John J. Buder

CALVIN, TEXAS (Bastrop County). Calvin is between State Highway 95 and Big Sandy Creek five miles north of Bastrop in north central Bastrop County. The town, named after Calvin Silliman, son of Calvin Coal Company founder W. C. Silliman, was established in 1910 on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad as a planned community to house the local population of predominantly Mexican coal miners. Calvin, like its trackside neighbors to the south, Glenham and Phelan, owed its existence to the lignite industry that began to flourish after 1900 between Sayersville and Bastrop. By 1912 Calvin had a post office run by postmaster Newell L. Trammell, and during the productive 1920s some 100 residents occupied fifty-three neatly arranged buildings there. The miners' children attended school in Bastrop. During the Great Depression the production of shaft-mined lignite waned, however, relative to increasingly competitive petroleum and more efficient strip-mined coal. Postal service to Calvin was discontinued in the late 1930s, and by 1940 the community had diminished to one store and an agricultural population of about fifty. Mining in Bastrop struggled on into the early 1940s before being abandoned. Calvin, uninhabited after 1950, has been completely razed by the owner of the site, and today little remains to identify the former community.

Ray D. Kenmotsu, Cultural Resource Investigations at the Powell Bend Prospect (Texas Archeological Survey, University of Texas at Austin, 1982). Davis McAuley, "Some Notes on Calvin, Texas," Sayersville Historical Association Bulletin, Spring 1983. David G. Robinson, Additional Cultural Resource Investigations on the Powell Bend Prospect (Texas Archeological Survey, University of Texas at Austin, 1983).

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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, John J. Buder, "CALVIN, TX (BASTROP COUNTY)," accessed April 19, 2019,

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