The site of Science Hill is two miles east of Farm Road 59 on County Road 3273 in southwestern Henderson County. The earliest settlers arrived in 1846. A cotton gin was operated by J. D. Jaggers and D. M. Thompson, and the ginned cotton was hauled by wagon to Navasota and Calvert. Dave Anding operated a blacksmith shop. Doctors Hezekiah Mitchum and W. C. Walker practiced in the community. The Science Hill post office operated from 1859 until 1866 with Andrew J. Fowler as postmaster. In 1861 John Patterson donated one acre out of the William R. Rushing survey for a cemetery, which was still in use in 1990. Four noteworthy pioneer ministers lived in the early community: Hezekiah Mitchum, who organized the First Methodist Church in Henderson County in 1852; Robert Hodge, who organized the First Presbyterian Church in Henderson County in 1855; Harrison Rushing, a Methodist minister; and Wes Jackson, a Baptist minister. Science Hill Academy opened in 1858 through the efforts of Fowler, Hodge, John S. Tanner, and many others, including the Science Hill Masonic Lodge. The academy was located on the ground floor of the lodge building. It offered orthography, mental arithmetic, Latin, Greek, and natural science, among other courses. The school closed in 1872. A subscription school was operated by Aurelia Hodge, who had been educated at Larissa College in Cherokee County, after the academy closed. In the 1890s Annie Cotten taught school in a building near the old academy location. On May 8, 1857, John Cravens, Masonic deputy grand master, granted a dispensation for Science Hill Lodge No. 211, which was to meet near Lumsdanes (Lumsden) Springs in Henderson County. The lodge, like other institutions, suffered during the Civil War. Membership dropped steadily as families moved away, and in 1878, with only twelve members, the charter was surrendered. There was nothing left to identify the site of Science Hill in 1936.
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.
Michael J. Vaughn | © Texas State Historical Association
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