REMEMBERING THE CONFEDERACY
Mexia was established in 1871 and named for the family that donated the town site. It’s pronounced Muh HAY uh, but residents call it “A great place no matter how you say it!” In 1921, Mexia’s first oil gusher blew in and things got so rowdy, that for part of the following year the town was under military control. But like many early oil towns, there’s more to Mexia than a disorderly past. Education was a priority as revealed at The Public Schools Museum housed in the 1923 Mexia High School. Exhibits document student activities through photographs and memorabilia from that institution and from Dunbar High School, which educated African American students.
Nearby sites tell other facets of local history. The Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site along the Navasota River is a place Civil War veterans gathered most years from 1889 through 1946 for camaraderie and to honor fallen soldiers. Today it hosts historical re-enactments and family reunions. The grounds include the 1872 Heritage House, an 1893 dance pavilion, and a Civil War cannon. Nearby Fort Parker State Park was built from 1935 to 1942 by an African American company of the Civilian Conservation Corps. They constructed buildings, roads and facilities, and erected a dam across the Navasota River to create a lake. They also rebuilt Old Fort Parker (see Groesbeck) in time for the 1936 Texas Centennial.