|Elevation||217 ft (66 m)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1380524|
Shankleville was founded in 1867 by James "Jim" and Winnie (Brush) Shankle, the first African Americans to purchase land and become leaders of the settlement after Emancipation. It was named in honor of the two leaders, the 3rd Paternal great-grandparents to NFL Hall of Fame Defensive End Michael Strahan. This was confirmed through research done by the show Finding Your Roots. James and Winnie Shankle's son-in-law, Stephen McBride, was a co-founder who helped to develop the town. Shankleville was one of ten freedmen's settlements established in Newton County following the Civil War, including Biloxi, Cedar Grove, Galloway, Huff Creek, Indian Hills, Jamestown, Liberty, Pleasant Hill and St. John.
The Shankles bought "a league" of land and invited other families to live and create businesses there, amassing land holdings over 4,000 acres. "Shankleville began as a rural community where African-Americans could live and farm their own land away from the violence of white supremacist activities, the strictures of segregation, and the economic enslavement of sharecropping, or working for less than subsistence wages as domestic servants and in other menial jobs," the U.S. Department of the Interior notes in its National Register of Historic Places designation of Shankleville's Addie L. and A.T. Odom Homestead.
At Shankleville, a single family—the related Shankle-McBride clan—had unusual financial resources that they initially used to purchase land early on, which fostered the development of the community (Handbook of Texas Online: “Freedmen’s Settlements”).  At its peak, Shankleville is thought to have housed about 75 families. The settlement prospered and included schools, churches, cotton gins, saw mills, grist mills, sugarcane mills, stores, and blacksmith shops.
McBride College was a two-story structure which operated from 1883 to 1909. Named after Stephen McBride, the school also served as a community center and town hall. During summer, teachers came to attend training conferences and seminars. When school was not in session, McBride College was also used to host revivals featuring traveling preachers. Good Morning America host and retired NFL player Michael Strahan is a descendant of Jim and Winnie Shankle.
Preservation and Conservation
The descendants of Shankleville are involved in historic research, community preservation, and family genealogy. Annual homecomings have been held since 1941 on the first weekend of August each year.
The Shankleville Historical Society was founded in 1988 to "preserve the heritage", "document the history", and "propagate the legacy" of Shankleville. The society hosts many cultural events in honor of Shankleville, including the annual Texas Purple Hull Pea Festival which celebrated its sesquicentennial homecoming in 2017. The festival features cultural events commemorating different historical aspects of the settlement. Purple-hull peas were a historic cash crop and a staple of the local economy.(subscription required)
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Shankleville
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- "Upcoming Events Purple Hull Pea Festival & Symposium, Shankleville Texas". tonitiptonmartin.com. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- Andrea Roberts (2014-06-26), Purple Hull Pea Festival Held at Settlement Founded by Ex-Slaves in Shankleville, TX., retrieved 2018-07-14
- 12NewsNow (2018-06-24), 12News pea competition in honor of the 'Texas Purple Hull Pea Festival' in Shankleville, retrieved 2018-07-14
- "Fifth annual Purple Hull Pea Festival gets underway on Friday". The Lufkin News. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- "Purple Hull Pea Festival is June 25th!". Edible Houston. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- "Texas Purple Hull Pea Festival is Coming to a Community Near You". The Newton County News. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "Turn out good for Texas Purple Hull Pea Festival in Shankleville". KJAS.COM. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- "Texas Purple Hull Pea Festival w/ Sis Lareatha Clay". BlogTalkRadio. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- Bashaw, Robert (June 19, 2016). "TEXAS PURPLE HULL PEA FESTIVAL - JUNE 27TH". East Texas Press.