PALUXY MILL HOLDS DIGNITY OF LAST CENTURY
Along FM 51 near the community of Paluxy stands what could be the crumbling castle of a sleeping beauty for the more fanciful. Surrounded by an enchanted forest of brambles, oak trees, and saplings remain the ruin of what was a grist mill. Once busy establishment along the banks of the Paluxy River, the mill was well known, near and far, for the fine work done by the establishment.
The community itself was originally called Pulltight. One of the versions explaining its unusual name was that it was a hard, tight pull for teams crossing the Paluxy. Little remains of the ‘tight-pull’ For oxen or mule teams of the last century with a concrete and steel bridge now spanning the lazy river.
The grist mill was operated by a water wheel. it was built by a man named Goather. He sold it to Dan Mennis and J. H. Haley who operated it for many years. Farmers as far as 30 miles distant brought corn and wheat to the mill to be ground.
Granbury resident Venita Larner Kreger has pictures taken at the mill site in the 1920s. It was already a ruin at that time. More existed in the ’20s than remains today, however. although the mill is viewable from FM 51, ii- is on private property and posted. From the bridge that crosses the high banks of the river a glimpse of the mill is possible.
History gives many names to the Paluxy community. At one time or another it; was also known as Poloxeyville, Goather Mill, Himmer’s Mill or Haley’s Mill – all designate the site that is the quiet community of Paluxy today.
In the 1860s, however, it was not a quiet place. The Mill brought many people into the community for a day or two while their work was being done. Brilliant annual dances were held in the homes of the Cowans, the Underwoods, or the Jacksons I original settlers of the area.
In 1906 there was a devastating flood along the Paluxy and the water wheel of the mill was swept away. although the operation ceased, it was thought temporally, it did not begin again Slowly, but surely, without the drawing cord of the mill, Paluxy settled into a small, quiet community, passed by those speeding to other places such as Stephenville, Glen Rose, or Granbury. The settlement moved back into the silence of their off-the- beaten track hilltop, and went about life quietly.
Life in the community continued on a daily basis. The school flourished until 1944 when it “went out of business” due to the lack of teachers during the war. For a time the community did net know what to do. Their children ware being bussed to the schools in Granbury. But the school was a vital part of the community When classes were held for the last time, Paluxy residents got together to pay off the indebtedness of the school and purchased the building for a community center.
Although Paluxy settled into itself, clinging to its history, there was little to draw the newcomer. “There is seldom any property for sale around here,” said Mrs. Cora Harkins, long- time postmistress. Most of the land near the community has been in the same family for more than a century. Much of it continues to be passed from father to child.
A stop at the Paluxy post office is a step backward through the door of yesterday. The mail boxes are the 1800 type equipment and are still in use. The building is open daily 9 a.m. to noon.
Hood County and the surrounding areas are dotted with the ruins of families who stopped a while, built a home or a structure such as the mill, then moved on when hope reached a low point. The mill itself is a three sided ruin in the 1980s. Thick walls with many windows suggest that a large family dwelt within the walls a century past – or afforded a stopping place for those who had business with the mill.
At one point in Granbury’s recent history, Mrs. Sallie Jackson recalled that her father, Isaac Cowan, one-time owner of the mill sent for a cabinet maker in l860 to make furniture for the settlers around Paluxy. The carpenter used burroak from the nearby groves to fashion needed items for the settlers, and probably a few items for the mill too.
But the mill is now like the little old lady sitting in the shade of giant old tree.; watching life speed by. The tragic of the past is still real. Although the stones are no longer protecting a family from winter’s blast and the big sill-wheel is only a memory, it is a beautiful place, bringing people who learned to love
From “Something About Granbury, Jan/Feb. 1982” as written in HCGS Newsletter NO. 36; November, 1992