Some Yarrellton settlers walked from Alabama

The Yarrellton community was settled in 1867 by a caravan of families from Alabama. Most arrived in wagons but some of the settlers walked.

The Monroes, Perkins, Campbells, Mowdys, Wilkersons, Bentons, Eplins, Tubbs, Files, Russells, Rileys, McCalls, Wooleys, Hopkins, Stapletons, Barretts and Yarrells were some of the earliest families to settle the area.

The community was named for Judge Tom Yarrell. The first public building was the Masonic Hall. First Yarrellton school held classes on the first floor of the Masonic Hall. T. L. Cooper was the first teacher.

Tom Yarrell owned the first general store. The blacksmith shop was owned and operated by Sam Stapleton.

The drug store and telephone exchange was owned by Dr. Ferguson and William Wilkerson. In 1875, Charlie Butts hauled supplies for Yarrellton businesses from Calvert with wagons pulled by oxen.

Cotton was a crop raised by the new settlers. The gin, built in 1875, was owned by William Mowdy. The gin was run by eight or ten horses.

By 1874 a voting precinct was established and about that time the first post office was established and owned by Dr. Richard Ferguson. Tom Yarrell served as the first postmaster.

A rural postal route was begun and Raymond Campbell solicited people who bought boxes out on the mail route.

After the phone system was up and running, Joe Stalch bought it from Dr. Ferguson. He updated the system by adding a switchboard.

Until the community could build a church, the congregation met in the school room.

Yarrellton First Baptist Church was organized in 1892 by Rev. Preddy, followed by a Christian church organized by Rev. John Lincoln.

Yarrellton, once a thriving community in the northern part of the county once had camp meetings, and annual picnics on the Fourth of July each year.

More than a thousand people enjoyed these annual events each year.

As railroads moved into the county, and the county developed, fewer people supported the small town.

Once a thriving little town, now some would call this community a ghost town, but Yarrellton had a purpose in the growth and history of Milam County as we know it today.

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2009-12-10 digital edition

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