Big Sandy, Texas
Big Sandy is a town in Upshur County, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town's population was 1,343. A lake of the same name is cut nearly in half by U. S. Highway 80, the main thoroughfare of Big Sandy, it lies directly west of the larger cities of Longview. The Sabine River flows just south of Big Sandy. In the 19th century, Walters' Bluff Ferry operated on the Sabine, with passage across costing 40 cents per person and up to 75 cents for wagons. Big Sandy is located at 32°35′5″N 95°6′44″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.7 square miles, of which, 1.6 square miles of it is land and 0.04 square miles of it is water. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,288 people, 532 households, 342 families residing in the town; the population density was 786.8 people per square mile. There were 595 housing units at an average density of 363.4/sq mi. The racial makeup of the town was 81.75% White, 12.89% African American, 0.39% Native American, 1.16% Asian, 2.95% from other races, 0.85% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.49% of the population. There were 532 households out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.7% were non-families. 34.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.11. In the town, the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.5 males. The median income for a household in the town was $25,284, the median income for a family was $34,107. Males had a median income of $26,083 versus $21,071 for females; the per capita income for the town was $14,989. About 16.4% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.
Big Sandy is about 14 miles southwest of Gilmer, Texas, at the intersection of U. S. Highway 80 and Texas State Highway 155 in Upshur County, it was established shortly after the American Civil War. The settlement was first known as Big Sandy Switch because a stretch of the Texas and Pacific Railroad was built through the area and intersected with a narrow-gauge railroad called the Tyler Tap. A post office was followed by a newspaper and churches. In 1926 the settlement was incorporated as Big Sandy, with a population of about 850. During the 1950s, Big Sandy became linked to a religious movement that would influence the community for four decades. Local resident Buck Hammer was a member of the Radio Church of God, a California-based, Sabbatarian movement headed by radio evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong. Hammer donated a small parcel of land to the church, which built a meeting hall and began holding annual church conventions there by the middle 1950s; the church in subsequent years bought hundreds more acres adjacent to the original site.
Thousands of church members converged on Big Sandy and surrounding communities for the week-long Feast of Tabernacles each year, creating a significant economic impact. In the mid-1960s Armstrong developed more of the property and established a second campus of Ambassador College, the original campus of which continued to operate at the church's headquarters facility in Pasadena, California; the presence of the college, along with the annual convention operation, influenced hundreds of church members to relocate to Big Sandy and the surrounding area over the years. Although Ambassador ceased operations in 1997, many families once affiliated with it and the church chose to remain in the Big Sandy area. In March 2000, the campus was sold to the Green Family Trust, which leased it to the Institute in Basic Life Principles, it was developed as the International ALERT Academy, the home of the Air Land Emergency Resource Team, a Christian program training young men in disaster relief and emergency services.
The Academy serves as a camp and conference center, holds four-week summer programs for boys and girls. In the late 1970s, local residents Jerry Gentry and Annie Potter began a mail-order business from their home in Big Sandy and called it Annie's Attic; the business grew into a multimillion-dollar enterprise, publishing magazines and catalogs for needlecraft enthusiasts. After the couple divorced in the early 1980s, Annie continued to preside over Annie's Attic, while Jerry launched a near-replicate business called The Needlecraft Shop in Big Sandy. By the 1990s, both businesses had been purchased in separate transactions by Dynamic Resource Group, a publishing company in Berne, Indiana. DRG management moved both companies' operations to Indiana. Before doing so it established a new company, Strategic Fulfillment Group, on the southwest edge of Big Sandy. SFG, which handles mailing and subscription fulfillment for DRG and other clients, is now Big Sandy's and Upshur County's largest employer.
