THE GROVE, TEXAS. The Grove is on Farm Road 1114 just off State Highway 36, sixteen miles southeast of Gatesville in eastern Coryell County. It was established about 1859 and named for the grove of live oak trees in which it is situated. At one time the settlement was called Morrison Grove. By the late 1860s the community had two general stores, a mill, and a gin. A group of Wendish settlers arrived at The Grove in 1870 and added their Lutheran church to the Baptist, Methodist, Disciples, and Presbyterian churches already there. The post office opened in 1874 with J. B. Coleman as postmaster. In the mid-1880s the community had three general stores, two groceries, and a population of 150; area farmers shipped cotton, hides, and grain. By 1900 The Grove was one of the most prosperous towns in the county. It had a two-teacher school with sixty students in 1904, and a Lutheran school opened there in 1908. Was home of the Austin Doolittle Rodeos In The 1920's & 30's. The community began to decline in the 1940s, when it was bypassed by State Highway 36. Some area farmers were forced to relocate when Fort Hood was established in the early 1940s, and others lost land when the Belton dam was built in 1953. Improvements in transportation and consolidation of agriculture also contributed to the community's decline. The public school at The Grove closed in 1948, and students were bussed to schools in other communities. The Lutheran school continued to operate until 1962 but was then closed for lack of students. The population of The Grove, reported as 150 in the 1940s, fell to 140 in the 1950s and 1960s, and by 1970 to sixty-five, where it remained through 2000. A church and several businesses marked the community on county highway maps in the 1980s. The Grove business district which consists of the country store, bank, dentist office, post office, saloon, & blacksmith shop was purchased in 1972 & has been converted into a museum. Mr. Anderson hosted live music jamborees through the 1990s. The post office was officially decommissioned in 1996. The contents of the downtown business district & real estate will be auctioned off April 23rd, 24th, & 25th 10:00AM by the Burley Auction Group.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Coryell County Genealogical Society, Coryell County, Texas, Families, 1854–1985 (Dallas: Taylor, 1986). John J. Germann and Myron Janzen, Texas Post Offices by County (1986). Zelma Scott, History of Coryell County (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1965).