Montalba is on State Highway 19 ten miles north of Palestine in north central Anderson County. The name was given to the place as early as December 1881, when William J. Hamlett, Jr., applied for a post office to be located eighteen miles east of the Trinity River and four miles south of Beaver Creek. According to the application, the nearest post office at that time was Tennessee Colony, nine miles west. Montalba was named by Hamlett, presumably because of the white sand on the mountain to the east. The post office was originally located, in 1848, at Beaver Valley, two or three miles north of Montalba. Among the first settlers was P. G. Oldham, who built his home just northwest of Montalba in 1853. Nearby was the Beaver Valley Primitive Baptist Church, which was also used as a school. A cemetery was established. Later this area became known as Holly Springs.
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