Big Sandy is served by Austin Bank and First National Bank. Local restaurants include Circle M Crawfish, StewBebe's Grill, Subway and Sno, Taqueria and Uncle Mike's Italian Cafe. Other businesses in and around Big Sandy include Certified Electrical LLC, Dollar General, Hill Insurance, Sandy Center Market, Valero. On July 10–11, 1986, more
A town is a human settlement. Towns are larger than villages but smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish them vary between different parts of the world; the word town shares an origin with the German word Zaun, the Dutch word tuin, the Old Norse tun. The German word Zaun comes closest to the original meaning of the word: a fence of any material. An early borrowing from Celtic *dunom. In English and Dutch, the meaning of the word took on the sense of the space which these fences enclosed. In England, a town was a small community that could not afford or was not allowed to build walls or other larger fortifications, built a palisade or stockade instead. In the Netherlands, this space was a garden, more those of the wealthy, which had a high fence or a wall around them. In Old Norse tun means a place between farmhouses, the word is still used in a similar meaning in modern Norwegian. In Old English and Early and Middle Scots, the words ton, etc. could refer to diverse kinds of settlements from agricultural estates and holdings picking up the Norse sense at one end of the scale, to fortified municipalities.
If there was any distinction between toun and burgh as claimed by some, it did not last in practice as burghs and touns developed. For example, "Edina Burgh" or "Edinburgh" was built around a fort and came to have a defensive wall. In some cases, "town" is an alternative name for "city" or "village". Sometimes, the word "town" is short for "township". In general, today towns can be differentiated from townships, villages, or hamlets on the basis of their economic character, in that most of a town's population will tend to derive their living from manufacturing industry and public services rather than primary industry such as agriculture or related activities. A place's population size is not a reliable determinant of urban character. In many areas of the world, e.g. in India at least until recent times, a large village might contain several times as many people as a small town. In the United Kingdom, there are historical cities; the modern phenomenon of extensive suburban growth, satellite urban development, migration of city dwellers to villages has further complicated the definition of towns, creating communities urban in their economic and cultural characteristics but lacking other characteristics of urban localities.
Some forms of non-rural settlement, such as temporary mining locations, may be non-rural, but have at best a questionable claim to be called a town. Towns exist as distinct governmental units, with defined borders and some or all of the appurtenances of local government. In the United States these are referred to as "incorporated towns". In other cases the town lacks its own governance and is said to be "unincorporated". Note that the existence of an unincorporated town may be set out by other means, e.g. zoning districts. In the case of some planned communities, the town exists in the form of covenants on the properties within the town; the United States Census identifies many census-designated places by the names of unincorporated towns which lie within them. The distinction between a town and a city depends on the approach: a city may be an administrative entity, granted that designation by law, but in informal usage, the term is used to denote an urban locality of a particular size or importance: whereas a medieval city may have possessed as few as 10,000 inhabitants, today some consider an urban place of fewer than 100,000 as a town though there are many designated cities that are much smaller than that.
Australian geographer Thomas Griffith Taylor proposed a classification of towns based on their age and pattern of land use. He identified five types of town: Infantile towns, with no clear zoning Juvenile towns, which have developed an area of shops Adolescent towns, where factories have started to appear Early mature towns, with a separate area of high-class housing Mature towns, with defined industrial and various types of residential area In Afghanistan and cities are known as shār; as the country is an rural society with few larger settlements, with major cities never holding more than a few hundred thousand inhabitants before the 2000s, the lingual tradition of the country does not discriminate between towns and cities. In Albania "qytezë" means town, similar with the word for city. Although there is no official use of the term for any settlement. In Albanian "qytezë" means "small city" or "new city", while in ancient times "small residential center within the walls of a castle"; the center is a population group, larger than a village, smaller than a city.
Though the village is bigger than a hamlet In Australia, towns or "urban centre localities" are understood to be those centers of population not formally declared to be cities and having a population in excess of about 200 people. Centers too small to be called towns are understood to be a township. In addition, some local government entities are styled as towns in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, before the statewide amalgamations of th
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church, considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has 67,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Adherents referred to as "Latter-day Saints" or, less formally, "Mormons", view faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement as fundamental principles of their religion. LDS theology includes the Christian doctrine of salvation only through Jesus Christ, though LDS doctrines regarding the nature of God and the potential of mankind differ from mainstream Christianity.
