses. County highway maps from the late 1940s showed a school, two churches, several businesses, and a number of residences at Elm Mott. The Elm Mott Independent School District was combined with the Lakeview Independent School District in 1951 to form the Connally Consolidated Independent School District. In the late 1950s, when plans were made for the renovation of U.S. Highway 81 and its upgrade to Interstate Highway status, some residents of Elm Mott were forced to move their homes away from the right-of-way, and several businesses were moved to sites along the new highway. The population of Elm Mott was reported at 275 in the 1950s, fell to 260 in the 1960s, and was stable at 190 from the 1970s through 2000.

Charles Leroy Hinkle, A History and Analysis of Rural Banking in McLennan County (M.S. thesis, Baylor University, 1959). Vertical File, Texas Collection, Baylor University.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "ELM MOTT, TX," accessed May 27, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hretn.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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