CENTERVILLE, Small Town Near Garland

7 February 2018 19:12 น. Uncategorized

Centerville is a small agricultural community of eastern Dallas County (article written in 1993). It community is located at present day intersection of Centerville, Kingsley and Belt Lint (Broadway) roads. The name of the settlement was derived from the fact that it lay at a point about half-way between Dallas and Rockwall and also about half-way between Garland and Rose Hill.

The first commercial structure at this crossroads was a general store built by John W. Davis about 1890. This store was subsequently owned and operated by James M. Davis, Schafer, Preston Wilbanks, Sam Shipley, and perhaps others prior to its demise in the early 1950s. A cotton gin established by Daniel Bechtol on the west side of Duck Creek operated for several years prior to the turn of the century.

The Centerville School stood a few yards to the northwest of the store on a tract donated by James M. Davis. The original one-room structure was built about 1892 and Artie Stater and T. A. Sanders were among its earliest teachers. This building was destroyed by a windstorm around 1910 and was replaced by a two-room structure that stood until the early 1950s. The Centerville School District consolidated with that of Garland about 1939, but the building continued to be used for several years as a community center and a non-denominational church.

For several years in the 1930s and 1940s many women of the community were active in the Centerville Home Demonstration Club. Home Demonstration was a government program to encourage rural homemakers in the development of domestic arts. Club records show that in 1940, sixteen members of this chapter canned around 10,000 jars of fruits and vegetables for home use.

Family names associated with the Centerville area in its earliest years include: Axe, Keen, Davis, Mills, Little, Coyle, Nash, Morris, Chiesa, Wynne, Taylor, Nickens, Ramsey, Wallace, Groves, Murphy, Brandenburg, Conner, Schafer, Bechtol, Tomlinson, Routh, Coldwell, and Sabastian, among others.

In the early 1950s, Sam Shipley the last owner and operator of the Store, closed it and built a service station on the east corner. The Centerville Service Station continued to be a gathering place for the men of the neighborhood until it closed in the 1960s. Now essentially nothing remains to testify to the former existence of the small town except the names of Centerville Road and the Centerville Elementary School.

By Jerry Flook for Dallas County Pioneer Association‘s Proud Heritage, Volume II.