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LEVERETT'S CHAPEL, TEXAS. Leverett's Chapel is on State Highway 42 four miles from Overton and seven miles south of Kilgore in northwestern Rusk County. At one time a large Cherokee Indian village was located a mile southwest of the site. Leverett's Chapel was named for Mrs. E. A. Leverett, whose family settled there in the 1850s. The Leveretts traveled by ox wagon from Savannah, Georgia, and lived at first in a log house, which was incorporated into the colonial mansion the family later built in 1937. They brought with them from Georgia slaves, cattle, and equipment to begin what became an effective plantation system at Leverett's Chapel. The Leveretts, the Christians, the Russells, the Hindmans, and the Honzells were joined by other pioneer families such as the Chappells, the Hinkles, the Stills, and the Florences. The Leverett family donated an acre of land sometime before 1890 for the site of a combination church and schoolhouse.

In December 1932 the discovery of oil in the immediate vicinity of Leverett's Chapel transformed the town overnight from a cotton-farming agricultural community to an oil boomtown. Such a flock of boomers arrived that the school increased to eleven teachers; new residents lived in everything from garages to tents. In 1933, with the influx of people from the oil boom, the Leverett's Chapel school became the Leverett's Chapel Independent School District, with as many as 600 students for the 1933–34 term and a separate school for black students, the Starr-Bailey School. The 1966 integration of schools closed Starr-Bailey, and by the 1970s, the Leverett's Chapel school had a teacher-student ratio of one to thirteen. In 1987 through 2000 the town reported a population of 450.


Kilgore News Herald, July 16, 1972. Dorman H. Winfrey, A History of Rusk County (Waco: Texian, 1961).

Megan Biesele


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

Megan Biesele, "LEVERETT'S CHAPEL, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 24, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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