THE SAYERSVILLE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
SAYERSVILLE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
Meeting 1st Sunday of each month:
Colorado River RV Park, 1124 FM 969, Bastrop, TX 78602
The Sayersville Historical Association is a local non-profit organization comprised of Bastrop County citizens. Its members actively research the history of Bastrop County, producing the Sayersville Historical Association Bulletin. The group focuses on rural life in all periods of county history and the communities of Sayersville and Oak Hill in particular.
SAYERSVILLE, TX by John J. Buder, Texas State Historical Association
Sayersville (originally Sayers) is near the east bank of Big Sandy Creek a mile west of State Highway 95 and seven miles north of Bastrop in north central Bastrop County. In 1886 land developer William Elliott founded the town under the name Sayers beside the new Missouri, Kansas and Texas line. The community name changed to Sayersville in 1889 when the post office opened; Henry M. Green was the first postmaster. Sayersville was initially conceived as a cotton-processing center but later became a producer of fuels such as cordwood and, after 1913, lignite from the new Sayers Mine. The town also served as a supply center for local farmers, miners, and employees of the brick factory in nearby Lasher (before the factory shut down in 1915). Between 1911 and 1916 Sayersville had a school, a church, and several stores.
During the 1920s the local cordwood industry was extinguished by more popular fuels such as natural gas. The post office had closed by 1922, and in 1928 the Sayers Mine suffered a subterranean fire that halted operations. Within 10 years the railroad had discontinued local passenger service, and by 1940 the town reported about 50 residents and two businesses.
The historically biracial population of Sayersville continued to number about 50 until the mid-1960s, after which no further population statistics were available. Lost in 1985 was the town's best known natural feature, an enormous elm tree. The old church building remained in the early 1980s, but the only remaining business was the Bucking Hill Bar, built in 1953. During the 1980s, the bar served as the meeting place for the Sayersville Historical Association. Today the Association meets the first Sunday of each month at the Colorado River RV Park on FM 969, just north of the river.
E. Mott Davis, "The Sayersville Elm," Sayersville Historical Association Bulletin, Winter 1986. E. Mott Davis et al, "Where the Good Times Roll . . . Bucking Hill," Sayersville Historical Association Bulletin, Summer 1985. Peggy Trepagnier and Davis McAuley, "How Sayers was Founded," Sayersville Historical Association Bulletin, Spring 1983. Peggy Trepagnier, "Sayers, 1911–1916," Sayersville Historical Association Bulletin, Spring 1983.
OAK HILL, TEXAS (Bastrop County). Oak Hill was on the old Bastrop-McDade road four miles southwest of McDade in northern Bastrop County. The land was part of the Martin Walker grant on Piney Creek. Walker began selling part of his land in 1849, and the Oak Hill community developed. The earliest marked graves in the community cemetery are dated 1868, but other unmarked graves are probably several years older. In 1879 the Oak Hill school and church bought 40 acres on which to build a new facility. The building was initially shared by Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Christian denominations, and in 1882 Baptist services began to be offered.
Oak Hill was primarily a farming community, with cotton and corn grown as cash crops; vegetables and livestock were also raised, but mostly for subsistence. In 1905 the Oak Hill school had 39 students and one teacher. When the county implemented a district system in 1907, Oak Hill became the focus of a common school district. In the early 1940s, the United States government chose the area around Oak Hill as the site for Camp Swift, and residents had to move. Homes and businesses were sold, moved, torn down, or used as training targets. Though some of the land in the Oak Hill area was returned to its former owners in the late 1940s when the camp was reduced in size, the community was not rebuilt. Former residents established a cemetery association to repair and maintain the Oak Hill cemetery.