The church has an open canon which includes four scriptural texts: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. Other than the Bible, the majority of the LDS canon constitutes revelation received by Joseph Smith and recorded by his scribes which includes commentary and exegesis about the Bible, texts described as lost parts of the Bible, other works believed to be written by ancient prophets; because of some of the doctrinal differences, Catholic and several Protestant churches consider the Church to be distinct and separate from mainstream Christianity. Under the doctrine of continuing revelation, Latter-day Saints believe that the church president is a modern-day "prophet and revelator" and that Jesus Christ, under the direction of God the Father, leads the church by revealing his will to its president. Individual members of the church believe that they can receive personal revelation from God in conducting their lives; the president heads a hierarchical structure with various levels reaching down to local congregations.
Bishops, drawn from the laity, lead local congregations. Male members, beginning in January of the year they reach age 12, may be ordained to the priesthood, provided they are living the standards of the church. Women are not ordained to the priesthood but do occupy leadership roles in some church auxiliary organizations. Both men and women may serve as missionaries and the church maintains a large missionary program that proselytizes and conducts humanitarian services worldwide. Faithful members adhere to church laws of sexual purity, health and Sabbath observance, contribute ten percent of their income to the church in tithing; the church teaches about sacred ordinances through which adherents make covenants with God, including baptism, the sacrament, priesthood ordination and celestial marriage —all of which are of great significance to church members. The history of the LDS Church is divided into three broad time periods: the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, in common with all Latter Day Saint movement churches.
The LDS Church called the Church of Christ, was formally organized by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830, in western New York. Smith changed the name to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after he stated he had received a revelation to do so. Initial converts were drawn to the church in part because of the newly published Book of Mormon, a self-described chronicle of indigenous American prophets that Smith said he had translated from golden plates. Smith intended to establish the New Jerusalem in North America, called Zion. In 1831, the church moved to Kirtland and began establishing an outpost in Jackson County, where he planned to move the church headquarters. However, in 1833, Missouri settlers brutally expelled the Latter Day Saints from Jackson County, the church was unable via a paramilitary expedition to recover the land; the church flourished in Kirtland as Smith published new revelations and the church built the Kirtland Temple, culminating in a dedication of the building similar to the day of Pentecost.
The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after a financial scandal rocked the church and caused widespread defections. Smith regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, but tensions soon escalated into violent conflicts with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered that the Saints be "exterminated or driven from the State." In 1839, the Saints converted a swampland on the banks of the Mississippi River into Nauvoo, which became the church's new headquarters. Nauvoo grew as missionaries sent to Europe and elsewhere gained new converts who flooded into Nauvoo. Meanwhile, Smith introduced polygamy to his closest associates, he established ceremonies, which he stated the Lord had revealed to him, to allow righteous people to become gods in the afterlife, a secular institution to govern the Millennial kingdom. He introduced the church to a full accounting of his First Vision, in which two heavenly "personages" (God the Father and his
Gladewater is a city in Gregg and Upshur counties in the U. S. state of Texas. The population was 6,441 at the 2010 census. U. S. Route 80 traverses the city; the town is most famous as a base during Elvis Presley's early career, as the town in which Johnny Cash wrote "I Walk the Line". In the early 20th century, Gladewater was an oil boom town. Gladewater is known as the "Antique Capital of East Texas" with its Main Street downtown antique district, it is located in western Gregg County and southern Upshur County at 32°32′34″N 94°56′49″W within Gregg County. U. S. Route 80 leads west 10 miles to Big Sandy. U. S. Route 271 crosses US 80 in the center of Gladewater, leading north 14 miles to Gilmer and southwest 25 miles to Tyler. According to the United States Census Bureau, Gladewater has a total area of 12.2 square miles, of which 11.6 square miles are land and 0.54 square miles, or 4.61%, are water. The Sabine River forms the southwest border of the city. Gladewater was founded by the Texas and Pacific Railway Company in 1873 on land bought from Jarrett Dean and Anderson White.
