Steele's Store, Texas
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Steele's Store, is located at the intersection of farm roads 50 and 1687, on the Southern Pacific Railroad eleven miles west of Bryan in far western Brazos County. The area was settled in the 1860s and became known as Mudville for the mud common to this floodplain of the Brazos and Little Brazos rivers. In 1878 a post office, called Steele's Store, was opened in the store owned by Henry B. Steele, and the names Steele's Store and Mudville seem to have been used interchangeably by local residents, with Mudville sometimes referring to the wider rural area served by the community. According to some sources the population was three-fourths black at this time. Steele's Store is now known as Mudville, Texas.
Many Italians were farming in the area. In 1884 Steele's Store had an estimated population of 150 and two churches, three cotton gins, a steam gristmill, and two general stores. The community became a station on the Hearne and Brazos Valley Railway in 1891, and by 1896 claimed a population of 350. In 1904 a school for whites at Steele's Store had sixty-eight pupils and one teacher. In 1930 the community comprised an estimated 300 inhabitants and fourteen businesses. In 1940 it had a church, a school, four businesses, and a number of scattered dwellings. The post office closed in 1950, and the school had consolidated with Bryan by the 1960s. In 1988 the community had a number of scattered dwellings and was designated Mudville on maps. In 1992, the Texas Historical Commission placed a historical marker at the site.
Rosemary DePasquale Boykin, The Italians of Steele's Store, Texas (Nacogdoches: Ericson, 1993).
Glenna Fourman Brundidge, Brazos County History: Rich Past-Bright Future (Bryan, Texas: Family History Foundation, 1986).
Elmer Grady Marshall, History of Brazos County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1937).
Mark Odintz, "MUDVILLE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.