“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Irving in Dallas County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Union Bower Community

Union Bower Community Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kayla Harper, May 23, 2020
1. Union Bower Community Marker

Attracted to the fertile land along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, settlers first came to this area in the mid-19th century. William and Virginia Smith, of Pennsylvania, arrived in 1879. Soon thereafter, Charles and Lucy (Santerre) Voirin bought land north of the Smith's property. The families worked together to establish what became known as the Union Bower Community.

Residents cut wood from the riverbank thickets and hauled the wood and their farm products, including cotton, corn, vegetables, and fruit, to market in Dallas. In 1885, area families organized a non-denominational Sunday school. Later, the Methodist Church sent the Rev. W.E. Hawks to establish a church, which was dedicated in 1907. Originally called Hawks Chapel and later named Union Bower Methodist Church, it continues today as Oak Haven United Methodist Church. After the death of their daughter in 1886, the Smiths established the cemetery for community use. As early as 1890, Mark Callister Lively founded the Lively School at today's Britain and Union Bower Roads. Area Catholic and Church of Christ families held services in the school building. The Union Bower
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School, established on land donated by the Smiths, opened in 1891 and served the community until the 1960s.

When Irving was established along he Rock Island rail line in 1903, the area's rural communities, including Union Bower, declined in population. After the Elm Fork channel was rerouted, various industries developed in the area. By the time Irving annexed Union Bower in 1956, little remained of the agricultural roots of the community. Decades after the Union Bower School closed, alumni continue to meet and share their memories of the once close-knit farming settlement.
Erected 2005 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14497.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 32° 49.84′ N, 96° 54.412′ W. Marker is in Irving, Texas, in Dallas County. Marker is on East Grauwyler Road, on the right when traveling east. The marker is currently (2020) in front of a company called Calibration Specialty. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2500 E Grauwyler Road, Irving TX 75061, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Kit Community (approx. 1.9 miles away); Old Kit Cemetery (approx. 1.9 miles away); First Baptist Church of Irving
Union Bower Community Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kayla Harper, May 23, 2020
2. Union Bower Community Marker
(approx. 2.7 miles away); California Crossing (approx. 2.7 miles away); Schulze House (approx. 2.8 miles away); Joffre-Gilbert House (approx. 2.8 miles away); City of Irving (approx. 3.1 miles away); Old Letot Cemetery (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Irving.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 26, 2020, by Kayla Harper of Dallas, Texas. This page has been viewed 270 times since then and 107 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 26, 2020, by Kayla Harper of Dallas, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 11, 2023