Where Was Crescent?

Grave stone of Oma and Fletcher Bland at the Merit Cemetery in western Hunt County. Mr. and Mrs. Bland were a kind, generous couple who donated land for the consolidation of several small schools in the late 1940s.

My mother-in-law, Joyce McCloud Taylor, lived in Crescent when she was a young girl. A few years ago my husband and I took her there so she could show us around. If you’re not acquainted with Crescent, it’s a village near Dulaney, Merit, and Wagner in the northwest part of Hunt County. It has a very interesting history.

On February 25, 1951 the Greenville Morning Herald ran an article by F. B. Bland and Patsy Rackley describing what was then a thriving community. Crescent was established in 1870 on land donated by Richard and Nancy Harrell who also donated land before the Civil War for a Methodist Campground nearby. Where the name Crescent came from I do not know, but by 1875 the town had a store, church, gin, blacksmith shop and school as well as a Woodmen of the World group. Family names of residents were Mock, Lovingood, Alderson, Love, Bland, Collins, and Milton.

The community did not always use the name Crescent. The school was known as Lone Cottonwood District number 23. The store went by the name Alliance and the church was known as Harrell’s Chapel. It was served by a Methodist circuit rider that held services there once a month. However, the young people met at the church every Sunday evening.

The school hired four teachers for grades one through six. It continued until 1945. Two years later Crescent School merged with Merit, Floyd, Wagner, McCloud, and Dulaney to form Bland School District. F. B. Bland was the generous, kind person for whom the school district was named.
In 1947 Crescent Community Center Club organized along with a Sunday School and church that held services twice a month. They met in the old Crescent School House. In 1948 the Rural Progress Club organized an annual Crescent Reunion.

By 1951 the ladies in the area formed Crescent Home Demonstration Club. My mother-in-law found the minutes of the club in her mother’s things and let me copy them. At least thirteen women joined the group, many of them related. The ladies met in members’ homes or the Community Center twice each month. They had a business session first, followed by a devotional, then program and/or games, and finally refreshments. The club was part of Hunt County Home Demonstration Clubs. They were allowed to have a representative and frequently invited the County Home Demonstration Agent to meetings. Since this was during the Cold War, one of the women served as Civil Defense Leader.

Today the school/Community Center are gone. No stores exist but there are several nice homes in the area. It is a quiet, lovely part of Hunt County. Many descendants of early settlers live in the vicinity and commute to work in Greenville, McKinney, Dallas, and other urban areas. Yet they have the rural peace and quiet when they come home.

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