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Beckville History 1936

Beckville History Written in 1936

The History of Beckville.  The original town of Beckville was located one mile east, of new Beckville, but did not remain a permanent location due to, the fact that there was not a railroad. The old settlers were very opposed to a railroad, because they thought it would bring too many strangers into their quiet little town, and too it would change their mode of living. Some of the progressive thought differently, and a railroad was established in 1888. Mr. John Appling offered to give the land for the town site, but the railroad refused to build a station at this particular place. Vilias was first thought as the name far the new town but later Beckville became the name of the village in honor of a Mr. Beck. The day the first train came through, the railroad company offered the lady passengers a pass to Carthage as the citizens of Carthage were staging a dance and dinner in honor of the railroad. The train came into the Beckville station puffing and roaring to find all the ladies dressed in their best attire but frightened to the extent that their husbands had to hold them. The passenger cars were crudely built resembling a freight car with planks for seats. The party stayed until eleven o’clock in the evening awaiting the return journey on the train.

The Methodist parsonage was built in 1888, but a church was not however. Mrs. Emma Appling and family resided in the parsonage as there were so few houses in the town. Brother Joe Smith, a circuit preacher, came and preached in any building that was available. Mrs. Philip Long (Nee Hattie Mae Appling) was the first white child horn in the new town. In 1889 the Methodist church was built on the same site where it now stands. The property was given by a Mr. Biggs. It was blown down by a storm three years later but was soon rebuilt. The first church built in Beckville was the Baptist church, and the land was given by the Applings. Finances were low, and the labor was donated for the building of the church. The ladies did their bit by preparing lunches and. taking them to the workmen.

The first school was built in 1889 and was taught by Beulah and Bertha Kirkley. Miss Bertha was offered a position in Huntsville which she holds to the present day, therefore she did not finish out the term. In 1917 the new brick building was built.

There were about six early business houses, and these burned in 1917 and were replaced by brick. Some of the early merchants were Crawford, Whitfield, Carpenter, and Parker. The first saloon was owned by Bob Hammonds.
The pioneer doctors of Beckville were Drs. Sterett, Kirkley, and Hornsberger. Beckville of today is what one would rightfully expect from the pioneering of the most worthy pioneers. business section has grown in size and can boast of most up to date stores, drug stores, cafes, garages, grocery stores, beauty parlars, hat shops and Bank—Continental State organized in 1918. The new school building would indeed be a credit to a town much larger than Beckville. Supt. L. R. Sharp, one of the most efficient school men of the County is making progress in the educational life of this time. C. L. Beason, O. E. Meadows, and S. T. Matthews are some of the preceeding superintendents.

Church and social life is second to none in. the county.

A stronger loyalty cannot be found elsewhere—in all her activities. The first light plant was built in 1914. In 1932 all the schools near Beckville consolidated. In 1920 the new railway station was built. The most recent improvement is the street lights. Beckville had the first highway in the County. It ran from Beckville to the river. The first oil well drilled in Panola County was drilled near Beckville.

History of Panola County, 1936


32° 14' 34.584" N, 94° 27' 19.728" W