Atwell, Texas

History

Atwell, in eastern Callahan County, was established in the 1870s. Pioneer settlers in the community included Tobie Bell, Uncle Johnny Surles, J. T. Purvis, J. P. Hutchins, and Frank Abbott. Several families moved to the community in 1885 and 1886. Around 1886, residents established a school first named Bell Branch and later Flag Springs. In 1899 a post office was established in the settlement and named for William H. Atwell, district attorney of the Federal District Court of Northern Texas. By 1905 the community had several stores, three churches, a blacksmith shop, and a gin. But the population declined rapidly after 1915, and on June 29, 1929, the post office was discontinued. Atwell's population was listed as sixty-five from 1925 to 1948, after which no further estimates were available until 2000, when the population was eight. - Source: Handbook of Texas Online

Before Callahan County organized, settlers built homes in this area. Many more families came after the arrival of the Texas and Pacific Railroad in 1880. A town was officially named in 1898 to honor U.S. District Attorney William Hawley Atwell. For decades, residents used cemeteries at Cottonwood, Sabanno, Scranton and Zion Hill. Gideon and Frances Howell deeded land for a community burial ground to Atwell’s Baptist, Christian and Methodist churches in 1917. Several military headstones are here, including two young men killed in France during World War I. The community had stores, a cotton gin, a school and churches at its peak, but declined after World War II. The Atwell Cemetery Association formed in 1970 to maintain the burial ground. Historic Texas cemetery – 2007  - Historical Marker Text

Schools

Bell Branch School, 1880s-1890s

Flag Springs School, 1880s-1890s

Atwell School

Cemeteries

Atwell Cemetery >>