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Published: October 23rd 2020
This was a very long day for me in Cherokee County. I still wanted to visit the old towns (or remains) of Ponta, Lone Star, New Salem, and Knoxville in Northern Cherokee County but it was late and I had little sunlight left. So I drove East on FM 343 to see Atoy that was on my way home in Nacogdoches County. Driving Eastbound I passed a sign for the Atoy Baptist Church, but at the speed limit of 65 mph I could not stop then to check it out. I drove another mile and made my stop at the Atoy Cemetery. I noticed a small structure over a grave marker that contained grave of Baby Boy James. That had to be very sad for the parents to lose a infant son.
Then I drove West and found the Atoy Baptist Church (not far from FM Hwy 343) that appears to be in use by the nearby county residents.
Back at the highway by the church sign I met up with two four wheelers with six local people. I had a very good chat with them until it got dark. They were Cherokee County & Republic of Texas historians
that knew a lot about Atoy and Cherokee County. They showed me the remains of the Atoy General Store and Post Office. This was a very nice day for me.
According to TexasExcapes.com Atoy was first settled before the US Civil war. It was developed later and had a post office for only 1870-1871. Atoy peaked in the 1930s with a few churches, general store, and a school. Around 1950 the Atoy school (closed) merged with the Rusk schools.
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