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Historical Sites

Tenaha, Texas

Tenaha, Shelby County, Texas

Our History

Tenaha was established in 1886 soon after the completion of the Houston East and West Texas Railroad. Most of the land in the Tenaha area was owned by pioneer lumbermen brothers, E.S. and C.B. Hicks, who had given land for right-of-way to the railroad. Tenaha was named for Tenaha Creek and for the Municipality of Tenehaw. It has always been understood that Tenaha in the Indian Language means “muddy water.”


Historical Markers

First United Methodist Church of Tenaha

This Methodist church was one of the first institutions established in Tenaha after its founding in 1886. The congregation was established by Methodists from the Woods post Office and Ramah communities who had come to help develop a railhead town for the Houston East and West Texas Railroad.

The Methodist Congregation was served by circuit preachers for many years. The members constructed their first sanctuary in 1890 during the pastorate of the Reverend W.L. Pate of the Woods circuit. A second building, completed in 1928, served the growing congregation until 1971, when a new sanctuary was built.

For many years the ministers who served this fellowship lived in the Woods community, but as Tenaha grew, a house was rented here for a parsonage. The First Methodist Church was given its first full time minister in 1946.

Throughout its history, the congregation has placed an emphasis on missionary work, particularly through the efforts of the women's groups. The Church has provided significant service and leadership to the community. Descendants of many of the founders continue to worship here.

Located at 105 E George Bowers Drive, 1 mile west of intersection of Hwy 59 and Hwy 84.

William Harrison Wall Homestead

William Harrison Wall founded Tenaha by opening a store in 1885 with a relative, who helped Houston East and West Texas Railroads. In 1886, he and his wife, Nancy, built their home, a smaller copy of his old home in North Carolina. The family was sociable, and with the first piano in town, they had a "preacher's room" for circuit riders.

A son and friends originated a noted drill cadence "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair." W.H. Wall, II ran a drugstore in Tenaha for 50 years. Three generations have occupied the house, which was remodeled in 1976.

Located 1 block south of intersection of Loop 157 and Hwy 59 in Tenaha. The marker has been removed from the house.