Israel was on Farm Road 1316 eighty miles north of Houston in southwestern Polk County. It was an unusual religious community founded in 1895 by a sect called Israelites, who settled a tract covering 144 acres. In the center of the land they constructed a church, which they named the New House of Israel. They deeded the land to the "Lord God of Israel, Creator of Heaven and Earth," and the deed is so recorded in the Polk County Courthouse. Members of the sect wear their hair long, live by agricultural pursuits, and are strict vegetarians. In 1909 there were about seventy-five members living in the community, and by 1946 there were only three or four families. By 1984 only a few scattered buildings remained. The Peebles Cemetery is located slightly north of what appears to have once been the community center. In 2000 the population was twenty-five.
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Israel by the Numbers
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