Reed's Settlement was among the earliest Anglo communities in Panola County. It was founded by Isaac Reed, a Baptist minister who moved to Texas from Tennessee with his family in 1834. In 1835 Reed purchased a league of land from Manuel Antonio Romero in southwestern Panola County approximately ten miles southwest of Carthage at the site of present Bethel Church. He settled there near the old Grand Bluff-Douglas Road with his family, followers, and several slaves. Around 1836 the settlers built a log fort to protect themselves from frequent Indian attacks. In 1843 Reed and another minister, Lemuel Herrin, organized the Bethel Church. A post office operated from 1848 until 1868. After Reed's death in 1848, however, the community began to decline. In the early 1870s most of the remaining White residents moved to Clayton two miles to the southeast. Bethel Church was moved to Clayton in 1874, and the settlement was eventually abandoned except for a black church and cemetery that still mark the site.
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