Thank you for dropping by, we hope you will take a little time to browse around and learn a little bit about this thriving little community. We wish to thank Ada Lou Bowman, Jessie Roberta Wynne, Corene Shamlin, Louise Pruitt, Bobbie Griffin and Linda Brown who furnished the information to the Van Zandt County Historical Commission who gave permission for the use of their publication Van Zandt County, Texas, Pictorial History 1848-1994. Sibyl Creasey knew just where to send me when I was needing photos and stories of the Cities and Communities and our African American page that are represented on this site. Additions, corrections, comments, complaints and compliments concerning this page should be submitted to Betty Miller and Patsy Vinson.
by Linda Brown
transcribed by B. Miller, 1999 from Pictorial History 1888-1994
with permission of the Van Zandt County Historical Society
The original settlement where the Wynne Community is located was once called Clear Springs.
Edmond A. Wynne purchased the land for 50 cents an acre in the late 1800s. Mr Wynne's parents were slaves from Georgia.
The settlement was divided between the Mathis family on one end and the Wynne family from below the hill to the old Oak tree marker. Various families were encouraged to settle in the community to develop the land for farming and living. The Smiths, the Bowmans and the Shamlins were some of the early settlers.
Mr. Wynne had three marriages and six children. The last deceased sibling, Joseph (Bud) Wynne, died June, 1982.
Another prominent member of the Wynne Community was Taylor Shamlin, who came to Texas from Alabama as a young man in the early 1800s and married Julie Scates. To this union, there were 12 children born.
Mr. Shamlin's wife proceeded (sic) him in death at an early age, leaving him with a young son and daughter, Lenard (Sunny), nine months, and Ida Mae (Chock), 2 years. His oldest daughter, Lovie Shamlin, about 10 or 12 years old at the time, mothered the children while trying to go to school. The family was always grateful to the Wynne family and the Knox family for their help with the cooking and chores.
Some of the early church and community leaders included Mr. And Mrs. Sandy Johnson, Buddy Mathis, Mr. And Mrs. Buck Shannon, Rev. and Mrs. Charles Turner.
The only living member of the early Shamlin family left is Corene Shamlin (transcriber's note: still living as of 1994) who resides at the old home place.
There are still other relatives of the various earlier settlers residing in the Wynne Community.
The old school house property was donated by E. A. Wynne to the community for the purpose of an educational site in. In 1992, the building was torn down and the area was cleared. In 1994, a community park was built on the site with support from the Wynne and Canton communities.
Many things have changed in the Wynne Community over the years, but the one thing that has lasted is the strong sense of community spirit and togetherness that the community was founded on more than a century ago.
The Wynne School, like those in other communities across the country, was held in a small one-room schoolhouse until the year of 1934. The school was located on property that had been owned by one of the old settlers of the community, Edmond Wynne.
Mrs. Willie Hutcheson and Rev. Hilliard, a Methodist minister, were among the teachers of the school. Vada Wynne Anderson was the last teacher to teath in the one-room school.
In 1936, Betty Love joined the staff as the principal of the two-room school held in the lodge hall. Miss Love was followed by Clara Caldwell in 1938.
A more modern school building was furnished to the community when the Moore School was closed and its children were bused into the Canton Public School.
The men of the Wynne Community under direction of Charlie Morris, tore down the Moore School, hauled the material to the lot purchased by the Wynne School PTA and rebuilt it just as it was originally.
The school enrollment grew to over 60 students and a third teacher, Ollie V. Woods, was added in 1940.
Som of the teachers who taught at the Wynne School later were Susan Taylor, Mary Lou Simmons, Flora Morehead and Donnie McGee.
The Promise Land C.M.E. Church was organized in the early 1930s under the late Rev. J. G. Collins. Those who served on the Steward and Trustee board were King Mathis, Taylor Shamlin, Martin Scates, Sandy Johnson, Walter Smith, Hawthorne Smith, Ed Wynne and many others. There have been several pastors since the church as (sic) organized, including the late Re. J. J. Thompson, Rev. O. B. Johnson, Rev. G. W. Land, Rev. D. Madlock and Rev. G. W. Griffin. In 1993, the pastor was Rev. D. W. Ward of Tyler.
Oscar Bell born in Edom 2 Oct 1907, is a deacon of the New Hope Baptist Church. Prior to his retirement, he was employed with Bell Telephone and the Hackney Movie Theater.