China Grove is twelve miles north of Angleton, two miles south of Rosharon, and west of State Highway 288 in northwest Brazoria County. It was named for the chinaberry trees planted for shade by Warren D. C. Hall, owner of the original land grant. Hall, who also raised figs and oranges, operated a plantation called China Grove for a time, then sold it in 1843 to Albert Sidney Johnston and Albert T. Burnley. Johnston took over his partner's interest, operated the plantation until 1849, and sold it in 1852. The China Grove station on the Columbia Tap Railroad, across the tracks from the plantation, served the area from at least as early as 1877 to 1892, when the town of Custer was established. In 1896 a Black school in China Grove had eighty-seven pupils, and in 1906 two local Black schools had 108 pupils and two teachers; that year a local White school had seven pupils and one teacher. In 1947 China Grove was a common school district with both White and Black schools, but by 1974 only a single building and scattered dwellings remained. Of the original plantation, only hedges of Cherokee roses, thought to have been planted by Johnston, remained in 1991.
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.
Diana J. Kleiner | © Texas State Historical Association
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