ELKHART, TEXAS. Elkhart is at the intersection of State Highway 294 and U.S. Highway 287, eleven miles south of Palestine in southern Anderson County. In 1851 members of Daniel Parker's Pilgrim community moved to land around Boxy Creek to take advantage of the new post office and a newly established railroad. With the efforts of a friendly Indian, the newcomers settled into a community that continued to survive. They named the town after the Indian. A nearby spa served many socialites with its excellent mineral waters.
The International-Great Northern Railroad ran both passenger and freight trains through Elkhart. The freight cars were loaded with tomatoes, cotton, and pulpwood from the local sawmills. The depot in Elkhart was a thriving center for both trains and trucks. One mile west of the Pilgrim Baptist Church established by Daniel Parker is a Methodist church with a historical marker pointing out the locale of its first building. The first Methodist sermon was preached by Rev. William Stevenson, who came to Elkhart and met with members in their home until a church could be built about 1840.
In 1912 the downtown area was destroyed by fire. During the Great Depression Elkhart continued to have both a bus stop and railroad station, but as the farming declined the services were gradually curtailed. In 1933 Elkhart's public school district enrolled 736 white and forty-three black students. In 1989 Elkhart had a bank and general store. Many area residents can trace their lineage to the town's first settlers. The population of Elkhart was 1,076 in 1990 and 1,215 in 2000.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Dorothy K. Bridges, "Elkhart, TX," accessed May 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hje09.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles