Burr, Texas

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Burr, Texas
Unincorporated community
Burr, Texas is located in Texas
Burr, Texas
Burr, Texas
Location within the state of Texas
Coordinates: 29°18′29″N 96°00′27″W / 29.30806°N 96.00750°W / 29.30806; -96.00750Coordinates: 29°18′29″N 96°00′27″W / 29.30806°N 96.00750°W / 29.30806; -96.00750
Country United States
State Texas
County Wharton
Elevation 95 ft (29 m)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 77488
Area code(s) 979
GNIS feature ID 1379484[1]

Burr, also known as Lawson's Corner or Kriegel Switch, is an unincorporated community in eastern Wharton County, in the U.S. state of Texas. The small community is situated on Farm to Market Road 1301 (FM 1301) to the east of the county seat at Wharton. The settlement was first established just prior to the American Civil War, when two plantations were set up in the area. In the 1890s, it was a thriving community, but by the 1940s it had begun to dwindle. In 2013, there were a few businesses and a number of homes and farms in the area.

Geography[edit]

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) locates Burr at 29°18′29″N 96°00′27″W / 29.30806°N 96.00750°W / 29.30806; -96.00750[1] which is at the intersection of FM 1301 and County Road 113. The junction is 6.6 miles (10.6 km) east of Wharton and 4.9 miles (7.9 km) northwest of Boling on FM 1301. Caney Creek flows in a highly meandering southeasterly course to the south of FM 1301.[2]

History[edit]

In 1859, Burr Albert Harrison moved his family to the area. He and his slaves built a plantation and grist, sugar and syrup mills along Caney Creek. Another family named Callaway started a plantation about the same time. The 1860 census noted that the Callaways owned 90 slaves and the Harrisons owned 83. The community was first named Lawson's Corner for Dick Lawson who established a general store between his plantation and the Harrison place. The property owners pitched in to build a church but it burned down soon after the Civil War. Burr Harrison died in 1881. His son and successor to the plantation, Gerard Alexander Harrison built a general store that rivalled any in Wharton in 1889. In 1991 the brick structure still existed. During the Reconstruction Era, Isam Davenport, an African-American, served as Justice of the Peace and County Commissioner. He allegedly made a habit of sentencing blacks convicted of petty crimes to work in his cotton field.[3]

A school at Lawson opened sometime after 1889. It was replaced in 1893 by a second school in a more suitable location. Since most local residents were African-American and white enrollment so small, at first the Lawson school for whites had a school year lasting only four months. A Baptist church was constructed in 1892, followed a few years later by another one. A German immigrant, Charles Kriegel moved to the area in 1896 and bought the Lawson store the following year. A post office was established in 1899 and named after Kriegel. In 1900, the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway was built from Wharton to Van Vleck and Sargent. A station called the Kriegel Switch was set up in the Kriegel community across from its school. At the time Kriegel was roughly midway between Dinsmore to the west and Burr to the east. The Lawson school for whites had one teacher and 21 students in 1905; two years later, there were 31 pupils. In 1907 the Kriegel school had nine teachers and 358 black students. In 1910 the Kriegel post office was closed when Kriegel sold his store. Gerard Harrison moved the post office to his store and named it Burr after his father. In 1915 the Burr community had a church, a school and two stores. In 1918 the Burr post office closed and mail began to be delivered from Wharton. The following year, the Lawson school was rebuilt. Burr had one commercial establishment and 83 residents in 1939, but within two years many people moved away. The Lawson school had 100 students in 1942 and in 1947 it became part of the Boling Independent School District. In 1989 there were two businesses.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Burr, Texas
  2. ^ Google (September 27, 2013). "Burr, TX" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Hazlewood, Claudia. "Handbook of Texas Online: BURR, TX". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved September 27, 2013.