Jenks Branch

Jenks Branch Community Williamson County, Texas

Jenks Branch, a community and small stream in western Williamson County, named for John Jenks in whose survey the stream lies, where many large camp meetings were held after about 187o. Milas, Richard and Nelson Miller, three Negro brothers, purchased land in the area soon after the Civil War and helped other Negro families to settle there. Thus the community was also called Miller community. Milas Miller established a school consisting at first of a brush arbor, put up a building where both school and church services were held. Later, the Liberty Chapel, A. M. E., was erected of rock a short distance west of the original structure. Cemeteries were established near the first church and later on land given by Joe McClain and William David Miller south of the new church. The Independent American Knights of Liberty put up a lodge hall about half a mile east of the Chapel, where community socials, box suppers, church meetings, Bible School were held. When the young people wanted dances, often square dances, they furnished their own music on piano, fiddle and guitar. The Negro community had active baseball teams which played Florence, Llano and Lampasas. The lodge building was torn down about 1913.

Others in Miller settlement included the Mason, Barton, Faubion, Schooley, Parks, Thomas, Huddleston, Hollingsworth, Pickett, Gant families, and Tom and Lila Inman, a freed slave and his wife who bought land almost on the Williamson-Travis County line and built a home with a spectacular view of the rugged but beautiful scenery." Miller school consolidated with Liberty Hill in 1949. On another portion of Jenks Branch, James Branch and his family and a bachelor brother, Nicholas, settled about 1846, established a large ranch, and it was near the Branch home that the early camp meetings were held. The last camp meeting held there was in 1883.74

A special thanks to Clara Stearns Scarbrough for this slice of history
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Clara Stearns Scarbrough, Land of Good Water: A Williamson County History (Georgetown, Texas: Williamson County Sun Publishers, 1973).