Taken from the article "The Flo News" in the Buffalo
Express written by Norma Moore
(May 14, 2003)
The Navarro City, Leon County settlement was
established in the 1840's, William Murrah as a first time settler.
William McDonald the surveyor, designated Navarro City to be 2/3's of a
mile square the location being in the vicinity of the Oakwood area.
Navarro City was founded on the basis of its potential for important
river commerce of the Trinity River.
The township, popular with the farmers of our Leon County by
steam boats to Galveston was a busy place of its beginning with farmers
and their families from surrounding communities. The men would take
their cotton by wagon to Navarro City for market and shipping and most
of the time the complete family would make the trip and upon pay for
their cotton grocery feed, seed, cloth material and farm supplies would
be purchased at the Navarro General Mercantile store. The Boarding
House was a welcome site for a wholesome meal and a good nights rest.
There were a number of businesses in the town, a post office. The first
postmaster was John McBride. Other post masters were Mathew Taylor,
George Goodman, Alonzo and John Perrin, George Jetter, J. B. Stillwell,
the post office being in service from 1850 until 1866.
The Mt. Pisgah Church of Navarro was established in the late
1850's, which was also their school. It was located on the Navarro-Waco
Road about three miles from the present town, Oakwood. After a few
years the church and the school was moved to the site of the Mt. Pisgah
Cemetery. When more pioneer settlers populated Navarro City the church
membership divided. Some members built New Hope Baptist Church in the
river bend. The Mt. Pisgah church moved to the Red Branch Settlement.
(May 21, 2003)
The Navarro City
Community established in the 1840's was a flourishing settlement its
importance of its river commerce it being located near the Trinity River
of the Oakwood area. There were many established businesses.
The Mt. Pisgah church has been an
established ministry of God since the beginning of our Leon County.
The church at first was located at the Navarro City township and was
later moved to our Red Branch, Flo Community. It was in operation
from the 1840's until 1976. The church also was the Navarro City
School, the first teacher was Elizabeth Barkley. The township with
a cotton gin and a cotton shed, supplied farmers from Leon County and
surrounding communities a market place for their cotton and a place to
store their cotton before it was sold to be shipped to Galveston by
The cotton shed was constructed with
a platform that could be loaded with cotton bales and lowered from the
river bluff to the steamer below, in operation by Captain Webb. He
and his steamer the Reliance provided great river travel and a cotton
market of the town that brought a business transaction of the cotton
business like no other for our Leon County. In 1848 due to this
operation a stock company was formed.
(May 28, 2003)
The Navarro City
Leon County Community famous for its river commerce was located near the
trinity River. With its cotton market of trade by steamboats to
Galveston brought a cotton gin and cotton shed to Navarro, which led to
a stock company business. It is believed to be the first of Leon
County and probably the only one of its quality in 1848.
This stock company with Captain Webb
and his steamer the Reliance and the planter that owned two steamers the
Jack Haynes and the Magnolia provided a prosperous wealth for its
community and Leon County. There was a General Mercantile store, a
post office, a boarding house, blacksmith, favorite camping, fishing
sites for family entertainment, a saloon, and three churches, Mt.
Pisgah, New Hope and African Methodist Church, which also was a school.
This one was established on the A. J. and J. C. Lamon Land. They
donated two acres of land for the church and school. A parcel of
Thomas Thurman's land was purchased from the Burleson Lodge. This
charter was founded in Navarro, the grand master being M. T. Mott.
The postmasters were John J. McBride, Matthew Taylor, George Goodman,
Alonzo Perrin, George Jetter and the post office in operation from
1850-1866. The Boarding House known as a well-furnished cozy
sleeping quarters and a family style dining room provided a welcomed
lodging for the many visitors who traveled to the Navarro community of
different business transactions. It was a busy place with fine
food, large fireplaces; the fine parlor dining areas, and clean
beautifully decorated bedrooms had warm hospitality.
(June 4, 2003)
The Navarro City Leon County
Community established in the early 1840's with a few settlers at its
beginning was only farming land. One of its most memorable
characters, Christopher Columbus Goodman, formerly of New York, was a
land agent who came to the new Texas State to promote land development
and to populate Texas with families of decent honest standards.
Christopher, a respectful, well liked
gentleman, and an influential business man soon with his expertise of
the land business and the knowledge and insight of attracting people to
our Texas, Leon County brought an endorsement of a rapid population,
land development, and business transactions. Christopher's new
Navarro City place with its fertile land and its plentiful water supply
of the Trinity River the citizens was well satisfied.
The farmers were amazed at all the
vegetables, fruit trees, cotton, corn crops and the wild fruits, nuts,
and the bounty of wild game, buffalo, deer, turkey, bison, squirrels and
fish. They had a prosperous living throughout the whole year.
Christopher said you could grow anything you wanted to in that soil the
largest sweet potatoes, juicy delicious watermelons, squash, okra, peas,
and beans. Just plant it in the ground and watch it produce.
Leonard Radford, another important
pioneer settler said there were some wonderful family times held on the
banks of the river, fishing and camping. The best times were when
the crops were laid by and before the harvest a yearly camping fishing
was held for all the families to gather for visiting, robbing bee trees,
enjoying the biggest fish fries and squirrel stews.
Families worked hard, went to church
on Sundays were actively involved of neighborly affairs helping each
other whenever needed. When a new family moved into their
community, they were supplied with their needs until the land could be
prepared and the crops were harvested.
Their homes were structures of logs
with rocks, sticks, and mud chimney's. Most had a dog trot that
connected the kitchen to the living quarters with a large fireplace room
with sleeping areas in the loft above. The post office, general
mercantile, cotton gin, cotton shed, the stock company, the commerce
trade with the steamboats and the boarding house with its inviting
hospitality, delicious food, beautifully decorated clean lodging
provided the many travelers with an appealing place for comfort of rest
and fine home cooked food and for visiting.
Other important settlers of Navarro
City were the P. L. Anders, James Boggs, Alexandra Coker, D. A. King,
Jacob Horn, William Little and Daniel Parker families. Christopher
Columbus Goodman was considered a remarkable Navarro City Gentleman.
His Letter sent to his brother in New or is a Leon County Historical
document that was edited, published in the southwestern historical
quarterly courtesy of Frances Jane Leathers.
The Railroad and the civil War
brought an end to Navarro City, yet today is a memorable settlement.