Keith, on the west bank of Hog Creek off Farm Road 244 twelve miles northwest of Anderson in western Grimes County, derived its name from a pioneer family who settled in the area during the 1840s. Children of farm families in the vicinity attended a school on Rock Branch until the establishment of another on Martin's Prairie, two miles southwest of the eventual settlement site. In 1869 the community's first congregation, the Martin's Prairie Missionary Baptist Church, was organized, and a church was built in 1877; the upper floor of this two-story structure doubled as a Grange hall during the late 1870s. In 1884 a post office was established in the town, and during the 1890s a general store, a cotton gin, and a gristmill were operated by W. Phillip Trant. The Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church was organized in 1896, and by 1910 a church building had been constructed a mile west of the townsite. The Keith School was established near the church; in 1910 about 200 pupils attended. Keith had a population of twenty-five in 1890, and a population of five was reported in 1900, at which time the town's post office was discontinued in favor of rural mail delivery from Iola. In the early 1930s the local school was consolidated with the Iola school system. In 1936 Keith had one business and an estimated population of thirty-five; the population was reported at that level in 1940, after which population estimates were unavailable.
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.
Charles Christopher Jackson | © Texas State Historical Association
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