At the Homecoming in 1940, my mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Avrett, gave the following address on the history of Pleasant Hill Church and School. By request, I am repeating this address:
The Pleasant Hill Church and School were first built by men and women who loved God and each other, men and women who thought no sacrifice too great in order that their community might have a church and school where their children would have wholesome, Christian influence.
The first settlers who bought land and lived in this community and who first became vitally concerned about building a church, called a meeting in order that they might discuss their problem and make plans for carrying it out. Those who came to that meeting met under the trees that were in this very Church yard. They were Wilbur Walker, Dan Thompson, Dave Thompson, W. A. Avrett, Henry Miller, Wes Blackburn and Louis T. Modisette. They talked for some time and finally Mr. Avrett suggested that they go to Mr. Blackburnís melon patch and get melons. They could eat melons and finish their discussion.
They immediately went to work to secure land for the building and materials. Others in the community became interested then and helped in financing the undertaking. Mrs. John Luckey said that her father, Luse Miller, Sr., hauled logs from Elgin by wagon and team to help build the church building. Isaac Barber, Millard Luckey, and others also helped. A Mr. Travis Shaw donated four acres of land for the building, and Judge Richard Roland of Millerton was the chief carpenter.
This very building was begun 87 years ago in 1880 and finished about a year later in 1881. Mr. Avrett and Mr. Roland worked every day and others worked as they could. It was a new country then and they had difficult ways of travel and communication. We of today would think it an almost impossible task to accomplish, but lumber was cut from local pastures and hauled to the mill for foundations, and various means were used to secure the capital.
Plate suppers were given to raise funds. Plates sold for fifty cents each. Also sold were cake and a kind of drink called syllabub. Syllabub was a concoction made with cream, sugar, wine and spices. This was beaten or shaken until a delicious foamy drink was made. Baby contests were also given to raise funds. At one time the three baby contestants were Mitt (Milt) Modisette, Maggie Thompson and Marvin Avrett. Needless to say, the little girl baby won the prize but she did it after much competition with both boys.
Another problem then was deciding on a name for the new church. Mt. Moriah was first suggested, as many of these people had come from Georgia where there was a church of that name; but they later decided to call it Pleasant Hill, as they thought it was a pleasant place in which to live.
The first pastor of the Church was W. C. Collins. The first church trustees were W. A. Avrett, J. W. Blackburn and Louis T. Modesette.
The place located for the cemetery was first used by the burial at the foot of a big oak tree of a little boy name Merriweather.
The first school was a subscription school and was taught by Miss Mollie Phillips. Another very early teacher was a Miss Prewitt, a sister of Ira Prewitt of Taylor. The school building was build the year after the erection of the church. The first school trustees were W. A. Avrett, Louis T. Modesette, and Lucius Miller, Sr.
In 1933 the first Homecoming was held at Pleasant Hill. In like manner each year thereafter the second Sunday in July was designated as a date for the homecoming until 1942, when we disbanded until after World War II was over.
The Pleasant Hill Homecomings were resumed in 1946 and continued each year since. Hereís hoping that they never again need to disband, as many of the former settlers of this community and their descendants still have a warm feeling for Pleasant Hill and like to meet annually to visit with their old friends.
- - - - Nell Avrett
We must say a special thank you to Jackie Morgan of San Antonio, Texas , for re-typing this index for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.
Created on 25 Mar 2004 and last revised on _____________