A community called St. Clair, 2 miles to the east, moved to Gladewater when the railroad announced that the only mail stop in the area would be there; the first post office at Gladewater was established on August 22, 1873. The town's name originated from its proximity to Glade Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River that rose in a rather barren region called the Glades. In 1874 Gladewater was incorporated with a mayor-alderman government; the incorporation lapsed, a new charter was not obtained until 1931, when an influx of population necessitated organized city government. In 1955 Gladewater adopted a council-mayor form of government; the population grew during the nineteenth century. In the area around Gladewater lumbering was a major activity, although farming was important. In 1908 the town had ten stores, one bank, two blacksmith shops, two hotels, a gin, a sawmill, a planing mill, it continued to grow until 1931. On April 7, 1931, the first Gladewater oil well blew in, it was located one mile outside town in the Sabine River bottom.
Oil production led to a population increase during the 1930s from about 500 to around 8,000 people. In 1940, after the oil boom, Gladewater had a population of 4,454. Civic improvements in the 1940s included a commercial airfield. Between 1940 and 1960 the population grew to 5,742. Lake Gladewater, constructed on Glade Creek in 1954, provides recreation for city residents. During the 1970s Gladewater moved from an oil-oriented to a more diversified economy because of depletion of oil resources in the area; the movement of salt water into the western edge of the large East Texas Oil Field affected Gladewater first. By 1980 the town had 4,311 in Gregg County and 2,237 in Upshur County; the economy in the 1980s depended on the oil industry and related activities and on the manufacture of such products as furniture, paper products, boats. The lumber industry is important, as is agriculture. By 1990 the community had become well known for its numerous antique stores. Important annual festivals include the East Texas Gusher Days in April, the Gladewater Roundup Rodeo in June, the Arts and Crafts Festival in September, Christmas in November.
Gladewater is seen as an important antiques hub and has earned the slogan "Antique Capital of East Texas". In 1935, the Boston Red Sox franchise had a minor league baseball team in Gladewater, the Gladewater Bears; the minor league stadium has since been turned into a city park. The predominant features of the stadium are long gone, but the stadium is located near the Lee Building in Gladewater; as of the census of 2000, there were 6,078 people, 2,257 households, 1,593 families residing in the city. The population density was 523.7 people per square mile. There were 2,601 housing units at an average density of 224.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 79.80% White, 16.12% African American, 0.82% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.58% from other races, 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.50% of the population. There were 2,257 households out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.4% were non-families.
26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.06. In the city, the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.8 males. The median income for a household in the city was $28,118, the median income for a family was $32,278. Males had a median income of $24,770 versus $23,271 for females; the per capita income for the city was $14,317. About 15.5% of families and 19.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 20.9% of those age 65 or over. The city is served by home of the Gladewater Bears. Other school districts serving parts of the city are: Union Grove Independent School District Sabine Independen
A ghost town is an abandoned village, town, or city one that contains substantial visible remains. A town becomes a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, prolonged droughts, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, pollution, or nuclear disasters; the term can sometimes refer to cities and neighbourhoods that are still populated, but less so than in past years. Some ghost towns those that preserve period-specific architecture, have become tourist attractions; some examples are Bannack, Centralia and South Pass City in the United States, Barkerville in Canada, Craco in Italy, Elizabeth Bay and Kolmanskop in Namibia, Pripyat in Ukraine, Danushkodi in India. The town of Plymouth on the Caribbean island of Montserrat is a ghost town, the de jure capital of Montserrat, it was rendered uninhabitable by volcanic ash from an eruption. The definition of a ghost town varies between individuals, between cultures.
