Soda, on U.S. Highway 190 eighty miles north of Houston in central Polk County, was first known as Bluff Creek, after a small creek running just east of the present-day Soda church. The Bluff Creek settlement, established about the time of the Civil War, had a post office between 1860 and 1866 and was a center for local agriculture and small lumbering activities. It also had a school. In 1898 the community secured another post office, called Soda, a name derived from the first letter of each of four names submitted to the postal authorities by local residents. In 1902 Bill and Hiram Knox built a sawmill at Soda. It employed about forty men and spurred a temporary rebirth of the little community, which expanded to include a store and a depot on the Livingston and Southeastern Railway. However, as local timber was cut out, the Knox company abandoned its Soda facilities in 1913. The post office was closed by 1936, and the school district was consolidated with the larger Livingston schools in the late 1930s. A few scattered residents remained, with the Soda church and Bluff Creek cemeteries marking the locale of the old sawmilling community.
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