The Oak community, also known as Oak Branch, was on the Oak Branch of Chambers Creek three miles northeast of Maypearl in the southwest corner of Ellis County. Oak was once a prosperous farming community with a cotton gin and corn mill. Though cotton was the main crop of Ellis County, soil conditions near Oak favored the growth of wheat, oats, and corn. Early settlers Joshua and Sarah Higgins arrived from Blount County, Alabama, in 1869. In 1871 the Oak Branch Methodist Church organized in the home of the Reverend Asa Bynum. By 1873 a brush arbor accommodated regular camp meetings. In June 1875 William Claunch deeded twenty acres to the community for church grounds and a cemetery. The church became part of the Waxahachie Methodist Episcopal Circuit in the fall of 1883. A schism later prompted the formation of a second Methodist church in Oak. Children were educated in area homes until a log cabin schoolhouse was built; it was later replaced by a two-story clapboard structure called Oak College, which housed eight grades. It burned before 1929 and was replaced by a smaller structure. The school eventually merged with the Maypearl school system.
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.
Randell G. Tarín | © Texas State Historical Association
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