The small town of Huckabay was founded in the late eighteen hundreds. Gerldine Griswold wrote of how the community was started by John A. Huckabay, Ben Fincher, John and W.C. Copeland, John Gentry, Abe Metsgar, John W. Jones and others who were moving west from Arkansas and Tennessee. The head of the Bosque was where they settled, which was known as "Flatwoods", but was changed to Huckabay when John Huckabay established a post office. Each family claimed one hundred and sixty acres, which was where they built their homes. After the settlers had dug their wells and built their homes, churches, schools and other public buildings began to go up.
Historic Businesses of Huckabay
The families that started settling the land that we know as Huckabay, worked hard to build buildings and dig wells. A smoke house and a storm cellar were the first buildings to go up. The smoke house was where the citizens put fresh meat to begin curing. The storm cellar was a place to store produce and provide protection from the elements.
In the late 1870's, the community began to expand. The first general store was opened by G.W. Glenn in 1878. With the purchase of a gin, by Bill Rigsby in 1879, cotton was the primary industry of the town. This was briefly replaced by peanuts until the dairy industry took over, which still remains important to the community.
Religions of Huckabay
Huckabay, being a small community, did not have many churches. The Church of Christ was one of the early churches, built in 1876. The community also had two other churches: the Baptist church, organized by Joe Lockhar, and the Methodist church, organized by John Haven.
Three acres, only costing one hundred dollars, was purchased in 1910 in order to build a tabernacle. The tabernacle was used for various community and religious activities. Although it is over ninety years old, it still stands today. The antique structure is used for annual Huckabay Homecoming Reunions and many other school and community affairs.
Today, the Huckabay Baptist Church and the Huckabay Church of Christ continue to hold regular services, located only a few hundred yards from the tabernacle.
History of Huckabay Schools
The education of Flat Wood's younger citizens began in the summers of 1876 and 1877. John Copeland first taught the children during the summers in his log cabin home. After two summers, the settlers came together and built a log school. Jim Smith, Sarah Harrison, George Clark, and George Gressom were some of the earliest teachers of the newly built tuition school. A Stephenville Empire Tribune article from February 7, 1908 reported that the log school was furnished with benches made of split logs which were supported with pegs for legs. A three room box house replaced the log school after sixteen or eighteen years of use.
The current school that the students of Huckabay attend is a rock building off of Highway 108. The school was a simple rock-walled, two story Works Progress Administration Project building with a plaque embedded in the front of the building, dating it from 1938-1940. As the campus grew, a cafeteria was constructed in a barracks building, and the economic classes were conducted in the second story of the building until 1954, when a separate building was built. While the student population rose and fell in that time, the need for an elementary building led to its completion in 1965, costing a whopping $34,990. That building consisted of a computer lab, library, workroom, and the school counselor's office.
In 1983, an additional building was added, which currently serves as the Administration offices and Ag workshop; further construction projects included four classrooms built in 1993-1994. The school has had many additions since it was first built, a testament to its growth. This continuous development shows the dedication of the school and its community to the success of its students.
As time moved on, the small community began to grow and the old box house became too small to accommodate the number of students attending. According to an Empire Tribune article, a two story, six room building, which was constructed by Marshall Welch, replaced the old box house. The three rooms on the top floor could be converted into a large auditorium by folding flexi fold partitions. The community was very proud of their new school, which was furnished with modern equipment for the early nineteen hundreds. The cost of the school was estimated to be about $3500.
In 1926, a fire consumed the school and the community replaced it with a $26,000 brick building. There was a building for the primary grades, a work shop, and a new home economics building. The new brick school expanded it's library in 1934 when Thurber High School dissolved. According to Gerldine Griswold, in 1937 there were 250 students attending Huckabay, all taught by nine teachers. The school also had four bus routes. In 1942 this brick building, like its predecessor, was destroyed by a fire.