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Montalba History 1936

Montalba History Written in 1936

Montalba nestles in the shadow of a mountain. From it comes the name. In the early days when the question of naming the place filled the minds, a snow fell, and looking towards the mountain some one said, "The mountain's white." which suggested the name, "White Mountain" Montalba.

Until that day the community was Beaver Valley. The creek which winds around the valley is Beaver Creek. Probably in the long ago beavers had a dam there. The creek is about four miles from Montalba. The first church building was given to Montalba by "Uncle Jimmie" Hamlet. It was presented to all denominations and was to revert to him if any one denomination claimed it. The Baptist and the M. E. Churches moved from Pace's Chapel to Montalba about 1912. They were old churches. The Baptist in particular having been in Beaver Valley when it was first organized—then moved to Pace's Chapel, to return to Montalba as we have seen. These with the Primitive Baptist and the Christian make four churches in Montalba now. Elder Ben Parker, son of Daniel, who served for so many years as pastor of Pilgrim Church, organized the Montalba Primitive Baptist Church. Reverends Lunsford and J. M. Mills were early preachers in Montalba, the former, a Missionary Baptist, Brother Mills, a "circuit rider."

Not far from Montalba on the old Hathcock farm is an old foundry. During the Civil War fire arms and ammunition were made there. It has not been used for many years, yet its boiler remains today—a mute reminder of the strife and bloodshed of that long gone day, when they who had every cause to feel like brothers, fought as bitter enemies.

Dr. T. J. Adams was one of the important early settlers of Montalba. He came to Texas by covered wagon in 1854 from Alabama, lived one year at Kickapoo, the following year moved to Montalba. For more than fifty years he practiced medicine in Anderson and Navarro Counties. He lived to the ripe old age of ninety-three, and died in 1905 After he was eighty, his patients demanded him and none other, in pneumonia cases, especially.

Dr. M. L. Austin has :been one of Anderson County's most prominent and influential citizens for many years. A native of Anderson County, he has spent thirty-eight years in the practice of his profession. Upon completing his medical course at Tulane University, New Orleans, he located at Denson Springs; from there he moved to Alder Branch, to move once more to Montalba. He has identified himself with every movement for the betterment of his locality wherever he has lived.

He married Effie Watkins, a member of the prominent Denson Springs family, who is also a native of Anderson County. Dr. and Mrs. Austin have a family of four grown children who with their parents are adding much to the culture of Anderson County.

Mrs. C. M. Huddleston, the accommodating postmaster of Montalba, was Frances E. Gossett. Educated in the public schools of Montalba, Teague, and Palestine, she married C. M. Huddleston, a member of a pioneer family who journeyed to Texas via the covered wagon route. Both of Mr. Huddles-ton's grandfathers were Confederate soldiers. The Huddlestons have four children: Miss Hazel, Palestine; Joffre W. in U. S. Navy; Alex and C. M. in school.

to time, while the annual Christmas carol concerts held in the various churches are veritable musical feasts.

Miss Keller's activities are widely diffused. She teaches classes in voice; she retains her membership in the Euterpians of Fort Worth; she gives a recital each year in Fort Worth, besides giving several in Paletsine and one in Grapeland; she sang in the Opera "Hans and Gretel," put on by the Euterpians; she directs the course of study for the Music Study Club, and she is always ready to help in any of the churches on special occasions.

When it is added that Miss Keller won first place in voice in the state wide contest held in Denton in 1927, it will be seen how unselfish she is. Truly, her Tare generosity with her God-given talent drives home the beautiful sentiment: "Not what we have, but what we share."  Miss Keller is the daughter of Mrs. W. V. Keller, of Palestine.

A Centennial History of Anderson County, Texas, 1936 by Pauline Buck Hohes.


31° 52' 35.58" N, 95° 43' 57.864" W