While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Chris Cravens

AVANT PRAIRIE, TEXAS. Avant Prairie is off State Highway 179 four miles southeast of Teague in southwestern Freestone County. By 1848 a few settlers, including Charles Kilgore, had moved to the area. In 1852 more families from Alabama, including the Comptons, Highs, and Blains, settled there. The community was first called Durham; later the name was changed to Avant or Avant Prairie. It was probably named after Durham Avant, who owned the grant for the land in the area. A post office was established for the community in January 1853, with James W. Brewer as postmaster, but it closed by November of that year. The Sunshine Church was organized in 1854, and a general store was established by D. K. Compton in 1870. The post office was reestablished in 1884 but closed again in 1885, when mail was sent to Luna. In 1903 Avant Prairie's white school had an enrollment of eight pupils, and the black school had fifty-seven. In the 1930s the community had a school, two churches, two cemeteries, and a large number of scattered dwellings. By 1965 it had a church, a school, a cemetery, and three dwellings. In the late 1980s the church and cemetery remained at the site.

Phillip Dale Browne, The Early History of Freestone County to 1865 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1925). Freestone County Historical Commission, History of Freestone County, Texas (Fairfield, Texas, 1978).

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, Chris Cravens, "AVANT PRAIRIE, TX," accessed May 26, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hra87.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on TexasAlmanac.com!
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...