Battle, once known as Battle Institute, is between State Highway 164 and Farm Road 2957 three miles northwest of Mart in eastern McLennan County. The area was settled about 1880 and named for Nicholas William Battle, who donated land for a school and two churches. A post office called Battle Institute was established in 1886 with James Riggs as postmaster. The name was changed to Battle in 1890, when the community had a general store and a population of eleven; the principal occupation of area residents was stock raising. Battle became the focus of a common school district in 1891. In 1896 the district had two teachers and 139 students, and the community had Baptist and Methodist churches and two general stores to serve its ninety residents. The International-Great Northern Railroad laid track from Marlin through Battle to Waco in 1902. The population rose to 113 by the early 1900s. Improved roads and the new rail service enabled residents to shop in nearby Mart or Waco. This circumstance greatly reduced Battle's reliance on local businesses, with the result that local establishments soon faded. The post office was discontinued in 1906, and mail for the community was sent to Mart. The Battle school district was consolidated with the Mart Independent School District in 1927. By the mid-1940s Battle had a church, a few residences, a cemetery, and a population of fifty. Maps from the 1970s showed several houses and a cemetery, as well as some new development along the shore of a nearby lake. The community was still listed in 1990, but without census figures. In 2000 the population was listed as 100.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl | © Texas State Historical Association
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