Peaster

Settlement began in the 1870s when Georgia native H. H. Peaster bought 160 acres of land and built a house. The community that developed near the site of his home was originally called Freemont; in 1885 the name was changed to Peasterville. Postal service began in the 1880s. By the mid-1890s the town had over 100 residents who were served by three churches, a steam gin, a gristmill, a school, and a half dozen businesses. Throughout the twentieth century Peaster has served area farmers as a school and church community. During the mid-1920s the town had over 300 residents. After the Great Depression the population was below 100.
 
The gin at Peaster was built by C. W. McCarty, J.N. McCarty, George McKibbins and John Freeman. In the 1885, the first school house was built at Peaster. It was a small log structure about fourteen feet square. Split logs were used for seats. Just south of the school in 1886, the Methodist church was built.  In 1882, the Baptist church was built one mile north of Peaster, but was moved by a man named Norcross. He put it on four wagons and twelve yoke of oxen to move it to the present location.
 
The first house was built for a man named Tank McGar, which was on a lot just east of the Baptist church.  That house was built by Henry Peaster for whom the town is named.  He lived just across the creek in a log house south of the old log school house.
 
The town was surveyed in 1890 and began to grow rapidly.  The first merchants were Mr. Boykin and Mr. Barnhill.  The first doctor was Dr. Howard, followed the next year by Dr. J.T. Lee.  The first blacksmith was A.J. Smith in 1889.  C. W. McCarty sold groceries and dry goods beginning in 1894.  Parrish, Whitsett and Baxter were merchants followed by Guerry, Smith, Vardeman and S.S. Stevens.  Later, Barham and C.. Johnson were merchants and by the 1930s G. W. Brewer, J.D. Lancaster and H.C. McClendon were the main merchants.  These dwindled after the Great Depression.
 
In 1883, the first post office was built and the first Postmaster was Dr. Howard. Josh Freeman carried the mail from Weatherford on his back once a week on foot.  His pay was fifty cents a trip. At the time of the first post office there were about fifty families living around Peaster.  The names of some of these early settlers are: Charlie Dodson, Jim Howry, C. W. McCarty, J.N. McCarty, C.B. Bowen, George Mace, Rube Barnes, Mark Schultz, John Plumlee, the Demps, John and Issac Key, the Stevens, Henry Peaster, Bob Ferguson, Chalmer Ballinger, and  Henry Measures.
 
In 1891, there was two acres of land donated to build a college on.  One of the acres was donated by Henry Peaster and the other by Tom Hunt.  A two story frame building was built.  Many small communities had what they called “colleges.”
 
A bank was organized in 1906 with the first cashier D. M. Plumlee. He cashiered for two years followed by J.A. Wiggins who was with the bank for 21 years.
 
Although the early buildings, businesses and schools didn’t survive, Peaster today is a thriving community with few business, but a good school district.  The close proximity to Weatherford provides ample shopping and other businesses for small communities like Peaster. It is a rural area with farming and ranching all around.

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