I was down in Texas last week helping out the folks. Monday, Mom and I had planned to drive over to the Gibtown cemetery, where two sides of her family settled when they moved to Texas after the Civil War. Mom awoke not feeling well, but I went on at her insistence, and primarily because if I did not go Monday, I knew the likelihood of getting there would diminish, even it is is only 45 miles.
After my traipse through the cemetery recording names, and birth and death dates for the family members–I had interviewed mother the evening before and had a list of names, married names, and children to locate–I drove down the road past the church. I spotted the tabernacle in the junipers behind the fence next to the church. Spent a few Sunday afternoons in that tabernacle as a young girl. Nowadays, it–like the rest of the country–is listing to the right. It seemed rather symbolic to me that I was concerned it might come crashing down on me while I was inside, noting its slow descent toward the ground.
Gibtown, in the southeast corner of Jack County, Texas, was surveyed for a townsite in 1883. Prior to then, the area farmers who had begun to settle there called the country around the settlement New Hope City. The new townsite grew, and by 1896, had 3 churches, several stores, a school, hotel, cotton gin, gristmill and post office. The highest number of folks living there was identified as 400 at its peak. The post office closed in 1927. The demise of the town was related to both land erosion (from the type of farming common in that time) and the railroad location in Jacksboro, 19 miles to the north west.