Some writers discount settlements that were abandoned as a result of a natural or human-made disaster or other causes using the term only to describe settlements that were deserted because they were no longer economically viable. Some believe. Whether or not the settlement must be deserted, or may contain a small population, is a matter for debate. Though, the term is used in a looser sense, encompassing any and all of these definitions; the American author Lambert Florin's preferred definition of a ghost town was "a shadowy semblance of a former self". Factors leading to abandonment of towns include depleted natural resources, economic activity shifting elsewhere and roads bypassing or no longer accessing the town, human intervention, massacres and the shifting of politics or fall of empires. A town can be abandoned when it is part of an exclusion zone due to natural or man-made causes. Ghost towns may result when the single activity or resource that created a boomtown is depleted or the resource economy undergoes a "bust".
Boomtowns can decrease in size as fast as they grew. Sometimes, all or nearly the entire population can desert the town; the dismantling of a boomtown can occur on a planned basis. Mining companies nowadays will create a temporary community to service a mine site, building all the accommodation and services required, remove them once the resource has been extracted. Modular buildings can be used to facilitate the process. A gold rush would bring intensive but short-lived economic activity to a remote village, only to leave a ghost town once the resource was depleted. In some cases, multiple factors may remove the economic basis for a community. S. Route 66 suffered both mine closures when the resources were depleted and loss of highway traffic as US 66 was diverted away from places like Oatman, Arizona onto a more direct path. Mine and pulp mill closures have led to many ghost towns in British Columbia, Canada including several recent ones: Ocean Falls which closed in 1973 after the pulp mill was decommissioned, Kitsault B.
C. whose molybdenum mine shut after only 18 months in 1982 and Cassiar whose asbestos mine operated from 1952 to 1992. In other cases, the reason for abandonment can arise from a town's intended economic function shifting to another, nearby place; this happened to Collingwood, Queensland in Outback Australia when nearby Winton outperformed Collingwood as a regional centre for the livestock-raising industry. The railway reached Winton in 1899, linking it with the rest of Queensland, Collingwood was a ghost town by the following year; the Middle East has many ghost towns that were created when the shifting of politics or the fall of empires caused capital cities to be or economically unviable, such as Ctesiphon. The rise of condominium investment caused for real estate bubbles leads to a ghost town, as real estate prices rise and affordable housing becomes less available; such examples include China and Canada, where housing is used as an investment rather than for habitation. Railroads and roads bypassing or no longer reaching a town can create a ghost town.
This was the case in many of the ghost towns along Ontario's historic Opeongo Line, along U. S. Route 66 after motorists bypassed the latter on the faster moving highways I-44 and I-40; some ghost towns were founded along railways where steam trains would stop at periodic intervals to take on water. Amboy, California was part of one such series of villages along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad across the Mojave Desert. River re-routing is one example being the towns along the Aral Sea. Ghost towns may be created when land is expropriated by a government, residents are required to relocate. One example is the village of Tyneham in Dorset, acquired during World War II to build an artillery range. A similar situation occurred in the U. S. when NASA acquired land to construct the John C. Stennis Space Center, a rocket testing facility in Hancock County, Mississippi; this required NASA to acquire a large (approximately 34-square-mile (88
A city is a large human settlement. Cities have extensive systems for housing, sanitation, land use, communication, their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process. City-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had profound consequences for global sustainability. Present-day cities form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas—creating numerous commuters traveling towards city centers for employment and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalization, all cities are in different degree connected globally beyond these regions; the most populated city proper is Chongqing while the most populous metropolitan areas are the Greater Tokyo Area, the Shanghai area, Jabodetabek. The cities of Faiyum and Varanasi are among those laying claim to longest continual inhabitation.
