Mantua - north of Anna
ON THE WING
McKinney Weekly Democrat Gazette, March 21, 1901
On my way to Van Alstyne spent the night with my old friend Prof. W. C. Satterwhite of Callis, now teaching the school at Mantua. This is one of the oldest, if not the oldest school district in our county. Here, long years ago, a town was built and began to grow and prosper but alas! its days were numbered and like a certain King, saw the "hand writing on the wall." With the advent of the iron horse a new town sprang up and the rival village, now the pretty and hustling little city of Van Alstyne was the fortunate winner. But to resume, this school is small, rendered so by its proximity to the above city, and on account of the prevalence of smallpox, didn't begin until late in the season. Thirty-six enrolled, the attendance 33. The Professor and I are enforced bachelors and we always have a big time together. He is an old pedagogue with new ideas and up-to-date methods. The patrons are so anxious to retain him for another term that they propose to build a new and larger house to accommodate the increased attendance for next year.
Arriving in Van Alstyne I noted the wonderful growth and many changes since my last visit there, just ten years ago. Fine residences and large business houses that would be a credit to a town of larger pretensions, were everywhere. Of course I called at both newspaper offices and found brethren Rudolph and Fulton quite busy, each editing "the largest, the best and having a larger local patronage than any similar publication in the city," and they are. The News and Leader are model country newspapers run on lines of economy and strict business principles. Before bidding adieu, I called at the tonsorial parlors of Munger & Moss and Mr. Munger amputated my beard while waiting for my horse to rest. Just before the orb of day sank below the western horizon Weston loomed up in the distance and I stopped for the night with uncle Jimmie Caruth.
Postmaster Curtis is full of business and accommodations. Uncle Sam has in him a worthy and loyal citizen and the people of Weston appreciate his devotion to duty. To me, he was very obliging and kindly tendered me the use of his private desk for conducting my correspondence.
Sorry that Hazel Eyes is gong to leave us, and hope her absence will only be temporary.
Glad to see you again; Black Eyes.
Where are you Edna? Don't forget us in your western home.
Spring is coming, and a certain bachelor is anxiously awaiting, hoping that something will happen before the close of summer.
D. W. Leigh.
On February 23, 1854, William C. McKinney, James W.
Throckmorton, John A. Throckmorton, and Joseph Wilcox
set aside twenty-five acres for the town of Mantua, which
was conceived as a site for Mantua Seminary. Proceeds
from the sale of town lots provided funds for the school.
The town plat consisted of forty-eight city blocks
surrounding a town square. To help ensure a proper
environment for the school, deeds for town lots
prohibited gambling, horse racing, prostitution and the
sale of alcohol.
Mantua Lodge No. 209 A.F.&A.M. organized in 1857, and
the Masons first met on the second story of Walcott's
store. A post office was established in Mantua in 1858, and
E. B. Rollins was appointed as the first postmaster. On
October 2, 1858, McKinney, James W. Throckmorton and
Wilcox met with Mantua citizens to establish rules for the
co-educational Mantua seminary, and a building was
constructed just outside of the town for the use of the
seminary and the Masonic Lodge. Classes were first held in
1860 and by 1868, eighty pupils were enrolled. Liberty
Christian Church was established in 1846 and a Methodist
congregation was formed the next year.
In 1872 the Houston and Texas Central railroad laid
tracks approximately 1.5 miles east of Mantua, and the new
town of Van Alstyne was formed along the tracks. Almost
immediately, the residents and businesses of Mantua
relocated to the new town. Mantua's post office was
closed in 1873, the Mantua Seminary last held classes
during the early 1880s and the churches relocated to
neighboring towns. Today, only Mantua Cemetery and
Mantua Road remain as symbols of the vanished community.
175 Year of Texas Independence *1836-2011
Texas Historical Marker 2011