History of Oakland
The history of Oakland, Texas, based on the information you provided:
Early Settlement and Name Origin: Oakland is located southwest of the intersection of Farm Roads 532 and 2144, on the Lavaca County line, eight miles south of Weimar in northwest Colorado County. The site was originally granted to James Bowie. Originally known as Prairie Point, the community had a store on the stage line between Columbus and Gonzales as early as 1844.
Community Development: The settlement had a small log schoolhouse by the 1850s, and it was officially laid out as a town by A. C. Herford in 1857.
Post Office and Name Change: Oakland initially struggled to establish a post office due to proximity to other post offices. Amasa Turner moved his post office from Lavaca County to Oakland’s location and retained the name Oakland, chosen in honor of David G. Burnet’s home.
Masonic Lodge and School: A Masonic lodge was established in Oakland in 1861. A two-floor schoolhouse built in the 1870s served as a Masonic meeting place on the upper floor. The building was also used for church gatherings.
Oakland Normal School: In 1882, Oakland Normal School was opened to educate Black school teachers.
Economic Development: By 1884, the town had 200 inhabitants, three general stores, a saloon, a steam cotton gin, two churches, and grist and saw mills. In 1900, the population was 264.
Educational Institutions: In 1904, the community had one school with sixty-five White pupils and another school with eighty-one Black pupils.
Mid-20th Century: In the 1930s, Oakland had seven businesses, a church, and a population of 200. By 1950, the population had decreased to 100, and the number of businesses dropped to three.
Population Decline: The population continued to decline over the years. It was 95 in 1970, 80 in 1974, and maintained an estimated 80 from 1974 through 2000.