A city is distinguished from other human settlements by its great size, but by its functions and its special symbolic status, which may be conferred by a central authority. The term can refer either to the physical streets and buildings of the city or to the collection of people who dwell there, can be used in a general sense to mean urban rather than rural territory. A variety of definitions, invoking population, population density, number of dwellings, economic function, infrastructure, are used in national censuses to classify populations as urban. Common population definitions for a city range between 1,500 and 50,000 people, with most U. S. states using a minimum between 5,000 inhabitants. However, some jurisdictions set no such minimums. In the United Kingdom, city status is awarded by the government and remains permanently, resulting in some small cities, such as Wells and St Davids. According to the "functional definition" a city is not distinguished by size alone, but by the role it plays within a larger political context.
Cities serve as administrative, commercial and cultural hubs for their larger surrounding areas. Examples of settlements called city which may not meet any of the traditional criteria to be named such include Broad Top City and City Dulas, Anglesey, a hamlet; the presence of a literate elite is sometimes included in the definition. A typical city has professional administrators and some form of taxation to support the government workers; the governments may be based on heredity, military power, work projects such as canal building, food distribution, land ownership, commerce, finance, or a combination of these. Societies that live in cities are called civilizations; the word city and the related civilization come, via Old French, from the Latin root civitas meaning citizenship or community member and coming to correspond with urbs, meaning city in a more physical sense. The Roman civitas was linked with the Greek "polis"—another common root appearing in English words such as metropolis. Urban geography deals both with their internal structure.
Town siting has varied through history according to natural, technological and military contexts. Access to water has long been a major factor in city placement and growth, despite exceptions enabled by the advent of rail transport in the nineteenth century, through the present most of the world's urban population lives near the coast or on a river. Urban areas as a rule cannot produce their own food and therefore must develop some relationship with a hinterland which sustains them. Only in special cases such as mining towns which play a vital role in long-distance trade, are cities disconnected from the countryside which feeds them. Thus, centrality within a productive region influences siting, as economic forces would in theory favor the creation of market places in optimal mutually reachable locations; the vast majority of cities have a central area containing buildings with special economic and religious significance. Archaeologists refer to this area by the Greek term temenos; these spaces reflect and amplify the city's centrality and importance to its wider sphere of influence.
Today cities have downtown, sometimes coincident with a central business district. Cities have public spaces where anyone can go; these include owned spaces open to the public as well as forms of public land such as public domain and the commons. Western philosophy since the time of the Greek agora has considered physical public space as the substrate of the symbolic public sphere. Public art adorns public spaces. Parks and other natural sites within cities provide residents with relief from the hardness and regularity of typical built environments. Urban structure follows one or more basic patterns: geomorphic, concentric and curvilinear. Physical environment constrains the form in which a city is built. If located on a mountainside, urban structure may rely on winding roads, it may be adapted to its means of subsistence. And it may be set up for optimal defense given the surrounding landscape. Beyond these "geomorphi
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Texas
As of early 2017, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 348,130 members, 74 stakes, 3 districts, 682 congregations, 8 missions, 4 temples in Texas. Due to increased persecution around Nauvoo, Joseph Smith realized that he would have to relocate the Church outside the borders of the United States; the Republic of Texas was considered by Smith a place where the Church members would be able to peacefully practice their religion. The prophet began to negotiate with Sam Houston, president of the Texas Republic, for the southern and western portions of Texas for the future Latter-day Saint nation. Joseph Smith sent Lucien Woodworth to Texas, to meet with Houston. Woodworth reported the progress he had made in May. Reports indicated plans for purchasing large tracts of land. A commission composed of Woodworth, George Miller and Almon W. Babbitt was organized to lead the final negotiations. Joseph Smith asked that Lyman Wight and Miller to prepare to lead a group of settlers to Texas with assumption that negotiations would be successful.
