Rivers "Sandbar Histories"
THE HARRIS COUNTRY STORE VS. PROGRESS
In the 1920s, three brothers opened a country mercantile store along Highway 6 at the then known community of Chaille, sometimes called Chilli, located about half way between Navasota and Courtney.
They were Ed, Earl and Tim Harris. They were the sons of T. J. and Elizabeth (Danford) Harris who had trekked to Texas from Barbour County, Alabama arriving in 1870. Harris had served in the Civil War and, for a time, was a Union prisoner. The family fit well into the Whitehall and Courtney neighborhoods, participating in community and political affairs. Earl was elected Sheriff of Grimes County in 1940. He and his family moved to Anderson for the four-year term living in the first-floor quarters of the County Jail while the inmates occupied the second floor.
Meantime the store flourished as traffic on what was known as the Meridian Highway, an arm of highway from Galveston to Waco, that joined Meridian Highway 281 that transverses the United States from Mexico to Canada. At times the store, with its roadside gas pumps, was often operated by G. S. Sandel, John Kelly Mason, Emil Becker and Garland Beach.
In 1952, as the traffic grew with faster and more travelling cars and trucks, the old store was torn down to build a new store in the same location by Trinston Harris Sr., son of Tim Harris. Gas pumps were again along roadside. At the time Trinston had been elected and was serving as Grimes County Treasurer.
But again, progress interfered. Nearly ten years later, in 1961, the Texas Highway Department decided to widen Highway 6. The Harris store was smack in the middle of the new proposed lanes. Harris then built a third store but on the east side of the new north bound lanes. At the time Trinston had again been elected to office in 1959, this time serving as Grimes County Clerk.
Just a few years later though, Trinston closed the third store and the building was moved back on the property to become the core of a still existing barn. Trinston then built the one story red brick house roadside of the barn. Today, the house and barn still stand just south of Grassy Creek on the east side of Highway 6. The Trinston Harris descendants still own the property.
Well known Navasotian James Harris, owner/operator of Harris Tire Service, grew up on the Earl Harris property located immediately across Highway 6 on the west side. At one time a Granger Hall and a school stood there. Descendants of Earl still own that property.
(An aside to this bit of history, during the Great Depression, the Harris brothers rented 600 acres of their Whitehall land to the Government Resettlement program. Eighteen small houses were built and the renters allowed enough land to farm, have a cow and raise chickens. Wells were drilled. At the end of the program, the renters were given the option to purchase the property. Not one took advantage.)
(Written by Betty Dunn, Two Rivers Heritage Foundation.)
Above is from the "Two Rivers Sandbar Histories" on sale from Two Rivers Heritage Foundation. There are 134 articles in the book offering an incite into the early years of Grimes County and Texas.
Contact Betty Dunn at email@example.com or
Lynn Hildebrandt at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve copies. (Mail orders will be $23.50 each.)
Each week we will endeavor to showcase excerpts from each of the writings from the book. So check back often to see portions of the 'treasures' it contains.
NOTICE: BEST MUSEUM at the Horlock House
1215 Washington, Navasota, Texas 77868.
Any organization or individuals who would like to visit the newly organized Best Museum by the Two Rivers Heritage Foundation are welcome.
Exhibits, at this time, include the City of Navasota’s historical collection of the Horlocks, Christian Becker, Jesse and Herbert Youens, Schumachers, and Texas Rangers; as well as the Two Rivers’ exhibit of the ”Railroads that built Navasota.”
Mance Lipscomb exhibit, Navasota's world known blues singer, guitarist, songster. Those wishing to see the Best Museum please contact E-Mail: email@example.com.
Two Rivers Heritage Foundation
Officers & Board of Directors
Chairman: Kathy Cave Wells
Vice-Chairman: Betty Dunn
Secretary: Lynn Hildebrandt
Treasurer: Baker Goodwin
John Henry Botkin
Margaret Van Wagner Eppler
Honorary Director: Mildred Edwards
Two Rivers Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 66,
Navasota, TX. 77868
July 20 - William Hardt - Methodist Archivist
William Hardt, now retired as the Methodist archivist, will next bring an early Texas story to the Two Rivers Heritage Foundation’s ‘history mixer’ this next Tuesday, July 20th. Hardt will relate the story of John Wesley Kenney and family who came to the pre- Republic of Texas first settling on the west bank of the Brazos River by December 1833. Kenney reportedly built the first cabin in what became Washington-on-the-Brazos. Kenney, because of mosquitos, relocated to an area between Belleville and Brenham to establish the town named Kenney that today is a country music weekend spot, and the general location of the historic Travis Cemetery.
It was nearly two years ago that Hardt brought Two Rivers the fascinating “2 Braids” story of a captured white boy. The story ended with Hardt himself having a familial connection to the boy. What fascinating history will the Kenney’s have?
August 3 - Bronwyn & Bettie Bowen
August 17 - Tina Henderson talks about a Female Buffalo Soldier
September 7 - tba
September 21 - Justice Ken Wise of Wise About Texas Podcast
For the time being the Two Rivers ‘mixers’ are being held at the New Hope Church on Hwy 105 1 blk East of Hwy 6 every month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:45. There is adequate space to meet the present protocol regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.
Revisit the video section of the www.tworiversheritagefoundation.org website. The Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin presentation “Grimes County, A Journey in Time” this past February, is first up under the video tab of the website along with many others that can give you a look back in history.
Betty Dunn, Newsletter Coordinator, 281-507-1671, (Please leave a voicemail)
Two Rivers Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit
Membership in our Two Rivers Heritage Foundation is appreciated in the support of helping Two Rivers’ mission of preserving history.
Click the button below to see our membership form. Print the form, fill it out, and mail it along with your payments to:
TWO RIVERS HERITAGE FOUNDATION
P. O. Box 66, Navasota, TX 77868-0066
🌎 🔔 We are now accepting dues for the 2021 year. Dues are $20 each adult. Mail dues to P. O. Box 66, Navasota, Tx. 77868. We are preparing to update the Membership Book. We appreciate your being a part of Two Rivers Heritage Foundation in support of our mission to preserve our history. If you are a new member, please fill out the membership form and mail. Thanks!
🎅 Remember that we are trying to raise money 💲 for our Development Fund by selling our Sandbar books... $20/each... they make great gifts! 🌝 The cover art is by local artist Nikki Sullivan. Contact Betty Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lynn Hildebrandt at email@example.com to reserve copies. (Mail orders are $23.50 each.)
TWO RIVERS “SANDBAR HISTORIES” BOOKS
Two Rivers Heritage Foundation’s “Sandbar Histories” books are available for purchase. If you are looking for a fascinating gift idea these historical books will make a great gift!! The books contain over two years of the “Grains from the Sandbar” columns that have been complimentarily offered to the Navasota Examiner weekly newspaper since August 2015 through the years 2016 and 2017. The price is $20. This is a fund-raising project for the Two Rivers Heritage Foundation’s Development Fund. The cover art is by local artist Nikki Sullivan. Contact Betty Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lynn Hildebrandt at email@example.com to reserve copies. (Mail orders are $23.50 each.)
Check out our website: www.tworiversheritagefoundation.org
Betty Dunn, Newsletter Coordinator, 281-507-1671