|Elevation||1,562 ft (476 m)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1365563|
Pontotoc is an unincorporated community on Pontotoc Creek, in northeastern Mason County, Texas, United States. The community is located at the junction of State Highway 71 and Ranch to Market Road 501.
M. Robert Kidd, proprietor of the first general store and originally from Pontotoc, Mississippi, is said to have given the community and the creek their names. In 1859, Benjamin J. Willis was one of the first settlers in this community that was historically a junction of roads leading to San Saba from Fort Mason and from Llano. A small number of other families arrived in the same time period, establishing the community by 1878. Pontotoc included a hotel, general stores, mills, and businesses related to the horse industry. Agriculture products, cotton and pecans, helped support a community economy that also included wool and cattle.
In 1890, a move was made to found a new county called Mineral County out of parts of McCullouch, Mason, San Saba, and Llano Counties, with Pontotoc as the county seat. Mason residents petitioned and were able to stop the movement. Various efforts to bring a railroad through Pontotoc also failed.
Benjamin J Willis was appointed postmaster when Pontotoc received its post office on January 5, 1880.
Pontotoc and San Fernando Academy
In 1972, Recorded Texas Historic Landmark number 11294 was designated to acknowledge the 1883 establishment of the Pontotoc and San Fernando Academy. At its peak, the school had a student body enrollment of 200 for generalized education, or for achievement of teaching certificates. Principals were K. T. Hamilton and W. C. Roaten. With so much of the population decimated by the typhoid epidemic, the school went under in 1889. It was sold to the Pontotoc public school system, which used the academy as a public school until 1927. The ruins of the academy collapsed into rubble during a storm in 2016 The closing of the academy affected the local economy and was a factor in the decline of the population.
20th and 21st centuries
Pontotoc had a local newspaper in 1906, and received its first telephone in 1914. A mica mining operation was begun in 1924. In 1941, Pontotoc had seven businesses. In 1947, a fire that began in the local theater swept through the town. Some of the structures were rebuilt, but the burned-out shells of the others stand today. Now, Pontotoc is a rural community with a small population.
It was the birthplace of US Air Force Gen. Ira C. Eaker.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Pontotoc has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Rand McNally. The Road Atlas '05. Skokie: Rand McNally, 2005, p. 98.
- Benjamin J. Willis at Find a Grave
- Rhoades, Alice J. "TSHA-Pontotoc, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- Hallowell, John (12 May 2010). "A Century of Ranching". The Llano News. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "Escape-Pontotoc, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "Mason County Post Offices". Jim Wheat. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "THC-Pontotoc and San Fernando Academy". Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. Texas Histocial Commission. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- Climate Summary for Pontotoc, Texas