Megan Biesele

MILLVILLE, TEXAS. Millville is a ghost town on what was once known as Chickenfeather Road nine miles northeast of Henderson in north central Rusk County. During the 1830s, when it was first settled, the area was known as Liberty Hill. In 1853 a town was laid out after Enoch Hays and Willis Calloway built a water mill there, and it was called Millville. Jesse Walling deeded four acres to establish the Millville Male and Female Academy there in 1858. The town, located in the fertile redland belt of northeastern Rusk County, was in populated territory when Hays and Calloway arrived. The mill served to consolidate a dispersed farming community. Soon the settlement became a division point for couriers of messages from Jefferson to Rusk by way of Marshall, Camden, Millville, Henderson, and New Salem. After the construction of the first telegraph line in Texas, Millville was still on the line of communication for the area, now known as the Wire Road, down which the lines of the Red River Telegraph Company traveled from Jefferson to what became Henderson. Millville was also on the stagecoach line from Marshall to San Antonio. Because it was traversed by all these lines of communication and travel it had several general stores, drugstores, hotels, and saloons. The local sheep-raising industry supported a carding factory. There was also a woodshop or furniture manufactory, a shoe shop and tanning yard, a school, and a Masonic lodge. A post office was originally established as Walling's Mills in 1847 with Thomas J. Roberts as postmaster. In 1848 its name was changed to Millville, and it continued under this name until 1873, when it was discontinued and mail was sent to Henderson. The office was reestablished in 1877, again closed for a number of years, and reopened in 1894. In 1897 the office was discontinued and mail sent to Motley. Millville declined when it was bypassed by the railroads in the 1880s. The community was also bypassed by highway construction, and eventually its businesses and school moved to nearby Oak Hill. Even the oil boom passed Millville by, although it was the first site in Rusk County where exploratory drilling was done in 1911. By 1968 only a church and a cemetery remained.

Dorman H. Winfrey, A History of Rusk County (Waco: Texian, 1961).

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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, Megan Biesele, "MILLVILLE, TX," accessed August 21, 2018,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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