Lyman Wight and a group of LDS members created the town of Zodiac outside Fredericksburg, Tx and created a mill outside of Marble Falls, Tx. Today the road is Mormon Mill road. Lyman Wight was excommunicated over being called back to Navuoo after Joseph Smith Jr. Death. Lyman Wight rejoined the saints in Salt Lake City; these negotiations ended with the death of Joseph Smith in June 1844. Though Brigham Young relocated the Church in the Great Basin, he allowed Wight to take a group of 150 to Texas. On November 10, 1845, they arrived north of present-day Dallas. Wight and the colonists settled near a German colony of Fredericksburg and founded a town named Zodiac. In 1848, Preston Thomas and William Martindale were sent by Brigham Young to invite Wight and the colonists to join the Church in the Salt Lake Valley. Wight declined the offer and was excommunicated from the Church. Although he was no longer a member of the Church and his followers pioneered settlements in five Texas counties and left a good reputation for Mormons in the area.
Brigham Young sent several missionaries to preach in Texas in the 1850s. Those who joined the Church were encouraged to gather with the Saints in the Utah Territory. On December 25, 1855, a conference was established in Texas. Nearly 1,000 converts from Texas immigrated to the Great Basin prior to the Civil War. Missionary work in Texas ceased during the Civil War, but in 1875, nearly 10 years after the Civil War, missionary work in Texas resumed. The Texas Conference was once again organized in 1893; the population of Latter-day Saints in Texas increased when Church members began to gather in Mormon enclaves within the state. Converts living in the Southern U. S. endured ostracism and occasional physical violence because of their membership in the Church. In the early 1890s, President James G. Duffin of the Southwestern States Mission suggested to Church leaders that they establish a gathering place for Southern U. S. Church Members, his suggestion was accepted and branches were organized in Missouri and Texas.
Included in the Texas colonies were Odom Settlement near Spurger, Williamson Settlement near Evadale and Poynor. One of the most successful and long-lived colonies was located at Kelsey, it was founded by brothers John and James Edgar in December 1898. Nine Latter-day Saint families settled in the area by the fall of 1901. Elder Abraham O. Woodruff of the Quorum of the Twelve visited the site and assisted in laying out the town. On August 4, 1901, a Sunday School was organized. By the end of the month, a meetinghouse was built, by the end of the year, a branch had been organized. Missionaries in the southern states encouraged converts to gather in Kelsey. There were 400 Latter-day Saints living in the township. A school was staffed by missionaries. Kelsey became "one of the largest branches outside the stakes of Zion." That year, the colony was divided and the settlement of Enoch was founded and a branch was organized there. Kelsey's population reached its peak in 1923 with 750 inhabitants; the rail line was closed the same year causing the population to decline.
The Church-sponsored school was closed in 1943, in 1958, the congregations in Kelsey and Enoch were combined with the Gilmer Ward. Nearly all Church activity in Texas occurred in rural setting. In 1913, Harriett M Knight, a widow with five children moved from Kelsey to Dallas which had no organized branch. Eliza E. Davis was the only other Latter-day Saint living in Dallas, having moved there in 1908. Other Latter-day Saints moved to Dallas over time. Missionaries visited these urban Church members, but it wasn't until 1916 that a home Sunday School was organized in Dallas; the Dallas Branch was organized sometime between 1918 and 1921. Other urban areas began to see Latter-day Saint presence. By 1918, Latter-day Saints were living in Fort Worth and San Antonio. However, Dallas was the first urban branch in Texas to have a meetinghouse. In 1927, Dallas Latter-day Saints moved into a vacant building used by another denomination. In 1943, the North Central Texas District was organized with 500 members, with Henry Knight as president.
A new meetinghouse was built in Dallas on Turtle Creek Blvd. in the early 1950s and dedicated by President David O. McKay on April 26, 1953. On October 18, 1953, Mark E. Peterson of the Quorum of the Twelve organized the Dallas Texas Stake, with Ervin W. Atkerson as president; the first branch in Houston was organized on December 5, 1921. The firs