Off The Beaten Path - Country Campus, Texas

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joe817
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Off The Beaten Path - Country Campus, Texas

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Post by joe817 » Sun May 12, 2019 8:32 am

COUNTRY CAMPUS, TEXAS. Country Campus, on State Highway 19 some twelve miles northeast of Huntsville in northeastern Walker County, was established during World War II. The community was begun in 1942 as a German prisoners of war camp with a capacity to house 4,800 men. The camp's construction began on May 12, 1942, and its formal opening was observed on September 18 of that year. The camp commander was Lt. Col. H. E. Fischer. The camp had housing and medical facilities, a clothing shop, a barbershop, a laundry, a bakery, a cafeteria, a commissary, a gymnasium, a guardhouse, a fire station, and a motor pool. In addition, clubs for both officers and enlisted personnel were provided. Prisoners held at the camp were leased as laborers to local farmers.

The camp was deactivated on January 25, 1946, and the property was donated by the government to Sam Houston State Teachers College (later Sam Houston State University) and renamed the Sam Houston Country Campus. The buildings were adapted to serve as dormitories, administrative offices, classrooms, and recreational facilities. Buses shuttled students between the country and main campuses. A post office was established at the site in 1948, with Mrs. R. H. Maxwell as postmistress. In 1949 the community reported a population of 1,000, and by 1952 it reported 500 residents and three businesses. Its post office closed in 1964, when the town reported 425 residents and one business. By 1968 the population had decreased to 121, and by 1972 the community reported only sixty inhabitants and no businesses. In the 1980s some of the old buildings, a golf course, and pastureland remained at the site. Country Campus in 1990 comprised sixty residents.
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