Taken from Van Zandt County Texas Biographies 1848-1991 Vol. II. Thanks to Kitty Wheeler for the original information and for permission to use it on the web site. Additions, corrections, compliments and complaints concerning this page or any other within this web site should be submitted to Betty Miller and Patsy Vinson. The information that is included in this document is transcribed portions of information that appear in the above referenced book.
The first postmaster, John Washington, was born 1868, in Texas, son of George and Ann Still Washington, both born in Georgia. George was born in 1833 and Ann in 1837, the daughter of Ira Lucius and Mary E. Still. George and Ann lived in Louisiana prior to moving to Texas with their family sometime between 1857 and 1861.
George was undoubtedly a hardworking, successful farmer for on 18 Mar 1865, he paid $850 cash to Dempsey and Elizabeth Jordan for 50 acres of land located 13 miles southeast of Canton.
On 28 Oct 1876, George added to his land holdings by purchasing from Ira L. and M. E. Still 160 acres about 22 miles southeast of Canton for the sum of $1,280 cash. This land was the west half of the John Mars Headright on the Neches River. It was conveyed by John Mars' wife to his daughter.
William Brinkly (Brink) Washington was born 1874, another son of George and Ann Washington. Brink married Elsie Perry, daughter of Brown and Lizzie Perry.
Information taken from the postal application implies that Blaine was a village and on an early map of Van Zandt County, there are indications of a group of buildings, perhaps stores at the second location of Blaine. A granddaughter of Augustus Chandler Beall, a postmaster at Hamburg, can remember her father used to ride a horse over to Blaine and enjoyed visiting with the black people. Perhaps there was a general store there and as was the custom then, the men folk would gather when crops were laid by or in the winter set around an old potbellied wood stove to swap yarns with one another. There was a cotton gin and a grist mill in the community and also a dipping vat for cattle.
There is a slave cemetery 1/4 mile west of the Mt. Zion Church on the old Hambrick Plantation (now known as Rose Plantation Bed and Breakfast). The only visible sign now being indentations in the ground large enough for a grave. All the old markers have deteriorated and no one knows how many people have been buried there.
Peter Hill, an early settler of the area, was a blacksmith. As a blacksmith Peter Hill made plows, collars, bull tongues, subsoil twisters, etc. Peter's first efforts when he came to Van Zandt were for his master, Burl Hambrick. Not having coal to burn, Peter would cut sweet gum trees into blocks and burn the wood until it became a big block of coal. This was what he used in his forge. The collars he made were plaited, wet corn shucks with a piece of metal crocked around to fit them together to fit the horse.
Preston Hill said this of his father, "Daddy was a poor man and was born a slave. he always taught me to tell the truth and treat everybody right." What better heritage to leave a son. Few people today remember there ever having been a Blaine, Texas