Java, Texas

Java was just south of the confluence of Tails Creek and One Arm Creek, eleven miles west of Rusk in central Cherokee County.


Java dates from the late ’80s [1880s]. According to a story told to J. L. Brown of Jacksonville while on a fishing trip on the Neches River in the ’90s, a young lady’s loss of her petticoat at a community ball supplied the name. Still visible lettering proclaimed the garment was originally a Java coffee sack The post office, established while the lady’s misfortune was a current topic, was called Java. Wayne Watson was Java’s only merchant, the lack of business establishments gaining the nickname, “Needmore.” After the railroad was built Java was moved to Pine Town. – A History of Cherokee County, 1934 by Hattie Joplin Roach

Three communities went into the making of Maydelle—Pine Town, some three and one-half miles southwest ; Java, about two and one-half miles south; and Ghent, around two miles north of the present Maydelle. – A History of Cherokee County, 1934 by Hattie Joplin Roach

Java was first settled in the late 1840s and early 1850s by settlers from Alabama and Tennessee, but a community did not grow up until the 1890s, when prison crews from the Texas State Penitentiary in Rusk came to mine coal to fuel the state-owned iron furnace. A small trading post consisting of a general store and sawmill grew up at the site, and a post office was opened there in 1895. The settlement is said to have been named for a petticoat lost at a dance; the garment had been made from an old coffee sack and still bore the name Java. In 1906, after the Texas State Railroad was constructed from Rusk to Palestine, the Java post office was closed. Within a short time most of the merchants and residents had moved to the newly founded town of Maydelle, on the railroad. By 1910 Java was a ghost town. In the early 1990s only a few scattered dwellings remained in the area. Source: Handbook of Texas Online

History Book

Vanishing Towns of Cherokee County, Texas: Pine Town, Gent, and Java, 1983, by Bernard W. Mayfield


31° 47′ 5.928″ N, 95° 19′ 13.44″ W