Heritage, Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 1987 Page: 16
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History and Memories in The
"Men sat on the bench in front
and whittled away at it and
argued Scripture a lot."
by Mary Francis Beverley
from Cowbells and Coffins: The Old General Store
by Mary Francis Beverley, Eakin Press, 1987
sometimes "progress" can almost
kill a little town, if a world war
can be considered progress. World War II
brought prosperity to some places, but
when the government built Fort Hood in
1942, it took from the farmers around
The Grove some 320 square miles of
prime farm land. Years before, railroad
tracks had been laid ten miles to the
north; then State Highway 36 was built
to the east of the town, so that the only
way one knew the town was there was by
seeing the tall steeple of the Lutheran
Fort Hood brought new life to surrounding
towns such as Killeen, Temple,
and Gatesville, but the highway linked
them to one another and left The Grove
sitting all by itself among the live oaks
between Owl Creek and the Leon River.
By the 1950s, construction of Belton
Dam took still more land and left more
farmers with no place to plow.
Before the 1870s, only a few people
had arrived in this region, preceding the
first real settlement. Military personnel
used the same path they had taken to
bring supplies to Fort Gates, several miles
north of The Grove, and kernels of corn,
dropped from the supply wagons, took
root and grew along the way. Thus the
road came to be known as the Old Corn
Road, parts of which followed the main
road through The Grove.
The largest group of settlers were the
Wends, immigrants fleeing religious persecution
in Central Europe. They came
to Texas and founded Lutheran churches
in such settlements as Serbin, New Ulm,
Industry, and Warda. Among these Wends
were the names of Winkler, Dube,
Schkade, Drosche, Symm, and Hohle.
The Grove post office was established
in 1874, and the little town grew rapidly
around the 28-foot-deep well that had
been dug by Uncle Jim Whitmore. Surrounding
the well were several general
stores, Durham's candy kitchen, Glass's
mule barn, Holcome and Adams's blacksmith
shop, a lumberyard, cotton gin,
and two barbershops. The Grove also had
a school, several churches, doctors, and a
One of the earliest general stores in
The Grove was in a little wooden building
near the well. It was run by August
Schkade and W. J. Dube. When Schkade
died, Dube married his widow. In 1917 he
built a larger store with a block-long,
brick-red facade on the main road in the
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 1987, periodical, Summer 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45437/m1/16/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.