Antioch Colony is a rural African-American community located off Farm roads 967 and 1626 within a mile northwest of Buda in eastern Hays County. On February 1, 1859, Joseph F. Rowley, who had emigrated with his family from California to Texas, purchased 490 acres near Onion Creek. After the Civil War he sold tracts to former slaves for the purpose of establishing a farming settlement. Many of the freedmen came from Missouri. They founded Antioch Colony, named for the Turkish city, in 1870 and 1871. Ten to fifteen families lived in the community, also known as Black Colony, in the early 1870s. Settlers included the Bunton, Champ, Harper, Beard, Taylor, and Kavanaugh families. Farmers raised corn and other grains, cotton, and sugar cane, and mule-powered mills processed corn, bran, and produced sorghum molasses. On July 15, 1874, Elias and Clarisa Bunton donated land for a school. Residents constructed a two-story building that soon served fifty-seven students as part of their own district—Antioch School District 5. The structure also hosted meetings of a Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star. Citizens established the African Methodist Church and the Antioch Cemetery.
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Antioch Colony by the Numbers
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