Elwood is on the Old San Antonio Road eight miles northeast of Madisonville in northeastern Madison County. Settlement in the vicinity seems to have begun in the early 1830s, when James Mitchell constructed a fort and a tavern on the Old San Antonio Road three miles west of the site of present Midway in what was then northern Montgomery County. In the mid-1830s Ransom Allphin settled on a one-league headright grant south of the road and established a gristmill. During the 1840s a Methodist church and Sunday school were organized in a log cabin built by James B. Durham about a mile north of the Old San Antonio Road and just west of the route of present Farm Road 1119. By the late 1840s William R. Barrett and his father were operating a general store in the settlement. In 1852 a post office was established in the community with the name Elwood, said to refer to the abundant elms nearby. The post office was discontinued in 1860.

In 1874 the original log Methodist church, which had long doubled as a schoolhouse, was replaced with a frame structure also used as a school and community center, as well as a union church. The local school enrolled fifty-six pupils in 1896. By the late 1890s the town reported a population of 250. In 1899 William G. French, the proprietor of a country grocery near Elwood Cemetery, became postmaster of a revived post office designated French. However, in 1905 this post office too was closed and replaced with mail delivery over a rural route from Midway. In 1899 the Cobb Creek Baptist Church, now Elwood Baptist, constructed a building on the Old San Antonio Road southwest of the Elwood Cemetery.

Continue Reading

Charles Christopher Jackson | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

French is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

French is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Elwood 1)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated