| Local legend tells of Dr. Asa Hoxey who, celebrating the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836, moved to change the name of Coles settlement to Independence. Actual county records show an 1835 origin for the town of Independence, with C. Baker, J. G. W. Pierson, A. F. Burchard, and R. Stevenson, proprietors. The still-strong Independence Baptist Church was established in 1839 with Pastor T. W. Cox. Local resident Sam Houston was baptized in Little Rocky Creek in 1854. The wealthiest town in Texas by 1845, Independence won the bid for Baylor University, newly chartered by the Republic of Texas. J. B. Root became its first U. S. Postmaster in 1846. By the 1850s Independence had a hotel, jail, stagecoach depot, Masonic lodge, cemetery, and small commercial district. Both the city leaders and Baylor administrators refused to grant right-of-way to the Santa Fe Railroad. By the 1880s, trade was going to competing towns and Independence began to decline. Baylor University moved its schools to Waco and Belton in 1886. By the 1990s, Independence was a rural community with a population of 140. Remaining attractions include the Baptist church and numerous historical sites in the area. (1997) |
This page last updated: 7/15/2008
Related Themes: Texas Baptist Churches, Texas Freemasons, Masonic Lodges, Freemasonry
See more markers related to Texas Freemasonry.