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GILES, TX (DELTA COUNTY)

GILES, TEXAS (Delta County). Giles was between Ben Franklin and Pecan Gap and just south of the North Sulphur River and Farm Road 128 in extreme northwestern Delta County. The area was originally an Indian hunting ground and became part of the John Evans survey before settlers-including the families of Isaac B. Nelson, James Patterson, and Greenville Smith-arrived there in 1857 from Giles County, Tennessee. In 1858 residents formed a Baptist congregation, and in 1859 they built the Giles Academy, one of only two schools in the area, under the leadership of teacher Thomas B. Hockaday. The building was also the Giles Academy Baptist Church. During the Civil War, Gen. Samuel Bell Maxey's Ninth Texas Infantry performed drills in a nearby encampment, but the area was otherwise virtually untouched by the war. In 1894 the North Sulphur Baptist Church was constructed. By 1905 the Giles school had one teacher and sixty-nine students. Around this time the community also had a store and a gristmill. Its church burned in 1917 and was rebuilt. The 1936 county highway map showed a cemetery and a cluster of dwellings at the site. C. W. Teague became pastor of the community's church in 1941, when it had seventy-one members; by 1944 the congregation had increased to 120. In 1949 the Giles school consolidated with that of Pecan Gap, and the Giles school land was auctioned off. Most of the community's residents moved to Ben Franklin and Pecan Gap. A 1964 map showed only the cemetery and a few scattered dwellings at the site, and by 1970 local students attended school within the Fannindel Independent School District in Fannin County. In 1972 only the cemetery remained at the former townsite. Giles was not shown on maps in 1984.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Paul Garland Hervey, A History of Education in Delta County, Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1951). Wilma Ross and Billie Phillips, Photos and Tales of Delta County (1976).

Vista K. McCroskey

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Vista K. McCroskey, "GILES, TX (DELTA COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrg76), accessed February 06, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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