Honey Grove History

According to legend, in 1836 as Davy Crockett was traveling to join the Texas Army at San Antonio, he camped in a grove just west of the present town square, on the bank of Honey Grove Creek. In letters he wrote to Tennessee, he told of the ideal place where he had camped, the “honey grove.” It was so named due to the abundance of honey in the hollow trees.

In 1842, the first settler, Samuel Erwin, arrived to make the “honey grove” his home. Erwin was a friend of Davy Crockett. In fact, Crockett performed the marriage ceremony for Erwin and his wife. B.S. Walcott came to Honey Grove in 1848, laid off the town and sold building lots, and progress really began to speed up in the tiny town. Honey Grove was incorporated in 1873. Honey Grove’s population grew steadily until around the turn of the century, when cotton was “king.” When the boll weevil appeared on the scene the downward spiral started.

Famous Personalities/Historical Monuments

Erwin Evans Smith was born in Honey Grove in 1886. Mr. Smith became a famous chronicler of life on the plains and ranches of the American West through his photographs of western scenes. He was often called “the greatest photographer of the Old West.” He took more than 2,000 photographs of scenes from the life of the cowboy. He also served as a design consultant for the Great Stone Faces at Mount Rushmore. His Indian photographs were used to help design the buffalo nickel. The entire Smith Collection of original negatives is preserved at the Library of Congress. His pictures now form one of the permanent exhibits of the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin. A book titled LIFE ON THE TEXAS RANGE, published by the University of Texas Press, features the Texas Museum’s selection of Smith pictures. Smith died in 1947 and is buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Honey Grove. His grave is marked by a Texas Historical Marker.

The book A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, tells the fictionalized story of the Walcott family of Honey Grove. Mrs. Hailey is a descendent of the Walcott’s. A recent TV miniseries of the book received excellent reviews.

Historical Markers In The Area

The town is full of lovely Victorian Homes. Several of them have third floor ballrooms. Around the turn of the century, the social life was very active in Honey Grove. There are also some other homes built in unique architectural styles. A drive by tour map is available at the local library and at other businesses in town.

–Taken from http://www.honeygrove.org