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

Illinois Bend School

Illinois Bend School Texas Historical Marker image. Click for full size.
By QuesterMark, August 9, 2014
1. Illinois Bend School Texas Historical Marker
Inscription. Located in the bend of the Red River in northeast Montague County, Illinois Bend received an official title in 1877. By the 1890s, Illinois Bend was a thriving community where cotton farming swelled the population. Many churches and schools were conducted in private homes prior to 1845 when the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas set aside provisions to aid local lodges in erecting educational buildings. In January 1893, a Masonic building for fraternal, educational and spiritual purposes was erected here. During the week, the lower level was used as a one room school and a church on Sundays. The original name of the school district was Valley Branch School District No. 14 due to the location near the branch which feeds into the Red River. Over time, it became known as Illinois Bend School District No. 14.

All age levels were taught in the same room and the first teacher was W.O. Edwards. There was no electricity or plumbing i the school until 1945 so outhouses were erected behind the building. The lower portion of the building was also the social center of the community, hosting reunion, wedding receptions and other group activities. With the onset of WWII, the school closed in 1944. Church services in the lower level ceased in the 1920s with the establishment of local churches. In 1968, the building was no longer used on a regular
Illinois Bend School and Marker image. Click for full size.
By QuesterMark, August 9, 2014
2. Illinois Bend School and Marker
basis; however, an Illinois Bend Community Homecoming was held each fall and continues today. The building was refurbished by the Illinois Bend Community Club in 1987 and is a remnant of the community partnerships formed with the help of the Masonic Lodge.
Marker is property of the State of Texas (2014)

Erected 2014 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17952.)
Location. 33° 52.804′ N, 97° 29.171′ W. Marker is in Saint Jo, Texas, in Montague County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 677 0.1 miles south of Davenport Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Jo TX 76265, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Spanish Fort (approx. 8.7 miles away); Site of the 1759 Taovayo Victory Over Spain (approx. 8.7 miles away); Orr Community Veterans Memorial (approx. 11.6 miles away in Oklahoma); Town of Saint Jo (approx. 12.8 miles away); Stonewall Saloon (approx. 12.9 miles away); Head of Elm (approx. 13 miles away).
Categories. EducationFraternal or Sororal Organizations
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 12, 2015, by QuesterMark of Fort Worth, Texas. This page has been viewed 238 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 12, 2015, by QuesterMark of Fort Worth, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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