The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 336
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
this day. Twenty slaves and two white men worked two years
completing the building, a typical Southern planter's house,
even to the kitchen in the back yard. In front of the house there
was a white graveled drive lined with magnolia trees, four of
which, with a mulberry tree planted in the yard, still stand.
On either side of the lane leading past the Douglas house there
remains a mock-orange hedge, running from the east edge of
the property to the Douglas Cemetery, several hundred yards
west of the house. This cemetery, on a raised bit of ground,
contains inside its iron fence the graves of the Douglases and
their neighbors and relatives, the Loftins.
After the Civil War, the Douglases were able to retain most
of their negroes and continue to plant cotton. For a time they
prospered, but as continuous cultivation of cotton is hard on the
soil, by 1907 the land had ceased to yield any great revenue.
On August 17, 1907, Douglas sold the place to Charles E.
Palmer for $30,000.2
Palmer operated a fruit company, and on this land he had
planted extensive orchards of peaches, plums, and pecans.
Though his business was doing quite well, he traded the land
in 1912 to the Metropolitan Institute for the simple reason that
he thought he was getting more than it was worth.
The Metropolitan church, being favorably impressed with
the land, had organized the Metropolitan Institute of Texas,
"a private corporation, duly chartered under the laws of the
State of Texas." This corporation traded a section of land at
American Falls, Idaho, a tract of land twelve miles from Chi-
cago, and a hotel and a brick yard at Las Vegas, New Mexico, to
Palmer for the tract of land on which it was proposed to estab-
lish the Burning Bush settlement.
By early spring of 1913, arrangements had been completed,
and 375 members of the Metropolitan church arrived on a char-
tered train to establish the new community for the Burning
Bush. The business office was in the Douglas house. The first
building constructed was a tabernacle, a large building sixty
by eighty feet, and then many small houses were erected for
the settlers who were living in the cramped quarters of the
Douglas house and the several tenant houses on the farm. A
two-story house was built also, with rooms for visitors and a
2Record of Deeds of Cherokee County, Vol. 33, pp. 66-70.
8J. L. Vandever to the District Court of Smith County, Texas, February
Term, 1919, a petition.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/411/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.