Upton, seven miles south of Bastrop in central Bastrop County, traces its origins to settler J. P. Young's arrival in the area in 1847. Young was soon joined by John and Tom Hancock and John Bright. The first community school was a one-room log building, which was replaced in 1873 by a frame building erected on land donated by Young. In 1892 the school was moved to a new structure on the current site. Two years later, with the coming of the railroad, a post office was established and the name Como was selected. When it was found that the name was already in use elsewhere, the post office and community became Upton.
By 1914 Upton was a station on the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad and had a population of seventy, a cotton gin, and a general store. The next year a church was built. But the population soon dropped to twenty-five. Although the post office was closed in 1929, in the 1930s Upton had a community center and three schools, two for black children and one for white. Population estimates remained at twenty-five through most of the community's twentieth-century history, with a brief jump to fifty in the late 1960s.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: William Henry Korges, Bastrop County, Texas: Historical and Educational Development (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1933).
Paula Mitchell Marks
Plaque by the Texas Historical Commission erected next to the school house:
Young School House and Cemetery In 1872, area pioneer John P. Young (1829-1906) donated two acres of his land for a community school and cemetery. The earliest marked grave, that of W. T. Sanders, is dated 1874. Since then, the cemetery has been used primarily by area settlers and their descendants.
Shortly after the land was donated, community leaders opened a five-month term school, which was named in honor of John Young. With the help of carpenter Samuel D. Sanford (died 12/21/1903 blood poisoning), this school house was constructed in 1872 of hand-hewn pine logs. Young school closed in 1907 when the rail line was laid through the Upton community (3 MI.N), and a larger school was established there.
Although no longer in use as a school house the building has been maintained as a community center and has been the site of worship services for several area congregations. Young School House Baptist Church, whose roots date to 1910, continues to worship at this site. The building has been moved twice to make room for more cemetery plots.
Much of the history of this part of Bastrop County revolves around Young School House and Cemetery, each of which has been in use for more than 100 years.
HISTORIC YOUNG SCHOOLHOUSE CEMETERY
A state historic marker didn't show up in time but that failed to dim the high spirits of Upton area residents and guests Sunday at the dedication of the restored historic Young Schoolhouse.
On a perfect Autumn Sunday afternoon, a crowd filled the white frame school house and church to hear speakers praise the work of local residents who started the restoration in late 1976.
Descendants of pioneer settler J. P. Young were among the crowd of some 200 persons who thanked Chester and Liz Lee, Rosa Lee, Virgil Patterson, Irene Schubert and others.
The school was built in 1872, moved twice and after the railroad came to Upton and a new school was built there, the old school closed in 1907. It became a haven for many different churches. Young School House Baptist Church now holds regular worship services and sponsored the work to get a state historic marker, expected to be delivered soon.
The research and restoration effort is an example of what local communities can do to preserve the pioneer heritage of Texas, said June Pape, representing the Bastrop County Historical Commission, and Frances Rickard, Assistant Director of Research, Texas Historical Commission.
Built of rough hewn pine lumber, by 1976 the building was in poor physical shape. In her history of the school, Lila Wesie Potter Scallorn Rister described the site: "It still sits there by the side of the road, a ragged beggar sunning."
Today the building gleams inside.
Eugenia Schock did not know any of the local residents in October last year when she learned a Christian congregation was worshipping in the one room school house and she thought the historic structure should be recognized in some way. She offered to do the paperwork to get it marked by the Texas Historical Commission.
Persons who helped in the research such as Jewel Rosanky of Smithville are now friends of Mrs Schoch.
Taking part in the ceremony was the Rev. Dan Porter, pastor of the Young Schoolhouse Baptist Church, who acted as master of ceremonies. He gave the closing benediction in front of the well tended Young School House Cemetery.